Nardulli, London 05-2020

Lockdown has been ongoing for about 7 weeks or so. One of the common questions asked is "what will you do/eat once lockdown is lifted?" There are many possibilities, but I stuck to a simple one - gelato outside.

With the weather warming up (although I accept gelato on a cold day when rugged up warm is probably better overall), a cool afternoon of 12C and the surprise discovery of the local gelateria being open meant serendipity. Apparently they had just opened over the weekend (this was a Monday) and the queues went all the way to the tube station in 2m intervals.

Unfortunately they were out of pistachio, a light green (maybe a little more green than I usually like) so will have to try that next time. Instead there was hazelnut and a yoghurt/cherry. The hazelnut was very mild in flavour, much more so than the true Italian nocciolas. The yoghurt/cherry was alright with the cherry being glaced but not like those horrid sweet bright versions. The textures were good and no ice crystals.

I'll be back to try the pistachio and to support the local business and my own gelato tendencies. Although I think I may need to get some Grom/Remeo/Waitrose pistachio for home anyway.

Nardulli Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Black Axe Mangal, London 02-2020

BAM has been on my eating list for quite a long time with the menu looking delicious of meats, offal and flatbreads. Finally on a rainy Saturday lunch we managed to get a table in the mid-afternoon just before they were closing and only after a short wait.

The menu is a real mixed bag - hints of Turkish from the mangal side, but influences from random places creating borscht, mapo tofu and other bits. Points for being creative if nothing else.

- Smoked pig's cheek & prune doughnut £8.5 - delicious and full bursting with flavour. A chunk of fat which was a bit less appealing, but overall really good;
- Oxtail & anchovy flatbread £13 - a nice bread with meat, anchovy, pickles, very mild chilli and parsley complementing well;
- Dextor onglet, roast bone marrow & green chilli, shoestring fries 23 - a very tender cooked meat with a chimichurri. The bone marrow didn't have that much flavour to it (not my thing I suppose) and one of the reasons we ordered it was seeing the next table have those fries. Unfortunately we expected freshly fried hot potatoes, but they were the dried form you buy in supermarket packets - disappointing.

I've been wanting to get my hands on a cookbook too, but might need to take a closer look to see how many of these things I can/will realistically try making first.

It was nice to tick it off my list finally and the food was great but probably not exceptional (probably the fries put me off). I'm interested in trying it for dinner sometime with the more extended menu. If I can get a seat.

Black Axe Mangal Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Udderlicious, London 02-2020

After a meal at Afghan Kitchen, it was time for an evening stroll and given we were moving from the area soon, it seemed a last opportunity to finally try Udderlicious. I had walked past several times before, but never stopped in for several reasons, some of which were it was closed after movies.

But I wouldn't be denied this time and the the perfectly pale brown pistachio was complemented by a chocolate. There was one or two ice crystals, but the flavours for good and reasonably strong, particularly the pistachio.

I would have no qualms (other than distance) to go back. I don't know if I'd try any of the creative flavours, but who needs to when you know what you like. I might replace the chocolate with hazelnut next time, if there is one.

Udderlicious Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Afghan Kitchen, London 02-2020

After walking past many times, trying to get in a few times, and finally discovering that they actually take bookings and so guaranteeing us entry the final time, we made it into this Afghan little eatery in Angel.

The food is good, particularly the lamb with spinach £8. Fish stew with potatoes £8 was ok too. The aubergine with yoghurt £8 was a overpriced for 3 pieces. The £3.5 evening bread was very impressive to see and alright. £25pp overall wasn't as cheap as I expected.

Overall decent and glad to have tried it and supported a local business. Would happily go back but wouldn't need to.

Afghan Kitchen Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

The Joint, London 03-2020

After starting work in Tooting Broadway, I was pleasantly surprised to find a host of food places in the Broadway market there (no relation to the fantastic Saturday Broadway market near Hackney). Quite a few were closed in the evenings and maybe because it was a weekday. After bypassing the nice sounding (but a bit expensive) Latin American El Chuzo, and noting the very cheap £1-2 takeaway Chinese boxes (not worth it really I found out a few weeks later), I sat down for some BBQ meats complete with the endorsements they list on the side.

Smoked crispy chicken wings £5 small with Korean sauce, toasted sesame seeds, spring onion was good. Crisp outside, a bit chewy on the inside though, and with a nice sauce that I expected to have more chilli/gochujang flavour to it.

16h Smoked pulled pork in homemade bun £8.5 spicy (ginger, spring onion, chilli, coleslaw, salad) was ok from a texture point of view, but the pork didn't really have much flavour to it. I ended up needing to request and add a lot of hot sauce to give it more character.

I suppose I still have to go back to try the ribs and best voted beef burger, but that time may not come and I don't currently feel I will have lost out if not.

Sunda, Melbourne 12-2019

Another modern Asian restaurant in Melbourne showing it still is the city leading the charge. For my brief stopover to Melbourne I had actually wanted to go to Longrain. However this was chosen as a close nearby place which happened to still be open to cooking for us at 10.30pm. Mind you we had to order within a few minutes, but the short menu made that easy.

- Rock oyster, coconut curry vinaigrette, shallot, Tasmanian pepper leaf $6 ea.
- Wagyu rendang pie, pickled radish, fermented sambal $10;
- Otak otak spanner crab curry, finger lime, rice crisps $29;
- Fremantle octopus, bush tomato, lemongrass sambal, onion;
- Rangers valley wagyu, strawberry gum, carrot, sunrise lime satay $50.

The modern take is using lesser known Australian ingredients into Malaysian/Indonesian fusion. It's beautiful, expensive and pretty good overall. I can't say I would rush to go back though.

Sunda Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Karlaylisi Restaurant Uyghur Cuisine, Melbourne 12-2019

Uyghur food has been hard to come by generally but with 2 places in London and 1 in West Melbourne, I'm starting to get a feel for the food.

- Pilaf;
- Lagman;
- Qong tahsilik tohu gosh kormisi - spicy chicken pieces with vegetables and homemade noodles;
- Tripe skewers;
- Lamb kidney skewers - not a favourite for most people but I don't mind at all the chewy texture and unique taste.

I want to go back again and try the nan, manta and samsas.

Karlaylisi Restaurant - Uyghur Cuisine Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato

Tiong Bahru Food Centre, Singapore 12-2019

Maybe Monday morning wasn't the best time to go. It seems many of the stalls are closed. That doesn't mean there's any shortage of things to eat, rather that some of the ones I had read about weren't available. Oh well. At least in the pouring mildly humid rain, it was quiet and relaxing enough.

Shui Kueh was a first for me. I had read it was a perfect breakfast item and although the rice semi-spheres are very plain on their own, the sambal that gets served with it is delectable. It really turns it into something else.

There's 2 lor mee places - one was closed (which is my brother's preferred one), so tried the other with its famed fried shark nuggets. The nuggets themselves are chewy bits of fish in a thick unforgettable batter. The thick sauce and noodles were ok but really, I can't see what the fuss is about.

The main drinks/fresh soy milk place was also closed, so this was another one with grass jelly. A bit expensive but alright.

The hokkien mee and char kuey teoh ones were also closed. The way the timings of these things work or don't work sometimes.

Singapore overall wasn't particularly special for food I think.

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, Singapore 12-2019

My brother took me to his favourite chicken rice place. The enormous hor fun also came out and initially went to the table next to us - the 2 people there were shocked about how big it was before saying it wasn't theirs. It then came to us 2, and their shock continued.

- Half soya sauce chicken rice $16;
- Beef hor fun $13 large.

It was a lot to eat. Not bad overall.