The Japanese Canteen – Liverpool Street

Located two minutes away from Liverpool Street Station, the Japanese Canteen is a life saver every time I don’t bring my lunch at work. 

They are open for lunch and dinner, but I think is suitable just for a quick lunch during your break, in fact, it’s a Canteen and not a restaurant. Their menu is quite simple, with few dishes (mainly based on rice) to choose from, with a lot of different toppings. To be honest, I think it’s a bit expensive for the quality of the ingredients they serve, but the accept my Lunch vouchers, so I can’t complain!

The Donburi with fried tofu and aubergines with spicy bean sauce is pretty filling, maybe even too much, if you need to go back to work as it comes in a huge bowl full of rice. I don’t particularly like the rice, I feel like they use the same type for each dish and I find it sticky and gluey, the type of rice used for sushi in cheap all you can eat places. I really like their tofu, spicy and crunchy, it’s the ingredient that saves the as the fried aubergines are quite soggy. 

The Vegetable Katsu Curry Donburi is basically the same thing: gluey rice with mild curry sauce and two veggie patties on top. The curry isn’t too bad, but is not enough for all the rice in the bowl and the Patties are the lamest veggie patties you can find in the frozen pre cooked meal aisle at the supermarket: the old school potatoes, peas and bits of carrots ones that we were buying when soy milk was the only milk “alternative” we could think of. 

The Laksa soup is my favourite dish. A warm spicy soup with broth and rice noodles, full of veggies and tofu. It’s lovely during rainy and cold days or when you feel under the weather. Unfortunately, I recently discovered they took it of menu. I am a bit upset as it was my favourite dish!

The service is really basic, but quick and they always bring all the dishes at the same time, so nobody at the table needs to wait. Even if it’s not my favorite place to eat, is super close to work!

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Banana Tree – Notting Hill

Banana Tree is the home of Indochinese food in the heart of Notting Hill. The place is very simple with no particular embellishment or theme. It’s also very quiet, with few customers. It could be a bad sign, like the poor quality of the food, but don’t be mislead by that!

Their menu has a lot of vegan and gluten-free options, with pictures! The fried vegetable dumplings with spicy sweet and sour sauce are an explosion in your mouth with the crispy batter creating a perfect contrast with its warm and soft vegetable stuffing. The accompanying sauce is quite spicy.

The Bun Bo Vietnamese salad with satay skewers is da bomb. A bit way too healthy (maybe), but super filling and satisfying. The staple ingredient of this main dish are rice noodle garnished with fresh vegetables, crumbled nuts, crispy sautéed spring onions, a huge (vegan) shrimp chip, and mini vegetable spring rolls, all seasoned with a delicious Nuoc Cham sauce. The skewers, which in the normal version are made of chicken, are made of seitan and it’s a good mock meat choice. The Nuoc Cham sauce has a sweet and slightly spicy flavor. This salad bowl It’s something messy and chaotic, yet fun and colorful to play with!

These Banana “Frotiteroles” that apart from being a lame pun (between fruit and profiteroles) was a complete disaster. They tried to make profiteroles with bananas. A sort of fried batter around the fruit, moistened with a sweet chocolatey syrup; both taste and consistency are sickening (and not in a good way), it’s like eating a too-mature splattered banana.  Fortunately, they come with a scoop of mango or raspberry sorbet that save the day!

Defo a place where to eat and try again! Do you like Indochinese cuisine? Let me know if you have tried the Frotiteroles too!

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Las Iguanas – Stratford

Las Iguanas restaurant is specialised in South American cuisine. Their menu is divided by countries and they have a vegetarian & vegan menu . The atmosphere is lively and the decor is very simple and colorful, as if it’s always a party!

The nachos with jalapenos, guacamole and cheddar are tasty and perfect for sharing even though the vegan cheese is not the best, more cooked than melted crusty on the top and is definitely lacking in guac!

The Smoked Chipotle pulled jackfruit burrito bowl is basically a burrito wrap breakdown: all the ingredients that would normally go into a wrap, are instead arranged on a plate. The picture on the menu is something completely different from the original (photoshop effect), this can leave you with a sort confusion and the portion is a bit small to be honest. However, the pulled jackfruit is cooked to perfection, the “meat” was fleshy and firm with a beetroot cream so sweet that can be mistaken for raspberry coulis. The grated vegan cheddar on top doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it has a very delicate taste doesn’t spoil the whole dish!

The chocolate cake is literally life! A mind blowing foodgasm! With a really thick texture, it was take you to heaven with just one bite. The coconut ice cream is pretty ordinary yet essential.

I can’t wait to try another of their dishes! Let me know if you like South American cuisine too, with a comment below 🙂

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Farmacy – Notting Hill

Farmacy is a really cute restaurant in Notting Hill Close to Chepstow Road, that severs everything from breakfast to cocktails. They always have cool jazz music in the background to give the place a mellow vibe. The main color palette is dark green, brown and gold. It’s a really nice instagramable place. There are plants and pots everywhere, hanging from the ceiling The walls are covered with bamboo panels and pretty much all the furniture is made of wood with touches of dark green.

Their loaded nachos are life, filled with all the good stuff: guac, jalapenos, hummus, black bean pate and spicy sauce. The chickpea quesadilla is thick and fluffy, like a savoury angel cake. The dip is a sort of cashew nut spread and that tastes like heaven. Their Mac ‘n’ Cheeze are so yummy, the ideal comfort food you’re looking when you’ve cravings!

I know for sure I will come back to try some more food and enjoy the (slightly) intellectual vibe! Better to book in advance if you’re planning to go during the weekend, because it’s damn busy and you could wait up to one hour as a walk-in. On weekdays is quieter and they can accommodate you without problems. Let me know what you think and which is you fav dish you had at Farmacy!

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A weekend in Bath

Last week I decided to take a break from the city and spend the weekend in the countryside with my friends. We thought it was time to see something new that wasn’t in London (yes, there’s civilization also after Zone 3, Susan). So we decided to pick Bath like proper aristocratic bitches.

We took the bus and since one of my strengths is being always on time, I missed it and I had to wait two hours for the next one. Likely I found a kind driver that didn’t ask me to purchase a new ticket.

Once in Bath, we headed to our hotel to unpack. The Belmont is a small, practical and fine b&b located less than 10 minutes walking from the center of the town. After that, we went to visit the Ancient Roman Baths. The tour takes almost one hour and a half, if you take the audio guide like we did. It was really interesting but also really long and after that we were literally starving! So we started wandering around to see if we could find a cosy place to have lunch.

Dough is a proper Italian pizzeria-restaurant in the center of Bath, with many gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options, so nobody will be disappointed! You can even choose the type of dough you want for your pizza! They have white flour, whole wheat flour, corn flour… and the list goes on! During the weekend it can get pretty busy, but even without a booking, they can find you a table in 10 minutes.

As a starter I had the stuffed eggplant garnished with a tomato sauce that was simply delicious. It reminded me of the summers I spent with my brother at my grandma’s house, when after the beach, she would always cook a simple pasta al sugo for lunch, with her so simple yet so astonishing tomato sauce made from scratch.

At Dough the pizza, of course, is da queen, periodt, so if you are thinking to pay them a visit you must try it!

I had the pizza parcel filled with grilled zucchini, aubergines and vegan cheese. The pizza dough was stone baked with a crunchy crust at the ends and the melted cheese is to die for (I am wondering if they use Violife) Also, the prices are affordable and if you have a reusable bottle, they will refill it for you!

I would suggest The Belmont as a place to stay, to anyone would like to visit Bath for few days… the only downside was the breakfast! Archie the Owner and his daughter served a full English breakfast that has basically no vegan options apart from some fruit and burnt toast. Don’t worry tho, Bath offers few vegan places and lots of vegan options restaurants, you won’t be disappointed I swear! On our second day we decided we did enough of culture stuff and it was time to try the new thermae in town. The weather was awful AKA the typical Brit weather (such fun!), so there wasn’t much choice either. After a two hour queue we finally had access to the spa. I really liked the outdoor hot spring water yacuzzi, but to be honest £40 for just two hours it wasn’t really worth it in my opinion. We headed out from the spa around lunch time so once again we started walking in the streets of the town to find something to eat.

Thaikhun is a Thai street food restaurant. The place is very weird, if not funny! It’s full of questionable objects and odd things piled up on the walls, road signs hanging from the ceiling and vintage appliances. It really feels like an indoor market rather than a restaurant! The menu has many options for celiac, vegetarian and vegan customers.

As a starter I had some fried corn bites with a sweet-sour sauce, they were super spicy and so yummy once you start eating them, you will probably end up asking for more. I liked the detail of wrapping the bites in the “newspaper”. As a main dish I order the stir-fried rice with vegetables and crispy tofu and let me tell you it’s a must-try. Unfortunately, the dish was served on a very simple plate, the type everyone has at home that is microwave friendly. Not very Instagrammy to be honest. The tofu was deliciously crispy on the surface and the vegetables were lightly steamed to be crunchy as well. Also the Pad Thai my friend order was on point. Everything was really tasty, but I guess too spicy for us. We had to ask for two jars of water!

We came back to London in the late afternoon, relaxed and ready to start the week!

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The Hungry Donkey – Shoreditch

The Hungry Donkey is a small, Greek restaurant located in Pettycoat Lane, Shoreditch. The atmosphere is very warm and the decor is pretty simple and minimal, with some plants and yellow fairy lights.

Gemista is an homemade greek dish made of oven-roasted peppers filled with rice & herbs served with baked potato wedges. As soon as the lids on the peppers are removed an explosion of herbs blows you away: the aroma is astonishing! The bell peppers are well baked, all the ingredients well combined with the rice, and the potatoes are deliciously crispy on the outside and soft in the inside.

The wines are pretty expensive, but I am not an expert on the topic. The staff is really kind and patient. They also give some sweets on the house at the end of the meal.

I will definitely coming back for some falafel giros in the future! Have you ever tried The Hungry Donkey? Let me know in a comment!

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Mooshies – Brick Lane, E1

Hey Gurls!

I am addressing you as girls as in my mind my audience will be pretty much women in their 20-35. Yeah, I am pretending to have organic followers that are interested in the shit I am writing! But you know what they say?! Fake it until you make it!

Today I want to tell you a story about a nice and cute gal called Barbara (aka Moi) that fell in love with a fit and hot AF vegan guy. The first time they met, they randomly bumped into each other in a trendy vegan place that sells expensive burger and spicy nachos and by the time they got they orders to their table, they knew Love knocked at their door… 

* Vinyl record scratching * 

Just kidding, my love life is shit as always. Thank Goodness the only real thing about this story was the burger place! I have been there different times with work colleagues, family and friends… and I am thinking, next time I go I should ask for a discount! You know, I always feel like a better person when I support local vegan businesses!

Mooshies is a small shop in the heart of Brick Lane that sells mind-blowing and highly addictive vegan burgers.

Their Magic mushroom burger is filled with a huge Oyster mushroom, breaded and fried with two hash browns on top. The bread of the bun is toasted to perfection and the mushroom is crispy AF. All the different ingredients and textures are well combined. The only downside are sweet potato fries, a bit too mushy. 

The Fillet-on-Phish burger with panko fried eggplant, nori seaweed, and mayo is literally a foodgasm! The fried eggplants are just divine and satisfying, and the seaweed gives the “fish” taste everyone is looking for. Their fried mozzarella sticks are awesome, the vegan cheese is so stringy and hot that will melt in your hands; the dip made with mayo and Sriracha is just sick!  

Pig-out tip: add the dip into the burger and your taste buds will be thankful for that!  

The quinoa and bean burger unfortunately is slightly disappointing: the taste is ok, but not even close to the other ones. The patty crumbles at each bite, as if a binding ingredient is missing. And the nachos definitely lack in guacamole. 

The shop has an urban style, with graffiti on the walls and wooden tables, quite bare and unpretentious, but hey, it’s Brick Lane. The cost of a burger is about £8-9, pretty expensive, but totally worthy.

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