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.





So what is Kurobuta? Is a good question. Japanese for sure, but not in the traditional sense. Fusion, kind of but also not really. For me this is creative Japanese, or even modern Japanese, taking what we know and love a step further. Kurobuta started as a pop up on the Kings Road, except it hasn’t popped down and demand was so high a second Kurobuta has found its home in Connaught village (moments from Edgware Road and Hyde Park.) Kurobuta is owned by Scott Hallsworth ex King of the Nobu kitchen. When glancing at the menu you may recognise some of the food from Nobu, however this place has a way more relaxed vibe than Nobu and in my opinion a far more creative menu.

The vibe  is small plates/sharing/tapas/meze however you like to refer to it. The menu is split into different sections – snacks, cold/raw, robata BBQ, Junkfood Japan, something crunchy, significant others, maki and sushi. At first the sheer number of sections can be daunting, take your time and make sure you absorb every last dish. A few of my highlights – rice crisps with avocado and jalapeno dip, a good solid snack! With what else was coming up I wanted my grains and greens quota, which came perfectly in a salad from the raw section, with added naughtiness from the honey/soy dressing.  From the BBQ section, pork belly in steamed buns with spicy peanut soy sauce, these were honestly too good, I have dreamt about them multiple times since, yes the meat was tender, yes the buns were the right amount of dough -i-ness but it is the concoction of flavours that really sets these alight. The peanut soy sauce is a pure addiction, I ended up adding it with every dish on the menu, it was sickly salty. Junk Food Japan, what a cool section, although a tough one to make decisions in. I was tempted by the wagyu beef sliders in a brioche bun, but decided it wasn’t out there enough, so went with the tuna sashimi pizza, yes you did hear right! So the base was what I would describe as a taco or a proper Mexican nacho, topped with strips of tuna sashimi along with truffle ponzu, red onions and green chilies. You only live once! Nasu Dengaku was my choice from the ‘significant other’ category – sticky miso grilled aubergine with candied walnuts. When this dish arrived I mistook the chunks of aubergine for chicken, I guess I am too used to having aubergine in slices. The aubergine was cooked to perfection, super tender, it kind of melted in my mouth and the sauce again was completely addictive, as in so good that I wanted to lick the plate.

Wow, what a roller-coaster of intense flavours and textures and still more to come. The finale – Jelly doughnut pistachio parfait, excuse me?! This was made up of pistachio parfait, limoncello jelly, matcha meringue, hazelnut and chocolate mini doughnuts. It may sound like too much, too many moving parts, but this dessert fitted together like a dream, the contrasting flavours married together in sweet harmony, a true delight.

Kurobuta is so hot it hurts, the food and the vibe, there is something different about this place.  You can make this restaurant what you want it to be, a special occasion, date night, group mayhem or a casual pop in. Kurobuta will seemingly adapt to your needs. I can’t stay away, so any occasion is an excuse to book this place, hurry, make a reservation.


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!

Persian Seafood and Spice by Sabrina Ghayour

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My first foray into the Supper Club scene and it seems I started with the best. Sabrina is the new hot chef about town; you are going to be hearing a lot more about her. Her first book ‘Persiana’ is out in a matter of days.

Sabrina’s supper clubs are Persian feasts. She gives her guests the typical Persian eating experience. She has slightly different themed evenings; I attended the Persian Seafood and Spice.

In true supper club style the destination in West London is not disclosed until just before the event. It is in fact held Sabrina’s home.  When we arrived we were directed into her lounge where 2 tables had been placed together to form an ‘L’ shape where 12 people could sit around. It was cosy and homely and so real, this is her crib! My fellow supper clubbers were from all walks of life and in fact all corners of the globe with one strong interest in common – adoration of good food. With the wine we had brought with us chilling in Sabrina’s fridge, we were off, with a welcome cocktail – vodka, apple and mint. I was perfectly set up for the feast.

Ok, so the way this Persian feast supper club works is as follows – for each course, a mass of different dishes are placed on the table for everyone to share. There is no need to worry about someone dominating your favourite dish. I feel Sabrina cooks along the lines of ‘feeding the 5000.’

To start, my highlights included the baked feta with chilli and preserved lemon. I am a feta addict and have never tasted it cooked in such a delicious, precious way. The whole marinated block of feta had been wrapped in vine leaves. It was tender and gooey and set alight by the flavours it had embraced in the oven. The fennel, blood orange and radish salad, served with mint and pomegranate in a citrus dressing was fresh, juicy and explosive. Now onto the main affair! The moment when the dishes were carried out, you wish you had not eaten a single thing all day in order to make the most of this spectacular feast. Maygoo Polow, I salute you! Traditionally steamed Persian rice with an abundance of spices, chilli, raisins and prawns was also delicious. Again, the freshness is what really shines with this staggering dish; it is comforting and satisfying whilst also a sensation for your senses. This was in addition to  a total of four other insane main dishes – a slow cooked cod and herb stew, citrus stuffed trout and dish I never tire of, char-grilled aubergines with saffron yogurt. It was almost impossible to stop serving yourself more and more. Every time I tried, I could swear I saw an aubergine winking at me. It was only when I remembered about dessert that I managed to stop eating the mains and only for fear that I would be able to squeeze in more, a dessert! Dessert, thank goodness was kept simple however, still divinely delicious. In simplicity a cupcake, in deliciousness flavoured with cardamom, orange, pistachio and almonds and all washed down with a fresh glass of mint tea.

What a fabulous evening – a mighty Persian feast and a meeting of foodie minds! For when you fancy trying something different and want to eat like a King/Queen!




From the owners of Singh beer, Asian Street food a fusion of East meets West. A restaurant impossible to not want to try! Just when you thought London had every single type of restaurant you could ever imagine, something slightly different begs for you to try. This is the first of its kind in Europe. The original mother-ship is in Bangkok and more focused on street food. I like the authenticity of having a restaurant in London that has previously only existed in Thailand. Pacata is located right in the heartbeat of The city; theatre land and shopping central – Covent Garden. It is tucked down a glorious side street so far enough away from the crowds but still with plenty of vibes!

This should simply be described as a treasure trove, not least due to the delicious food but also the intricate interior. It is filled with interesting vintage pieces as if from someone’s home. The menu has been designed by the world’s first and only Michelin starred ramen chef, Yasuji Morizumi. He is a man who has a deep understanding of Asian food and is particularly passionate about the fusion of foods from different cultures and the actual moment when the fusion occurs during the cooking process.

To start, the popcorn chicken and chicken satays are mouthwatering, I can honestly say  they are the most succulent, melt-in-mouth chicken satays I have ever tasted (and I have tasted quite a few.) Both of these dishes are so addictive, we had to order doubles! For the main event, after knowing who has designed the menu, you are drawn to try the ramen. An alternative is to make sure one person in your group chooses it so at least you can sample it. My friend did the honours! It did not disappoint, with the perfect balance of creaminess from the coconut and punch from the chilli. I chose the seabass. How western I hear you say! However, not at Pacata as it was served with a choice of massaman or green thai curry sauce. Again with this fusion dish, it is the balance of flavours and the lightness of the fish with the fragrant curry sauce that makes this dish a complete dream.

The dessert  menu is largely based around green tea. Don’t be put off, embrace it! The green tea brownie served with green tea ice cream is a real treat. This is a dessert  which doesn’t leave you feeling uber guilty. In fact, it almost felt nourishing but was still a glorious treat. How refreshing to have a different take on the queen of British desserts – the brownie.

I love the creativity of the whole menu and the new flavours that creative flair brings. I must also mention the cocktails. Like the food, they are  super creative and most include a hint of Singh beer which may sound odd but makes for a refreshing crazy drink. Pacata is perfect a respite during retail therapy in Central London -ideal  for pre/post theatre and also a great date option!

Flesh and Buns

Do not be scared by the name, Flesh and Buns is the mastermind of Japanese restaurant royalty Ross Shonhan (ex Head chef of Nobu and Zuma) This is his second London restaurant, the first Bone Daddies a ramen bar in Soho.

Flesh and buns is dedicated to the HIRATA BUN – a Taiwanese steamed bun that is served DIY with different meat and fish. This is different to any other restaurant in London right now and is something new and fresh if you think you have had enough of the London scene or simply want to remind yourself what a treat the London scene truly is.

To start you can choose from your standard sushi – ish options, all wonderful but not Nobu. For the main event you can choose a range of different meats and fishes, all of which are served with the most tantalisingly sounding sauces you ever did hear – chicken with yuzu kosho rub or seabass with coriander miso. Each of these comes with a Japanese salad and you need to order the hallowed buns separately. They are delicious, packed with flavours and new sensations.

The restaurant is filled with a fun vibe and was overflowing on a cold Tuesday night. Where isn’t in London? One more thing you HAVE to order the S’MORE for dessert. Based on the popular American desert the Japanese twist here is green tea flavoured Chocolate and it comes with your very own table top fire to roast the marshmallows. I need one NOW. The perfect place for a catch up with friends, a fun date or even a large party.