Here’s our weekly diary of what the Bunch have been eating and drinking this week…
Bella: What better way to celebrate the big birthday of a Boozy Buncher than with a pub crawl? Well with Grant’s birthday providing the excuse, we donned some yellow, and/or selfie glasses, and hit the circle line. The rules are simple: 27 pubs, half pint in each pub, take the circle line between pubs. Those who kept up with our antics on Twitter or Facebook will know that while a few of us (mostly me) didn’t keep to these rules (I kept to none of them, it’s just how I roll) there were an intrepid few who followed them all with aplomb, even adding an extra stop at the end to take the crawl to Sanj. Special mention to Andrew for the excellent planning and Daniel for the amazing corralling of people and Grant for being born *cough* number of years ago. Thanks to all of the following pubs, in order, for putting up with our varying levels of drunkenness/charm: The Betjeman Arms; The Castle Farringdon; The Jugged Hare; The Globe; The Merchant; The Hoop and Grapes; The Liberty Bounds; The Folly; All Bar One Cannon Street; The Sugar Loaf; The Blackfriar; Walkabout Temple; Sherlock Holmes; The Red Lion; Old Star; Wetherspoons Victoria; The Botanist; Hoop and Toy; Stanhope; Greyhound; Old Swan; Bayswater Arms; The Mad Bishop & Bear; The Green Man; The Metropolitan Bar; The Albany; The Crown and Anchor and The Star of Kings.
Jules: I toured the Decorative Arts Fair in Battersea Park with a friend and after that we were in the mood for wine and some decent food. Cue The Mason’s Arms. It’s my favourite pub in that neck of the woods. It has a very friendly atmosphere (even when a game is on) and the food is really yummy. Review will be up here shortly, but until then feast your eyes on this lovely picture of a Sunday Veggie Roast.
Grant: After surviving a 28-pub pub crawl on Saturday, I definitely needed Sunday to recover. And with the doom and gloom weather Monday brought, I decided Ramen would be a treat, so I headed to Kanada-Ya in Haymarket to give their truffle ramen a try (I mean it did get an honorable mention in Ramen Wars…). Now I’m not usually a fan of the tonkotsu broth, but even I have to admit that this broth was amazing. It was rich without being fatty and leaving that horrible oiliness in your mouth that I get with other tonkotsu broths. And the truffle running through it just added that extra depth of flavor. The pork and egg were amazing (maybe the best egg I’ve had in London). This may have topped my ramen list in London, but I want to double check by having a regular ramen (well, maybe with added spicy miso paste).
Vicky: I’m lucky to be enjoying some yoga and sunshine in Ko Samui and visited Mama Ju at Ko Seng for some home cooked Thai food. You dine at the same time as her family and she’d wander in and out of the kitchen to have a chat with everyone. She even gave me some mango to take home! The picture below is her favorite fish, fried prawns with a sweet tamarind sauce. It hits the sweet and sour spot perfectly with the sticky sauce and very crispy prawn.
Yee Gan: I’ve found good small plates restaurants in London hard to come by. However, I ate at a real gem this week with Emma and my sister. The Manor in Clapham packed flavour into every dish, balancing salt, sweet, sour, bitter and crunch. Having 13 dishes to eat was therefore a bonus! Watch out for a full review soon.
Bella: Some of us Boozy Bunchers understand the value of extended birthday celebrations, the birthday week, the birthday month, the pre and post birthday month (that last one might just be me) and so Thursday brought another opportunity to celebrate Grant in this, his birthday week. The evening began in Map Maison with some very interesting cocktails on offer. One of the more adventurous of the group tried the Black Sea which was Vodka, Mint, Blackberries, Crandberry Juice, Olive Oil and Lemon served with squid ink seaweed and salmon roe.
We then moved on to Lucky Chip Burgers and Wine. The Burger of the Month was the Bill Murray Life Aquatic surf and turf burger. Aged beef patty, American cheese, soft shell crab, guacamole, ginger sweet chilli and spicy mayo. Needless to say we all ordered and enjoyed that immensely. The spicy mayo cheese fries were also excellent. Not being a wine drinker you will have to wait for the full review to hear about the amazing wines on offer (or no longer on offer because our table bought the last bottle) but I can confirm that the wine drinkers had super happy faces throughout and were making plans to return. The birthday sorbet and prosecco with a candle in it was a lovely touch. Happy birthday Grant!
Linzi: My boyfriend and I have a silly habit of counting all our monthly anniversaries and this was our 11th month together. To celebrate we decided on dinner at this little tapas bar on Salusbury Road, Caldo Bar and Kitchen. We were pleasantly surprised by how fantastic the vegetarian options were and could have exclusively ordered from that part of the menu. However, the shining star of the meal was the seafood gratin in a brandy, Jerez and saffron sauce. My god! It was heaven on a plate and pure buttery goodness. Stay tuned for a full review to come.
Reviews from the week…
Did you catch Jules trying out Oriole, the new cocktail bar from the team behind The Nightjar? How about Vicky’s brave tasting of a pig’s eyeball at Shotgun, the latest addition to London’s BBQ scene? We’ve also checked out some international cuisines for you with Ukrainian-Russian food at Baltic and Nepalese dumplings at Mazi Mas, while two lunch Bunchers got to hang out in Michelin-starred chef Matt Gillan’s kitchen!
Have you got any foodie highlights to share from the last 7 days? Or maybe you’ve tried one of our favourites? Let us know in the comments below! Who knows, the Bunch might just check out your suggestions for a future review…