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

Madame D

My boyfriend has been wishing for Indo-Chinese food to make its way to London for as long as I’ve known him.

And, I don’t know if he finally found the magic lamp or something, but it looks like his wish has finally come true.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Hidden away behind the Old Spitafields market, you’ll find Gunpowder‘s new baby sister – Madame D – serving up a modern interpretation of the food prepared by Chinese-Tibetan immigrants in India.

To be honest, Madame D is a bit of a hipster child wonder.

Brick, plants, candles, creative cocktails, short but sweet menu of small plates designed to share, it has it all.

And it’s all very, very good indeed!

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyMadame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Starting with the naga chilli beef puffs.

Crispy on the outside & steamy on the inside, delightful spiced and utterly addictive beef morsels.

So addictive I easily could have eaten a buffet-sized plate of those all by myself. Sadly, that wasn’t on the menu.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Hakka chilli paneer – an irresistible take on the BF’s usual order at his favourite Delhi restaurant.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Sweet, sour, spicy and all in all spectacular, we fought over the last pieces and vowed to order it again on our next visit.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Ginger-scented stuffed aubergine with mushrooms.

Thanksfully not as spicy as the deep-red sauce would have you believe, but every inch as delicious!

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Light and fragrant Kathmandu curry with bamboo shoots and sweet potato served over mountains of steamed rice.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Himalayan fried chicken, served Chinese-style with sliced spring onion, chilli and vinegar dipping sauce.

Much like the rest of the food at Madame D – absolutely faultless and just ridiculously tasty – all paired with super cosy atmosphere (the flip side of that one smallish-room, no reservation situation) and swift yet attentive service.

Unsurprisingly, getting a table is already near-impossible. But when the food’s that good, you’ll forget about the inconvenience the second the food hits the table and start making plans to go back to before you’ve even left.

Madame D, 76 Commercial Street, E1 6LY

Madame D

Kiln, Soho

With so many new restaurants popping up in London every month week, coming across something that’s not already been de- and re-constructed 25 times over is a rare thing.

And yet it’s just what super-popular, Thai-inspired Kiln does.

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

With a succession of 5* reviews under their belt, as well original Thai-inspired small plates cooked with first-class British ingredients and very keen pricing to top it all, scoring one of the few bar stools overlooking the open kitchen is no easy thing.

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Which is why when you finally do, you better make the most of it and order up a storm!

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Starting with a couple of drinks…

A green peppercorn daiquiri for him…

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And a tall glass of super-refreshing lemongrass iced tea for me!

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Aged lamb & cumin skewers.

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Crispy, intense, fatty in the best sort of way.

Was I not so curious and set on trying as many dishes as could possible handle, I could happily have eaten a plateful of those and left a very happy customer!

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Smoked sausage with turmeric.

Spicy, complex and not unlike top-quality BBQ-ed merguez sausages…

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyKiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Beautifully plump, sweet langoustines, kaffir lime and sweet mint.

Summer supper perfection.

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Clay pot baked glass noodles with five spice ducks and offal with aged soy.

Warming, comforting and interesting all at once!

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Last but not least – Wild ginger and short rib curry from Burma.

A beautiful, delicate curry, with melt-in-the-mouth beef rib slices, lifted by the fresh flavour of anise-sweet Thai basil.

Kiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyKiln, Soho ● Restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

With stir fried Cornish greens & soybrown and brown jasmine rice on the side, because wasting any of that curry sauce would be a crime.

Much like not serving dessert is usually one in my book. But with Crosstown and Gelupo nearby and open ’til late(ish), I suppose in Kiln’s case, it’s not that much of a big deal!

Soooo, get there early and get queuing!

(or if you can get a few people together, they also take bookings for 6+ people… #just saying)

Kiln Soho58 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9TL

Kiln, Soho

The Palomar revisited

I love Easter Monday.

All the tourists that flooded to the capital are on their way home, the Londoners that were clever enough to escape the egg-hunting crowds aren’t back yet and unlike Christmas week, all every store and restaurant worth their while are open for business.

Which means it’s one of those few magic days (together with tube-strike days) where you can get a table pretty much anywhere you fancy.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

The perfect opportunity to -finally- (re)visit the infamous, impossible-to-get-into-unless-you-book-a-table-2-months-ahead Palomar.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Grab a couple of seats at the bar and forget all you thought you knew about Jewish food.

Serving up what they describe as “the food of modern day Jerusalem”, The Palomar is all about twists on the classics and loads of fresh, punchy flavours.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Point made right from the start with the restaurant’s signature Kubaneh, coming to the table in its own tin and served pipping hot with tahini & velvet tomatoes.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Dense, buttery and fluffy, this Eastern Mediterannean brioche is made to be dipped so make sure you order the burnt courgette tzatkiki too!

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + WhiskyThe Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Add a couple of perfectly mixed cocktails and you’re all set to peruse the rest of the rather unortodox menu…

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Beef Tataki Damaskus gate style with crispy Jerusalem bagel, tahini & spicy tomatoes

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Must-order Shakshukit (deconstructed kebab with minced beef & lamb, yoghurt, tahini, cured lemon & harissa)

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Quite simply life changing – No matter how good/needed they are, you’ll never look at kebabs quite the same way after that!

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Siske Pork Belly with Ras el Hanout, dried apricot, glazed carrot & celeriac cream.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Sweet, sticky, indulgent, absolutely not kosher-friendly but well worth every transgression!

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

And then there’s this cute little pan, filled with the best dish in the house, no less!

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

Super creamy Josperised Aubergine under a blanket of creay feta emulsion, crispy shallots & pine nuts.

Aubergenius.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

All polished off with your pick from the sweetest of desserts menus…

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

As long as your pick includes the Malabi, that is.

A rose-scented milk pudding, raspberry coulis, coconut meringue pistachio crunch, fresh raspberries & kataifi, it is perfectly balanced and my Mr. simply won’t leave The Palomar without having it.

The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky The Palomar ● London restaurant review ● Cake + Whisky

That said, the Jerusalem Mess (labneh mousse, almond crumble, strawberries, lemon cream…) isn’t too shabby either. And the fondue-style chocolate crémeux is every bit as good as it sounds too, so you can’t really go wrong.

Just make sure you go early (or book a table), go hungry and leave plenty of room for pudding…

Which I know is difficult when the whole menu looks So-ho good!

The Palomar, 34 Rupert St, London W1D 6DN

No tables available at The Palomar? Try one of those nearby restaurants!

Jen Café, Chinatown

Chick ‘n’ Sours, Seven Dials

The Barbary, Neal’s Yard

The Palomar revisited

Berber & Q’s Shawarma Bar

God, looking for a new flat in London is an exausting task!

So after a loooooong morning of (rather unsuccessful) viewings, when we found ourselves right around the corner of my favourite little pocket of London, we decided to take a break from it all and treat ourself to a nice lunch.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Our spot of choice? Berber & Q’s super-instagramable Shawarma Bar.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + WhiskyShawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

A tiny but perfectly formed, new-wave shawarma bar, brought to central London by Haggerston’s Middle Eastern barbecue superstar.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

No mystery meat to be seen here.

Instead, the menu’s on the shorter side and full of vegetarian-oriented small plates, shawarma-stuffed pitas dishes and plates and creative sides.

Needless to say, it’s a ‘let’s get one of each and share’-type dinner’s dream, be it for a relaxed weekday lunch, a casual dinner or not-your-usual weekend brunch.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Start with a cock/mocktail…

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + WhiskyShawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Followed by a smogasboard of small plates to share!

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Za’atar-roasted tomatoes with labneh.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Ezme with pine nuts and red chilli.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Joojeh chicken pita with blackened green chilli sauce & garlic yoghurt.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

(which was quite enjoyable as it came, but even better once turned upside down onto a plate, teared up and mixed!)

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + WhiskyShawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

Signature cauliflower shawarma with sultanas, rose, pine nuts & pomegranate.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

And some of the best hummus I’ve had in my life.

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

A tableful of goodies ready for you to scoop and dip into to your heart’s content!

Shawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + WhiskyShawarma Bar, London | Restaurant review || Cake + Whisky

All topped up with a beautiful, panna cotta-like cardamom malabi.

Delicate and wobbly and all, what a way to wrap it up!

Shawarma Bar by Berber & Q, 46 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 4QE
Berber & Q’s Shawarma Bar

Chick ‘n’ Sours Seven Dials

Another day, another brunch!

Now, this one’s nowhere near as traditional as the last one but it’s just as crackin‘!

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + WhiskyChick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Unlike many of my faves, Chick ‘n’ Sours is not all about the eggs.

In this achingly cool restaurant, it’s the chicken that comes first!

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Well, after the cocktails at least!

All of which are delightfully mixed and of the sour variety (hence the restaurant being called Chick ‘n’ Sours!).

My favourite was the signature The Chick ‘n’ Club (gin, blackberry, apple, vermouth, vinegar, sour).

A brilliant combination of all things autumnal in liquid form. Win.

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Though if you’re already into your festive phase, The Rye ‘n’ Black (rye whiskey, red wine syrup, sour) is absolutely the one!

Note to self: red wine syrup. Get on it!

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Best enjoyed with a side of Mexi-nese Nachos.

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

If you think nachos are not really your thing, think again.

Those come drenched Chengdu chicken ‘n’ bacon, green chilli, kimchi and cheese sauce and are THE BOMB!

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

So good in fact you better get your insta-perfect shots in quickly, or there’ll be nothing left for you but the plate to lick (if you’re lucky)!

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Same rule applies for the Szechuan aubergine.

Coated in a light, crispy batter and swimming in a spicy, sour sauce, it goes right up there with Ottolenghi’s for the title of the best aubergine dish I’ve ever eaten.

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + WhiskyChick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Super moist + crispy chicken tenders with seaweed crack with sriracha sour cream.

Just as good as you’d expect from a top notch chicken joint.

When it comes to quality, these guys are definitely not yolking around!

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

And then, there’s the K Pop Bun aka the chicken burger to end all chicken burgers.

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

Korean fried thigh, gochujang mayo, chilli vinegar, crunchy slaw, all stuffed into a brioche bun.

A true beast but one that’s well worth dislocating your jaw for!

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

With a side of Pickled watermelon, coriander, mint & peanut salad to keep things fresh!

If you’re still hungry after that, there’s also some (apparently excellent) soft-serves to be had, but I’m afraid we chickened out!

Chick 'n' Sours restaurant review | Cake + Whisky

So if you’re after the best fried chicken in London, chick‘ out Chick ‘n’ Sours.

It’s just the spot to make every day fry-day!

Chick ‘n’ Sours1a Earlham Street, Seven Dials, WC2H 9LL (they also have a restaurant in Dalston)

Chick ‘n’ Sours Seven Dials

Brunch at Oldroyd

I don’t believe Oldroyd needs any introduction.

I have already written about it several times, and yet here I am again, writing about it once more.

You might want to call this a bad blogger syndrom, and you wouldn’t be wrong.

But then again, what’s a girl to do when one of her absolute favourite locals starts doing brunch eh?

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

With about 30 seats and simple yet tasteful decoration, Oldroyd is a dream no matter when you visit.

But if you asked, I’d say Sunday is probably the best day.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Because it’s Oldroyd’s brunch day and they serve up their signature fettucine carbonara.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, so first things first.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

And by that I mean Bloody Mary, obviously.

As a matter of fact, the very best one I’ve ever had in London (and trust me when I say beating The Smokehouse‘s Chicken Salt delight was no easy task)!

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Spicy and very pickle-y, it’s not one for the faint-hearted but still the very best way to get the brunch party started.

Though a tall, icy glass of Earl Grey iced tea does rather nicely as well!

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Croquetas have been a feature on Oldroyd’s menu since the restaurant opened and they’re an absolute must-order.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

This time, they were filled with mushroom, served with a generous dollop of truffle mayonnaise and as delightful as ever.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Zucchini fries are always a good idea too.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Feather-light, thin & crispy, they’re utterly irresistible.

But if you’re there for brunch, you might as well make the most of it.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

The Bacon & egg fettucine, with confit garlic & berkswell, is out-of-this-world good.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

It has eggs and bacon and carbs, it’s rich and creamy and comforting and basically all of your brunch dreams come true.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

And if you want more, the Braised ox cheek with polenta & gremolata is an excellent choice.

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Melt-in-the-mouth meat never goes out of fashion as far as I’m concerned. Warming, comforting and satisfying, it’s winter food at it’s finest.

The only issue is that it might well rule dessert out. Don’t worry chocolate mousse with raspberries & salted pistachio praline, I’ll be back for you!

I can never stay away for very long anyway (and if you want to make sure you don’t have to fight me for the last table, you better book here)!

Oldroyd, 344 Upper Street, London N1 0PD

PIN FOR LATER:

Brunch at Oldroyd | Cake + Whisky

Brunch at Oldroyd