Bunnychow – Chakalaka Chicken Bunny

Uncategorized

This has nothing to do with bunnies. Or rabbits. Absolutely nothing. Have I eaten bunnies before? Yes, since I’m a terrible human being. I’ve eaten some of those cute little furry fuzzballs. I am, after all, a monster.

But this isn’t about bunnies. It’s about something called bunny chows, which, apparently, is South African for “hollow bread pastry filled with tasty ingredients”. A fast food treat in that region, it’s served in London by the appropriately named Bunnychow. They took something traditional, added international fillings and brought the bunny loaf craze to the UK.

2015-12-04 Bunny Chow - Chakalaka Chicken Bunny

I promise there is chicken beneath all that slaw lava

You choose your kind of bread (I went with black brioche), your filling (Chakalaka Chicken for me) and an extra topping (some kind of cole slaw) and you get a truly bizarre, strange looking tower of delicious food. I didn’t even know how to eat this thing. But a sign on the wall explained it was meant to be eaten whichever way I liked. So I just made a whole mess of it all fairly quickly.

But it’s still so much better than eating a bunny. My conscience is intact after the act. No weird “Bugs Bunny with a chainsaw” nightmares after eating this beautiful South African delight.

 

Slimy? I really tried to eat this in a civilized manner. I failed miserably. And that’s a good sign

Satisfying? Such a rich mix of flavours, you’ll want to chow some more instantly

 

Bunnychow
74 Wardour St, London, W1F 0TE
Website
Foursquare

Dirty Bones – Pork Ribs

Uncategorized

Carnaby Street is a tourist trap like the best of them. Filled with chain stores, it’s no wonder why I try to stay as far away as possible. But right by its side, Kingly Court stands alone with really interesting and delicious restaurants. An oasis, if you will, in a sea of consumerism chaos.

Mhhhh... ribs.... Dirty Bones - Pork Ribs

Mhhhh… ribs….

New kid in town Dirty Bones set up their second location on the top floor, to bathe Soho with their BBQ charms. Sporting a deliciously sticky BBQ sauce, their Pork Ribs can fight with the best in Soho, if not the whole city. Nice location, cool decor, groovy tunes, and good ribs. What more could you ask for? Millions of dollars and a yacht… but yeah, still pretty cool.

Dirty! Dirty Bones - Dirty Fries

Dirty!

Match your ribs with some Dirty Fries, which, as implied, are VERY dirty, and you got yourself a nice trip to American inspired cuisine while in one of London’s prime touristic areas. Beats Covent Garden any day!

Slimy? Covered in sticky BBQ goodness, it would be a crime not to eat this with your bare hands

Satisfying? Prime ribs in a prime location. Enough said.

 

Dirty Bones
Kingly Court (Carnaby St), London, W1B 5PW
Website
Foursquare

Big Fernand – Le Big Fernand Burger

Burgertown, Uncategorized

Contrary to popular belief, the hamburger was not created in Hamburg (not sure if anyone truly believes that). It wasn’t created in France either, which makes it all the more shocking to find a french hamburger restaurant. In London of all places.

But that’s exactly what Big Fernand is. It’s all about simple, homestyle cooking with fancy schmancy, hard to pronounce french ingredients. For example, the signature one, Le Big Fernand, comes with “Tomme de Savoie cheese”. Which is, well, fancy language for saying cheese. Add some sun-dried tomatoes and secret sauce and you get a countryside tasting burger. Simple, delicate and tasty.

2015-10-02 Big Fernand - Le Big Fernand burger

Any cheese is fancy cheese

Though the days of English and French rivalry are long gone (a big lie, the rivalry seems to be alive and well), that means something like Big Fernand can exist, deftly mixing french sensibilities with anglosaxon burger nonsense.

Special mention to the homemade ketchup, which made the accompanying fries be worthy of being served at Versailles. It’s so good, I asked for some ketchup to go. I wish I was kidding… but I’d do it again.

Slimy? Not particularly. It comes with a big bun, which held everything in place surprisingly well.

Satisfying? A taste of French country life, right in Central London. Oh la la.

 

Big Fernand
19 Percy St, London W1T 1DY
Website
Foursquare

BAO – Classic

Uncategorized

Continuing what is apparently my oriental week, I once more dove deep into the wonderful world of buns. This time, at this small and very crowded Soho restaurant called BAO.

As is usual with “No Reservation” joints, there was an impressive queue, so it helps that I was on my own, which meant I could bypass the queue (so long, suckers!) and sit in a stool. And off I went, and ordered, among other things, the Classic.

Kind of looks like a mouthpiece. BAO - Classic

Kind of looks like a mouthpiece

Like holding a cloud from the sky and putting some pork, greens, peanuts and coriander inside, this fascinating little snack was certainly delicious. I’ve had many a bun in my time (including some a few weeks back) and it never ceases to amaze me how weird it feels to eat these things.

But weird and good can go together, and in Bao’s case, they certainly do. Add to the fact that the place is really cool, cheap and simple, and we have another Soho winner.

Slimy? Just look at all those peanut crumbles. Of course you’ll leave a mess. I did.

Satisfying? Eating clouds is not possible. But if it were, it would taste like this. Heavenly.

 

BAO
53 Lexington St, London W1F 9AS
Website
Foursquare

Delancey & Co. – Beast Mode Sandwich

Uncategorized

Not all sandwiches are created equal. Some are small. Some are big. Some are so massive, and so rich, that deserve a special mention. Then some are even bigger than that, larger than your wildest sandwich dreams, and deserve a special name. Beast Mode is such a sandwich. Heck, I didn’t even care what the sandwich included, I just needed to check the Beast out. And what a beast it was.

Delancey & Co. is a small, diner style place in Goodge St, serving fairly large sandwiches. They all look pretty big, but nothing compares to the monstrosity that Beast Mode is. Honoring its name, Beast Mode includes BOTH salt beef AND turkey, plus heaps of sauerkraut, slaw, “special sauce” (it sure tasted special) and cheese, all pressed and toasted together at the end for it to remain consistent. I could have stopped eating for a week after just looking at this baby being made.

That's only half... Delancey & Co. - Beast Mode Sandwich

That’s only half…

After eating half, your mind says stop, but your body says more, as the sublime and perfect taste of the Beast will make you forget all that’s wrong in our world, and bring you to a simpler state of mind where you simply will not stop eating until you and the Beast are one, thus you becoming a new, bigger Beast. Free to roam the streets in looks of nastier, greasier treats, knowing that chances are you won’t ever find anything as glorious as Delancey’s concoctions.

Go free, wild Beast. Go free and eat freely…

Slimy? For sure, there’s just so much between these two toasties that if some of it didn’t slip out you’d think there was witchcraft involved.
Satisfying? Each bite feels like howling at the moon. Such is the power of Beast Mode.

 

Delancey & Co.
34 Goodge Street, W1T 2QL London
Website
Foursquare

Herman ze German – ze Wilde Bock Roll

Uncategorized

Das Currywurst! Das Currywurst! I first tried the famous currywurst (i.e. sausage with curry sauce for the uninitiated) back on a trip to Oktoberfest. Nobody should really go to Oktoberfest, as it is a particularly unhealthy occasion, but if you’re going (you probably are going, aren’t you? Don’t say I didn’t warn you…), other than beer you can always get traditional German delicacies. And nothing screams Germany like a big saucy sausage.

Suffice it to say, I barely remember anything that happened during that week of debauchery back in 2009. So I had to reacquaint myself with big old sausages. And that’s where Herman ze German (winner of the 2014 Best New Shop Name Awards) excels: in big, massive sausage rolls. From a pretty big list to choose, which includes German beer and even (sigh) salads, I went with one of the specials, ze Wilde Bock Roll (winner of the 2014 Best New Dish Name Awards).

SAUCEsage? Herman ze German - ze Wilde Bock Roll German Wurst

SAUCEsage?

I got served a delicious hot dog style sandwich including a bockwurst with onions, mayo and, of course, currysauce in different spicyness levels (I went with Hot, the least spicy one, because I’m a little girl), all served on a mountain of pommes frites (i.e. french fries for the non posh). Massive in scope, massive in flavour, massive in messiness.

And all of a sudden, all my Oktoberfest memories came back to me. The random strangers I shared liters of beer with. The sneaking around to get into private beer tents. The nonsensical cheering while singing German tunes every 5 minutes. The supposed vomit I left on my hosts bathroom floor (I still maintain that wasn’t me). The delicious flavour of a good german sausage.

This is what Herman ze German has done. It has made me want to go back. Back to the eye of the beast. Back to Oktoberfest. I may not survive this time, but hey, more currywurst? Totally worth it.

Slimy? Das sauce! Das sauce EVERYWHERE! Mein got, das sauce!
Satisfying? Brings all that’s good about German food, in a small, delicious and messy package. Das very gud!
Herman ze German
33 Old Compton St, Greater London, W1D 5JU (and other locations)
Website
Foursquare

Crosstown Doughnuts – Creme Brûlée Doughnut

Uncategorized

“£3.50? For a doughnut? Why would anyone in their right mind pay £3.50 for a doughnut!? Are you mad?!” is what I was telling myself while I walked on a cold summer morning towards Crosstown Doughnuts in Soho. What could possibly be so good, so incredibly delicious about a doughnut to validate such an expense?

“It better be a damn good doughnut” I thought. And there I was, in Broadwick St, browsing through their eclectic doughnut selection. After several weird looking and sounding flavors, one of them spoke to me and said “I am worthy, I am worthy!”. Curious (and possibly going insane, voices in my head and all), I chose said doughnut, and paid the hefty £3.50 price tag.

One bite later… Crosstown Doughnuts - Creme Brûlée Doughnut Donut

One bite later…

Don’t get carried away by how disgusting that picture looks (it’s a masterpiece). The only way to convey the deliciousness of this candy coated, vanilla style Creme Brûlée filled doughnut marvel is to take a picture after it’s liquid center starts oozing out. And what a sugary punch it was. Mixing a great French dessert with a classic breakfast staple is a genius move, and feels like the French should learn a lesson or two on how to serve their desserts in the future. Perhaps doughnut macarons are next?

So go to Crosstown. Cry a little bit on how much you’ll spend, because chances are, you’ll buy more than one… But your palate will be more than pleased.

Slimy? Seriously, just look at that picture. Then remember that this thing is FRIED. That’s enough said.

Satisfying? Homer Simpson would be jealous that they don’t serve doughnuts like this in Springfield.

 

Crosstown Doughnuts
4 Broadwick St, London, Greater London, W1F 8HJ (and other locations around town)
Website
Foursquare

Melt Room – Pastrami Melt

Uncategorized

We all love grilled cheese sandwiches. They’re so easy to make at home, and such a market delight. So why not have a restaurant that ONLY does melts? This is what the crazy folks at Melt Room have done. They have a menu comprised of sandwiches with unusual ingredients, and, most importantly, oodles of cheese.

Somewhere in Soho (you can tell if you are close by just by the strong cheesy smell), this small sandwich joint churns out one gooey sandwich after the next. I tried two of them, but will only write about one (only one of them was worthy. The lamb shoulder one… not so much). The Pastrami melt, packing mushrooms, horseradish red leicestershire cheese, was, of course, very cheesy. So cheesy in fact, that it outcheeses most of the other cheese melts I’ve had.

Say CHEESE!!! Melt Room - Pastrami Melt Sandwich

Say CHEESE!!!

That’s what’s so cool about this place. It’s all about the cheese. All sandwiches come with a specific type, tailored to the flavours that accompany said cheese. Way to make me want to come back and try them all!

If you like cheese, you’ll probably like Melt Room. If you don’t, well, you’re in the wrong blog, mate. Get out. Now.

Slimy? I still smell like cheese. That’s not so bad. Maybe the ladies will like it. Maybe not. I’ll take my chances.
Satisfying? No such thing as too much cheese. And this has loads. All hail the cheese!

 

Melt Room
26 Noel street, London, W1F 8GY
Website
Foursquare

Smack Lobster Roll Deli – Seven Samurai

Uncategorized

I hate eating lobster. Mainly because I’m lazy. So much hard work, so much effort, for just a tiny bit of delicious, juicy crustacean. Also, while I’m cracking the shell with what I’m calling a “lobster cracker” (lord knows how that tool is named), it makes me feel sad, like I’m the one killing the poor thing. Poor little lobster. I’ll name you Toby the Lobster. Poor little Toby…

Thankfully, the owners of “now a chain restaurant” Burger and Lobster have created a cleaner (no intense scrubbing needed post meal), easier (no digging through lobster carcass required) and cheap (well, cheap-er, it’s still £10) way to eat it. Now on it’s second branch recently opened in Soho, Smack Lobster Roll Deli serves lobsters with none of the fuss of eating lobster, in sandwich mode and with creative combinations.

As messy as it looks, it's cleaner than regular lobster eating. Smack Lobster Roll Deli - Seven Samurai

As messy as it looks, it’s cleaner than regular lobster eating

As a firm believer that everything can be made better in a sandwich, the Seven Samurai works perfectly. It’s not only lobster, though: that messy looking sandwich also includes Japanese mayo, cabbage, cucumber, ginger, spring onions and some weird spicy sauce. See, seven ingredients. All working together to please your palate.

Toby the Lobster is dead. We can’t change that now. What we can change is he will be remembered, as this sandwich is, by all accounts, a true Samurai warrior. Domo arigato, honorable Toby. You will be remembered fondly…

Slimy? Not nearly as gross as eating lobster the “usual way”, but still more than juicy enough to qualify

Satisfying? Never has there been a more satisfying way to eat lobster. All the flavor, none of the effort. Win-win.

 

Smack Lobster Roll Deli
58 Dean St Soho, London W1D 6AL
Website
Foursquare