Monday, 29 April 2013

Hair of the dog and a DELICIOUS Sunday roast!

It's hard to find a decent roast these days.

I am VERY fussy when it comes to my roasts!

As it's a special, weekly tradition I look forward to it every Sunday...especially when i'm lying in bed hungover from the night before!

The only thing that gets me up is the thought of a few pints and a big fat ROAST!! YUM.

Our neighbours had been telling me and Andy about a pub called 'The Talbot' which is in Dalston (a 5 min walk from our house) and raving about the roasts, so the four of us all headed out together for lunch.

The pub is located amongst lots of pretty streets lined with classical London town houses. It was a  lovely walk and the sun was out too which always lifts your spirits when you're hung over!

When we got inside we were warmly welcomed and shown to our table straight away.

The waiter told us the specials of the day...even though we were all clearly going for the beef roast :)

We ordered four pints and four beef roasts. DONE :)

Hair of the dog ;)

Like I said before I am very fussy when it comes to my roasts. I diet, well I TRY to, on week days and at the weekends I eat what ever I like, so it's very disappointing when a roast does not deliver as that is the only time I can seriously pig out :)

My 'must haves' for the perfect roast -

1. I like my beef cooked med rare, pink and tender.

2. Don't be stingy with the meat! Some pubs give you the most pathetic amount of meat and then loads of potatoes, NO. There should always be a decent portion of meat...that's the best bit!

3. A good selection of vegetables - honey roast parsnips, carrots, broccoli and .....CREAMED LEEKS!
I think creamed leeks are possibly the most delicious thing ever invented.

4. Gravy - it must be in a jug. Everyone likes different amounts of gravy so you should be able to pour on as much as you like. I like my gravy thick with all the natural juices of the meat.When I make it at home I always add red wine to give an extra kick.

5. A BIG yorkshire pud, not too hard, it must be soft enough to soak up the gravy.

6. Roast potatoes - crunchy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.

And that is my perfect roast!

Our lunch arrived......dun dun daaaaaa

Yesssssssssssssssssssssssss BEAUTIFUL!!!

Another round of pints please!

 Lets get stuck in :)

Happy times.

I was really impressed with the roast, it ticked all my boxes and the service was brilliant. The pub had a cosy vibe with friendly cliental.

There was a roof terrace and an outside beer garden too so I will definitely be going back when summer hits!

So far this is one of the best roasts i've had and it's a really gorgeous pub. However it was £15.50 which I think is quite pricey.

I personally feel around £13 is a fair price for a roast but I am happy to pay more if it's worth it.

Make sure you book ahead as it gets super busy!

109 Mortimer Rd, London, Greater London N1 4JY
020 7241 2995

I will be going to another pub next Sunday to see what they have in store ;)

Friday, 12 April 2013

Osborne Bros of Leigh! The best sea food in South East England!

If you are a sea food fan living in London, did you know just a 30 min train ride away lies an absolute GEM!!

Based in the fishing town of Old Leigh, Osborne Bros is a family run business located on the shores of the Thames Estuary.

Bring booze, bring your friends & family and bring your appetite :)

The best sea food in South East England!

And in the summer......

......escape the city and indulge in some fresh seaside air and beautiful sea food and of course lots of  lovely wine :))) I cant wait!!!!

There is so much to choose from...

We ordered cockles (as tradition)

crayfish (my favourite)

..and juicy lobster (Andy's favourite)

Leigh on Sea is really stunning. We felt like we were on holiday, yet we were only a short train ride away from the big smoke.

It's so nice to get out of the city and come to places like this!!!

What a lovely day :)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A lovely Sunday lunch at ZOE RESTAURANT

To celebrate Easter Sunday I went out for a yummy lunch with my parents. :)

We all decided to check out a fairly new restaurant on Upper Street in Angel (where I live) called Zoe! Obviously the name itself was amusing but the menu was very interesting and it's always fun to try somewhere new.

Don't be put off by the unglamourous exterior!
Once you get inside the restaurant it has a really cosy feel and a great use of colour.

Zoe Restaurant Islington: cozy atmosphere

Zoe Restaurant Islington: dim lights
We sat at the back of the restaurant which was beautifully painted with landscapes and pictures.

As my name is Zoe I was offered a free cocktail which I thought was really nice! I ordered a bellini and my Dad chose the wine.

I was really impressed with the starter menu and immediately noticed the scallops YUM one of my favourite starters! It was a toss up between that and the calamari which my Mum ordered, so I got to try both :)

The starters arrived.....
fresh sea scallops on a bed of leeks fondue and truffle oil

The scallops were perfectly cooked and the flavours from the leeks were beautiful! I finished every last mouthful and soaked up the sauce with some warm olive bread that we had ordered. DELICIOUS!!
I was very pleased :)))))
My Mums calamari was also extremely tasty!

Main course - I went for the .....

served with celeriac mash , smoked bacon and organic chestnut mushroom sauce

I had never tried bison before and liked the idea of the smoked bacon and mushroom sauce. My other choice would have been the chicken...

chicken breast wrapped with Parma ham, stuffed with garlic and herb cheese
on a bed of creamy sauté spinach and olive tomato dressing

But luckily for me again, my Mum had orederd this!
My Dad went for the Lamb...

marinated lamb shoulder, cooked in duck fat served with croquette potatoes
and rosemary red wine jus

Our meals arrived :)

It was an unusual meal but it worked well! The bison steak was delicious and you could really taste the smokey charcoal flavours. The mushroom sauce was gorgeous and the mash was yummy. I of course poured the sauce all over the steak and mash and it was the perfect Sunday treat :)
My Mums chicken arrived and looked great too..... I had slight food envy and I think I will order this next time!

My Dads was slightly disappointing, I think the dish would have worked better with vegetables instead of a salad. We told the owner this and he took our feedback on board.

The menu is meant to be French Mediterranean but I feel it was a bit of a mess. The owner of the restaurant (a really lovely man) explained to us that, as they are new, they are still finding their feet with the menu and he was open to feed back, which we all gave!

Dessert time!!!! :)))))

The dessert menu was very impressive!

Me and Mum decided to go for the honeycomb smash cheese cake with vanilla ice cream.

My dad chose -

The desserts arrived shortly after. The service thoroughout our meal had been fantastic and the waitress was very helpful and really sweet.

OH YES!! Soooooooooo gooooooooooooooooooooood. I was very pleased with my choice.

My Dads arrived...

He really enjoyed it so we were all happy.

When we asked for the bill the owner brought over complimentary liqueurs which was kind and a nice way to end our lunch.

We all had a great lunch and the restaurant had a warm and welcoming vibe. You feel extremely well looked after and the scallops and cheesecake, for me, are two big reasons to go back!

I am actually going back there again tonight with a friend for dinner and I'm excited to have those scallops again.
I think the pink lighting will be much more affective at night time so I'm interested to see the difference in ambiance tonight.

Hmmmmm do think it would be cheeky to get another free cocktail ;)


So I went again on Friday night with my friend and I got another free cocktail whoooo how nice of them!
The food did not disappoint and the lightening was really cosy!!!

I had the scallops, then the chicken and of course the honeycomb smash cheesecake :)))))

We had a lovely evening, the service was perfect and all the staff are incredibly friendly. The restaurant was packed with a queue at the door! So if you're interested in checking this place out make sure you book :)