The Cereal Killer Cafe

The Antithesis of Tanya’s Cafe – The Cereal Killer Cafe, a trip down memory lane, a ride down nostalgic boulevard. This cafe evokes childhood memories in every sense, the food, the decor, membrobilla and the playlist. You can eat your favourite cereal that you haven’t had in 20 years while watching an episode of Clarissa, listening to the likes of All Saints and the Spice Girls. The whole experience takes you right back to way back when – school mornings, old boyfriends, collecting and swapping toy obsessions. Do you remember the toys you found hidden in the depths of a cereal packet?

The menu includes 120 different types of cereal, over 30 variations of milk as well as toast, pop tarts and cereal inspired cakes, such as the lucky charm cheesecake. You may be coming here on a wild goose chase, with your heart set on having a specific obscure cereal. Or you maybe more open to something new, a cereal cocktail? The owners Gary and Alan Keery have developed a range of different cereal mixtures including, ‘unicorn poop’ or ‘Orange you glad you didn’t order milk.’ I don’t want to ruin the surprise of what these actually contain – both are the perfect, crazy blend of a number of different cereals with toppings and the perfect flavour milk to make the whole bowl come together in perfect harmony.

More than just a cafe, a homage to all thing cereals and your childhood!!! These guys are trend-setters a porridge cafe is opening next and I have rumours of a crisp cafe! I love London!!

Bi Bim Bap


The age old question, where to go for dinner in Soho? Tricky as the options are so vast and there always seems to be a new ‘go-to’ place.

I have had my eye on Bi Bim Bap for a while, always busy and buzzy and with a super intriguing name. This is a Korean restaurant that specifically specialises in Bi Bim Bap. This is a favourite dish of the Koreans and what they are proud of being the ultimate healthy meal. It consists of a bed of rice (choice of white or brown) topped with various variations of vegetables, pickles, meats and some with a fried egg on top. You are also offered the choice of two sauces; miso  and a chilli , both of these add a great kick.

The Bi Bim Bap is served to your table in your own hot stone bowl, it is down to you to mix all the ingredients together as the hot stone simultaneously cooks away – this is where and how the flavours are maximised. If you order the beef bbb, don’t be alarmed when it arrives raw, you will cook it yourself as you mix it with the vegetable and rice in your own hot stone bowl.

The concept of cooking the dish yourself may seem like a gimmick and/or too much hard work. However, this is simply a traditional, authentic Korean dish and this is how it is served and eaten. I went for a vegetarian option, the Dol Sot – Julienned cucumber (a cucumber cut into thin matchstick pieces), daikon, beansprouts, spinach, carrots, mooli and a fried egg. I personally mixed it all together with a dash of miso sauce. I happen to know that the beef option is also divine. How refreshing to try something new, a new cuisine, a new dish, a new way of eating. Perfect for a friendly catch up in Soho.





A Notting Hill institution, a Mexican located on Westbourne Grove. Taqueria is often named as the best Mexican in London, for me it is a tough call between this and Mestizo (near Warren street) – depends which side of the city is easiest for you. This is a super casual restaurant, yet for me the food is on par with the super trendy La Bodega Negra.

As with any Mexican it is hard not to order nachos the moment that you sit down. Taqueria’s are fresh and include a generous helping of guacamole – I find this a good marker of nachos quality.

Taqueria is perfect for a small group, it really lends itself to a sharing feast! The main focus of the menu is the taco section, with much smaller entries for soups and tostados.

The Taqueria tacos are not what you might expect from a taco. With a recent trip to Mexico under my belt, I can verify these tacos are the real deal. The range of  fillings are served on a freshly made soft corn tortilla. My suggestions are – carne asada – grilled steak, marinated cheese, salsa roja, onion and coriander. The gringa, which is essentially marinaded pork in wonderful array of spice and melted cheese on top. With both of these the meat is tender and full of flavour. I love the added fresh onions and coriander as well as the fresh salsas of varying heat!

A great Vegetarian option is the champiqueso – garlicky mushrooms rolled inside browned cheese and of course fresh onion and coriander. From the tostados, you simply have to order the pollo and frijoles refritos (chicken and re-fried beans respectively.) The actual tostados are more like what the English know as a nacho, just a little larger and more round. Be warned they are addictive!

What I love about Taqueria is it is wholeheartedly, authentically Mexican, go for a feast on wonderful Westbourne Grove.


At the end of last year I visited Mexico, spending time in Mexico City and Tulum. It is such an incredible country, steeped in history, tradition and food that makes you never want to leave. One of the highlights of my trip – I know how real nachos should taste!

Sure London has quite a few good Mexican restaurants, La Bodega, La Taquiera and Chilangos. All of these are fab in their own right but all with their own London slant. Mestizo is honest to Mexico, it has the sweetest fragrance of authenticity. Situated almost at the bottom of Hampstead Road, flanked by Regent’s Park and super close to Warren street. There are not too many other reasons to come to this part of Hampstead Road. So if you are ever in the vicinity (getting a train from Euston or Kings X or treating yourself after Barry’s Bootcamp) you simply have to pop by for a real taste of Mehhicoooooooooooo

So back to the topic of nachos, I know what you may well be thinking a nacho is a nacho right? Yes but no. A typical portion of nachos in England are some super salty triangle shaped crisps or even Doritos, served with a pot of salsa, something that resembles guacamole and grated cheddar cheese. However, in Mexico the nachos are baked fresh and often served just with a fresh guacamole of avocado,lime, coriander and garlic. The freshness here is key, a lot of the time the guacamole is made for you at your table. This was the first place outside Mexico where I had tasted real nachos. The guacamole wasn’t made at our table but for a moment I was back in Mexico. Mestizo also do a version with added chicken and chorizo, always a hit with the meat obsessed gentlemen.

In Mexico one of the most traditional dishes is chicken mole. Chicken in a chocolate sauce. Mestizo is the first place in the UK I have found to serve this dish, a true mark of its authenticity. After much deliberating we decided to order the acclaimed ‘Taco Tray’ which is for a minimum of 2 people. You have the choice of four different fillings as well as all the extras and condiments which come as standard. These include, avocado, sour cream, fresh coriander, a choice of salsas and chillis, cheese and black beans. The slow cooked pork was completely melt in mouth and the chicken and chorizo was a carnival of flavours. The tray is large and wholesome, the tray is fresh and delicious, you simply have to order the tray! At £14 pp it is an absolute steal. I find it hard to imagine you will be able to resist one of the 280 tequilas to wash down your tanatalising tacos. We also went for a sharing dessert, not that it was particularly needed. Crepes de Cajeta – crepes in a hot, caramel sauce served with vanilla. It was a special treat to myself for finding the best Mexican restaurant in London.

This is not the prettiest restaurant in London, it is not a ‘place to be seen’ (although David Guetta, Sienna miller and Robert Pattinson are all fans. This is one of London’s secrets that shouldn’t be a secret but you are glad that it is! Hands down the most authentic Mexican restaurant in London and I defy you to find better, friendlier service at any other restaurant.

When you have that Mexican craving, run to Mestizo, you will arrive there quicker and have an optimal appetite. It is perfect for everyday and also a great for a celebration, they will make a fuss of you with sombreros and tequilas GALORE!

Beirut Express



Beirut Express is for the nights that you don’t feel like cooking but also don’t want a full on ‘restaurant ‘ experience, or for the times you go for drinks after work on an empty stomach and are left famished at 10pm.

So you head to Edgware Road, London’s Middle Eastern Mecca. You leave the streets of the city behind and are momentarily transported to any Middle Eastern city of your choice. The sights, sounds and smells all match, until you see the number 16 bus nearly running over a man on a Boris bike! The choice is vast on Edgware Road, and from the outside, the restaurants can look fairly similar. Fear not, I have taken it upon myself to get to the bottom of which restaurant comes top.

The Maroush group is a big player when it comes to Lebanese food, with a range of different restaurants across West London. When I visit a Maroush, I leave a happy lady, whether it is their flagship restaurant on High Street Kensington, Maroush Gardens – their more upmarket Edgware Road offering or my favourite, Beirut Express, the least formal of all their restaurants. There are no airs and graces here, nothing fancy at all, indeed it is more cafe style.  What you are guaranteed is freshly cooked, delicious Lebanese food and a true authentic experience.

My menu choices have turned into something of a ritual, I can’t go there without ordering certain dishes. It starts with multiple mezze to share, followed by a meaty wrap and then possibly a mint tea. Mezze madness includes a range of favourites.  Herby and super lemony fattoush salad,  falafels cooked to perfection – crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside – which can be dipped in the garlic sauce taking them to new levels, halloumi, again cooked perfectly, to just the right degree of melt in mouth and finally dips! Houmous goes without saying and who can resist the smokey aubergines of the babaganoush.  All of these are of course served with traditional Middle Eastern flat bread.

If I am being honest, after this array of delights, I normally feel quite full, but before I can let anyone know,  my shish taouk wrap arrives right on time. There is a range of meaty, Lebanese kebab-style wraps or there is the option to have as a plated main course without the actual wrap. I prefer to order the wrap;  it amalgamates all the flavours, succulent chicken, garlic sauce, pickled turnips, fresh crispy salad all drenched in lemon.

This is the place for an authentic Lebanese feast, that will leave you feeling happy, content and pretty full. When you are thinking of a Lebanese in London, Beirut Express is guaranteed to exceed your expectations. I think I need a loyalty card!

When Mac Met Cheese


When Mac Met Cheese….The world was a better place! A traditional English favourite and the only dish that this London pop-up serves. This is one of the first pop-up restaurants to hit West London, something of a revolution. WMMC has popped up in what is described as Notting Hill/Bayswater/Royal Oak. To be precise you will find it on Porchester Road, almost opposite the Waitrose. Not necessarily where you would expect to find London’s pop-up of the moment, but maybe that is the point and West London welcomes WMMC with open arms.

I am cutting to the chase – the carbs and dairy! To start, Mac and cheese balls, think of Italian arancini with mac and cheese replacing the traditional rice. The result is addictive, they couldn’t be naughtier of nicer if they tried. They are bursting with flavours that compliment the mac and cheese either truffle or jalpeno and cheddar.  When it comes to the main event, your decision is not what but which type of mac and cheese. Mum’s classic with mature cheddar, red leicester, Parmesan and nutmeg or Carlos  the Cactus with jalapeno, rocket and cherry tomatoes and finally the ever changing weekly special.  For us this was described as a cross between mac and cheese and a pizza. Basically Mac and cheese, incorporated with the tomato base of a pizza and all the toppings. I was lucky to sample all three and for me simplicity won, Mum’s Classic was to die for . It was was the perfect blend of creaminess, with just the right hint of nutmeg and of course as you would expect the pasta was cooked to perfection. The pizza cross was an interesting combination, the creaminess of the cheese sauce with the  sweetness and contrast of the tomato sauce – I was pleasantly surprised at how good this tasted. Carlos had a real kick to it and was broken up nicely by fresh rocket.

Starter and main down and I had eaten an obscene amount of Mac and cheese, in fact only mac and cheese! I felt happy and beyond satisfied, or did I? For dessert, in keep with the streamlined menu there was only one option – DEEP FRIED OREOS!!! Oh dear!! As if Oreos were not bad enough already, as if Oreos needed to be made any more MOREish. I could not resist the opportunity to try this naughty innovative dessert. They certainly did not disappoint, an Oreo slightly melted encased it what I would describe as a pastry. Almost like a mini doughnut but instead of jam, an Oreo. The dessert and in fact the whole restaurant is just the best guilty pleasure. For me macaroni cheese is so nostalgic, WMMC makes me feel instantly at home and very content. Warning this is a pop up, it has already been open for three months and by popular demand has extended but only until the beginning of July, go while you can!



A very good Japanese friend emailed to say we must do lunch at Shoryu. This is a lady who takes her Japanese food, in fact all food very seriously. So I knew I would be in for a treat. We went to Shoryu Ramen on Regent Street, they have other branches in Soho, Air Street and Kingly Court, all aimed at a slightly different audience. The Regent Street restaurant is a perfect lunchtime pit stop, whether in-between meetings, indulging in some retail therapy or sightseeing.

Ramen is a super craze in London right now, with an abundance of new places popping up weekly and almost  solely serving this noodle broth. My friend is happily shocked at the ramen rampage, five years ago there was no ramen restaurants in London, now she can barely keep up. Shoryu is owned by the Japan Centre, these guys take ramen seriously and want to do justice to their native country.

At Shoryu it was straight to the main event, the menu consists of 2 columns of tonkotsu ramen noodles. Tonkotsu is a specific type of ramen, from the Southern Island of Kyushu, Japan. it is made with a thick, rich, white pork soup and thin, straight ramen noodles. With about 20 different variations, I needed some help.  I was advised the first half of the broths on the menu were very traditional, rich and meaty. The following half were lighter and more soy based. With it being a weekday lunchtime and a packed afternoon ahead I went for the ‘natural.’

An over-sized terracotta bowl with a wooden ladle and chopsticks arrived, steaming to the top with the delicious smell of a soy broth. It was filled with shiitake mushrooms, beansprouts, sweetcorn, spring onion, sesame, spinach, bamboo and ultra fresh slabs of ginger and of course the rice noodles. On each table there is extra condiments of fresh garlic bulbs, extra sesame seeds and soy sauce. It was a bowl of insanely moorish goodness, the salty soy and electric ginger with the nutty sesame slipped down a treat. It was fresh, comforting and most of all a delight to try something different. My friend had the ‘spicy miso’ which included the famous pork broth and bbq pork, she described it as being very nearly as good as home. It doesn’t get much better than that.

As a side order I would highly recommend the Hirata buns, reminiscent of a recent trip to flesh and buns. They are fluffy, dewy and when filled with sticky, sweet bbq pork they are unmissable.

So there you have it, a perfect lunch spot or quick bite after work/pre-theatre in the centre of London, try some ravaging ramen, why not?

Chicken Shop

Sunday night blues? Want to eat something homely, slightly naughty but not Saturday night naughty?

Chicken Shop is nestled in a corner of North West London otherwise known as trendy Kentish Town. Chicken shop is an offspring of the Soho House group, hidden away in the basement below Pizza East. A restaurant where food envy is not a problem, this place only serves chicken and cooks every piece in the same way, roasted on a spit.

Your first decision would you like a whole, half or quarter chicken and secondly what would you like with it? Chips, corn on the cob and avocado salad are all good options. we ordered a whole chicken between 3 of us, it is served one one plate broken down into all the different joints, ready for you to dig in. The chicken is delicious, it tastes fresh tender and lovingly cooked! Of course being part of Soho House the look of the restaurant is perfect and an excited vibe as people try a new concept of the most simple of menus.

The rustic shabby chic feel works well and I Love the open plan kitchen so you can see, smell, inhale the chicken roasting in the very same room. In this place more than any other you are so thankful for the Cowshed handsoap and lotion because you haven’t eaten properly unless your hands are DIRTY! Low key and fun, perfect for a Sunday or early week supper.

Dirty Burger


It happened again! I paid a visit to another super trendy burger restaurant(I am considering burgers anonymous.) The burger craze is mad and really hard to keep up with, but luckily I just about manage it. I was off to a gig in Kentish Town. I am not normally around this area, but FOURSQUARE came to the rescue when I realised Dirty Burger was just round the corner. So you will see Pizza East first, then you may notice a sign to The Chicken Shop in the basement and round the corner in the car park you come across a shack with a door, a chic shack of course (cowshed hand soap for post dirty burger.) The menu is small and concise – a CHEESEBURGER and that is all. Along with sides of chips or onion rings. the breakfast menu doubles in size sausage and egg roll or sausage and bacon roll. Another USP of this burger joint was the fridge, a wonderful vintage fridge in a corner, which you can grab your own drinks also free tea and coffee refills over breakfast.The seating area is small don’t come in large groups unless you want to take away, come with one other and get your burger fix!