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Sunday, November 24, 2013

One Girl, One Wishbone

Wishbone sits in the heart of Brixton's private market, vying for that edgy factor along a street of restaurants all wanting to provide that 'cool' feel. The low key lighting, bar stool seating and hip hop music creates an atmosphere that is chilled for a simple menu. 

There is a choice of wings, thigh bites, burgers and sides. Unsure whether or not nacho cheese sauce on fried chicken would go, the Korean wings were ordered and the Thai thigh bites to continue the Asian flair. 

The hot mess actually was more mess than hot on this occasion. I've heard this was like the hot version of eaton mess, so was mildly disappointed by the fried (frozen) hash browns. 

The nacho cheese style sauce was an interesting addition, but the saving grace were the gherkins. Everyone loves a good pickle. 

The mac n cheese bites were great, actually. Real American (boxed) mac n cheese - yum! 

Home comfort stodge, not so good on the diet front, but that's what you get in a fried chicken eatery!

The black eyed pea salad, was actually pretty fresh tasting. Crunchy onions, cool tomatoes. Perhaps the healthiest option on the menu. 

Provided a nice change to the fried goodies. 

The Korean style chicken wings were a sort of spicy pickle-y type sauce smothered on battered fried chicken. Not your usual KFC batter, but sort of floured batter instead. Really crispy, yet the actual meat was soft and succulent. 

The first bite was delicious, but then the sauce got a bit over powering, still good chicken though!

The Thai bites were coated in maybe a buttermilk batter, and though slightly plain, were a good flavour change from the Korean style. 

The mint and lime garnish made the dish pleasantly refreshing too. 

A mish-mash of tastes from the American style mac n cheese to the Korean style battered wings, I'm not really sure what to make of it. But one thing is for sure, it's cheap and it's chicken! Perfect for a quick snack or a mighty feast, and great if you're not on a diet. 

Square Meal

Monday, November 4, 2013

One Girl, One Hob Nob

What you will need:

  • 140g (5 oz) butter
  • 140g (5 oz) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • 140g (5 oz) self raising flour
  • 110g (4 oz) rolled oats

Pop all the larger dry ingredients in a bowl and mix!

Next, warm up the butter with the bicarbonate and syrup. 

Add the melted butter and milk. 

Mix again!

The mixture should be quite stiff, and part (unsurprisingly!). 

Roll out the batter and using a cookie cutter, create your hob nobs. 

Bake for 15 minutes (or until a crisp brown) at 180 degrees. 

And here you are, homemade hob nobs! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

One Girl, One Puff Bread

I've heard great things about this South Indian jaunt which specialises in dosas (really thin crispy savoury pancakes stuffed with potatoes with a coconut chutney and red sauce) and thalis (a plate with lots of little dishes). 

Tucked between a street full of South Indian cafes, restaurants, sweet shops and groceries, Diwani Bhel Poori House looks at home. It's interior is much like the exterior, in need of a good lick of paint and a bit of a scrub, but all the accolades and awards plastered on their front door must count for something. 

On the menu, theres a list of cold and hot starters each at around £3.50, and mains priced at an average of £8. The signature dishes were ordered; bhel poori and panni poori 

The panni poori is a puffed ball where you pop the middle and fill with the chickpea and sauce and try to eat in one go. 

Not the most elegant of dishes to eat, but hey - sometimes you need a break. The puffed puri was slightly stale by itself, but when eaten with the chickpea and a sweet and sour sauce was very light and the hardness of the puff kept it crispy when filled with liquid.

Bhel poori was a great mix of sweet, spice, crunch and potato. 

The crispy onions were a nice texture against the potatoes which also soften the blow of the incredible spice. Not the most appetising to look at, but it all goes in the same way.

The starters alone were fairly filling, so if you're up for a more tapas like meal, definitely hit the starters. 

On to the mains, I love dosas. The light savoury pancake with the sambar (lentil, soupy goodness) and coconut chutney is amazing. I usually go for the plain ones, but opted for the Diwani deluxe which is essentially mashed potatoes, sweet corn, onions and masala spice. They certainly do not skimp on the filling, so more than worth the £8 it cost.  

The pancake was light, crispy and thin all the way round. 

The potato was well, potatoey. 

The mix was slightly plain, but this allowed for the coconut chutney to really work it's magic. Adding gritty shredded coconut texture against the potato mash it also provided a cooling taste from the spicy starters.

The Diwani thali was by far the most intriguing dish. With two vegetable dishes, the curry special, rice, yoghurt, rice, daal, onion bhajis, and a mango delight served with chapatis (flat Indian bread) and puris (smaller puffs of dough).

I love how each dish has it's own compartment and segregated - like a sharing platter for one. Today's special was saag paneer - spinach and soft cheese - cant really go too wrong with that. The winning dish was the daal. Lentils with a slight spice with a myriad of flavours dancing on the tongue. Followed closely by the mango paste which was more mousse like rather than pickled. A nice milky touch when the spice really got going. The vegetable curries were a touch on the oily side, and consisted of only diced potatoes.

Portion sizes are big, so what Diwani lacks in presentation and grace, it definitely makes it up in quantity. Great for something quick and substantial, and if you're not, head to Dishoom. Slightly more pricey, but worth it - nothing is compromised. 

One Girl, One Duffin

So, the latest craze has hit London - the muffin-donut mix. Following the success (?!?!) of the Cronut we have the Muffnut... Or the crowned name - the Duffin.

Starbucks or was it Bea's of Bloomsbury introduced this delight (?!?!?!) to London. Theres a bit of an on-going debate as to who 'invented' this bizarre mix #duffingate. Essentially Donut batter mixed with buttermilk and nutmeg shaped and baked like a muffin with a raspberry jam filling. 

Bea's of Bloomsbury is a tea house specialising in bakes, and lots of it. Their lunch menu is also extensive, and quaint. 

Back to the duffin, Bea's had a definite touch of homemade flair, with no duffin looking exactly the same. 

Fluffy and nutmeggy, it had an ooze of real raspberry jam in the centre. 

The sugar coating was smooth and subtle, and since the duffin came straight out of the oven, it was like a warm Autumn hug. 

Starbucks gave a slightly stodgy dough with raspberry jelly (e.g hard) in the middle with copious amounts of crunchy sugar plastered on top. 

Perhaps the stiffness was due to all their baked goods being presented in a refrigerated glass cabinet. 

Despite this, it tasted a bit like their actual muffins - mass produced, chewy and unfulfilling. 

Even the barista was surprised that it was requested... 

Lets get to the crux of this - donuts are great, muffins are too. But, could this fad hit off? Who knows! But as much as I do love Starbucks, I have to say I'm #teamBea on this one. Maybe I'm biased, but the underdogs are always the ones to watch. 
Square Meal

Sunday, October 20, 2013

One Girl, Two Macaroons

You'd be crazy not to love these little bites of crispy chewy creamy ganache-y goodness - unless of course you're allergic to nuts ...!

However, if like me you're not, then I cannot recommend Pierre Hermé and Laduree enough! Though France is only a stone's throw away, it's not always easy to go back and forth whenever a macaroon whim flies by. 

Pierre Hermé is a renowned French patisserie chef who is famed for his macarons. Alongside this, Pierre Hermé (London) also have incredible truffles and even vegan options. 

Of the two, his macarons are slightly more chewy, and slightly more adventurous flavours. 

Then you have Laduree, a lovely boutique. Here they offer tea, savouries and sweets. 

These macarons have a more crispy crumble husk (making cutting rather difficult). 

Both taste and look absolutely divine.

Square Meal