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Thursday, October 8, 2015

London: Literally Burger and Lobster @ Burger & Lobster, Soho

Have you ever wandered into a restaurant only to be confused by a menu that goes on for ages?  So have I.  That is until I started blogging.  But one genius has came up with a restaurant that serves 3 dishes and only 3 dishes with no options for sides whatsoever.  It is so simple that they do not even have a menu.  This is the famous Burger & Lobster and its £20 menu.  If its name does not give it away, the restaurant literally serves burger and lobsters.   Coming in for lunch at 2pm on Saturday, I was thankful to have waited for a short 15 minutes before being seated.  I have heard other people who have waited for over 2 hours!   

Diners at Burger & Lobster have a choice between the beef burger, the poached/grilled lobster and the lobster roll.  Jacques and I decided to share a serve of poached lobster and the beef burger.

The kind chefs in the kitchen help split them in half for us so there was no need for any cutting whatsoever.

The burger half:
We asked the burger to come medium rare to get the best of the juicy patty.  The burger came brilliantly red in the middle so it was no surprise that the first bite was intensely juicy.  Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, it was delicious!  Jacques on the other hand thought it was a little too red.  I can see his concerns as certain parts looked really red haha.

The lobster half:
To get the best of the lobster, we opted for the poached one.  Having it poached means you get a flesh that amplifies the naturally sweet-briny flavours of the crustacean.   Not to mention, the flesh stays extremely juicy if poached for the right amount of time.  Then comes the best part, the meaty claw!  Biting into its meaty flesh was every bit satisfying!  Almost like biting into a giant drumstick!  Dip it in the accompanying parsley butter for an extra kick of flavour!  

Burger & Lobster served me an enjoyable meal today.  If the queue is not too overbearing,  I would definitely come back for another meal.  Thinking back, if I came back feeling really hungry, I might even consider ordering one lobster and burger for myself!  They were both amazingly tasty dishes.  In saying that, I admit that the lobster alone would might really small.  In fact, the body of the lobster was rather small, but remember so was my £20 pound note!  Thankfully their perfectly fried fries and salad made help complete the meal.


Monday, October 5, 2015

London: Delicious Roast Duck and Pork @ Four Seasons Roast House, Queensway

The Four Season Roast House is easily an iconic symbol of the East in London.  With its celebrity like popularity, the Four Season Roast House name has spread back to the east as far as Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.  In fact, there are a couple of branches in Malaysia, and Bangkok; perhaps even more!  Coming to London, I knew I had to taste for myself whether the Four Season Roast House is the real deal or plain hype.

At 2pm, I walked in and asked a table for two.  Believe it or not, there were no seats just yet.  Do not even bother asking for a wait duration too as the long list of names and unpredictable customer behaviour make it impossible to gauge.  But thankfully, it only took some 25 minutes before Jacques and I were seated. For lunch today, the Frenchman was going with my suggestion.  We each ordered roasted meat and rice along with a piping hot bowl of wanton soup.  A classic Cantonese lunch.

My choice of roast is none other than my staples, the crispy roast pork and juicy roast duck for £8.50.  It is decent pricing when you consider the fact that London is one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in.  
But money is only figure when it comes to food.  Its the taste that makes a fact.  As far as anticipation goes, the roast meat at Four Season Roast House ticked some very important boxes.   For starters the Roast Pork was well seasoned at the bottom whilst at the top, it was thin, shard-y and crisp!  First bite in and you get that sensational crunch.  The proportion of fat and lean meat is around 35-65 which is decent but can get a little too fatty towards the end!  Over all, it was tasty!

The Roast Duck on the other hand, was equally impressive.  On the outside you get that beautifully roasted skin while its flesh was still mildly juicy and very tasty.   While the meat themselves were delicious, I did not like the sauce which they put on the rice.  It was a little too sweet which masked the natural flavours of the roast meat.  Instead, I wanted something a little more savoury from the juice of the meat that can be served with the rice.  I would not mind if it was a little more herbed too.

The wanton soup for £3 was the perfect way to wash down this meal of roast meat which can leave your mouth feeling greasy.   This salty-slightly peppery soup filled with tasty morsels of prawn wrapped in wanton skins was rather basic but is still every bit quintessential of the Cantonese cuisine. Topped with finely slices scallions, it was delicious.

The Four Seasons Roast House served me some serious Roast Pork and Duck that day.  But was it worthy of all the long queue, newspaper publicity and hype that has been bestowed to it?  For me, definitely NO.  If you have eaten in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and even Australia, yes AUSTRALIA, you will not be fully impressed.  The quality displayed by the Four Season Roast house was almost flawless but its overly sweet sauce was a let down.  It needed more balance on the plate.  

See my other delicious Roast Duck/Pork posts which includes my 2 Perth favourites, a Malaysian Chinese Classic and my Michelin starred adventure in Hong Kong.  Also in the list below is what I believe is the best Soy Chicken I have ever eaten, a shop located in Melbourne.


Friday, October 2, 2015

London: the Full English @ Delaunay, Convent Garden.

London is one of the world’s most international cities and it's food scene is sensationally vibrant.  But because EasyJet arrived some 3 hours after my intended arrival, I was too tired and decided to sleep my hunger out.  Never trust something that calls itself "easy".  Thankfully, it did not take long before the morning came and I was prepared to eat.  For this,  I brought my host/colleague Jacques to the Delaunay, an elegant top class establishment with suited up waitstaff in Convent Garden. 

What better way to start the morning with some tea and a Jam Doughnut (£3.75).  While it was really quite a basic Jam Doughnut, I still enjoyed every bit of it! I am a sucker for these things haha.  Fluffy, sugary deep-fried doughnut balls filled with a fruity jam.  Damn!

After finishing the doughnut, our breakfasts arrived.  Jacques and I decided to go for two very different breakfast which the Delaunay offers.  Mine was the full English while his was the Viennese breakfast.  The main difference?  His was a traditional Austrian breakfast platter of charcuterie with a bagel, egg and accompanying sauce of mustard whilst for me, it was the good old fry-up.

The Viennese breakfast (£11.50).

For the full English breakfast (£16.50), you have all the usual suspects.  Streaky bacon, juicy sausages, fried eggs, shrooms and a decadent black pudding.  The only odd element which I feel did not deserve to be on the plate were the baked beans.  Not because it was not a proper element of a full English, but simply because it looked so “out-of-the-can” which it probably was.
While everything was prepared well on the plate, it was the black pudding which I enjoyed most.  The black pudding was crisp on the outside but on the inside, it was mildly creamy with all the seasoning of herbs making it really tasty and unlike the ones in Australia which tend to be seasoned heavily, the one here was seasoned moderately which helped accentuate the meatiness of the pudding!

While the breakfast was really quite enjoyable, it was not a cheap affair!  It was perhaps we had our breakfast quite quickly and did not quite take the proper time to absorb the wonderful place the Delaunay was.  You will realise there were people there earlier than you still sipping their same pot of tea even though you have finished your breakfast.  My choice of breakfast that morning might seem odd to those who know me considering I have sworn to never eat things I could make at home.  This includes omelettes, bacons, sausages and the list goes on. But coming all the way to England means I had to try their iconic morning starter, the full English breakfast.  Thankfully it was delicious!