Menya Ramen House

This small ramen house is tucked away on Museum street, just around the corner form the British Museum in Bloomsbury. Its unique offering is ramen with a fiery Korean twist. Additionally here you can choose both the texture of your noodle and the spice of your ramen broth. I chose their signature ramen, the seafood. Unfortunately they had no crab that day, but they promised to give me extra seafood to make up for that. I went for the medium hard noodles with their normal spice broth. It wasn’t the prettiest bowl of ramen, most of the seafood had sunk below the broth, but it made up for it in taste. They boil the broth here for 48 hours and that definitely showed as the broth was excellent. The seafood was nice but I think the crab would have really added to the overall flavour and because it was sat in the hot broth had slightly overcooked. I enjoyed it, but I think next time I’d go for the classic tonkotsu ramen with the chau shu pork, as the seafood ramen was pricey and the best bit of the dish was definitely the broth rather than the expensive seafood.

 

 

Koursaros, Mykonos

Our first night in Mykonos we went for dinner at Koursaros. I’d seen the restaurant recommended by my friend Zach on Facebook, who described it as literally one of the best meals he’d ever had in his life, quite the recommendation. The restaurant itself was really funky and laid back, with a very cool chic vibe.  I started with braised octopus and JP had the sea urchin. Both looked great when they arrived, so we shared each others. The octopus was perfectly cooked, still soft and yielding with a really meaty texture. The sea urchin was beautifully fresh and tasted wonderfully of the sea. For mains we both had lamb which was delicious, just perfectly blushing pink in the middle. Lovely wine list, but like most of the rest of Mykonos, somewhat expensive. I’d definitely go back, lovely meal, but it’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Rochelle Canteen at the ICA

The original Rochelle Canteen opened in 2004 in Shoreditch in the converted bike shed of the old Rochelle school, looking out to the beautiful bandstand and trees of Arnold Circus. It was co-founded by Margot Henderson wife of St John restaurant founder Fergus. I’ve always heard good things about it and meant to go, but never got round to it. So when I heard that they were opening a sister restaurant at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall overlooking St James Park I was excited. The wonderful Grace Dent gave it a fabulous write up in her ES magazine restaurant column. My friend JP and I were wanting to see ‘The Favourite’ film and it just so happened that it was playing at the cinema at the ICA, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone and go for a pre-cinema dinner there. It was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday night, maybe because it was January. The very lovely waitress told us that apparently a big reserved table of guests hadn’t turned up. So sad that some selfish people chose to not bothering to turn up. We started with a couple of cocktails and skipped starters to go straight to the mains. I had a pheasant, prune and chestnut pie. It was lovely, really warm and comforting, just what I needed on a cold, wet January evening. We also had a delicious bottle of red wine. In fact so good that we ordered another bottle to take into the cinema screening. We didn’t realise we weren’t allowed glass in the auditorium though, so we ended up drinking pints of red wine out of plastic glasses, very classy! Great meal though, would definitely go back, really friendly service and brilliant food. Film was excellent as well.

Lobo López, Seville, Spain

I usually research restaurants quite thoroughly before I go there, however Lobo López I didn’t. I randomly found it on the Time Out mobile app and it was close by to where I was staying, had very good reviews and looked interesting. Anyway spoiler alert it was a great recommendation, so thanks Time Out. I didn’t pre-book, just walked in, but thankfully as it was just me they squeezed me in. The food was stunning, a modern sort of tapas. I loved it all, not a single duff dish at all. The foie gras ‘strawberry’ was almost certainly inspired by the meat fruit I’d previously had at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal but was equally as delicious. The aged Galician beef with truffles was divine. Also considering the excellent quality for all the dishes it was pretty good value as well. Highly recommend this place if you’re in Seville.