Peruvian food at Ceviche, Soho

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Still going through the posts from last year, this is definitely a review I want to share with you:

My flatmate Daisy and I wanted a fun Soho dinner after work one day in the autumn and decided on Ceviche which be both really wanted to try.

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We started off with fantastic pisco sours, and then had wine with the food. Only to have some more cocktails after dinner – I’m not a huge cocktail fun but these were great, especially those pisco sours.

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Food-wise we started with cheese puffs with quince, chilli and sour cream. I remember them being crunchy and nice, the sweet and the sour taking the edge off the fried stuff.

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Obviously we had ceviche in the place called ceviche and this one with seabass, chilli, red onions and sweet potato crisps was seriously good!

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These crispy parcels with pork, spices (more chilli) and coriander were also really nice. The texture of the pork was stringy and soft, just like pulled pork.

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One of my favourites was our second ceviche, with razor clams with chilli and borage. So delicious!

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I also really liked these skewers with extremely tender octopus and fiery chorizo, with coriander mash underneath. Amazing!

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The token vegetable dish was the grilled asparagus with chilli mayo. It worked well with our dishes and was really nice on its own too.

I must say I really enjoyed out visit here and can’t wait to go back. The busy atmosphere, the loudness and the very many tables crammed into the restaurant area together with the excellent food and drink just transports you to South America for the night. Another pisco sour, please!

Ceviche Soho, 17 Frith Street, London W1D 4RG

Bo Drake, Soho

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Before Christmas the girls and I managed to fit in a dinner in Soho and we decided we wanted to try Bo Drake, a Korean restaurant in Soho. When we arrived, thinking we had booked a table but it was for another evening, the staff luckily managed to seat us at the communal table.

After some prosecco we decided to order a few different dishes to share, some from the special’s board and some from the a’la carte menu.

First up were the specials: wagyu beef sliders with truffle mayo (yum!), cheddar and red onion jelly in brioche buns (above) and  lobster baos with squid ink. Both were utterly amazing!

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We also had some sweet potato fries with kimchi island (a spin on Thousand Island that really worked), and the fries were really good. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Which isn’t that easy to do with sweet potatoes.

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We also had aubergine in miso which was soft, sweet and sticky. I just love aubergine in Asian cooking!

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We also shared a bo ssäm; pulled pork with a bit of heat served with lettuce leaves, kimchi and dips. It’s messy but fun to make the little parcels and the flavours of the meat were really nice.

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The last dish of the evening was the smoked bobo chicken with a sticky glaze, sesame seeds, spring onions and spicy mayo. Also very nice!

The food at Bo Drake was great and I would happily go back. Initially the service was good but as the restaurant got busier it became quite slow, leaving a little room for improvement but I otherwise like this cosy place a lot.

Bo Drake, 6 Greek St, London W1D 4DE

Sharing menu at Chotto Matte, Soho

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When my food blogger colleague Malin was in town with her friend Jenny we met up twice. Once on a Monday for some prosecco and nibbles and then on their last evening in town for dinner. We had a great time eating our way through Chotto Matte’s sharing menu and catching up.

Without much knowledge of Peruvian food I think Chotto Matte makes a good job of combining it with Japanese. Most dishes we had were really nice although there was a little room for improvement on some. The sharing menus are great way to try a few different dishes (including some of their signature dishes) and they’re great value for money too.

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After deciding on the wine (very important!) we got to try the first dish; tostaditas with beef, smoked aji planka, shiitake and yuzu. Very yummy!

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Soon after (the table was never empty) we received the seabass cheviche with sweet potato, Peruvian corn (they were more floury than usual), coriander and citrus sauce. Apart from the corn I really liked this dish; subtle flavours and nicely balanced. The seabass was delicious!

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The gyozas with pork, prawns and cassava on a bed of sweet potato purée were a favourite amongst us all – delicious!

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The spring rolls with shiitake and prawns and a ponzu salsa were nice too, but nothing special. 2015-05-13 20.44.52

We really enjoyed the very tender miso chicken – it was just scrumptious! Nice barbecue flavour.

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This octopus was very tender and nice but the purple potato purée didn’t add much to the dish, sadly.

2015-05-13 21.11.26And the maki rolls with tuna were nice, but I preferred the hot food.
2015-05-13 21.44.52For pudding we received a selection of sweets, and all very good! The small pots of lemon grass creme brulee and chocolate mousse with honeycomb were just the right size and the mochis fresh and light.

We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and the buzzing atmosphere! I will certainly come back for the miso chicken!

Chotto Matte, 11 – 13 Frith Street, London W1D 4RB

Dinner at Posto Pubblico, Hong Kong

hk5 Due to overbooking of our flight (grr!) we had to spend an extra night in Hong Kong. So after having checked in at the airport hotel we took the train back to Central for some dinner and drinks, it was Saturday night after all. We wandered around Soho and liked the look of this Italian place called Posto Pubblico. hk7 After a small antipasti plate we chose a pasta dish each. Ro had the one with calamari and a bit of spice (top photo) and I had the linguine with clams. Both dishes were fresh and nice. hk6To add some vegetables we ordered a side of grilled vegetables. They were more or less covered in oil and parmesan – very nice but not all that healthy… Posto Pubblico is a nice little restaurant. The food is fresh and we had a nice meal here. With hindsight it was perfect to have seafood before going to Cambodia and Vietnam where we probably had pork every day. Posto Pubblico, G/F, 28 Elgin Street, Central, Hong Kong

Dinner at Rex & Mariano, Soho

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It’s a few weeks ago now, that Daisy, Rowena and I had a lovely dinner at the fairly new addition to the Soho restaurant scene; Rex and Mariano.

This is a seafood restaurant with great produce but very reasonable prices. And they still have oysters, tartares, ceviche, prawns, mussels and plenty of fish.

The interior goes with the less is more price-setting. It’s simple and scaled back but still nice.

After being seated at our table, we’re told we order everything on the table’s iPad. The software is very easy to use and you can order one or a few things at the time. The waiters’ job is from here on in just to bring the food to the table and answer any questions from the diners. Very efficient!

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Just like in many other restaurants, Rex & Mariano encourages sharing the dishes, which I also enjoy as it’s the best way to avoid food envy. Our first dish was burrata with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. It was nice but not the creamiest burrata I’ve ever had.

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We then had an oyster each, and they were really big and juicy. And delicious!

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After that we shared this seabass ceviche with coriander, yuzu and red onions.

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The grilled red prawns with lemon, olive oil and sea salt were amazing! So simple but great produce.

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Also the tuna tartare with avocado, chilli and lime was very nice.

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But my favourite that evening was the mussles. We had them as a main with fries and tenderstem broccoli, and what I liked about this dish apart from the mussels being top quality (they were big, sweet and juicy), I loved the sauce. It wasn’t the usually creamy Mariniere type sauce, instead it was a light buttery emulsion.

After all of this I was quite happily full, but the girls fancied a pudding and enjoyed a lovely chocolate mousse with pistachios. The pudding menu wasn’t large and they all seemed to be prepared ahead of time, but they were still very nice. But you can tell the focus here is on the fish and seafood.

Because of the efficient ordering process on the iPad the service charge is as little as five or six percent, which also contributes to the value for money track this restaurant is already on.

Rex & Mariano, 2 St Anne’s Court, London W1F 0AZ

Dinner at Social Eating House, Soho

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Jason Atherton has been busy opening restaurants the last few years with the additions of City Social, Little Social and Social Eating House to his earlier established Pollen Street Social.

Out of the new editions I have only been to Little Social, but a few weeks ago I went to Social Eating House in Soho for dinner with a friend from home I haven’t seen in ages. It was so much fun and since we’re both foodies we thoroughly enjoyed the food as well!

Both starters were amazing! My smoked Angus steak tartare (above) was to die for. Lovely flavours, amazing meat and loved the toppings that added different textures. Oh and the egg cream was delicious too!

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Mattias basically had a cheese fondue on a plate with warm Vacherin Mont d’Or, croutons, ham, chicory and boiled new potatoes. Utterly delicious!

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The main courses were also really nice. This slowcooked venison with date jam, kale, brazil nuts and goat’s cheese was delicious but the lamb was even better. V

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The lamb loin from Kent with neck confit, miso caramel, aubergine and mint yoghurt was pure perfection! Especially the confit was to die for and the whole combination of flavours was spot on!

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We were too full for a proper pudding (the portions here were certainly substantial) but we couldn’t resist some sorbets and icecreams. Mattias had the coconut (which tasted a bit like Malibu) and mixed berry, which was really nice. The mango sorbet I had was really good and the yoghurt icecream was nice too.

I’m a big fan of chef Atherton and his restaurants. Both I’ve been too have a very high standard of both food, wine and service. The ambiance is nice and relaxed too which is a plus. It’s just very well done. All of it.

Social Eating House, 58 Poland Street, Soho, London W1F 7NR

Dinner at Koya, Soho

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Koya, who recently opened another branch, Koya Bar, just down the streat from its original restaurant on Frith Street, has been around for quite a while but I (finally!) did my first visit a few weeks back. It was a cold cold January evening and me and some friends thought a warming bowl of noodles would make a perfect supper.

We started with a few small plates specials from the board and I must say they varied a bit. The fried tofu (above) was alright I thought, but not being a tofu fan my comments may not do it justice. My friends seemed to enjoy it a lot more!

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The sword fish came in breaded and fried chunks complete with bones and things. Not my favourite but perfectly OK.

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But I really enjoyed the grilled oysters!

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For our mains most of us had noodles, but Jenny chose a domburi (rice bowl) with beef and vegetables that looked really good!

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I had a wonderful noodle soup with pork, vegetables and miso. The broth was had great flavour and the udon noodles a nice chewiness to them, the pork itself was probably the least exciting with the dish. It was just what I needed; a soothing and warm bowl of noodle soup!

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Laura also had a noodle soup, but one of the specials with miso and fried salsify (I think), not in the picture. Unfortunately the photo of Amy’s noodle soup with vegetable tempura came out grainy, but I think you can imagine what it looked like. It was also really nice.

We were very satisfied with our meal (and wine) but it’s not a place where you can linger. As soon as you’ve finished someone wants your table; it’s first come first serve – no bookings.

Koya, 49 Frith Street, London W1D 4SG