Every day is another dinner.

  • Let them Eat Steak! Steak and Bourbon Tasting at JW Steakhouse

    Wednesday September 28th, 2011

    Bourbon is the pride of Kentucky, but not a lot is drunk in the UK. I went to try and rectify this with a visit to a bourbon and steak evening, as well as learn a bit more about the drink itself.

  • The Gascon Foie Burger - let them eat brioche

    Sunday July 10th, 2011

    When it comes to the Foie Burger, obviously the ToL judges saw something different to me so you may well want to gamble £9.00  for yourselves. I wouldn’t recommend it though. I know Comptoir Gascon can do, and normally does do, far, far better food than this.

  • Summer puddings workshop at Leiths

    Wednesday June 22nd, 2011

    The unpredictable weather hasn’t stopped Leiths from putting on a summer puddings workshop, and for a sweet tooth like Qin Xie's, the offer to attend was never going to be met with much resistance. So there she was on a surprisingly sunny Saturday morning, a large collection of Tupperware in tow, arriving to attend the workshop led by Maxine Clark.

  • Villa Franciacorta wines at Degò

    Wednesday June 22nd, 2011

    We started the evening by tasting four of the Villa Franciacorta sparkling wines in the bar. Having tasted these four lovely wines we descended the stairs to the restaurant area. These were some excellent wines supporting the great food that I had come to expect from Degò following my review.

  • London International Wine Fair

    Thursday June 2nd, 2011

    I probably wouldn’t have gone, but having been invited for lunch at the McGuigan wines stand, I decided to go, I’m a bit of a tart when it comes to lunch invitations. Decision made, invitations to attend a ‘seminar’ at the Friuli stand for a Pinot Grigio tasting and to meet with Steven Spurrier about the Decanter World Wine Awards soon came in.

  • Restaurant safari with Taste of London

    Tuesday May 31st, 2011

    Invited to a Soho restaurant safari by the Taste of London people, I accepted  straight away. The Safari was to give us a flavour of some dishes that three Soho restaurants, Quo Vadis, Gauthier Soho and Bocca di Lupo/Gelupo, would be serving up at the forthcoming Taste of London, held at Regent’s Park from 16 to 19 June this year.

  • Tasty journeys with East Coast.

    Tuesday May 31st, 2011

    We tried (and eventually just looked at – the chefs were more than generous!) a host of new dishes being served ‘at seat’ for the first time this week to passengers travelling for more than 70 minutes. Most dishes were yummy but some were a little on the ‘aeroplane-food’ side.

  • The Balvenie Whisky Den in Covent Garden

    Monday May 30th, 2011

    Having opened on May 9,theDen has‘evolved’ over the weeks, with student artists continually changing the in-Den art installations. Downstairs are now a floor maltings, with barley spread across the room to show how the grains are turned in the distillery, while in another corner an artist pieces together a barrel lamp shade.

  • The Green Room returns to The Rebel Dining Society

    Friday May 27th, 2011

    The Rebel Dining Society revisit a few old friends when they team up with Pernod Absinth for the second year running.

  • Discovering Turning Leaf colours

    Wednesday May 25th, 2011

    Californian winemakers Turning Leaf have recently launched their “Discover the Colour” campaign to present their portfolio of five wines as expressions of colour. To be precise, Turning Leaf's oenologist Stephanie Edge has teamed up with Dutch chef Esther Röling to create a new series of colourful recipes designed to match the Turning Leaf wines throughout the seasons. Qin Xie was invited to sample their selection of wines and some of the summery dishes to match.

  • One Greedy Italian - we lunch large with Carluccio

    Wednesday May 25th, 2011

    It’s hard to stop grazing on the anti pasti, which is what makes Italian food so great; the sense of sharing, of conviviality, of food as life. It’s all so different from the Church of Food we seem to have constructed for ourselves here in London. Heads down, talk only in whispers and raise reverential gazes to Chef in His Kitchen.

  • Tamarind to take on the Terminator

    Tuesday May 24th, 2011

    Tamarind, the posh Indian restaurant in Mayfair, has decided to end the spice drought in Arny Schwarznegger's California and open Tamarind of London in Newport Beach, Orange County one of the best beachside cities on the Pacific Coast.

  • The grass is always greener. The asparagus menu at Refettorio

    Friday May 20th, 2011

    You catch glimpses of the man - Giorgio Locatelli, his trademark hair almost back to its original piratical length, emerges from his kitchen at Refettorio every now and then to see how the ‘grass’ is going down with guests.

    I’m liking it a lot, the seasonal treat that is English asparagus, or ‘grass’ to greengrocers, is fresh, crisp and delicious. At this time of year it demands to be eaten every day because when it’s gone, it’s gone and we’ll soon be back to inferior foreign stuff.

  • The Bavarian Beerhouse Tower Hill

    Wednesday May 18th, 2011

    Many people are not too sure what to expect when they are met with the words ‘Bavarian’ and ‘Beerhouse’. Is it a pub, which serves Pretzels? Or is it Bratwurst’s galore and a pitcher of beer? Priyanka Kara makes a visit to the new Bavarian Beerhouse opened at Tower Hill to find out!

  • Namaaste Kitchen: lunch at the Chef’s Table

    Tuesday April 19th, 2011

    For lunch we worked our way through a range of tasting plates that had been specially selected from the Namaaste Kitchen menu. These were all very tasty dishes, bright and full flavoured, giving the taste buds a great work out, I absolutely savoured and enjoyed every mouthful.

  • Bistro du Vin

    Monday April 18th, 2011

    Everybody needs good neighbours, apparently, and given the competition in this part of London, Bistro du Vin certainly has them. The area around Smithfield Market is home to Mark Hix’ Oyster & Chop House and John Terode’s Smiths of Smithfield. If one is in the habit of stone-throwing, St John is but a short one from BdV’s freshly polished threshold. In short, BdV needs to be a seriously good alternative to the well-established locals if it’s to be the first success for the group in London.

  • Donald Russell Meat Pies

    Thursday April 14th, 2011

    After first taste trialling Charlie Bigham’s pies it was a quick wipe of the mouth, a loosening of the belt and then eyes down for Donald Russell’s new range.

  • Bear decapitated in office -ASDA to blame

    Tuesday April 12th, 2011

    We washed ours down with tea, but of course the sommelier would recommend orange squash with added E numbers as the ideal pairing for the dish before running around the office breaking things and then throwing a tantrum and having to go to bed.

  • Cognac Voyeurism

    Tuesday April 12th, 2011

    Girl stands on street corner, back-combing her boyfriend’s quiff; her designer dog artfully peeing against a sleek 4x4 parked outside Shoreditch’s restaurant-bar-club McQueen. It may sound like the story board for an advert, but this is the scene that greets me as I approach McQueen, an unlikely venue for a Voyer Cognac Masterclass

  • Flavours from Piacenza

    Tuesday April 5th, 2011

    ‘Aperitifs as 7.00pm – Dinner at 7.30pm’, the invitation from the Consorzio Piacenza Alimenttare and Confindustria Piacenza said. So not wishing to be a rude guest, and being quite ready for an aperitif we arrived at the Italian Cultural Institute in Belgrave Square soon after 7.00pm.