Wednesday, 28 January 2015

EXPLORING LONDON | HOMESLICE



Just looking at these photos is making me crave another one of these pizzas so bad! Having previously tried Franco Manca in Brixton, Homeslice had a lot of living up to do in the pizza department! We went what we thought was super early and arriving before 12.30 for lunch, it was already full! After a short wait, we were taken to a table and told the menu was on the wall. Having forgotton my glasses, Daley had to read the menu out to me which was a little frustrating as I like to read through a menu a good ten times before deciding! We went for a 50/50 pizza, with my half as butternut squash, blue cheese, watercress and crispy onions, and Daley's half as salami, rocket and Parmesan. The waiting was like torture as we watched the people on the table next to us finish off the most humungous pizza - seriously the biggest I've ever seen, and it looked and smelled just delicious! So, when ours arrived, we definitely were not disappointed!...




As you can see from the photos, the pizza took up very nearly the whole table expect the corners for our drinks! And because of this you're given paper plates, so that if you did drop one to the floor due to lack of space, there would be no smashed plates! It was a fun concept but quite hard eat at first as there was no where to put your slice and paper plate down once you've cut it other than on top of the pizza which made the plates greasy to hold. However, one I'd *attempted* to eat my first huge slice, my hands were covered in pizza so cleanliness went out of the window...! Whilst Daley is a folder, my method of pizza eating is less perfected and so just try my best to aim for my mouth dropping as little pizza as possible! Because with a taste like this pizza, wastage is a no no, as both toppings were just simply perfect!
Starting with my butternut squash and blue cheese topping, I was surprised to see no tomato on the base, just expecting the butternut to be in chunks across the pizza. But, as a squash worshiper, it was heavenly! The sweetness and mellow flavour of the butternut, combined with the tang of blue cheese, the crisp of the onions and the peppery flavour of the watercress, made a little but oh so amazing party for my tastebuds! On to Daley's half of salami, you could definitely taste the perfected base more clearly with this. I'm not saying it was more bland, just that the tomato highlighted the flavour of the dough rather than maybe slightly overpowering it like with the butternut. I was a teeny bit disappointed with the amount of salami when thinking about the pizzas price, but when you did catch a bite of it, it was nice strong flavour and softness so it tore easily when biting - no one likes a toppingless pizza after it all gets pulled off with the first mouthful! The addition of Parmesan added a touch more saltiness and cheesiness which is of course a bonus!




Homeslice is definitely a place I would recommend for any one visiting or living around the area! It's based in a cute little place called Neal's Yard, which is a lovely place to take a peak in to to get away from the hustle and bustle of the Seven Dials / Covent Garden area! And so, the perfect place for this delicious, relaxed pizza restaurant! I will hopefully be visiting Pizza East and Pizza Pilgrim soon too, so keep an eye out if you want to see how I think they fare compared to Homeslice!

To check out the Homeslice website for the menu or how to find the restaurant, click here.

P.S. Outfit posts coming very soon, I promise!

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

EXPLORING LONDON | SUSHI NO MAI



Having tried and been impressed by the Ramen here, we decided to take a trip back to Sushi No Mai to try out some of the other dishes. With the famous "Grandpa Sushi" as chef who used to work at Selfridges as the master sushi maker, I decided to go for his specialty - sushi, of course! I chose the Edomae Set, as it seemed to have a bit of everything including the classic tuna and salmon pieces but also some I'd never tried before including sea bass and eel. I liked that you can see everything being made fresh from where you sit too, and that it's much more clean, modern and warm than your average market food court! Each piece of fish was super fresh and tender, and the wasabi had a kick and a half. As a spice and heat lover, even my eyes watered a little as the green paste hit the spot! My surprise favourite of the set was the eel, which I've never fancied before, thinking it would be overpoweringly fishy tasting and chewy. However, it had a really nice flaky texture and a subtle, almost smoked fish flavour. Definitely something different to try if you see it on a sushi menu!




What's your favourite sushi restaurant? Have you ever tried and loved eel sushi? If not, what's your favourite sushi piece? Let me know in the comments!

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Saturday, 17 January 2015

EXPLORING LONDON | BANANA TREE



Yes, another Ramen I'm blogging about (see the last post here)! But I see Ramen on a menu, and I just can't help it! We were on a mission for sushi, but finding the place we were planning on going to was closed and our belly's hungry for some sort of Asian cuisine we headed towards Banana Tree. Compared to it's neighbour, Wagamama, it always looks quite empty but the menu near the door tempted us in! The place is quite similar to Wagamama with it's long sharing tables, but there was the option of single tables too which we liked and decided to sit on. However, we quickly moved after being sat next to an unfortunately very smelly man!




With a fresh space (get it? get it?! poor pun use, Laura) we looked through the menu. It was filled with a whole load of delicious sounding plates but on discovering a whole section dedicated to noodles it was then easy choice, The Banana Tree Laksa. As you can see from the photos, it looked a lot like one of the Wagamama noodle bowl dishes, but what I really enjoyed about Banana Tree's version was the added ingredients of tofu and aubergine rather than the usual lone beansprout mound! The tofu was especially the surprise of the dish, as I usually find it super bland, but it just soaked up all the flavours so well. The soup base was a lovely smooth coconut livened up with a good spicy tang, with the flavour even through out the bowl - I quite often find noodle soups tasteless at the top and too strong at the bottom. My friend's choice of Banana Tree Spiced Noodles looked equally delicious and made me rather jealous with all her "mmmmmm" noises! If my noodles aren't submerged in soup, a thick coating of sauce like with this dish is the next best thing.





Anyone preferring to stick to a chain Thai restaurant but wanting to go for a lesser known but tastier version of one, this is the place for you! Have you visited Banana Tree before? What's your favourite dish if you have?

We visited the Watford Restaurant, but to find other locations or view the menu, click here.

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Monday, 5 January 2015

WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS 2014



Being kind of nosey, I've been loving seeing bloggers What I Got For Christmas posts and Youtube videos! So thought I'd do one of my own. I couldn't believe the amount of things some people got, but nonetheless I was over the moon with my little pile of presents I got to unwrap Christmas day (and after, due to the late online purchases made by Daley)! I loved every one of my presents, and am very grateful for each and every gift I was given. I did get a few other little gifts except what I've photoed here including lots of sweets and chocolates (of course!), and also some gorgeous earrings from Accessorize and an independent shop in Netherlands, but my camera wouldn't focus on the teeny details unfortunately so have left them out. But anyway, here's what I got...


Instax Mini 8: I've wanted one of these for so long, and am always wanting to get my Instagram photos printed, so was super happy when I kinda-mighta guessed that Daley had ordered me one of these! It was one of the presents that arrived late which I was a little sad about as I would have loved to have taken some shots Christmas Day. My house is currently an IKEA showroom so am looking forward to getting enough of the little photos taken to make it feel a little more homely!


Leon Cookbooks and La Chinata Paprika: I've been in to Oliver Bonas many times to have a flick through the Leon Cookbooks, and after seeing these mini versions I knew they were the perfect thing to add to my Christmas list. I went for the Fast Suppers and One Pot, as anything that involves minimal effort and washing up yet still super tasty is obviously a good thing! The paprika might seem like a random present, but it's like THE KEY ingredient in our favourite dinner! Maybe one day I'll do a little cookery post showing how to make it, as it's daaayum delicious!


Two Flights To Holland: My sister moved over to Holland a couple of years ago, but even with the best intentions to go, we've not yet made it over! But with the gift of flights over, we've already been planning on things to do while we're over there, with the recent travel guide from What Olivia Did being keenly noted. If any of you have any places to visit between Amsterdam and Nijmegen, then please let me know!


Cath Kidston Kitchen Accessories and Daisy Dream: You know you've grown up when you ask for a tray and tea towels for Christmas with no use other than for display purposes. I find it so weird that I love colourful girly pieces for the home but when it comes to my wardrobe it's all monochrome as y'all know! I could buy the whole homeware section of Cath Kidston, and currently have the matching tins to the tea towel on my Birthday list! And my new favourite perfume, the deeeelicious Daisy Dream scent by Marc Jacobs! I love just about all the MJ fragrences, so was more than happy to add this one to the collection.


Koala Cushion and Socks: If anyone knows me well enough, they'll know that no Christmas is complete with something koala themed. This cushion is actually super soft, and since Christmas has helped me sleep like a baby! And the socks, well, when doesn't someone need a new pair?! Especially when they're as cute as these!


Cat Themed Minis: Like with the above, my obsession with cats means that I now seem to receive something cat themed at every occasion! Although I have a million lip balms, these super adorable Paperchase ones are a welcome addition to my make up bag. The image of kitties will be kept until next year where it will take pride of place on our fireplace as it is simply the most perfect festive image there is!


Topshop Dress and French Connection and Whistles Jumpers: On to the clothes. I actually only received the Topshop dress as a present, and it is such a flattering style. It skims my Christmas food baby nicely without being baggy and the over lay of the top half of the dress makes it look like a co-ord, which I luurrve! The two jumpers I picked up with some Christmas money from the sales at Whistles and French Connection! Sometimes I love getting a little money to spend in the sales as it means I can get twice as many things!


Zara Oversized Roll Neck: Last but by no means least, this gorgeous Roll Neck Knit from Zara. I'd mentioned it in a previous wishlist and convinced my Dad to buy it for me when I came across it in the Norwich store after it sold out online. Although I'm sure he would have kindly given it to me there and then, I offered to hold off on wearing the beauty until Christmas *wonders to myself why I offered such a thing*! Seriously the cosiest jumper I own, and the oversized shape and split sides make it just perfection in knit form.

Did you get anything for Christmas you'd like to share? I'd love to hear what you all got, so do let me know!

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