Breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day. You would think that I'd be up every morning cooking up an epic start of the day… Truth is I usually skip it or have something really simple like a boiled egg. Despite my American roots and love of sugary cereals, doughnuts and maple syrup covered pancakes, they really don’t do it for me for breakfast. I like to start my days eating with something savoury.
Which comes to think of it… is why I probably don’t get along with traditional porridge. Those hot wet oats are normally made enjoyable with swirls of maple syrup or dollops of jam. If its sweet, it’s not for me…. that was until I discovered savoury porridge.
Oh Gawd, I love a good poke.. Nope, not talking about that thing you used to do to strangers on Facebook to get their attention.
I’m talking about Poke bowl. Those pretty little-layered bowls of sushi grade fish, rice and toppings. Next to burgers and ramen, I never tire of getting face to face with a bowl of poke. Not only are they visually stunning to look at they are so darn delicious!
What I love most about it is being able to feel like I’m eating a tray of sushi without all the fiddly work of eating every single piece. I love how fresh it tastes and how you can customise it to your exact specifications. For the record, I cannot have poke without avocado!
I remember when a good burger in London was one that did not give you food poisoning. That was about 2007 years ago when the scene started to cotton on to the fact that a burger could be more than an overcooked frozen patty with some fried onions and melted cheese in a sugary over-processed white bun. Places like Hamburger Union (RIP), Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Byron started to blaze the way on the high streets. It was not until 2008 when The Meat Wagon rolled onto the scene that burgers got really interesting in London. Its safe to say that I have had a fair few burgers since 2008, some have been amazing, some rubbish and a majority forgettable.
2018 saw a few new entries into my list. I've also included an Honourable mention for burgers that I've tried just the once or did not manage to eat in the last year (sorry Meat Liquor)
So here is my 2019 List of the Best London Burgers.
Have you ever flirted with someone in a bar for most of the evening… Then you go in for the kill to seal the deal. You are making out when someone entirely more appealing catches your eye. Not because you are some sort of a Casanova, but your kissing companion is a really repulsive kisser that has you questioning the meaning of life with every smack of their lips?
Nope? Me either, but I’ve seen it at least once in the movies.
Smashburger has risen to fame in my home state of Colorado. This has happened since I left the US many moons ago. I was mega excited to try their burgers when we heard that they were expanding to the UK. Sadly, they had no initial plans to open in London. Other towns like Brighton, Glasgow, Leeds and Newcastle
Does anyone remember ChaCha Moon? That Chinese restaurant that opened in Kingly Court…. The one that offered all the dishes for £3.50 during the soft launch and it was packed. Then they tried to up the prices to what should be market value prices and people stopped going? The one that closed and made space for Pastaio and The Meh! Egg. Those are all things that I remember about it.
I cannot remember a single dish that was amazing. Maybe that’s why it closed. It was an amazing space and carry on concept from Wagamama. But the food was pretty average. Great for £3.50, not so great for £10-£15 per plate.
One thing that I do remember was a drink… The Salted Sprite. Funny that it's not a traditional Chinese Drink, it has a Thai origin. It’s a drink that really resounded with me as I love sweet and salty together.
Brunch is so huge right now. I feel like Carrie Bradshaw would be very proud of all that she achieved for the popularity of this meal. As you probably know (or not if you are new to here) Brunch must contain breakfast dishes… If there are no eggs, no toast, no waffles, no porridge or no pastries IT'S NOT BRUNCH. It’s just a lunch.
Now that we have cleared that up, brunch is a huge business in London. Everyone offers it, everyone eats it, heck there is even a festival about it. Don’t ask me why you’d pay for a ticket to walk around in crowds to see a bunch of exhibitions stands and eat a taster spoon of Shakshuka. Just look on the internet and see where to go. Sorry I digress.
One place that I would highly recommend for brunch is the Bloomberg Arcade. Nope, it’s not a restaurant, but more of an arcade of top quality restaurants in the city. I bet you are asking why I’m suggesting Bloomberg Arcade. It’s all about the location. Being situated in the city it is busy Monday to Friday with men in suits and women power lunching over cocktails. Come the weekend it’s a different story altogether. I’m not saying its desolate, but you won’t have to queue for an impromptu brunch.
The other evening I was invited alongside other food influencers to the Marylebone institution of Clarette for an evening of food and drink to celebrate German Wines. In particular the wine from one variety of German grape. Riesling (pronounced reece-ling)
Before that night if you accosted me on the street and held a proverbial gun to my head and demanded that I list countries that produce great wine… Germany would sadly not have been on that list. Not because I held on to that old school reputation that Germany made overly sweet blue nun style of wines. But mainly because I’m very much a creature of habit with a small knowledge of wine. Which generally means once I get served a wine that I like I stick with it.
Fans of German wine are quick to shout that Riesling produce some of the finest white wines on the planet. Hopefully, after this evening I would think the same. Riesling is the most popular variety of grape used in production in Germany accounting for some 25% of grape production.