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

Bocca di Lupo, Soho – revisited

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A few weeks ago we had a leaving dinner for Phuong – another American friend of mine to return to the US of A. While I don’t blame her for choosing sunny California over dreary England, she’ll still be missed!

The venue Phuong chose for her leaving dinner is one of my favourite restaurants in town; understated and cosy Italian Bocca di Lupo in Soho.

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We started with some bubbly and the Bocca Prosecco was very good! We also got some bread, grassy olive oil to dip the bread in and some olives while we had a look at the menu.

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We then shared quite a lot of starters. First calamari with baby squid which was really good!

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Our waiter recommended the crescentine; deep-fried flatbreads, with cream cheese and salmon roe. He wasn’t wrong, they were delicious!

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The fried sweetbreads with crispy artichoke I’ve had before and it was just as nice this time. The sweetbreads were nice and soft but with a crispy exterior.

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We also had a plate of crudo consiting of tuna tartar with pine nuts, wonderfully sweet marinated prawns and delicious scallops. Especially the prawns were absolutely wonderful!

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We then continued with primi and pasta. Again we shared a few dishes. First up was gnocchi with wild garlic pesto and mozzarella. Really nice and the gnocchi were amazing!

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The tortelloni with prosciutto and cheesy sauce was also really nice.

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But the orecchiette with n’duja, red onions and tomato was the winner – amazing! A nice combination of spicy, creamy and a little acidity.

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Finally we shared some roasted pumpkin with parmesan…

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… and this absolutely wonderful saltimbocca (the picture does not do it justice) and creamy polenta. We were too full to even consider pudding – but what a feast! Writing about it I’m already longing to go back.

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Literally the last night with the gang… 😦

Bocca di Lupo, 12 Archer Street, London W1D 7BB

Dinner at Polpo, Soho

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A few weeks ago my Uni friend Lena was in town and suggested meeting up on a Monday night. We hadn’t seen each other since we were actually at Uni in Lund in Sweden, several years ago, so it was lovely to see her again!

We met after work looked in some shops on Regent Street and Carnaby Street and as we walked past Polpo on Beak Street, we thought why not go there for dinner! It was a 45 minute wait for a table which we spend in the basement bar having a drink and catching up.

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We were starving when we sat down and followed the waiter’s suggestion of three dishes each. It was actually too much food for us, but we enjoyed sampling it all.

The first dish (top picture) was a wonderful bruschetta with mozzarella, nectarine and pea shoots. Also the pizza bianco with prosciutto, rocket and parmesan (above) was very good! 
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We wanted something green to balance all the heavy food and without a simple green leaf salad on the menu we settled for the fennel salad with almonds which was really fresh!

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The cuttlefish risotto with ink was absolutely fantastic. The terrible picture (it was dark and I used my iPhone) doesn’t do it justice at all. That and the bruschetta were the highlights of the evening!

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The meatballs made from pork and beef in tomato sauce were soft and full of flavour and a reoccurring dish on the menu.

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The lamb stew with tomato was also nice, but not as nice as the other dishes.

Polpo describes itself as a Venetian bàcaro; a simple restaurant serving rustic, well-cooked food. And that’s exactly what they do! And they do it very well. It’s cosy, a bit noisy and a nice atmosphere and there are plenty branches to choose from all around London.

Polpo Soho, 41 Beak Street, London W1F 9SB

Dinner at Mele e Pere, Soho (revisited)

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Mele e Pere in the midst of vibrant Soho (we saw two people getting arrested just after dinner) is a real gem. It’s very relaxed, usually crowded and they have prosecco on tap!

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I had dinner with my ex-flatmate Nick here a few weeks ago and since we were both starving after a hard day at he office we started with a few things to share and then moved on to a pasta dish each. To share we had a bread basket (with lovely focaccia), sweet green olives, calamari with smoky mayo and a parmigiana with pesto and rocket. All very tasty!

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Nick had a large portion of their beef ragù to finish and it was very proper. I’m sure it had been cooked for several hours.

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I chose probably the richest pasta dish in the universe but it was utterly amazing. Fluffy pillows of gnocchi with a very buttery sauce and shavings of black truffle. So lush!

Mele e Pere, 46 Brewer St, London W1F 9TF

(Birthday)Dinner at Mele e Pere, Soho

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I wanted to celebrate my birthday with my girls around nice but unpretentious food just having a good time. And Mele e Pere offered just that. And  they had decent prosecco on tap! Amazing!

One of my friends can’t eat wheat and the staff were really sweet trying to amend the dishes to suit her.

We started off with some prosecco and rosé at a table in the bar before sitting down in the restaurant sharing lots of starters.

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We had two burratas (one with a tomato sauce containing bread and one with just cherry tomatoes and olive oil), ricotta with peas and broad beans, octopus scewer with potatoes, melon and San Daniele ham, vitello tonnao and gnocchi with speck and parmesan.

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Octopus scewer with potato and a lovely purée

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Ricotta with peas and broad beans

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Min plate with all the different dishes

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After all that we were quite happy to order small portions of our mains, which were just the right size. The different take on spaghetti carbonara with ravioli (above) looked delicious and I can’t wait to try that next time.

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This time I had the lobster risotto which was amazing too! Absolutely loved it!

I really enjoyed our dinner here. It was quite spacious so you could just sit and talk about whatever without feeling like the table next to you can hear every word. The staff was friendly, utterly helpful and efficient and the atmosphere is laid back and relaxed. Can’t wait to go back. Soon. Very soon.

46 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 9TF

Lunch at Massimo, West End

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What started off as a girlie lunch, just coinciding with my birthday turned into a lunch for four and was sort of a birthday lunch as my lovely colleagues gave me a card and a gift. Thanks guys!

We decided on having both starter and main course as we were in no rush to get back to the office. Luckily July is pretty quiet. Three of us started off with the raw scallops flavoured with orange and vanilla salt and it was utterly delicious, fresh and fragrant.

Ria, less fond of raw seafood, opted for baked prawns instead which were also delicious. In fact, the whole crudo and antipasti menu looked wonderful.

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We all had pasta for our main course, Rich and Caroline chose the crab and tomato linguine which looked really fresh and nice, but they were a little bit disappointed flavour wise.

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Ria and I had the spaghetti Carbonara with lightly baked egg and truffle which sounded delicious. Unfortunately it was really oily and a bit too salty. I was quite disappointed but will give Massimo another chance as I know people who have had delicious pastas here.

The service was nice and efficient which weighed up a little bit and the art deco interior with pillars and large lamps is quite extraordinary and creates a nice setting for any meal.

Massimo, 10 Northumberland Avenue, London WC2N 5AE

Zucca, Bermondsey revisited

 

 

When I go to restaurants I know are really good, I don’t want to go with a big group of people because I want to keep the focus on the food. As the wine is flowing it is quite easy that you’re just having such a nice time with your friends that you forget about the food although it is amazingly good.

So when I went back to Zucca for the second time, I only had my best friend Emma as company so we could focus on the food as well as on the conversation, wine and the people around us.

 

 

To start we shared three small plates as we had trouble choosing. We had speck with rosemary crostini and gherkins. Very simple but very tasty. The pickled cucumber was delicious with it subtle flavours.

 

 

We also had a very creamy burrata with baked butternut squash and cumin. This was definitely my favourite, anything with that lovely silky burrata has my name on it!

 

 

Emma’s favourite was this plate of broccoli and cauliflower florets with chopped nuts and grated ricotta. Stunning!

 

 

We chose the same maincouse for the simple reason that neither of us would be able to handle the other person getting a dish that was better ones own. Us competitive? No…

This amazing linguine with mushrooms and parmesan was absolutely delicious to the last bite. This is what pasta should taste like!

 

 

After all that we were so full, but still temped by a scoop each of salted caramel icecream. It was definitely enough to satisfy the sweet craving after a big meal and we left full and very very happy.

 

Zucca
184 Bermondsey Street
London SE1 3TQ