1. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Manhattan Grill


    Somewhere you should go… Manhattan Grill

    You wouldn’t expect anything less than high-end when it comes to restaurants around Canary Wharf – and Manhattan Grill is the latest restaurant to live up to that philosophy.  It’s a steakhouse but unlike those chains you get every block around the West End, MG offers a decadent experience that runs through the interiors right down to the prime cuts of meat which is their source of pride.

    There’s a choice of Black Angus from Kansas if you want to keep things American or aged Scottish cuts that can also be matched with your pick of fabulous wines.  As for sides, these are typical but tasty US fare such as delightful  mac’n’cheese with lobster or the creamed spinach.  For dessert, the apple crumble is as lovely as can be, although you might go for their  take on a New York cheesecake.  It’s a densely rich guilt trip that tastes better with each bite and serves as the worthy encore for a lovely night out.  Expect to pay just over £100 for a 3-course meal for two with wine, so consider filing Manhattan Grill under “special occasions” –  but it  certainly won’t disappoint.


    For more info, visit: www.manhattangrill.co.uk. Check out  more pics from our recent visit below: 

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  2. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Stylist Book Club presents: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


    What we’ve been up to… Stylist Book Club presents: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    When life gives you the opportunity to connect with one of the most remarkable writers of our time, you don’t waiver. Which is probably why just over a month ago, tickets for this exclusive event with the award-winning Chimamanda Adichie sold out within hours (while around 500 people tried their luck with the waiting list, according to organisers). Those fortunate enough to snag a ticket were sent a copy of her latest novel Americanah to read ahead of the glamorous evening at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel on 29th May.

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    Adichie’s third novel  - which won the US National Book Critics Circle award earlier this year -  uses love to masterfully explores race, immigration and identity  and it’s just as beautiful and charming as its author. When the 36-year-old appeared on the stage with Stylist publishing director Glenda Marchant,we cheered, instagrammed and tweeted our delight. She read a short excerpt from the book and was interviewed by Marchant, before the audience got the chance to ask questions about everything from her writing process to her thoughts on Beyoncé, who sampled the author for her single Flawless. But many people simply wanted to thank Adichie, particularly one man who shared how the book helped him understand how to become a better father to his daughter.

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    The night was capped with Adichie signing books and taking pictures with her fans, proving that with all the right elements (stunning venue, wine, canapés) book clubs can be pretty fabulous: but landing a phenomenal author doesn’t hurt either, so well done Stylist!

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    Below are some of my favourite quotes from Adichie on the night:

    On writing Americanah
    “I know I wanted a love story. But I’m also suspicious of excessive happiness”

    On the book’s lead character
    “People have said they didn’t like Ifemelu. But what does it mean to be likeable? And how much does that deny you of who you are?”

    On the representation of women in the novel
    “Strong women are not remarkable to me – they’re normal”

    On exploring mental health in the book and admitting to suffer from depression 
    “(Depression) is something (Africans) don’t have the language to talk about”

    On Barack Obama
    “There’s a thoughtfulness to him. There’s a liberal backlash I find it difficult to understand and I find it unfair. I find that anger has to do with a certain liberal entitlement”

    On Beyoncé sampling Chimamanda’s Tedx Talk for her single Flawless
    “Feminism is a party that isn’t exclusive. People should be allowed to define it for themselves”

    Advice for aspiring writers
    “Read, read, read. I’m not sure one can be a good writer without being a good reader. Read books you don’t like, at least one chapter. If you’re going to build a desk, it’s good to see what other carpenters have done”

    “Tell your truth. We live in a world now that’s forcing you to conform”


  3. New Post: Somewhere you should eat… Simply Fish


    Somewhere you should eat… Simply Fish

    The next time you’re looking to chow down on affordable food in a chic surroundings – that’ll be a hit with the pescetarians, we might add  - you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this new duo of restaurants.  Based in Camden and Shoreditch, Simply Fish is a stylish and modern med-inspired outlet serving up all types fish and seafood, however you want it (baked, fried, battered, steamed), with your pick of sauces  and accompaniments that offer an endless number of meal combinations.  But once you see and taste the food, the four step meal creation is where the gimmicks end. Our grilled starter prawns sizzled enticingly as they arrived at the table, and looked almost too beautiful to eat, while a main of baked seabass with tomato sauce, mixed vegetables and pak choi was what you’d call exquisite. The sides worked wonders with the tender, fleshy fish which was cooked to perfection. Add the fact that both memorable starter and main came up to just £19.50 and we’re loving this new restaurant even more.  Check out pics from our recent visit below, but for more information visit: www.simplyfish.com






  4. New Post: Something you should see… Gandini Juggling’s Smashed


    Something you should see… Gandini Juggling’s Smashed

    The award-winning Smashed is a cheeky and bizarre display of circus mastery presented by nine performers who act like they probably juggle in their sleep. In 60 minutes, 80 apples and four crockery sets are tossed with effortless precision, sometimes with one-hand, other times with the help of a fellow juggler in perfectly choreographed acts. It’s only in the murky narrative where the balls – intentionally or otherwise – tend to drop. Set at a tea party that confusingly touches on courtship, bullying and ageism, the show starts off prim and proper before descending into an awkward riot that, for all the clues in the title, you don’t quite see coming. But once the final apple is smashed and the show wraps up in a bemusing throwback to the show’s sophisticated start, you can only chuckle at such a bewildering end. A must-see this Spring.

    On until 18th May at Udderbelly Festival.  For more info, visit: www.underbelly.co.uk

    Pic: Ryoko Uyama

    Pic: Ryoko Uyama


  5. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Hai Street Kitchen, Leadenhall Market


    What we’ve been up to… Hai Street Kitchen, Leadenhall Market

    Sushi burritos anyone? Yea, we never heard of ‘em either until an e-mail pinged into TCE’s inbox with news of a Japanese casual bar that’s attempting to revolutionise everything we ever knew about sushi (well maybe they’re not pitching their ambitions that high, but they’re certainly daring to be different). Hai Street Kitchen and Co is what we’d call Japanese-Mexican fusion with a light and quirky touch; tasty sushi rolls are prepped at a counter alá Chipotle and rolled in the style of a burrito – or served in a bowl – with an emphasis on fresh, Japanese and Mexican ingredients and speedy Gonzales service.



    Clearly pitched at a city crowd who would appreciate both of those things at lunch time, it’s still worth a pop-in if you’re in the Leadenhall Market area, just for the chance to get your paws on these colossal rolls which might be a bit tricky to chow down at first bite – they’re really that big! – but it’s nothing a spoon, chopsticks and a few napkins can’t handle. We recommend the flank steak roll with asparagus, wasabi guacamole – and if you’re on the move, grab a bag of the super moreish yucca chips to snack on for later.

    For more info about Hai Street Kitchen, visit: www.haistreetkitchen.com



  6. New Post: What we’ve been up to… cheering at the London Marathon, Mile 21


    What we’ve been up to… cheering at the London Marathon, Mile 21

    For the past three years, my running collective Run Dem Crew has set up camp at Mile 21 along the London Marathon route to bring good vibes to the thousands taking on the challenge.  Yesterday’s “cheerathon” was nothing short of epic,  filled with laughs, tears  and even a cameo from the mighty Mo Farah! Check out some of our pics from the day below:

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    The next London running events on our calendar is the We Own the Night: Nike Women’s 10k Run on 10th May and the Run Hackney Half Marathon on 22nd June.  For more info, visit: www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/running/we-own-the-night and www.runhackney.com


  7. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Eat Your Way Around Brixton


    What we’ve been up to… Eat Your Way Around Brixton

    Hate it or love it, but the gentrification (or regeneration?) of Brixton has meant that the area in recent years has seen a splatter of high street fashion chains, coffee shops and a wave of “have-you-been-to” hit list restaurants awkwardly exist within the “old Brixton”, attracting the sort of yuppies who might have been too reluctant to eat in SW2 a few years ago.  But big business aside, scratch the surface and you’ll discover that what’s going down in Brixton a’int all doom and gloom – and this enjoyable foodie jaunt with cultural guided walks company Fox and Squirrel was our opportunity to discover  that and more.


    Led by Lindsay Faller, an American expat who writes about food for the Brixton Blog and Bugle and who’s lived in Brixton for 12 years, the walk included a potted history of the area and visits to a range of vendors, all introducing a unique cultural aspect of Brixton.    First stop was an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony on Brixton Station Road performed in a small tent filled thick with the aroma frankincense and coffee beans which were roasted right in front of us by Elsa – the co-owner of our next stop the Shawl café, where we tucked into a tear-and-share platter of Ethiopian dishes served on the tart and spongy injera bread.  I’ve never been the biggest fan of Ethiopian food, but this platter of lentils and stews was tasty and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s curious about this cuisine.


    The next stop – and my personal highlight of the day – was a visit to Las Cafeteria around the corner on Pope’s Road, a bustling Columbia canteen, butchers and money-changing shop, rolled into the one.  We managed to grab a few seats in the back before trying the mouth-watering Lechona – a popular dish of a roast pig stuffed with rice, peas, onions and spices and cooked for roughly 10 hours.  And you could tell – it was so flavoursome, made even better with the homemade salsa that was placed on the table.



    Our third stop on the walk was Brixton Brewery (Arch 547, Brixton Station Road), a creative company that is definitely one of trendier additions to the area.  I’m more of a wine drinker myself, but it was fascinating to hear about the beer-making process (even if I didn’t take too well to the sample of pale ale I tried!).  This stop was followed up by a sit-down at Fish, Wings and Tings in the revitalised Brixton Village, a Caribbean hotspot which was heaving with customers when we arrived.  And it’s no wonder – the salt fish fritters and goat roti we sampled were simply delicious (especially with a bit of the signature house sauce).



    As time was fast spent,  we had a quick walk through one of the local shops serving all types of exotic ingredients before the walk was wrapped up with a final visit to Kaff bar on Atlantic Road, an eclectic, laidback café where artwork from local artists adorn the wall. Homemade ginger beers were eagerly washed down a platter of US Southern-inspired dishes – like the delectable soft shell crab – and it was definitely a perfect conclusion to a day of culinary, cultural delights.


    The original itinerary featured gelato-making (which was unfortunately missed out), but that was only a minor blip for a day I’d highly recommend.  Admittedly, it is on the pricier side for an urban adventure (£70 for 3 hours), but if you’re new to the capital, it’s also a fantastic way to get to know this evolving area a whole lot better.  For more information, visit: www.foxandsquirrel.com/product/food-walk-london

    To see more of our pics, visit: www.theculturalexpose.co.uk/galleries/eat-your-way-around-brixton-food-walk

    Thank you to Fox and Squirrel for accommodating us!


  8. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Dub Jam


    What we’ve been up to… Dub Jam

    Last night TCé was invited to the press launch of Dub Jam – a jerk BBQ and rum shack in Covent Garden that’s one of the most creative food spots we’ve seen in that part of town for a while.  The obvious risk is that lovers of West Indian food might be tempted to weigh up DJ against the more established restaurants in the capital (i.e Cottons)  - but the good news is,  this novelty bar doesn’t pretend to be anything more than a casual drop-in with good tunes (provided by the legendary Trojan Records), decent grub (the jerk skewers here are tame at best, but the plantain chips, sweet potato fries and beach beef burger we tried were delish), nice prices, loud and proud interiors and an incredible signature rum punch which was so good we had it twice.  We imagine it’ll be a hit in the summer as the obvious vibe here is “reggae in the sunshine” so pass through when it opens on Saturday if you’re curious – we’ll be back for more rum!  Check out our pics from last night below, but for more info visit: www.dubjam.co.uk










  9. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Future Cinema’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


    Somewhere you should go… Future Cinema’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

    Future Cinema has pulled off some serious classics in their time (Ghostbusters, Casablanca, Saturday Night Fever), but I have to take my hats off to the team for coming up with this one.  If you don’t already know, Future Cinema is Secret Cinema without the surprise, immersing you into the world of the film in all sorts of clever ways; and the production values  are so high-end that  good times are generally guaranteed (unless that film is Shawshank Redemption which  sadly, is an experience that still makes us shudder).  Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was of my favourite films as a kid, so we can only imagine that the real life version of the 1988 animated/live action who-dun-it will be a hilarious romp we’ll be laughing about days later.


    It all kicks off from Valentine’s Day onwards so  for more info, visitwww.troxy.co.uk/event/future-cinema-presents-who-framed-roger-rabbit-3

    Have you been to a Future Cinema event? Let us know in the comments…


  10. New Post: Somewhere you should go… Princess Victoria’s Burns Night


    Somewhere you should go… Princess Victoria’s Burns Night

    Trust the Scots to find a way to make you look forward to the end of the month. Every 25th January, the whole of the UK celebrates the life of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns—often in the most Scottish of ways, with a wee (or slightly larger) dram of whisky and a bit of haggis. If you fancy starting the celebrations early, head over to the Princess Victoria pub in Shepherd’s Bush tomorrow. They will feature a three-course early Burns Night supper club menu cooked up by Head Chef Matt Reuther (formerly of No 1 Lombard St and Marco Pierre White’s three Michelin-starred Oak Room).


    Reuther will be playing up the smoky flavours of Scotland’s famed peated whiskys with a menu that starts with a cassoulet made of whisky-barrel-smoked langoustine and home-cured bacon. The next course is a Scottish mutton haggis  served along with ash wood-roasted shoulder and a serving of neeps and tatties (swedes), a popular accompaniment to haggis.  Finally, dessert will be Applewood-roasted quince and the traditional Scottish dessert of cranachan, made of cream, whisky, raspberries and toasted oatmeal. And no smoky meal would be complete with a nip of Laphroaig whisky! The three-course supper is £30 and will offer the chance to buy wines and whiskeys while enjoying the beautiful historic pub. For more info, visit: www.facebook.com/events/602210763168004