A MERRY NIGHT AT MAC & WILD

The nights are longer, there’s a chill in the air and John Lewis are busily editing their 2018 blockbuster advert. The season of goodwill is almost upon us, meaning Christmas parties and office nights out galore. Keen to find the best venues for a festive feast, we sampled the hearty offerings at Mac & Wild Devonshire Square.

Mac and Wild pride themselves on serving the finest traceable Scottish, meat, seafood and game. Arriving at their high ceiling, exposed brick dining room, we longingly gazed at the butcher’s shop type display chiller which showcased prime cuts of beef, venison and poultry. Eager to dine, we sat on rich leather furnishing to make choices and sip cocktails: An Irn Bru flavoured sour and a Talisker based take on an espresso martini added a delightfully Scotch twist. The room had a vibrant atmosphere, with large groups of guests already getting into the party spirit.

The menu contained great vegan options, but the pull of prime meats and fish was too strong. Haggis pops with red Jon sauce were a new treat and the fish bites were crisp and juicy. The Venimoo burger has been voted the best burger in London and we’re struggling to disagree: Succulent patties of Scotch beef and venison, smothered in cheese, bearnaise and caramelised onions. Utterly superb. The big Arbroath smoky chowder was a treat on a cold night: A rich creamy soup of Shetland mussels, potato, shallots and poached egg, served with crusty bread. Divine! A decadent dessert of salted caramel ice cream and deep-fried mars bar gave our taste buds a Glasgow kiss, in a good way.

Following a wonderful meal, we checked out the venue’s party offerings. Venturing to the basement, we found a handsome private dining room with an aged wood feasting table and grass effect floor which created the illusion of an outdoor Highlands setting. There’s also a virtual shooting range and whisky bar, allowing guests to try their hand at bagging a beastie over a few drams. Looked like a great place for a party with a fun Scottish twist.

The food at Mac & Wild was spot on and their Devonshire square venue is set up to cater for a variety of private and corporate events. For help with booking Mac and Wild for your perfect Christmas party, get in touch with Flavour Venue Search.

DINNER WITH A VIEW AT DIM T

With 2018 being a chilly one so far, we’ve spent more time moaning about winter than Ned Stark. However, Friday brought some sunshine and a temperature somewhere in the mid teens, so like many Londoners; we opted for a few drinks and a gentle stroll along the Thames to usher in the weekend. Several glasses (or maybe bottles) of Picpoul later, we were close to City Hall and craving some deliciousness.

We’ve wanted to visit the flagship branch of dim t for a while. Being no strangers to their menu, we were confident our appetites would be appeased by their well cooked assortment of Pan-Asian favourites. However, this branch has an additional lure, namely the breathtaking view of the majestic Tower Bridge. A few kind words in the ear of the hostess and we were seated at a fine window seat on the upper floor, the perfect place to watch the rays of the setting sun gently caressing one of London’s most iconic landmarks. There was the option of an alfresco table but we’ll save that until actual summer.

dim t Tower Bridge London

The stylish restaurant was buzzing on a Friday night and the scrumptious courses being enjoyed by fellow diners inspired our menu choices. We first opted for a shared feasting platter to playfully battle over. This consisted of vegetable spring rolls, chicken satay, five spiced squid, edamame, prawn toast and a selection of dipping sauces. We saw this lovely feast off in record time, ordering some prawn, peanut and coriander dim sum into the mix. These delicate parcels finely chopped freshness came in a bamboo steamer and barely touched the sides.

We were craving some authentic Asian favourites, so out came a generous bowl of Nasi Goreng: Juicy tiger prawns and chicken, stirred with a selection of fresh vegetables, all bathed in wok fried rice and a spicy Malaysian sauce. This was a true hit. The crispy sea bass came recommended by our waiter and certainly didn’t disappoint. Succulent strips of fish delicately battered and served on a bed of flavoursome garlic and chilli beans. They were light, expertly cooked and laced with eastern flavours. Our accompanying side of stir fried egg noodles left us with bellies the size of HMS Belfast. So much so, that we just about managed to share a scrumptious toffee peanut sundae. We’ll certainly be making another trip to dim t London Bridge this year, maybe for an extended lunch in the sun. Roll on summer!

Do you like the sound of this venue? Fancy hosting your event here? Get in touch with our team at Flavour Venue Searchhttp://flavourvenue.wpengine.com/

dim t 
More London Place, 2, Tooley St, London SE1 2DB
https://dimt.co.uk/ 

 

TASTY TAPAS AT BOQUERIA

Look at the size of that Paella! This was meant to be a portion for 3 people but I reckon those enormous Langoustines could satisfy all of Brixton by themselves. We joined a group of friends at Boqueria to celebrate a birthday in the best way possible; namely consuming our bodyweight in delicious Tapas. We clinked our Margaritas in honour of the birthday girl and readied ourselves for a feast.

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Salty Padron peppers and beautifully piquant patatas bravas as standard, followed by Calamari a la Romana that harmoniously married crispy with tender. Dipped in the homemade garlic aioli, they were as authentic as any we’d had in Catalonia. Pulpo al la gallega came as wafer thin slices of juicy Octopus, lounging on a bed of paprika seasoned potatoes. The salt Cod with garlic, olive oil and parsley sauce was out of this World. Appetites were sated but there was still a frantic clash of forks as we battled our friends for the last tasty morsels. The aforementioned Paella de pescado y marisco delivered a scrumptious blend of seafood and saffron that was too good not to finish.

Just when we thought we could eat no more, out came a plate of crispy fried churros, complete with a rich chocolate dipping sauce and a birthday candle to mark the affair. Each of us claimed national ownership of the concept of deep fried dough coated in sugar. Who’d have thought that churros were invented in Wales, New Zealand or even Macedonia? One thing we did agree on is that we’d had a fantastic Spanish meal and will definitely be heading back to Boqueria soon.

Boqueria
192 Acre Lane, SW2 5UL
http://www.boqueriatapas.com/ 

RAGU AND ROMANCE AT ROSSOPOMODORO

As we all know, once a year each February comes a day when couples celebrate their love. Their love of Pizza that is! Yes, Friday 09th February is National Pizza day and ever the romantic, Mr Flavour whisked me away from work for an evening of exchanging sweet nothings at our favourite Italian chain restaurant, Rossopomodoro in Shoreditch.

This accessible Italian eatery delivers all the things we love about Neapolitan cuisine: A roaring wood fired pizza oven, an abundance of creamy smoked cheeses and a plethora of fine tomatoes used to create the most flavoursome sauces. A lovely bottle of Valpolicella helped us navigate the menu, trying our best not to order another Vesuvius sized mountain of foodie delights. Looking around at other people’s meals made this an exercise in resisting temptation.

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We thought the Tiella Napoletana would give us a little bit of everything and we weren’t disappointed: Gooey rice arancini, crispy potato crocché, pasta frittatine, seaweed zeppoline, deep fried aubergines and creamy polenta chips. This scrumptious platter took our taste buds on a tour Napoli, whilst leaving plenty of room for the main event.

Mr Flavour has been lifting heavy things since January. He’s been burning off festive excess and sculpting a body like Michelangelo’s David. His eyes lit up when he saw the protein-fest known as Lasagna Napoletana: Beef meatballs, hearty pork sausage, Neapolitan salami, boiled eggs, smooth buffalo ricotta, rich smoked mozzarella, buffalo milk fondue and Parmesan, all housed in pasta and bathed in mouth-watering tomato ragu. He wasn’t keen on sharing. Fortunately, I had a valuable bargaining chip in the form of a Capricciosa Pizza. It boasted Roma tomato sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, regional ham, artichokes, black olives and torn fresh basil, all layered across hand stretched wood fired dough. A true masterclass in Pizza and a fitting way to celebrate the date.

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We obviously had no room for dessert after eating all the above, but an Italian dinner is never complete until a few chilled glasses of Limoncello are brought to the table. We toasted our love for Pizza and each other with boozy citrus, deciding it’s about time we booked another trip to the Amalfi coast. That’s amore!

Rossopomodoro
1 Rufus Street
London, N1 6PE
020 7739 1899

rossopomodoro.co.uk

A CHEEKY NIBBLE AT CEVICHE

We love Ceviche at Old Street. In the wake of post work drinks, we’re frequently drawn through their door, magnetised by the munchies and craving a quick bite of Peruvian fare on the way home. There’s always a warm welcome and if we’re lucky, a seat at their open kitchen bar. Perched on high stools, we study the chefs preparing consistently awesome plates, willing the waiters to deliver them our way.

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Their dishes are perfect for sharing and the portion sizes encourage diners to sample a variety of plates. Across our many visits, we’ve pretty much worked our way through their entire menu, often struggling to taste new things without filling up on favourites. Mr Flavour has a penchant for Chancho Pork Bites which borders on being an addiction. Crispy pork belly crackling with a piquant rocoto chilli jam, delicious enough to demand a frequent fix. We’ve recently discovered the Seabass Jalea steamed buns: delicate tempura Seabass snuggled in a fluffy pillow stuffed with salsa, red onion and Amarillo chilli mayo. These are going on our Christmas list.

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The internet isn’t big enough for us to declare love for all Ceviche’s beautiful dishes, so here are a few of Mr and Mrs Flavour’s must-tastes: The Don Ceviche, Seabass in Amarillo chilli Tiger’s milk roars with freshness and fire. Ají de Gallina Tequeños are chicken and parmesan filled wonton parcels, served piping hot with a crunchy texture. The Lomo Saltado delivers a classic combination of flamed beef fillet with tomato and proper chips, but the Saltado sauce adds a pleasingly tangy juiciness which takes our taste buds on a trip to Machu Picchu every time.

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We’ve lost count of how many times Ceviche has delighted us. Their consistently delicious food served up by passionate chefs and friendly, enthusiastic staff keeps us coming back every time. As a matter of fact, writing this review has made us so hungry that we’re wondering if they do breakfast too. I hope they’ve kept our stools warm.

Ceviche
2 Baldwin Street
London, EC1V 9NU
0203 327 9463

http://www.cevicheuk.com/oldst