Posts tagged ‘London’

May 10, 2017

Shackfuyu [Food Review] @shackfuyu

After trying one of Bone Daddies restaurants – Flesh & Bun last year, I was destined to try another one of their different food havens dotted across London. With there being a queue extending outside at their first opening in Peter Street, Soho, which is a Ramen Bar, we walked to Old Compton Street to Shackfuyu.

Starting off as a pop up, it made it’s impression on the folk of London town so much that it became a permanent residency, serving Western-inspired Japanese dishes. You could almost say it’s Japanese soul food. Looking at the menu you can see much thought and effort has gone into the menu, they don’t over-do it with wide variety of dishes, these are carefully selected, and you can order a few as they are meant for sharing.

Shackfuyu like most of the Bone Daddies chains has a rock ‘n’ roll edge to it, with shiny tiles and brickwork and lots of small lights with a soundtrack to match. As you enter it feels smaller than it is, with seats round the bar when the back end of the restaurant with its booths and tables fill up.

Looking around to see what everyone else was eating, we decided on a main each and a few smaller plates so we could try as much as possible. The hot stone rice (£.8.50) was the larger, main dish chosen and it also came out first. Brought out as you would imagine in a hot bowl, the concoction of rice, beef and chilli with vegetables and sesame is literally steaming. It’s based on Korean bibimbap rice which is stirred at the table, as they do here also at Shackfuyu mixing the meat, veg and egg, but with a tasty sauce and a crunch from the sweetcorn in there too.

For the smaller dishes we opted for Korean fried chicken (£6) which is always going to be a winner. It came out as a portion of 3, so if there’s two of you there could be a fight over who gets the extra one, as these are so delicious. They have a sticky red coating dotted with sesames with a sour and chilli kick to them that will want you craving more.

The last small dish we chose was the seabass taco (£4) which were kind of small so it was hard to share, but we did manage as there was at least 6 bits of fried seabass each to enjoy. It came complete with tomatillo salsa like you would find in a Mexican restaurant. The seabass was cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside and the fish was soft and flaky, with spring onions and red onions chopped on top.

We washed these dishes down with a few glasses of prosecco, although there was a nice cocktail list too. Unfortunately we didn’t even have room for the desert which sounds and looks delicious, kinako French toast served with green tea ice cream. Definitely one for next time!

Where To Find: 14a Old Compton St, London, W1D 4TJ   02077347492    www.bonedaddies.com/restaurant/shackfuyu/

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April 12, 2016

Baozi Inn [Food Review]

China Town can sometimes be rather difficult to find a good restaurant in even though there are hundreds of them! I found one of the best and cheapest Northern Chinese cuisines when I ventured out to Baozi Inn. Arriving on a Saturday night at around 9pm there was a queue outside the door (always a good sign), but luckily we only waiting around 15 minutes to be seated. I later found out the reason the quickness of the queue was the quick turnaround in the restaurant.

This restaurant shot to fame when it opened in 2008 and has some of the cheapest and tastiest food in town. Their huge Baozi buns are famous and we had them filled with pork at a price of £1.20 each. They weren’t as light and fluffy as they should be, and were a bit on the doughy side but the pork filling had a nice taste it so they weren’t as disappointing as it could have been. For the price you really can’t go wrong either.

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Another small eat we ordered were the lamb skewers which were divine and you can order as many or less as you want. The cumin sauce they were served in was so tasty, and luckily for me the lamb was cut into small chunks and didn’t consist of hardly any fat. The cumin flavoured sauce was combined with chilli, garlic, oil and was so flavoursome I kept the sauce to eat with my bun too.

The Chengdu crescent dumplings in chilli oil were next to be served to us and these were magnificent. The small boiled pork dumplings that the menu describes as “popular small eats in the Sichuanese capital Chengdu,” arrived in a pool of chili oil and crushed garlic. They were a satisfying portion and bursting with flavour. I will be definitely be coming back for some more of these tasty treats.

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We went lastly for the Dan Dan noodles. These were so delicious I could (if I wasn’t stuffed) have eaten another bowl. Make sure when they are served to you, you mix them in as the sauce is all at the bottom. These noodles are a famous street food style dish which were traditionally as said on their menu “sold by street vendors who carried their cooking gear in baskets suspended from bamboo shoulderpoles.” Made with preserved mustard greens, sesame paste, chilli oil, minced pork and lots of other goodness, these will leaving you making sure you come back to Baozi Inn.IMG_2479

The décor may resemble more of a canteen than a restaurant, but the food is definitely not anything similar to a canteen. It’s cheap, it’s delicious and it’s quick, perfect if your in a rush, or after just some tasty small bites.

Where To Find:

26 Newport Ct, London WC2H 7JS     020 7287 6877    http://baoziinnlondon.com/

December 24, 2015

Androuet (@AndrouetLondon) [Food Review]

Winter is made for restaurants like Androuet where the food is deliciously warming and hearty. Set in the hustle of Old Spitafields Market, the crux of this restaurant is gourmet cheese and it has the best selection this side of Paris. They have been making and maturing cheese since 1909 in Paris, and since then have seven shops in Paris and one in Stockholm and now their first London establishment.

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The décor is stylish in both the shop and restaurant with an old French brassiere feel in the sweet little restaurant. It’s got a romantic feel to it and the blur of shoppers passing by, along with patrons in the shop and the twinkling lights from the market adds to the charm. The chef is situated in the outside part of the restaurant and makes your mouth water whilst your waiting, and the aromas of cheese just make the waiting even sweeter.

Take a seat at the restaurant for lunch or dinner and you will discover the delightful menu of cheese, meats and homemade pasta. You can also stop by to share a cheese or charcuterie board with a beautifully selected fine wine with waiters on hand to help you choose if you need it. If your lucky enough to work or live nearby they also serve toasted cheese baguettes with a variety of filling such as the Alphine which has a raclette, saucisson, pesto and quiche filling,

We decided to go for the Androuet classic fondue, which consists of an 18-month old Comte, and Emmental Grand Cru served bubbling of course in a cauldron lit with candles. It comes served with a baguette sliced up to miniature bites to dip into the cheese, and as extras we added Charcuterie and Baby Potatoes to accompany the bread. It was a delicious combination, and the fondue was thick, creamy and smooth. It was cheese heaven.

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To have a bit of variety we also ordered the Gnocchi home-made of course with a wild mushroom and ricotta filling and choose out of three sauce options the blue cheese sauce. The Gnocchi was light and as you bit into it the filling burst open allowing the goodness within to reach your taste buds, and boy did it taste good. The blue cheese sauce fit the dish with excellence and I wouldn’t pick any other accompaniment. Drinking wine with cheese is a pretty much must as well, and the selection here has been picked with care.

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This really is for cheese lovers only, where classic dishes such as raclette comes alive in the heart of East London. It’s dreamy, it’s quaint and you can snack or have a full meal, as well as shop their range of home-made cheeses, meats and wines. You may not want to look at cheese for a day or two after though. Visit Androuet for a Parisian voyage.

Where To Find:

Old Spitalfields Market, 10a Lamb Street, London E1 6EA    02072477437      http://www.androuet.co.uk/

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

May 15, 2015

Andys Taverna [Food Review]

Looking for somewhere to eat this weekend? Well I have the perfect suggestion for you especially if you are a meat lover. Greek food is so tasty but has simple ingredients; it’s all about cooking with passion and buying good meat, herbs and vegetables. Most of their meat is grilled, just seasoned slightly with spices with olive oil and lemon juice and a few other things, but it tastes so good and is very healthy.

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If you go to Camden there are three Greek restaurants within half a mile radius of each other, and they have been there a long time, which is always a good sign. I headed to Andy’s Taverna, when I entered they asked if I had a booking, I didn’t and it was already busy at 7pm, but they were able to accommodate. You could smell the grilled meats from outside! The restaurant has been open around 60 years and is known for it’s traditional values. They even get their seabass from Greece every two days.

As we settled into our seats and ordered house white wine that was good wine for house, we set our eyes on the menu. As we weren’t super hungry we decided to share a starter and a main. Choosing grilled aubergines (£4.50) to start, which I have to admit are my favourite vegetables and I love the simplicity they are cooked which just a little bit of olive oil and oregano. They were so buttery and soft and tasted fantastic, as well as being good for you! Can’t go wrong. I was going to choose the spanakopita, which is my favourite Greek dish that is is a spinach and cheese pastry.

For the main we opted to go for the Bifteki, which is a ground minced meat pattie at under £10. The portion was very generous and I’m glad I was sharing it as I hate wasting food and I wouldn’t have been able to eat this on my own! It came with a large Greek salad on the side and we ordered fresh bread to eat with it too. The meat was sumptuous and moist and was bursting with delicious flavours such as a bit of garlic, oregano, thyme, mint, onion and olive oil.

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The six good-sized patties were served topped with grilled halloumi and a grilled slie of tomato. It was literally like heaven on a plate! The Greek salad was fresh, crunchy and delicious but for me was missing onions. Everything else was perfect.

It’s no wonder Andy ,which has many celebrity diners as well, has been here for 60 years. The service is friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed and the food is to die for. I almost forgot to mention as well they gave us complementary after dinner drinks and sweet pastries at the end of our meal which is always a plus. It’s very hard to find authentic Greek food in London but I truly recommend this and will definitely be back soon.

Where to find

81-81A Bayham Street, London NW1 0AG     020 7485 9718      www.andystaverna.com/

May 5, 2015

Streetfeast – Dalston Yard [Food Review]

Armed with nothing but great expectations, an empty belly and a trusty sidekick I set off to find out for myself. Upon arriving at 9.30pm on the Saturday of the opening weekend, I happily paid a very affordable £3 entry and was immediately taken by the great atmosphere and setting. There were small fires lit in bins, spread evenly throughout the space, around which excited groups of eager foodies were grouped, chattering in excitement about the amazing flavours of what they were currently eating, and which food stall they planned on visiting next. Fairy lights dotted around created a nice ambience, and each shift in the wind brought a variety of amazing aromas that I soon decided would each need to be investigated further.

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I looked around at all the stalls, an eclectic and satisfying assortment – everything from Indian street food to sliders, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Peruvian, Korean, BBQ and much more. Vegans and vegetarians fear not, they literally had something for everyone, plus plenty of sweet stalls for after the main. There were also plenty of drink options such as a wine bar, a gin bar and a very alcoholic rum bar.

I first made my way over to B.O.B’s Lobster, where they serve up lobster rolls, lobster roll bites, crab rolls, shrimp rolls, lobster mac and cheese and more, unfortunately as I arrived quite late all of these had run out (so I suggest you turn up earlier!) They did however have some amazing crab tater tots, made of brown crab meat, perfectly spiced, then breaded, fried, sprinkled with celery salt and served with a great mayo. They were a perfect starter at £6 and you got around 8-10 of the little bites. They were very delicious!

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I then went to Kimchinary  afterwards which had a ridiculously long queue – always a good sign! Named home of the Korean burrito, they fuse Hispanic street food with Korean cooking. They had a simple menu of three choices on offer, chicken, beef or tofu. All three of these came with a filling of fried rice, spring onions, sour cream, cheese, Chinese cabbage and hot sauce. I went for chicken and it was so delicious I wanted to go back to get the beef one. Who would have thought to deliver oriental food in the form of Hispanic, but boy does it work!

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The food was well lubricated with a glass of wine and a beer (one each) and then after these we made our way to the rum bar, run by a guy called Sam, who was as easy going as the drinks he poured. The drinks menu was small and easy to pick from and I went for the un-dead punch which I was told had 5 different rums in it. After half the drink I knew he was telling the truth as I felt as if I had drunk 5 glasses!

 

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This is the place to go if you can’t choose what to eat, as it has it all and you can have small bites from loads of different delicious places and have some nice cocktails to go with it!

Where To Find

 Hartwell Street, Dalston. London, E83DU   http://www.streetfeastlondon.com

When

Open every Friday/Sat till 24/25 Sep 2015 5pm-12am

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/

January 19, 2015

Outlook Festival (@OutlookFestival) – London Launch Party [Event]

One of the biggest bass music festivals in Europe returns for it’s 8th year to it’s home in Pula, Croatia at the beginning of September (2nd-6th). Set on the beach on the Adriatic coast with blue seas and skies, brining the best music artists from around the world to perform in different settings on the site, Outlook gets bigger and better every year.

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The London launch party takes place next weekend, Friday 30th January at the Cornet in South London and sees artists from the bass music, drum & bass, hip hop, grime and jungle spectrum, making it already look like a party not to be forgotten.

Legendary MC Wiley takes to the stage, joined by Andy C and Friction fave Randall and The Bug Ft. Flowdan & Manga who fuse grindcore, industrial, metal, hip-hop, dub and jazz to mesmerising effect.

Grime specialists The Originators are joined by the huge Kiwi producer and DJ, P Money. Outlook continues to champion the genre which goes from strength to strength, with grime crew Ogz also starring, along with Footise, one half of the brilliant Newham Generals and a huge festival fave. Larger than life artist Big Narstie is joined by Rinse FM’s Logan Sama; then Croatia regulars Iration Steppas join dubstep heavyweight Skeptical along with Kenny Ken, Benton, V.I.V.E.K, Cern, Kromestar and many more.

Outlook Festival – London Launch Party
Friday 30th January 2015
@ The Coronet Theatre, 28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ, London

High Focus Records

The Four Owls (Flipxtrix, Verb T, Leaf Dog, BVA)

Edward Scissortongue – Onoe Caponeo – Molotov

Wiley – Randall – The Bug Ft. Flowdan & Manga

Originators Ft. P Money, Ogz, Footsie, Big Narstie & Logan Sama

Iration Steppas – Skeptical – Kenny Ken – Benton

V.I.V.E.K – Cern – Kromestar – Brother Culture

Gerra & Stone – Mella Dee – Amy Becker – Moony

GDC Sound System – Kaiju – Danny T & Tradesman

Fokus – Geode – Exodus – Gutso – Brakeman – Onset
10pm – 6am
£15 plus booking fee
www.outlookfestival.com
https://www.facebook.com/events/1509784355955106/

 

June 8, 2014

Pusha T (@Pusha_T) (@Meridian_Dan) At Koko Camden [Review]

Pusha T was in London last night where he played at Koko in Camden to a sold out show, proving his status in the UK as one of raps current kings. The rapper who a lot of people know from Clipse, and where he will always be remembered, put on a an energetic and passionate performance last night showcasing his now King Push status as a solo artist…

Opening up for the Broxn born, Virginia based rapper was Bloodline’s Meridian Dan who has shot to fame recently when his track ‘German Whip’ blew up and he well deservingly signed with EGA and PMR. The North London rapper started his set with new track ‘I’m From A Place’, then leading into an unheard new track which could potentially be his next single ‘One, Two Drinks’. He then put his hit track ‘German Whip’ in the middle that really livened the crowd up ending on freestyle over S-X’s ‘Woo Riddim’. Great to Meridian Dan doing so well and opening up for someone like Push at Koko

King Push opened his set with a track off his 2013 album ‘My Name Is My Name’. It was only right that he started off with ‘King Push’, which was produced by his label boss over at GOOD Music Kanye West.

‘Millions’ a well-known track and collaboration with Rick Ross was of course added to the set list. Two Kanye West collaborative tracks that I heard last night was ‘Runaway’ and ‘New God Flow’ two tracks with a couple of years between them, bringing some older and newer material together.

The collaborative track ‘Mercy’ was performed and it was a bit of a shame not to have seen GOOD music artist Big Sean not come out as a surprise guest. He could have also been helped Push out when he did ‘I Don’t Like’ another big hit, it would have added something fresh.

He then went back to perform one of his newer tracks and a popular one again ‘Sweet Serenade’ featuring Chris Brown and produced by Swizz Beatz and Kanye West a thoughtful track looking at the rap game. He unofficially ended on another one off his debut album ‘Numbers On The Board’ with a percussion led bet co-produced again by Kanye. As King Push left the stage, the crowd demanded an encore and he delivered it to them coming back on stage to perform ’40 Acres’ ft. The Dream.

I give the show a 4.5 out of 5 for his energy and ability to keep the crowd happy and deliver his tracks like he has never performed them before with a new lease of life. You can see Pusha’s love for what he does on stage and he bounces around on the stage with such liveliness and this rubbed off on the crowd becoming infectious.

Pusha T is working on a new album  ‘King Push’ which will see production from Pharrell who along with Chad  (The Neptune’s) produced the first Clipse album ‘Lord Willin’ . Word is Timberland is also working on the album with him too. I look forward to that when it drops.

*Published on SBTV 7th June 2014