Archive | May, 2012

Food at the Ideal Home Show

28 May

This post is long overdue (again, apologies!)

In March, my lovely Mummy convinced me to go with her to the Ideal Home show and whilst I believed I would be traipsing around Earl’s Court for hours looking at curtains, dining tables and sofas, I was pleasantly surprised.  Downstairs was full of the afore mentioned, but upstairs, there was a whole section dedicated to food!  I guess the organisers realised how important a role food plays in households today and it was only right to pay homage to good nosh!

Similar to the set up of the Taste events, there were several restaurants with stands encouraging visitors to sample their cuisine.  My favourite was the sweet stand – heaven on earth!  There were hundreds of sweets to try and feast the eyes on!  I could only get through a few though 😦

It was also at the Ideal Home Show that I tried the Cadbury’s Philadelphia mash up for the first time.  The stand was covered by enthiusiastic women singing and dancing and the sample spread was served on mini crostinis.  Bellissimo!  It has become a firm favourite on my monthly shopping list!

The Ideal Home Show comes round once a year, so keep your eyes peeled for the 2013 event…

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For Deborah Wot Dines… At Asia De Cuba!

23 May

I have been a little behind with blog posts, which is so rubbish (I know!)  So I’m attempting to do better!

A coupla weeks back my lovely friend treated me to dinner at Asia de Cuba in St. Martin’s Lane Hotel, near Leicester Square, London.  The restaurant fuses Latin American and Japanese cuisine and it’s not just the food that’s a treat.  Everything about the place is spectactular!  From the decor designed by renowed Phillipe Stark with it’s low hung lights, white wash walls and random book n’ photo frame pillars to the electric atmosphere, the venue is fun, flirty and super sexxxy!

The service was excellent and our camp Italian waiter ensured we had enough information to make informed dinner decisions and talking of the food, it was amaaazing too!  The menu comprises of sharing dishes, which arrive in generous portions.  We ordered the Calamari Salad and glazed Pork Belly for starters and Gambas Gigantes Mai Tai with a side of lobster mash for mains, all from the à la carte menu.  ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!  The salad was gorgeous and even my friend, a typical non-salad-eating male, had to commend it and it’s sumptuous orange drizzle dressing.  The Pork Belly was succulent and juicy mmmmm!  And the prawns were also HUGE and delish.  By this point, we were stuffed from our starter, but we gave both the prawns and the lobster mash a good go.  If you prefer to try a little bit of everything, there is also a set menu available.  Washed down with copious amounts of red wine, we didn’t have any room left for afters, but the dessert menu also looked emotional!

“For global travelers with a cultured palate and a love of variety, Asia de Cuba restaurant, overseen by renowned international restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow, combines elements of Asian and Cuban cuisine served sharing-style in a high energy London restaurant. Housed in a dramatically colonnaded space, Asia de Cuba’s innovative menu is matched in its surroundings by a dramatic series of soaring art columns.”

The above excerpt is from the restaurant’s website and I couldn’t agree more.  The food was fabulous, my dinner date was awesome and the diners nearby were adorable.  Can you believe that we engaged in a half hour conversation with an elderly and might I add, acutely hip n’ happening American couple?  The restaurant attracts the best of the best!  My hat goes off to executive Chef Paul Whittick, who has taken trendy dining to a new level.  It’s simply a must-visit restaurant!  You gotta go try it for yourself!

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For Ladies Wot Brunch… At Electric Brasserie

20 May

As dates go, Saturday 28th April came round extremely fast!  And what better way to round off a great month than meeting with The Brunch Club Ladies?  April showers did not disappoint and showed up in full force as we made our way to the Electric Brasserie on the trendy Portobello Road, in the heart of Notting Hill.

Booking

For those of you reading this who I have been in contact with, you will remember how busy the month of April was for me.  From birthdays to trips, meetings, assignments and everything in between, no two days were the same.  And so when it came to booking the restaurant, it was a close call!  Luckily,  I had the Electric card up my sleeve.  I had booked the venue a few months back, and although I didn’t end up up going, it stuck in my mind as  a great place to take The Brunch Club.  Once I called up, and confirmed the reservation, it was a done deal.  Nice ‘n’ easy!

Gist!

SO!  The afternoon was extremely eventful and to be honest, I’m not sure where to start.  Is it the lateness of some of our ladies(!) or the stolen handbag saga?  I guess the only place to begin is at the beginning so here goes…

Don’t be tardy for the Party Brunch Club!  Ladies, ladies, ladies!  I used to be so guilty of this crime, that if I was to pay £1 for every time I kept someone waiting, I would be certified bankrupt!  I will swiftly use this platform to apologise to everyone reading who I have kept waiting in the past.  Sowwwy!  But this year, I made myself a promise. Wherever I had to go, I would at the very least, be on time and if I could push myself that bit further, I would be early.  So far, it’s been working and I haven’t broken my promise (well maybe by 5-10 mins, but nothing later!)  And so by becoming a punctual lady, I thought that this was the general consensus and everyone lived by these same rules.  Be on time and it’s all good, right?  WRONG!  Knowing that the restaurant might be a little sticky with table turnover for such a large group, I emphasised the importance of everyone arriving on time to ensure we made the most of our wonderful afternoon together.  However, my ex affiliate tardiness reared its head and for a change I was the one kept waiting.  Whilst the vast majority of the Ladies arrived on time, a few arrived 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours and the latest up to 3 hours late!  Yes 3 HOURS!!!  Needless to say at that point, food had been eaten, bill paid and we were preparing to leave.  I have grown to love each one of the Ladies Wot Brunch, and we were recently coined Brunch Club Sisters.  So sisters, please take heed: please please please pretty please be on time!!!

Hair done, nails done, everything did! In between the conversations and raucous laughter, I couldn’t help but notice two things: beautifully manicured nails and deliciously assembled hair.  Fantastique!  Stories were shared about the several hours spent on personal grooming and the money spent to look good.  It is not a cheap pastime!  But just look at these girls in the slideshow below: isn’t it money well spent?

The handbag that got stolen… and retrieved within 72 hours! Yes, you read correctly!  It was an emotionally trying afternoon, but thankfully, all ended well.  Amidst the chatter and jokes, we did not notice when an unfortunately disgraceful piece of filth (yes, I am not this thief’s fan) entered the restaurant, placed his coat over one of our Lady’s handbag and swiped it.  It was only when it was time to pay up that we realised what had been happened.  The police were called, a report was filed and CCTV tapes were watched.  As the criminal was on the police’s radar, a known thief and drug addict, once all the paperwork had been completed, we followed in the direction the thief had gone in the hope of locating the discarded bag.  From what we gathered in the CCTV footage, he had gone right when leaving the restaurant and if he was only after drug money, he would have dropped the bag.  But despite our efforts, a large group of handbag searchers hitting Portobello Road en masse, it was to no avail.  What had started as a wonderful day, ended up on a bitter sweet note.  But as women of faith and believers of speaking positively and employing our faith in all situations, we prayed that the bag would be found, and everything intact.  And whadduya know, our God who has never failed to date, came up trumps yet again!  At 20:59 the following Monday, a lady called to say the handbag had been left in her back garden, yards away from the restaurant!  And when the bag was collected, EVERYTHING was inside it!  Including bank cards, house keys and personal documents.  A valuable lesson is to be learnt here: in all situations, no matter what, we must remain positive and whenever things go missing, no matter how small or large, pray this simple prayer – “there shall be no loss”.  It always works!
Food

Well, there was certainly plenty of it!  The menu was simple and with one page’s worth of meals to choose from, simplicity was the order of the day.  Many of us opted for the Full Electric, which comprised of pretty much errrrrting!  Bacon, sausages, beans, mushrooms, toast, black pudding, tomatoes and as if it wasn’t enough, a few of us finished it off with a side of hash browns.  I can’t tell you whether it was Electric’s particular blending of these staple full English breakfast foods, or whether it was the appetite that the nasty glum weather outside evoked, but I lapped up everything on my plate.  EVERYTHING!  The vegetarian full electric also looked and tasted good  as did the sea bream and macaroni cheese.  The fresh juices were also delish!  The food is not pretentious, despite the restaurant’s chic location and celebrity guest list.  Good grub, good prices, yummy in our tummies!

Service

Despite our prime time Saturday afternoon sitting, the restaurant staff were very friendly and attentive and despite what we had been advised, we were not rushed out.  Food arrived promptly and the Ladies who joined us later were also served swiftly.  Even after the stolen handbag debacle, the manager came out, personally attended to us and offered her assistance.  My only comment would be regarding the warning that they give out regarding theft in the area: there should have been one!

Overall

In short, the afternoon was lovely.  Despite the damp weather, and dim, daft, dumb thief we had an enjoyable time.  Electric Brasserie is a great venue for a hearty bite to eat and a spot of people watching in between bargain hunting and vintage shopping.  The venue is reminiscent of large cafes on the continent and though the space is a little tight, if you have a smaller party, you might enjoy the booths which sit 4-6 people comfortably.  I’m a bit of a hard head and if something goes wrong, I need to repeat the action again in order to correct the associated memory.  So in order to get over the theft, at some point, I will return to Electric.  And as repeat venues go, it aint a bad option!

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