Showing posts with label food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food. Show all posts

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Encore de Cafe de Paris
11:501 Comments
Somehow, for reasons that are still unexplained, we won tickets for Cafe de Paris so on a Friday night, we went. Once we were there, unbeknown to us, we were actually entitled the VIP package which allowed us the three courses, a bottle of Prosecco and two free drinks. Unfortunately, or fortunately for me, Mrs Mayochup was pregnant at the time therefore could not drink anything alcoholic so the whole bottle of Prosecco and free Kir Royale was mine. Be rude not to waste it.

Ruby and performing guests

Another picture of the performers
We previously posted about Cafe de Paris and we were pleased to see that Ruby was still the MC who is still at his flamboyant best terrorising the gentlemen who he took a shine to. The acts were truly amazing and it’s hard to comprehend that us human beings can perform like that whether it being balancing on one hand on a raised platform to performing acts with fire. Over the course of the evening, it must have been the first time in its history that there were no hen parties but of course there were other celebrations like birthdays and anniversaries.

For starters, we went for the smoked chicken and papaya on blini. This comes with beetroot & shallot dressing and sweet potato confetti. The other starter was the cured salmon carpaccio with palm hearts, caper berry and rock salt. The salmon is no different to what you have in hundreds of other restaurants, light and refreshing but the smoked chicken and papaya was amazing. Surprisingly light and full of flavour.

Smoked chicken and papaya on blini

Cured salmon carpaccio with palm hearts, caper berry and rock salt

Between meals, we were treated to a magician plying her trade with card tricks and misdirection.  One guy on our table thought he had it worked out but the magician had him sussed and got nowhere. We forget her name but she was at the Edinburgh Film Festival, not that narrows it down much.

Magician with her really bright red hair
For the mains, we got the prime rib-eye steak with hand cooked chips and garlic butter. The other was grilled chicken breast which comes with courgettes, potato fondant, girolle mushrooms and parsley. Both were well cooked and well received.  Especially as one of us was drinking a lot and needed to soak up the booze!

Grilled chicken breast, courgettes, potato fondant, girolle mushrooms and parsley

Rib-eye steak with hand cooked chips and garlic butter

We thought we were only eligible for two courses so to have dessert was a bonus. We opted for fresh fruit salad and warm chocolate brownie.

Fresh fruit salad

Warm chocolate brownie

We do recommend coming here even if it's not just for the food. The entertainment is fantastic and worth the entry fee alone.

Cafe de Paris
3 Coventry Street

Cafe De Paris Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Ooh la la at La Porte des Indes
16:271 Comments
Tucked away in a side street in Marble Arch, if that's such a thing, is the welcoming exterior of La Porte des Indes which is best described as an Indian restaurant with French influence. The interior is decorated with Indian art, artifacts and huge plants spanning from the lower ground to the ceiling. Reminded us of the greenhouses in Kew Gardens.

La Porte des Indes exterior
We booked the Jazz Sunday Brunch which is £35 per person and is a buffet spread out on two floors. Which is great as you can go up as many times as you like. You can find the starters and desserts on the lower ground floor and the mains (vegetarian and non) on the ground floor. Price also includes 1/2 pint of beer, glass of red or white or a soft drink.

Now, due to it being a buffet, we went a bit wild on the starters. We tried everything they had to offer and did not leave enough room for the main course buffet. Still, can't complain as each of the starters was amazing apart from the Watermelon and Pepper soup. You would think there's a twist on it but no, it's simply cold Watermelon juice with pepper granules floating on the top. Err right... but we'll let that one slide.

Different types of starters available

The Watermelon and pepper soup
We went for the meat mains and there are four choices, or all four, and on offering was Lamb Bhuna, Murgh Tikka Makhni and white fish curry I can't remember the name of.

The main course buffet

Selection of main courses with rice

Unlimited naan bread brought to your table
Whilst we were enjoying our meal, we were showered in light entertainment in the form of a jazz band and the fire alarm a few times. To mix things up, the jazz band played a few well known TV theme tunes.

Light entertainment
After a well earned break, we eventually waddled to the desserts and what an offering there was! Fresh fruits, belgian chocolate mousse, Panna Cotta and those really really really sicky sweet Indian sweets plus more I can't remember off hand.

Selection of desserts

What did puzzle me was the lack of French influence. We thought we would find it in the food, and especially the desserts as the French are masters of that, however there wasn't any. Belgian mousse is err Belgian and Panna Cotta is Italian. Thinking back to the mains and starters, there's none there either. Still, that's a small gripe considering the wonderful food we were treated to.

If you love Indian food, and lots of it, then this is the place to come. Make sure you're really hungry to get your moneys worth!

Score: 9/10

La Porte des Indes
32 Bryanston Street
020 7224 0055

La Porte des Indes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Sunday, 2 July 2017

The hand of god at L'oro Di Napoli
17:350 Comments
The first thing you notice about L'oro Di Napoli is that the restaurant is small, only seating around 20 people, and the second is the shrine to Napoli football club and, in particular, Diego Maradona who is Argentinian. Coincidentally, Maradona is a name for one of their pizzas there. For us football fans out there, we all remember the 'hand of god' goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.

L'oro di Napoli A-board
L'oro Di Napoli A-Board
Shrine to Napoli and Maradona
The shrine to Napoli. Diego Maradona in particular
But let's put Maradona to one side and concentrate on L'oro Di Napoli which literally translates to The Gold of Naples. The pizzas are all hand made and they use the freshest of ingredients all cooked in a wood burning clay oven.

As the restaurant is so small, we can peer into the kitchen and it is almost open plan. We got a lovely insight in how are pizzas are made.

Making the pizza dough
Making the dough
Preparing the pizzas
Preparing the pizzas
For starters, we ordered the Tomato Bruschetta. Although this is simply made, the ingredients they used makes it stand out from your regular Italian restaurant chains and it was wonderful. The chopped tomatoes had plenty of flavour and it was well seasoned. And it wouldn't be Italian without the lashings of olive oil.

Tomato Bruschetta
Tomato Bruschetta
For the mains, the menu offered pizza and nothing but pizza. There was so many to choose from that it is a little overwhelming and they have mixed up white and red pizzas together under the same heading. White pizzas are those without the tomato sauce as a base. If they were to redesign their menu, it is suggested that they create these categories to make it easier.

We ordered one white pizza and one red and went for the Massimo Troisi and Caruso respectively.

Massimo Troisi pizza
Massimo Troisi
Caruso pizza
Massimo Troisi consisted of mozzarella, parma ham, rocket, cherry tomatoes,topped with parmesan and olive oil. As you can see, these pizzas are huge and we did not finish them nor did we get anywhere close. Thankfully, they allow you to take away the pizza and with L'oro Di Napoli offering a take-away service too, it was easy for them to accommodate.

The Caruso was a real meaty pizza which was tomato sauce based with mozzarella. The meats were spicy salame, sausages, ham, topped with parmesan, fresh basil and not forgetting the olive oil. Both these pizzas were beautifully flavoured due to the freshness of the ingredients and they are certainly generous with the toppings too! A good quality mozzarella makes or breaks a pizza and thankfully L'oro Di Napoli gets that right.

Olive oil condiment pot
More olive oil. Just in case you don't have enough!
The cost of the pizzas are very reasonable and remarkably cheaper than Domino's, Pappa Johns and Pizza Express. And much much better too. The most expensive pizza is £10.95 and cheapest is £5.50. If you are keen on having a filling lunch and not wanting to spend that much, one pizza is easily big enough to share for two.

We would definitely come back and we can't wait to try different pizzas next time.

Score: 9/10

L'oro Di Napoli
217 Uxbridge Road
W7 3TH

L'oro Di Napoli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Take away gastro delights at London Night Market
17:341 Comments
On a hot and sticky summer afternoon in London, we went to the Night Market which is part of London Food Month. Not having eaten for ages, we were more than enticed with the wonderful smells coming from the festival as we waited for friends so we could all go in together. Tickets were £7.50 each so we had hopes that this would offer free samples, goodies and demonstrations much like the BBC Food & Wine show. Sadly, this was not the case.

Two cooks over a very hot barbecue
To get in, we were put through security checks which is on a par as going through customs at major airports minus the x-ray scanner. It's reassuring to know that all efforts have been made to make the event safe in view of recent events in London. However, it was bizarre that they were not allowing cameras into the festival and it does not say anywhere on the tickets that they were prohibited but Mrs Mayochup somehow managed to walk in with hers.

The night market wasn't that big but it allowed us to visit all the stalls. We decided as a group that we would all try everything and split the cost as items on their own were quite expensive.

Wood pigeon with game chips
The wood pigeon with game chips was not much change out of £10 and is just a mere snack, The pigeon was well seasoned, tasty and the chips extremely fattening but moreish.

Charcoal truffle burger
Burgers ready to go
The burgers were odd and appealing due to its colour. The charcoal was too overpowering and the burger was dripping with fat.

Spicy Korean chicken with salad
The spicy Korean chicken with salad was nice and just perfect for a hot summers day although it wasn't that spicy at all. This one didn't last long.

Korean Bao buns
The Korean bao buns were amazing. This was the best find in the night market.

Duck with watermelon
And this was the most bizarre thing in the night market. There was a short queue for this one and we found out why, The duck had so much batter that there was hardly any duck and the watermelon just didn't go.

Umbrella decoration
Chinese dragon dancing round the night market
We settled down for some games and drinks for the evening and before we knew it it was 22:30. Time for dessert. We just about got something as the stewards started to close off the queues at 22:40 which is strange as the night market is advertised being open until 23:00.

Overall, if you are just a couple or on your own, then the £7.50 fee to get into the night market is unjustified as you don't get anything back for it and if you want food from the stalls then they are expensive and drink also. As we were in a group, we all shared food so we got to sample a lot of dishes and had a great time as well as splitting the cost.

Evening Standard Night Market
Perks Field
W8 4QP

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Sunday, 4 June 2017

The Artisan Cafe Bar | Ashbourne
18:50 3 Comments
During our weekend away to the Peak District, we were told of a great gin bar by a local bakers shop in Ashbourne called The Artisan Cafe Bar. The bar/pub was a tucked away from the high street but as Ashbourne isn't that big, we found it easily. For those who are unfamiliar with England, Ashbourne is a village set in the middle of the Peak District surrounded by countryside and farmland. It is the perfect getaway for those who love long walks. The pace of life is a lot slower compared to the hustle and bustle of London.

Different gins
Different types of gins
The inside is laid out like a normal pub however, when approaching the bar, the focus on gin is realised. When you think of gin, you will immediately think of brands such as Gordons, Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray, Beefeater and maybe at a stretch think of Plymouth and Hendriks. The Artisan Cafe Bar stocked many many gins, 99% of them you have never heard of, but they do try and help you with their detailed gin menu. Do not hesitate to go to the bar and ask for what you want as they also have guest gins. Keep the questions relatively helpful by asking "What gins would you recommend that is heavy in juniper flavour" or "what fruity gins do you have". This will then channel the bar-person to be able to help you.

Tonics and mixers
Tonics and mixtures. One will serve two drinks!
Whilst we were making our minds up about what gins to order, we got some strawberries and cream to share. It was a special so may not be available all year round.

Strawberries and cream
Strawberries and cream
We ordered our gins and they are presented in a over-sized wine glass instead of a highball. Unfortunately, The Artisan Cafe Bar does not have a website so I cannot get access to their menu therefore I cannot tell you which ones they are. Perhaps an online presence will be coming soon?

Selection of gins
Selection of gins presented in wine glasses
As we haven't eaten all that much, we ordered nibbles and went for a charcuterie platter and four different types of scotch eggs. The food was delicious with the scotch eggs a highlight but one slight criticism is that when laid out on the boards, it was extremely difficult to tell apart one from the other.

Scotch eggs
Different types of scotch eggs
Charcuterie board
Different types of meats with rocket
Crusty bread and butter
Crusty bread and butter
The Artisan Cafe Bar is one of those places what you can stay for hours and rack up a huge bill in trying all the different gins but we were disciplined as we had friends to see that evening. Speaking of bills, the gins were reasonably priced ranging from £3.00 to £4.50 with an extra £1.50 for the mixer. The mixer will serve two drinks in most cases.

You should seek this place out if you are in Ashbourne as it is truly a *sort of* hidden gem. It's so homely welcoming and you just don't want to leave!

Score: 9/10

The Artisan Cafe Bar
33 St. John Street

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Monday, 22 May 2017

Galata Pera
20:19 2 Comments
Since it was my turn for 'date night', my initial idea was to go to Syon Lounge which is situated in the Hilton in Isleworth. The website looked promising and the pictures of the sushi looked amazing. However, once we got there, the place was full of people smoking shisha and nothing else. The music that was playing was dreadful. Think of the crap Capital FM and Radio 1 plays and you're not far off the mark so with that in mind, we headed off to find somewhere else.

Since it was a nice day, we walked to Brentford to The Old Fire Station Bar and Grill only to find it doesn't open on Sundays. Very strange considering a weekend would be their busier days.

Galata Pera

Whilst walking back, we spotted a sign for Galata Pera which is a Turkish restaurant situated by the river. The location is 'off the beaten track' so to speak and is not easy to find hence when we got there, we also thought it was closed. After trying the door, and it is a heavy door, we were in.

The first thing that grabs you is the smell. The wonderful smoky barbecue smell that you can't help but breathe in over and over. It's the sort of smell that you never tire of.

Once we have chosen our table, and there was plenty we could pick from, we were given the menus by a smiley and friendly waitress (Rebecca) who seemed very pleased to see us.

The menu looked so enticing and we wanted to try everything so we opted for the set menu for two which offers just that.

For starters, it was a selection of mezes and Turkish bread.

Mezes starter

Turkish bread

The trick is not to eat a lot of bread and fill yourself up too much as the main course is not far behind.

Mixed grill

The meats were wonderfully cooked and full of flavour and the portion size is just right. We managed to polish off the meat but the rice was a bit too much to handle.

For dessert, it was a choice of Sutlac or Baklava and we opted for the latter. This is the only part of the menu I felt it was a bit of a let down as the Baklava was so sweet. Maybe it is meant to be like that but we felt it was too much.


Overall, the restaurant is very nicely decorated and the food served it great. Galata Pera is a nice little find however I do fear for its long term survival as it is in the wrong location. The website that is advertised ( is no longer up and we were one of the two tables occupied that evening.

Score: 8/10

Galata Pera
Unit 1
Town Meadow

Galata Pera Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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