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!
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 🙂
Today, I want to talk about one of my favourite place to eat in London!
Busaba is an Asian/Thai chain restaurant located in different areas of the city, so it won’t be too hard to find one!
Shoreditch has a magical atmosphere, the restaurant has a romantic atmosphere created by dim orange lights and little bamboo fountains with pink flowers floating on the water at the entrance. It’s a place where you can go either for drinks with your girls or for a date. I went some time ago with some work colleagues for a birthday and I really enjoyed it. They have lots of vegan and vegetarian options, so it won’t be a struggle to choose what to eat.
Bond Street is more suitable for work lunches. The restaurant itself is not really big, but the disposition of the tables is very practical. The service is fast and the waiters are polite and friendly. You will see that their clientele is pretty much corporate people working in the area. I went for the first time with my parents, they never tried Thai cuisine before and they were happily surprised.
Shepher’s Bush is located just before Westfield, so it’s ideal for an informal lunch before going shopping or a nice dinner with friends after going to the movies. I went to Busaba in Shepherd’s Bush many times, especially when I was living in the area. What I can say? It never disappoints me!
With fresh crunchy veggies, crispy tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts and fresh spring onions, this Pad Thai is a classic are you’re gonna love it. You can add soy sauce for an extra taste, but it’s delicious even keeping it basic. Among the soft drinks Guava Collins is the best, not too sweet and so refreshing!
The Sriracha Ho Fu Noodles are a flavor explosion in your mouth. Stuffed with wok-fried mushrooms, red peppers and baby spinach seasoned with sweet chilli, soy and ginger sauce will fill your belly guilt free.
Fried to perfection (who likes oily fingertips?!), the Por-Pi Jay are crispy vegetable spring rolls with Thai sweet chilli sauce, ideal as a starter or for sharing. The spicy and super creamy Green Curry Jay is infused with lemongrass, chilli and ginger garnished with courgette, peas, zucchini, aubergines, onions, bamboo and sweet basil. It’s accompanied by a small portion of rice of your choice, I had coconut milk rice and it was delicious, down side: the portion was pretty small. A hearty dish that will make your heart sing!
My parents usually come to visit me every two years. The first time they came, we did all the most touristy things, so this time I decided to show them my favourite places in London. The area I love the most is Notting Hill: so pretty, so quiet, so classy, so clean, so white (ehm, ehm). It’s funny though, because most of the people I have been talking to say they just go there for the Carnival. I have been to the Notting Hill Carnival once, and I thought it was ok, but I guess is a bit too much for me, too crowded, too many drunk people, too many hot and shirtless honeys… God, I was going crazy with all those abs popping out!
Anyway, I took my parents to the area, because I really like it and because I wanted to show them where I was living two years ago. Every time, I say to people I was living in Notting Hill their eyes enlightened and I imagine them thinking about Blair Waldorf, I mean we are both brunettes with an expensive taste…
What I was saying? Oh right, so we went there and I was planning to take them to my favourite vegan restaurant, but unfortunately it was fully booked, so we decided to walk around and look for a place with enough options for me. I mean my mum is literally a copycat, I have the feeling that for her just because I live in London everything I do is super cool, so when we are together she has to try all the things I eat, like even hummus is a major thing, because in Italy you can’t easily find it, unless you make it at home. My dad instead is the typical Italian, with strong food traditions that no one can touch and he always feels the need to make stupid jokes about it. But fortunately we found a place that could satisfy everyone.
Al Waha is a Lebanese restaurant located in the middle of Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill. You can see that Al Waha it’s not a franchise restaurant (like everything in London), from its outdoor aspect: the full building has a violet pastel colour that clashes completely with its surroundings. The decor inside is a bit cringy too, most probably the restaurant has been open for quite a while and now it would be the right time for a full renovation. But, please don’t be discouraged by the looks, because it would be a shame! The place is pretty small and quiet and the staff is remarkably polite.
After ordering your food, the waiter will bring you a very healthy appetizer: a bowl with some lettuce, a whole unsliced tomato, some carrots and a piece of cucumber with some olives. I guess you can decide either to leave it or starting munching on the veggies like a bunny!
Their food was simply amazing! They have a vegetarian tasting menu, with a little bit of everything you could find on the a la carte menu: falafel, hummus, Babaganush, mixed pickled veggies and fatayer. Most of these dishes are pretty common in our lives, but the quality of the ingredients is to the next level, nothing comparable to what we can find at the supermarket. Since I always like to try what is exotic and unusual to me I decided to order the Moussakaat Batinjan; a small bowl with fried aubergines, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and spices. It’s a cold starter and it seemed that has been taken out from the freezer just before serving it. The dish itself was delicious, but due to weather conditions (Summer WTF?) and my personal taste, it could have been a little bit warmer.
Fatayer is a hot starter made of puff pastry stuffed with spinach, onions, pomegranate, pine nuts, and walnuts. The taste is delicate and simple really homemade style. Probably something that our grannies could do.
The baclava, at the end of the meal, are on the house. Beware: they are super duper sweet and I don’t suggest you try them unless you have a sweet tooth (really, I just stared at them). It’s really difficult to find some genuine place here in London, so I was quite surprised when I tried Al Waha. I strongly suggest you go and see for yourself. The prices are slightly cheaper than other restaurants so it’s a win-win situation!
Let me know in the comments if you ever tried Al Waha restaurant. I am curious to know your opinion!
Last weekend I had a date. I met this guy, on Tinder… And yes, please get over it! Nowadays, everyone is using dating apps even those who shouldn’t (yeah I am talking to you married guy with two kids and a dog, just looking for fun). But, no one clearly talks about it, unless you are really friends with someone. It’s a bit like when some girls swear that they don’t play with themselves, YEAH RIGHT Becky, we all know you do.
Anyway, We decided to meet on Saturday in the afternoon to get something to eat. The guy was really nice and handsome, not a catfish (thank Goodness!), and he seemed to be the kind of person with a good job and his shit together, but for some reason the situation it became awkward, I was feeling so nervous and uncomfortable, we were just talking about superficial things to fill up those awkward silent moments!
We were both glad when the food arrived because finally there was an excuse to be quiet. As soon as we finished the food he rushed away saying he remembered he had something to do and he just evaporated. It was a kind of relief to end the date, but at the same time I was thinking “what went wrong?” I mean everything was normal, he was a really pleasant guy to be with. Have you ever had a date where you felt weird for (apparently) no reason at all?
The best part of the date? Going in a really cute place for breakfast/brunch… Yes again I know, but it was like 4pm so technically is snack time, right?
Where the pancakes are is a very instagramable little place, with a clean and easy design and touches of peach pastel color, located 10 mins walking from London Bridge. It’s situated inside a small outdoor street food market, the perfect place for a beer during summer, keep it in mind for the next one…
Since the place is really small, you would probably need to book in advance. The menu isn’t too complicated as you have two sections, sweet & savoury, and there are five to six options for each section and they also have a vegan batter. For vegan folks, it would be even easier since the range of options are literally two, but at least one is a full rich breakfast so if you are planning to go on a Sunday morning, the risk to be starving afterwards is really low. The American classic consists in four-five savoury pancakes topped with maple syrup and fruit and a dash of icing sugar. The pancake batter is sweet and savoury, something that left me and my taste buds happily confused, like you know TMI to process all at the same time… The pancakes were properly cooked, flawless I would say, but to be honest the menu should have more plant based options!
They opened a few months ago, so if you like to be really cool and be on top of Londinium’s trends, you must check this place out!