Posts tagged ‘cocktails’

July 22, 2015

Massis Grill & Bar [Food Review] @MassisLebanese

Venturing out on a Saturday evening for dinner can sometimes be hard when you haven’t booked anywhere and haven’t got the faintest idea of what you fancy eating as a group of friends. Deciding to meet in Maida Vale to walk along Little Venice, an area none of us had been out too a lot before, we came across a lovely looking restaurant with a nice ambience just off the river in Sheldon Square.

Starving we sat down at Massis Lebanese, a grill and bar. With it being a nice Summer’s day it had enough tables outside so this is where we asked the waiter to sit. The smell of shisha from other customers brought a nice aroma to the air surrounding us, with a DJ positioned outside just by the doors.

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The cocktail menu that we looked at first, delivered a warming mixture of fruit and alcohol, sounding delicious and I was hoping they tasted as good. I was stuck between the pomegranate martini with fresh pomegranate and shaken with grenadine, vodka, lime and Chambord, the pine & passion which mixed fresh pineapple and passion fruit with Havana 3 and coconut and lime or the apple and cinnamon bellini. I chose the martini, the flavours blended together perfectly and it wasn’t too overbearingly sweet and went down a treat with my food!

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For the food we decided to pick a dish each and share a starter. One of my friends went for the Hummus Shawarma with lamb which came first and I had a taste of. The hummus was nothing to write home about, but the Lamb Shawarma tasted fresh and the edges were perfectly crispy with the middle being soft and tender, how it should be!

My other friend and I chose a starter to share and a main each. We went for one of my favourite Lebanese starters; the Sujuk which are spicy Armenian lamb sausages pan fried with cherry tomatoes and once we squeezed some lemon on it were good to go. Fried nicely, the sausages have a strong flavour, where you can taste the spices and spiciness of them.

My friend chose for her main a stew she normally has home-cooked called Bamia. This is a traditional stew with okra in tomato sauce with lamb and vermicelli rice. I guess you can’t ever get it cooked better than a good home-cooked one and but she did say it was nice!

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I opted for a safe option of a Kafta which is skewers of charcoal grilled ground lamb finely spiced. I ordered a side of vermicelli rice to go with it, although the waiter kept bringing bread and I had 3 skewers when it came so it was a large portion. I was disappointed that the salad it came with was literally just red cabbage, they could have made an effort to put lettuce some onions and tomatoes in it. The Kafta was cooked perfectly and was the meat was juicy and spiced enough.

They gave us lovely pastries afterwards as a complement and to be honest these were the nicest Lebanese sweets I have had ever. I’m not big into desserts but I couldn’t stop eating these!

Where To Find:

Paddington Central, 9 Sheldon Square, London W2 6HY   020 7286 8000   www.massis.co.uk

February 18, 2015

Boom Burger (@BOOMburgerLDN) [Food Review]

Situated in West London on Portobello Road, Boom Burger is the new burger joint that has got everyone talking, from locals to further afield. After working the day in Kensal Rise, I walked down Ladbroke Grove and found my way to the the place, after being told by two different people to go for the normal burger and the other person the jerk chicken burger.

Let me first tell you a little bit about Boom Burger it’s described as a ‘Gourmet Burgers and cocktails with a Jamaican twist in a colourful space with a Caribbean vibe’. The founder is Josh de Lisser a young chef born in Jamaica who got his cooking influences from his family in Montego Bay.

Meeting a friend we went inside and I was quite surprised at how small the menu was, this I wasn’t expecting. To be frankly honest I loved it, I hate going to a restaurant and seeing a page full of desirable food and not being able to choose what I want because I want it all! The only downside looking around me was how small the place was and places to sit were sparse, luckily for us we came pretty early for dinner and it wasn’t busy. We ended up having a huge table to ourselves which could have seated 6 people 8 at a really tight squeeze.

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The food itself was delectable, I went for the Boom Burger, their signature beef burger covered in cheese and bacon jam which was a winner for me. My friend went for the Jerk Boom (chicken) which had fried plantain, rocket and mango & paw paw sauce. The jerk chicken was shredded and came in a brioche bun and was so packed it was almost impossible to eat. The Boom Burger was simple but incredibly tasty and unlike any beef burger I ever had. I was considering the Fish Boom though which consists of pan fried red snapper.

We ordered plantain fries and and normal fries as our sides which were huge portions and we couldn’t manage to finish our meals. The jerk wings and saltfish chilli fritters are definitely what I’m going to be ordering next time to mix it up a bit! There is also a choice of a Pork Boom, Veggie Boom and a Brunch Boom along with Jerk Salad and Fish Salad to keep most people happy who want to come and sample some tasty Jamaican influenced food.

The drinks menu is another thing that won me round at Boom Burger where rum cocktails take precedent and the ‘rum n thing’ cocktail for me straight away. You can also go for favourite like rum punch, pina colada or so sorrel.

This place is great to meet for a relaxed lunch or dinner if you need to get in and out of quickly and is very informal and fun. It’s delicious and inexpensive. What more could you want?

Where To Find

272 Portobello Road, London W10 5TY    020 8960 3533     www.boomburger.co.uk

January 22, 2015

Drunken Monkey (@DRUNKENMONKEYE1) [Food Review]

Going to meet work colleagues for dinner at Drunken Monkey, a place I had strolled past many many times before on Shoreditch High Street and hadn’t even noticed, I was a bit dubious about it being a good Chinese as they are hard to come by. I walked in and was impressed with the layout, sort of pub meets restaurant making it laid back, and the ambient lighting with cool, funky music playing in the background. I sat down and waited quite a long time before the waitress came over to take our drinks order for the two of us whilst we waited for the rest.

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When the other 6/7 people arrived we turned to the menu starving and decided to order portions of Singapore noodles some with prawns and some with chicken and drunken monkey noodles which come with pork and chicken and are thicker, less spicy noodles along with chilli salt fried squid, honey smoked crispy chicken, spring rolls and egg fried rice keeping it simple.

The chilli salt fried squid is a firm favourite of mine whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant and Drunken Monkey did not let me down, the seasoning was just right not too hot, not overly battered and not over salted and the squid was soft not chewy. Both noodle dishes were delicious too, unlike some noodles I’ve had which are bland, these were full of flavour and had enough vegetables and meat in them and the portions were huge.

The honey smoked crispy chicken was also a generous portion and at only £4.90 was so nice people kept grabbing for the bowls not wanting it to disappear before they had more. I normally don’t like mixing sweet and sour dishes but I have to say this was quickly becoming a firm favourite for me too especially teamed with fried rice.

Most of us drunk Rumba Brava’s all liking the idea of rum mixed with passion fruit (well I think it might have been just me) which were strong but deliciously sweet at the same time and went well with the food. Afterwards I was given a long island ice tea for my birthday which had passed and that too went down a treat.

The only bad thing I have to say about Drunken Monkey was the service was slow, but the food and drinks came pretty quickly once ordered so it kind of made up for it. I’d love to come back and try there dim sum menu too maybe for lunch as we had the main courses mostly and sample more of there menu, but I left thoroughly impressed. Get down there on the weekend in the evening also and you might catch a well known DJ as they have ones from around the world playing. Good food, music, cocktails what else could you want?

Where To Find

222 Shoreditch High Street, London E1    020 739 9606    http://www.thedrunkenmonkey.london/