London has been warm lately, even by my standards, but I do love it – apart from the humidity!
I had another quite busy week but with a few relaxing evenings to myself to balance it out. Every year I get baffled by how busy the summer is but it’s a lot of fun!
Anyway, Monday I had a relaxing evening after work, mainly to recover from the fun weekend in the country (and catch up on those chores). I had toast for dinner, because I have those days too. It was too hot to cook and having cooked so much over the weekend I just needed a break.
Tuesday I met up with my Swedish food blogger friend Malin who was in town with her daughter Ella. They were eating as much Asian food as they could as they both love it, and so we had dim sum at Yauatcha Soho for dinner. We had a lovely dinner and I just love the food there. It’s consistently very very good. After dinner we ran across the road to a really dodgy pub to watch the extra time and penalty shoot out between Colombia and England and after England had won people were singing and dancing in the streets of Soho.
Wednesday the weather was a little cooler, but it was still lovely to have a drink on the roof terrace before heading to Shake Shack for burgers and cheesy fries. Then we went for a walk and finished the evening with an episode of Billions.
I had another quiet night on Thursday and made a lovely salad for dinner. And on Friday I was invited to the Roger Waters concert in Hyde Park in the evening, which was really hot and really good fun!
On Saturday I watched Sweden lose to my second team, England, (who deserved to win) and in the evening it was more football, with Russia v. Croatia. I also cooked (!) despite the heat and made a Quiche Lorraine, that we had with a nice salad and cold rosé. And ice cream for pudding. Ice cream and ice lollies are the best in the heat!
Sunday was a lazy day with a lie-in until noon, some chores at home and a nice afternoon in the sun on the roof terrace with the latest issue of Vogue; the best ‘me time’.
Onto the next week…
I cooked (and ate!) a lot of nice food when I was back home in Sweden in August. But my family and I have a tendency to get a bit overboard sometimes. So one day we decided to not make an elaborate three course meal. Instead we had these yummy homemade burgers with a homemade version of the Shake Shack sauce. So good!
I first saw the Fake Shack sauce recipe on Smitten Kitchen’s wonderful blog and knew I just had to make it. And it hit the spot just as I thought it would. My parents liked it too and from now on this is definitely my go-to burger sauce.
Fake Shack sauce, serves 4
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe.
60 ml mayonnaise (homemade or Hellman’s)
1 1/2 tsp juice from a pickle jar
1 1/2 tsp ketchup
1 tsp yellow mustard
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
Mix the ingredients, taste and adjust the flavour until you’re happy with the balance. Serve with burgers.
It seems the fast food trend is far from over. Just this past month two more burger restaurants have opened in Covent Garden; Five Guys and Shake Shack.
I had never heard of Five Guys before and when they were decorating the space I had no idea it was becoming a burger place. But I had heard of Shake Shack and was a bit sad I didn’t get to try it when I was in New York and therefore quite excited to try it now that it has opened in London.
I went here for lunch with two colleagues and knowing it is a popular place we got there just after noon, but even then the queue was quite long. It moved quickly however and we even got a sample of ice cream each.
The burger restaurant is placed in the actual market buildings on the Covent Garden piazza and although modern meets old style wise it looks pretty good.
I chose the Smoke Shack burger with cheese, bacon and cherry peppers. The patty was nice and moist, the bun of perfect brioche type; not crumbly and not spongy either. The trimmings were nice too, the dressing didn’t over power, the cheese nice and gooey and the bacon crisp – as should be.
Since I just love melted cheese I had to try their cheese fries and I was actually quite impressed. The fries are crimped and therefore extra crunchy and the cheese sauce was delicious. I was worried it would taste very artificial, and OK, it does taste a bit like the Dairy Lea plastic cheese, but that’s the type of cheese I like with a burger (yes, actually).
Shake Shack is definitely worth a visit when you’re in the mood for an American style burger. Just get in the queue.
Shake Shack, Covent Garden, 24 Market Building, The Piazza, London WC2E 8RD