Restaurant review: Market Hall, Victoria, central London


Over the last couple of years since we moved out from our home with parents we've really tried to curb the amount of times we eat out in London. Choosing instead to spend our disposable income on travel rather than food. But I have really missed it! My list of places to try in London is getting longer by the minute and I'm a little bit out of the loop. But last weekend we found ourselves in London for a wine and cheese tasting session - thanks Steph! - and decided to swing by Victoria on the way home for some dinner.

Located next door to Victoria Rail Station, Market Hall is exactly what the area needed. I've been to Victoria more times than I can count to get the bus to somewhere in the U.K but it's always felt a bit dead. It's not a place where you would ever go unless you worked there or you had a bus/train to catch. It was full of generic chain restaurants and lacklustre pubs.

Spread over three floors, with a roof terrace launching in spring this year, Market Hall boasts 11 food traders, a bar and a coffee shop. From tacos to fish and chips there's something for everyone. It's also open for breakfast.



I'd been wanting to try Monty's Deli for a while so this was the first place I made a beeline for. My boyfriend and I shared the salt beef Reuben sandwich. In between two slices of toasted rye bread was salt beef, tangy sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese, yellow mustard and Russian dressing all piled high. A dill pickle one the side finished it off. It was delicious and well worth the wait. Although I did wish we had opted for the bagel.



Next up was Super Tacos, launched by the same guys behind Breddo's Tacos.  A duo who happen to do my favourite tacos in London. For £11 you can choose three tacos with black beans, rice and salsa. Although looking back at the photos I realised we wasn't actually given the salsa! First up was Adobaba. A concoction of spit roasted marinated pork, bacon, white onion, avocado salda verde and chile  de arbol. This was my favourite one - I could have eaten a truck load! We then opted for Pollo Asado Al Carbon. Charcoal grilled marinated chicken, black beans, salsa Mexicana and Avocado salsa verde all pilled high on a taco. This one had a great kick to it. Finally, the last one was Carne Asada. Charcoal grilled marinated skirt steak, roasted jalapeño, white onion and salsa habanera. Perfection!



Lastly we decided to try out Bun Shop, one which was unfamiliar to us both. Bun Shop specialises steamed savoury buns. They do a great deal for £10 which consists of two buns of your choice with spicy deviled fried potatoes. The portion isn't very big but its delicious. I decided to pump for the curried lamb bun and my boyfriend had the Welsh rarebit bun. They were a bit dry but nothing the sauces couldn't sort out.

Market Hall was a great experience. I'm not sure I'd venture there especially but it is well worth a trip if you find yourself passing through like we did. It has a great atmosphere and is a fab place to hang out with a big group of friends. It's about time Victoria had somewhere decent!

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Restaurant review: Wing Stop, West End, central London





























Give me a bucket of chicken wings and I'm happy as Larry. For something so simple its surprisingly easy to do them very wrong. Connor and I are obsessed with Wing Shack which you should definitely try if you're ever in Essex. A few weeks back the day see The Cursed Child had finally rolled around and we needed somewhere quick to stuff our faces before around the theatre. After a quick browse on Google maps I came across Wing Stop.






Wing Stop is an American fast food chain which started in Texas. They've just opened their first U.K branch in London on Shaftesbury Avenue. If you didn't already guess, the chain specialises in chicken wings and offers a variety of sides. We came hungry after having a small lunch at work so we could sample as much as we could handle!

We opted to try the spicy Korean Q along with the original in the chicken wings. So we could try a few other sauces, we shared some chicken tenders with blue cheese and honey-mustard dips. All finished off with the loaded fries smothered in buffalo and blue cheese sauce. The meat was tender and the fries were addictive. Whilst they wasn't the best chicken wings I've ever had, they hit the spot. They were never going to sensational as this is a fast food restaurant. But Wing stop is a great option if you're in a rush and need a quick bite to eat in the area.
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Restaurant review: Dominique Ansel, Victoria, London


Now I know Christmas is over and maybe I'm a bit behind the times with posting festive content, but Dominique Ansel still does afternoon tea all year round. With Sarah's birthday outing colliding with Elodie's flying visit earlier this month, we decided there wasn't a better way to kickstart December then stuffing our faces with cake. Located just as short walk from Victoria Station, Dominique Ansel is famous for the creation of the Cronut but that isn't all it has to offer. It's a great place to catch up over a fancy cake with the only problem choosing which one to get!





The afternoon tea is located in a gorgeous undercover garden terrace, available from Thursday to Sunday from 12pm-4pm. Like all traditional afternoon teas you'll be given a savoury selection, sweet selection, scones with cream and jam with as much tea as you can drink. But this is where the tradition ended. Instead of sandwiches, we were given cute savoury Christmas trees which were filled with delicious fillings, including salmon, egg salad, turkey and mushroom. Next up was the best tier, the sweet treats! The mince pie snowman was my favourite, in fact I had two! The stars were filled with a delicious cream and jam concoction for the scones.

Service was a little slow but I think that's because of the busy festive season. But they did let us have the table a lot longer than they originally said. We always gossip too much so it was an nice touch to not feel rushed. Priced at £42, it's one of the more expensive afternoon teas in London but it is worth it for something a little different. It was a great way to kickstart Christmas!




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Restaurant review: Blanchette, Soho, central London


Blanchette is a French bistro offering small, tapas-style dining in the heart of Soho, tucked behind the manic Oxford Street. I'd heard of it before but it wasn't really on my radar so when one of my friends suggested it for a Sunday night dinner I was game.

The waitress explained that we should order 2-3 dishes each which I feel is standard for many small plates restaurants. There were three of us so we opted for a few snacks along side a couple of meat dishes and sides. So what did we order? To start we had a bowl of olives and a brown bag of crusty bread with salted butter,  quickly followed by crispy Longhorn beef with a creamy parsnip puree and a favourite truffle honey drizzle. That dish was probably my favourite of the bunch. The other meat dish was a tender braised lamb shoulder with anchovy, rosemary and a soubise sauce - a buttery onion sauce. For the sides we had delicious spiced Moroccan spiced peppers on top of a grilled chewy flatbread with a perfectly poached egg. Next up was a green bean salad with aged comté cheese and a walnut and shallot dressing. This was incredibly moreish. Of course no French meal is complete with cheese to finish. I opted for a generous plate of aged comté again as I couldn't get enough. It came with plenty of crisp breads and a mound of chutney. Just what was needed to finish off the meal!





We had a two hour slot but they very kindly allowed us to stay for 2.5 hours which was so lovely. Quite often in London they can be very strict, sometimes rushing you along with still 20 minutes to go, so it was a nice touch that they were pretty laid back. The waitress was very attentive and knowledgeable which always makes a dining experience so much better. Blanchette isn't cheap and it can work out very expensive if you are quite greedy - as I always am. But the quality of the food is very high and the presentation looks great, so I do really think it is worth it. I don't very often opt for French cuisine when I eat out so it made a really lovely change.
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Restaurant review: Silk Road, Camberwell, south London


We all went out last weekend to help celebrate Hannah's birthday. The lucky girl is now in Norway - what a hard life! She suggested Silk Road which is a restaurant in south London specialising in north-western Chinese food from the province of Xinjiang. I've always said I'm not a fan of Chinese food but I think that's because I always associate it with takeaway and I've never had 'proper' Chinese. Boy have I been missing out! Silk Road was absolutely delicious. It is unlike any other Chinese food I have eaten and I can't wait to seek out more dishes.





It'd be very easy to just walk past Silk Road without giving it a second glance. It's nothing special from the outside and even once you get inside, the decor really doesn't blow you away. But as with SO many places in London, the quality of the food completely outstrips the interior. So what were our favourites? The addictive lamb shish are an absolute bargain at just £1 each, the home style aubergines tasted delicious with the plain noodles, the sublime pork belly had a gorgeous sweet and sour heat and the simple beef and onion dumplings were incredibly tasty. 

We certainly didn't hold back from trying lots of dishes and the above, alongside a can of fizzy pop, came to just £12 excluding tip. All in all it cost us £15 which is an absolute bargain for such fine quality food. Camberwell is a mission from my house but I'm willing to trek here once again. If only for that pork belly!


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Restaurant review: Wing Shack, Loughton, Essex


I might live just 30 minutes outside London but my Essex town may as well be a world away when it comes to the food options available. Sometimes I don't want to travel all the way into London to get some decent grub. So I was so excited to hear Wing Shack had not long opened up in a town about 15 minutes drive from my house. There had been such a buzz about it and my chicken wing connoisseur boyfriend had raved about the buffalo chicken. I knew I had to try it sooner rather than later.




The prime time came when I had a day off work midweek and we were heading into London for a wedding. We stopped by here for lunch before checking into our glamorous travel lodge. It got pretty busy during our time there for a midweek lunch time which is always a promising sign. After falling in love with mostly everything listed in the menu we decided to have a feast!

My stand out star was the sweet and sticky chicken wings. Succulent meat was drenched in the sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds and sliced spring onions. They were outstanding! A close second was the fries smothered in hot buffalo sauce, cool blue cheese dip and lashings of melted cheese. Heaven in a cardboard box. I'm going to try and recreate these at home.

Wing Shack was such a joy to eat at and the prices were pretty reasonable too. We shared the feast in the top picture between four and it came to about £15 each which was a steal. I honestly can't wait to go back and I know I'm going to be a regular!


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Restaurant review: Bao, Fitzrovia, central London


Last week Elodie came over to London for a little holiday before her Korean trip so we decided that needed celebrating. Where else could be better than Bao? We opted for the Fitzrovia branch as you could book. It's never about queuing to eat when you've got nearly a whole year of gossip to catch up on!




Specialising in sharing plates, Bao is famous for its steamed buns and serving Taiwanese-style dishes. The menu offers five different types of Bao to choose from. I tried the black cod and confit pork. Both were delicious but the black cod was on a whole other level. I can't quite put into words just how amazing it was and I can't wait to visit again to have it! I then opted to try the beef cheek and tendon nuggets. Served in a portion of two, they were incredibly moreish. The others tried the chilli langoustines with a fried bao, aubergine with minced tofu and mapo sauce and bone marrow rice served with pickles and egg yolk. Having tried a mouthful of each, I can confirm that that the bone marrow rice is a must order if you visit.




I waited a while to try Bao and it was worth the wait. It's not cheap by any means and you do have to order quite a few dishes to feel full. This can work out to be to be expensive. They recommend three dishes each but I found this wasn't really enough. I'd recommend about four dishes each and a side with one of the bigger dishes to share. Although not everyone will be as greedy as me! Service was a little slow but the wait staff were pretty friendly so it balances out. Bao is a great place to go if you don't mind splashing out - the food is certainly delicious!


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Restaurant review: Roti King, Euston, north London


As I've mentioned before, next year is going to be a pretty intense travel year and I need to start making sacrifices to make it happen. One of these sacrifices is cutting down on the amount of time I eat out. Something I've been missing terribly. So I've been keen to find the cheap eats in London and I've stumbled across a gem.

Earlier on in the week, I met up with Hannah and Michelle for an evening of gossiping and Malaysian food. I'm actually off to Malaysia next year and really wanted to try some of the local cuisine before I jetted off. When Michelle mentioned her dad, who is actually Malaysian, declared Roti King as the best Malay food in London I knew I was in for a treat. You're unable to book for Roti King and most likely will encounter a queue. But stay put as it moves very quickly. Also be sure not to judge it from the outside because it honestly doesn't look like much. But you're here for the food, not the decor. 




After waiting for 40 minutes we were finally shown to a table and the fun began. As Michelle is a veggie we opted for a few vegetarian dishes. So what did we order? We tucked into roti Canai which is a bowl of dal, not as lentil-heavy as an Indian Dal, alongside two flaky roti. The gooey cheese roti was absolute heaven and we actually ordered another one once we scoffed the first one. In fact, I think I'd just order six plates of these next time I visit. Cooked in shrimp paste, Kangkung Belacan or Morning Glory is a endless pile of stirfry water spinach. It was the perfect accompaniment to the other dishes. Hannah and I shared a beef and spring onion dish on Michelle's recommendation which was very moreish and we all snuck a bite of Michelle's sea spiced aubergine. Delicious! 

Roti King is not somewhere where you sit and linger, you eat your grub and you leave. But service is done with a smile and the food is very quick to come out. We ate six dishes with a soft drink each and  it cost £14 per person including a tip. Almost unheard of in London! The food was so tasty and it's definitely somewhere where I can see myself visiting time and time again. In fact, I'm trying to arrange a date with my boyfriend so he too can try it before we jet off. I'm now so excited to eat all the food in Malaysia! 


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