Brunch at Chinese Laundry

There are so many things to like about the  Easter weekend.

Mainly chocolate, I’ll admit to that.

But also, 4-day weekend!

Which means twice as many days for brunch!

But there’s only that many Eggs Benny even a brunch lover like me can eat in a row…

Luckily, I know just the place to mix things up a little!

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Chinese Laundry is a casual dinning room inspired by 80s Chinese family life and food.

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Which you can clearly see as soon as you pass the door.

So very kitsh yet totally Pinterest-worthy.

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

The menu focuses on the fewer known delicacies from Northern Mainland China, with a couple of clever Anglo-Chinese fusion dishes thrown in as well.

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

We started off with some Jasmine tea (when in China…)

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

And a tall glass of salty lemonade.

Yes, salty. Apparently, salty drinks are a big thing around Asia.

And quite a nice one, I must admit!

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

The menu is short and sweet and pretty much impossible to choose from.

So we just went with ‘one of each’. Almost.

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Starting with the Laundry Full.

Looks like a British brekkie, but sure doesn’t taste like one!

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

With braised beef loumei, tea egg, king oyster mushroom, peanut loumei, pickles, crispy bacon and milky little buns, it’s so much lighter than the traditional breakfast and the perfect trompe l’oeil!

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Dumplings had to be ordered (they are one the traditional dish for brunch in China after all), so Dumplings Stir Fry it was!

With heaps of garlic, crispy bacon, peanuts, fresh herbs and a creamy sweet pepper sauce, Chinese Laundry’s dumplings certainly didn’t disappoint.

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

But the star of the brunch was the Egg Cong You Bing (Crispy scallion pancake).

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Flaky pancakes, oozy egg and a bit more of that lovely homemade sweet pepper sauce, that’s all my brunch dreams on a plate.

Brunch at Chinese Laundry | Cake + Whisky

Oh, and they give you the cutest milk-flavoured bunny-stamped sweets as well.

Just one more reason to make sure you hop by Chinese Laundry this weekend!
Chinese Laundry, 107 Upper St, Islington, N1 1QN  Chinese Laundry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Brunch at Chinese Laundry

The Palomar

I’ve wanted to visit The Palomar ever since it opened back in April 2014. But just like another one of my recent discoveries, I’d been discouraged by the queues and hadn’t managed to get a table.

But apparently, the gods of restaurants and good food have been rather kind to me lately and as we passed by on Wednesday night and took a peek through the window, we spotted a couple of free seats.  The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyWe jumped on it and started perusing the powder pink menu… The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyMaking a choice wasn’t easy as everything looked so incredible, so it took us a while… or maybe it’s because I couldn’t take my eyes off the cooks workings their magic in the kitchen! God, I love those counter-tables restaurants!
The Palomar | Cake + Whisky
One thing I knew I absolutely wanted to order was the Kubaneh, which is a traditional Yemenite Jewish pull-apart yeast bread. The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyIt basically the perfect cross between a brioche and a croissant and absolutely delightful. Looking back at it, I wish we had ordered more of it so we could use it to mop up all the sauces from the other dishes we got!The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyMy favourite dish that night was the Beef Tartare. Served with burnt aubergine cream, toasted almonds, pickled garlic and a tomato dressing, it wasn’t quite the traditional version I’m used too, but delicious all the same. The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Aubergine & Feta Bourekas divided opinion around the table. I wasn’t so keen on them but it was my BF’s favourite, so it might just not be one for me. But you cheese-lovers around there are probably going to love it! The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyIt was totally fine though, as not being fighting for the last bits of that dish (for a change) did give me the opportunity to take a peek at that glorious cauliflower steak roasting away in the Josper OvenThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + Whisky… and generally enjoying the buzzy atmosphere. Everybody’s jocking around in the kitchen, signing, waving, and generally having a great time cooking, which made The Palomar the most fun restaurant I’ve ever had dinner at.The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyI was back to business as soon as this dish was put in front of me though! It was the most delicate Seared scallops with lemon beurre blanc, swiss chard, Jerusalem artichoke and hazelnut tuile. Apparently, it’s the head chef’s favourite dish, so I knew it’d be a cracker!The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyAnother must-order is the Shakshukit, which is basically a deconstruted kebab. But this refined version has very little in common with your usual, middle-of-the-night kebab… It must be eaten to be believed!  The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyI’m still not entirely sure what to think of the Jerusalem-style polenta. I loved the texture of the polenta, which was perfectly soft, almost like a corn-based risotto. But I wasn’t quite as excited as I thought I would be by that dish. Maybe I’m just not that much into truffle… 
The Palomar | Cake + Whisky
We were about to implode getting quite full but the dessert menu was so perfectly named that it finished convincing us that no meal’s complite without pudding.
The Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar | Cake + WhiskyI’ve only heard good thing from everyone who’s had dinner at The Palomar and I’m going to join in with the fans and urge you to get in line for a table! I can garantee it’ll be worth the wait

Plus if you try the Pork tagine, please let me know how it is… I might be using that information as my excuse to go back!


The Palomar
34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN

The Palomar

London’s best tapas | Barrafina

Barrafina is legendary for how long the queues are at each of the group’s 3 restaurants.

I’ve only heard rave reviews from anyone who visited, so I knew I’d eventually have to cave up and see it for myself.

As we got out of the Lyceum Theatre after having seen The Lion King the other day (best musical I’ve ever seen, in case you were wondering!), dinner at the newly opened Barrafina Drury Lane seemed to be the perfect way to finish off the evening. 
Barrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyAnd at 10-something PM, we didn’t even have to queue for a couple of seats at the counter! #WinWin
Barrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyBarrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyIt didn’t take us long to order: just a quick look at the menu and a lot of staring over the counter and pointing at everything that looked good!Barrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyBarrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyWe started off with the best croquetas I’ve ever had (and god knows I’ve done extensive research!). So good and melty I regreted not ordering a second plate! Barrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyBarrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyI quickly found consolation in the plate of crispy Chipirones that was swiftly put in front of me.
Barrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyThe specials had almost all disappeared from the board by the time we arrived (I suppose that’s the drawback from arriving that late…), but the sardine toast was still available… Sardine “à la plancha”, parsley salad and roasted pepper aioli… Basically perfection on toast!
Barrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyLamb’s sweetbread are one of those love-it-or-hate-it ingredients. That said, I believe Barrafina’s version (with a rich gravy, parsley and capers) could convince the most dubious of people! Barrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyWe finished off the meal with the best cooked, most tender Roast Milk Fed Lamb I’ve ever had. Truly incredible.Barrafina Drury Lane review | Cake + WhiskyNot that we were still hungry, but we couldn’t resist ordering Leche Frita, if only to satisfy our curiosity… I mean, wouldn’t you want to know what “fried milk” is?

If you must know, it’s some kind of Creme Catalane, battered then deep fried and served with tangy plum compote and my very own idea of dessert heaven. And the perfect (sweet) ending to this fantastic meal!

Barrafina Drury Lane, 43 Drury Lane, London WC2B 5AJ (closest stations are Covent Garden and Temple)

London’s best tapas | Barrafina

Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake | Salt beef or smoked salmon? | London

Beigel Bake on Brick Lane is a London institution that’s been around for as long as I can remember. It’s open 24/7 and there is always, ALWAYS a line. Not really surprising considering the value for money those guys offer!

It’s all made on site (watching the bakers make the bagels will keep you busy while you queue!), very generous (I swear there was half a pack of cream cheese in my bagel!), and stupidly cheap too!

Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonIt might look a bit dodgy, but do not run away!
Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonDecisions, decisions… (I wanted everything!)
Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonThat time I manage to click a perfectly non-blurry picture… of the brown paper bag! #failCake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonCake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonThe smoked salmon + cream cheese: fresh, slightly sour cream cheese and the most melty salmon; a real beauty! And look at the bagel dough! Very springy, but still soft and pillowy…
Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonBut the kind of all bagels is without a doubt Beigel Bake’s Salt Beef! Generous chunk of meat, just teased by the spicy taste of American mustard… it doesn’t get much better!Cake + Whisky | Brick Lane Beigel Bake | LondonAnd a picture of Shoreditch, just because!

What: Beigels in all their glorious forms. But it would be a mistale not to get the -massive- salt beef. Or the -ridiculously indulgent- smoked salmon with cream cheese!

Tip: When you’re there, you might as well grab 6 plain bagels to put in your freezer and use for emergency breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner… You know what I mean!

How much: Ridiculously cheap: plain beigels are £0.30 a pop; smoked salmon + cream cheese will set you back 1.60 and London’s best salt beef beigels are a bit over £3.

Where: Brick Lane Beigel Bake, 159 Brick Lane, London E1 6SB

Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake | Salt beef or smoked salmon? | London

Herman Ze German | Wurst + Pommes bitte! | London

They claim that their Wurst is Ze Best… I had a bit of time to kill (and needed to grab lunch before taking a very special cab back to work!), so i thought I’d check out if Herman Ze German lived up to its expectations!

Cake + Whisky | Herman ze German | LondonCake + Whisky | Herman ze German | LondonCake + Whisky | Herman ze German | LondonI like short menus(= it takes me only 10 minutes to decide between 5 types of sausage!)Cake + Whisky | Herman ze German | LondonBready goodness or healthy sides?Cake + Whisky | Herman ze German | LondonAll the Fritzt drinks!! Cherry or melon?Cake + Whisky | Herman ze German | LondonIsn’t the branding too cute?Cake + Whisky | Herman ze German | LondonHooray for lunch in the sun! Cake + Whisky | Herman ze German | LondonCurrywurst mit Pommes. The wurst was good (not too greasy, good flavour), but I’m not sure I liked the curry sauce that much (it was a bit too sweet for me). The chips however were very VERY good (with loads of curry-salt)!!

What: German sausage in all its forms (including vegetarian), grilled and served in buns, with chips or a side salad. But trust me, you’ll want the chips! Other German goodies also available (giant pretzels, sauerkraut…).

How much: Currywurst + Pommes was £5.95 I think. Rolls around £5. Sounds like a great lunch deal to me!

Tip: No matter what you do, GET THE CHIPS (and probably the free crispy onion topping too, because YOLO)!

Where: Herman Ze German |19 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6ND

Cake + Whisky | Lindt Bliss Taxi | LondonMy drive back to work! The Lindt Bliss taxi no less! Want to win your own trip (inc. Lindor and the most adorable driver in London)? Click here!

Herman Ze German | Wurst + Pommes bitte! | London

Tostado | Ceviche bar | London

Until I visited Tostado, I had no idea Ecudorian food was a thing. Now that I know, I wish I was working closer so I can grab lunch from them everyday!

Cake + Whisky | Tostado LondonCake + Whisky | Tostado LondonCake + Whisky | Tostado LondonI love the restaurant; it’s simple but has a lot of charm!

❤ And those tiles! ❤Cake + Whisky | Tostado LondonCake + Whisky | Tostado LondonCake + Whisky | Tostado LondonPop-corn! Or THE best side dish for ceviche EVER! (who would have thought?!)Cake + Whisky | Tostado LondonTostado’s ceviche mixto: very fresh (loads of orange & herby notes) + crunchy (thanks red onions and peppers)!Cake + Whisky | Tostado LondonCake + Whisky | Tostado LondonForget British breakfast, from now on, I want Plato Ambateno for brunch! The new breakfast of champions! 💪Cake + Whisky | Tostado LondonOh, and if you’re in the area around lunchtime, Tostado does a FANTASTIC lunch deal! Yes, that is £3.50 for stew + side. Deal of the century? I sure think so!!

What to get: The Ceviche Mixto with pop-corn. Weird, I know (I had the exact same thought!) but staff knows best!

How much: It might be a small plate concept but said plates are still generous! For a light lunch, one dish should be enough (around £10), for dinner, I’d say 3 plates for 2 to share!

Where: Tostado, 16 Saint Anne’s Court, London W1F 0BF

Tostado | Ceviche bar | London

Cake for breakfast at Lang, Shangri-La, The Shard

I don’t think there’s anything that could make me more happy than having cake for breakfast. So just try to imagine how I was feeling on my way to a breakfast meeting at Lang at Shangri-La, which specialises in cakes… A very good reason to cross town early in the morning if you ask me!

Pass the doors, you’ll be greeted not only by the lovely staff (and if you’re as lucky as I am, by an adorable food blogger, just as excited as you are at the perspective of cake!), but also by those drool-inducing croissants on the counter. sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-15sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-13Luckily, I managed to part with all the viennoiseries. Partly thanks to this impressive art piece, made entirely of coffee cups and saucers. I don’t know what it is with me, but I just can’t resist accumulations of loads of similar objects.sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-14However, we weren’t here for the art! Luckily, while we settled at our table, the staff was bringing out the goodies! Including pastel macaroons of every shade… which I just narrowly prevented myself from ordering!sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-11We ordered some tea and chatted away, waiting for the cakes to be put inside the display window (we were so early they weren’t available yet!).sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-7sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-16And suddently, here they were. Rows after rows of glorious, jewel-like creations. We did the only appropriate thing: went to the counter, admiring each detail, oh-ing and ah-ing and getting a bit snap-happy… sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-10sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-12After a first -long- look, I still couldn’t decide (I did narrow it down to 3 contenders though!).sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-9sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-8To be completely honest, I still wasn’t sure what I’d be having until the very last minute, when the waitress turned to me and ask me the dreaded “And what would you be having Madame?” question. sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-6However, my date seemed very sure of her choice. She went for the Yuzu Cheesecake (Baked & whipped cheesecake, yuzu sponge, salted biscuit and orange compote). Seing the shiny orange icing and the layers of airy cheesecake, I started second-guessing my own choice… But I really shouldn’t have! Look at this beauty! sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-4I got for the Rou Nen, which name is just as mysterious as its appearance! But my brain has been screaming for Spring to FINALLY arrive for the last two weeks, so I just couldn’t resist the cherry blossom-inspired chocolate piece! sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-3Once I managed to convince myself to destroy this piece of art (isn’t it always heartbreaking?), I finally discovered what was hidden under the spotless white dome (White chocolate coconut mousse, mango, citrus madeleine and sesame seed croustillant). sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-2sndguerin-lang-shangri-la-1Far too quickly, it was all gone. That’s the problem when cakes are light as a feather and absolutely delicious. You eat them without even realizing it. And then you start wondering if you should get this yuzu macaroon that’s being in the back of your mind for all this time…

Cake for breakfast at Lang, Shangri-La, The Shard