We were in London recently because one of my husband's oldest friend's daughter was having her Bat Mizvah. The ceremony was Saturday morning, the party Sunday evening meaning we needed to arrive Friday and leave Monday. No problem, we knew we could fill all our time by seeing friends, family and eating at a lot of new places!
We decided to stay super central, at The Bloomsbury, so everything would be close by or an easy Tube ride away. And we started planning our meals over a week in advance and I am glad we did, as quite a few places were fully booked already! Still, very happy with the places we did manage to eat at, we had some great meals this time round.
First night, Friday evening, we met up with friends, D and A. I messaged D asking him if they were available and next thing I know I have a message back saying he had booked Kiln for the four of us. Guess that meant yes? ;) Kiln specialises in Northern Thai food which I enjoy so I was excited to meet D and A in Soho for the evening, well that and they are awesome company! They both love food and travel like G and I do, so we never run out of things to chat about. Great to catch up.
Here is a quick overview of the various dishes we had though there were more, we ordered most of the menu LOL. So couldn't fit them all in the collage ;) There isn't much on the menu for vegetarians I will be honest, though Kiln is up front about that and put on their menu that most of their dishes have pork and seafood in. I will write up a more detailed post but they were kind enough to rustle up an off-menu veggie jungle curry for me and my two veggie dishes tasted amazing. A lovely evening with fun friends and yummy food.
These greens were so good I ordered a second portion ;)
These banana peppers were also a win.
My jungle curry was filled with various veggies, so a surprise with every mouthful.
And the young ginger margarita was fun.
Then we popped just down the road to Princi as A feels a meal is never complete without something sweet. So we needed dessert. And we got dessert! We had been to Princi before for breakfast (need to write it up soon) and their dessert selection does not disappoint. I had the gorgeous chocolate tart.
And even though we had just eaten both D and I were eyeing up a pizza slice ;) We resisted though! They do look good.... I am unlucky with Princi, when we went for breakfast the pizzas weren't out yet and this time we had already eaten. Sigh. Maybe third time lucky?
We spent forever trying to find a place for breakfast close to our hotel, open early and not out of the way to get up to Finchley for the Bat Mitzvah. It was hard! Everything opened too late or was out of the way. Eventually we settled on The Breakfast Club in Soho. We got there and even though it was only maybe 20 minutes after opening, there was a queue of 20 odd people in front of us! We were looking at our watches, checking out the number of people in front, peering inside to see how many tables were freeing up, checking out Uber (we eventually gave up on the idea of public transport) and slightly freaking out as we had no other option at this point.
Luckily, the queue started to move, tables started turning over and we managed to have our breakfast and grab an Uber in time for the ceremony. I had a house deposit (avocado toast) and hubby went for the D.I.S.C.O. fries.
On the way in the Uber I spotted something I felt defined London, such a mix of cultures.
After the ceremony we jumped on the Tube and headed to Darjeeling Express. I had been wanting to go there forever, since the pop-up days and it did not disappoint! Detailed post to come but wow, loved the subtle use of spices. Subtle not from a flavour perspective but from the perspective that they don't throw all spices into all dishes. They pick and choose the hero spice for each dish and I love that. It defines refined Indian food for me. I loooved the potatoes as well s the lentil fritters. Yum, well done Darjeeling Express, we have already recommended that all our friends come visit :)
We totally over-ordered (and feel ashamed we couldn't finish) so we went to lie down for a few minutes before heading out east to meet up with our families. Yes, we organised it so we could see both my family and G's family at the same time :)
We met them at East London Liquor Company, another place you all need to check out! It is a distillery, bar, shop and restaurant out in East London (duh, it's in the name). It is really an awesome spot, super chilled and different. Please go visit them, love to support small businesses :)
This was my surprising cocktail, made with their own gin, they make 3 different types of gin.
So cool right? I will write more soon but go visit!
Then we headed down to Brick Lane to City Spice
as my sister is vegan and had seen they had a new vegan menu. The top left coconut with spice was good with the lime pickle on poppadums.
I had the vegan thali:
Another place we had booked in advance (and I will write up) is Yauatcha, a Michelin starred dim sum restaurant in Soho, part of the Hakkasan group. There were some amazing highs in our meal, a couple of "meh" / "ok" dishes, but some really good ones too. The cocktails we had were amazing, and I adored the spicy tofu. From the dim sum I loved the pumpkin and pine nut, as well as the chicken Shangai dumpling and the three mushrooms cheong fun. Soooooo good and don't even get me started on the dessert - my mandarin chocolate tart was out of this world.
Then we headed up to the dinner / party in Barnet, and saw all my husband's old friends. Getting out of bed to go to the airport early the next morning was rather hard...
All in all we had an amazing weekend in London and I still have loads more places I want to try there next trip. Let me know if you think of any new spots to add to my list! Drop me a comment below :)