Tag Archives: sweet potato

Tredwell’s, Covent Garden

Before I launch, eating and slurping into 2015, I want to tell you about my lunch at Tredwell’s. A lunch that took place many months ago, in a year we called 2014.

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Despite less than favourable reviews, I was keen to try Marcus Wareing’s newest and most ‘accessible’ establishment. The restaurant was named after the butler in Agatha Christie’s The Seven Dials Mystery, so it had to have hidden depths (even if the soulless dining room suggested otherwise).

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Turns out I was right to trust my instincts as aside from the lack of customers chatting and chomping, I rather enjoyed my meal. Prawns on a bed of white polenta with white garlic and chicken broth (£8.50) was a lovely start. A hug in a bowl, it was sweet and sumptuous with pleasant warmth.

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Sea Bass was of similar design, but this time the gently cooked fish crouched on creamed carrots, lentils and shallots (£15). Had it not been for the sides of Kale Slaw (£3.50) and Sweet Potato Chips (£4.50), I could have lost the false teeth for the duration of the course. As with the starter, this dish was made for Mr Soft.

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A Virtuous Chocolate Brownie (£5) was shared for dessert, washed down with what remained of our carafe of house white (£13). It looked like a brownie, but a lack of eggs, dairy, wheat and refined sugar changed the taste and texture beyond repair. I regretted my choice and vowed never to liken ‘virtue’ to a ‘pudding’ again.

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I wouldn’t rush back to Tredwell’s, but I certainly wouldn’t avoid it as some critics suggest. The food is tasty, well presented and not insanely priced. So it’s a shame the restaurant is deprived of charisma and warmth due to a distinctive lack of bodies.

Tredwell’s, 4A Upper St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2H 9NY

Food 4/5 – Price 3/5 – Staff 4/5 – Atmosphere – 2/5

Tredwell's on Urbanspoon

Raw Press, Mayfair

I never thought I’d say this, but I can now imagine life without meat and fish. Life where fruit and veg rule my diet, along with pretentious pulses and edible seeds.

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I can thank my lovely almost Vegan housemate for this, along with Deliciously Ella‘s recipe app, Yotam Ottolenghi’s incredible salads and cold-pressed juice bars like Raw Press, which just opened in Mayfair.

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Walk into Raw Press and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a hipster cafe in Brooklyn, or how I imagine every LA restaurant to be. It’s shiny, clean and white, with splashes of colour from glass juice bottles and big bowls of salad. It magically makes you feel healthy the moment you arrive.

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I was lucky enough to taste all their cold-pressed juices, which made picking my favourites easy. No. 2 Green is my ultimate thirst quencher, packed with superfood goodness from its combination of apple, cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, Swiss chard and lemon (£5.50/£7.50).

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Then, for something a little naughtier, it has to be No. 7 Coffee & Mylk (£5.50/£7.50). Made with almonds, coconut water, dates, Himalayan salt, vanilla bean and cold brew coffee, it blows any regular flavoured milk out the water.

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Now some of you will be wondering what a cold-pressed juice is. Well, the answer is simple – instead of using a heat inducing centrifugal juicer that lowers the nutritional value of the juice, these bottles of deliciousness are made with a hydraulic pressed juice extraction that’s slow and, best of all, cold.

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But Raw Press isn’t just about the juice. There’s also an amazing range of vegan salads and snacks by the immensely talented Ella Woodward. For less than a tenner, you can order a giant plate of scrumptious Zucchini Noodles with homemade Brazil Nut pesto, Marinated Kale & Sweet Potato Salad, Broccoli & Avocado Salad and Chickpea & Squash Salad. All fantastically tasty and wonderfully good for you.

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And, there’s even a range of sweet treats (I particularly loved Ella’s Energy Bites and Banoffee Pie Pots). But the biggest surprise are her brownies – who knew they could be made with sweet potato and still burst with flavour? Yes the consistency is different, but the feeling of satisfaction when chomping your way through? Exactly the same.

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So there you have it. You can enjoy a varied, delicious diet free from fish and meat, which juice bars like Raw Press inspire. I’m not saying goodbye to sausage & mash, spag bol or fish pie, but vegetables are now playing a larger part in my life – hell, I even threw a vegan dinner party last night.

Raw Press, 32 Dover Street, London W1S 4NE

KERB, King’s Cross

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King’s Cross is enjoying a foodie revolution…or so I’ve been told. A train full of restaurants are due to open over the next year, which will join the likes of Shrimpy’s, Grain Store and Caravan. And then there’s KERB – a weekly concrete food market made up of stalls, bars and an old man playing summer dance tracks.

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Yesterday was one of the hottest days of the year, so an afternoon of eating, drinking and sunbathing was in order. KERB King’s Cross ticked all the boxes, so we headed there to stuff ourselves with yummy street food and lie by the canal.

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There are around twenty stalls at KERB, which boarder Granary Square. In the middle there are over 1,000 individually lit, choreographed fountains – a fancy concept that’s particularly popular with children looking to cool off.

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We did the rounds, before deciding on lunch. Heartbreaker Burger caught my eye, but I chose Vermicelli Vietnamese Noodles with Tofu (£6) from Hanoi Kitchen and a side of Sweet Potato Chips from Yu Kyu (£3.50).

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The chips were incredible – crisp and sweet, there wasn’t a trace of grease in sight. I’d gobbled each and every golden wonder before starting on the noodles, which combined fragrance, texture and heat, along with a little too much salt (possibly an overzealous helping of soya sauce).

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Miss Crump Eats had the same, but R decided on a pork and duck bap from Bill or Beak, which lived up to its long, long queue. She also chose a brightly coloured Whoopie Pie from Kooky Bakes (£3) – a pie so tasty, it put a smile on her face from the first bite.

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We sat on fake grass steps by the river and spent at least five minutes talking about how fantastic our city is. Cheesy yes, but true none the less.

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There are a few KERB Markets in London, but we chose KERB King’s Cross, Granary Square, London N1C 4AA. 

Pieminister’s Cattle Market, Camden

Grab a cardboard box and fill it with creamy mash. On top, place one, perfectly formed, homemade pie* and cover it with a scoop of mushy, minty peas, lashings of thick, rich gravy, grated cheese and crispy, golden shallots.

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That, readers, is what they call The Mothership. The tasty, pie medley that you can now get at Pieminister’s Cattle Market – a laid back, spacious pop up right by Camden Market.

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Once you’ve chosen your pie – we went with Heidi (an ingenious combination of goats’ cheese, sweet potato, spinach & red onion that’s even a hit with carnivores) and Matador (Pieminister’s Spanish offering with farm assured, British beef steak, chorizo, olives, sherry & butter bean) – you can decide on your donation.

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Money goes to Pieminister’s Send a Cow Cattle Drive campaign to kick start 30 farms in Africa. A very worthy cause that the founders Jon and Tristan firmly believe in.

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The pop-up’s due to last a month, but with those pies – plus Camden’s need for somewhere decent and cheap to eat – I’m sure we can keep Cattle Market open a bit longer. It certainly gets my vote. Moooooo.

Pieminister’s Cattle Market, 21-22 Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8AG

*all Pieminister pies are handmade in Bristol, something that will always stay the same (I heard that from Tristan himself)

Barrington Brewery, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

It took me 28 years, one month and 28 days to visit America and now, in the blink of an eye, I’m back home. I comfort myself with food memories – Korean fried chicken, Japanese black cod, Venezuelan arepas, Mexican tacos, New York pizza…the list goes on.

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Our holiday began in Sheffield, Massachusetts, about two and a half hours from New York. There I ate bagels, sushi, sourdough pizza and exceptional home cooked meals. All that, and super sized sandwiches at Barrington Brewery.

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Barrington Brewery is exactly what you’d expect an American diner to be. It’s spacious with large wooden booths that allow plenty of room for pints of solar beer (brewed on the premises), super sandwiches, fried sides and enormous slices of chocolate cake.

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Around the table we had everything from the Classic Reuben ($10), unusual Smoked Salmon BLT ($10), Mixed NY Grill ($10) and a surprisingly fresh looking Arugula Salad ($10.50) with greens, beets, walnuts, dried berries and local goat’s cheese.

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The sandwiches were enormous, dripping with molten cheese and juice from the generous portions of meat. Each came with a choice of sweet potato or beer battered fries (go with the former – definitely the best I’ve tasted), along with a large pickle.

Barrington Brewery may make McDonald’s look healthy, but the food is undeniably delicious and a must-eat for anyone with hours to digest horizontally afterwards.

Barrington Brewery, 420 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington MA 01230

Bubbledogs, Charlotte Street

I felt pretty smug when walking past the long queue of people and straight into Bubbledogs on Tuesday night. I could feel their eyes burning holes in my back, but I didn’t care – I was in, warm and about to enjoy a glass of Champagne.

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You may wonder how I did this. Well, the answer is simple – I booked. Oh yes, if you’re with a group of six or more, you can reserve a table at this hyped Champagne and hotdog bar. There is still some waiting involved (I booked over two months ago), but feeling like a celebrity going into an overcrowded club makes it all worthwhile.

Inside, Bubbledogs is rustically stylish, with bare brick walls, wooden tables, pictures of cartoon dogs and clever finishing touches, such as the empty Champagne boxes used as vessels for cutlery and sauces. A bar occupies one wall of the narrow room and downstairs there are unisex loos wallpapered with restaurant menus.

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We were seated quickly and handed our menus by our cheery waiter. A £32 bottle of Prosecco came soon after, followed by a friendly warning that we’d need to be off our table by 8.30pm – just an hour and a half after we’d arrived. Feeling slightly disgruntled, but appreciating this was ‘fast food’, we placed our hot dog order.

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I was in the company of Bistro Becs, who was equally keen to try as much as possible. So, we shared all three sides – tots, sweet potato fries and coleslaw – along with a Sloppy Joe and The Viking Dog (Tuesday’s special).

It was hard to pick from fourteen different hotdogs, but the choice of whether to have a pork, beef or veggie sausage was easy – pork all round. The Sloppy Joe topping was Bubbledogs chilli, cheese and onion, whereas The Viking came covered in cucumber relish, Swedish mustard, ketchup and onion.

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It’s a shame The Viking has to leave as his crisp onions and sweet combination of sauces made him the victor in my eyes. As for the dogs, I’m afraid they weren’t that hot. In fact, they reminded me of jarred frankfurters – soft, spongy and lacking in any real flavour.

The perfectly cooked, non-greasy sweet potato fries stood out for me, especially when teamed with truffle mayo – delicious. The tots added nothing more than an extra pound around my waist and the coleslaw just tasted like…coleslaw.

Price-wise, the only thing driving up our bill was the Prosecco. The dogs were no more than £7.50 each and all three sides added up to just £9.50.

I love the concept, but I fear Bubbledogs may be more style than substance. That isn’t to say I wouldn’t go back if the queues disappeared, but if I did, I would focus on the experience, rather than the food itself. For that, I give Bubbledogs a LLE Rating of 6/10.

Bubbledogs, 70 Charlotte St  London W1T 4QG

* Hot dog pics courtesy of Paul Winch-Furness Photography, interior pics courtesy of moi