Westegg, Notting Hill

A lazy Saturday in Notting Hill, and we’re in search of lunch with a terrace! The plan is to bike up to Golbourne Road and see if we can snag a table there, but as we bike by what used to be Raoul’s, you can see that it’s changed names and interiors…. and there are tables outside! Interesting…

So we dock our Santander Bikes and come back to claim a terrace table, and check out the menu. There are a few good brunch dishes, some salads and sandwiches, but also a special “Back from Greece” menu that seems perfect for me  (including shakshuka, all sorts of fresh salads, and what i finally ordered…

I went fo rthe kagiana, which is Greek-style scrambled eggs cooked with buffalo butter, fresh tomatoes, and feta. It reminded me of Turkish menemen eggs, which I love!  Andre got shakshuka, which is like no shakshuka I have seen…. you have the tomatoes and onions, but the egg on top instead of cooked inside… and some yogurt on the side. He was a bit disappointed with his lunch, as I would have been… it tasted fine, but really wasn’t a shakshuka!

But given the large menu with all sorts of different brunch items, and a terrace, this is definitely a place to come back to, when in Notting Hill and needing lunch.

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Jova, Fitzrovia

A weekday morning on my way to a dr’s appointment, and I have some time beforehand to grab breakfast. I see a coffee shop/creperie and think that a crepe for breakast will be a nice treat!

I order the one with mushrooms and cheese, but they are unfortunately out of mushrooms… so ham and cheese it is! Nice and creamy inside, with a good taste of ham, and crispy on the outside, this hits the spot!

As I’m leaving, I see that Jova also has a shared workspace downstairs, all set up to be your outsourced office… it’s certainly not a bad place to hang out and work in central London, especially with the menu upstairs 🙂

Bun House, Soho

A place that has been on my list to try for a while, Bun House was surprising. Decorated as a 1920’s restaurant, you go up to the counter to order, then wait to be served.

There are even a few tables outside where you can sit and watch the Soho world go by…

I asked for some help ordering… there are all sorts of different bun dumplings, including lamb, chicken, veggie, pork and fish…  so I asked the lady at the counter what her favourite was. She suggested I try at least one of the chicken ones… with that, I ordered a veggie bun, and a glass noodle salad on the side.

The chicken bun was as advertised, delicious. It tasted like the chicken had been slow cooked for hours, it was soft, tender, and really flavourful. Same thing with the veggie bun, which was stuffed with mushrooms.

The glass noodles, I ordered because I had seen someone else eating them and they looked good. I had imagined they would have more vegetable, but it was really just the slices of cucumber on top. But these were SO good. Topped with Sichuan pepper, chili oil and peanuts, these were spicy, almost slimy (in a good way!) and really nice to eat… especially with the pieces of cooling cucumber on top.

Overall? A great lunch for under £10, sitting in a nicely-decorated setting. I will be back for sure, to try some of their other dumplings (I’m not sure whether I can get my head around a fish bun, but maybe some of the others? Stayed tuned…)

Eat Tokyo, Notting Hill

A quiet Saturday and I’m not sure what to have for lunch… I’ve walked by Eat Tokyo a million times, and to say that it looks like a hole in the wall is being nice… it really isn’t very inviting. But at some point, I ended up looking it up online and saw some very good reviews… so decided to give it a try!

I started with some green tea…

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And a few pieces of nigiri sushi. They had a few specials, the pink prawn as they called it (very sweet and fresh) and the seared otoro (fatty tuna). Both delicious. Along with these, I had a piece of the ikura, the salmon roe, which was nice and fresh (when it isn’t, the roe tends to be a bit harder, and once you pop them in your mouth, fishier tasting… these were still soft, plump, and fresh tasting). And finally, a piece of yellowtail, hamachi. This was okay at best.

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I also ordered the Tokyo Kingfisher roll, fried tempura prawn and was topped with unagi, teriyaki-glazed eel. And it was MASSIVE when it showed up, look at it!

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I liked the touch of providing the prawn head…

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The roll was very good, and quite a generous serving of eel (check out the end piece, with all that eel!) I didn’t love that they put mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce across the whole roll, but luckily is was put under the roll, not above, so I could scrape it off…

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So, would I come back? Definitely. Eat Tokyo describes itself as a Japanese diner, and given the size of the menu (at least 30 pages), I could come back many times and eat different types of Japanese food (sushi, ramen, tofu with rice, name your dish!) before getting bored!

Tao Tao Ju, Soho

Trying out another dim sum venue in Chinatown… this time, as I had already discovered the wonder that is a meat croquette, I decided to try it elsewhere than at Plum Valley… unfortunately, the taste was not as good as that one, as this croquette was much more batter, with more of an oily taste, and less meat. Then, the crispy bean curd rolls filled with prawn… pretty good, as to be expected.

The steamed prawn with chives dumplings were also as expected, packed with fresh chives that gave them a very great taste, nicely complementing the prawn…

And finally, the glutinous rice, with pieces of pork and chicken,egg yolk, and mushroom. Again, this was par for the course, but in a “good enough” way. The first two dishes, the bean curd rolls and the meat croquette, were just okay, but the more traditional glutinous rice and prawn/chive dumplings were quite good… not sure that this would be my first place to come back to in Chinatown, but it did the job.

Go Natural, Lisbon

Another lunch spot… this one looks more fast-food than the other places we’ve been lately, because of the menu above the ordering till, with pictures of the food (McDonald’s style!) But the food is quite good, so worth a visit.Andre had the cevhiche bowl with oatmeal, mango, and avocado, doused in lemon juice. I tasted this, but was happier with my choice…  I went for the salad of Thai chicken and rice, served wtih roast vegetables (sweet potato, bok coy and mushrooms), avocado, and some dried fruit, all mixed into a coconut sauce… delicious!But they were both good, cheap, and a wholesome meal… while the atmosphere leaves something to be desired, it’s central (in Chiado), the price is right,  and you leave feeling satisfied!

Tease, Lisbon

In the spirit of trying out different lunch places that the regular cafes (Kristof, The Mill, Brooklyn), we went to Tease, a new cafe on a small square with… this was the key… outdoor seating! There’s a large inside, along with a number of outdoor tables as well.

They’re open from breakfast and make a mean lemonnade… but after noon, we were getting a bit hungry and decided to try the lunch menu. There are a number of salads, sandwiches, and tartes to choose from.

Andre went for the vegetable quiche, which was full of delicious veggies and served with a side salad.

They only had one piece left, so I decided to try one of the sandwiches, the Vegetarian, which was filled with delicious veggies such as spinach, a tomatoey pepper spread, and black beans. It was pretty good, especially toasted!

While there was nothing especially great about Tease (oh, and actually, the coffee really leaves something to be desired), the outdoor seating and sandwiches mean that I’ll probably come back and try a few other options sometime soon.