Putting The O in The O-Tower Restaurant

Over the Easter Weekend I decided to venture into the lovely streets of Bermondsey  with Mr Man – a hidden gem in my opinion. After a few drinks we both became peckish but didn’t want to head back to London Bridge. I recalled once seeing a Caribbean restaurant on Tower Bride Road that I was keen to try and so we took to the streets in search of it. The O Tower is not difficult to miss – with its yellow signage and bright exterior. With a wide bar, plenty of plants and a friendly smile from the owner we were welcomed into the wonderful world of The O-Tower. The menu was simple and had all the staples that you would expect from a decent Caribbean restaurant.

Crab Claws - Rice & Peas and Fish Stew

Crab Claws – Rice & Peas and Fish Stew

I ordered the chef’s special fish stew with rice and peas, whilst Mr Man ordered Oxtail with rice and peas. We also decided to go for some crab claws with sweet chilli sauce, not fresh crab but still yummy as a pre-dinner snack.

The fish was perfectly seasoned though not spicy enough for me and went perfectly with the rice and peas. I personally found the Oxtail stew too salty, I’m not a fan of salt but even Mr Man agreed that it was a touch too salty. It was a hearty meal with perfect portion sizes, exactly what you want from an authentic Caribbean meal. We were able to “bring a bottle” which added a touch of homeliness to the experience. As the restaurant became busier we overheard the Owner/Head Chef, Orville,  tell a fellow diner that the restaurant would be closing it’s doors for the final time the very next week!  It was a shame that we wouldn’t be able to return because I honestly would recommend The O-Tower. All is not lost however as Head Chef Orville will continue to run a successful catering business.

I’m sure that The O-Tower restaurant will be missed but onwards and upwards for Orville.

Contact:

Orville Chef Catering – 07851354240/02073949204

Oxtail Stew with Rice and Peas

Oxtail Stew with Rice and Peas

Who’s For Something Different? Fried Gluten Anyone?

 Patrick Grell

 

One of our lovely friends in Trinidad & Tobago, Patrick Grell, sent us this picture of what has to be one of the most unusual tinned food items I’ve ever seen! Fried Gluten: Vegetarian Mock Duck. I understand the importance of variety for vegetarians but this looks…well interesting. Thanks for sharing Patrick.

Follow Patrick on Instragram - http://instagram.com/patrickegtt and Twitter @PatrickEGTT

 

StickyWings heaven

The wind beneath my StickyWings

I need you all to take this address down: 40 Brick Lane, London E2. Do you have that saved in your address book on your phone? Yes? Good.

Sticky Wings

That’s the address of a restaurant that serves some of the best chicken wings I’ve ever tasted and I lived in the “Deep South” aka Virginia in The States for a year so I know what I’m talking about.

Succulent, full of flavour, ambrosial…all adjectives that can be used to describe the chicken wings at StickyWings. Look I’m not going to bore you with a long review here, I’m in love with the place so it might just get emotional if I write for very much longer.

All you need to know is this:

  • The Chicken Wings are amazing.
  • The owner AKA The Boss Man is super friendly
  • The meals are super value for money (Less than a tenner for my meal and a coca cola)
  • The interior is bright and colourful without being tacky
  • Did I say that the Chicken Wings are amazing?

Get going there today! Even if you have already made plans! Just go…I beseech you. If you don’t like what you eat then well something’s wrong with your taste buds or you really just don’t like chicken and therefore you should not have gone in the first place! That’s a joke. I love you for reading my post for this long!

StickyWings heaven

StickyWings heaven

Seriously though head down there, you really won’t be disappointed. I had American Buffalo and StickyWings BBQ flavoured wings with fries and I’m still thinking about them to this day.

All hail StickyWings and all that is gloriously delicious!

Perfect for:

  • Lunch
  • Fun evening
  • Evening with friends
  • Informal date night

http://www.stickywings.com/

@stickywings

 

Snowflake Gelato

Outside it’s sunny but inside it’s SnowFlakey…

I’m coining the term “SnowFlakey”…even if it’s not in the Oxford Dictionary! It should be.

Snowflake Gelato

Snowflake Gelato

Anyway this is a quick shout out to Snowflake Gelato. Ever since trying their gelatos a while back I keep trying to find reasons to be in Wardour Street. To be honest, just going in to taste the gelatos should be reason enough. They are divine! Trust me. I’ve only ever had ice cream like this in Italy so believe me when I say it’s worth a visit. I’m not the biggest dessert fan but I will make an exception for them. I tried Chocolate, Pistachio and Honeycomb crunch and all were sublime but the pistachio was REALLY something special. It literally felt as though I was eating pistachios without the crunch…just delightful!

So don’t be flakey…just go! Unless of course you’re being snowflakey then you’re part of the fanclub! OK Maybe this term isn’t quite as good as I first thought…

http://www.snowflakegelato.co.uk/

@snowflakegelato

A dash of Monkey Shoulder at Central and Co

I was lucky enough to be invited to a cocktail masterclass hosted at Central and Co recently! I love cocktails so it would have been rude have me NOT to have accepted. My friend and I went along and were introduced to a world of much merriment!  I had never heard of Monkey Shoulder before so was intrigued to learn that it’s a whiskey. You learn something new every day. I like whiskey although I usually just drink it with coke so learning some new cocktail recipes was great (side note: most recipes have now been forgotten, that’s nothing to do with the amount I had to drink…I promise).

Our host, a brand ambassador from Monkey Shoulder, Scotch Whiskey, was super friendly and taught us how to make 3 cocktails, which we were “forced” to drink! ;-) I now know how a proper “Old Fashioned” is supposed to taste…basically very strong! We had a cocktail challenge too which was great except my friend and I did not win despite clearly being the best – see evidence below:

monkey shoulder central & co

The Cocktail that should have won!

I’ll definitely try Monkey Shoulder again one day and will do my best to mix a winning cocktail along the way (that was not supposed to rhyme)

Central and Co is a great venue to meet up for drinks too, facing Carnaby Street it’s perfect for an evening catch up with friends to get the night started!

Visit Central and Co – http://centralandco.com/

Visit Monkey Shoulder http://www.monkeyshoulder.com/

 

flatplace

Not too Flat at Flatplanet!

Just wanted to mention a new discovery! Flatplanet! I was actually craving pizza when a friend and I walked into Flatplanet, just off Carnaby Street.

It’s a very simple concept – different toppings served on flatbreads, they look like pizzas but as I soon found out they’re not. They are not as heavy as your usually pizza meal and super healthy given that the majority of the ingredients are organic.

flatplaceTo start I had the most delicious quinoa salad – it was so good I think I almost drank it – seriously go for it when you visit! I had a Morrocan flatbread, which was topped with houmous, lebneh, tomatoes, basil, olives and drizzled with rose harissa. It was delicious although there was A LOT of houmous, thankfully I like houmous but it may have been a little excessive. To finish my meal I had a super yummy gluten free chocolate chip cookie. So I basically had 3 courses, all for under £13 and left feeling mighty healthy too!

The service isn’t anything to shout about but it’s not the type of establishment that one would go to for impeccable  service. They were decent which I suppose is enough.

flatplanetI would say give Flatplanet a try if you’re looking for an alternative to pizza! You won’t regret it…especially if you try that Quinoa salad! Jeeeezzzz that was delicious!

 

 

 

Perfect for:

  • Friends
  • lunch
  • Healthy late dinner

http://www.flatplanet.co.uk/

@flatplanethq

A trip to The Blue Nile

The Blue NileUnlike some Londoners I’m not a postcode snob. As long as I can get to a place comfortably and in good time I’m open to all places! This means that I don’t miss out on some great happenings around our lovely city. Well thankfully I didn’t have to travel too far to sample the delights of The Blue Nile Cafe/Restaurant in Woolwich. The building in which the cafe is housed, used to be a sausage making shop and the owners have kept the charm of that little piece of history with some beautiful tiling and original features.

I love Ethopian food so I was intrigued to try the Eritrean cuisine on offer at The Blue Nile. The menu is influenced by Eritrea’s Italian colonial past with hints of Italian food on the menu.

A friend and I went for lunch and enjoyed a delightful £5 offer for 2 stews and an accompanying dish of either rice or injera. We both went for the injera of course!

Blue Nile

Kilwa and Injera

I had a meat stew called Kilwa, which had beef mixed  with onion, tomatoes and garlic sautéed in a seasoned red pepper sauce as well as a spinach stew which went perfectly with my injera bread. The beef was perfectly seasoned and tender, with a sauce that was so delicious when scooped up with injera. I love my food spicy but this was not overly spicy which was actually a good thing given that it was still quite an early lunch.

I absolutely recommend visiting The Blue Nile even if you don’t live locally – the service is friendly and the food completely authentic!

Perfect for:

  • Lunch
  • Family
  • Friends

http://www.bluenilecafe.co.uk/

@bluenile73

Ben and Jerry’s Goes Greek!

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Ben and Jerry’s Launch of their Greek-Style Frozen Yogurt range by fabulous blogging queen, OndoLady this week.

Inside The GreekWe were treated to some delicious Greek Food from The Real Greek, Covent Garden – which I just have to say is definitely worth trying!

The main event of course was trying the 3 FroYo flavours which include Strawberry Shortcake, a rich Greek yoghurt sprinkled with juicy strawberry bits whirled with crumbly shortcake biscuit; Raspberry Chocolate Chunk, a blend of zingy raspberry notes with smooth chocolatey chunks; and Vanilla Honey Caramel, a soft vanilla FroYo with a swirl of gooey honey caramel.

Ben and Jerry's Ben and Jerry's Ben and Jerry's
I have to say that my favourite flavour was the Vanilla Honey Caramel! It was just the right balance of sweetness and flavour that will make it perfect for a summer dessert. It also helps that these FroYos have 40% less fat than the original Ben and Jerry’s Ice Creams.

Anyway grab yourself a tub! You won’t be disappointed – I mean really since when has Ben and Jerry’s EVER been a disappointment?

 

Food Event:The Future Of Meat – Saturday April 5th

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am an unapologetic Carnivore so I was pleased to recently receive this invite to “The Future of Meat” event, hosted at Hawksmoor and organised by the lovely folks at Toast.

Talk + brunch + cocktails  £40

From what you read in the papers, carnivores of the future will dine on horse meat burgers, grasshopper canapés, and mince grown in petri dishes. But sensational headlines aside, what is the future of meat?

Hawksmoor executive chef Richard Turner, The Ginger Pig owner Tim Wilson, and Philip Lymbery, CEO of charity Compassion in World Farming and author of Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat. After bolstering Bloody Marys, the panel, led by Niamh Shields of Eat Like a Girl, will share their perspectives on our current relationship with meat, what a healthy, sustainable supply chain could look like, and what we’ll really be eating 100 years from now.

After the debate, there’ll be a sharing-style brunch cooked by the team at Hawksmoor Guildhall (using exceptional produce from The Ginger Pig). Dishes will include pig cheek scrapple with grits, short-rib bubble and squeak, rib-eye steak, roast tomatoes, homemade baked beans, sausages, fried eggs, black pudding and piles of toast with plenty of butter.

Tickets include a Bloody Mary on arrival, the ‘The Future of Meat’ debate and brunch.

Location: Hawksmoor Guildhall, 10 Basinghall Street, EC2V 5BQ – Book your ticket HERE

Mick Elysee

A steak to remember at the Marsden Bistro

I love steak. Basically if you ever need me to do you a favour, without question, just feed me steak and chips and I’ll do you any kind of favour as long as it’s legal.

Mick Elysee

Head Chef Mick Élysée served up a sumptuous ribeye steak at The Marsden Bistro in Hackney, which as you can see came with a healthy portion of chips and a salad which I did eat (have to be healthy). The steak was perfectly cooked to my specification and every mouthful was a delight! My mouth is currently watering just recollecting how yummy it was. I’ve taken to having my steaks Medium/Well Done as I move away from having them Well Done and this was just perfect!

The interior of The Marsden Bistro clearly has a Parisian influence, with the subtle lighting and uncomplicated furniture, it’s the perfect location for a romantic meal for two. I was with a friend, so though not quite romantic we both felt that it would be the perfect place to take our partners. The menu is simple yet concise which is just what you need really, there’s no pretentious convoluted narrative (which one can find in some menus of new restaurants). It does exactly what it says it’s going to do: an intimate restaurant that serves freshly prepared food.

If you’re looking for a lovely place to take your special someone then look no further.

Perfect for:

  • Romantic Meals
  • First Dates
  • Dinner with friends

http://www.marsden-bistro.com/

@mickelysee