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The London Foodie's Japanese Supper Club

I've been wanting to go to The London Foodie's supper club for an age. For starters, Japanese ranks as my #1 cuisine. Secondly, I was fascinated by how it would work - a bunch of random strangers being treated to a (fancy) home cooked meal in someone's actual house. And finally, I just wanted to meet the man who gave up his investment banking career for the pleasure of cooking for others.

It did not disappoint.

Luiz was lovely, and his house was warm and inviting - exactly what we needed coming in from a rainy, cold night. The thing I liked the most was actually having someone taking the time to explain what we were going to experience, the use of the ingredients, and to be able to give a really personal account of where the inspiration from the dishes came from.

Huge respect to anyone who can cater for a dinner party of 22 people. And oh, how I coveted his kitchen. 

Classy as always.

We had a new menu that kicked off this weekend, so I don't want to say too much about the dishes and ruin the surprise for anyone. All I'll say is, the portions are substantial - and as the girls reminded me "pace yourself - it's a marathon not a sprint". 

The icing on the cake, apart from being able to BYO? Meeting two other people from not just the same area of Sydney, but the same suburb I was raised in. We all high-fived, obviously.

Cah Chi, Earlsfield

It's been a long time since I've had Korean - I'm guessing about 4 years. There's always a distinct fear in me of having to emerge reeking of BBQ smell infused through my hair and clothing.

On the quest for the top 100 dishes, Cah Chi put those fears to rest. I don't know how they do it, but I certainly didn't smell like a side of beef when I emerged. I don't think.

The Time Out pick was Pa Jeon - a pretty damn tasty spring onion and seafood pancake.

I think I'm sold. 

Square Meal Cah-Chi on Urbanspoon

Sunday in Stockholm

It stopped raining! And we got to soak up the beauty of the autumnal colours on Skansen.

Obviously our invigorating walk was with one thing in mind: Rosendals Trädgård. This little farm on the island has a café which uses the fresh produce for its menu. 

Herring 3 meals in a row? Why not. I mean, who even knew you could cook herring so many ways? The Swedish, I guess.

True to form, the CG had the tomato soup.

We finished off our trip with a ferry ride and a visit to the photography museum, as the drizzle started up again.

Weekends away are just so good when they're organised by someone else, don't you think?

Saturday in Stockholm

Yeah, yeah, I know what you're gonna say:
"But what happened to Koh Samui? You can't just jump to another country. What happened?!"

LIFE my friends. That's what happened. Plus this week goes like this: 6am, 7am, 5:30am, 5:30am, 3:30am. PITY ME.

I'll get back to Thailand eventually.

The CG, Miss B and I headed to Stockholm for the weekend, while Miss O went to Lisbon on a flight with an empty seat beside her where I should have been because I made the whopping mistake of booking two trips on top of each other. Literally. That's £150 I'll never get back, not to mention the missed experience of tasting portguese tarts from their birthplace. Fail.

We hit up Urban Deli for a Swedish style breakfast. If we'd been 5 minutes later, we would have been at the end of the rush and seen how high the locals managed to stack their sandwiches. Instead we got prime seating and no wait. 

It was a good start to the day. (Side note: sandwiches, especially open sandwiches, are big in Stockholm. Not size wise, just presence wise.)

Then we did a spot of shopping, stopping in at Parlans for caramels in every flavour you could hope for (vanilla-salt was my fave).

And a cheese shop of course.

Then we soaked up the city some more (read: shopped) before stopping for lunch at Bla Dorren (are you sensing a theme here?) for our first of three Herring featured meals, and a whole lot of roe on toast. Deep fried herring is actually pretty damn tasty. The CG stuck to a meat hash fry up, without any regard for local delicacies.

In our fat bellied defence, it was really wet outside. It rained ALL day.

That's supposed to be Stockholm's narrowest passage we're standing in up the top there. I know, doesn't look that narrow, right? It's because we're so thin, obviously.

After a quick dry off, we headed out for a drink and dinner around Ostermalm. Now if you're ever looking for the perfect travel companion - shares all her food with you, remembers to bring the toiletries you've forgotten, books your accommodation, prints off travel guides, actually guides you around the city and even makes a dinner reservation for you knowing full well what Saturday nights are like in busy places - Miss B is your ticket. 

We had dinner at Prinsens, which was bustling and full of posh old world charm.

This time is was herring pickled 5 ways, smørrebrød 3 ways, meatballs and prawn salad. The CG had shrimp and steak. I actually don't know why I take him anywhere.

We rolled out of there, having trouble doing up our coats. Although that didn't stop the CG devouring an entire bag of salted licorice (ok, so he does like to try the local lollies) while we decided we were too old to go clubbing...or at least too old after 16 hours of walking and eating. Maybe next time, hey?

Afternoon tea at The Capital, and bit of George Michael

How's this for fast work: 
10:30am arrive at Heathrow off the red eye
11:30am head out to Brunch @ Brew (so good, as always)
1:00pm head back home to relax after a hectic work travel week
1:10pm summoned by Miss O instructing me to come to afternoon tea instead of drinks because  she "will be inebriated before we make it to 9pm drinks"
2:20pm unpacked, showered, dressed, apologised profusely to the CG for leaving him straight after getting home, and in Knightsbridge, ten minutes early, ready to rock and roll and waiting for the birthday girl.
Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about.

Miss O had organised a private room at The Capital for tea. 

I probably shouldn't have had brunch, but I thought I was going to be sleeping all afternoon, didn't I?

The birthday cake was ridiculous. Chocolate ridiculousness, on top of sugar city.

Despite rolling out of the hotel with a 3 month old food baby, it was definitely the right choice. 12 hours of sleep later and I'd made a teeny dent in my jet lag ravaged state.

So, one of my ex-work colleagues gave us a pretty cool wedding present - tickets to George Michael's Symphonica. MAN that guy can sing. His bea-u-ti-ful voice was so nice that it's smooth and jazzy tones lulled me to sleep for a couple of songs (I wasn't kidding about the jet lag). 

It was a pretty sweet way to spend a Sunday evening. Plus now I've been to Earls Court as a venue. Tick!

Momofuku and Meatballs in NYC

You know when you think something's gonna be good, and then it completely blows you out of the water? Yeah, that's my life at the moment. Apart from the constant jetlag, things are better than good.

I couldn't be more inspired and motivated by my new work. Every single person we met on our trip to the States was not only ridiculously nice, but smart, engaged, and passionate. PASSIONATE! One or two people, you expect. A bunch of people, across three different sites? I've certainly never encountered anything like it in the 14 years I've been working FMCG.

And then there were the Momofuku buns. We managed to squeeze in a visit to the noodle bar while we were in NYC. 

The ramen wasn't the best I'd had, but oh. my. sweet. buns. You know something's good when both of you just keep nodding at each other with eyes wide open as you savour every bite (thankfully we managed to recruit someone who loves food as much as I do).

The pork was super succulent, and the shrimp was just so tasty in the lightest, crispiest batter. I'm actually drooling just writing about them. Hanging for the day we get something as good in London.

After the whirlwind work week (and drinks at the Standard, dinner at Spice Market and at Ken & Cook - all brilliant), we finished off our trip last night with a visit to The Meatball Shop. Who would have thought something so basic could be fancied up into so many flavour combinations? I went for the spicy pork meatballs in parmesan cream sauce. 

But the icing on the cake were the ice cream sandwiches. I am definitely going to make these bad boys for a dinner party one day. Choose a type of cookie and ice cream flavour, and feel the sugar course through your veins. 

My snickerdoodle cookie caramel ice cream sandwich sent me on a high that had me crashing down shortly after. Luckily by that stage, all I needed to do was wash my face, brush my teeth, and get as much sleep as I could on the red eye back home. 

NYC...even visit no. 7 just leaves me wanting more. 

Momofuku Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon