Wednesday, 20 April 2016

London Dining: April Round-Up

Sunday Lunch at Blacklock Soho

Lazy Sundays need long, late lunches. The kind where you leave the table at 8pm not quite sure where the day has gone. Eliza suggested Blacklock Soho and I just saw "cocktails for a fiver" on the menu and was in. My Nettle Gimlet was small but potent - the perfect start to the meal and not the sort of drink you can finish off quickly! A quick browse of the rest of the menu showed that the restaurant is very meat-focused with its short, simple menu. My dining companions went "all in" for £20 and were presented with a huge platter of roasted meats and vegetables, along with additional sides and sauces. My "sorry I'm vegetarian but I could just order the peas..." was answered with a dish that well surpassed my expectations - a beautiful platter of bright colourful vegetables which included the best sweet potatoes I've ever tasted. I was so happy to have such a delicious plate of food to work at while my friends tucked into a Sunday roast and it was exactly the sort of food I would choose if it were on a menu. For dessert Blacklock continues to keep things simple with one option - a white chocolate cheesecake served from the pan in a huge sharing portion with seasonal fruit. The basement restaurant is surprisingly light and airy and the cocktails and accommodating staff would have me back here with meat-loving friends anytime.

blacklock soho sunday lunch
Nettle Gimlet; veggie platter; all in roast for three people; white chocolate cheesecake
Drinks and Tastings at 155 Bar and Kitchen Clerkenwell

For the Tabl bloggers' event this recent addition to Clerkenwell's already amazing dining scene was our venue. As well as a spacious bar and restaurant upstairs, 155 has a huge downstairs space to host events and was the perfect venue for an evening sampling Brighton Gin, The Fabulous Adventures of 698B, and Opium's gunfire cocktails. I live nearby and will be back for the Saturday brunch!

Brighton Gin with a stick of minty rock. 
Opium's The Gunfire cocktail - inspired by the drink army officers would give their men in the 1800s. This was potent!
Dinner at Itsu Dining, Chelsea

Itsu is a Monday - Friday lunchtime staple, quick, healthy and there's practically one on every corner in Central London. My friend S and I had dinner at Itsu Dining in Chelsea which has two sushi conveyor belts, one with high bar stalls in the front and a cozier option at the back with proper tables - I'd recommend these over the bar if you're planning on a long catch-up! The sushi conveyor is so fun to watch - although its a nightmare if you're indecisive as everything just looks so good... there's a huge range of sushi as well as summer rolls, sashimi, salads and a menu of hot food to order from. The bill came to less than I was expecting and as a dedicated Itsu eater (the half price happy hour before they close makes me happier than most alcoholic happy hours) I'm surprised I'd not yet made it here.

The conveyor belt - everything is labelled and plates are colour-coded by price.
Origins Of Po-Up at Blessings Bar

Sophie and I attended the opening night of London's newest pop-up. Origins Of offers a simple menu of Middle-Eastern inspired dishes - spicy fried chicken, buttermilk infused cauliflower and beetroot falafels served either as tacos on mini flatbreads of in a sharing basket with a selection of dips. Hummus and flatbread is also on the menu along with turmeric-spiced fries. I loved the falafel - it's one of my favourite foods but surprisingly easy to get wrong (and as a veggie you eat enough of it to know the good from the so-so) but these were fresh and crisp tasting and not at all greasy with a vibrant red colour from the beetroot. The cauliflower was a surprise hit, too, it's amazing what spices can do to a usually rather uninspiring vegetable - my child's tastebuds don't usually let cauliflower near them but with a bit of colour and spice its a different story. The setting of Blessings Bar with its bright, light interior makes this pop-up perfect for after a day of hitting the area's markets. Open until early June so hurry on down...

origins of pop up blessings bar
Fireplace goals; falafel in flat bread; falafel, cauliflower and fried chicken tray; the menu- so nice to see loads of veggie options!
Where have you been dining this month?



  1. Wow - Ive never been to Blessings Bar but the food there looks amazing!


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