Bali has always been a hot vacation spot in South-East Asia, but in recent years, websites such as “The Bali Bible” have highlighted some of the most alluring and charismatic places to visit.

With over half a milli0n followers on their Instagram account, they’ve gained themselves quite a reputation, so it’s no wonder that the iconic Ku De Ta made it to “best rated” for bars & restaurants in Bali.

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Kicking off our one-year anniversary celebrations, George and I headed to Ku De Ta for dinner just after sunset, George’s treat!

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We were overly-excited to discover that Ku De Ta served one of our favourite brand of wine back in the UK (Kaiken).

One of the most popular reasons for visiting Ku De Ta for many is to unwind with a cocktail as you admire the unrivalled ‘Bali sunset’, so try and incorporate sunset to make the evening as magical as possible.

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The mood lighting is set to low at Ku De Ta, so my flash will definitely take away some of the loveliness of the food, but it will have to do! This was just one Iberian cured meats pre-starter dish, we chose the chorizo and expected it to be on the modest side, but on the contrary, the portions were very generous (and delicious).

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The prawn & snapper ‘chao shou’ dumplings were the highlight of the evening for me. Dim-sum with spicy chilli sauce has always been my favourite style of the dish, so this had me satisfied from the first mouthful. When we visited, the accompaniment to the dumplings was baked ricotta (which didn’t work so well in my opinion), but just a week later they seemed to have changed this to tofu instead!

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George opted for the suckling pig ‘urutan’ (sounds slightly odd but urutan is a type of dry fermented Balinese sausage), once again the description for this item on the Ku De Ta menu has changed, but the most important thing to know is that the meat was incredibly delicious and I would thoroughly recommend if you’re a pulled pork lover.

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My main was the parmesan & sumac crusted pork roasted apple with potato puree and red cabbage. The pork was less tender and more about the flavour, and when it’s parmesan crusted you aren’t really going to complain. However, this dish didn’t wow me, but by this point I was slightly full and still reminiscing about the dim-sum (oops).

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George opted for a steak based main, my flash is not doing the dish any favours here but it was beautiful. I’m a big fan of establishments that actually serve steak “medium rare” or even “rare”, the way it should be (in my opinion), so Ku De Ta wins there! The service was friendly from start to finish and the restaurant is big enough that we weren’t cramped next to any other tables.

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No meal is ever complete without one last indulgent pudding that you’ve somehow made extra stomach space for. After our meal, we went for a wonder by the front of the restaurant which overlooks the beach – stopping here for an after-dinner cocktail is a great idea for anyone who has the stomach room 🙂

 

Thank-you, Ku De Ta, you lived up to your many accolades.

The celebrations may be ending but the new diets are definitely beginning. It’s the cliche “new year, new me” and guaranteed you will feel like you aren’t hearing the end of it. But in all fairness, after a month of gluttony, everyone could benefit from a bit of dry January and some “detoxing”.

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The Detox Kitchen on Mortimer Street

The Detox Kitchen Deli on Mortimer Street is where I kick started the new, healthy approach this weekend. It’s quite hard to spot if you don’t know where it is.  There is no grand advertising outside the restaurant on this very dormant street, yet it was packed to the brim on the inside. There is even a fitness studio on the lower ground floor. Their slogan – “where healthy meets delicious” – couldn’t be more relevant.

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The Detox Kitchen offers a pick and choose service where you can pick the size of your portion and then choose your salads and protein accordingly. All of their dishes are wheat free, dairy free and free of refined sugar. A medium sized container is £5.95 for three to four salads and a portion of protein will cost you an extra £3.

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There were around eight delicious salads to choose from, three different types of protein and three vegetarian protein options. All of the food was packed full of flavour, defying the myth that healthy food has to be boring. On top of the deli food on offer, there is also an eat in brunch menu available here.

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There are also a wide range of smoothies and juices to choose from if that’s all you’re after – I had “protein power,” which was heavenly, and a meal in itself! One warning I would issue is that strict dieters beware as the calories aren’t listed on the food description labels. However, if you have the “My Fitness Pal” app, you can probably work it out yourself (give or take a calorie or two).

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Delicious vegetarian frittata at the front and other protein in the back

I’ve got to say, the food was absolutely delicious! They really go all out on flavour here, the “roasted squash, grilled pepper and paprika dressing” salad had to be my favourite – not to mention the pesto courgetti or the cauliflower and avocado salad. They don’t do boring salads here and you really have to try the food to experience the flavours.

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A medium sized portion with protein

The Detox Kitchen was heaving on a Saturday afternoon. The layout of the restaurant is made up of two long tables that fit about seven people each and there are a further three separate tables that can fit four at a push, meaning that if you can’t get your own smaller table you will have to share with others who are trying to enjoy their Detox Kitchen experience too.

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The decor is simple and modern, yellow tulips on the table definitely added a brightness to the dining experience. A wall of live plants greets you as you come in, adding to the whole earthly, detox feel they are going for here.

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The wall of live plants

You’ll need to check that there is available seating when you walk in as I witnessed a couple of people buying a delicious “eat in” plate of food, without first checking there were free tables to sit at, needless to say they were left standing there for a while whilst they waited for a table to free up.

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The staff were all incredibly lovely and three different members came over to check that the food was okay and that we had what we needed. There was a slight delay in making my smoothie so they upgraded it from a regular to a large at no extra cost which was an unexpected surprise!

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Protein Power

We were also given added extras of hummus and sweet potato with our meal at no extra cost. I couldn’t actually finish my regular size portion because they were so incredibly generous with their portion sizing.

The Detox Kitchen is perfect for a healthy lunch outing, I was left feeling comfortably full and extremely satisfied by what I had eaten, it’s even left me considering a dairy free & wheat free way of life. I’m dying to go back again. There are also other Detox Kitchen outlets in London that offer services such as grab & go.

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Enjoying a Protein Power smoothie

Lunch for two with two regular sized portions, two pieces of protein, a regular smoothie and a coffee came to just over £24.

If you want to visit: Fitzroy Place, 10 Mortimer St, London W1T 3JJ

Take a peek at the website: http://detoxkitchen.co.uk

My exciting first blog post will be about the best steaks I have enjoyed in London! Here are my top 3 restaurant’s based on service, food and atmosphere…

3. SOPHIE’S STEAKHOUSE 311-313 Fulham Road, London, SW10 9QH

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In third place is Sophie’s Steakhouse in Chelsea. In terms of service, Sophie’s Steakhouse was down-to-earth and positive. It was very busy and buzzing in here, meaning our waiter was slightly frantic, definitely more of a young person’s restaurant. The fillet steak (£30) was cooked well, very rare yet very very tender and incredibly generous with the portion – the phrase “melt in the mouth” has never been more relevant. The Rib eye comes in at £25 and the sirloin at £29. The creamed spinach side (£4.50) works stunningly with the steak. The steak also come with a bernaise sauce (in a separate pot), dripping fries and a house salad, so it is the best value for money out of of my top 3 restaurants. Sophie’s Steakhouse is great for a mid-week dinner outing with friends if you want to wine & dine in Chelsea.

I would also recommend:

The thick cut onion rings (£4), if you’re in the mood for pigging out with your meal then definitely get these as an added side to your steak.

2. HAWKSMOOR SPITALFIELDS 157A Commercial St, London, E1 6BJ

In second place is Hawksmoor Spitalfields, self proclaimed as “the best steak restaurant in the UK,” the fillet comes in at £34 which again I had, the ribeye is £30 and the Sirloin is £27.50. The creamed spinach (£5) is incredible here, by far the best side I have ever had! Once again it was very busy and loud in here due to the tables being relatively close together, that’s the reason why it has come in 2nd place (the steak was just as mouth-watering as 1st place). However, the service was amazing. My boyfriend and I were offered a free starter due to our main only being slightly delayed (it was hardly delayed). I would definitely recommend Hawksmoor if you don’t mind the noise. It’s a thriving and buzzing atmosphere on a Friday night, so head here with some friends or maybe an exciting date if you want a lively atmosphere!

I would also recommend:

Puddings: The Peanut Butter shortbread (£7.50) and Salted Caramel Rolo’s (£4), both to die for if you have a sweet tooth.

2. MAZE GRILL 10-13 Grovesnor Square, London, WIK 6JP

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Maze Grill, Mayfair

The winner has to be Maze Grill in Mayfair. The fillet steak (rare breed) comes in at an eye watering £40, but it is worth every penny, I have accompanied it with the blue cheese sauce for an extra £2.50 both of the times I have been (yes, I had to go again!). In terms of flavour, texture and size, Maze Grill ticks all three boxes.

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Medium rare fillet steak with peppercorn sauce and garlic

If you opt for the Mac & Cheese, be warned it is a little on the salty side but still incredibly delectable. The service was attentive and polite, and it wasn’t too noisy as the tables were spaced well apart. We were given iPad’s in which to choose our wine, wine boff’s like my father could sit there for hours trying to choose a suitable bottle. I would recommend a Malbec with the steak as it compliments it beautifully, a bold Syrah also hit’s the spot. If you fancy a cocktail before you dine then enjoy one (£13-£15) in Maze Restaurant, (not to be confused with Maze grill) which is in the same building but on the left, rather than the right, as you enter. Maze Grill has been filled with an eclectic crowd both of the times I went; tourists, families, young couples, old couples and groups of friends. It seems like a wonderful setting for a birthday or for a special occasion. The restaurant is also notorious for its sushi and sashimi so if you’re more of a fish lover then Maze Grill can accommodate you too.

I also recommend:

Small Plates – Buffalo Chicken Fillets (£5)

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Buffalo chicken fillets

If you’re into bold, spicy, punchy flavours then this is the perfect starter for you, I could eat this all day, it also comes as a main course and it is exactly the same in terms of flavour.

One other restaurant that I would recommend is Flat Iron (9 Denmark St, Soho, WC2H 8LS). If you’re on a budget in Soho and want a steak night then this is the place to go! The only steak they serve is a “flat iron” steak for £10, also known as the “butler steak” or “oyster blade steak.”

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Flat Iron steak

The cut is from the shoulder of the animal and it is slightly tougher than the average fillet or rib eye, however it is packed full of flavour and the sides are marvellous. I had creamed spinach (£3) and dripping cooked fries (£2.50), all sides are between maybe £2.50-£3.50. The atmosphere in Flat Iron is great for a date night, the lighting is slightly darker and it’s a rather small area, however if the tables are full then you could be seated at the bar which actually makes for a very intimate and fun dining experience. Be warned it is an incredibly popular restaurant and they don’t take reservation’s so you could have to wait upto over an hour on a Friday or Saturday night.

I would also recommend: The salted caramel sundae (£3.50) is deceivingly delicious,  it erupts from what appears to be a whipped cream dispenser into a small cup, however once the mousse is sprinkled with sea salt it becomes a scrumptious, light dessert. If you’re with a partner who has a big appetite I would recommend getting two as they can disappear incredibly quickly.

If you want to “do it yourself” with steak then Wholefoods (Piccadilly Circus, Camden, Kensington, Fulham & Clapham Junction) do an incredible Wagyu steak for £10.

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Wagyu Beef

Simply season with salt, pepper and garlic paste and cook on an incredibly high heat in a pan full of melted butter for 2 & a half minutes on each side to accomplish a medium rare steak. Beautiful!