dirty bones london
Get ready for a super sexy weekend feast, London friends; I am about to introduce you to the Queen of All-American brunches.

The weekend before returning to the US I had managed to whip myself into full-force stars and stripes mode, thus deciding the best way to cure Saturday’s hangover was to take my similarly fragile brunch date to Shoreditch for Dirty Bones‘ New York-style comfort food.

Dirty Bones – all heigh ceilings, casual elegance and cool kid vibes – is brunch goals epitomised. Starting with spiked iced coffees (triple espresso, Courvoisier VSOP cognac, Mozart Dry Chocolate spirit
& cream), we decided to split an order of Avocado “Shoreditch” Crumpets (toasted with umami butter, poached eggs, hollandaise, avocado & garlic guacamole, and Sriracha hot sauce) while we made the intensely difficult choices between brunch mains.

While my date opted for the short rib hash (14 hour slow-cooked pulled short rib finished with caramelised shallots, mustard seeds, potatoes & two sunny side-up eggs) I couldn’t refuse my pervasive Stateside fave: chicken & waffle.

As I no longer eat meat at home, I was hesitant to select chicken – in all its basic glory – as the heart of my meal out but could not have been more pleased with the waffle-topped result. Their free range chicken is 6 hour brined and 6 hour sous-vide cooked for extra tenderness and flavour. So much so I took a under-crust photo for proof, below, between maple syrup-dipped mouthgasms. (Not that our shared just-in-case crispy candied bacon was left behind…)

Stupidly, we planned to share Dirty Bones’ matcha custard french toast for dessert but were convinced otherwise by very full and happy bellies. Bookmarking the dis for my return trip, I settled for a dirty Chai (just the way it should be) while my companion swooned his way through a Butter Baby milkshake – creamy butterscotch, vanilla ice cream, milk, and a shot of Ketel One.

That’s what you call recovery food.

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dirty bones london
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firezza london
The Pizza Gods at Firezza embody everything I love about the food industry in London; quality flavour-focused ingredients, convenience, affordability, and good vibes. When I was asked to collaborate and experience their food and drink offerings prior to their new restaurant launch in Dean Street, I could hardly refuse.

The restaurant – which opens to the public April 12th – is the brand’s first fully-fledged restaurant and is set to showcase their “proper” by-the-metre pizza in true Soho style. They’ve even revamped their “Patate (fire-roasted sliced potato with creamy Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, fresh cream & red onion)pizza and offer gluten-free & vegan options to cater to the everyman.

My personal favourites include their hand-stretched and fire-baked Porcini Di Bosco pizza (white pizza with wild porcini mushrooms, fresh field mushrooms, Tartufata/truffle cream, Taleggio, mozzarella, Gran Milano shavings, cream & tarragon), Stone Brewing Craft Beer, and absolutely perfect cannoli (the chocolate chip version is, to be honest, kryptonite).

For the price point (pizzas start at £6), Firezza have done a commendable job not only hunting high and low for the best ingredients available (they fly Buffalo Mozzarella D.O.P. 1300 miles direct from Italy) but striving for a social space to enjoy fuss-free food and drink. I have even created a fist-pumping playlist for their restaurant to help them do so (which you can preview on Spotify here)!

Do your tum a favour and schedule in a Dean Street pizza party excursion with your nearest and dearest.

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cheese festival london 1
Attention fellow cheese lovers: Stratfords’s East Village is hosting a free Cheese and Wine Festival this weekend. Think samples, demonstrations, wines and cheese-spiration to the max.

The East Village Cheese and Wine Festival will not only play host to over 25 cheese-making/utilising stallholders but welcome wine expert Tim Atkin, chef Valentina Harris, chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory, and Great British Bake Off contestant Tom Gilliford to host exclusive demos and tastings over the 1st and 2nd.

The former Athletes’ Village of the London 2012 Games could not have whipped up a better programme; cheese sculpting competitions, sparkling wine & cheese pairings, rarebit demonstrations, endless tastings, cheesy Churros Garcia, street food (from Arancini Brothers, Jacob’s Ladder & French Comte), a cheesy pop quiz, and more – all culminating in an exclusive three course “Cheese Feest: on Sunday at Tina We Salute You (a preview of which I was lucky to experience, as you can see here – don’t miss out)

Ahem, the diet starts Monday

cheese festival london
cheese festival london
cheese festival london rarebit

food blog Quinoa Fritters
As you know, I gave up eating meat at home as part of my do-gooding Lent vows.

It was terribly easy but I felt slightly, well, bored. Though I’ve eaten a primarily veggie diet naturally and can roast most vegetables to perfect, my most impressive dishes involved creative meat creations and I felt slightly dissatisfied without them. A woman can only face a certain amount of courgetti before she starts to lose her mind.

I looked for a solution and found it in Everdine. The box delivery business, which aims to facilitate meal plans with unique clean meals, makes “eating clean” idiot-proof for meat-eaters and veggies alike.

The vegetarian boxes, however, looked like my uninspired woman’s dream come true.

Whether your box comes with 8 or 12 meals, the rules are consistent: pop your fresh meal boxes in the freezer when they arrive and follow the accompanying cooking instructions when you fancy fuss-free, nutritious and unprocessed food porn.

I was dubious. I keep nothing but ice and vodka in the freezer. But Everdine’s Michelin-trained chefs freeze their gourmet meals as soon as they are put together, meaning the result is infinitely better than your average “freezer food”.

In my first box, I enjoyed vegetable gyozas, speckled lentil chilli, shiitake & tofu teriyaki, rainbow veg Pad Thai, parsnip & paneer curry, falafel Shawarma, courgette & feta quinoa cakes, and butternut squash spelt risotto, Everdine is quite literally as good (and inspirationally seasoned) as vegetarian food porn gets.

Want to try it out? I managed to nab you lovely folk a £30 off code for your first box! Simply pop IN1LELALDN in when you check out and get your prettiest plates at the ready!

food blog everdine
food blog Butternut Squash Risotto
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chi kitchen london
Once upon a time I went for a casual lunch at Chi Kitchen and had my Pan-Asian loving socks knocked off. For an unassuming corner inside Debenhams’ Oxford Street flagship, Chi Kitchen really exceeds expectations.

Rather than ‘Chi’ monikering Chinese, the Kitchen’s verbal antecedent represents Asia’s philosophical energy; the feel of their restaurant is as intentional as the menu. And it really shows. Chi boasts endless light, smiles, and a perfect assortment of well-presented Asian dishes curated by their Executive Chef, MasterChef 2014 winner Ping Coombes.

They’ve even got a champagne bar.

Forgoing midday bubbles for a sit-still culinary tour, we made our way through roasted Wagyu beef puffs (honey-glazed with sesame seeds), kimchi, unbelievably seasoned Sambal chilli prawns, tender Szechuan Sirloin beef, and two bowls of Laksa (essentially Peranakan ramen). The Tom Yum version of which – available with either chicken or prawns – was delicious but completely beasted by the Malaysian; Laksa’s traditional spicy broth with tofu, prawn, fish balls, boiled eggs and vermicelli noodles.

Each aspect of the meal was so impressive I refused to leave without trying dessert. Respectively, the chocolate sphere impressed everyone – even those on tables around us – as a decadent show of melting chocolate while the baked green tea alaska stole my heart. As flavourful, light desserts go, Ping’s creation is as good as it gets.

chi kitchen london
chi kitchen london
chocolate melt gif
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