Stuck in the MUD

This morning I decided to head up to MUD in Tooting Broadway. How did I find this place? I Googled places to brunch around south west because I felt I needed to try more and BOOM! For my Earlsfielders, only a 10 minute bus ride (44,270, 77) or a 20 minute walk.

Finding MUD on a little Google search!
I am getting quite into the habit of saying everywhere I go is my new favorite brunch place, so I will try and refrain this time (but, seriously it’s going to be hard when you see the pictures)

It’s a nice cozy atmosphere with seating for around 30-40 people including the garden area. It was a nice morning, but I didn’t want to sit outside the back as I wanted to soak up the atmosphere inside. 

You know when you go somewhere and from the first step into a place you’re like “Yup, this is it” or “Oh I dunno, but i’ll give it a try” or the extreme of “I hate this place, let’s go”! Well, I got the “Yup, this is it” vibe! The front of house staff were extremely friendly and accommodating to my request to sit inside which came available quite soon after and I ordered a skinny cappuccino straight away and then tucked in to look at the menu ( I purposely didn’t preview before I came here as I wanted to surprise myself – random!)

So I decided to go for the Smashed Avocado. They have about 7 or 8 items on the brunch menu (excluding side options) which in my opinion is a great call – especially now I know what I know in terms of the taste and portions. So anyway as I was saying, I went for the Smashed Avocado and a side of potato cakes (sure, I said why not, it’s Saturday!)

While I was waiting for my food, I was trying to read my book but I couldn’t concentrate, not because it was noisy or anything but because I was just getting too distracted by my surroundings, taking in all of the furnishings from the open brick walls to the exposed copper pipes which gave it a real Williamsburg, NYC feel (coooooooooooooool bro).

When my food arrived I nearly fell off my seat by (a) the presentation and (b) the amount of it that was in front of me! OMG – Look at it like!! #eyesbiggerthanbellymoment

Smashed Avocado on sourdough bread with 2 runny poached eggs, feta cheese, CORIANDER and poppy seeds.  (£7.90)

Potato Cakes – I don’t know what I was expecting, but it wasn’t this and they were only bloody delicious weren’t they! (£.200)

I don’t often leave food on my plate, I was that girl that friends mothers loved as I used to eat everything on my plate and I still do, but today I just couldn’t, it was so filling. Now don’t get me wrong, I practically cleared apart from a couple of crusts and 1 potato cake but still like…. it’s me!

When my plate was cleared away, I could barely get the words out of my mouth to say it was amazing because I actually was just so impressed with it. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for too long as I had my own cooking to be doing as I am going to a BBQ later, but trust me I WILL BE BACK, and I will be bringing troops!

Total Bill for 1 person: £12.30 – HOW GOOD IS THAT LIKE?

FYI – I noticed a lot of people come in and get takeaway coffee and pastries, so if you can only drop-in and go, there’s plenty for you to takeaway with you!

Right, back to the kitchen I go!

Have a good weekend and enjoy the sunshine

~EarlieGirl

 

 

 

 

 

Earlsfield 2 Edinburgh

I’m backkkkkkk…. I’ve always wanted to go to Edinburgh and 4 years after moving to London I decided to make use of the domestic travel options and make a weekend of it. So for the May bank holiday weekend myself and my friend jumped on a plane after work on Friday and off on our #EdiGirls adventure we went.

Now in true #EarlieGirl fashion I had to make an itinerary to see what I could discover both from a culture, dining and social perspective and thanks to Time Out, I was able to track down some real Edinburgh hidden treasures to try out.

We kicked off the weekend on the Saturday with a trip to The  Pantry which I was super excited about as it looked from the website to be something right up my alley. It definitely lived up to my expectations anyway and the staff were super friendly. The décor was a mish-mash of every style which is totally rocking the brunching industry at the moment.

I wasn’t feeling very meaty that day so I opted for the “Vegetarian Anonymous” which consisted of mushroom, poached egg, tomato, guacamole full of coriander which I was impressed with, halloumi …. and hashed vegetables, forget the hash brown, we have discovered a new breakfast treat. This dish came in @ £8.50 which I reckon is similar to London prices.

I also grabbed myself a peppermint tea which I had to take a photo of as I loved the fact that it was served in a cup and saucer. Again, totally mish-mash and love those teapots too.

Keira had the traditional Eggs Benedict with ham – I bet your mouth is watering up now just looking at this dish. The thing I couldn’t get over was the fact that it was served with proper ham. She loved it, and this dish came in @ £9.00.

Total for the two of us was £20.50. Can’t go wrong for a filling brekkie, lovely surroundings and friendly staff. I was nearly tempted to grab -a-cake-and-go on the way out, but I stopped myself. I loved the way it was displayed – forget the tags, all you need is a work surface and some white chalk.

So on the itinerary for the rest of the day included a free walking tour from Justin the kilt wearing Scotsman who swore a lot – but we weren’t offended. We learnt a lot of random facts that day. We stopped off for some snacks and shopping :O throughout the day.

That evening we ventured back up to the Royal Mile for Edinburgh Pub Crawl which was led by Justin again. For £10 it was such a laugh, venturing onto 7 pubs and ending up in a club. It was a nice way to socialize in the city. (Although, we didn’t get home until 5.30am AND by the way McDonalds closes at 3am (FYI)).

The next morning, we had planned to climb up to Arthurs Seat. Yes, slightly hungover as you can imagine but that didn’t stop us. Well, it kind of did, in the sense that we had to stop off for some good auld hangover food at The Southern where I was nearly tempted to try Haggis BUT with this hangover slightly looming over me I didn’t know how  I would react it to the taste, so I opted for the venison burger with sweet potato fries. The burger was topped with brie, and it absolutely hit the spot for exactly my state of “belly”.

After fueling up with carbs, we made our way up to Arthurs Seat, where, I will not lie, we nearly turned back and at the beginning took some trial routes to get our blood pumping because when you are at the bottom looking at the amount of steps you have to climb it can be quite daunting – well for me anyway, who isn’t exactly a gym bunny.

We did it though, we made it to the top and it was absolutely worth every step and out of breath moment as the view was stunning from the top, windy, but stunning!

We managed to make it back to the apartment just before the legs fell off us. But there wasn’t much relaxing as it was shower and get ready to meet a cousin of Keira’s for dinner at The Kings Warks, which was another one of my finds on Time Out and it had recommended that it was popular with locals and “clued in tourists” (I feel so special). I was brave and decided to try the Haggis, Neeps and Tatties and I was not disappointed it was absolutely amazing. It was served with pepper sauce, and it was the perfect compliment. I drank with red wine. I was so engrossed in my own food that I forgot to take pictures of the rest, but it looked just as good. I indulged in a sticky toffee pudding with custard for dessert which I literally scoffed within 5 minutes, it was so good.

After diiner, we ventured up to Panda & Sons which was a recommendation given to us and it was so cool in there. It reminded me a little of Nightjar in London.

With these cocktail places, you always have to try something different from the standard Mojito so my first choice was a Petal to the Kettle which was so tasty that I knocked it back a little too quickly.

My second option was a little bit tooooooo strong for me as it was a whiskey based cocktail but the presentation was really cool as it came out in a glass birdcage filled with smoke and guess what is was called – Birdcage Cocktail. A very enjoyable experience overall.

On our final day, we got up and headed towards the Royal Mile and picked up a cake from Patisserie Valerie so we could munch on later in the afternoon up at Edinburgh  Castle where we had a lovely time walking around. It cost £16.50 to enter, and is it worth it? not really, but you cant go to Edinburgh and not go and see the castle and the jewels so you know it all weighs up really.

All in all, I LOVED EDINBURGH, and I will be back… but for now, back to #EarlsfieldLiving

~EarlieGirl

 

 

 

 

M1king It!

I have this “London Eateries” list on my phone which is always there at the back of my head going “pick me, tick me off”. I had read a review on timeout awhile back about M1LK and therefore it went on my “list”, however I have heard that it’s quite manic on the weekends because it’s so popular sooooo…. In conjunction with taking a “me” day from the real world I decided to pop it onto my agenda for today. I decided to walk from Earlsfield to Balham to work up the appetite which when I arrived, I was definitely ready for some good food. Even for a Monday, there were a few people in there and I just about managed to grab one of the last tables which was free.



It is quite a small place but personality oozes from wall to wall! Menus were dropped down and when I was ready to order, I had to pop up and order from the till (and as an FYI, it’s a cash only system so make sure you pop to the ATM before you arrive)

I decided to go for Sweet Maria (corn fritters) with a side of field mushrooms and black cabbage, along with a skinny cappucino!



Sweet Maria: £7.80 (sweetcorn fritters, hallouimi, avo, kasundi, lime)



field mushroom

black cabbage



I was actually blown away by the flavours which the combinations together brought. Ohhhhhh my goddddddddd! Although the sides were pricey (for me anyway) compared to the portion size at £2.50 each, by God they tasted so good!!!

This was washed down nicely with a skinny cappucino… (proper barista coffee …. It’s a real cappucino)



I was absolutely stuffed so I couldn’t bring myself to indulge in some of the treats laid out in front by the till, but I did manage to fit in a pot of peppermint tea (loose leaves) which was gorgeous!

I was able to sit and relax for a couple of hours and read my book but I can see how you would be even lucky to grab a table at the weekends , and I doubt a lot of novels are read in that space of time!

Total Order:

  • 1 x Skinny cappucino 
  • 1 x peppermint Tea
  • 1 x Sweet Maria
  • 2 x sides

Total Amount Spent: £17.80

Happy Camper = 👍 (I am glad I got to tick it off my list and I have to say it was worth the wait)

If you are around Balham, then go try it out… And it’s only a 42 minute walk from Earlsfield. *public transport also optional 😉

~Earlie-Girl

Totally Scoffed It!

It’s officially springtime and back to the routine of “healthy eating” and “healthy living” ….. Come on…..Who has stuck to their new years resolutions anyway? Unless it’s… Have more fun, eat more food!
Catch up required with some of the girls and so, at the recommendation from a friend of a friend… along with “You must get a table under the tree” we booked in for a Brunch date at Scoffers on Battersea Rise in Clapham Junction (only 15 mins on the no. 77 bus from #Earlsfield).
First Impressions: Cosy!
As I was a few minutes early, I thought perfect timing for me to soak up the atmosphere “under the tree” with a very strong (brownie points) skinny cappucino.

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This gave me plenty of time to read the menu and the offers……and to change my mind from Avocado Heaven, to Veg. Breakfast to Buttermilk Pancakes to Avocado Heaven to…. Well, you get the picture right? Spoilt for choice! When the girls arrived I had made up my mind and said #FatDay we’re going for the PANCAKES! So the order from our table was as follows:
-Buttermilk Pancakes with bacon & maple syrup x 2 (£8.95 each)
-Eggs Florentine (£9.50)
-Avocado Heaven (£8.95)

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It is a fair statement to say that everyone on our table was clearly satisfied with their choices as we all had near to empty plates. I have to admit I couldn’t finish my pancakes but only because… Did you see the size of the portion served up in front of me? #EyesBiggerThanBelly moment!

The bill came to under £60 with optional service charge of 12.5% included which for 4 dishes and 6 beverages, I feel was very reasonable! Definitely happy campers leaving and it is somewhere I will definitely be re-visiting.

Also, something enticing was their “We Love SW11 Neighbours Card” which allows you to redeem some Thursday night offers along with some others including:

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Now if that doesn’t convince you to go……. then….well, I just don’t know actually!

Until next time, Carry on Scoffing!

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~Earlie Girl

Ladies Tea @ Orange Pekoe

To beat the January blues a couple of the girls and I decided we would glam it up a little and embark on a ladies day adventure….. We wanted something localish and not too expensive as we are all suffering from the empty pocket syndrome after Christmas festivities! Sometimes these afternoon tea experiences are over priced with tinee sandwiches and overrated cakes! Orange Pekoe was a lovely find and for only £19.95 per person we were spoilt rotten with with choice.

The Traditional Afternoon Tea Menu included:
-A delicate assortment of freshly cut finger sandwiches.
-One plain or sultana warm scone, served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve.
-A slice of cake of your choice from the cake counter.
-A pot of tea or cup of coffee of your choice.

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We had the slot for 2 hours and in that time we were able to enjoy the selection of food put in front of us!

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I opted for the Carrot Cake on cake selection and it was so yummy and fluffy!

2015/01/img_9760.jpg I must admit I was pretty full half way through however I was determined to eat every last bite on my carbohydrate overload day! From the sandwich selection I was intrigued by the cucumber and mint selection, something different for me anyway! It was super yummy but then again everything was!
It is located on the Main Street, with the nearest station being Barnes Bridge, however if you are silly goosing like me, then you’ll be walking about 15 mins from Barnes station which to be fair was nice and refreshing however I had planned on being lazy that day!
I would recommend to those who live around west and south west (from Earlsfield, usually should take only 25 mins to get there) to try it out if you feel like a little treat or if you have visitors around, rather than trapsing in central for an overpriced version!

The Lodge

Winter is definitely and truly here with the Christmas trees, lights and markets appearing, but least not forget the pop-ups!
We seem to have cabin fever this year with a number of cabin/lodge themed bars, restaurants popping up to say Hello and no better than our truly beloved Timeout to give us the low-down of what is happening in town, and more importantly for me, what is happening in south-west London.
So this week on Timeout, there was a section on “Peak Pop-Ups” and The Lodge was featured in the Alpine Pop-Ups!
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Not actually realising that one of my friends had tried to make a booking for our secret santa party, (party of 12) back in October, I mentioned to my group of friends that I was going to pop along for a “sconce” to see what it was like. Being reminded that it was fully booked out up until Christmas, I decided to chance my arm and hope for a booking for two. Luck was on my side, and I managed to get a cancellation booking for Friday, 5th of December. AMAZING!
So, off we went on Friday, to try out Balham’s little winter wonderland. Unfortunately, due to Christmas-Lb-Awareness, I couldn’t go for full hog, starter, main course, dessert, cocktails etc. We did however indulge in the Deep South Egg Nogg (A naughty yet nice rich Egg Nogg laced with old Forrester Bourbon, Mozart Dark Chocolate Liqueur and cardamom)

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The menu was so tempting and I saw the fondues and various other dishes come out which looked so enticing, especially the Curried Parsnip and Pear Soup served with Mini Bhajis and Crusty Bread (£6.50)
On our Health-Kick mentality… come on… It is after all only 19 days until Christmas like, We went with:
1 x Scallops with Carrot Puree, Maple Pancetta, Hazelnut Crumb, Truffle & Beetroot (£8)

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2 x Neal Yards Cheese Board served with celery and grape chutney (£8)

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CAN I JUST SAY………………..WOW!
The Lodge itself is very small, cozy is how you would describe it, which replicates the cabin feel so I can see why they are fully booked out until Christmas (But fear not, as the pop-up will be around until early February so there is plenty of time to get your hands on some Neal’s Yard Cheese)

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The decor is authentic cabin decor, with old school ski’s hanging from the wall’s and ice-skating boots cleverly decorating the ceiling lights.

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As for the staff, they were very welcoming, smiling all the time and handled the endless amount of walk-ins (which were all turned away) with good manner.
A party of around 10 were sitting by our table allowed me to nose in on the dishes they were ordering and the Fondue looked amazing along with the ice-cream dessert (seriously bringing back childhood memories) with a little sweet shop type help yourself brought along to the tables. (FOOD ENVY)
After a few more Gin & Tonics and Cozy Chats, we asked for the bill which came to a Total of £54.00 which was very reasonable in my eyes as mentioned before we had 1 Starter, 2 Cheeseboards and 6 alcoholic beverages.

Definitely worth a visit if you like cheese and cozy atmospheres but would recommend getting your booking in NOW if you want to get a table before February.

It’s been “Lodged” in my mind now!

Earlie~Girl

Oh, Take me to the Chicken Shop….

Wow can’t believe it’s been a month since my last #EarlsfieldLiving blog post.. I have to admit though I haven’t been out of the blogging world completely though as I have been doing the NaBloPoMo during the month of November (National Blog Posting Month)
Anyway enough about that, time to move on and tell ya’ll about some chick chick chicken!
About 2 weeks ago I was reading Timeout and Tooting was featured, mainly the Broadway as this seems to be the new up and coming area.. and it highlighted a few of the key favourites, The Castle, Apollo Banana Leaf, Tram and Social…..and hang on wait a minute… Chicken Shop… what’s this?

I must admit, the whole thing with chicken like Nando’s etc. has grown on me over the last year – when I first moved over 3 years ago, I was like what’s the big deal Londoners? But, I must admit, I have fallen victim to the Chicken Craze now!

So, Timeout said…..”You can pick up a classy bird for less than a tenner at the ultra-hip Chicken Shop” ….. Well ok then, if you insist!!

Brinnnnng, Brinnnnnnnnng “Guys, we are going to the Chicken Shop!”

So, I went last night. We got there for 6pm (and I think this was the perfect time to arrive, if I do say so myself)… As when we were leaving at 7.20pm, The place was jointed, as in…. People waiting at the bar with drinks, people standing by the door with drinks.. and people outside, having a snakey cigarette whilst waiting! Now, you can eat at the bar, with a view of the chicken spit roasters, and the heat and atmosphere is great with a bottle of Camden Pale Ale in one’s hand!!
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We only had to wait 5 minutes for a table out the back, and this was because I was waiting for my 3 other guests to arrive… once seated, we ordered pretty much straight away (The hosts were very attentive and on the ball with clearing plates and making sure we had everything we needed, but not in an “In your face” kind of way!)

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From the suggestion of our host, we ordered:
2 Whole Chicken’s (£15 each)
1 side of corn on the cob (£4 each)
1 side of Butter Lettuce and Avocado Salad (£4 each)
3 sides of crinkle cut fries (£4 each)
1 side of Coleslaw (£4 each)

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Now, what’s the verdict…. Genuinely… You want my honest answer?

It’s the best chicken I have ever tasted… Now that’s a statement right?

But I am serious, this chicken was just “oooohhhh sooooo goooood”, so tender and the flavour was just uhhhmmmmm hmmmmmm!! They also have accompanying sauces of BBQ and Hot Sauce, which are also so tasty!

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Our total bill was just under £80 for 4 persons, including service charge and 4 alcoholic beverages! £20 each, you can’t complain!!

So, Earlsfielders, if you haven’t tried it out then get up (I recommend around the 6pm mark as highlighted earlier) to Tooting and start clucking! #EarlsfieldMeetsTooting

If you are venturing outside south west, then the Chicken Shop also has locations in Kentish Town, Holburn (newly opened), Whitechapel & Chicago (If you really feel like getting away)

Earlie~Girl gives Chicken Shop 5 *’s!

Now, Let the countdown begin for Xmas!! 🙂

See you around,

Earlie~Girl

Dare I say…. South West Meets West?

I have a confession………… I cheated on Earlsfield this weekend… #facepalm! 🙈 I know I know… I was meeting a friend who lives in the EAST SIDE 🙅 and we compromised on West, as we planned an outing to the Museum of Branding, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill (W11). We decided to lunch at Nama, a vegan restaurant in a lovely little area within Notting Hill territory! Now, Myself and MVA are not Vegans by any means but we are massive foodies, and the whole concept of tasting the flavours of raw food enticed us… so upon us the #RawFoodLiving we embarked.. 20141026-172312-62592006.jpg

I am not going to lie, it took us a good half an hour to decide on what we would try and in the end because we wanted everything we decided to get 3 dishes and share. Seaweed Salad (£9) , Sushi Platter (12.50) and Zucchini Pasta (£11) along with an almond milk cappuccino and a green juice for myself.

Seaweed Salad: Wakame and dulse seaweed salad with miso dressing.

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Sushi Platter: Kohlrabi ‘rice’ , ‘roasted’ asian mushrooms, peashoots, carrots, spinach, cucumber and avocado, rolled in nori sheet (seaweed), served with a sesame dipping sauce and salad.

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Zucchini Pasta: spiralised zucchini noodles, served with a Pomodoro sauce, sun dried tomatoes, marinated mushrooms, caramelised onions and olives.

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It looks yummy doesn’t it? Well I can confirm, it tasted as yummy as it looked. The seaweed salad being my fav. Even a couple of girls sitting alongside side of us butted in to ask what it was, (The seaweed salad) so they could order it…. and order it, they did!

When we asked for the bill, it arrived and we noticed that it specified if you downloaded the app Zapper you would get £5 off your first bill and so we did exactly that…. If you don’t have the app, download it now, it’s actually pretty cool – you add your card details and electronically send payment without using card machine. You can also split the payment. Really cool – Check it out!

Nama foods also offers raw food cooking/prep courses so it’s something to look at if you are interested in the whole vegan sector. Even if you aren’t a vegan like myself, it’s a good experience to trick your brain into thinking you are eating CHO like the Zucchini pasta etc.

Back to #EarlsfieldLiving now, but remember lets keep it green!!

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~Earlie Girl

Annyeonghaseyo Cah-Chi

I’ve been away for a few weeks and so feeling like I haven’t blogged in forever, made it my mission to get something into the diary. With one of our friends just moving to Earlsfield (powers of persuasion) we decided to grab some dinner (like popping into sainbos for a sambo we can just grab dinner on the high street…… Just like that!) without making a night out of planning intensively!!

I’ve never tried Korean food before and I didn’t know what to expect but I had heard from a number of locals that it was amazing… And I have to admit from the moment we walked in until our departure it was like we were royalty…(ok I am exaggerating slighttly, but still…)

So of course we had to get a bottle of wine 😇 and what I hadn’t realised was that it is BYOB so that’s a bonus for the next time!

The menu has a wide selection of interesting dishes from rice, noodle, soup and stew dishes to the BBQ. The BBQ menu is what the restaurant prides itself on and each table is set up to accommodate this. You choose your meat (On this occasion it was duck and pork belly) and then the next thing your server transforms the table into your a mini kitchen but you aren’t cooking (obviously)

While we were drooling over the menu (not literally now, come on), trying to decide what to get, our server came over with some complimentary dishes (Nice touch), which included sticky soy beans, boiled egg yolk in soy sauce and spicy courgette and red pepper… Random selection but Yummy flavors!

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After some “ummming” and “ahhhing” decisions were finalized…From the menu we had:

Appetisers:
Kan-poong-gi – sweet and sour pork Korean style
Moon-o-ball – octopus ball with teriyaki sauce
Goul twi-gim – deep fried fresh oyster served with thick soy sauce

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Mains from the BBQ:

Sam-gyub-sal – grilled pork belly served with sesame oil and salt
Ju-mul-luk – tenderloin marinated in sesame oil and garlic

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Sides:
Mi-yeok salad – wet seaweed salad with spicy lime dressing
Sang-chu and pa-sengs-che – fresh lettuce and seasonal spring onion served with misp paste
Bab – steamed rice

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The girls got the BBQ and I opted for a couple of starters including the wet seaweed salad, octopus balls and deep fried oysters (obviously I was craving the ocean last Saturday night). I have to admit the octopus balls (don’t worry it was just the shape of how they were served) were a bit weird on the taste… I still don’t know whether I liked them or not… But everything else was spot on!

The Service:
They have it down to a tee in there. When you arrive you are served with wet towls to freshen up… the magic in it being they come out looking like mints and then they pour water into which they expand ( like a magic trick – “I’ve got the magic in me”)
I was asking what everything was (so I would have it all for the blog) and they were happy out explaining everything. 👍
On our departure they walked us to the door and gave us “Call again now” mints (Kate and Wills have nothing on us Earlsfielders😜)

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The overall bill came to 25 quid each, this was including our alcoholic beverages. For the BYO, there is a one-off charge of 4 quid. Will I go back there? Hell Yes!!!

Before you ask, the website is maintained but you can find menu’s online… if you are curious like.

~Earlie Girl