Come Dine with Me | London Edit

The past few months have been quite busy and trying to organize a wedding in another country from here is not that easy and when you think that you have almost done everything, something unexpected comes up. Typical!

Aside from that, I also got the chance to explore new restaurants and cafés in London, which is possibly one of my favourite things to do in the city and today I wanted to take you to a 24 hour culinary journey, from breakfast to dinner, from Western London to North Eastern. Ready? Let’s go!

BREAKFAST WITH THE ITALIANS

You know by now that I am Italian and as much as you can take a girl out of Italy, you can’t take Italy out of her. Nope! As much as I enjoy indulging in an English breakfast from time to time, nothing beats the aroma of a morning espresso and the sweet and fragrant smell of freshly baked croissant.

The Italians is an Italian café located in Chiswick, West London which opened last year and offers a variety of food products, a great wine selection and also quick dining options. What I really like about this place is the atmosphere: the moment I enter I feel at home and part of the ‘famiglia’.

A very Italian breakfast, from top right clockwise: apricot crostata, marocchino coffee, plain croissant, cappuccino 

The highlight of this place, aside from the fact that I can ask for an espresso without being asked silly questions, is their supply of food: fresh pasta and bread delivered every day, excellent selection of hams and cheeses (you have to try the mozzarella di bufala) and loads of Italian pastries.

And pizza of course … don’t they look simply mouthwatering??

Final Review

  • 5 out of 5
  • Price range: dining £ / food shopping ££
  • Perfect for a very Italian breakfst, quick lunch on the go, a typical Italian pre-dinner aperitivo and if you want to buy local and exclusive Italian food not available in any other store.

RAW LUNCH

From West London we move a couple of miles towards the center and in the lovely neighbourhood of Queensway, near Notting Hill and only 20 minutes’ walk from Holland Park, we head to Raw restaurant at La Suite West for lunch.

We were quite lucky with the weather and were able to sit outside on the terrace overlooking the beautiful and characteristic white Victorian houses, however the main indoor dining area is quite dark, just like the rest of the hotel, and extremely minimalist, so if you are not a big fan of black ambiances, I would highly recommend to choose al fresco dining.

We chose a lunch set-menu with a 2 course at the price of £15 and 3 course at the price of £18, however you can also have breakfast, à la carte lunches and afternoon teas. On top of that, it’s worth mentioning that the restaurant has recently introduced a new summer culinary experience, Nosh Garden kitchen lead by the acclaimed founder of Nosh Detox, Geeta Sidhu-Robb.

I have to admit that this was by far one of the best luxury and high-end raw / vegan dining experiences and it summarizes the very essence of my blog – namely the five senses of food. The smell, the taste, the appearance, everything was excellent and so damn delicious (aside from one thing).

I blame my fussiness about hummus to my two years in Dubai and the many Persian / Lebanese restaurants I have been to ever since. This hummus was lacking in flavour and I had to add a good amount of salt and olive oil. The pita bread, on the other hand, was DE-VI-NE!

img_1744Raw courgette ‘lasagne’ with the most amazing non traditional ‘pesto’ and cashew nut cheese sauce. I could have easily eaten another portion. Yummy!

img_1745Apple tart with vanilla – coconut cream. Bliss!

Final Review

  • 5 out of 5
  • Prince range: ££
  • High end unconventional and sophisticated vegan dining for everyone.

TURKISH DELIGHTS IN THE EVENING

It’s time to move away from the posh Western London and to head towards the quirky and trendy North East. Our stop for the evening is the newly opened Tarshish restaurant: spread on two floors, with a huge terrace overlooking Wood Green street and with its contemporary design (and very handsome waiters), this place has conquered my heart.

Tarshish is a Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant focusing on grilled dishes, mainly for meat lovers. Some vegetarian options are available as part of the main course, however I would probably suggest to order a selection of appetizers if you want a more varied and filling food platter.

Portions are M-A-S-S-I-V-E and when I say massive it means that one main course could easily feed two people … and I am usually a person who eats a lot! The food is truly delicious, not really innovative to be honest, but the presentation and the crockery compensated it all.

A selection of mezze, including tabbouleh, tzatziki, red pepper hummus and babaghanoush.

The only downside was the service: I was there with a group of people celebrating my friend’s birthday and we were asked to move table twice; once because the initial booking was for six people and we ended up being seven. The second time we were asked quite abruptly to move again because we couldn’t sit at that table that had just been assigned to us. Weird!  Lack of proper manners and customer service.

Final Review

  • 4 out of 5
  • Prince range: ££
  • A contemporary design choice for lovers of the Mediterranean cuisine influenced by Turkish culinary tradition. Perfect for a girls’ night out.
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