Salt + Pickle, Crystal Palace

IMG_20170629_080550_284If you live in Crystal Palace and are a daughter of the gentrified masses such as I am, you will probably at some point have bought some fine cheese or charcuterie at wonder-deli Good Taste Food & Drink on Westow Hill, winner of a coveted 2015 Time Out Love London Award. So it is only better news that Good Taste owner Manish Utton Mishra, local legend and purveyor of all things delicious has now opened Salt + Pickle, a cosy, welcoming restaurant across the road showcasing some of their best products, alongside home-cured and pickled treats and a tidy list of craft beers and wines. Continue reading

#meatporn at Temper

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Perfect, perfect Elwy Valley lamb.

*Vegan spoiler alert – y’ain’t gunna like this*

Meat. Oh Meat! Oh bloody, dripping, dirty, dirty meat – she cries! Steak me up, throw me wantonly in the direction of the hog roast, slather me with bacon and sacrifice me on the alter of the Filet Mignon. Good things may come and go, but NOTHING remains as constant and perfect as wonderful, wonderful meat. Enter Temper – the latest beefy-brawny venture by the ‘Geek of Meat’ Neil Rankin, he of Pitt Cue Co and Smokehouse fame. Secreted away in an unlikely looking basement on Soho’s media agency-crammed Broadwick Street, overseen by a centrally placed, temple-sized charcoal barbecue, Temper is what the saliva in your mouth was made for drooling over.

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London for Wine Lovers

Gordon's Wine Bar - creative commonsI am a self-confessed wine snob, slave to the humble grape, worshipper of the vine. Yes, I can knock back a cheap party plonk like the best of them, but probably one of my favourite things to do in the Big Smoke is curl up in the corner of a cosy wine bar, slurp my way through exquisite tipples and people watch. Here are the first in a series of my preferred London spots for combining both these activities – excellent wine drinking, and the not-so-subtle observation of the human condition… Continue reading

Brasserie Zédel – An Itinerant Favourite

20170423_185815“Ah, l’odeur inconfondable du garlic!” Entering Brasserie Zédel is like being smacked in the face by a baguette-wielding, breton jumper-wearing stereotype hawking garlic around the Tour de France. It’s Art Deco, it’s bustling, it’s as close to Paris as you can feel without setting foot on Eurostar. It serves celeriac remoulade and grated carrot salads as starters – this is retro like you haven’t seen since spam fritters made a gourmet comeback.

I have been coming here regularly since it opened. A go-to, ever excellent wow factor venue. In fact, this review has been sitting in my drafts since my first visit in 2012. I was spurred by Grace Dent’s homage penned just after the Westminster attack praising the Zédel for its perpetual fun factor. Yes. Zédel is tons of fun. Stepping down the staircase into the atrium, all smokey travertine, art deco columns and marble and big, bold chandeliers and light fittings you feel like breaking into a Singing in the Rain routine in shimmering velvet. Continue reading

161 Food + Drink, Sydenham

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Photo credit to Drink Up London

“This place looks a bit like a mini Toasted in Dulwich” – I exclaimed upon perching on my stool beneath two groaning shelves of French natural wines in the teeny, tiny, ultra-cosy 161 Food + Drink, Sydenham. Cue owner Alex flying right over to justify my observation. Indeed, there is a connection – he formally worked at Toasted with then Chef Matt Osborne, who also worked at my other favourite, Terroirs in Covent Garden. Part of London’s clearly incestuous natural wine scene, which is expanding at a rate of knots into these leafy South London suburbs, 161 Food + Drink is like your friend’s cost front room, packed to the rafters with wine and a book case upon which rests an Italian charcuterie slicer.  Continue reading

Eating out in Se19, The French House, Crystal Palace

img_20170205_165004_052Hey hep cats, word is out, I have moved back to my favourite neighbourhood! The old Crystal Palace once again enjoys the patronage of Itinerant Epicure (and boy she does love it so..)

The good news is, in the 2 years during which I have been exploring other pastures, there has been a crop of exciting new openings, and none I can rave more about than The French House. The original cafe/brunch/all day eatery opened in West Dulwich and has now found space for a second wave on Westow triangle.

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Hutong at The Shard

16473975_10154261340401526_7797206505963522156_nThe best kept secret in London? You can book a table for two at Hutong‘s delicious bar – whizz up 33 floors, purchase two cokes and save yourself the £32 ticket for View at The Shard’s tourist viewing deck. You know – if you’re a cheapskate, Sarf London-dwelling hobo like myself. (Although… Cokes? Whatever, I’d be dropping the plastic on a silly bottle of wine…) This modern Northern Chinese restaurant atop The Shard is the sister outpost of an original restaurant in Hong Kong, operated here by Aqua Restaurant Group.

Stepping into Hutong is how I picture Goodfellas if Scorcese reimagined it in 19th century China – all opium dens and Shanghai triads. You’d need the income equivalent of a drug lord to be coming here for your weekly noodle fix – a single dim sum here costs the equivalent of Set Meal 1 at Lin Hong Garden – but as a one off treat, it’s hard to say no to sky-high dining pleasures with the blanket of London splayed out before you. Continue reading