Opening week at the Ivy Asia, Chelsea

Tuesday 31 August 2021

Finally, the long awaited Ivy Asia on the Kings Road opened and with my mum coming to stay later that week, we went along for dinner.  

If you've been to the St Paul's one, you will recognise the signature green crystal floor and all the rest of the decoration however this one is much smaller and more intimate. It also seems to be a little more expensive although that's not completely unexpected with it being in Chelsea.

The space wasn't a problem when we got there at 5pm as it was pretty quiet although as it started to fill up, it got to feel quite closed in and a claustrophobic. Once there were loads of people in close proximity in every direction, I was ready to leave.

That being said, we had a great time and I am very pleased to have been. Not only is there food always good but the staff here seemed to be particularly friendly, I'm sure they were excited for their first week!

We ordered the sesame crusted prawn dumplings to start. I love dumplings and these were quite special. The ponzu and daikon sauce complemented the taste of the prawn filling very well but it was the sesame seeds on top of these that brought a whole new level to the dish. It was a totally different texture as it hits your mouth and the crunch was awesome. 

We had a good long discussion about what to order next as they make it a very hard decision when trying to weigh up what you want to eat with what you want to look at. 

Let me explain; there are quite a few 'spectacle' dishes as I would describe them, the sort that come served on some kind of weird and wonderful dish, brought to the table in a puff of smoke. I wanted the duck, but I didn't actually want the duck, I just wanted the big golden sculpture but mum talked me out of it and I was glad she did. It was just a very expensive, small plate of takeaway duck which was evident when the table next to us ordered it.

Still chasing the high of a sweet, sticky sauce, we went for the chicken and the beef - but the beef was sold out before the lunch cover was over apparently so we went for the lamb instead; with a side of pak choi.

The robata glazed chicken was a very picky dish, perfect for grabbing a piece in between everything else. The smooth spiced avocado mash underneath was really good but sadly, the overly efficient service meant that it was taken away from the table as soon as the chicken was done, meaning we didn't get to enjoy the last bits and the crispy shallots which was a real shame. The same thing actually happened with the dumplings, quite a pain actually.

Sticky lamb dishes are not something I often see on a menu but BBQ Korean lamb cutlets sounded great and they were! Korean sauces have that extra kick, paired with the smashed sesame and cucumber mash underneath, the succulent meat was a delicious bite. 

Pak Choi coated in ginger and soy was the perfect accompaniment and broke up all of the meat. 

The dessert menu is pretty similar to the St Paul's one and we both knew what we were going to order before we'd even left the flat. The Sphere. A very rich dessert, a much better idea to share but of course we ordered one each as sharing dessert with my mum is never a good idea.

Passionfruit and yuzu are two of my favourite fruity flavours and combined with the white chocolate and caramel, this dessert is just a dream. With hidden popping candy and the whole theatrics of the caramel sauce which melts the sphere as it is poured  in front of you it's an all round great dessert and one that I order again and again. Sadly it doesn't photograph very well so you'll just have to take my word for it on this one.

A Fever Event: Magical Movie Soundtracks By Candlelight

Monday 23 August 2021

Fever events seem to be popping up all over the place at the moment and whilst I don't take all that much notice of my Facebook feed most of the time, this one grabbed me instantly. 

Candlelight Special Edition: Magical Movie Soundtracks at Syon Park

It was the perfect summers evening so whilst the candlelit part of the night didn't happen and candles didn't particularly add to the ambiance as planned, they did add to the aesthetic, it was a beautiful set up in an already breath-taking venue. Magical, even before the music had started. I was honestly blown away, The Great Conservatory at Syon Park must be one of the prettiest venues in London.

We had Zone A seating which were front row seats with premium visibility and with (or maybe without, who knows)  restrictions, everyone was very well spaced around The City String Quartet who were playing for us in the middle.

They started with some Disney classics which of course was why I was there, The Lion King songs were my particular highlight but I also very much enjoyed the classics from The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. Then there were a few from Harry Potter and Star Wars before they finished with a couple of Shrek favourites.

I was sad they didn't play the Moana songs which were mentioned on the website but it didn't impact on my night all that much. Another thing, had I been a little more prepared like everyone else, I would have brought a bottle of prosecco and a couple of glasses since there wasn't a bar at the venue but again, it wasn't a huge problem.

At just an hour long, it left me feeling very satisfied and wanting more all at the same time, although we were both very pleased that the 8pm end time meant we had time to head out for dinner after which was an unexpected surprise!

As described, it was absolutely magical and something completely different, for me at least. A very memorable evening.

August at Bone Daddies

Monday 16 August 2021

Bone Daddies are a chain of awesome London based ramen bars with their newest branch opening recently in Putney. It just popped up on the high street one day and having never tried it before then, I have been three times in the past two weeks so you could say I'm rather a new fan. I took Georgia last week since she loves Asian food as much as I do. 

First things first, we ordered some drinks. I've mentioned my love for both frozen cocktails and yuzu on here before so it was a bit of a no brainer for me. Yuzu and lime? What a combination! This was one tasty frozen margarita.

We saw another table with a plate of wings and instantly decided we needed some of those. The Korean chicken wings were smothered in tangy sauce and sesame seeds. They were deep fried so not only were they delicious but they also had a very satisfying crunch. 

And then the ramen! Throughout August, they're running a £2 deal for unlimited toppings and our ramens were hardly recognisable after we were done with all the extras. Georgia filled hers with as many veggies as she could whilst I was very excited with my mushrooms and an eggs. There's just something special about a ramen egg yolk.

Whilst Georgia had a normal ramen dish – their Tantanmen 2 with chicken mince, which she was raving about – something about how it became part of the broth, I actually ordered a brotherless ramen, another of their August deals.

I have to say, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot as usually, the broth is where the flavour is at but I was impressed, they managed to serve a delicious dish, without it. That being said, a bowl of ramen without the broth is actually just a noodle dish, but nevertheless, very good. I especially liked the confit duck which was crumbled into the dish and the torched sweetcorn.

We were in a bit of a rush to get to Le Fez down the road for its re-launch that evening so we took dessert to go and I'm very glad we did. I think malted soft serve is my favourite new discovery. A much nicer flavour than the usual, plus I very much enjoyed the sprinkles as well.

*Press Invite

Bottomless Brunch at Hemingways, Wimbledon

Monday 9 August 2021

This weekend I put my raincoat on and went out in the pouring rain. I had a booking for bottomless brunch at Heminway's in Wimbledon and I wasn't going to let a little torrential rain stop me. 

I'm still pretty new to SW London and Wimbledon is always a joy, although this was my first visit to the village and that was even more special. Very cute.

I arrived early and ordered a peppermint tea to dry off and warm up as I waited for Juanita to join me - the inviting velvet booths helped with that too. 

Once she arrived we had so much to catch up on that the waiter ended up coming back three times to ask if we were ready to order yet.

When we finally did have a chance to look at the menu, it was a hard decision - it was small but mighty. There were alot of things we wanted to try so we ended up ordering three between us - the bloody Mary shakshuka, the spicy chorizo hash and an extra plate of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs - Juanita's favourite. She used to order it every single time we went out whilst we were working together.

The shakshuka came out on top for me - not least because it was delicious but it came with so much bread, which was much appreciated with the drinks coming in thick and fast. 

One of the awesome things about Hemingways bottomless brunch is, that because they are a cocktail bar first and foremost, they have the option of mix and match cocktails to go with their food. 

 So of course I had a glass of prosecco..

But we also managed to get through a range of cocktails as well. The pornstars were the perfect level of sweet, the rum punch was super fruity and the frosé.. well, it was frozen and that's good enough for me, I'm a sucker for a frozen cocktail.

They're running at 50% off during August so I'd head down there sooner rather than later to take advantage of £20 for as many drinks as you want.

(PR Invite)

Seabird at The Hoxton Hotel

Monday 2 August 2021

Seabird. Another restaurant ticked off my list and I think this one might have been the best one yet. 

I thought we were going to go for a light lunch but once we saw the menu, it turned into a lavish three courses mid day feast - something that seems to happen quite often when I go out with my mum.

The menu was quite vague although with the help of our waiter, what we ordered was perfect.

One specific dish that I was particularly excited about trying and that was the Octopus Roll. I thought maybe it was the shock factor of an curling tentacle hanging out the side of a bun that was the reason why there were photos of it plastered all over Instagram but no, actually it was utterly delicious.

The octopus itself was so meaty; a very satisfying bite. Along with a slight crunch from the char and obviously, no one has ever complained about a brioche bun - this dish was pretty spectacular both in terms of taste and aesthetics. 

We also wanted the calamari but they didn't have any which was odd for such an early booking, however it meant we tried the prawn croquetas instead which were recommended as a replacement and mum loved those. They were a little gooey on the inside for me.

As paella lovers, there was no discussion over what main we'd have. The seafood rice, which was more than enough to share between two was not quite a paella but definitely not far off, a little juicer I would say but that was where all the flavour was. Topped with two king prawns, we were in our element with this one.

Before dessert arrived, we took a moment to really take in our surroundings. It was empty when we arrived; peaceful and really quite lovely although the atmosphere and chatter started to build as it quickly filled up.

On a rainy day in London, we were very lucky with our seats. I had accepted that outside wasn't going to be an option but surprisingly, the inside is just as wonderful as the terrace. With wicker chairs, fish scale tiled tables and lots of greenery, it's so full of light you'd be forgiven for forgetting you were in London at all. We were sat next to the floor to ceiling windows with the terrace on one side and an uninterrupted view of the shard on the other.

Yes, I did switch outfits half way through (my jeans were uncomfortable and I had the option as my mum had brought some things to give me from home.) I loved how the jacket looked - it was the first time I'd worn a blazer and I think it really added to my simple outfit. The Mattie Blazer is from Ikrush - as is the Farah dress which I'm wearing in the other photo. It comes with a pretty little cross body bag in the same print which I fell in love with. 

Ikrush have kindly given me a discount code : GEORGINAG10 for 10% off site-wide including sale items.

and now for dessert.

I wasn't fussed about ordering dessert as nothing jumped off the menu but we were recommended the Torrija.

A (another) brioche bun soaked in a sort of milk and custard mixture served with a biscuit crumb and salted caramel ice cream. Sweet in taste and interesting in texture and absolutely delicious, this dessert was alot of fun and I would call it as one of the best desserts in London at the moment.

I haven't stopped thinking about the food since our visit which surely is a good sign. I will be back, to re indulge in my favourites and discover some of the other dishes as soon as I have the opportunity.
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