1. New Post: What we’ve been up to… Elk in the Woods


    What we’ve been up to… Elk in the Woods

    London is awesome for its nightlife but sometimes a long, lazy Sunday lunch with friends is the best thing in the world which was how I was introduced to the Elk in the Woods.

    Angel already boasts so many great restaurants, but I was excited at the prospect of somewhere new and delicious – and Elk offers both a quirky menu with the Scandinavian-style decor to match. When we sat down to see we had the table facing out onto the street, providing the perfect people watching view as we munched.


    My friends and I split three of the small plates between us - crispy pheasant with spring onion, parsnip and pancakes with homemade plum sauce, halloumi with homemade preserved lemons and salt and pepper calamari. It was my first time trying pheasant  so I was pleasantly surprised by the rich taste and the different take serving it in Chinese style. The calamari was  good with a nice freshness to it and the halloumi, hard to go wrong with my favourite cheese, was simple but delicious.

    My main course of char-grilled lamb cutlets with seasalt savoy cabbage mash, crispy kale and a rosemary and wild berry gravy was wonderful hearty food. This is definitely a place for meat eaters with few vegetarian options on the menu but with the meat they cook it well.  Just remember to save room for dessert –  luckily I was joined by a friend as indecisive as me so we ordered the chocolate fondant with mint ice-cream and the popcorn ice cream sandwich with salted caramel to split between us.

    But food aside, the service was a bit slow – so I’m grateful we got a table with a view as it  gave us something to do. Granted, it was busy and the weekend but three hours in there was too long. Still, the sheer delicious joy of the puddings could warrant a return. (Words: Lucy Palmer)

    For more info about Elk In The Woods visit: www.the-elk-in-the-woods.co.uk


  2. Somewhere you should eat….@ SIAM, Soho

    The @ symbol (or to give it its proper name, the ‘at symbol’) has had a number of uses in its 111-year lifetime. Originally conceived as accounting shorthand for ‘at the rate of’, with the arrival of email in the 1990s the humble @ came into worldwide(web) usage as an integral part of every email address. Since 2006 however, the sign has acquired a new prominence as the opening character of every Twitter username; other means of communication are old hat - these days Twitter is where it’s @.

    Don’t go looking for smart new Thai restaurant @SIAM on Twitter though; the username does exist, but it’s not them - in fact it’s one of the thousands of dormant accounts which include, frustratingly, @hughwright, an Evangelical Christian in the US who’s not tweeted since May last year. And not that you would, but don’t go looking for it in Siam either - you’d have a job to, as no such place exists, the Kingdom of Siam having become Thailand for good in 1949. Do however go looking for it on Frith Street, slap-bang in the heart of Soho, where you will find it, especially if what you’re looking for is some really very good Thai food at not-too-hideous prices…

    …To read the rest, click here to visit Hugh Wright’s blog, Twelvepointfivepercent.com - London Restaurant Reviews Of Real Discretion. 

    Follow Hugh on Twitter: @HRWright


  3. Somewhere you should eat…Poncho No 8

    I’ve come to dread the lunch break - the rudimentary sandwich is just…BORING! - so, any food outlet that wants to inject a bit of life into midday meal has my support. Cue Poncho No 8, bringing Mexican food to St Pauls and Spitalfields. Founded by buddies Frank and Nick around three years ago, the restaurant manages to balance quality grub  with speed and convenience.

    White walls, wooden decor and urban-inspired design scream modern London; in fact, you probably wouldn’t guess it was a Mexican food outlet. However, the contemporary interior allows the food to take centre stage.

    With an ordering process, reminiscent of Subway, you can pick various elements to add to your meal, with burritos, nachos, tacos on offer. As for fillings, there’s three types of rice to choose from, plus various beans and meats including seasoned steak, tender marinated pork as well as a veggie option of chargrilled vegetables, tofu and fresh guacamole.

    Named by ES magazine as having one of the best burritos in London, I chose to give the chicken version a test run. Tightly wrapped, and deeply filled with parsley rice, beans, and cheese, I happily received the hefty portion. The chicken had a wonderful grilled flavour plus a bit of chilli kick too, but at £6.10, it could be seen as little pricier than the popular Wahaca version, which also comes with a side of tortilla chips.

    The drink selection is limited to four options, starting from £1 (including different flavours of homemade aqua frescas) going up to £4.50 for frozen margaritas. There aren’t any sweet snacks on offer either, but as a quickie lunch hotspot; Poncho No 8 is a pretty decent option. Catering for the hungry and impatient customer, here’s a no-frills yet modern outlet that just prides itself on offering real Mexican food – what more could you want? (Monique Todd)

    Price: £££££

    For more information, visit www.poncho8.com

  4. National Portrait Gallery’s basement cafe is a bit of a bump when you compare it to their more high-brow restaurant on the 3rd floor. It’s way too narrow and busy…but on the plus side,  they serve a mean carrot and orange cake!