Jazzgir | Mediterranean-Jazz Restaurant Review

July 30, 2017

 Jazzgir 

Last week Russell and I were invited to Jazzgir, the latest Mediterranean restaurant to arrive on the London food scene. 

Situated on the serene waterfront of Canary Wharf’s Harbour Exchange Square, just a 5 minuet walk form the main tube station, the restaurant offers a little something for everyone; whether you want to enjoying a relaxing waterside drink or a lively night out!

Jazzgir
Jazzgir Jazzgir

With a menu that reflects the diversity of the European coastline, the restaurant pairs fresh flavours with the vibrant sounds of Jazz.
 
The interior features warm, neutral colours combined with golden notes, wooden features and leather sofas, providing a welcome escape from the harsh lines and grey palette of city life.

Jazzgir

Jazzgir cocktails Jazzgir jazz

Every evening Jazzgir’s live music starts with acoustic piano from 5pm, with live jazz bands performing from 7pm followed by a DJ set until late, allowing guests to kick-back and enjoy a vibrant and lively evening.
 
Russell and I were greeted by the soft tune of a piano when we arrived around 6:30pm and later enjoyed a fantastic performance by The London Belles. We're not usually keen on singing performances throughout dinner as we have found them dominating, but the up-beat and unique post modern twist to their set was mesmerising.

the london belles

Jazzgir Jazzgir jazz

After sipping on cocktails and soaking up the atmosphere we ordered food from the small but varied menu.

I ordered the Burrata, Heritage Tomato and Basil Pesto salad, which was delicious. The soft and creamy texture of the cheese paired beautifully with the fresh and slightly crisp tomatoes to make a dynamite of a duo. I added a pinch of salt to balance the sweetness of the summer produce.

Jazzgir food
Jazzgir Jazzgir

Russell tucked into the Tuna Carpaccio served with pressed cucumber, white asparagus puree, pea shoots and a martini dressing. Strangely when it was served our waiter advised us to eat all of the components together otherwise the dish would 'taste bland', however we found it to be light and refreshing on a rather humid July evening. The crunchy deep fried shallot shards gave the dish much needed texture, whilst the pea shoots injected sweetness. 

Jazzgir
Jazzgir tuna Jazzgir steak

 Although the restaurant is not famed as a steak restaurant, our main course of Ribeye with sautè new potatoes was cooked to perfection and would recommend to any city dwelling carnivore (although we found the side salad a little bland/unnecessary).

Jazzgir rabbit

Jazzgir Jazzgir

However, the fresh pappardelle with rabbit ragu and salty Kalamata Olives was the best dish of the evening - if you're planning to visit you NEED to order this!

It offers an indulgent and rich Italian experience without the usual heaviness of a pasta dish.

Jazzgir

Jazzgir Jazzgir

Dessert was an extremely indulgent Tiramisu (can you tell I enjoyed it?) and sweet, light Baklava oozing with honey. Both were delightful and finished our meal off beautifully. 

 The restaurant describes itself as fine dining, however Russell and I didn't agree with this description. The term fine dining brings to mind crisp white table cloths, waiters in tuxedos and the finest in food, service and atmosphere.
Although the interior décor is beautiful and the food is good, we would describe the offering as well cooked food, attentive (if not, a little overboard) service in an environment both foodies and casual dinners can enjoy.
 
 

Blackhouse, Grill on the Market | Restaurant Review

June 08, 2017



Grill on the Market

Smithfield, once the site of the original meat market during the 10th century, is a fitting spot for Blackhouse, Grill on the Market to throw open its doors.

The new restaurant promises 'honest, simple and proper food' with a no nonsense philosophy, focusing on wholesome ingredients and classic flavours.

There is a varied menu featuring seafood and vegetarian options, but the real star of the show is the steak. There is a choice of premium cuts, including 15-year-old English Galician, beer-fed Wagyu and an Australian fillet, and quality classics such as Argentinian ribeye and Scotch sirloin, all aged for at least 28-days to ensure tenderness.

Russell and I were invited to sample their menu last Friday night, and after viewing their offering online couldn't wait to visit.

Grill on the Market  Grill on the Market

Paying homage to the existing market the interior features exposed brick walls and dark lighting, rich leather booths and natural wood-cladding. The atmosphere is relaxed yet luxe, making it the perfect location for both date night and a catch up with friends.

Grill on the Market

Russell chose the St. Louis bone in rib with a sticky orange and honey glaze crackling for his starter. Oozing with flavour, the meat simply fell off the bone. Texture was added to the dish with the crackling, whilst the sharp citrus orange glaze contrasted beautiful against the sweet and smokey meat.

Grill on the Market

I enjoyed the Salmon Tartare, which surprised me with a hidden quails egg centre. Featuring a subtle heat of mustard seeds, herbaceous dill and peppery radish, the fresh salmon was elevated by the rich yolk of the quails egg. What a way to start our meal!

Grill on the Market

After an extensive explanation of the menu from our well informed waiter we decided we simply HAD to order a steak for our main course. We opted for the ‘Butchers Block’, Himalayan rock salt dry-aged steak stored in a salt chamber fridge.

Grill on the Market

After selecting the ribeye (we love the cut's juicy balance of meat and fat) it was bought table-side so we could watch it be hand cut and weighed.

Grill on the Market  Grill on the Market

The steaks were then grilled and served with fat cut chips and vine tomatoes. They were both cooked perfectly pink (as we requested) whilst the outside was charred thanks to the salt chamber and intense heat of the grill. The meat had a distinct and overbearing chargrill taste, which was enjoyable, but we did wonder if it would be worth indulging in more experience cuts.

Grill on the Market

We were extremely full by the time it came to desserts but managed to fit it in.

I indulged in a rich chocolate and salted caramel pot served with cornflake Florentines. To say it was decadent is an understatement! The addition of the salted caramel didn't make the dish too sickly sweet, whilst the cornflakes gave much needed texture.

Grill on the Market

Meanwhile Russell demolished a sticky toffee pudding topped with vanilla ice cream. It's his favourite dessert choice so I expected it so go down well; it was light, surprisingly not stodgy and had just the right about of toffee sauce.

We had a wonderful experience at Blackhouse, Grill on the Market, and would recommend to anyone looking for an evening meal that offers something a little extra special.

Orchid 54 Bar and Bistro Review

April 14, 2017


Orchid 54 Bar and Bistro is a charming bistro and bar serving exceptional food in the heart of Enfield. Russell and I were invited to review the venue last month and were blown away with the quality of the food on offer. 

With a menu of British seasonal dishes with a French influence, the restaurant offers fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere - who would have guessed such great food was on offer in an otherwise ordinary high street! 

charlotte clarke

The restaurant is under the consultancy of Chef Ade Adeshina, the Head Chef at The Petersham Hotel Restaurant, who has bought his signature 'simple, seasonal and sensational' style to the menu. 

Orchid 54

After a warm welcome from the waiting staff Russell ordered the squid ink crab tortellini with prosecco sauce to start. This beautifully delicate dish featured a wonderful sauce that enhanced the sweet flavour of the crab whilst the al dente squid ink pasta offered texture and colour. 

Orchid 54

For me, choosing a starter was hard as I was torn between the beef tartare (which I had seen pictures of on Instagram prior to dinning) and the seasonal options on offer. Having asked our waiter for recommendations I decided on the locally sourced seared pigeon breast with sage gnocchi, which I certainly didn't regret. The pigeon was cooked medium and the glaze of the sauce was mesmerising! The gnocchi was a little dense but all was forgiven as the sweet, nutty flavour of the pigeon was remarkable. 

Orchid 54

Russell followed with an 8oz Creekstone beef fillet with shallot jus and fries which was cooked to perfection. We think the picture speaks for itself... this classic combination was executed exceedinly well. 

Orchid 54

I tucked into a rich dish of calves liver, crispy bacon and parsley mash for my main course. Packed with flavour this was a plate of comfort food that's both special and satisfying. Paired with a good glass of red wine, this dish is one you will remember and are sure to keep coming back for - my mouth is watering just typing this! 

Orchid 54

After such a heavy meal I didn't have much room for dessert so ordered a selection of cheese with grapes and crackers. Russell however indulged in an oozing chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream...

We had a wonderful evening at Orchid 54 and wished it was a little closer to Epping - if you live locally to the restaurant you are very lucky indeed! The service was friendly, the food was exceptional and the price point was extremely good value for money. We'd both recommend the bistro for a relaxed evening meal as a couple or a snug family dinner for special occasions. 

If you visit do let me know your thoughts, this little gem tucked away in the high street could be easily missed, but is not so easily forgotten once experienced. 

Authentic Thai Food in London | Thai Silk Review

March 04, 2017

Situated a stones throw from Southwark Station tucked away in a romantic side street lined with twinkling fairy lights is the best Thai restaurant I've ever dined in.

Offering so much more than the classically understood Thai green and red curries, Thai Silk is the type of restaurant you return to again and again for comforting yet refined food.

Russell and I knew as soon as we walked through the door we were in for a great night. With authentic décor featuring giant Buddha’s and a lustrous red and gold colour scheme, the 100 cover restaurant and bar has an inviting atmosphere despite its large size.

Thai silk london

After being shown to our seats we spent a while flicking through the larger than average menu choosing what to eat. Don't let the pictures on the menu put you off - the food here is good. Thai cuisine offers complex flavours that combine hot, sour, sweet and salty, and the dishes at this restaurant menu showcased this beautiful. 

The chefs here have created a traditional yet innovative menu, and to ensure the food is as authentic as possible around 80% of the ingredients are shipped directly from Thailand. We noticed we were given a fork rather than chopsticks which was a good sign (traditionally food in Thailand is eaten with cutlery, not chopsticks).

Thai silk london Thai silk london

I played it safe ordering the Chicken Tom Kha, a hot and sour soup made with coconut milk, as it's a dish I know I enjoy. Ordered with sweet coconut rice, I usually put both into one bowl and eat it like a curry. This soup is packed with herbs and spices, blended with coconut milk and stock, and loaded up with mushrooms and chicken. 

Thai silk london

 We ordered the Kao Phad Subpraround (Pineapple fried rice) because we saw the show stopping dish featured on Instagram before our visit. Served in half a pineapple the rice is loaded with prawns and fruit. Don't underestimate this dish as a side, it could easily be eaten as a main! 

Thai silk londonThai silk london

Our wild card order was the Panaeng Gae (Massaman curry with lamb shank) which turned out to be our favourite! Having never ordered Massaman curry before I learnt it is traditionally made in southern Thailand, with influences from Malay and Indian cooking. Made with dried-spice curry powder of cinnamon, cardamom, peanuts and bay leaves along with curry paste it offers a complex flavour as well as a consistent, gentle heat.

Russell and I couldn't get over just how good this dish was! The lamb shank fell off the bone, the sauce was thick and rich and the addition of peanuts and new potatoes created the perfect meal. After sampling this dish I feel ignorant for not knowing more about Massaman - I'll certainly be ordering this over a Thai Green curry in the future!

Thai silk london

We didn't have room for dessert for finished our meal with a side of Koong pao chu Chee, charred grilled tiger prawns with a mild curry sauce. The prawns were HUGE and packed full of flavour! If you're willing to get your hands dirty this dish rewards you with big flavour.

We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Thai Silk, everything from the service to the food were spot on. It's a place to enjoy good food at reasonable prices mid-week or kick back and relax come Friday with friends. We can't wait to go back for another Panaeng Gae, it honestly is xxxxx.

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant Review

February 26, 2017


The Petersham Restaurant offers panoramic River Thames views from every table, superb service and seasonal menus.

If you're looking for a restaurant with wow factor, classic old age charm and a touch of exclusitivty, this it it. Every table in the 70-cover restaurant can take in floor-to-ceiling views of the famous bend in the River Thames and surrounding Petersham Meadows.

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

 The Petersham Hotel Restaurant The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

The Petersham Restaurant in Richmond recently reopened following a complete refurbishment. Russell  and I were invited to the venue for a complimentary lunch over Valentine's weekend so we could experience the new atmosphere for ourselves. 

The new design of the restaurant, which sits within the 4-star Petersham Hotel, is inspired by the colours of the early morning, misty river vista. With crisp white table cloths, vintage mirrors and plenty of natural light streaming in, the light and bright space was filled with both families and couples enjoying the refined yet uncomplicated food. 

crab lasagne

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

The seasonal menus, designed by head chef Ade Adeshina, feature local produce in a modern yet unfussy British style. 

Seafood dominates the A La Carte menu and the steamed lasagne of cornish crab starter caught my attention. Served with Lilliput capers and a tarragon butter sauce this elegant dish allowed the subtly sweet crab to shine by elevating its flavour with salt and cream. 

Russell ordered the sautéed scallops served with banana plantain, black pudding and parsnip purée. Earthy parsnip, rich black pudding and scallops are a classic combination, however the addition of plantain (possibly inspired by the head chef's Nigerian background) enhanced the sweetness of the seafood. 

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

The Petersham Hotel Restaurant The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

For my main course I chose the duo of Brechin beef which featured fillet and Jacob’s ladder, potato Anna and bordelaise sauce whilst Russell chose the roast chicken supreme with roast carrot, eryngii mushroom and choy sum. 

Eating next to such a magificent view was such a relaxing and energising experience. We honestly felt like we were 100 miles away from London (and all of our worries) and totally relaxed in the restaurant - it almost felt like we had been away for a weekend of indulgent food. The service was faultless and during our time at The Petersham we didn't once have to look around to grab a waiters attention, which is a rare statement to make. 

 poached pear view

chocolate three ways
 The Petersham Hotel Restaurant

We finished our wonderful meal with the impressive poached pear with port wine mousse and lemon sponge and 'dark chocolate three way', a combination of soft mousse, rich brownie and indulgent truffle served on a chocolate crumb. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch at The Petersham and would recommend the venue if you're looking for a classic yet relaxed venue for special occasions. It's certainly not short of a marvellous view and gave us a refreshing change from high rise window seat views of London's cit