Restaurant review: Breddos Tacos, Clerkenwell, central London


Tacos are one of those foods that I don't eat often but when I do, I wonder why the hell I don't eat them more often. For my birthday lunch last week I decided to opt for Breddos Tacos. I had tried their tacos at Taste London a few years back but had yet to visit their sit-in restaurant in Clerkenwell. This all changed last Thursday and now I'm already planning a trip back with friends. Spoiler alert... It was absolutely divine!

We booked a table for 12pm as I had a birthday surprise to look forward too. I would recommend booking because it's an area popular with city workers and the restaurant was heaving by 12.30. You don't want to miss out on getting a table! We arrived pretty hungry and definitely had eyes bigger than our bellies when we finally ordered.




I am a sucker for guacamole so will always, always order that if I see it on the menu. This version came with a mountain of chips and had a slight kick to it. I loved the added extra of the pistachio crumbs to add some texture. It was a fairly big portion and was more than enough for two people to share. Our second starter was the Queso. I had such high hopes for this but it just fell a little flat. It didn't really have any flavour, just a generic cheddar cheese flavour. A bit of a disappointment.

First up were the Baja fish tacos which were insanely good. Seriously I'd go back and order just a dozen of these all to myself. The batter was so light and they certainly didn't scrimp on the filling. The habanero mayo tied it all perfectly together. Next up were the confit pork belly tacos. These were a little chewy but the flavour was on point. I loved the contrast of the fresh cucumber. I'd recommend getting the Masa fried chicken tacos to try. Again with that gorgeous habanero mayo, I loved the addition of the red cabbage. We couldn't resist leaving without trying a burrito. Something we totally didn't need but we took one for the team. Bursting at the seams with spinach, black beans and avocado, we opted for the one filled with tender braised beef shin. It was tasty but not a patch on the tacos we tried. I'd definitely opt for the tacos over a burrito any day and advise you do the same.



Service was pretty attentive and our food came out in timely fashion. It's in a great little location in central London, not too far from the Barbican. It isn't one of the cheapest places I've eaten in London but it was worth every penny. I'd highly recommend anyone making a special trip to that part of town. I'm after the cookbook now to try and recreate those tacos at home!
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Restaurant review: My Neighbours the Dumplings, Clapton, east London


Connor first heard of this restaurant from the Off Menu podcast with Ed Gamble and James Acastor. We've been trying to build up a list of restaurants in London to try with the view to having a day out, just us two, once a month. First on our list was My Neighbours The Dumplings. We chose it because it's based in Clapton and we wanted to scout some wedding locations. It's all getting real now!

My Neighbours The Dumplings is a Chinese dumpling house and sake bar based in east London. They have a separate menu for lunch and for dinner, we opted to visit for lunch this time. We arrived about 12.30 and it was pretty empty but within 30 minutes it really started to fill up and created a buzzing atmosphere. Keen to try as much as we could, we decided to order every dumpling on the menu. Our best decision of the day!





Keep in mind the food doesn't arrive all at once so expect it to be staggered. So what did we order? Juicy lamb and coriander dumplings, fragrant wonton soup with pork and prawn, tasty veggie dumplings and steamed squid and cod dumplings. The lamb and coriander dumplings won the taste test hands down. I could have ordered three more portions! Although we could have eaten more, we left lunch feeling satisfied but not over stuffed which made a nice change! I would recommend ordering a couple more dishes if you're particularly hungry as four portions won't be enough.

My Neighbours The Dumplings was delicious and I'm so glad we finally got to tick it off the list. I thought the prices were a little high but this is hipster land! Service was pretty attentive and we didn't feel like we were being rushed. I don't think I would rush back especially to visit but if I found myself in Clapton again then I would definitely hit it up. I want to try the dinner menu as the crispy pork belly sounds absolutely delicious.



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Restaurant review: Palatino, Old Street, east London


A couple of weeks ago my favourite internet pals and I popped along to Palatino for Hannah's birthday. The reason she picked that place? The £25 deal for unlimited pasta for two hours on a Saturday. She didn't have to ask us twice to attend!

Within walking distance from the Barbican and not as close to Old Street station as it says on the website, the restaurant is in a rather obscure location in the city. It's not hard to find but it's not really surrounded by much so it feels like you have to to hunt it down. You can have the option of choosing to add unlimited prosecco for £14 per person for 90 minutes. We decided to give this a miss this time.




So what pasta can you choose from? Anything from the Primo section of the menu. This includes cacio e pepe, ravioli di zucca, bombolotti romanesco, anchovy and breadcrumbs, spaghetti alla vongole, veal rigatoni and a pasta of the day. They are more than willing to veganise any dish. My favourites included the carbonara which was the special and the delicious rigatoni. The portions looked small but in reality were great sizes for sharing. We all tucked in quite happily!




Service was a bit slow and they wasn't too forthcoming in offering you the chance to order more pasta dishes. It took quite a while before someone even took our drinks order. Luckily we were starting to get a bit full so we didn't mind the waiting. But I can imagine it will get annoying really  quick if you're still hungry. I loved the vibe of the restaurant, it had a great mix of people and lovely floor to ceiling windows, letting the winter sun in. I'm not sure I'd go back but I do think it's a great deal for £25 and I felt like I completely got my money's worth. There are just so many other different places to try in London!

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Restaurant review: Gunpowder, Tower Bridge, London


I am so out of the loop with restaurants in London at the moment. I seem to have really cut down on going into town at the weekends to try out all the new places. But I'm keen to rectify this and start eating out a bit more! A good few weeks ago I finally did try someone new with Hannah and Sarah before we saw the incredible Midsummer Night's Dream at the Bridge Theatre.




Labelling themselves as a home-style Indian kitchen, the branch overlooking Tower Bridge is Gunpowder's second location after Spitalfields in east London. We decided to opt for the weekend brunch menu and what a great shout on our part. Brunch is my favourite meals and Indian food is my favourite cuisine so I had high hopes for it. Those high hopes were thankfully met. I'm a sucker for any type of baked eggs dish so went for the South Indian style eggs served with sourdough toast and salli. They were delightedly spicy, enough to put hairs on your chest and give you a runny nose! The portion was a great size and went down a treat.  We also opted for a portion of okra fries which were extremely addictive and bhuna aubergine and roast cheese salad which was the star of the show. So much more delicious that I ever expected. The aubergine was A*. I stole a couple of slices of Hannah's chutney cheese sandwich which was so nostalgic, updated with a spicy kick. Made with what tasted like Hovis' basic white bread from my childhood years and endless cheese oozing out, it was amazing and I could have eaten another portion immediately after.




I'm looking forward to going back and trying the evening menu. It isn't a cheap place to eat and prices will add up if you start getting eyes bigger than you belly with the ordering of small plates. But the food was delicious that I have a feeling it will be 100% worth it. Set out over two floors with some swoon-worthy interiors, it's a great option if you find yourself in the area.

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Why you should put London's West End on your trip itinerary


When you're planning a trip to a capital city like London it can be hard to choose what to put in your itinerary. It's such a sprawling place, full of great little neighbourhoods. I've been coming into London for 26 years and I still haven't even scratched the surface! But one thing you should most definitely put in your itinerary is a trip to see a play or a musical at the West End. I may be biased here but the London theatre scene is one of the best in the world. I've been lucky enough to see a musical on Broadway and it was fantastic. But it didn't quite have the magic of the capital's West end.

Where to get tickets
Whether you're after seeing a musical for fun escapism or a hard-hitting play to make you think, it's difficult to know where to start to choose the right show for you. Head to Official London Theatre* to find endless tickets available for the West End. You'll also find news about the upcoming shows due to begin their run so you can pop it in your diary. There's also some great deals where kids eat for free to help keep the cost of the day out down. Going to the theatre can soon add up! They very kindly offered me two tickets to catch SWEAT before it is due to finish it's run next week. The politically-charged play is set in Pennsylvania amidst simmering racial tensions. It felt unbelievably current, exploring the anger and resentment currently directly towards immigrants and people of colour today. It really left a lasting impression after it ended.


My favourite theatres
My favourite theatres to see a play at the National Theatre on the Southbank and Barbican theatre. The Barbican is quite small so it feels so intimate when you see a play. You really get caught up the action! I was really lucky to get tickets to see Cillian Murphy in Grief Is The Thing With Feathers earlier this year (twice!) in front row seats. It was probably one of my favourite theatre experiences.

For musicals I love catching them at Apollo Victoria and the London Palladium. I have fond memories of the Palladium as it's where my nan took me to see my first musical at the age of 7. It was Oliver and I remember being mesmerised. It's been the home of the annual pantomime the last few years. My mum and I went last and it was incredible. Absolutely hilarious.

Musicals to look out for
One of my favourite musicals in recent years is The Lion King. The costumes are out of this world. You immediately forget you're watching humans dressed up, it feels like you're watching real animals gliding across the stage. I'd also recommend Wicked - which I'm actually seeing for the third time next week - and 9-5, the Dolly Parton musical.

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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: 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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