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2 August 2014

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Blog Reviews from Not Quite Enough

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  1. Published : Wednesday, 4th June 2014

    Polpo Notting Hill | Polpo

    Apparently 2014 is the year of the soft launch for me, it started with The Fable, then it was Bravas Tapas and The Big Easy's Covent Garden branch. Soft launches are a great way for restaurants to work out the kinks and bugs by opening to the public but offering money off (generally 50% off food) so that even if there are issues, customers are usually more forgiving. It's also a great way to raise some buzz, as who can resist a cheaper meal out? The latest soft launch I attended was for the Notting Hill branch of Polpo to open (other branches are in Covent Garden, Soho and Smithfield). Although Polpo has been on my list of places to try for a while now, I've never quite made it there. So this was the perfect excuse. They were taking bookings for lunch, but not dinner. Wanting to avoid the inevitably long queues, I was on the phone as soon as the booking line opened, 108 phone calls later (over a relatively short 15 minutes) and our booking was secured for Sunday lunch...

  2. Published : Thursday, 22nd May 2014

    Viet Grill | Getting all up in your (Viet) Grill

    Kingsland Road is home to a cluster of Vietnamese restaurants and after an introduction to Vietnamese food from Miss Chu's Tuckshop, we decided that Vietnamese food would hit the spot. Viet Grill was the first restaurant we came across and lured in by its colourful banana leaf wall murals, we ducked in and out of the heat. While we were contemplating the rather extensive menu (so many delicious sounding choices), we decided on our drinks, or rather, drink. Instead of a bottle of wine or a few bottles of beer each, we decided to order the Vietnamese Party Punch to share. With Appleton VX, Havana 3 & 7, Barcadi, Mango juice, it's described as "a lot of alcohol". Even with the warning on the menu, the waitress did still warn us that it was 'a lot'. Undaunted, we ordered it anyway...

  3. I've heard so many people evangelise about Hawksmoor but had never been myself. The other week, after birthday cocktails at Discount Suit Company, that was remedied. Although Monday night might not seem like an obvious night to eat out, the place was busy and bristling with a quiet energy. This may (or may not) have something to with Hawksmoor's Monday Wine Club which allows you to bring along your own bottle of wine and only be charged £5 corkage (it's £25 any other day). It's the perfect excuse to drink up that bottle of red you have gathering dust in a corner (or just to have a slightly cheaper meal, unless you compensate by going big on the steak of course). We had a few decent bottles of red left from Christmas that we hadn't drunk and so decided to take those along...

  4. As I mentioned in my recent post on the View from the Shard, we visited because my nan and grandad had bought me a voucher. Not only did that voucher include two tickets to the View from the Shard, it also included a three course meal for two at Marco Pierre White's Steak and Alehouse. There are two branches of Marco Pierre White's Steak and Alehouse, one in Chelsea and one in the City, just off Bishopsgate. I'd previously been to the City branch as part of a work do - we had the little private dining area to ourselves (about 20 or so of us), we all ate and then, predictably, numbers started to thin out a bit as the evening wore on until a core group of us remained at the end. All the wine gone, we headed to Shoreditch. I don't remember much about the latter part of the night, but I remember that the food was decent. Although all you really need on a work do (compulsory fun) is enough wine to sink a battleship...

  5. A few weeks ago when we were on our way to the Genesis Cinema to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel, we walked past a retail unit that looked like it was being turned into a cafe/restaurant. From our initial peek in through the window it looked interesting and we added it to our list of things to keep an eye on and investigate when it was completed. The long Easter weekend jogged my memory and made me wonder whether it had opened and whether it would be a good brunch option. A bit of research revealed it to be Foxcroft and Ginger who do indeed do brunch. They already have a restaurant in Soho, this is their second venue. It opened on April 3rd and is located on Mile End Road, a convenient walk from our flat, perfect for a lazy brunch. We walked in past a table laden with muffins, croissants and pastries (always a good first sight) and found ourselves a table. As we perused the brunch menu we ordered drinks. Earl Grey for me which came in a pretty china cup...

  6. Published : Saturday, 5th April 2014

    Big Easy Covent Garden | Big Easy London - Covent Garden

    If you have even glanced at The Big Easy's Twitter feed, you'll see that it has a legendary status amongst its devotees who post photos of plates (full and empty) of food hashtagged things like #gobig or #meatcoma. Previously, its only branch (on Kings Road) wasn't exactly my at end of town so I'd never quite made it over there. But they recently announced the opening of a new branch in Covent Garden, which is a lot more convenient for my East London-dwelling self...

  7. Published : Tuesday, 18th March 2014

    Bravas Tapas | Lunch at Bravas Tapas

    When I heard that a new tapas restaurant, Bravas Tapas, would be opening in St Katherine Docks I was excited as it's not too far from both home and work for me. Even better? They'd be doing a soft launch for the first week. Better still? No need to commit to a time because they wouldn't be taking booking and instead would only take walk-ins. The restaurant has a rustic feel to it with deep leather chairs, wooden plank tables and velvet cushioned banquettes along one wall and in front of the windows. The whole place looks like it's been there for ages, even though I know it's brand new. Although I don't have a picture of them (they were occupied while we were there), there are two gorgeous booths, perfect for a cosy group dinner...

  8. At the end of 2013 the restaurant underwent a significant refurbishment which took three months. I hadn't visited the old restaurant, but apparently the redesign was to make the restaurant more welcoming to visitors. It now boasts an open kitchen and a charcuterie counter in the centre of the restaurant and is run by Benugo. Although there is an a la carte menu, our package included a Colombian inspired lunch from a set menu. There were three choices for each course. As a starter I opted for the beef carpaccio, shaved fennel, caper and parsley salad...

  9. Published : Saturday, 8th March 2014

    Rodizio Lebanon Fulham Broadway | Rodizio Lebanon

    Fusion food always intrigues me, I love the idea of taking elements of different cuisines and combining them. Recently I was invited to try the full Rodizio dining experience at Rodizio Lebanon (Brazilian/Lebanese food) and so, on a rainy Friday night, my boyfriend and I trundled across town for our second date night of the week (our first had been the Documentary Film Club - date nights are apparently like buses, you wait for ages and then two come along at once). Brazilian/Lebanese food sounded like a bit of an odd combination until I read that approximately 6,000,000 Lebanese people live in Brazil (more than in Lebanon itself). So not such an odd combination after all then!...

  10. Published : Monday, 17th February 2014

    The Fable | The Fable Bar review

    I can't remember how I came across the fact that Drake and Morgan were opening a new bar and restaurant, The Fable Bar (they currently have six others across the city) but when I did find out, I was excited to know more. I've previously been to The Drift (located at the bottom of the Heron Tower) for drinks after work and so the opening of another of their venues located conveniently in Holborn, between mine and my boyfriend's work was appealing to me. Even better? They were going to have a soft launch offering 50% off food. So I signed up to the mailing list and booked a table for last Thursday night...

  11. Published : Saturday, 25th January 2014

    Bunnychow | Not rabbit food but Bunny Chow

    Our destination was Bunnychow, somewhere that I'd heard about through stumbling across the company on Twitter. It was the concept of bunny chow that lured me in. Bunny chow (or a bunny) is a dish that originated in Durban in South Africa and it's a hollowed out loaf which is filled with curry and the top popped back on - now, what's not to love, right? I mean, it's curry and bread, two of my favourite things! Apparently the bunny was born in the 1940s as a way of workers keeping their lunch intact without the need for plates or cutlery out in the fields of the sugar plantations in Durban. Bunnychow started in London as a truck, moving from venue to venue, but soon graduated to its own pop-up at Boxpark - our destination last weekend...