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- Lucky 7 Diner in Notting Hill
- Be afraid, but do it anyway. Live anyway!
- How do you like them apples?
- Watermelon, Feta and Basil Skewers
- Brunch at Daisy Green, Marble Arch London
- Good friends..
- What I’ve been reading..
- Look at the stars
- Ottolenghi Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin
- The Palomar, Soho London
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Category Archives: Food
Burgers are quite the it concept in the restaurant and foodie industry at the moment. Diners, burger joints and street stalls have pretty much popped up all over London in the last few years. However one burger place that’s had a cult following for years is the Lucky 7 Diner in Notting Hill.
Lucky 7 Diner part of Tom Conran’s restaurant empire, with the others being Crazy Homies (one of my favourite mexican places), gastropub The Cow and Tom’s Deli – all of which are located in Notting Hill. Lucky 7 is a great little diner that’s actually very authentic to how they are in the USA. It’s pretty tiny and only has 6 booths, each seats around 4-6 so that means you will need to share if you are 2 or 3 people. They are known for their great American- style breakfasts (by that I mean delicious pancakes and huevos rancheros) plus their kick-ass 100% Aberdeen Angus Burgers!
Here some pictures from a recent (late night) visit to Lucky 7 after a few too many drinks at the Westbourne! We’d had a friends leaving drinks at the pub and decided we really needed food and by that I mean of the greasy kind ;) I got the Kalifornian Burger which comes with bacon, cheese, roasted tomato and sour cream. Plus lots of sweet potato fries of course. And ohmigosh it definitely hit the spot….
Oh and while you’re there, definitely do check out their milkshakes, which can also be ordered “super thick’ and with extras such as peanut butter and oreo cookies blitzed in!! Ahhh dreaming of a peanut butter milkshake now, damn ;)
Lucky 7 Diner is a proper American looking and tasting diner in the heart of Notting Hill and I recommend a visit for either breakfast and/or dinner! Plus it is conveniently situated right next to Crazy Homies. So after you finish your burger, you can stop by next door for some super strong margaritas?
Lucky 7 Diner
127 Westbourne Park Road
London, W2 5QL
Phone: 020 7727 6771
These super delicious Watermelon, Feta and Basil skewers are a perfect warm weather party pleaser. I actually made them for my birthday back in August, and I’ve been meaning to blog about them & share the recipe with you all for the last two months but I just didn’t get around to it. Sorry, because here in the northern hemisphere we are now hitting winter, but for my Southern Hemisphere readers out there – definitely add this little beauty of a canapé recipe to your summer to-make list!
Fresh, sweet watermelon and feta cheese are a match made in food heaven and balance each other so well because of the salty-sweet combo. And the addition of basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar makes it even more delicious. Plus you can prepare these bites in minutes and it’s refreshing, light and healthy!
Watermelon, Feta and Basil Skewers
Block of feta cheese (handy little tip: pop your feta into the freezer an hour before you’re ready to use it–this makes it easy to cube and keeps it from crumbling on your skewer)
Bunch of fresh basil leaves
Reduced balsamic vinegar (optional, not in my photos)
Cut the chilled watermelon into approximately 5cm cubes. And cut the feta carefully into similar sized cubes–being careful not to crush or crumble it. On a small skewer assemble the canapé by stacking a cube of watermelon, feta cheese and fresh basil. Continue until all are assembled. Then lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.
So simple but oh so tasty! The combination of watermelon and feta actually also works really well as a refreshing salad – for example THIS recipe is a real winner! Have you ever tried this combination of sweet and salty before?
I recently discovered a great new brunch spot in London – Daisy Green in Marble Arch! This quirky little cafe was recommended to me by a friend of mine. And it turns out that quite a few of my friends actually know the Aussie born owner Prue Freeman. Prue gave up her legal career to follow her foodie dreams to set up Daisy Green. I truly admire that kind of courage, because really it’s secretly my dream too – to one day open my own cafe….
She actually started Daisy Green originally in a 1975 Ford Transit called “Pinky”, selling frozen yogurt on the streets of London & at festivals and events. But now she’s got a great cafe in Portman Village / Marble Arch, plus also a smaller versions called ‘Beany Green‘ serving artisan coffee and treats from funky ‘hole in the wall’ locations based in Paddington/Little Venice and Southbank. In her cafes Prue’s aim is to bring quality, health, personality and love to the streets of London.
This weekend after our Saturday morning Running Club session we all made our way to Daisy Green for a post-exercise brunch. I love the quirky design and features of the cafe – it definitely looks like a happy place don’t you think?
We started with coffee and juices while we all tried to decide what to order from the Aussie Brunch menu – I mean it all sounded so damn delicious. And while we waited for our food to arrive, some of us just couldn’t resist entertaining joking around with the wwabbit head in the cafe! ;)
OK enough silliness…..Let’s eat brunch shall we?
Some of the dishes that we ordered: AVOCADO w labne & lime on dark rye + with an added poached egg (that was me, an easy guess right?) // Broccoli and corn fritters with avocado and a poached egg // The summer salad with quinoa, samphire, cucumber, sun blushed tomatoes, avocado and seeds + with added bacon and a poached egg // two organic free range eggs (poached in this cafe) with tomato on sourdough + side of avocado and bacon.
Other dishes on the menu I will have to try next time at Daisy Green are the Shakshouka baked eggs (PS: check out my two of my personal winning baked egg recipes HERE and HERE) and the homemade Maple granola w thick yogurt, seasonal fruits & coconut flakes – yummy!
Daisy Green is also known for it’s own homemade Banana Bread so we couldn’t resist also ordering ‘Marco’s Famous Banana Bread Sandwich’ to share. Think delicious freshly baked banana bread with honey, whipped cream and fresh berries! Oeh la la it was gooooooood.
We had a great time at Daisy Green and loved the food, vibe and super friendly service. I will definitely be back :) Will you go and check it out?
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.
Ottolenghi Fennel Cherry Tomato and Crumble Gratin
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
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.
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 :)
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
34 Rupert Street,
W1D 6DN, London
Phone: 020 7439 8777