Monday 24 June 2013


Continuing the burger theme we thought we would reward ourselves with lunch here after a trip to the Science Centre. Again we have James vs Burger to thank for the rec. It started off well, there was a lazy Sunday vibe and the place was child tolerant.
 Noah wanted to know why there were so many adult milkshakes and none for boys and girls. For shame there were no virgin White Russians so I couldn't content him with one until he got home. 
 I went for the big Lebowski, two large patties served medium with cheddar, extra bacon and fresh chilies while HI went for the pulled pork sub. Mine started of at £11.45 and his at £8.45. On a Sunday they run a reduced menu focussing mainly on the burgers and Russians.
 I was quite excited about the burger but I was disappointed. Although the portions were generous, the patties themselves were seriously under seasoned and over cooked. I had been told they came medium but they were more well done, with no juice running out whatsoever. This made the huge stale pumpkin and sesame rolls redundant. The lettuce and tomato just got in the way. The pulled pork was ok but the menu is misleading. The way it read we thought it came with a small portion of ' homemade chili' but it didn't,it came with a chili BBQ sauce. The bill was steep too, £28 for two burgers, and two soda and limes. 
It reminded me why we so rarely eat out these days. I felt they were trying to overcompensate with huge portion size in the hope that the lack of flavour and overlooking would be less noticeable. I came away disappointed and wishing that Roast were open on a Sunday.

Monday 17 June 2013


Having tried some recipes from my various Ottolenghi books I feel that it fair to say the salad boxes from Ottolenghi are a good deal.Once you try to replicate these dishes at home you realise how much prep goes into them and
the ingredients aren't cheap either. One of my favourite meals is the salad box with meat from Delhi grill. delicious.

Hawksmoor Guildhall Bar

UWhich Hawksmoor to pick? Will and Huw certainly don't make it easy with all 4 Hawksmoors having different menus. We have been to the Spitalfields bar twice and loved it, not only for its recycled decor but for its menu. Its the only one that has spicy on its menu and when you are consuming food that is so rich and meaty a little bit of heat can go a long way in cutting through the richness of too much meat. Despite this we decided to give the Guildhall a try, as it was a bit closer to us. We are glad we did. We got seated quickly and the service was quick. We had a cocktail each and the beef French dip, Stilton lettuce salad, Tamworth belly ribs and good fries. The perfect mix of meaty, savoury, light and crispy.

St John Doughnut

I have fantasised about these many a time. Fortunately St John Smithfield is within walking distance from the house and I knew after emailing them that these morsels of heaven were available from 10am, so I made certain that they were penciled in as breakfast for our first morning. 
Did they live up to expectation? Yes, they did.
The recipe was recently printed in the Observer: St John doughnuts Makes 25 

strong white flour 500g caster sugar 65g, plus extra for coating salt 10g fresh yeast 15g large eggs 4 lemon grated zest of 1 water 155ml softened unsalted butter 125g sunflower oil for deep frying Place all the ingredients except the butter and oil in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a beater. Mix on medium speed for 6 minutes, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix on medium speed again, adding the butter, 20g at a time, until all is incorporated. Keep mixing for 6-8 minutes, until the dough has come away from the bowl and looks smooth, glossy and elastic. Place the dough in a large bowl, sprinkle the surface with flour and cover bowl with a tea towel. Leave to rise for 2-3 hours in a warm place, until doubled in size, then knock back. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Cut the dough into 25 pieces and roll into smooth balls. Place on floured baking sheets, leaving 5cm between each one. Cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for 2-3 hours to double in size. Half-fill a deep fat fryer or a deep, heavy-based saucepan with sunflower oil and heat it to exactly 190C. Fry the doughnuts, in batches of 3 or 4, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Check the temperature of the oil between each batch. As the doughnuts are done, place on kitchen paper to soak up excess oil, then toss in caster sugar.


I have said it before and will no doubt say it many times again. We Love Byron So, it was our first night in London we had unpacked and needed to deal with the boys so Byron was perfect for the whole family. I stalk the website regularly and was very happy to see that they are opening branches in Liverpool and Manchester, and I make it a point of intermittently emailing them ,asking them to open a branch in Glasgow. I had my usual Byron burger medium rare, no lettuce or tomato, Byron sauce on the side and topped with jalapeños. Washed down with a chocolate malted milkshake ( half of which is snaffled by my eldest) and accompanied by thin crispy fries. Happy as a pig in.. 

Banh mi 11

My first experience of Banh Mi was in New York. Banh Mi Saigon bakery on Mott St to be precise. They didn't have anywhere to sit so I had to eat it out on the street washed down with what was my first Vietnamese coffee. It is an experience that has obviously stayed with me. I love sandwiches in any form and the combination of freshly baked crusty baguette filed with pâté, BBQ pork and pork head cheese with pickled carrot and radish and fresh coriander, cucumber and chilli was mouth heaven for me. All washed down with very hot Vietnamese coffee made with condensed milk mmmmh. Ever since I have hoped to replicate the experience which has proved hard as up until recently Glasgow didn't even have a Vietnamese restaurant. Fortunately for me though we are in London for a holiday and Banh mi 11 was on our way home after having our St John doughnut fix.

Friday 7 June 2013


Not to be confused with artisan roast opposite stravaigin, which specialises on coffee, Roast just next to Firebird is my new favourite sandwich place.
It's relatively new, has sitting space and an expanded menu.
I tried their sample box which contained 3 mini sliders made with what I thought were brioche rolls, but apparently are just mini morning rolls. Instead of just being a vehicle for the filling they add to the whole experience. They were lightly glazed and there was almost a slight crunch when bitten into. Savoury and buttery they took the sliders to a whole other level.
I had the brisket first which dripped with juice. It was really tasty.
Then the pulled pork which I have to say was also tasty and distinctly different to the brisket(of course). The piri piri chicken was good but paled in comparison to the other two as it didn't quite have the flavour punch they had.
It was so good I had to go back in to get another three to take home for HI.
Really good for £5.
Ps the Philly cheesesteak was up there with the brisket and pulled pork. It's topped with a really tangy cheddar which was so powerful I thought it was goats cheese for a moment.
I am planning my next trip already.

Thursday 6 June 2013

Buddy's BBQ southside

It was the middle of the week and we were both home at lunchtime so we took the opportunity to try out Buddy's. James vs burger had been there a couple of days earlier and not only do they have a secret menu but they allow you to customise your burger.
So, I went for a western with two patties medium rare. This specification proved redundant as the patties are thin and therefore get cooked through. This does not detract from the good BBQ char and coarse ground meaty taste. I thought the onion rings, whilst being a good idea in principle, became a soggy mass. The bun was good and held it together and was not that most awful of burger crimes, a sweet bun. A very good plus point was the gloopy cheesy mass that formed in between the burger and rings.
I liked it. I would probably customise further in future. Two patties, raw red onion and chipotle mayo with nothing else.
HI tried out the pulled pork sandwich which he liked. It was generous in proportion but not powerful enough  in terms of dry rub for me.
The Cajun fries were alright but a bit too much like oven chips with Schwartz on them to be special.
It is a breath of fresh air to have a place like Buddy's in Glasgow. People with a passion making a few well delivered items. We would definitely go back. The fact you can phone ahead and pick up your order is a good idea and makes the 15 min schlep worthwhile.