Monthly Archives: September 2013

Shoryu Ramen

27th September 2013

My new favourite Ramen place is Shoryu.  On a rainy night the other week I met H in Soho for a good catch up alongside comforting noodly goodness.

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There are two Shoryu branches; Soho and Regent Street, although both are only a five minute walk from Picadilly Circus.  Good central locations for meeting friends.

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The menu is a little hard to grasp unless you’re a Ramen connoisseur, and the waitress didn’t make any recommendations, so we picked at random and hoped for the best.  It’s worth mentioning that Shoryu is always packed, so you might have to wait for a table.  But the food is worth it, I promise.

I had Hokkaido Curry Ramen, which is rich curry-soy pork broth with chicken, naruto fish cakes and spring onions among other things.  It was meaty and flavoursome and I loved it.  The bowls are absolutely huge, so once again, perhaps we overordered a little…

Soy Curry Ramen at Shoryu

Naruto Fish Cake in Ramen

H had Sapporo Miso – miso pork broth with BBQ pork and sweetcorn.

Sapporo Miso Ramen There’s bowls of garlic on the long tables – delicious if you’re not planning on kissing anyone later on!

Garlic at Shoryu

Shoryu Soho

It's in our bones Shoryu

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On the side we had Chicken Kara Age (crispy deep fried soy, garlic and ginger marinated chicken) and BBQ pork belly Hirata buns. 

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The chicken was a sensation, especially with fresh lemon and mayonnaise.

Chicken Kara Age Shoryu

The Hirata buns are filled with greens and mayo along with the meat you choose.  I wasn’t that crazy about them – maybe because by the time I tried mine I was already pretty full.  The texture of the steamed bun is a little soft for me, and I found combination of mayo with the pork a little sickly.  They would be good if you popped in for a quick lunch though – next time I’d try the prawn tempura version.

Pork Belly Hirata Buns

I think that a bowl of Ramen at Shoryu is a delicious meal that’s great value for money and ideal for the colder evenings.

London has gone Ramen crazy these days, so why not get in on the action?  Has anyone found any good recipes for making Ramen at home?

Shoryu Curry Ramen

Shoryu Soho on Urbanspoon

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Brunch at Ben’s Canteen

19th September 2013

One of the things I love about living in London is having great restaurants and shops within walking distance.  It’s even better when you can count somewhere as your ‘local’, because it’s just around the corner.

Ben’s Canteen is my new favourite local since I moved – a charming, cosy little place that describes itself perfectly as an ‘all day neighbourhood hangout’.  They do glorious brunches, yummy burgers, dinner and drinks.  You can find them a short walk up St John’s Hill in Battersea – it’s close to Clapham Junction.

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O and I wandered over for a brunch/lunch a couple of days ago.  When the weather’s nice, the doors are open onto the street, and you can sit on benches outside.  It was a bit nippy, so we settled down opposite the bar and scanned the menu.

I’ve been enough times now that I know what I want pretty quickly.

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                                     Quirky salt and pepper dishes and water carafes

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Are you ready?  Ta da… el Breakfast Burrito…

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Just look at the melty cheese coming out of that bad boy.  We’re talking eggs, chorizo, cheese and coriander.  What a combo.  It’s so delicious that I actually took the idea home and made some myself – but that’s another story for another day.

This burrito is the ultimate hangover cure (+ Bloody Mary, if it’s really hurting).

O was sipping on cloudy apple juice and lime as his full English (the ‘Big Ben’) arrived.

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It comes with beans as well, but we asked for them on the side so that I could eat them!

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Because I am incapable of only ordering one thing at a restaurant, here’s what else we had…

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Unbelievable hash browns (these are more gratin-esque than crunchy for anyone interested).

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And a side of mac & cheese.  I am a big m&c fan – if it’s available you can be sure I’ll ask for it.  While this is good, I think that the menu should note that it’s quite mustardy.  I do like the flavour, but not everybody is keen and it was a bit of a surprise.

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We may have had slightly too much food, but managed to accommodate it somehow…

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The poached eggs were exactly right – look at the yolk.

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Please go and try Ben’s Canteen for yourself – the staff are all very welcoming and friendly and it’s a nice place to watch the world go by.  If I’m home, I might come and join!

P.S. I think it’s likely I’ll do another Ben’s post about the dinner menu soon – watch this space.

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Ben's Canteen on Urbanspoon

Frank’s Cafe

16th September 2013

I probably shouldn’t say things like this (as it’s a bit embarrassing for me), but I do think that some places make you feel cooler than others.  When there’s an atmosphere, a location, a buzz that’s exactly right and appears effortless.  

Frank’s Cafe is one of those places.  Before I continue, just get a look at this view.

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A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine called some last minute birthday drinks and so a group of us met at Frank’s on a Thursday night.  This was before autumn set in, and the evening was clear and warm.

To get there, you make your way to Peckham multi-storey carpark, and then climb all the way to the Level 6 rooftop.  It feels a little strange pacing through the concrete slopes and stairs on foot, but as soon as you come out into the open air it all makes sense.

Frank’s Cafe is open from July through to September and is part of the Bold Tendencies Sculpture Project.  This means that there are some interesting pieces of art to have a look at if you go and visit.

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The sunset and city skyline were stunning, and the wide open space was full of Londoners enjoying the late summer weather.

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There is a bar under tarpaulin which efficiently churns out drinks (I am reliably informed that you can now download an app to place your drinks order before going to pick it up) and an open grill.  The food is specials that change daily along with an assortment of finger food – sardines, olives, smoky nuts and so on.

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We sipped on Campari cocktails and snacked on hummus with hunks of bread.

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And then settled in to watch the night arrive.

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You can find the Frank’s website here.  They’re closing for the year on September 29th, so you’ve still got time to go.  

If the chill has already got into your bones and you don’t fancy wrapping up, then make sure it’s on your list for next summer!

Frank's Cafe and Campari Bar on Urbanspoon