It is still a new year, is it still a new you? Although this is a typical new years post, this chic, healthy restaurant is for all year round. Located in the ME hotel in Chelsea, in its very own green house, with a strong plant food power ethos, a green house seems the natural home for Tanya’s. My favourite part of the decor is the large blackboard above the counter with a changing daily quote “I tried to be normal once, worst two minutes of my life.” Tanya’s menu is brimming with nutrients and literally no nasties, in other words no wheat, sugar and mostly dairy free! A small warning, with the knowledge that nothing is ‘bad’ for you, it can lead to a dangerous over consumption of food.

Menu highlights include; raw pad thai, smashed avocado on onion bread and mushroom meat tacos, all fresher than fresh and full of flavour. The flavour may come from the unexpected, slices of fresh mango delightfully accompanied the taco. The onion bread is divine, we had to order more and with no guilt because it is good for you, it nourishes you!

Tanya’s is the first place in Europe to serve superfood cocktails, mixing vodka with cold pressed juices and ingredients including lemon, beets, carrot, ginger and chia seeds. There is also a large variety of hot drinks all can be served with three different types of milk; almond, hazelnut and hempseed. Cow is not for now! My vice, matcha green tea latte with almond milk. It was only a year ago when the Good Life Eatery was the only place this side of the Atlantic to serve these! The LA way is catching on, healthy food has never been so popular in London.

Dessert, something that you would not normally associate with healthy food, except at Tanya’s, healthy desserts are the order of the day. It is the strangest feeling when you genuinely don’t have to feel guilty when eating dessert. We tried a whole selection and my favourites were, the berry cheesecake, with a base made of milled seeds and nuts and the peanut butter cupcakes kill me!

Weather it is a new years resolution or your way of life, go to Tanya’s to eat nutritious, healthy, tasty food. Simple. Eat to your health!

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.



It is not often that I head SOTR -(South of the River) to Clapham/Battersea, however, I had been promised ‘one of the best lunches in London.’ How could I refuse?

Soif, is  somewhere that had not been on my radar, on arrival I realised it is from the same owners as the critically acclaimed restaurants; Terroirs, Brawn and Green Man & French Horn.  From a quick glance at the menu I  learnt that Soif was french and fine French at that. A simple menu that included all the French classics; moules frites, bavette accompanied with chips and cafe de Paris butter as well as  grilled fish like only the French know how. I was strongly advised to go for the lunchtime chef’s special deal, the special changes daily and  comes with a glass of wine of your choice and is followed by a coffee for the very reasonable price of £10. The special for us was fried sardines with tomatoes on grilled sourdough. A dish that had the potential to be very standard – nice but just nice! Not, however in the case of Soif. This very simple dish of effectively bread, fish and tomatoes simply blew me away. The sardines were meaty and delicious, covered in perfectly ripe, juicy tomatoes and topped with the most delicious, flavoursome dressing. Which I am guessing was  made with the most simple of ingredients; olive oil, lemon and garlic. This dish proves that simple really can be best, especially when the raw ingredients are of high quality and uber fresh! The prefect addition to this dish was a glass of light white wine. Apres, I substituted the coffee for a fresh mint tea.

Honestly a truly perfect light lunch for a crazy light price, but still premium quality french food. I really wasn’t expecting to find such a gem, it just shows, venturing slightly further than you usually would can pay off. If  Soif is on your doorstep you are too lucky! Perfect for a working lunch or laid back catch up with friends. J’adore.



Nouveau Greek? Sharing Greek? Well Greek is always a sharing food. I would say Opso is modern Greek, they describe themselves as Social Food. It is located in Marylebone where everyone and everything seems to be going down  right now. This is a Greek restaurant but not the traditional taverna type, Opso has a modern air about it, with plenty of culinary twists and turns. The head chef has come from Princi bakery in Soho, thus all the breads and pastries are freshly baked onsite, such a treat! With this on-site bakery in mind, I imagine brunch would slip down all too well here. However I booked for supper for my Muma’s birthday treat.

The restaurant has a lovely airy, bright feeling, with one long table down the centre and smaller tables surrounding. Ravenous as per usual, we immediately ordered some koulouri bread to start. Let me talk you through what arrived – 2 bagel shaped pieces of bread but dinkier, flatter, softer and covered in sesame seeds, served warm with a small pot of goats curd and a separate pot of sea salt. It was truly delicious and served in a novel way. Fresh, warm bread has to be one of my favourite pleasures and when covered in sesame seeds and coated with a salty goats curd I really was in heaven. Although the menu may look like it is split into starters and and mains, all dishes are small sharing plates, I would recommend about 3 per person, obviously dependent upon size of appetite (mine is always healthy!)

Our table looked something like this – A Greek coleslaw, packed full of cabbage,carrot, iceberg lettuce, spring onions, quinoa and dill. On reflection, i’m not sure what makes it Greek, maybe the zesty yogurt dressing, however it was delicious. Next up, feta cheese, which had been barrel matured, it was creamy and strong in flavour, totally Greek and served with excellent sourdough bread. The next treat was Grouper tartar, this was one of my favourites, super fresh fish served with a zesty, light oil dressing. Then onto the Fish burger in a squid ink bun with tomato jam and chips. I was slightly apprehensive that this would arrive with battered fish, no need, it was completely fresh and the squid ink bun gave an interesting salty flavour. There were two miniature burgers and I kind of wished they were a little bigger, good things come in small packages! Lastly, ‘pastitsio’ – a Greek pasta known as hylopites (traditional square noodle) served with slow cooked beef and a bechamel sauce.  As you would expect the beef was tender and the sauce was rich and creamy, not a dish I was expecting from a Greek restaurant but delicious nevertheless.

So there you have it a modern Greek restaurant playing off traditional Greek delicacies. A great something new to try, when you are bored of the usual haunts, this will give you the food sense of adventure you are after. Crazy I know but the breads were really a highlight for me, so trying brunch is a must. Social food for social people. Enjoy!

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!

Good Life Eatery


So some people say healthy food is boring and tasteless, others say you only live once so you may as well enjoy all the naughty treats. The GLE don’t agree! I truly believe the best thing you can do is eat a little bit of everything and not too much of anything. But if you can eat and drink foods that are like medicine to your body then why would you not? For some that might be a ‘health day’ once a month and for others every day is a health day.

After my trip to California at the end of last year I became a little obsessed with their attitude, healthy eating and lots of outdoor exercise (whilst ignoring the crazy toxic Hollywood parties.) The GLE on Sloane Avenue is a small, fresh slice of the Californian way and in London it looks like the new way is here to stay!

This is a no reservations cafe that is open till 8pm so still good as super early dash for dinner. For weekend brunches arrive early, the Californian way is spreading fast! As soon as you walk in you are bamboozled with  gluten and dairy free free meals, treats and drinks. So let’s start with drinks, cold pressed vegetable juices really have turned into the latest fashion accessory, I love the pure nourishment that comes in every single bottle. Green is the new black, my advice is go green juice and you will never look black! Now for hot drinks, in my opinion the highlight of the whole menu, the piece de la resistance – matcha green tea latte with almond milk. Healthy yet creamy, calming yet energising. The protein shakes are also a must try, with a base of almond milk, packed with berries and super-food supplements, perfect as a  post workout snack.

The food, there is a strong range of super food salads as well as ‘sandwiches’ and other treats. My favourite salads are The Good Life salad and the Raw Rainbow Pad Thai. The Good Life includes; kale, quinoa, puy lentils, roasted sweet potato, toasted walnuts, goji berries, nutritional yeast with an orange tahini vinaigrette. Fresh, delicious and beaming with nutrition. The sandwiches are all the standard fillings of chicken, bacon egg and avocado but on wheat free breads such as chia flax seed bread – a guilt free sandwich! Lastly the small plates, where I find my go-to option – All greens egg white fritatta served with an almond basil pesto. Simple, yet so effective and not to mention, super tasty.

Can you imagine being able to eat cakes and baked treats that are not actually that bad for you? Of course you can at the GLE! Almost all the baked treats are gluten and dairy free, including chocolate cake, carrot cake and apple and blackberry crumble. There are also spelt croissants and quinoa and spelt scones. Pure indulgence that you don’t make you feel as naughty as they normally do!




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?



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!

Planet Raw

My week in LA seemed at some points to centre around getting to RAW. We managed it on the last day.

Set in not the prettiest of locations right on the busy Santa Monica boulevard, at the front of a small shopping mall. Similar to Segal you can sit outside in the sunshine but you will only have views of the highway. Any thoughts about the view will vanish quickly when you are presented with the menu. Never have I seen so many healthy, nutritious, wheat free AND still enticingly delicious options in one single menu. Also with such a wide range of culinary inspirations – American, Mexican, Italian and Japanese which should be off putting but in this environment it somehow works. The choice was too much and we were too intrigued so we ordered quite a few dishes to share.

My main choice was one of the RAW sandwiches, delicious vegetables in between large flaxseed crackers, seasoned with Mexiacn spices – completely delicious and the best feeling knowing every aspect of your meal is nurturing your body in some way. the sushi was another highlight, different but tasty and purifying. Now to the drinks, this will blow your mind, it has to be one of the best in the world for ingredients, variety and health!

After much consideration focussing around taste but also health benefits the drink would give me, I went for instant detox potion (hibiscus, slippery elm bark, milk thistle seed, cascara sagrada, apple juice & lemon) The taste was completely unrecognisable for me, at first I didn’t enjoy it, but the detox potion quickly grew on me. For me planet raw sums up California – healthy, zaney and nutrious and trip to LA would not be complete without coming here

Fred Segal Mauro Cafe

A Hollywood hangout, the cafe is part of a Cali based clothing retailer, at first I thought a random place for a brunch/lunch with the outside terrace over looking a not particularly picturesque parking lot. but hey it’s LA and this place is cool so there! As with most places in LA, Fred’s has lots of delicious healthy options yet not so healthy no taste! Perfect green juices and gluten free pasta if you so desire. So it is healthy but with a few naughty nuggets and in fitting with the US of A LARGE portions.

I ordered scrambled eggs on brioche you could decide if this came with salad and fresh fruit salad or salad and chips. I went with the former, a first to have eggs, fruit and salad but of course it went delightfully and now the only way I desire scrambled eggs to be served! The crowd here as with what seems like everywhere in LA is super cool, Biches and vibes all over the show, you will definitely bump into a movie star or some such like. Marvellous Melrose!


So apart from the burger ribs trend that has taken London by storm again this year, what else? PERUVIAN.

Ceviche was something that ashamedly I had not really tried before and what better place for my first time. Ceviche is buzzy and vibey, as soon as you walk in you can tell you are in for a good night. The food menu is divine, the sea bass in wasabi tiger’s milk and scallops with pomegranate were personal favourites along with the quinoa salad and the octopus and chorizo skewers.

You have to wash down your food with pisco sours, they are truly the perfect accompaniment. There is such a fun atmosphere in the restaurant as people excitedly try these seafood concoctions but also the service is flawless, upbeat and perfectly attentive, they wanted me to leave with a spring in my step, which I certainly did. It is the freshness of the fish mixed with a variety of fruits that re-sets your taste buds. The restaurant is small, so best for small groups or couples who fancy letting their hair down and trying something new.

I am obsessed and so is Giles Coren, welcome to Peruvian paradise!