Chai & Cake and Jewellery

I saw two quintessential Indian pastimes, chai & cake unite in celebration for the UK Indian year of culture. Amrapali’s London boutique provided the setting, highly renowned baker Fiona Cairns welcomed guests with mouth-watering homemade cakes and dulcet tones of the traditional sitar and tabla instruments provided an authentic ambiance.

Amrapali’s new high jewelry collection was showcased amongst the delicious creations of Fiona Cairns, who is recognized for producing cakes for the British royal family.

 

Tarang Aror, a Fiona Cairns Cem Kaplan, Warren Menezes, Georgina Haszlakiewicz, Sue Commins, Tara Patel

Thai Square Restaurant

Thai Square restaurant is an oasis in the heart of central London. Away from the hustle and bustle and crowds and pollution, stepping into Thai Square is akin to stepping into a whole different world, a world that is calm and tranquil and where one can find excellent food.

Noodles Pad Thai
Once inside, you are courteously welcomed and immediately shown to your table, and that is when the magic and adventure begin. And it begins with the very large and generous menu and it’s very difficult to deciding what to order. So many pages and pages of choice, from the starters page to the salads and soups, from the house special menu to the stir fried and curry and grilled dishes. And then there are the seafood and noodle dishes and the accompaniments and, of course, a vegetarian menu and the set menu- whew! It all sounds and looks so very good.
We wanted to experience traditional Thai food during our visit, so we started out with typical Thai drinks. I had the Mai Tai – and it was very very refreshing for what was a very warm day in London. It was a proper Thai cocktail – reddish orange and fruity, with the rum not overwhelming at all, with crushed ice and served with a strawberry, mint and berries. It hit the spot. My dining companion had the Pina Colada. It was coconut milky white, and also served with a strawberry, mint and berry. It was missing a slice of the typical pineapple but nonetheless it was good. Both drinks were served in a long tall glass and were £9.95 each, worth every penny. So Thai Square was 2 for 2.
The starters upped the game quite a bit. The seven piece Salt and Pepper Squid (Thai style calamari) was superb. It was uniquely twisted squid battered and crunchy and cooked to perfection. While it was served with no sauce, a slice of lemon gave it the kick it needed to go into high gear, served on a bed of lettuce with bits of chilli (£7.95). The Prawn Dim Sums (£7.75), four of them, didn’t taste fishy and was a fabulous texture, and the sweet soya sauce nicely complemented the dish. Two excellent starters. 4 for 4.
As mentioned, it was very hard to decide on a main course but the Bangkok Lamb sounded traditionally Thai, so that was what I ordered. Four generous lamb cutlets together with a unique papaya salad and sticky rice. The lamb was perfectly cooked, and the color and texture was very good – nice and meaty and all beautifully served on two green leaves. It was a generous portion, great tasting and an excellent value at £16.95. My dining companion had the Beef Stir Fried with Cashew Nuts. It was surprisingly spicy (though categorized as one chilli on the menu), with a mix of beef and peppers, spring onions and carrots, and it was everything you could want, and more, and was at the right price of £12.50. At this point Thai Square was 6 for 6.
Fulham Broadway Cocktail
We definitely had a bit of room for dessert and Thai Square didn’t disappoint at all! The Coco Sundae is a popular Thai dessert with coconut ice cream with papaya, pineapple jam, Thai palm seeds, cashew nuts and sticky rice pudding – and it was divine. But even more heavenly was the Mango Crepe with Ice Cream. Mango sauce poured criss-cross style over a large crepe stuffed with mango, and served with vanilla ice cream. What a dish – we both fought over it! Highly recommended! Both desserts are serious bargains at only £6.95 each. I felt that it was almost impossible for Thai Square to top itself, but it did with these desserts. 8 out of 8.
 
The service at Thai Square is superb. The wait staff are very attentive without being obtrusive. You’ll want for nothing. They seem to appear at your table when your mind is thinking about something you need. It’s uncanny. The Trafalgar Square branch that we visited was decorated in Thai-inspired surroundings, with white tablecloths – it’s luxorious without being very expensive. The layout of the tables are perfect, not too close to each other so that you can hear the table next to you talking about their visit to the National Gallery or Brexit, and it’s comforting to see the chef walking around to make sure everyone is happy with their food. I’ve yet to visit their other London locations (Covent Garden, Fulham, Islington, Mansion House, Minories, Putney Bridge, Richmond, South Kensington and The Strand), but I’m sure they are of a high standard as well. I can’t recommend Thai Square enough. With all the food and drinks we had the total bill was only under £100. Excellent value for an excellent experience.
 
Head Chef Nang
Thai Square offers a selection of more than 1,000 dishes in their award winning restaurants, and I can’t wait to go back. Exceptional food at exceptional prices. Thai Square rates 10 out of 10 – sheer perfection. 
 

For locations in and around London, please go to their website:

https://thaisq.com

Opening times vary from location to location, so it’s best to check the website for the location you want to visit for all the details.

Photos from Samphire Communications
Review by Tim Baros

 

Yogesh Datta & Humayun Hussain To Host Punjabi BBQ Pop Up This August

Yogesh Datta of The Painted Heron & Food and Hospitality Consultant Humayun Hussain Announce Collaborative Supperclub Pop-Up in London this August

A”North(West”Indian,”Punjabi”Barbecue

With a strong commitment to delivering authentic and modern Indian cuisine, Chef Patron Yogesh  Datta of Chelsea’s legendary The Painted Heron has paired up with one of the foremost authorities  on Indian food and restaurants, food and hospitality journalist turned consultant, Humayun Hussain,  to launch a new, intimate dining experience to showcase their singular, opulent take on Eastern fare.

Fresh from celebrating The Painted Heron’s fifteenth year anniversary, Yogesh is embarking on a  magnificent, Supperclub pop up to offer a three course North West Indian, Punjabi Barbecue with a  delectable seasonal spin, combined with Humayun’s renowned expertise to bring a new level of sumptuous dining to the table. Yogesh says, “Humayun and I have devised an intricate, luxuriant feast to be enjoyed by those  familiar with Indian cuisine as well as newcomers; creating a Supperclub project that broadens our  reach and allows us to merge our styles for an exciting, delicious experience.” Humayun adds, “I’ve known Yogesh ever since he arrived in the UK, many, many, years ago and

Yogesh says, “Humayun and I have devised an intricate, luxuriant feast to be enjoyed by those  familiar with Indian cuisine as well as newcomers; creating a Supperclub project that broadens our  reach and allows us to merge our styles for an exciting, delicious experience.” Humayun adds, “I’ve known Yogesh ever since he arrived in the UK, many, many, years ago and

Humayun adds, “I’ve known Yogesh ever since he arrived in the UK, many, many, years ago and his  unique style of blending traditional Indian cooking with contemporary twists, not to mention  imagination and flair, has always struck me as very much his signature style. We have worked  together on other projects before and I’m very pleased that we are collaborating on this  Supperclub.”

The summery, barbecue dining experience will take place within Yogesh’s private North West  London residence with the evening’s delicacies prepared by the hosts outdoors in top of the line tandoori ovens. Highlights of the Supperclub menu will include Spice Coated Fried Quail, Pollock Fish in Green Herb  Marinade, Slow Cooked BBQ Leg of Lamb, Sweet Potato Chaat, Cumin Flavoured Basmati Rice and  Spiced Pineapple with Passion Fruit Mousse. Guests are invited to bring their own alcohol. The North7West Indian Punjabi Barbecue Supperclub will take place on Saturday 12th August 2017  and is priced at £35 per person (including soft drinks).

Highlights of the Supperclub menu will include Spice Coated Fried Quail, Pollock Fish in Green Herb  Marinade, Slow Cooked BBQ Leg of Lamb, Sweet Potato Chaat, Cumin Flavoured Basmati Rice and  Spiced Pineapple with Passion Fruit Mousse. Guests are invited to bring their own alcohol. The North7West Indian Punjabi Barbecue Supperclub will take place on Saturday 12th August 2017  and is priced at £35 per person (including soft drinks).

Guests are invited to bring their own alcohol. The North7West Indian Punjabi Barbecue Supperclub will take place on Saturday 12th August 2017  and is priced at £35 per person (including soft drinks).

The North-West Indian Punjabi Barbecue Supperclub will take place on Saturday 12th August 2017  and is priced at £35 per person (including soft drinks).

For advance bookings please call 020 7351 5232 / 07780006797 or email [email protected]

 

Drink Better Coffee..

If you’re a real lover of Barista style coffee, then rely on Coffee Gator to provide the perfect tools to create a masterpiece right at home.

In January 2015 Coffee Gator was created by coffee enthusiast Phil Williams, who set off on a mission to create only the best coffee making accessories. These products are the key to Barista style coffee at home, creating the perfect brew to be enjoyed.

Phil only used to drink instant coffee, as many of us do, until one trip changed his mind forever. Phil explains; “I went on a 3-day hike to La Ciudad Perdida in Colombia.  While we camped, the only hot drink was freshly-brewed coffee using local Colombian beans. During that trek, I fell in love with the amazing taste.” Returning from his eye-opening trip, Phil started his mission to re-create the taste he loved so much.




Say goodbye to instant coffee and savour the flavour of those premium, flavourful coffee beans. Starting with the innovative Coffee Canister, available in a range of stunning colours this is no regular canister. Coffee Gator have created a high quality stainless steel product which boasts a one-way co2 valve, releasing any harmful chemicals from inside the canister and preventing light or co2 from entering. With a wheel on the top to record the sell by date, this canister is a must to keep your premium beans fresh, and lock in the flavour.

When it comes to adding water to brew your coffee, make sure you don’t use a regular kettle and spoil the taste. Many are unaware that adding water that is too hot scorches your beans, creating an unpleasant taste, while water that’s too cold prevents your coffee from brewing properly. Take the guess work away and rely on the thermometer on the top of this Pour Over Coffee Kettle to get it just right. Using only premium workmanship, surgical grade stainless steel and a gooseneck design for a smooth flow, this is the only kettle you should use to create great tasting coffee.

So now we lead on to creating the ultimate brew, with the Pour Over Coffee Maker. This pour over method highlight’s every delicious note from your coffee, as the water slowly pours over your chosen beans to create the ultimate flavour. The laser cut reusable steel filter retains all the natural flavours and oils that regular paper filters would steel away while also being very eco-friendly!

There really is no need to endure awful tasting coffee at home, when Coffee Gator offers a range of coffee making accessories, capable of producing Barista style coffee effortlessly, so we can all “Drink Better Coffee”.

The Coffee Canister is £29.97 (usually £39.99), Pour Over Kettle is £39.99 (usually £49.97) and Pour Over Coffee Maker is £29.97 (usually £39.99). All available online from CoffeeGator.com

For information, images and review sample requests contact:
Kieran Elsby
Media PR
[email protected]

Sparrow

At the end of the road that is Lewisham High Street, behind the Lewisham Shopping Centre, there is a must visit restaurant called Sparrow. It is food that is different, delicious, and worth the trip.

Me and a friend went for a Saturday brunch meal on what was one of the hottest days of the year. We immediately ordered cool drinks. I had the delicious pineapple, mellon and grapefruit drink that hit the spot. It was sweet and colorful and yummy – and only £3.50. My friend had a smoothie that was very milky and white, with coconut, condensed milk and raspberries thrown in, a bit too heavy for my tastes but he enjoyed it and drank it within minutes.

I had seen a photo online of their pancakes so I knew this is what I was going to have. They were coconut pancakes with peanut caramel and pineapple salsa, with a dollop of sour cream on top, and they were superbly delicious – like nothing I’ve ever tasted before. It’s the bits of pineapple with small bits of peanuts scattered about that gave this dish the wow factor – and at only £8 I would definitely order it again. My companion enjoyed his chicken and curry pastry. It was like a pie only smaller, and he said that the crust was nice and light, and that it was delicious, and a deal at £8 (it’s not alway on the menu, Sparrow does tend to mix up their offerings from day to day with daily specials).

We would’ve been remiss if we didn’t try out the typical Sri Lankan dish Appam. It’s a type of pancake made with fermented rice and coconut milk, and comes shaped like a bowl. While I had a plain one, it is recommended that ingredients be put into it as this is a very typical Sri Lanka dish, and Sparrow does offer up various combinations of eggs and other ingredients to include, and not costing more than £6.

Sparrow also has quite a unique dinner menu. From fried rabbit (£7.5), fennel and blood orange salad (£7), roast pork belly with harissa (£12) and then the malt duck with chilli jam (£13.50) all of which will probably knock your socks off. Along with Sparrow’s nice selection of drinks, Sparrow is perhaps one of the only reasons to go to Lewisham, unless you live there, and if you do indeed live there, you must pay a visit to Sparrow. And if you don’t live there, pay a visit to Sparrow. It delivers delicious unique food at the right price.

http://sparrowlondon.co.uk
Phone; 0203 318 6941
Dinner: Tue-Sat 6-10pm
Brunch Sat-Sun 10-5pm

Photos from Sparrow
Review by Tim Baros