Macellaio RC, Bankside

Even though most of the recipes I post on this blog happen to be vegetarian/vegan (thank my laziness and love of vegetables for that), I do love a good steak.

Preferably one that’s been seared to rare, smokey perfection by a pro (aka. not me).

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

In my quest of London’s best, I had heard much praise about the Macellaio RC ‘butchery with tables’ mini group.

Many of my Italian friends had named it as their favourite restaurant in London. No small fate.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

In true Italian spirit, Macellaio RC is all about simple dishes made incredible through a dedication to the excellence of Italian produce.

In the franchise founder’s own words, “Macellaio Roberto Costa […] aspires to be a praise to the animal, but above all to the work of the artisan farmers that devote their lives to this passionate world”.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The restaurants themselves, set up as modern, welcoming, warm Italian trattoria, mirrors this objective.

With brick wall, wooden accents, a myriade of trinkets reflecting the diversity of Italian crafts, big windows looking into the ‘meat room’, an open-air Ligurian bakery and a stage dedicated to butchery and carving, the Union Street restaurant looks like a dining theatre dedicated to the cult of good food.

Wanting to make the most of it all, we went for a bit of everything…

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Starting with salami and house-made, cloud-like focaccia, drenched in super fruity olive oil.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And a couple of glasses of good Italian wine, of course!

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

We then tried Macellaio RC Union Street’s specialty – the pissa.

A form of pizza originating from 15th century Genova, the pissa dough is made from very strong flour and risen at cold temperature for 60 to 90 hours, resulting in a super crispy thin crust.

Topped with just a smearing of cream, it’s the perfect little nibble before moving onto the main event.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The meat!

Being a greedy little French girl, I couldn’t resist the tartare.

Served very simply with Tuscan extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, it allows the quality of the Fassona breed beef to shine.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

But the true star of the show – Macellaio signature Fiorentina T-Bone steak.

Aged for 6-8 weeks, butchered and grilled in house and served with fluffy triple-cooked chips, it’s a meat lover’s dream come true.

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Cooked to perfection, with crispy fat on the edges and deep, smokey-umami flavours…

The rumors were true – London’s best steak is at Macellaio’s!

Steak night at Macellaio RC, Bankside ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

After that beast of a meal, you might be tempted to skip pudding.

Don’t. Get the basil panna cotta. It’s light and fresh, wonky in all the right ways and an absolute must-try.

Be-leaf me!

Macellaio RC Union Street, Arch 24, 229 Union Street, London SE1 0LR

What else to do/see/eat in Bankside?

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside

Exploring London’s Bankside

Padella Pasta

Autumn cocktails at TwoRuba

I dinned as a guest of the restaurant for this visit.

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Macellaio RC, Bankside

French apple turnovers

As a child, my favourite day of the year was the much-anticipated family trip to one of the gigantic superstores for our annual back-to-school shopping trip.

Beautiful new notebooks. Pens in every colour of the rainbow and the fountain pen I had been dreaming of for month. And -best of all- the promise of warm-from-the-oven classic apple turnovers for le goûter.

It truly was the most wonderful time of the year!

French apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + WhiskyFrench apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + Whisky

My schoolyears are now far behind me but my love for the puffed up little pockets of autumn joy of my childhood remain.

French apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Light, crisp, buttery, filled with warm cinnamon sprinkled apple and just so goddamn apple-ing!

French apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + Whisky French apple turnovers ● Recipe ● Cake + Whisky

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The ultimate fall snack and the perfect accompaniment to a nice cuppa!

More fall recipes

My favourite squash soup (VE)

Butternut squash pasta bake (V)

Apple & black pudding sausage rolls

Halloween monster brookies (V)

French apple turnovers

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside

Bankside is one of my favourite parts of London.

Home to the fantastic Borough Market and some of my favourite restaurants in the city, Bankside is a fantastic destination for dinner and weekend meanderings alike.

And in October, things are getting even more exciting along the Lowline with the launch of the Bankside School of Food and Wine!

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

To celebrate Bankside’s emerging food scene, various venues are holding a range of food and drink workshops.

From doughnut making to butchery classes, chocolate workshops and mixology lessons, there’s a lot to choose from.

But you know me, I’m never one to say no to a good cocktail!

Which is how I found myself in Mark’s Bar at Hixter Bankside for a hands-on British cocktail masterclass.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

After a Hix Fix (a delicious mix of cherry liquor and English sparkling wine and the best selling cocktail across all Hix restaurants) on arrival, it was time to get down to cocktail-mixing business!

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

First things first – a quick refresher on the history of cocktails, must-know techniques used in cocktail making and of course, the provenance of the spirits!

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

Much like for the food, the approach to cocktail making focuses on local, seasonal ingredients such as Black Cow vodka – the world’s only Pure Milk Vodka™.

Made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows in West Dorset, it makes for an exceptionally smooth vodka with a unique creamy character.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

After eagerly tucking into delicious bar snax (the signature Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers is an absolute must-order!), it was time to recreate some of Mark’s Bar’s renowned cocktails.

First up on the cocktail menu – the Dorset Donkey (a British take on the classic Moscow Mule).

Made with the freshest seasonal produce (blueberries in the summer, blackberries in fall and preserved Morello cherries in the colder months), it’s a great drink to mix for impromptu guests any time of the year.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

All you have to do is crush a couple of Morello cherries and sage leaves at the bottom of a highball glass.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + WhiskyA British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

Top with 20ml lime juice, 50ml Black Cow vodka, 10ml cherry brandy and 15ml honey or sugar syrup.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

Fill the highball glass with ice cubes.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

Top with ginger ale.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + WhiskyA British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

Garnish with a Morello cherry and 2 sage leaves and you’re all done!

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

Substitute the sage for orange peel, add a cinnamon stick and you’ll have yourself a smashing Christmas cocktail.

The perfect way to get into the holiday spirits!

Unless of course you’re more of an Espresso martini kind of gal/guy!

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

I have it on good authority that Mark’s Bar serves one of the best in London.

So might as well learnt from the masters!

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

It’s actually not that difficult either.

For 1 glass, you’ll need:

  • 50ml Black Cow vodka
  • 50ml fresh ground coffee or a double espresso
  • 35ml honey or sugar syrup
  • coffee beans to garnish

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

Pour all the ingredients into the smaller half of a shaker, add cubed ice and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

Strain into a champagne coupe and garnish with three coffee beans.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside ● Cake + Whisky

A brew-tiful drink indeed and one well worth learning for yourself!

A inspirational gift or a unique way to celebrate Christmas with colleagues (beats the canapé buffet anyday!), Hixter’s British Cocktail Masterclass will whisky any cocktail lover away! (just remember to book ahead!)

Mark’s Bar at Hixter Bankside, 16 Great Guildford St, London SE1 0HS

*I attended the Hixter cocktail masterclass as a guest of the restaurant and Better Bankside. All words, pictures and love of eau de vie marinated cherries my own.

A British cocktail masterclass at Hixter Bankside

Autumn cocktails at TwoRuba

It’s getting cold and crisp outside, and the weekend’s almost there…

You know what that mean – time’s just right for some Autumn cocktails.

Luckily, I know just the place.

TwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + Whisky

Nestled inside the Hilton London Tower Bridge hotel, TwoRuba’s has quite the reputation for serving the best crafted cocktails in the area.

TwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + WhiskyTwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + Whisky

Their new autumn menu definitely holds up to that reputation.

Filled with expertly crafted seasonal creations and twists on the classics, it’s filled with perfectly balanced and innovative concoctions.

And when it comes to naming their creative elixirs, the team doesn’t shy away from a good pun – just the way to my heart!

TwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + Whisky

So what will it be?

Scary Mary? Autumn Lady (a gin sour with a ginger kick) ? Or the ever elusive, unicorn-worthy Rainbow cocktail?

TwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + WhiskyTwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + WhiskyTwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + Whisky

Orange juice, grenadine, vodka and curaçao, beautifully layered into a tall glass.

TwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + Whisky

And garnished with delicate flowers to create the most ranunculus-ly gorgeous drink I’ve ever seen.

TwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + WhiskyTwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + Whisky

Having tried my hands at recreating the above wonder, I can confirm it’s not quite as easy as the pros make it seem.

TwoRuba ● London cocktail bar ● Cake + Whisky

So better leave it to TwoRuba’s to make your fall Fridays rainbow and unicorns kind of days!

TwoRuba, Hilton London Tower Bridge, 5 Tooley St, London SE1 2BY

More things to do by the River

A walk along the Thames

Exploring London’s Bankside

Padella

Shopping at the Borough Market

Autumn cocktails at TwoRuba

Butternut squash pasta bake (V)

I don’t care what so-called health experts say: carbs are the best.

And when it comes to speedy but satisfying dinners, nothing beats a pasta bake.

Butternut squash pasta bake ● Autumn recipe ● Cake + WhiskyButternut squash pasta bake ● Autumn recipe ● Cake + Whisky

Proof if you ever needed one – this butternut squash pasta bake.

Butternut squash pasta bake ● Autumn recipe ● Cake + WhiskyButternut squash pasta bake ● Autumn recipe ● Cake + Whisky

The very definition of seasonal (roasted butternut squash! sage!), it’s one of those dishes that somehow manage to reach the perfect balance between healthy (hello, loads of veggies and whole-grain carbs!) and comforting.

And, best of all, it can be made in advance and is super easy to put together – absolutely no Gourd-on Ramsay skills required!

No-nonsense, nutrient-packed… Gourd-geous autumn dinner made simple!

Butternut squash pasta bake ● Autumn recipe ● Cake + Whisky

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Butternut squash pasta bake ● Autumn recipe ● Cake + Whisky

More fall recipes

The best squash soup (VE)

Apple & black pudding sausage rolls

Pumpkin spice latte (V)

Halloween monster cookies (V)

Butternut squash pasta bake (V)

Monty’s Deli

My idea of the perfect autumn Sunday is the absolute Instagram cliché: brunch, golden autumn light, a bit of a walk and fresh blooms .

The BF has a more novel approach – preferably one that’d involve Netflix, chill and some sort of sandwich.

Yesterday, we both got our way.

We started things off at the ever bloomin’ lovely Columbia Road Flower Market, where we purchased several plants to complete our ever-growing flat jungle.

Then we headed off to Monty’s Deli for lunch.

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + WhiskyMonty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

The restaurant itself is very Jewish-deli meets London East-End.

There are walls stripped of their plaster covers to reveal the original tiles underneath, gorgeous black-and-white checked floors big booths for dinner with family & friends and a long bar that’s perfect for solo visits.

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + WhiskyMonty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

The second you pass the door, you’re greeted by the fantastically friendly team.

The comforting smell of salt beef and sauerkraut lingers in the air, attesting to Monty’s Deli dedication to all-things home-made.

One of the only places in Britain to make their own salt beef and pastrami, Monty’s Deli is proud to produce everything by hand.

They bake the bagels and the rye bread, they cure the meat, they even make the mustard!

And results for all those efforts clearly show.

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

The smoked salmon bagel board is a lesson in the value of simple things done to perfection.

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

A dense, crusty, sesame-speckled bagel, served with just the right amount (e.i. too much) of cream cheese, salty smoked salmon and a few other bits on the side.

It’s the masterclass in simplicity.

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Especially when served with a serving of cooling, dill and sour cream-ladden cucumber salad on the side.

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Even better yet – the pastrami Reuben.

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Thinly-sliced pastrami, kraut, Swiss cheese, mustard and Russian dressing sandwiched inbetween two slices of toasted rye bread…

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Though it’s not quite as epic looking as Katz’s Deli‘s version, Monty’s take on the classic sandwich is positively Reuben-esque!

Monty's Deli ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

And then of course, there’s the cloud-like cheesecake… Not much of a looker but actually berry special!

Hospitable service, attention to detail and superb-in-its-simplicity food… Monty’s Deli is a brilliant example of what Jewish tradition is all about.

Not to mention that they take reservations and that yes, the sandwiches can be taken away too if you want to make the most of the last fo the autumn sun!

Monty’s Deli, 227-229 Hoxton St, London N1 5LG

Monty’s Deli

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass

I’m a breakfast-for-every-meal sort of girl.

Most days, that means endless slices of buttered toast and bottomless cups of tea.

But my prefered option remains a cooked breakfast or -even better yet- an egg-focused brunch feast.

Now, I know brunch has been taking the restaurant world by storm these past few years. But in my opinion, the best ones are the ones you cook at home.

Pyjamas on, sleeves rolled up, slurping the largest cuppa known to man as you go.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Not to blow my own horn, but I’m rather egg-celent at scrambled eggs myself.

However, I’m not egg-xactly as well-versed in the king of brunch dishes – eggs Benedict.

Not to worry though – turns out it’s actually quite easy!

…especially when the lovely team at The Avenue Cookery School* shows you all the tricks to making cracking eggs Benedict at home!

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

The Avenue’s brunch masterclass starts, as all good (French?) stories do, with warm pastries…

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

…and bottomless Bloody Marys!

Egg-cited yet? Well, that’s just the beginning!

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + WhiskyAn egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Next up: day-dreaming about the incredible kitchen equipment and considering moving in immediately.

Put on your apron & get cooking!

First things first: make a hollandaise sauce.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Here’s what you’ll need for two:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 capfull white wine vinegar (this one is a-ma-zing!)
  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed
  • sea salt to taste

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Start by whisking together the egg yolks and vinegar in a small bowl.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Place the bowl over a double boiler and whisk it continuously until it starts thickening.

You’ll want to keep the temperature under control so the yolk doesn’t overcook.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

When your whisk starts leaving marks, reduce the temperature further and whisk the butter in cube by cube.

Remove the hollandaise from the heat and season with more vinegar and salt.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

… and maybe a little bit of the good stuff if you’re feeling fancy!

Set aside and get cracking on your poached eggs.

You’ll need to make two per person and the fresher the better (hint hint)!

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

In a large, deep saucepan, heat up about 4 inches of water to a small boil, then reduce the temperature slightly.

Crack your eggs and place each one in a small recipient, leaving the very liquid part of the white behind.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Use your whisk to create a deep vortex in the middle of your saucepan.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Once the surface of the water is almost back to being flat, lower one egg into the water and cook for about 3min.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and repeat with the remaining eggs.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Meanwhile, get everything else ready.

Toast your muffins, slice your avocado, fry your bacon…

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Pile your toppings of choice onto the English muffins.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Top with a perfectly poached egg.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

And a good drizzle of truffle hollandaise.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs (parsley’s great with bacon and chives with salmon/avocado).

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Add a little crack of black pepper or a little bit of aleppo pepper.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + WhiskyAn egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Step back to admire your handy work.

Reward yourself another bacon-dusted Bloody Mary… or maybe a cup of egg-spresso?

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass at The Avenue Cookery School, London ● Learning how to make eggs Benedict ● Cake + Whisky

Dig in and be ready to bacon some hearts…

It’s quite the egg-straordinary brunch dish after all!

 

Want to become a Benedict egg-xpert? Head to the Avenue’s Sunday Brunch Club for the ultimate brunch masterclass. You’ll learn how to make the perfect Eggs Benedict with a side of bottomless Bloody Marys in a fun and welcoming environment. A great way to start Sunday to get you in shape for the rest of your weekend!

*I was a guest of The Avenue for their Sunday Brunch masterclass preview. All pictures, opinions and egg obsessions my own.

An egg-cellent brunch masterclass