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29 July 2014

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Blog Reviews from Nomface

(menu)

Food adventures from the North West and beyond


  1. Published : Thursday, 24th July 2014

    Kua'aina | Kua Aina

    There’s definately no shortage of burger joints in London. Wanting to try something off the beaten track we found ourselves by Carnaby Street one day after work and decided to try Hawaiian inspired brand Kua Aina. All of the staff are kitted out with Hawaiian accessories as expected and the interior has a beach club feel. We ordered a half pound hamburger each, two bacon & cheese and one avocado & bacon topped with cheddar and Monterey jack cheese. The hamburgers are grilled and served open in a basket with lettuce, tomato and onions. When fully compiled the burgers looked too big to eat but we managed in the end. The grass fed beef is sourced from farms in the West Country and were meaty and juicy despite asking for them all to be cooked medium...

  2. Published : Saturday, 19th July 2014

    MASH London | MASH, London

    Over the last few years I have walked past MASH on Brewer Street in Soho hundreds of times without knowing what it was or what they served. It was only when I saw a retweet of an offer for half price steaks in celebration of the Danish parent restaurant in Copenhagen turning five. From the outside the corner site is unassuming, however on entering the Apple computers and clean and modern reception suggests that some serious money was spent on the decor. As we were lead downstairs to the dining room we were shocked at the size and spacious grand interior. The ceiling is very high with a stunning bar area. A paradise within the hustle and bustle of Soho. Looking over the menu beforehand the Danish American steakhouse offers a variety of dry aged Danish, Uruguayan, American and Australian cuts of beef. The latter being two different grades of wagyu with ambitious prices for 200g servings. The steak that caught our eye was the 1.3kg American Omaha porterhouse, a t-bone cut from the short loin with tenderloin and strip steak either side. This was ample for the two of us to share and we asked for it medium rare and a monster grilled two inch thick slab of meat was presented to us whole at the table before being carved tableside. it was certainly the biggest steak we have tried to date...

  3. Published : Friday, 18th July 2014

    Wahaca Waterloo | Wahaca, London

    Wahaca is a Mexican chain founded by former MasterChef winner Thomasina Miers. I have visited a few of the branches across London but not blogged about one until now. During a recent work trip we spotted a Wahaca just yards from the hotel and dinner for the night was a no brainer. With Mexican food focused on sharing it was ideal for a party of three. The branch we visited was a small one in Waterloo and it was one of the more rugged branches I have visited when compared to its more modern Westfield Stratford outpost. After a short wait at the bar we were seated and it felt like we ordered the whole menu. The dishes began appearing with speed, just as expected with street food. We started with probably my favourite dish from the Wahaca menu, pork pibil tacos, slow cooked in a Yucatecan marinade with fiery pickled onions. With just the right amount of heat the tacos were piled high with the shredded pork. The other variation of tacos were chicken tinga, tender chicken in a smoky tomato sauce topped with crema and extra-hot chipotle adobo. Although good the pork pibil remains top...

  4. Published : Tuesday, 15th July 2014

    Big Easy Covent Garden | Big Easy, London

    The thought of barbecue meat for dinner always gets me excited but almost always ends inevitably in disappointment back home in the North West. Since my visit to the excellent Pitt Cue Co last year nothing I have had since has compared to it, let alone be fit enough to lace its boots. Therefore I was on the fence pre visit to the Covent Garden branch of Big Easy, not knowing what to expect. The restaurant is spread over two floors and we were led to the basement where huge smokers and grills on display as you descend the stairs, so far so good with huge slabs of slow cooking meat on show. I don't tend to pay attention to surroundings and decor and even less so here as I was just looking forward to some ribs. It was quite dark in the basement with dark wooden fixtures and fittings. The wall behind us was filled with various business cards of customers, I strategically placed mine over a competitors from my profession...

  5. Published : Tuesday, 1st July 2014

    José | Jose, London

    A recent lunchtime visit to Bermondsey Street led us to José Pizarros tapas bar aptly named José, within a couple hundred yards of his more formal restaurant named Pizarro. We wanted a chilled casual lunch affair and this was the perfect place to do so. The interior is simple and cozy with high tapas bar tables. With a nice bottle of red wine we ordered a range of dishes to graze on. The food at José hits the mark without complications, much like the venue...

  6. Alyn Williams at The Westbury Hotel in Mayfair has been on my list for a while, despite the occasional appearance on TV, Chef Alyn seems to go about his business quietly. Reports of this one Michelin starred restaurant are consistently positive; however it has always slipped the mind under the bombardment of new openings and more media centric Chefs in the capital. Searching for a tasting menu for a recent dinner the restaurant popped up and at a cost of £65 per head, it seemed a good deal for what was being offered. The hotel itself is a classical five star affair, and the dining room reminded me of Simon Radley at The Grosvenor in Chester...

  7. Published : Tuesday, 17th June 2014

    Everyman Bistro | Everyman Bistro, Liverpool

    I was a little sad when the Everyman Theatre on Hope Street temporarily shut a couple of years back as I never got round to trying the highly rated bistro. However it reopened earlier this year after undergoing major refurbishment bringing it into the 21st century and it was time to make amends. The décor inside and out has been modernised with the exterior logo in simple letters huge letters in striking red. The spacious bistro is in the basement and is welcoming with a bar area and plenty of tables. The menu is full of British classics with harissa and pomegranate yoghurt the only components of one dish which were inspired from elsewhere that we could see...

  8. Published : Friday, 13th June 2014

    Cicchetti | San Carlo Cicchetti, Manchester

    San Carlo Cicchetti has always been a place on our agenda and surprisingly Mr Nom chose it as the nights venue as we walked past House of Fraser on Deansgate. Italian small plates as opposed to the usual starter and main format however the portion sizes were bigger than expected but we just about polished off all of the dishes. The first dish to arrive was duck salad, it was flavourful with pancetta and the apple balanced the dish really well with the sweetness coming through the saltiness...

  9. Published : Wednesday, 4th June 2014

    Sake No Hana | Sake No Hana, London

    Mrs Nom loves flowers and cherry blossoms in particular. When I showed her a preview of the Sakura cherry blossom inspired bar at Sake No Hana it was on the priority list in front of anything else. To coincide with the cherry blossom theme at the Mayfair based bar and restaurant a special Sakura menu was introduced which is no longer available. Along a range of cherry based cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and desserts was a crystal double layer bento box which caught our eye. This was perfect for an alternative to afternoon tea for a light snack in between the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street which I was being forced to endure given Mrs Nom’s love of shopping...

  10. Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester was my first 3 Michelin star experience. Set in Park Lane in the grand Dorchester Hotel where it was evident that the clientele enjoyed the finer things in life. The restaurant is accessed halfway down the long tea room; it felt a bit strange waltzing through the area past people enjoying lunch and afternoon tea to get to the restaurant. The dining room was larger than I expected, even with spaced out tables. The dining room is elegant and impressive, it is dominated by a centerpiece curtain of Swarovki crystals which surrounds a private dining table. Alain Ducasse is a multiple holder of Michelin Stars, too many to count in fact and his trusted Executive Chef at the Dorchester is Jocelyn Herland who oversaw the restaurant when it achieved 3 Michelin stars in 2010. The standard has remained consistently high which has seen the restaurant keep all of its stars intact to date...

  11. Published : Saturday, 24th May 2014

    Meatmarket | MEATmarket, London

    The Meat Liquor burger brand has been on my London to do list for quite a while. I finally got the chance to visit MEATmarket, the covent garden branch a few weeks ago and as an added bonus it was their second birthday which meant half price food all day. Only for those who saw the tweet and wished them a happy birthday though, I nearly forgot and was sternly reminded by a colleague! Visiting straight from work in our suits was probably not the best idea as we watched the messiness of others devouring their burgers whilst we waited for our order. I opted for the Dead Hippie with beef patties, dead hippie sauce, lettuce, pickles and minced onion. As I unwrapped the burger the cheese was glistening and bun was sliding off both at the top and bottom, I thought about the impending dry cleaning bill for a split second before diving in...

  12. Published : Wednesday, 21st May 2014

    The Dairy Bar & Bistro | The Dairy, London

    I chose The Dairy as the first restaurant of my recent birthday weekend in London, because one birthday meal is just not enough! Situated in SW4 in Clapham which is somewhat out the way of the action of central London but within an easy half an hour tube ride. It amazes me that Londoners in general seem to share a common trait which is that travelling even to the next postcode is a mammoth effort! The Dairy is literally a minute from Clapham Common underground station and features a bar area with a narrow dining room. Whilst deciding whether to order as many dishes from the menu as possible which was split between snacks, garden, sea, land and sweet or the 7 course tasting menu we were presented with an amuse of potato. Not the most exciting as I had seen blogs with crispy oysters but the hot from the oven sourdough bread that followed with smoked bone marrow more than made up for it...

  13. Published : Thursday, 15th May 2014

    Lyle's | Lyle's

    Lyle's opened quietly early this month in the hip Shoreditch area in the Tea Building. The dining room is simple and understated with an open kitchen. The kitchen is headed up by James Lowe of the famed Young Turks. The restaurant offers a varied lunch menu or a set dinner option in the evenings for £39 per head which is what we experience...

  14. Published : Sunday, 11th May 2014

    Angler | Angler, London

    Angler was a surprise recipient of a Michelin Star last September, a seafood restaurant quietly going about its business. It is based on the top floor of the South Place Hotel in Moorgate and attracts the local City workers judging from the clientele during our visit. The dining area is long and narrow and it is a shame that the window side currently overlooks a building site across the road so there is not much of a view. Anyway back to the purpose of this post and the blog, being the food. We were presented with a cheese nibble as we browsed the menus which reminded me of mini cheddars...

  15. Simon Radley is a Michelin starred restaurant set within the classical Grosvenor hotel in the centre of Chester. Not short of accolades it is also ranked 47th in the latest edition of The Good Food Guide. We chose the restaurant as a venue for a anniversary meal. Everything about the hotel and dining room screamed classical and traditional in keeping with Chester in general. We took advantage of the Spring offer of the tasting for £59 per head which seemed good value. The bread offering is one of the most extensive we have come across and personal favourites include walnut and fig, potato and brioche...

  16. Published : Wednesday, 19th March 2014

    Tommi's Burger Joint Marylebone | Tommi

    Thankfully there was no queue at Tommi’s but there were plenty of people waiting inside, half for tables and half for takeaways. The open kitchen gives full view of the burgers being cooked on the grill as well as letting the meatiness waft through the venue. The menu is a simple affair with a few burgers on offer and limited extras. We opted for the ‘Offer of the Century’ consisting of a cheeseburger, fries and can of pop for £10.50. Having paid we waited about ten minutes before pouncing on the vacated window bar seats...

  17. Published : Saturday, 22nd February 2014

    The Glasshouse | The Glasshouse, Kew

    On a recent work away job we took the opportunity to visit some outer London restaurants. One of which was The Glasshouse in Kew which holds one Michelin star. It caught my attention with its menu which reads very well. The menu is a set price affair of £42.50 for three courses with supplements for some dishes with premium ingredients. It reminded me of Medlar, a favourite of mine. The star of the starters was the rabbit raviolo with parmesan veloute, tarragon and pickled mushrooms. It surprised me how big it was and I had food envy when I tasted a bit of the dish packed with well matched flavours...

  18. Published : Monday, 10th February 2014

    Lunya | Lunya, Liverpool

    Lunya is a restaurant based on College Lane within Liverpool One, serving up Catalan cuisine with some dishes paying homage to the Scouse link. It has recommended in the Good Food Guide since 2011. There are many strong tapas offerings in the city in Neon Jamon and Salt House Tapas and we wanted to complete the set with Lunya which seems to get rave reviews. We visited one lunchtime and took advantage of the lunchtime offer of 3 tapas and bread for £10.75. Dishes we picked included: Piquillo pepper stuffed with Bonito tuna, creamed cheese, parsley and cornichons...

  19. Published : Wednesday, 22nd January 2014

    Club Gascon | Club Gascon, London

    I first came across Club Gascon at the Taste of Xmas event last November. Having tried their foie gras burger it prompted me to make a reservation for dinner. Based in Smithfield it has held one Michelin star since 2002. With it being the lead up to the festive season we had to settle for the ‘Chefs Special’ menu of 3 courses for £28 which seemed a bargain with 3 choices for each course. For starters I chose grilled pine smoked duck hearts, wild fennel and diabolo sauce. They were well cooked with a bite and not overdone. The sauce added a slight sourness which went well with the grilled duck hearts. My dining partner, P, had watercress veloute, goats cheese gnocchi and mouli, he commented that it was average at best...

  20. Published : Monday, 20th January 2014

    Franco Manca | Franco Manca, London

    Franco Manca specialise in serving fresh sourdough pizza baked in wood burning brick oven. With six sites dotted around London, we visited the Chiswick High Street restaurant. The wood ovens are made in Naples and produces a heat of about 500 degrees centigrade. The website states that the blast cooking process locks in the flour's natural aroma and moisture giving a soft and easily digestible crust. With 6 options on the menu, a few specials and options to add toppings, the menu is short and to the point. The decor is simple and efficient, with coat hooks next to each wall side table being a nice touch...

  21. Published : Thursday, 16th January 2014

    L'Enclume | L'Enclume

    It is fitting as we reach the century blogpost milestone that it belongs to a special restaurant. Much has been written about L’Enclume, the flagship Simon Rogan restaurant that sits in the charming village of Cartmel. As well as being the 100th post it was also the venue for Mrs Noms birthday back in December, I can’t reveal her age though as I risk not being able to finish this post otherwise! The booking was made months in advance, increasing the anticipation as the date drew nearer. L’Enclume holds two Michelin stars and scored a rare perfect ten alongside topping the charts in the Good Food Guide 2014. The drive to the village of Cartmel takes you on a journey from urban to rural, leaving the motorways to narrow countryside roads. L’Enclume is located on a side street just off the main square. We were one of the first tables to arrive at 6.30pm and were seated at a table with a view of the pass, or theatre seats as they were described. After a quick tour of the state of the art kitchen we sat down to begin the 22 course culinary adventure. The menu for the night was contained in an envelope on the table, but we decided not to look until the end, but truth be told I kind of knew what was coming from countless drooling at other blogs! ...

  22. Published : Sunday, 5th January 2014

    Fischer's at Baslow Hall | Fischer

    Fischer’s at Baslow Hall holds one Michelin star and is ranked 29th in 2014 Good Food Guide. Based in Baslow, Derbyshire It is about an hour’s drive from Manchester. Billed as a restaurant with rooms the decor retains a homely feel which is the intended approach by patrons Max and Susan Fisher. We were greeted with parsnip crisps and humous which made for a fantastic snack whilst we enjoyed drinks and looked over the menus. Having travelled from so far, in Mr Noms case a train from Liverpool to Manchester followed by a drive to Baslow, we decided to treat ourselves with the Taste of Britain lunch time tasting menu. A very reasonable £50 per head for seven courses...

  23. Published : Tuesday, 31st December 2013

    Sketch: Glade | Sketch - Afternoon Tea, London

    I remember seeing the beautiful photos of the afternoon tea at Sketch and begged Mr Nom to take me. On the morning of the reservation I was super excited! I did not eat any breakfast and was ready for my treat at Sketch. Full of smiles stepping into Sketch I was led into the Glade room and I could not believe how pretty it was. It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, the walls were painted like a forest with mirrors around the corners of the room and red lasers flashing. There was an array of beverages to choose from and we both decided to select teas, Mr Nom and I both had our eye on the Vanilla tea but he chose the Chai tea instead so we could both try more of the wonderful teas on offer. The Vanilla tea was lovely! I don’t normally drink a lot of tea apart from my green tea at home but I think I would be drinking vanilla tea from now on...

  24. Published : Saturday, 28th December 2013

    The Quarter | The Quarter, Liverpool

    We visited for a light meal on Christmas Eve nearly giving up trying to find a parking space with it beginning to rain heavily. At the last try a space had become available right outside. We were quickly seated and told we had the table for 40 minutes. Mr Nom noted that since the last time he had visited some four years ago it had doubled in size. The service was swift and efficient and dishes arrived quicker than I expected. The vongole pasta dish was lovely, fresh fettuccine with clams, tomatoes, chilli and parsley. There was a generous amount of clams and the dish had a kick from the chilli. I was surprised there wasn’t much sauce with the dish but it didn’t need it...

  25. Published : Monday, 23rd December 2013

    Pizza Pilgrims | Pizza Pilgrims, London

    Pizza Pilgrims was the ideal place for a quick dinner whilst working in London. Originally operating out of the back of a green van with a wood fired oven, Pizza Pilgrims set up a permanent site on Dean Street in Soho. With a sizable buzzing seating area downstairs I settled down to a Birra Moretti and ordered the Margherita with N'duja, a spicy Calabrian pork sausage...

  26. Published : Friday, 20th December 2013

    Arbutus | Arbutus, London

    Arbutus is a one michelin starred modern French restaurant based on Frith Street in buzzing Soho, London. It appealed to me since I found out that the restaurant offered counter seats which is always preferably for me when dining alone. I guess I still feel a little awkward when sat at a table alone, with the feeling of not knowing where to look and just making myself look uncomfortable. A value pre theater menu is available at £21 for 3 courses, but the a la carte seemed much more enticing...

  27. Published : Tuesday, 17th December 2013

    Hind’s Head | The Hinds Head, Bray

    The Hinds Head is a 1 Michelin star picturesque gastropub set in the heart of the Village of Bray near Maidenhead. Owned by Heston Blumenthal whose flagship restaurant, The Fat Duck is only a hundred yards away. We parked in the village car park and walked past at half seven to see lots of empty tables, we were tempted to pop in to chance our luck. However we decided against it and went on towards The Hinds Head where we had a booking. On our return to the car we noted that every table was occupied so we stopped ourselves looking foolish! The decor of the pub retains its traditional interior and has a 'ye olde' feel with a mixture of timbers and whitewash walls. Having decided on the Hereford Prime ribeye for main I knew it would be filling so we settled on sharing a selection of starters. We couldn't look past the famous scotch egg made with soft boiled quail egg wrapped in sausage meat and fried in panko breadcrumbs. The egg oozed magnificently when cut in half. This was without doubt the best scotch egg I have ever tasted...

  28. Published : Sunday, 15th December 2013

    On The Bab | On The Bab, London

    Continuing the Korean trend around Shoreditch, On The Bab brings Korean inspired street food to the area. Situated on Old Street it is only a couple of minutes from Jubo on Rivington Street. I visited last week on the first night of its soft launch where 50% was offered off the food bill. Occupying a small space tables are packed tightly together with a small wall facing bar table to make the best use of the space. An open kitchen provides diners full a view of the theatrics of the dishes being prepared...

  29. Published : Saturday, 14th December 2013

    Aumbry | Aumbry, Prestwich

    Aumbry in Prestwich is somewhere Mr Nom and I have been waiting to visit for a long time and since recently found the opportunity as Mr Nom was working in Manchester. The restaurant is run by accomplished Chef Mary-Ellen McTague. It is listed in the Good Food Guide and was awarded 90th place in the National Restaurants Awards Top UK restaurants of 2013. The restaurant is set within a residential area in a converted terrace house. After a grueling journey in the rush hour traffic where it took some 30 minutes to travel a few miles we were happy to be led upstairs in the homely setting of the first floor to settle down to drinks and the menu...

  30. Published : Friday, 13th December 2013

    Ember Yard | Ember Yard, London

    Ember Yard is a new restaurant from the Salt Yard Group who also run popular small plate inspired eateries Salt Yard, Dehesa and Opera Tavern in London. The latest venture is just off Oxford Street on Berwick Street and occupies a large space with a downstairs bar. The inspiration for Ember Yard is taken from Spanish and Italian methods of cooking over charcoal. This is reflected by the majority of the dishes on the menu which are cooked on a custom built charcoal fired grill. I visited alone during the first week of its soft launch and was seated at the chefs counter which provided me first hand insight into the busy workings of the kitchen...

  31. Published : Tuesday, 10th December 2013

    Tonkotsu East | Tonkotsu East, London

    Tonkotsu East is a spin off of Tonkotsu, the popular ramen joint on Dean Street in Soho, London. Situated on an alley of lock ups by Haggerston it is not the easiest to locate in the dark but it offers a bigger vibrant space over the Soho branch. There are a handful of ramen choices but I was only interested in the signature Tonkotsu on a chilly night. Served in a rich sea salt based pork stock the ramen noodles were bouncy and firm, just how I like them. The stock was rich and deep in flavour which made slurping the ramen even better. The accompaniments of pork belly, soft boiled egg, menma, beansprouts and spring onions added some additional interest but it was all about the ramen and stock...

  32. Published : Saturday, 7th December 2013

    Berners Tavern at Edition Hotel | Berners Tavern, London

    Berners Tavern is one of Jason Athertons latest ventures. Set in the London Edition hotel on Berners Street off Oxford Street it boasts one of the most eye catching dining rooms that I have ever dined in. During my breakfast visit I settled for Eggs Royale and a clean looking plate was presented. The portion was rather large to my surprise. The egg yolk was runny and oozed out when I cut through the egg. A classic dish with hollandaise and smoked salmon which was executed very well...

  33. Published : Tuesday, 3rd December 2013

    Polpo | Polpo, London

    On a cold Friday night after visiting the opening weekend of Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park we were looking forward to a bowl of hot ramen at Tonkotsu in Soho. Especially after nearly freezing to death in the -12C temperatures of the ice kingdom with wonderful ice sculptures. We knew we were chancing it on a busy Friday night but we didn't expect to be ignored by five members of staff who showed absolutely no interest in greeting us at the door. The scenes inside were not any better, one drunken customer was even slumped face down at one of the tables. This put us off greatly and we soon left shocked at the service or lack of. Shame really as I have since had a decent ramen at Tonkotsu East, recently opened in Haggerston...

  34. Published : Monday, 2nd December 2013

    A. Wong | A Wong, London

    A Wong is a Chinese restaurant which is based in Victoria, London. Open for just under a year it has already found its way into the Michelin guide. The restaurant is small and cosy with an open view kitchen. Chef patron Andrew Wong can always be seen leading his team and this was no exception during our visit. Offering a wide range of dim sum dishes during the lunch service and larger dishes for dinner where the emphasis is on ordering a selection for sharing across the table accompanied by rice. We were attracted by the Peking duck feast menu of 8 duck courses featured on the website. Quality Peking duck is quite rare in the UK, well we’ve not come across a good one yet. The taster style of this particular Peking duck menu caught our attention as it provided variety...

  35. Published : Monday, 25th November 2013

    Outlaw's at The Capital | Outlaw

    Outlaws at The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge opened at the start of the year and has already been awarded its first Michelin star. Chef Nathan Outlaw holds two stars at his flagship restaurant in Rock, Cornwall, famous for his seafood cuisine. Being lovers of fish we had high hopes for his London venture. After an eventful trip filled with tube delays and cancellations we arrived a little flustered. We were soon seated and settled down with the menus and a snack of possibly the best fish cakes we've ever tasted...

  36. Published : Sunday, 17th November 2013

    Albert's Shed | Albert

    Another random night without Mr Nom looking for somewhere to eat in Manchester. I was driving down Liverpool Road and nearby Albert’s Shed in Castlefield popped into my head since it had been a long time since my last visit. My dining partner and I both ordered a scallop starter, the dish from the a la carte and one from the specials. The a la carte dish with wasabi pea puree certainly had a kick; in fact it was so powerful it totally unblocked my nose!...

  37. Published : Saturday, 2nd November 2013

    Sticky Walnut | Sticky Walnut, Chester

    We finally made it to Sticky Walnut one Friday night. Being based in Chester it is out the way for us being south of in-between Manchester and Liverpool. With Mr Nom working in Wrexham one week he suggested we make a booking. However with it being just after rush hour on a Friday evening it was quite a horrendous drive from Manchester whilst Mr Nom cantered in from nearby Wrexham. For starters I chose flamed mackerel, apple salsa with lemon, fennel and couscous which sounded enticing and it delivered. The apple was tangy and the lemon and fennel couscous was really fresh which worked beautifully against the fish...

  38. Published : Friday, 1st November 2013

    Burger and Lobster Soho | Burger & Lobster, London

    The popularity of Burger & Lobster shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, with huge queues most nights and soon to open its fifth restaurant within Harvey Nichols this London juggernaut brings lobster to the masses, and burgers but we’re not interested in them as it’s all about the lobster. I have been to the Soho branch a couple of times during weeknights with at least an hour wait each time. Being an avid fan of lobster the menu is short and simple either a steamed or grilled lobster with fries and salad or lobster roll/burger and the same for £20 each (plus service charge). Apart from the cooking method the other choice is to upgrade to a larger native rock lobster for a higher price depending on how greedy you are...

  39. Published : Wednesday, 30th October 2013

    William Curley Dessert Bar | William Curley, London

    After coming across the wonderful creations by William Curley, a highly decorated luxury patissier & chocolatier based in London, I was extremely looking forward to trying the beautiful cakes. We already planned what cakes we wanted, earl grey, milk chocolate and coconut entremets and the rose, raspberry and lychee dome...

  40. Published : Monday, 28th October 2013

    Per Tutti | Per Tutti, Manchester

    Per Tutti meaning ‘for all’ in Italian re-launched in August with a 50% off food offer during September. The restaurant is situated on Liverpool Road, Manchester. Between two we shared a starter of crab & avocado cocktail with tomato, mango and chilli since we weren’t too hungry. A dainty looking starter but there wasn’t a kick with the chilli; in fact I couldn’t taste any chilli. It really needed some heat to lift the crab cocktail...

  41. Published : Friday, 11th October 2013

    Tartufo at No.11 Cadogan Gardens | Tartufo, London

    Tartufo is set in the basement of luxury Knightsbridge based hotel, No 11 Cadogan Gardens, a short stroll from Sloane Square tube station. Originally built as four separate Victorian townhouses, No.11 Cadogan Gardens was built by Lord Chelsea in the late 19th Century. A portrait of Hans Sloane, the namesake of Sloane Square, is the first to be seen at the foot of the grand staircase. The building is magnificent with historically grandeur. Having read various reviews we knew that we were in store for a treat...

  42. Published : Thursday, 3rd October 2013

    Yauatcha | Yauatcha, London

    A long anticipated visit to 1 Michelin starred Yauatcha in Soho London was finally fulfilled last month. We were all looking forward to sample the dim sum dishes, desserts and drinks that we had seen plenty of pictures online. As a party of 3 that evening, we ordered a selection of cocktails and mocktails...

  43. Published : Saturday, 28th September 2013

    Grillshack | Grillshack, London

    Grillshack opened earlier this month on Beak Street, Soho. When Mr Nom showed me the menu, I latched my eyes upon the buttermilk apple pancakes and was eager to visit them for breakfast. I was up early for a change which did surprise Mr Nom since I’m not particularly a morning person, and breakfast usually becomes brunch. We were surprised how empty it was around 11am with only a couple of occupied tables...

  44. Published : Thursday, 26th September 2013

    Manchester House | Manchester House, Manchester

    We made our booking for the first Friday evening service of Manchester House some time ago when bookings were first released. Having recently seen Aiden Byrne demonstrating two dishes from the menu at the Liverpool Food & Drink Festival it heightened our anticipations. I must admit when the price for the tasting menu was announced at £95 per head we considered going a la carte but settled for the 12 course taster menu in the end...

  45. Published : Tuesday, 24th September 2013

    Mr Cooper's House and Garden at The Midland Hotel | Mr Cooper

    It seems like most of the Manchester bloggers have visited Mr Cooper’s House before we finally did last week. The restaurant is really funky yet stays in line with the heritage of The Midland. It is named after Mr Cooper whose house and garden sat on the site back in 1819. There is a big tree in the centre of the restaurant to reflect the garden and a wall of live herbs were growing as well which I thought was pretty cool...

  46. Published : Saturday, 21st September 2013

    Neighbourhood Restaurant | Neighbourhood, Manchester

    It has been a long wait before I finally decided to pop along to Neighbourhood in Spinningfields for dinner without Mr Nom. Seeing as Neighbourhood is tweaking their menu I had to quickly upload this post before it became irrelevant. I actually wish I visited the restaurant earlier as it was lovely inside, I really want to sit at the big booth at the front but as it was only two of us dining the chances seemed pretty slim. I was rather disappointed to hear that oysters were off the menu that evening but it didn’t stop me and my dining partner from ordering a selection of starters. Lobster tacos were definitely on the cards and Neighbourhood has mentioned today on Twitter that this dish is staying, Thank God because it’s divine a must order at Neighbourhood! A juicy chunk of beer battered lobster in each soft tortilla with sweet pepper ketchup and red cabbage slaw...

  47. Published : Tuesday, 17th September 2013

    Northcote | Northcote, Langho

    Northcote is a hotel & restaurant situated in the scenic countryside of Langho, Blackburn. Being quite far out the way from our usual haunts of Liverpool and Manchester we wish we made the thirty odd mile journey earlier than we did last week. Holding a Michelin star for many years the style of the food prides itself on its simple fresh produce which it has in abundance in the surrounding areas...

  48. Published : Tuesday, 3rd September 2013

    St John | St John, London

    Ever since coming across the famed bone marrow starter dish from legendary St John in Clerkenwell, London, it has been on my hitlist. One thing that interested me was the nose to tail philosophy of the restaurant, which holds 1 Michelin star and are ranked 71st on the San Pellegrino 2013 world restaurants listing. Being of Chinese heritage I am used to eating all the innards and outer parts of various animals. Many of my friends display utter disgust at simple shellfish and absolute terror at pig intestines, tripe and chickens feet. I tend to try anything although there is something about whole fish heads which makes me want to puke. Getting back on track, you are more likely to find trotters, sweetbreads and game on the menu at St John. The white coated uniform of the servers reminded me of the evil doctor from The Human Centipede. As planned I started with the bone marrow toast...

  49. Published : Monday, 2nd September 2013

    Pitt Cue Co | Pitt Cue Co, London

    Before too long we were ushered inside the bar of the corner building at 1 Newburgh Street, Soho. The queue had since doubled behind us and a constant stream of people entered the bar area citing the number of people in their party to be directed to the back of the queue. It was amusing to see the looks on their faces when given an estimated waiting time. A no reservation system is a fair system which allows for quick table turnovers as long as there is a queue, and there is no shortage of one here. The downstairs dining area was compact with barely space for the tables and an adjoining toilet, complete with a large tube for ventilation which reminded me of old school tumble dryers and the tube that used to dangle out the back of ours. We decided to start with the chipotle chicken wings and what arrived were delicious wings that soaked up the flavour of the sauce...

  50. Published : Friday, 30th August 2013

    Bone Daddies | Bone Daddies, London

    In the mood for ramen I attempted to catch a quick bowl after work one night at Bone Daddies, a black fronted ramen shop on Peter Street in Soho and quickly done a u turn when I saw about 30 people queuing outside. I don’t know why but if I can’t have something then it makes me want it more and I duly returned the next day just after the lunch crowd to a half empty restaurant. I had already decided on the tonkotsu ramen and give the menu a cursory glance. The tonkotsu soup base was a 20 hour pork bone broth which was very rich, almost creamy and deep in meaty flavour...

  51. Published : Thursday, 29th August 2013

    The Ledbury | The Ledbury, London

    We have heard fantastic reviews of The Ledbury, but with 2 Michelin stars and placed 13th in the San Pellegrino 2013 top 50 restaurants in the world we expected it to deliver, and deliver it did. This was our second experience of a 2 Michelin starred restaurant and expectations were high along with the two month wait since booking increasing the anticipation. We chose to visit during a Sunday lunch sitting as this seemed to give the best value at £50 for three courses with a selection similar to the normal weekday a la carte menu at £80 for three courses including some of the signature dishes...

  52. Published : Tuesday, 27th August 2013

    Shake Shack | Shake Shack, London

    Having seen the hordes of people queueing for the Shake Shack in Covent Garden at the launch and weeks after I decided to check out what all the fuss was about. With sizeable indoor and outdoor dining areas the rent for the floor space must be astronomical. I would later understand how the whole venture was viable. We visited on an overcast Thursday evening and thankfully the queue was only some twenty deep and it moved along swiftly...

  53. Published : Monday, 26th August 2013

    Honest Burgers Soho | Honest Burgers, London

    It seems apt to write up a recent lunchtime visit to the Soho branch of Honest Burgers on the eve of National Burger Day. Just thinking about the burger now makes me wish I could have one for supper. Having read glowing reviews from the London blogging brigade I had to check it out for myself. The Soho branch is based on Meard Street and is one of three, the others in Brixton and Camden. We visited at 2pm and were seated within a few minutes. The menu is simple with three variations of burgers, from a simple burger, cheese and the Honest burger with smoked bacon, red onion relish, mature cheddar, pickled cucumber and lettuce. Naturally, we all settled for the Honest burger, priced very reasonably at £9 especially as it included the rosemary salted house chips...

  54. Published : Saturday, 24th August 2013

    Flat Iron | Flat Iron, London

    People who work around Soho are spoilt for choice when it comes to lunch and dinner time. Taking advantage of working in Soho I noticed Flat Iron. A small steak joint selling flat iron steak as the name would suggest. We strolled down one lunchtime and decided to indulge. On arrival we were presented with a mug of popcorn. The cutlery also resembled a mini meat cleaver which was a bit quirky...

  55. Published : Thursday, 22nd August 2013

    Medlar | Medlar, London

    We kicked things off during a recent trip to London with a visit to one Michelin star restaurant Medlar for Saturday lunch. A steal at 2 courses for £25 or 3 courses for £30. We noticed a good mix of meat and seafood dishes on the menu. Mr Nom found it quite hard to decide between the duck egg tart with red wine sauce, turnip puree, lardons and sautéed duck heart or the sea bream carpaccio with sauce vierge, tempura prawn, seaweed and cucumber...

  56. Published : Friday, 12th July 2013

    Grenache | Grenache, Walkden

    Having seen rave reviews and good feedback on Grenache via various social media sites and blogs we decided to visit Grenache last Sunday for lunch. After a warm welcome and orders taken I was excited to be presented with our amuse bouche of Pimms jelly with mint & cucumber ice. I had seen Chef Mike Jennings upload a photo of this on Twitter so seeing the creation in front of me made me feel slightly giddy. I love Pimms and to see it in a jelly form was certainly different. The mint and cucumber ice was really refreshing, a perfect palette cleanser and also a treat in the scorching summer sun...

  57. It has been a while since my last visit the Grill on New York Street. One day my huge craving for oysters surfaced and it was approaching lunchtime so I decided to go with a friend as Mr Nom was in work. Unfortunately oysters were off the menu throughout all of the Grill branches as they were sourcing a new supplier. Feeling disappointed I noticed the menu has changed since my last visit in January. For starters we both selected the foie gras dish which came with spiced pineapple chutney...

  58. After all the hype and glowing reviews coupled with a long ambition to visit L’enclume, The French provided the perfect opportunity to sample the food of acclaimed chef Simon Rogan. A slight different approach in this post where both of our comments are included in different colours, purple for Mrs Nom, and blue for mine. The experience started with us being walked from the entrance of the hotel to restaurant by the pleasant concierge chap...

  59. Published : Thursday, 4th July 2013

    Jamie's Italian - Liverpool | Jamie

    Feeling peckish one night we decided to venture to Jamie’s Italian in Liverpool One. Having walked past it a zillion times it has never quite been on our radar of places that we wanted to try. I guess it had a sort of a chain feel to it similar to Ask and Zizzi, places that are usually average and serves its purpose without really being something to shout about. Not really wanting a fully blown meal with it being quite late we ordered a selection of starters and small dishes to graze on...

  60. Published : Tuesday, 2nd July 2013

    Leaf | Leaf, Liverpool

    Leaf is one of Liverpools gems which we fall back on whenever we feel like cake, breakfast or snacks and can’t decide on where to go because it is consistent and relaxing for a reasonable price. Along with a decent selection of tea it is the ideal place to chill out in the afternoon without a care in the world. Inside it is simple with marble and wooden tables and chairs with a couple of sofas. There is also a small stage for gigs at night. There is always a decent vibe and a constant stream of punters in the morning and afternoon. We first visited for as Mrs Nom had one of her numerous cravings for cake...

  61. Published : Sunday, 30th June 2013

    Shoryu | Shoryu, London

    A couple months back we come across a 50% of deal to celebrate the launch of the Denman Street pop up branch of Shoryu in London. The branch will reopen permanently around mid July. Having heeded the warnings of massive queues at the Regent Street branch we arrived ahead of the evening rush and the restaurant was half filled around 6pm. Being massive fans of Japanese ramen, having grown up on the instant Nissin versions we were high with anticipation...

  62. Published : Wednesday, 19th June 2013

    Duck & Waffle | Duck & Waffle, London

    We were sat at a table facing the South East direction towards Tower Bridge. I had a couple of choices already made up in my mind on prior study of the menu. Our server explained that the dishes would come out as and when they are ready tapas style which was fine due to the grazing style of the plates. We purposely ordered a conservative amount of dishes leaving us the option to order more if required. We were advised that we had the table for 2 hours so wanted to make use of this rather than being rushed...

  63. Published : Tuesday, 4th June 2013

    Fraiche | Fraiche, Oxton

    A visit to Fraiche always has me super excited. Since a really enjoyable Sunday lunch and all round experience from our last visit in September I looked forward to returning again. Alas this time was extra special as I had booked it for Mr Nom’s birthday albeit a weekend too late. Damn the three month advance booking system or probably more my general slowness when it comes to planning in advance. We were informed that some customers wait til midnight on the last day of every month in anticipation of the release of the next reservation slots...

  64. Published : Wednesday, 17th April 2013

    Almost Famous Burgers Manchester | Almost Famous, Manchester

    The inspiration for the name of the blog was derived from our visit to Almost Famous so it is apt that this is the debut post. After a half an hour wait in the cold we were summoned to climb the stairs to the second floor by the doorman. At this point we were famished and looking forward to destroying the infamous delights that has caused frenzy among the burger loving scene. If we had given in to the menu of Luck, Lust, Liquor and Burn at the ground floor whilst patiently queuing and awaiting our turn then this blog may have never been as it took us an eternity to come up with the name...