Last week was rather full on, but in the best possible way! Monday I mainly prepped for the day after when I had my friends Gaby and Ro over for dinner after work. For once I wasn’t rushed and it was such a nice feeling. We started with nibbles; obviously Jamon Iberico and saucisson from Spain, nice olives and my homemade dill hummus with pitta chips.
Then I served trout fillets with dilly new potatoes and a lovely sauce for fish and finished the dinner off with dulce de leche pannacotta. Gaby also brought a selection of canelés from Babelle that were amazing!
My childhood friend Therése arrived from Sweden on Thursday evening and we had dinner together at mine while chatting away. I made a selection of tapas including the Jamon Iberico and saucisson, Nocellara olives (our favourite!), Manchego and Ossau Iraty cheese, padron peppers, calamari and my asparagus with wild garlic mayonnaise.
On Friday we met after work and had a speedy but delicious dinner at Barrafina Drury Lane before going to the theatre around the corner to see 42nd Street.
Saturday was lovely and sunny, so we put our sunglasses on and went shopping in Chelsea where we also had lunch. A pit stop at home to change and we were off to dinner. We had amazing sushi that I will tell you all about later and finished the evening with champagne at Kettner’s Townhouse.
Therése’s last full day here we went back to an old favourite for lunch; La Fromagerie in Marylebone. The food, the cheese and the ambience is just a winning combination.
In the evening I made us a nice chicken salad and we had ice cream and chocolate chip cookies for pudding. It was such a lovely weekend and I’m so grateful my friends make the effort to visit me while living abroad! ❤
Friday was such a wonderful day here in London; it was 14C and sunny and it felt like Spring really was here. Fast forward until the next day and it was -1C and snow. Most of the snow has melted again now and I really hope this is it. Spring, please come back!
Apart from the weather changes it was a lovely week. I had some time to myself to just relax and catch up on feel good series such as Grey’s Anatomy (don’t judge!), Madam Secretary and Elementary (yes, crime makes me feel good. Any questions on that?).
But I also had quality time with friends. On Tuesday I met up with my friend Laura at Flesh & Buns for sushi, fried squid, steamed buns with duck and wonderful doughnuts with black sugar caramel.
On Friday I had sushi again, at Sticks ‘n Sushi and an early night. Saturday started with a long lie-in and a blissfully quiet morning before I reorganised my whole wardrobe and tidied up at home. So nice to get it done and so needed!
Yesterday I met up with dear friends from Sweden in town. We had a lovely afternoon with lunch at Carluccio’s, a trip to the playground in the snow (!) and tea and cake to warm up afterwards.
So lovely to spend quality time with my friends in London. It’s always such a whirlwind trying to fit everybody in when I go home so this was a real treat!
In between Christmas and New Year my best friend Emma and I had planned a whole day in Copenhagen with her husband and his friend. We took the train across the bridge (yes, that bridge) and got to Copenhagen just in time for lunch at Sticks ‘n Sushi. For a chain, they have really good sushi, and I love that they have restaurants in London too.
We started off with roasted cauliflower snacks and spicy edamame, then we had some nigiri and maki rolls, a salmon tartare to share and some of the sticks. And wine, of course.
The snacks vanished in seconds and then we got started on the sushi. All the nigiri (we had salmon, tuna and seared yellow tail) were nice, but the maki rolls are really really good. We shared a spicy tuna, crunchy ebi (prawn) and a pink Alaska (with salmon and cream cheese) and couldn’t decide which was the best one as they were all lovely.
The salmon tartare was not very impressive and the sticks with emmenthaler cheese and bacon we didn’t even finish, but we did like the chicken teriyaki skewers, but the sushi is definitely the star here.
After lunch we went to a few bars, did some shopping and had a four course dinner, so stay tuned for more Copenhagen posts.
Sticks ‘n Sushi, Borgergade 13, 1300 København K, Denmark
A Saturday a looong time ago now, Caroline and I met up for dinner in Chelsea. We hadn’t booked anywhere but wanted Japanese and when we tried Kurobuta they luckily had space for us at the communal table.
I’d only been to Kurobuta once before this, when it was still a pop-up at a different location on the Kings Road, but the permanent space is so much better. The ambiance feels more restaurant-y and the food is just as good – if not even better!
A group at our communal table were eating the tempura prawns when we arrived, they looked really good so it was the first thing we ordered. They were nice and crispy on the outside but the prawn within was still nice and juicy and the onions and chilli worked well with the prawns and the delicious mayo. The fried white shreds underneath the prawns were not that nice, but at least it looked nice!
Our next dish was these a-ma-zing wagyu beef sliders with steamed buns, crispy onion, pickled cucumber and umami mayo. Sooo good and my favourite dish this evening!
The wellowtail sashimi was nice but a little too wet for my liking as it was resting in a pool of yuzu and soy.
Also the maki roll with spicy tuna was a bit of a let down. It was lacking a bit in flavour and all the spice came from the sauce on top, not from the roll itself..
But we absolutely loved the grilled miso chicken! Nice charred flavour from the grill and it was perfectly cooked.
Despite not finding all the dishes perfect, I do really enjoy coming here. The food is always good and some dishes are excellent. And compared tp many other restaurants offering Japanese small dishes or Asian fusion this is one of the better! Just promise me you try the Wagyu slider, and you’ll see what I mean!
Kurobuta, 312 Kings Road, London SW3 5UH
At Taste of London this year Caroline and I got a voucher for 25% off food at Roka Aldwych, which we used shortly after. In August I believe. Where does the time go?!?
Anyway, it was a lovely sunny day and we had time for a long lunch. Those were the days…
The first thing on the menu that caught my eye was the scallop sashimi, and I remembered the fab version I had at Berns in Stockholm, and just had to order it here too. Sadly it was nowhere near as nice as the one in Stockholm, it was fresh but not as nice tasting. The yellow tail tartar was also a little plain, but from here on the lunch only got better and better.
The softshell crab and kimchi maki roll was really nice, and I like the fact the sauce was served on the side instead of all on top of the sushi.
The beef gyozas were also nice, not wow but nice. The filling was OK but the pastry was perfect.
This sticky deliciousness that is grilled aubergine was just amazing! I would come back just to have that. Yum…
And these beef and shosito pepper skewers were top notch too!
The level of the cooking was a bit up and down but the dishes got (seriously) better towards the end of the meal, so maybe they’re best at the cooked dishes here.
Roka Aldwych, 71 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN
On the Sunday in Stockholm Carina had booked brunch for us at Berns Asiatiska and Emma and myself will be for always grateful. It was such an amazing brunch for three sushi lovers like us!
Look at this. We queued a few times by the sushi bar to fill our plates; the sushi chefs were definitely kept busy. There was tuna, salmon and scallop sashimi which were all very nice but the scallop sashimi was absolutely fantastic!
There were also plenty of maki rolls and they were also utterly delicious. The nigiri were just as amazing. This is the best sushi I’ve ever had in Sweden!
Here’s my first (of several) plate(s). It looks like a lot, but we’d been out the night before and the rolls were actually not too big which meant we could eat more.
Even though we loved the sushi there were plenty of other foods to try as well so we did a proper lap around the restaurant. The asian flavoured oysters with coriander were delicious.
The dumplings were nice too, but I could have done with some more flavours since I love dumplings. There were also lots of other nice food such as ribs, nudel salads, spring rolls, stews etc. They really covered everything.
And the pudding buffé was just as nice. This picture shows about a third of it. I prefer sushi over dessert any day but still had to try two small pots, the lemongrass crème brulee was nice but far too rich for me after all that food but a pixie pot of yoghurt mousse was perfect to end the meal.
Berns Asiatiska, Berzelii Park, 103 27 Stockholm
One of my dear American friends, Erin, moved back to her beloved US or A at the end of August. I was away most of that month and I missed her leaving do so to be able to say goodbye properly we squeezed in one last dinner with two more friends, before she left. Since we wanted to give Erin a proper send-off we booked a nice restaurant I have only been to once before, and the other girls not at all; Sushi Samba.
Last time I came here I had a great time and really enjoyed the evening although the level of the food was a bit inconsistent.
We started our meal with a nice bottle of Sancerre and some plantain crisps and dip what we all enjoyed.
The sashimi was lovely too. I had the same as last time; yellowtail sashimi with yuzu and black truffle oil, and it was just as nice this time.
Amy is not a fan of sushi so had some nice beef incredibly crispy calamari – both very good.
We also had some Peruvian corn as a side to share. The kernels are bigger, lighter in colour and a bit chewier than regular corn. The taste also differs; it’s slightly less sweet but still very nice.
I couldn’t help but order the Sasa rolls, a real favourite of mine. They come two per portion so you don’t have to be greedy like me and have one portion to yourself. They are delicious but one per person is totally enough as they are quite filling! But absolutely lovely! Erin loved them too.
The sushi came out last as it takes a while to make but it was definitely worth the wait. Last time here it was actually the sushi that was a bit disappointing but I clearly ordered the wrong thing or the chef was having a bad day, because the sushi we had this time was marvellous! My favourite was the Sushi Samba roll (left) but the Sao Paulo and Yoyogi rolls (all on the platter) were great too!
It literally was our last evening together (sob) so we asked our kind waiter to take a photo of us to remember it by. And then we couldn’t help ourselves and took some silly selfies in front of the amazing lit-up tree on the terrace.
Sushisamba, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY