London: brilliant Bao


I’m a bit behind on updating this blog, and have been since probably the beginning of the year. My life seems to just speedily whirl by, and I’m left with lots of things to write about but haven’t got enough time to actually write. But sometimes I have a little window, and I try to really grab it with both hands and put these posts together. Wish me luck!

Anyway, I went to Bao  sometime in the spring, i.e. a very long time ago, but I still want to tell you about this great little place.


Gaby and I queued for a little more than an hour, which is a very long time if you’re hungry, but passes quite quickly if you’re chatting away with a friend. Either way, it’s totally worth the wait.

We started off with trotter nuggets (brilliant idea!) with a tonkatsu type sauce that really cut through the pork flavour. Delicious!


We then moved on the the baos (filled steamed Korean buns). Their ‘classic’ with braised pork and peanuts was utterly divine and my favourite. I actually ordered one more; it was that good!


The confit pork bao sounded promising (I love any confit) but it wasn’t as good as the classic. Still nice, but I would skip this next time and go straight for the classic.


We then had the fried chicken bao with mayonnaise, which actually came in a different type of bun, but it was also really nice!


We didn’t have just buns though; we also sampled some of the small dishes on the menu, like the mushrooms and century egg. It was a real umami bomb and quite different. I liked it.


But the scallop with yellow bean and garlic was even better. The powder was just delicious and the bean paste just worked so well together with the sweetness of the scallop.

Since we were here, Bao has opened up another restaurant, but the queues seem to remain at the Soho branch. But go with a friend, chat away in the queue and before you know it you can bite into these delicious baos. Yep. Worth it.

Bao Soho, 53 Lexington St, London W1F 9AS

Recipe: Toast Lingstrom


You’re probably familiar with Toast Skagen; the iconic Scandinavian starter consisting of butter-fried bread (oh yeah!) topped with a mixture of prawns and dill in mayonnaise?! It’s a true classic that will never go out of style. And so very delicious. My mother serves it at dinner parties and so do I, and sometimes I make one for myself just because I feel like it.

But this thing of placing things on top of butter-fried bread is bigger than just this one dish. It’s a whole food category. And I’m pleased to say I have discovered yet another recipe to add to my repertoire; this wonderful Toast Lingström with ham, named after its inventor, chef Christer Lingström.


The combination of smoked (or cooked) ham, creamy mayonnaise and a little tartness from the creme fraiche really works with the heat from the horseradish. It’s such a great little starter. Or nibble, in which case the recipe below is enough for 8 nibbles. Just cut the bread slices in half.

Toast Lingström, serves 4

Adapted from Christer Lingström’s recipe.

150 g cooked or smoked ham

100 ml crème fraiche

50 ml mayonnaise

2 tbsp finely chopped chives

1 tbsp grated horseradish 

salt and pepper

4 slices white tin loaf

3 tbsp butter

Slice or dice the ham and mix with creme fraiche, mayo, chives and horseradish. Season to taste. Cut the crusts off the bread slices and fry in butter until golden. Drain the excess fat on kitchen towel. Divide the mixture between the four bread slices, garnish with some more chopped chives, if you like, and serve.  

Eating NYC: lunch at The Roxy


The hotel we stayed at in New York, The Roxy in Tribeca, was wonderful, but it wasn’t until the last day (of five) that actually ate there. We had late dinner every evening and subsequently missed breakfast every morning. But I’m glad we managed to have lunch there before checking out and making our way towards Cape Cod.

We were quite rushed, but both the waiter and kitchen really tried to accommodate us and I think we had our food on the table five minutes after we ordered!


Sinead had a lovely omelette with fries and a salad and I had the most amazing grilled chicken sandwich with avocado and bacon. And fries. And of course a nice glass of wine each. (Really good wine menu, actually. We may not have eaten here much but we did have drinks in the bar before going for dinner a few times. Priorities.)


Apart from the lovely bar/restaurant the hotel also has a lounge area with pool table and live music most nights, gym in the basement and a coffee shop. And best of all, the most comfortable beds. I will definitely come back here again!

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca, 2 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013

Eating NYC: lovely Locanda Verde


Our only celeb sighting in New York happened when Sinead and I, as usually starving because we missed breakfast at the hotel, arrived to the lovely Italian restaurant Locanda Verde, near our hotel in Tribeca. My friend Lama had recommended the place and as we sat down for lunch at the bar (with mainly business people in the room), we noticed that no other than Matthew McConaughey was sitting at the other end of the bar (!). At first we weren’t sure as he was just sitting there reading his paper, looking down. But when he looked up it was evident it actually was him.


And although I think he’s a great actor and it was fun to see a celebrity (apparently he’s not the only celeb who’s taken a liking to this place), the brilliant food actually overshadowed him being there.

I was ravenous and started with the excellent lamb meatball sliders with caprino cheese and sharp cucumber. Not greasy at all and lovely flavours! Then I looked at my phone and noticed a message from Lama (who recommended the place) urging me to order the sheep’s ricotta. So of course I did.


And it was MIND-BLOWING! Best ricotta I ever had, even better than the lovely one I had in Modena in Italy in the spring. It was thick and creamy, yet light and fluffy and super smooth. It was full of flavour, only further complemented by the herbs and charred bread.

This place is definitely a favourite of mine; I loved the food and can’t wait to eat my way through the entire menu, but I also like the efficient but relaxed vibe in here.

Locanda Verde, 377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013

Eating NYC: takeaway from Whitefish Poké


One of the days in New York I met up with my friend Malin from London who moved to New York a while ago. We usually meet over food and as it was lunch time Malin suggested a takeaway from  Whitefish Poké, which we ate on the roof terrace in her building.


It was the first time I had poké; the Hawaiian rice bowl topped with raw fish, but it’s popular in London too. Whitefish Poké is a bit like a Chipotle but for poké; you start off by choosing a base, then which fish and lastly which toppings you want. I had white rice, half tuna and half salmon, and topped it with jalapenos, crispy onions, cucumber and spicy mayo. Really nice!

It was the perfect food for a hot summer’s day in Manhattan, cold and fresh, but more substantial than a salad.


I had such a lovely time catching up with Malin, and later the same day with my friend Lama, and I thought it was really nice to see what their lives are like here. To get to peek into their homes and see their neighbourhoods, so I easier can picture their lives here.

Thanks guys!❤

Whitefish Poké, 263 West 19th Street (just east of 8th Avenue), New York, NY 10011

Sweet potato rounds with feta, pomegranate and parsley



I made these colourful nibbles for a party in the summer, when the sun was shining and children were splashing in the pool. But they work as well lighting up the December darkness or brightening up an October day.

They’re both easy to make and really lovely to eat, so it’s a good idea to make a few extra.

Sweet potato rounds with feta, pomegranate and parsley, makes 30

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

2/3 packet feta

1 packet pomegranate seeds or a whole pomegranate (seeds only) 

1 bunch parsley, chopped

mild oil

salt and pepper

Slice the sweet potato in 1/2 cm thick slices. Place on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 200C oven until soft but not mushy, approx 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool. 

Top all the rounds with crumbled feta, pomegranate seeds chopped parsley.

Eating NYC: amazing ABC Kitchen


When I was in New York in August I met up with two friends I know from London. One has moved there for the first time, and one has moved back. And they both recommended ABC Kitchen to me. As I trust these friends, I made a reservation that day. For the same evening!


So off we went, Sinead, her friend Hazel from home, and I. After waiting only a few minutes at the bar our table was ready (which was good as it proved near impossible to get a drink at the bar). As we walked through the restaurant I noticed the lovely interior. Part Scandi chic with lots of clean lines and white, part romantic with a few rustic touches and pretty pastel flowers.


We ordered wine and some starters and really enjoyed our dishes. My crab toast with lemon aioli was lovely and fresh. And Sinead’s salad of roasted carrots, avocado, crunchy seeds and citrus was amazing! (I got a little food envy actually.)


Hazel’s heritage tomato toast was simple but nice. Good produce goes a long way.


For her main course Hazel had the lovely fettucine with peas, sweet onions and basil and pistachio pesto.


Sinead had the fried chicken with collard greens and a basil and hot sauce butter. A little spicy but really nice.

I decided to go all out with a whole baked lobster with oregano and a lemon and chilli vinaigrette. And mash on the side. Maybe not the most conventional choice but the kind waiter assured me plenty of people order lobster and mash. The lobster was seasoned very differently to what I’m used to but stunning! Can’t wait to come back here on my next New York trip.

ABC Kitchen, 35 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003