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Saturday, February 6, 2016

London: The full Monty @ the Breakfast Club, Hoxton

On every trip I go to,  the morning before fly out always goes in a flash.  By the time I get on the plane, settle in and finally arrived at my home destination, more often than not I feel as though I have just ran a marathon.  Whether its that shitty budget airline Easyjet or the 1 hour train ride from the airport to my apartment, I always end up feeling pretty spent and dinner-less.  So on my last day in London it was time to build the reserves.  This time, I was at the Breakfast Club in Hoxton.

The venue serves the American/English for breakfast in an pub-styled cafe with familiar music in the background.  To start up the morning (which I woke up feeling super hungry), was a Peanut Butter Milkshake.
Good old Peanut Butter Milkshake £5.  Just the month before when Shake Shack in Convent Garden ran out of their special “peanut butter” for my shake, I left London feeling defeated. So when the Breakfast Club had it on their menu, I was sold.  The milkshake was spot on when it came to its consistency.  Unfortunately the sweet-salty balance was hanging a little on the sweet side.  I needed perhaps one more generous scoop of peanut butter. A satisfying drink nonetheless.

The full Monty w/ fried eggs  £11
Its all your usual suspects gathering on a plate this morning.  You have the toast, eggs, crisp bacon, meaty sausages, sauteed shrooms, pan fried potatoes, beans and of course, baked beans.  The full Monty was hard to go wrong with and yes, nothing went wrong.  The big breakfast was a great morning fuel for a long day but then again, it was also a very average breakfast that you could find anywhere in London but it was something you had to have in London.

The Breakfast Club in Hoxton had no queue when we were there at 9.45am and that is exactly what I look for where possible.  Fuss free diners to kickstart my mornings.  Pair that with good service  and a decent food experience to get the Breakfast Club Hoxton.  The food I had was not the healthiest for sure but it was rather comforting.  However, comforting while good can also be bad when you eat what I eat.  In this case, it was safe to say that the only thing I will not be doing after the meal was a medical check up.  


Saturday, January 30, 2016

London: Chicken Briyani @ Masala Zone, SOHO

Our cravings for Indian deepened as we finished our breakfast.  As day turned to the night, we finally succumbed to our cravings and decided once more to have an Indian meal.  After a good hour of painstaking search and trying to make bookings, we ended up at a food chain called Masala Zone in SOHO.  Despite coming at 8pm, there was still a queue to be seated which tells a lot about the love affair between the English people and Indian food.  Speaking to the ladies queuing ahead of us, they spoke of how the really enjoyed Masala Zone and found its price to be relatively cheap for London standards.  I was sold. The turnover is quick and it took no longer than 20 minutes to clear the crowd of 15 people in front of us. 

Tonight, the whole table ordered Chicken Briyani with a Curry Vegetable to share.

The Chicken Briyani (£12.50)
The meticulously cooked grains of rice with perfectly spiced chicken curry was lovely to look at.  Served with two little “bowls” of sauces, I was ready to dig in.  Masala Zone’s approach to the traditional Briyani was different as the curry chicken was not mixed in consistently through the rice.  But flavour wise, the curry definitely had the right heat, spices and seasoning to match.  However, one thing I would definitely put forward is that the Chicken Briyani definitely did not fill me up!  It was small as lol.  Its rare that I say food serves are small and this is one of those instances.

The curry vegetable (£10) 
This dish was decent, but the sauce could be richer.  It felt as though the vegetables were bleeding its liquid into the sauce.  In essence, nothing special but nothing bad too.  It gave satisfied my daily fibre intake though :P

Over all, Masala Zone was a decent Indian experience.  Would I come back on a normal day?  Probably not without a huge craving for Indian food as I have access to amazing Indian food in the Hague, Australia and Malaysia.  The food served to us was not bad and definitely above average.  But the whole experience including Masala Zone’s rather petite serves of food made it rather undesirable.  When I think Indian I am more used to home generous servings where you eat till you drop.  Unfortunately this was not one of those instances.  Also note that my visit to Masala Zone stretches awhile back so the prices indicated might be a little off.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

London: An Indian Breakfast @ Dishoom, Shoreditch

Indian food.  Ember red appearance and melting pot of flavours where where meat & spices fuse into a full bodied pleasure.  While lunch and dinner are the common meals one might have Indian food for, there are people in the UK who thought “Why not bring it to the breakfast table too?”.  This is the story of the highly successful Dishoom line of restaurants scattered over London city.

The entrance of its Shoreditch branch from the back brings you through a lush garden into a wooden accented indoor dining area.  The setting makes it feel as if you are taking a step back in time.  Dishoom’s menu is predominantly Indian classic as you might expect.  The only problem is that nothing on their menu seems familiar.  In saying that, nothing was to risky to try and this is some of the food we had.

A Chocolate Chai to start the day.

A creamy, and chocolaty delight with a punch of chai.  The whiff of cinnamon is unmistakable and the acidity of the drink paired with a mild spice keeps the usually rich chocolate drink  light for the morning.  If you like chai, you will like this!

My breakfast is the Kejriwal  £5.50.  

What is it?  A chilli cheese toast with fried eggs.  I was skeptical of the size when it hit the table.  Do not be fooled!  It was actually enough to be decently full but not overly filled.  The perfectly fried cheese on the sandwich with a mildly runny egg is so simple but so good.  I was expecting a chunky chilli topping but there was nothing I could see.  Just a mild burn from a spread underneath the cheese.  Very yummy!

My friends had a Bacon Naan Roll and a Sausage Naan Roll £5.50 each.

They are quite similar in appearance.  Taste wise, they were not too dissimilar. Each had fried eggs, chunky cut sausages or smoked bacon, and tangy chutney wrapped in naan bread.  I tried the sausage one and reckon that made a better breakfast because the sausages were still juicy.  This was because my colleague felt that the naan was a little dry and I agreed because it looked over toasted.  For this reason along, the sausage gets my pick! Pair  award winning sausages, mildly runny yolk and naan along with some delicious chutney.  How good does that sound?  Superb I would say!

Dishoom was an interesting brunch for me.  Who is to say that the brunch scene in London is boring?!  Well I guess I did and not I have to bite my tongue for it.  With the Riding House and Dishoom done, London actually has some decent brunch spots no kidding!  The prices and sizes are decent too.  Even more so when you put creativity on a plate into the equation.  Will I return to Dishoom?  Hell yeah.

Dishoom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato