Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Sushi Tetsu, Clerkenwell

I got the inevitable mummy cut. I would have wept as my long locks hit the floor of the hairdressers, if it wasn't for the fact that it was desperately unhealthy, knotted beyond repair, and had only been left out a handful of times since Wolfie has learnt to grab it and hold on with all his might.

Anyway, regardless of how I feel about my hair, I had an excellent Japanese hairdresser at my service, which reminded me that I hadn't get gloated blogged about Sushi Tetsu.

Seven seats. That's how many Sushi Tetsu can accommodate at any one time. Which is why it took me so blinking long to go, until one day I realised it was reservations day. As it happens, feeding a baby (once you get the hang of it) actually allows you quite a lot of time to watch TV boxsets, whatsapp and hit redial to Sushi Tetsu. 57 times to be exact. But boy, was it worth every single redial.

Watching Chef Toru work tirelessly throughout the 2.5 hours we were there was incredible. The precision and detailed beauty in everything he serves up was a real pleasure to experience. It was the freshest, best sushi I have had since Tsukiji fish market in Japan (at 7am, fresh from that morning's catch).

I could wax lyrical about every mouthful we enjoyed there, but I'll limit it to this: fatty tuna. Oh my I-can't-even-begin-to-describe-the-pure-unadulterated-joy-this-fish-gave-me gawd. If you haven't had the pleasure, please please please put it on your list of must do's. If you were here in person I'd grab you by the shoulders and shake you while screaming "FATTY TUNA!!" in your face. That's how strongly I feel about it.

Just looking at those pictures makes me want to weep that I'm not back there right now. 


Sushi Tetsu on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Pudding Bar, Soho

This weird thing happened to me while I was pregnant (yes, possibly even weirder than being kicked by the tiny human growing inside me and needing to cross my legs whenever I sneezed more than twice in a row) - my tastes changed. I'm not talking in a wanting to eat ham wrapped pickled onions topped with apple slices craving kind of way, but a complete shift from savoury to sweet.

Until pregnancy, I'd never been huge on desserts or sweets. Chocolate bars could waste away at the back of cupboards (or would have, if the CG wasn't around). But crisps! Oh, glorious crisps! And a two course meal would always be starter and main, never main and dessert, if I had the choice. But then along came the bump and suddenly the most appealing thing in the world to me was a doughnut, washed down with a family sized chocolate bar, topped with a bucket of Ben & Jerry's. 

I was hoping the switcheroo would reverse itself with the appearance of Wolfie, but sadly it shows no sign of abating. The CG could hardly believe his luck when he would arrive home night after night to find the cupboards bursting forth with sugary temptation, but even he this week has declared a break from it all. 

As I'm a pretty considerate lass, I decided to keep the cupboards empty in support of the CG's resolution, and ate everything in them. Then I headed out to The Pudding Bar with Miss B to inhale 5 desserts for lunch. S'more cheesecake, eton mess, earl grey panna cotta, choux buns and an amazing blueberry baked alaska with elderflower gel. Apparently I am a sucker for meringue in any form.

My only regret is not having had double the baked alaska. And of course, coming home to empty cupboards. So I whipped up some brownies today. Obviously.

Meanwhile, Wolfie has started rolling (one way) and laughing - who knew so much joy could be brought to my life by such seemingly simple things?

Pudding Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Harwood Arms, revisited

As it turns out, eating out with a baby is actually pretty easy. So long as you don't mind eating lukewarm food with one hand, and your fellow diners occasionally cut things up for you into bite sized pieces you can stab with a fork, obviously. Luckily I've never been that attached to using a knife, and my addiction to taking food photos had pretty much rendered eating my meals piping hot a thing of the past long before Wolfie appeared on the scene.

Speaking of which, taking photos has really taken a nose dive - probably to the glee of my usual accomplices. But I do have something like a thousand photos of Wolfie instead, so y'know. Swings and roundabouts. Speaking of which, HOW CUTE IS HE?!

Not biased at all. 

After being so impressed with the Harwood Arms last year, we headed back to celebrate the CG's first father's day (did I mention that managing to blog in a timely fashion also goes out the window when you spend most of your day living and breathing a small person? I assume, given the vast number of mummy blogs out there, that my previous time management skills and motivation will return at some stage.)

We weren't disappointed.

Starters were innovative and presented beautifully, from duck egg and snails to squid.  

Of course we couldn't resist one of their signature scotch eggs either.

But the real star of the show was our Sunday roast. Beautifully tender roasted rib eye, served up with cheeks, stuffed yorkshire puds, cauliflower cheese, smoked bone marrow, buttered greens and crispy roast potatoes.

Father's Day perfection.

Topped off with a little something sweet.

Top notch dining in one of the best gastropubs around.

Wolfie sure knows how to treat his dad.

Harwood Arms on Urbanspoon Square Meal

Monday, 23 June 2014

Hutong, The Shard

When people tell you that having a baby takes up all your time, they are not joking. An outing a day, we can manage. An outing plus responding to emails, or publishing a blog post? No chance. And yet every day just goes so fast, and Wolfie gets bigger, and I wish time would slow down and I could bottle my memories of every single moment with him.

Mum came to soak up her first grandchild (read: completely spoil) which handily coincided with her birthday. We headed to Hutong to celebrate with views over London.

How gorgeous is my mum?

When we were growing up, peking duck was my brother's favourite, and I was always a little bit envious of the excess portions he would always be offered first when we were lucky enough to have any. Hutong's offering is some of the best I've had, with a particularly good hoisin sauce, and the second course they serve the remainder of the duck up as is a delicious version of sang choy bow. 

The lotus root was satisfyingly crunchy and spicy, and the salted egg yolk prawns were delicious albeit presented fairly poorly.

We expected the crispy lamb ribs, marinated for 24 hours, to be the star of the show but unfortunately we were a little disappointed. The flavour was fairly one dimensional, despite their tantalising and impressive appearance. The duck definitely stole the show and is 100% worth visiting for.

We nursed our full bellies while watching a thunderstorm roll across London, its lightening actually striking the Shard as we digested our lunch. 

I've missed celebrating so many birthdays and special occasions with my family. It was a perfect venue to share only the second birthday I've been with my mum for in the last seven years.

Hutong on Urbanspoon Square Meal

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Hungry like the wolf - a new chapter

I've always thought of life as divided into chapters of a story. There was being a a kid, high school, university, starting work, backpacking adventures, living abroad, meeting the love of my life, more backpacking adventures…and now being a mum. 

Little Wolfie (not his real name, but one that we did seriously consider before deciding that we really weren't cool enough to be those parents) appeared on the pages of our story a month ago - over two weeks early - and I honestly feel like we've had him forever. 

People tell you about the unconditional love you will feel for your child, and how much your life will change, and it turns out they're telling the truth. Who would have believed it?! I could never have imagined feeling this way. Even while I was pregnant, I was anxious about motherhood and what that would mean - not working, not having the freedom to do as I pleased, being 100% responsible for a small person every day and knowing exactly what to do. 

Every concern I ever had has vanished. I look at Wolfie and my heart feels like it will explode. He's the cutest thing I ever laid eyes on, even when he's screaming. I just can't believe how lucky we are to have him, and what a little miracle he is. 

And obviously he takes just after me. The perpetually hungry little man is happiest when he's eating, and he's been making sure his mummy is getting all the food she needs too - accompanying me out for steak, burgers, brunch, dim sum, pizza,  mexican, seafood, and cake. Happy, happy days.

By the way, pork crackling with guacamole? Best. Idea. Ever.