Fade Street Social

You know when it’s getting to mid-week point and you are starting to “fade” well to be a bit more “social” I decided to do a mid week dinner to mark a friends belated birthday and so went to my faithful “eateries to do list in Dublin” and made an executive decision of a Fade Street Social booking.

Something new, something different and something central.

Fade Street Social by Dylan McGrath offers the Gastro Bar, the Restaurant and the Tapas Bar (which is a very smart move… why? because you have to go back and try the other two right?).

My first impression was “WOW, This is MASSIVE” and rightly so, finding out afterwards it setting is in a 8,000 sq. ft. space.  This time round, we booked into The Restaurant (yes, I will be going back) and was pleasantly surprised at how busy it was for a Wednesday evening.. (I must have got the memo this week) but can’t complain because it’s always a good sign.

No messing about, just a quick dinner .. you know yourself.. WINTER IS COMING.. it’s all about the cups of tea, pjs and hot water bottles so the order matched our hearty winter appetites of lamb, rabbit and a sirloin steak.

Wicklow Lamb (€27)

The Wicklow lamb came rump style and was basted in barley and thyme. Ordered a side of “spuds” (€5) (creamy mashed potatoes) to soak up the jus

Da Rabbit (€24)

The rabbit leg was braised with a white wine sauce served with smoked bacon tarragon and onion, this dish came with the spuds, delish!

Wexford Sirloin (€32)

The steak was cooked medium/rare and came with hazelnut beurre noisette and chervil .. of course what do you get with a steak, big fat chunky chips (€6) (OBVS)

The Restaurant was full of “natter, natter, natter” which I love when dining out, it reminds me of NYC feels. At one point, I couldn’t help but nearly involve myself at another table because I spotted pizza type dishes, and they looked delicious. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was drooling on the spot, at that exact moment. (Again, I reiterate, I will be going back!)

The staff were really friendly and came up enough times not to be annoying, the right amount of service-balance. When I made the booking I had mentioned it was for a birthday and without any hint, hint, nudge, nudge… sure didn’t they organize a little “Happy Birthday” dessert for my friend which really topped the icing on the cake, and sure he was only delighted with life, haha!

The only thing which I noticed, and this is me being very picky now, was on our drinks order. From the time we ordered, to when we received, it was about 20-25mins (at, which point I had forgotten I had ordered a drink) so that’s the only thing, but it won’t be stopping me from going back.

Great food, great staff, great vibes

Verdict: Earlie-IMPRESSED

Now, I am craving more winter foods!!!

Earlie-Girl

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Dozo Great

I’m an avid sushi fan and having read timeout top picks a few months ago, dozo was featured as a must (locations at South Kensignton and Soho) and it went straight on the eateries list. I am actually one of those people who could eat sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner however one must have will power. 

So on Friday myself and my brother decided to have a family night and head for sushi. From the moment I walked in I knew I was going to enjoy it as there were plenty of Japanese people eating there which is always a good sign. When the locals eat there, you know you’ve done a good job.

So I went for Wakame (seaweed) I can see some of my friends pulling an eugh face however I absolutely adore it.  

 I also picked from the dozo roll menu and went for sea pearl Maki which consisted of Tempura batter, seared scallop, crabmeat, cucumber, saikyomiso yuzu, mayonnaise. 

 my brother went for the bento box where he tried the mixed grill box in which he got to sample some eel which surprisingly tasted like salmon … I had to have a nibble!

The bill came to £27.50 each including drinks which is a bit on the pricy side but it was definitely worth the visit.

~EarlieGirl

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

 

 

 

 

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

Say Who? Say What? … The Earlsfield

The new kids on the block have arrived and damaging for me………. Wait for it…. they are located right across the street from me. (Will power to stay away from the pinot grigio has completely gone out the window, literally) Anyway, The Earlsfield opened up to the lovely public on Wednesday, 17th September after months of rumors, humming and hawwing and just the standard living of Earlsfield curiosity. What’s more exciting  is that they are run by Cattle Grid owners. SCORE. JOB. WOOHOO.
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I was fully certain that I would not be tempted to pop over before I headed away on my holidays (today) but OH NO,  the first night of opening up to the public and at around 10pm I practically jumped out of my window…. That would have been a funny sight! I just couldn’t resist it any longer and darted over with a friend for a nose and obviously a glass of wine. Sure it was Wine Wednesday after all. And how glad I am I went as I was super impressed.. I hope nobody noticed but I was wandering around like a little kid in Hamleys! I love the fact that it has 3 dimensions to the whole earlsfield experience – So in my opinion,  we’ve got the Quiet zone, (calm neutral colours), the Happening  zone (main bar, lots of space, good view of the kitchen) and the Travelling zone (which connects on to view of Earlsfield railway station and is the main eating area).

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It was lovely taking in all the surroundings and the bar staff seemed nice and friendly….. Ok, Book us a table for the following night then :). We had a birds eye view of the kitchen and the food that was coming out just looked absolutely mouth watering.

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Fast forward 24 hours and I am back in same place… treating myself to.. What was that?..another glass of Pinot Grigio (Oh screw it, I am nearly on my holidays) and this time we are indulging the food menu too. OH MY DELICIOUSLY GOD……….Ok so here is what we had between 3 of us:
Starter: Vegetable Samosa

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Main Courses: Tuna Nicoise, Crispy 5 spice belly of lamb (both salads) and half rack of ribs

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Desserts: Sticky Toffee Pudding and Spit roasted caramelised pineapple pavlova 
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Seriously, I hadnt been this food happy in months – it was absolutely scrumptious! Even on their second night of service, it was pretty
much flawless, you can tell there is a system already in place. Staff were lovely and atmostphere was so relaxing and I have to admit, pretty reasonable prices for top quality food with a twist! We stayed until close as the atmosphere was so relaxing and we were nattering away! I am definitely coming back to celebrate my very late birthday…Any excuse eh?
But for now, I’ve got to catch a flight, off to the station.. Which way Earlie~Girl?

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