Look at the stars

It’s that time of the week again for some mid-week wisdom. Love this quote below. I have to admit that’s one thing I really miss from living in a big city like London, not being able to see a bright sky full of stars! It’s amazing when you’re in the countryside or near the ocean and you can look at the stars and see this huge universe out there. It always makes me remember what a small part of the bigger picture we really are…

ec68d35efee4deedfd8ba03fb283a3b9 Look at the stars
I hope you all have a great rest of the week, you’re over the hump! Happy Hump Day :)


  
Leave a comment | Posted in Happy Hump Day, Quotes

Ottolenghi Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin

By now I think most of you have come to realise that I am pretty much Ottolenghi obsessed, so excuse me once again when I just can’t help myself by sharing another great recipe from his amazing (1st) cookbook: Ottolenghi, The Cookbook.

This Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin is not your average dish. The mix of savoury and sweet may seem a bit unusual but trust me the creamy sweetness of the crumble nicely offsets the savoury tones of the fennel and the acidity of the tomato to create a most comforting and delicious eating experience! I also really love fennel and it’s slight aniseed taste, plus the recipe is easy to make and you can have this ready well in advance and put it in the oven at the last minute.

image126 Ottolenghi Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin image125 Ottolenghi Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin

Ottolenghi Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin

INGREDIENTS:
1-3 fennel bulbs
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp thyme leaves, plus a few whole sprigs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp coarse sea salt & 1 tsp black pepper to season
200ml whipping cream
300g cherry tomatoes on the vine
1 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

+ for the Crumble
100g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
100g plain flour
30g caster sugar
70g cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 200C. Trim off the fennel stalks and cut each bulb lengthways in half.  Cut each half into slices.  Place in a large bowl with the olive oil, thyme leaves, garlic, salt & pepper and toss together.  Transfer to an ovenproof dish and pour the cream over the fennel.

Meanwhile combine the ingredients for the crumble topping in a bowl and rub the butter into the sugar and flour until there are no chunks of butter left. Mix the grated parmesan into the crumble mixture and then scatter evenly on top of the fennel dish.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and arrange the tomatoes on top.  Scatter a few fresh thyme springs on top and return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or unit the fennel is soft and the gratin is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a few minutes then sprinkle with chopped parsley prior to serving.

image123 Ottolenghi Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin

The sweetness of the crumble with the fennel is a great combination and makes it the perfect side dish for any roasted meat or chicken or of course just enjoy it on its own. Ahhhhh, just imagine tucking into this warm comforting dish on a chilly or rainy evening with a nice glass of red. Add this recipe to your to-cook list this winter – you can thank me later :)


  
Leave a comment | Posted in Cooking, Food, Lifestyle, Recipe

The Palomar, Soho London

The Palomar is one of the hippest new restaurants in Soho and has been high on my to-go-to list ever since it opened in June this year. It is run by two Israeli-born nightclub entrepreneurs and serves the food of modern day Jerusalem. They say their menu is influenced by the cultures of Spain, North Africa and Eastern Mediterranean.

The Palomar is a pretty small bar-restaurant with a hip but intimate vibe. As soon as you walk in you are confronted one, by the very welcoming wait staff and two, you can’t miss the long 16 seat bar/kitchen that overlooks the chefs preparing the food. The dining room at the back of the room can seat up to 40 people and the Palomar takes bookings, which is always a huge winner in my books!

image96 The Palomar, Soho London image118 The Palomar, Soho London

So I went to The Palomar recently with a friend before going to the theatre (yes, they take a 5.30pm pre-theatre booking at the bar, whoop!) The menu is based on small dishes made for sharing which suited us perfectly.

image100 The Palomar, Soho London image98 The Palomar, Soho London
image101 The Palomar, Soho London

We started off with some spiced olives (£3) and their ‘Yemeni-style’ Kubaneh bread (£5), which is a yeast baked bread in a tin. It’s tipped out in front of you while still piping hot, so you can then tear it into bite sized pieces to drunk into the rich tahini and tomato dips. A bit brioche-like in texture, absolutely delicious!

image99 The Palomar, Soho London image105 The Palomar, Soho London image106 The Palomar, Soho London

Next up we chose two items from the Raw Bar – confusingly, the dishes aren’t all raw, but are served cold; the Salmon Tartare (£8.5) with aubergine 2 ways. yoghurt, pine nuts & parsley and the Fattoush salad (£8) with tomato, cucumber, za’atar, sumac, pita croutons & homemade labneh. The Salmon Tartare was incredible and looked so pretty! I love raw salmon and the soft smokey aubergine puree went with it perfectly. The Fattoush salad was simple but tasty.

image103 The Palomar, Soho London image104 The Palomar, Soho London image102 The Palomar, Soho London

Following this we had two picks from the Stove part of the menu;  the Seared scallops (£12.5) with cured lemon beurre blanc, swiss chard easy over, Jerusalem artichoke & hazelnut tuille and the Pork belly Tajine (£14) with Ras el Hanout, dried apricots & Israeli couscous.

Both huge hits in our books. The scallops were soft and that hazelnut tuille, yum! The pork belly tajine was rich, sweet, sticky and spicy all at once and was a pretty decent sized dish as it came with lots of flavourful fluffy couscous.

image109 The Palomar, Soho London image107 The Palomar, Soho London image110 The Palomar, Soho London image111 The Palomar, Soho London

Because we were seated at the bar we saw the chefs preparing a lot of the food (while chatting to us in the meantime) and some of the other dishes on the menu, like the Shakshukit (deconstructed kebab with minced meat, yoghurt & tahini) and the Labenah tortellini with butternut squash cream, tomatoes, confit garlic & mange tout looked delicious too. Oh well, for us (or you) to try next time!

We were actually quite happily full at this point but decided we couldn’t resist dessert. After a bit of a discussion with the chef’s on recommendations we decided on the Malabi Rose-scented milk pudding (£7) raspberry coulis, coconut meringue pistachio crunch, fresh raspberries & kataifi and the Chocolate Cremeux (£7) Puffed rice crunch, pomegranate coulis, cocoa tuile & almond streusel.

image113 The Palomar, Soho London image115 The Palomar, Soho London image114 The Palomar, Soho London image116 The Palomar, Soho London

And WOW, both of these were absolutely insane. I have to admit that the rose-scented milk pudding wasn’t sounding like a winner to me initially but with the crunchy topping and the fresh berries it was soft and refreshing and not to overpowering on the rose flavour. The chocolate dessert however sounded like a true champion from the start and didn’t fail to impress! It was a true melt-in-your-mouth chocolate pudding and one of the best desserts I’ve enjoyed in a little while.

image112 The Palomar, Soho London

All together we had a great evening at The Palomar. The staff was all very friendly, helpful and fun and seem to have a real passion for what they do. The food was delicious, of a very high standard and culinarily exciting. Plus I think it was good value for money because the sharing plates were of a decent size and after enjoying all these dishes we were actually super-duper full, but happy I must add. Think this is one new restaurant in London you will just have to try. NOPI (by Ottolenghi) has always been a huge favourite in my books for Soho, but would have to say the Palomar is now topping very high in that list too.

The Palomar
34 Rupert Street,
W1D 6DN, London
Phone: 020 7439 8777
www.thepalomar.co.uk


  
2 Comments | Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Restaurants

Grow…

Hooray, it’s midweek again! I already hinted last week that there was lots going on in my life at the moment and I can now confirm that one of those things is CHANGE. I accepted a new job at the end of last week and looking to start in early November. As much as I’ve enjoyed working for my current company – I felt I really needed to keep challenging myself and therefore that meant change to allow myself to grow.

e585bbbc999189143a67702cebfa3a9d Grow...

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” ~ Gail Sheehy

I’m really looking forward to the change and challenges ahead and I am excited to start another chapter in my life with this new job. Here’s to change and growing! Happy Hump Day everyone :)


  
1 Comment | Posted in Happy Hump Day, Quotes

Recent Smokey Eye Makeup Look

Hello, I hope you all had a great weekend! Mine was really good but as usual it flew by too quickly. On Saturday night I had a friends leaving party so got glammed up a bit – it had actually been a while since I’d done a smokey eye so thought I’d quickly share my smokey eye makeup look of the night. Sorry just iPhone pictures as was in a rush to get out of the door for dinner!

image95 Recent Smokey Eye Makeup Look image94 Recent Smokey Eye Makeup Look

Products used – Face: NARS Oil-Free Pro Prime, Pore Refining Primer // MAC Studio Finish concealer in NC20 // Estee Lauder Perfectionist Foundation in 2C3 Fresco – it’s new and I am loving it, the formula is so silky and smooth // Bourjois Maxi Delight Bronzer (review here) – still my everyday go-to bronzer, my pan is almost empty so I better repurchase it again soon //  NARS Orgasm Blush, applied to apples of my cheeks.

Eyes: Nicka K NewYork Perfecting Eyeshadow Primer (as found in my July GlossyBox) // MAC Paintpot in blackground, applied with my fingers as a base to my eyelid // MAC Club eyeshadow, applied all over my lid and blended into the crease. Club is such an amazing green/brown eye shadow and is perfect for creating a simple smokey eye. I did a video tutorial on a very similar look a few years ago actually, you can see that HERE // MAC Dazzlelight eyeshadow, applied to tear duct and underneath the brow bone as a highlight // Lined my waterline with Estee Lauder Pure Color Kajal Eyeliner in blackened black and then smudged it out along the lower lash line with more MAC Club eyeshadow // L’Oreal Superliner Perfect Slim – Black Intense, applied to upper lash line // Smashbox Eye Brightening Mascara applied after curling eyelashes with MAC lash curler.

Oh and earrings by Maison Miru – as seen here. Do you like this simple Smokey Eye Makeup Look?


  
1 Comment | Posted in Beauty, FOTN, MAKE UP LOOKS, Smokey Eye