London: amazing pasta at Sorella

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Some restaurants just has that little bit extra, that you can’t quite put your finger on, but that makes you like a place straight away. It’s a bit like clicking with someone on a first date; you can’t really pinpoint what you like about the person, but there’s something.

That’s the feeling I (and I think my dinner companion too) got when we walked into Sorella in Clapham. Something about the ambience felt nice, the staff was friendly and the food amazing.

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The menu consists of snacks and sharing plates as well as a few main courses, that are also perfect for sharing. To start off with we ordered some bread (much needed when you’re verging on hangry) and a starter to share.

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The restaurant made ricotta with the softest pea purée and a flavoursome oil was a delicious start. Smooth, soft and subtle but still with lots of flavour.

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Then we moved on to what we came here for; the pastas. The tagliatelle with a slow-cooked ragu was heavenly.

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But it was soon overshadowed by the dreamy linguine with morels cheese and heaps of truffle. IMG_6469.jpg

I still of dream of this dish, that’s how magnificently delicious it was. I hope this stays on the menu forever.

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After the pasta we had a little breather before getting started on the main course.

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We had perfectly cooked cod with Swiss chard and a lovely jus.

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And on the side the crispiest potatoes I’ve ever come across. Wonderful!

But what really stayed me were the pasta dishes. It’s hand to heart some of the best I’ve had.

Race you back?!

Sorella, 148 Clapham Manor St, London SW4 6BX

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Taking it easy…

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This week was very quiet by my standards, and it was much needed. The beginning of the week was quiet. I made sure to walk home from work enjoying all the flowers. I can’t believe the lilacs are flowering already, but it’s so pretty and the scent heavenly.

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On Wednesday I tried a new-ish restaurant in Clapham and really enjoyed it, so a write-up is coming soon, but here is a little sneak peak.

It’s not often it happens on Friday a few of colleagues and I had drinks. Always lovely and as it starts early it means you get home early too. I was in bed by 10pm and it was perfect.

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Saturday was lovely with a lie-in (so needed to sleep!) and some pampering before meeting up with Gaby for a dim sum lunch at Grand Imperial.

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After lunch we met up with Rowena and then spent the afternoon at the Dominique Ansel Bakery escaping the rain and enjoying his delicious cakes!

Sunday was totally unplanned and I stayed in with the company of Netflix and a takeaway from Bleecker. So lovely and needed!

 

Le Chardon, Clapham

Although I like to discover new restaurants all over London (and especially central), sometimes it is quite nice not to venture too far from home for a meal out.

On Sunday, I met up with Laura, who lives in the same area, and we went to the cosy Abbeville Road for lunch. To the French restaurant Le Chardon to take my Taste Card out for a spin.

I have been to this restaurant once before over a year ago and although we enjoyed the food, the service decreased as the restaurant filled up and we were sat ignored for 30 minutes after our maincourses. Not ideal.

They were better this time, but the service could still be smoother. It was the little things, like forgetting cutlery and ketchup, but it does a lot for the overall dining experience.

The food here is classic French bistro and not innovative or gourmet, which is nice sometimes. You know what to expect and if the produce is good and the food cooked with knowledge then it is usually good.

Laura started off with a bowl of mussels and they were big nd juice. Definitely good.

I wanted to warm up, so I chose the French onion soup which was nice with the right amount of cheesy croûtons on top.

For maincourse Laura had a whole seabass and it was perfectly prepared; the meat was tender and fell of the bone.

I chose a more carnivorous approach and had the steak (rib eye) with bearnaise sauce and chips. It was good, not great but then I didn’t pay very much for it either.

With our taste card discount the bill came to £36 in total and that is definitely reasonable, don’t you think?!

The Stonhouse, Clapham

Although I tend to go out eating all over London, I sometimes neglect my own local area, Clapham. I am a fequent visitor to two lovely restaurants, Trinity and Tsunami, but other than that I don’t eat out locally much, which is a shame really.

A few Fridays ago I met up with Laura after work, who also lives in Clapham, and we decided to meet up somewhere local for a drink and some nibbles. A pub I really like is the Stonhouse, it is non-pretentious but nice and I have never been disappointed there, although I probably didn’t expect the menu to be quite as good as it was, as I’ve only had burgers here before.

We ordered tosted focaccia that arrived on a board with bith green tapenade and balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The green olives where not pitted and lovely and buttery. We just couldn’t stop eating them. The chips were nice too, chunky and crispy yet fluffy in the middle.

But the best nibble for me was without a doubt the baked cheddar pannacotta which arrived warm with a tomato chutney. The texture was slightly firmer than a regular pannacotta, but the cheddar flavour was lovely and a good pairing with the chutney.

Sometimes this is all you need after work; some tasty nibbles, a (large) glass of wine and a chat.

Tsunami, once again

On Friday, Emma and Claes arrived in the afternoon so they went for a walk while I finished work and afterwards we went home to mine to leave the luggage and have a pre-dinner drink (recipe to follow) before going to Tsunami for dinner.

I know I have written about this place before, but I am still impressed, and that’s why I want to share this meal with you.

We were rather (understatement) hungry when we arrived, so we ordered a starter each to share. The first starter to arrive was my choice of yellow fin tartare with a quail egg yolk on top. I have had this before and it was just as nice this time around. The presentation is wonderful as is the flavours of roe and wasabi.

Next up was Claes’ choice, and also the best starter for the evening; deepfried prawns with the most luscious sauce! Safe to say we finished that sauce off with our little spoons.

Emma’s choice was a warm starter – perfect before the sushi – and she went for the peri peri yaki tori. The chicken scewers were very moist and the soy based dipping sauce added some heat. Lovely!

When it was time for the sushi, Emma and Claes had some pretty high expectations, thanks to me raving about it, but the sushi did not disappoint. Quite the opposite – the two talked of nothing else the whole weekend. 🙂 We started off with ten pieces each and had tuna rolls, snow crab rolls, spicy tuna rolls, tuna and avocado rolls and ebi fry rolls.

We then ordered another few pieces each of the two we all liked the most (the ones I always eat here as well); the spicy tuna rolls and the ebi fry rolls.

We also had two bottles of a crisp Italian chardonnay, which left the bill at a very reasonable ~£120, service charge included, for the three of us.

I have been to Tsunami quite a few times now, and when they keep deliver like this, I’ll be back again and again. To me this is the perfect neighbourhood gem; great food, nice presentation, (very) reasonable prices and relaxed staff.

Tsunami
5-7 Voltaire Road
Clapham
London SW4 6DQ

Tsunami, revistited

You new Tsunami, the Asian restaurant I keep going on and on about? It is still going strong.

A little more than a week ago I meet up with my friend Sinead for a meal here. We started off with water and a beautiful bottle of Sancerre and some starters to share; snow crab dumplings and chicken gyozas. Both came with a soy dipping sauce and both were fabulous in its own way.

The dim sum style dumplings were sticky and moist just like they should be and the gyozas just melted in your mouth. They were far better than the ones I order from Wagamama from time to time.

For her maincouse, Sinead had chicken, which she always does. It came with a teryaki sauce and rice and looked nice and juicy.

I was very unadventurous and chose the same thing as the times I have been here before – sushi! I just can’t get enough of it and it is the best I have ever had. Just like before I had the spicy tuna rolls and the ebi fry rolls and I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and be in heaven.

Instead of pudding we had a cocktail each, that is definitely enough to satisfy the urge for sweetness you sometimes get after a meal.

The service wasn’t as great as before, our waitress started off the evening in a bad mood, but was nicer towards the end. All other staff were friendly and professional though, so still a place I recommend for service as well as food.

Tsunami
5-7 Voltaire Road
Clapham
London SW4 6DQ

Tsunami, Clapham

I have to post twice today, because I can not keep this to myself any longer: yesterday I had the best sushi in my life!

My friend Carina is staying with me while working in London this week, and last night we had a fab girl’s night out. First shopping in Covent Garden after work, then sushi and a glass of wine for supper.

And that is all thanks to my friend Gaby who I emailed yesterday asking for sushi recommendations, because I know she is great at that. After all, this is the girl who introduced me to Trinity. And I think you all know how I feel about Trinity. Pure foodie love. 😉

And now I have found another place to love – Tsunami. Gaby just told me that the chef is ex Nobu, so no wonder it was so good!

We arrived around 8pm and the place was nearly full, so I was glad I had booked before hand. The restaurant feels nice and cosy with an Asian touch, a perfect date venue by the way, and it was dimly lit and felt intimite.

Our lovely waiter for the evening was all charm and even sensed when we were about to pay, so we didn’t had to ask for the bill, he beat us to it by putting it on the table. Little things like that means a lot to me, and shows that the staff is on the ball and alert.

Worst iPhone photo ever, but I hope you get the idea.

It actually took a good while until we got the food we had ordered on the table, but it was of course freshly prepared and worth waiting for. We were blown away by the first bite. And half way into the meal we realised that we had to order more – that’s how good it was. So we did. A girls gotta eat, right?

Above you can (barely) see what we had, but I hope you can make out that it is nice sushi on the plate. The dim lighting and an iPhone camera was not the best combination… Anyway, for each maki roll we got six pieces so we started off ordering three maki rolls (salmon, spicy tuna and avocado and tempura shrimp) and two nigiri with scallops for me. The salmon rolls were really nice, and probably the best salmon rolls I have ever had, and yet they were not up for the competition from the other two rolls. The spicy tuna and avocado roll was excellent, served with a sauce on top and full in flavour, and even better (yes, it is possible!) was the tempura shrimp rolls. OMG, they were the best! They also had a sauce on top (a little similar to Rhode Island, but better) and absolutely lovely, Carina and I agreed. And the scallop nigiri was generous with the scallop and melted in your mouth. Lovely that one too.

Even though I am all nice adjectives, I am still struggling to explain just how nice it was, but I can say this at least: for every bite we were surprised by how good it was. By every bite. A nice experience I can tell you.  

It was very good value as well, for our massive portions (we had five rolls and two nigiri in the end), two glasses of wine, a bottle of water and service charge the bill landed on around £50 for two. Not bad at all.

If you’re dying to go (and you should be) but don’t want to venture to south-west London, you can visit their branch on Charlotte Street.