Wagamama Positive Juice | Review

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wagamama Juice  Wagamama Juice

January has come and gone, but somehow I'm still feeling blue. The morning is dark, the evening is cold and spring seems far, far away... 

I strongly believe what we eat and drink, and how we do it, has a profound impact on our happiness and well being. After hearing news of a serotonin-boosting juice at Wagamama, I decided to pop down to Stratford to give it a go - I'd been craving their pickles for ages so this gave me the perfect excuse for a visit. 

The limited edition 'positive juice' is a tasty blend of pineapple, apple, lime, spinach and cucumber, all of which contain natural feel-good properties as well as vitamins and antioxidants to help boost energy levels. Paired with a yasai katsu curry and bowl of miso soup, the meal certainly gave me a mid-afternoon hit of happiness!

Wagamama Juice Wagamama Juice

Made fresh to order, the nutritious juice is squeezed, pulped and poured using 100% raw ingredients, with each element providing a different positive:

Pineapple – contains a significant amount of serotonin, a chemical messenger that’s believed to act as a mood stabiliser and helps to produce healthy sleeping patterns.
Apple – contains quercetin, an antioxidant that helps to fight stress.
Lime – contains rich amounts of vitamin C that can help fight fatigue and depression.
Spinach – one of the best go-to sources for iron, which helps transport oxygen around the body, leaving you feeling more motivated.
Cucumber – contains vitamin B to maintain energy levels, reducing tiredness and fatigue. 

Wagamama Positive Juice

The positive juice (from £3.50) will be available until the end of February and will join the existing range of juices including: super green, blueberry spice, raw (pictured above), fruit, orange, carrot, clean green and tropical.

Shaka Zulu | Review

Monday, February 08, 2016

Shaka Zulu review

Shaka Zulu, London’s largest South African restaurant, is notoriously known for its lavish interior, live music and exotic meat. So when Russell and I were invited down to the two floor restaurant and bar, located at The Stables Market Camden, and were both pretty excited. 
Having never eaten at Shaka Zulu before we wasn't sure what to expect, however rave reviews from my sister put our minds at ease - she's a picky vegetarian, so hearing praise from her doesn't happen very often.

After going down an escalator from the main road we were greeted with floor to ceiling carved wooden murals and a collection of 20ft high warrior statues. To say the decor is impressive is an understatement - there really isn't anywhere else in the city that can compare. 

Shaka Zulu cocktails
Shaka Zulu bar

We were seated near the main bar and could easily see the busy open kitchen downstairs churning out food. The soft blue lighting gave the place a relaxed vibe - sitting at our table with a cocktail listening to upbeat music and admiring the South African woodwork made us completely forget we were in the middle of busy Camden. For the evening, we were on holiday!

We chose off the Warrior Menu, which was reasonably priced at £29.95. Alongside options such as beef sirloin steak and red snapper the restaurant also offers game meats such as Kudu, Ostrich, Springbok and Zebra all from Namibia.

Shaka Zulu Shaka Zulu steak 
Shaka Zulu interior

As we tucked into a sharing starter board of Chermoula poached salmon, wild boar & ostrich terrine, mini lamb samosas and garlic flat breads, a live singer started performing well known hits. Usually Russell and I aren't a fan of being sung to whilst eating, however the singer was really laid back and filled our evening with laughs and jokes. The atmosphere in the restaurant is hard to explain, but we both felt uplifted and relaxed (which could be down to our cocktails and the bottle of red we ordered to accompany our main course).

Shaka Zulu ostritch

Russell then enjoyed the beef steak, which was cooked to absolute perfection, whilst I opted for the Ostrich fillet with red wine jus. Surprisingly, the meat was extremely tender and the rich jus added much needed moisture to the dish. 
It's worth noting there was a supplement for both dishes, and sides were needed at an additional price- I'd recommend the roast cinnamon butternut squash as a sweet accompaniment to meat dishes.

Shaka Zulu dessert

For dessert we enjoyed sharing mini dark chocolate tart, coconut panna cotta and melktert (similar to a strawberry cheesecake). By the end of the meal we were absolutely stuffed!

If you're looking for an evening full of fun then this is the place for you. We could have spent a few more hours at our table drinking cocktails, listening to the live entertainment and admiring the artwork. Unfortunately as it was a Thursday we had work the next day so couldn't get too merry - I'd suggest visiting on a Friday or Saturday evening and making the most of the bar downstairs.
Shaka Zulu table

Valentine's Day | You're my lobster biscuit card

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Looking for an original and edible Valentine’s gift idea? Look no further. 

Forget paper cards - this personalised lobster biscuit by the Biscuiteers serves as an afternoon snack and card all in one.

Allowing you to declare your love with the lobster's personalised speech bubble, this hand-iced vanilla biscuit certainly caused a stir on my Instagram

Even though I was expecting this little crustacian in the post, I have to say I was pretty thrilled when the postman delivered him. Unwrapping the beautiful box and seeing my name written in icing certainly made my Saturday - although I have to add that I felt a little guilty when I dipped him in my scalding cuppa... 
For the die hard fans out there, you could even use this card for a proposal - it would certainly be memorable! 

Remember: roses are red, violets are blue, and a hand-iced biscuit is just for you (hey, it wouldn't be a Valentine's post without a rhyme...). 

To make things even better, there's free standard delivery valid until tomorrow (Tuesday 9th Feb) - enter FDVALENTINE at the check-out to redeem.

What We Can Expect On Our Plates This Year

Thursday, February 04, 2016

2016 Food Trends

Being the Food Porn Tribe Leader on the 6 Tribes App means I need to stay on top of emerging food trends, which is sometimes harder than you might think. A quick wonder around the streets of Soho will reveal a long list of emerging cuisines, new ingredients and revolutionary techniques. Trying to keep at the top of the food game can be a tough job (there's only so much one can eat every day), so I find the app super inspiring as it brings a bunch of mega foodies all together in one place to share pictures and ideas.

When I was asked what food trends would dominating the food scene this year, many of them had a focus on the environment. Finally it seems consumers, rather than PR's and marketing experts, are the ones driving food trends. Even the biggest restaurant companies such as McDonald’s are no longer solely dedicated by the bottom line, with moves such as changing it's supply line to include more cage-free eggs for example. 
The food industry is now dictated by what consumers need and want, which is evident to the trends emerging for the new year. A few weeks ago I hosted the #FDbloggers chat on Twitter to get thoughts and forecasts from other fellow foodies, and here's what we predict will be big:

Less Meat and Dairy

With more of us becoming conscious of sustainability in the food industry and the health risks surrounding red and processed meat, many of us are opting for vegetarian options both at home and whilst dinning out.

Restaurants seem to be cottoning onto the trend with the expansion of their vegetarian and vegan options, whilst #MeatFreeMonday (launched by the McCartney's in 2009) is doing better than ever.

And a growing number of celebrity endorsements and an ever expanding list of plant based products has launched the dairy free market into the spotlight. Low in saturated fat and enriched with vitamins, Almond and coconut milk have even managed to get themselves onto the mainstream menu in Starbucks this January! 


Pickling and Preserving 

Growing your own is back in favour, with many of us signing up for allotments, creating vegetable patches in our gardens and growing herbs on our kitchen window ledges.

But what do you do come harvest time when you dig up hundred of beetroots? There's only so many you can stomach in your salad...

Much to Kilner's delight pickling vegetables, making chutneys and boiling jam has made a comeback. Last year I pickled lots of vegetables and enjoyed them with my Christmas Ham - the whole family tucked in and it was amazing to think that something I dug up in June was still feeding us come December.  

Make the most of your leftovers

Love Food Hate Waste have discovered that we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten.

Many of us are now looking for nifty and creative ideas to transform leftovers into irresistible meals.I have a great recipe for a chicken pot pie here which is perfect to make the Monday after your Sunday dinner.

Sugar Alternatives

Refined sugar has been stealing health headlines for what seems like years, and there's no sign of that slowing down in 2016.  

With Britain's obesity levels shooting up, and greater understanding of just how bad for us sugar can be, the hunt is on for alternatives.  The average Brit consumes a shocking 1.25lbs a sugar a week, with our friends across the Atlantic consuming on average 22 teaspoon of sugar a day - double the recommended daily amount.
For those with a sweet tooth, it can be hard to stay away from harmful sugary treats, so I asked what my food blogger friends top alternatives for refined sugar are. The favourites for cooking were dates, honey, agave nectar and palm sugar, whilst Stevia and Xylitol didn't rank at all. 

Maple Water

Looking for a new drink to revitalise you after the gym? Maple water is the new health trend for 2016.

Low in calories, gluten-free, dairy-free and non-GMO, it contains 46 natural nutrients. With half the sugar of coconut water and more manganese than a cup of kale, it's subtle maple flavour is simply delicious. I spoke to André Pollender, a multi award-winning producer of maple syrup to find out more about the process - you can read more here.

Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows | Review

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows

You might be surprised to hear this: I no longer pencil in my eyebrows.

'But they're so thick and luscious' you scream - that's because I've had imitation hair tattooed with semi-permanent pigment to look like natural brow hairs. Sounds impressive? It sure is.

With so many different semi permanent make-up artists to choose from, it took a long time to research my options. The thought of getting my eyebrows semi-permanently tattooed suddenly became rather daunting once it become a reality, and I wanted someone I could trust.

Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke EyebrowsSemi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows
Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke EyebrowsSemi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows

After scrolling through hundreds of photos and reading many reviews online I finally stumbled across El Truchan Perfect Definition. Based in Harley Street and Holborn, El stood out to me as every review I read stated how patient she was. I certainly needed someone to guide me through the process and to put my worries at ease, and thankfully El was very understanding when I asked a million different questions during our first consultation.

I had my first treatment just before Christmas, which you can read about here, and requested a defined but natural looking arched brow. I was thrilled, if not a little shocked with the results - I couldn't believe the difference it made to my face. Even fresh from the bath my brows framed my face beautifully, and I honestly can't imagine not having them now!

After showing off my new brows to my friends and family, the most common question I was faced was regarding the pain, but in all honesty after the anaesthetic cream was applied I couldn't much (I embarrassingly fell asleep during my first treatment much to El's amusement).

Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows  Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows 
The difference between my eyebrows after the first treatment (left) and darker top-up (right) 

I returned a few weeks ago to get my top-up treatment and asked El to use a darker pigment and add a few hair strokes to my left brow - after the initial shock of the first treatment I felt a little braver this time and missed the super intense colour of my brows when they were freshly done.

The beauty of the top-up treatment is that if you want the colour to be more intense or want the shape tweaked, it gives you the perfect opportunity to do so. It's included in the price of your treatment, so it's great value for money.

Since then El has been checking in regularly with me requesting pictures to check on the healing. This is the part of the service I thought went above and beyond, as even after the treatment was complete El's aftercare put my worries at ease (when my eyebrows start flaking and the pigment disappeared during the healing process I must admit I did get a little worries),

Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows  
Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows  
My eyebrows when I'm completely make-up free

As you can see from the above pictures, my brows certainly look a lot different make-up free. It's given me comfort knowing that halfway through the day my eyebrows won't be smudged and uneven, and that even on the beach my brows will be on fleek!

There's no denying it - eyebrows are serious business. Mine have gone from a pair of over-plucked, uneven sisters to sleek and strong twins. 

Semi-Permanent Hair Stroke Eyebrows

I'm so pleased I found El as she made the whole process so easy. For anyone wanting to get the treatment done who's a little unsure or nervous, I'd advise you to book in a consultation with her as she instantly put me at ease.

Don't be afraid of asking for what you want and don't settle for anything less than your idea of perfection! A professional semi-permanent make-up artist will take the time to draw on the design before even thinking about getting a needle out, so there's plenty of time to tweak the shape. 

I'll now get my eyebrows topped up every 12 months, depending on fast they fade.