The Detox Kitchen, Soho

After a yoga class in Kingly Court, I headed downstairs to the Detox Kitchen to pick something up for lunch. The Detox Kitchen always has a long queue at lunchtime, so I had never had the courage to wait for my lunch there, but today, the line was a bit shorter, so I decided to go for it. And boy, was I in for a treat!

You can have a variety of lunch boxes, but the most common are either a protein and two salads or a protein and three salads. I went for the protein plus two, getting the veggie burger (a chickpea and corn burger that tasted like a big fritter, delicious, with some coriander sauce drizzled on top and a pea and mint puree on the side).

The choice of salads was also good, I went for the slaw (nice and simple, with edamame added) and the roast sweet potatoes, roast in a curry spice blend and topped with a little coconut butter. Yum.

I’ll be back soon to try their other salads and mains for sure!

Ole and Steen, St James

London seems to be opening a number of different office/restaurant/shop spaces, such as NOVA space in Victoria and St James’ Market just south of Piccadilly.

Ole and Steen opened in St James’ Market probably nine months ago, and claims to be the best Scandinavian bakery in London. It has tons of breads, pastries, and light meals… including opened face sandwiches, salads, and amazing-looking focaccia breads that look like pizzas!

I went for two open-faced sandwiches (though probably only really needed one, as they were quite filling!) The first was the hot smoked salmon and egg salad sandwich, topped with pickled red onion. The salmon was fine, but the eggs were delicious… they probably had some mayonnaise in them, but what it really tasted like is that they had been slowly stirred to cook them, making them super creamy. Yum.

The other sandwich was the roast beef sandwich, with a remoulade sauce, a mix of ribboned cucumbers and pickles, and nice slices of roast beef ,topped iwth some pumpkin seeds and dill.

I mean, look at that roast beef! Have you ever seen better in a sandwich? Delicious.

They typically have three choices of the sandwiches, plus other sandwiches and salads… so I will be back soon to try the other options!

El Sol, Cassis, France

After Andre’s Half Ironman in Aix en Provence, we took the Monday off and went to Cassis for the day. We walked along the beach for a while, then stopped in the little port where all the fishing boats were docked. 

There were many different restaurants on the port, but as we were a bit late (it was approaching 3pm on a Monday), most had already stopped serving lunch for the day. Luckily, El Sol was still open! We found a perfect table in the shade and ordered.

And then… Andre started off with the fish soup, fully loaded with cheese and rouille.I went for the roasted red peppers with anchoiade (chopped anchovies) on top, the perfect Proven├žal starter!

And we each had a sea bass as part of the menu. Nice and fresh, it was served with very olive oil-y smashed potatoes that were delicious!

And an isle flotante for dessert… this went down pretty quickly!After this, we took a boat tour (as we had the time), to check out the different cliffs near Cassis. And they were absolutely gorgeous. 
The view from above? Also amazing, literally one of the most amazing views I’ve seen, especially with the mist collecting on that small island in the background!

Yooji’s, Zurich

A day trip to Zurich, the weather was gorgeous as I walked around…

I found Yoobi’s as I walked along a long road with many restaurants, each that had their outdoor terrace and was welcoming the lunch crowd… I decided that between Greek, Italian, pizza, sushi, Thai or Swiss German food, sushi was really what sounded best to me.

The menu is quite easy to use, and you write down what you want to order… I got several pieces of sashimi and a “platter” that included a summer roll, a few sushi roll pieces, and a few nigiri.

The restaurant has its own soy sauce, either the regular kind, or a yuzu-flavoured kind, depending on what tickles your fancy…  And finally, my meal: the five pieces of sashimi, two tuna, two salmon and a yellowtail, were all super fresh. I had two pieces of salmon nigiri (fine), two pieces of summer roll (a spicy prawn summer roll, something I’d never had before, that was delicious), and four pieces of roll sushi: two of a salmon flower roll, which was raw salmon served with chives and some flowers on top (very tasty!) and two of a Caesar spring roll, served with pieces of what I thought was cooked tuna, but I guess were cooked chicken, in a sauce.

Overall, the perfect amount of food, and look at those colours! This was a great selection/value for lunch.

 

Bluebelles, Golbourne Road

So if you keep walking north on Portobello Road, you eventually leave Notting Hill and make it up to Ladbroke Grove, which includes the very cute area of Golbourne Road, which has a mix of local Portuguese and Moroccan restaurants and vintage clothing shops, along with some trendier delis and curated lifestyle stores.

Bluebelles is one of the later, sitting on Portobello Road, and has a super cute brunch menu, along with about ten side dishes that help you to mix and match your meal to perfection!

We were lucky enough to snag a table outside ( we thought), until they kept adding tables every time someone else showed up… turns out they are quite lax on Sundays and can spread out when the bike shop next door is closed!

First came the coffees… Andre is not very impressed with his Americano, which has little bits floating in it…

But the food was much better… he got the Original Stack, which was like a full English on a stick: sausage, egg, portobello mushroom and crispy bacon, all on a rosti. It was actually pretty delicious.

I was also thrilled, I got the green breakfast, which was two poached eggs, guacamole (looks surprisingly white but tasted like any other guac), mixed leaves, and feta, all topping a slice of sourdough bread.

The food is MUCH better than that first coffee, to the point that we were going to order much more of it… so this will be a repeat brunch place, especially knowing that we will probably be able to get a table outside on a nice day!

Snaps and Rye, Goldbourne Road, Notting Hill

Brunch up on Goldbourne Road on a Sunday, as the weather was warm and the sun was out! We headed up to Goldbourne Road, thinking we’d head back to our favourite Bluebelles, but decided to try Snaps and Rye for lunch, instead. The tables outside aren’t in the sun until around 2pm, but it was warm enough that we could still sit outside, and the people-watching on Goldbourne is great!

We started with some tea and coffee… Snaps and Rye is one of the only cafes that gives you extra water with your tea, so that you can use the teabag more than once! And check out the cute pottery…

Andre went for the smorgasbord, a variety of different toasts… there’s the guacamole with tomato pico de gallo on top, the hake pate with smoked salmon, gherkins and capers on top, the herring topped with pickled red onions, and the sliced beef, also topped with gherkins and red pickled onions. I tasted both middle ones and they were both delicious!

We shared a beetroot and goat cheese salad… check out how nicely it is presented, with walnuts, pickled mushrooms (ya, sounds a bit odd but was good) and seeds.

As my main, I went for the Danish rarebit, which came with a number of different sides, but was a delicious cheese and grain mustard on toast, with a side of tomato ketchup (Bloody Viking ketchup, as they call it) and hog’s pudding (a grainy, very fresh-tasting sausage). Not the healthiest thing in the world, but it was delicious. 

Happily fed, we sat and watched people (and dogs, there are LOTS of dogs on Goldbourne Road) and enjoyed as the sun slowly crept onto the terrace…

(Quick note: Snaps and Rye does a prix fixe dinner every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, with a 4 course meal. I’ve only been once, but it was full of fresh, delicious ingredients… I’d really recommend this as well!)

Lorne, Victoria

A night out with my friend Leigh, and we went to Lorne, a restaurant that I had pointed out had just opened near her… and she had since tried four times!

The restaurant itself is cosy, narrow but quite deep, giving it a private, comfortable feeling – and the decoration can only be described as the same as what you find on the walls at Michael’s in New York, kind of South-of-France contemporary.

She was raving about the pea puree (served with small shrimps, watercress, radish, and preserved lemon). The puree had a thicker consistency, making it more like a thick custard than puree, with a very clear pea taste.. it was delicious.

Then, i went for the hake with courgette, black olives, and cannellini beans. The courgettes (partially grilled, partially stewed with the beans) were very good, and the hake was perfectly cooked… unfortunately, it was a Monday, and the fish had a slightly fishy taste to it. But the rest of the dish was very good and blended together quite well.

So will I make it back here again? Definitely with Leigh. And definitely to try a few of the other dishes.