Dinner at Kricket

I hate restaurants that don’t take reservations for less than 4 people.

I hate restaurants where the host, when I pop in and ask if they have a table for 2 at 7:15pm, answers they do… at 10:30pm.

And I HATE restaurants that insist on running separate lunch and dinner services so that I can’t have a meal at strange mid-afternoon hours on the weekend.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

All of the above are the reasons why I hate loving Kricket so much.

It’s going to make my life so very difficult every time I crave Indian food.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

But well, I’ll just have to deal with it all (and take friends down with me so we can book at table!) because the food, the drinks and the atmosphere are all fantastic.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

The cocktail list is short but perfect formed, making the on-duty bartender a very busy man (or woman) indeed.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Which you could feel bad about or just embrace with a couple of the truly excellent whisky + orange marmalade cocktails…

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Also excellent were the Jerusalem artichokes and pea samosas.

Light, crispy pastry triangles, filled with the most delicious, subtly spiced vegetable filling.

Needless to say, those didn’t last long.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

My favourite dish – Pumpkin, makhani sauce, fresh paneer, hazelnut crumble, puffed wild rice.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Served with masala kulcha bread straight from the tandoor.

Charred pumpkin, the best (really, even my Indian boyfriend says so, and he’s had A LOT of butter chicken) butter-tomato sauce, begin to be scooped over some bread…

It was the sort of dish I wish I knew how to make so I could have it every day.

One that hangs around the top of my list of London’s best dishes, too.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Kricket’s signature Keralan fried chicken, served with curry leaf mayonnaise and pickled mouli.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + WhiskyDinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Venison keema.

Warming and gently spiced, and the perfect reminder of why I must add keema to my winter meal rota.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Beautifully cooked duck breast, served with fiery vindaloo sauce and refreshing Brussel sprout and coconut thoran.

Dinner at Kricket ● London Restaurant Review ● Cake + Whisky

Polishing it all off on a sweet note in the form of carrot halwa with chestnut ice cream (delicious but veeeeeeery rich) and gorgeous, posset-like misti doi.

All in all, not a dal plate in sight at Kricket… So, no matter how difficult/irritating getting a table is, it’s worth the patience and hard work.

You know what they they… Keep calm and curry on!

Kricket Soho (the original venue’s in Brixton), 12 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7HH

More things to eat in Soho

EVERYTHING at Temper

Cake for dinner at Cutter & Squidge

Ramen at Kanada Ya

Chinatown’s best hot pot

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Dinner at Kricket

Maki’ng me hungry – Sushi Shop x Anne-Sophie Pic

Growing up in France’s middle of nowhere, the only sushi I came across as a child were the poorly executed teeny-tiny ones on the buffet tables at the local Chinese (!!) restaurants. Needledd to say, I was not a fan.

But then I moved to Paris, discovered Sushi Shop and everything changed.

I still remember the day I first treated myself to a selection of the brand’s made-to-order, playful creations.

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

It was a real treat – Sushi Shop isn’t the cheapest on the high street when it comes to take-away sushi. But what you get is also not your run-of-the-mill selection.

Think maki roll topped with Dorito’s (aptly named the ‘Rock n Roll’), spring roll-sushi hybrids (a whole delightful selection of them!) or even foie gras rolls (yes, you read that right and yes, it works)!

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

For a few years now, the brand has been pushing the boundary of sushi-making even further through partnerships with creative brands (remember this beauty?) and eminent chefs, such as Cyril Lignac (the French Jamie Oliver), Joël Robuchon or Thierry Marx.

But in 2018, they’ve truly outdone themselves and asked Anne Sophie Pic, the only French woman to hold three Michelin stars, to create a collection.

And what a collection!

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

Blending classic Japanese techniques and unexpected ingredients, the Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic creations are full of delicacy and poetry.

Each of the four exclusive recipes is a nod to Chef Pic’s culinary identity.

The California roll (goat cheese, matcha, bergamot and genmaicha) is the translation of Pic’s own signature dish, the famous ‘Berlingot’.

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

The yellowtail and sage pesto sushi is a triumph of freshness.

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

The woodland maki might seem confusing if you take a look at the ingredients.

Mushroom 3 ways, rose, geranium, yuzu… There’s a lot going on but it all results in a beautiful work of art. And having had more than my fare share, I can confirm it’s another winner.

Vegetarians, rejoice (and get your hands on it stat)!

Maki'ng me hungry ● Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic ● Cake + Whisky

But my favourite was the Signature tuna roll.

Featuring tuna coated with green cardamom honey, celeriac remoulade, green apple, sobach, chicory and dill, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. A beautiful example of what ‘fusion’ can truly achieve.

Sooooooooy good!

The Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic creations are available in all Sushi Shop stores from January 6th 2018. 

More London restaurants to try

Dim sum at Mayfair Garden

Pizza at Pizza Union

Sunday roast at The Quality Chop House

Hot pot in Chinatown

Tasting menu at Anglo

I tried the Sushi Shop x Anne Sophie Pic as a guest of the brand and their PR agency.

Maki’ng me hungry – Sushi Shop x Anne-Sophie Pic

You win sum, you dim sum

…not quite the traditional saying, but far more appropriate when it comes to dim sum at Mayfair Garden.

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

Once you’ve made your selection (I advise to take a few friends so you can order EVERYTHING!) and placed your order, sit back, relax and take in the sleek, minimalist decor.

And before you know it…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

The table will be covered in a variety of dumpling plates.

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

Don’t miss out on the classics: plump prawn & chive dumplings, golden prawn spring rolls, gorgeous har gau…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

… prawn shu mai…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

… generously-filled deep-fried prawn dumplings…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

… superb (and incredible value) king prawn cheung fun…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

…and my favourite – golden-fried turnip cakes!

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

But enough talking – time to dig in!

The menu’s not especially long (perfect for the indecisive kind!), nor is it comprehensive in any way (the lack of chicken feet is apparently a big deal…), but everything on there is pretty special…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + WhiskyYou win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

The baked venison puffs are exceptional – the best I’ve had in London sofar.

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

I don’t usually like char sui buns, but Mayfair Garden’s are fluffy, sweet-and-sour pieces of meaty perfection and play in a league of their own!

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

The Xiaolongbao are as delicate and fiddly as you’d expect…

You win some, you dim sum ● Mayfair Garden, London ● Cake + Whisky

… and the scallop shu mai is the perfect bite to finish things up with a touch of luxury (and a very full stomach).

But no empty stomach – surprisingly enough, dim sum is very well priced, with most 3-dumpling plates around the £5 pricemark.

See I told you – no matter what you order at Mayfair Garden, you win some, you dim sum!

Mayfair Garden, 8-10 N Audley St, London W1K 6ZD

You win sum, you dim sum

My 2018 London wish list

My 2018 plans involve a lot of travel. Which is super exciting.

But they also involve a lot of time at home in London. Which I might* be even more excited about.

Hashtag home-buddy-and-nothing’s-wrong-with-that.

My 2018 London wish list ● Cake + Whisky

Especially because there’s a lot in this incredible city I want to do this year…

  • See Wicked (the musical) 

I got tickets for it last week but I messed the dates up and wasted said tickets.

But, I’m still just as in love with the Wicked soundtrack and 2018 is the year when I hear it live!

  • Dine at St John (booked)

St John is a legend of the London restaurant scene and one whose philosophy I 100% get behind. And it’s about 5min away from the flat I moved to about 10 months ago.

And yet, I haven’t managed to get myself down there yet.

Something clearly need to be done and soon!

  • Visit the Barbican Conservatory

Another one that’s been on my list since we moved into our Clerkenwell flat. Another one I haven’t managed to fit into our weekends so far.

It has greenhouses and tropical plants and amazing light so I really don’t know what I’ve been waiting for tbh.

My 2018 London wish list ● Cake + Whisky

  • See more of East London

One of my favourite London memories from last year was a visit to the Columbia Flower Market, followed by lunch at Monty’s Deli.

There’s just something about East London in the daytime that’s so beautiful, ecclectic and fun and I definitely want to make sure I make plans to get more of this in my near future.

Things along the lines of lunch at The Marksman (this custard tart will be mine!), more Columbia Road flowers, Beigel Bake bagels, brunch at Morito… Anything else I need to add to the East London list?

  • Eat at Temper City

We loved having dinner at Temper‘s Soho restaurant last year.

And then they went and opened a new venue in the city, where they focus on applying Indian flavours to their winning meat-and-cocktail concept.

So yeah, that’s happening soon…

  • Go to the (not quite so new anymore) Design Museum

It’s my favourite London museum. The new venue has been open for aaaaaages. And I haven’t been yet.

I’ll let you do the math.

My 2018 London wish list ● Cake + Whisky

  • Make the most of the Open House Day

Last year, we visited London City Hall and I’m still not quite over how fantastic that wonky building looks from the inside!

This time around, I’d like to get a closer look at some of my other favourite London buildings, maybe the gorgeous Courts of Justice, or the Gherkin…

  •  Climb Primrose Hill

Never been though it seems to be a must-do. See where I’m going with this?

  •  Explore more tiny streets & take more pictures for no reason whatsoever

Because it’s not all about blogging/instagraming/creating some content…

What’s on your London wish list this year? Any place you can’t wait to (re)visit?

*might because, well, our US travel plans involve a return visit to Katz’s Deli and a first-time visit to In-n-Out, so yeah, there’s that.

My 2018 London wish list

Starting 2018 as I mean to go on…

… with good friends, pizza and cocktails at Pizza Union!

Pizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

If I’ve learnt anything from the past year, it’s that the little moments of everyday joy are what it’s all really about.

And pizza definitely makes me very, very happy.

Pizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyPizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyPizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Pizza Union is one of my regular spots when only dough will do.

I love the excellent value for money, the neon-filled decor and the speedy service (hellooooo pizza pager!).

Pizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky Pizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

I love the no-nonsense menu: thin, crunchy, super light crust, flavourful tomato sauce, an extensive (and super affordable!) list of extra toppings (all £1, an absolute bargain) and simple but efficient Italian-inspired cocktails.

Pizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyPizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

But more than anything else, I LOOOOOOOOOOVE the Funghi pizza with extra N’Duja on top!

Pizza Union’s new Dalston venue scores just as high as its sibblings on all the above points.

With a few extra ones for the super welcoming team that’s always full of brilliant advice on what toppings to add to your pizza to make it even more delicious.

Pizza Union Dalston ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

What do you say? Wanna a pizza that?

Pizza Union Dalston, 14 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2JP (but they have a few other locations as well…)

Starting 2018 as I mean to go on…

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House

Sunday roast is a big deal.

Especially when it’s this cold outside.

The best ones are made by your mother, obviously.

But if, like me, you don’t have a roast-proficient mum (and can’t bring yourself to do all the roasting yourself), I know just the place.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskySunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Tucked away at the very end of my absolute favourite street in London, The Quality Chop House is a gloriously old school British restaurant with Grade II-Victorian-decor to match!

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Get a group of 3-6 together and book yourself a booth.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Order up a bottle of something nice (a lovely Côtes du Rhône in our case)…

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And tuck into the delightfully light smoked cod roe with pickled onion while you peruse the menu.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Especially delightful atop the Quality Chop House’s own sourdough, still warm from the oven.

The selection of starters is quite lovely, but on Sunday, it’s all about the roasts…

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Belted Galloway beef (sirloin & brisket).

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Tamworth pork shoulder with crackling and apple sauce.

(There’s also a vegetarian option and a fish dish on the menu).

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

All served with all the trimmings and a selection of seasonal vegetables.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And when at the Quality Chop House… add on a side of those confit potatoes.

You simply have to.

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Pile everything up high onto your (already heaving) plate, top with a bit more gravy and tuck into your Sunday feast.

Try to save a little bit of room for pudding…

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Sticky date sponge with Christmas pudding ice cream and pear, paired with the most exquisite Loupiac I’ve ever had.

Truly the most wonderful way to spend a Sunday!

The Quality Chop House, 88-94 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3EA

Make sure you book ahead – especially on Sundays!

More restaurant suggestions

My absolute favourite London place

A modern British food champion

For those days when you want it all (now you can!)

When only steak will do

Sunday Roast at The Quality Chop House

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown

I had one of the most exciting meal of the year at Hot Pot in Chinatown last week.

It wasn’t at a fancy, expensive restaurant.

But it was something totally new and that I had never done before – and when you eat out as much as I do, that’s something to celebrate!

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The first outpost of a 150-something-strong Thai-based franchise, Hot Pot specialises in… well… hot pots.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The ultimate social eating dining concept, hot pot brings family and friends together around a broth-filled pot and a variety of toppings to cook in them.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Once you’ve chosen your broth from the 5 daily-made varieties and a few too many toppings from a 60-something strong list, all you have to do is sit back and relax.

All whilst nibbling on some fantastic Thai-style chicken wings and prawn toast (not pictured but absolutely delicious).

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyHot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyHot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

When you’re doing that, the kitchen will get everything ready, pouring, crushing, peeling, chopping and mixing the many many ingredients necessary to craft Hot Pot’s signature broths.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Before you know it, a big steel pot of fragrant broth will appear in the centre of your table, alongside the freshest selection of toppings.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyHot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Pork, beef, fish, vegetables…

Moderation was never my strong suit, so we went for quite literally all of them, and I strongly recommend you do the same!

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Then it’s time for you to get cooking by adding whatever toppings you fancy into the broth.

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Add things one at a time or really go to town and put a little bit of everything inthere at once, there’s really no wrong way to do hot pot.

Plus, the more things you cook in the broth, the more layers of flavour you add to your initial broth, which means the more you eat, the better it gets!

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

A meal that’s meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace, hot pot is all about gathering your favourite people around a table create delicious food memories.

Definitely the hot (pot) place to be this winter!

Hot Pot, 17 Wardour St, London W1D 6PJ

Hot Pot restaurant, Chinatown