Butchies Buttermilk Chicken Burger – Red Market, Shoreditch

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Sorry folks! Junk has been too obsessed with her underwater hobby to eat much, let alone write recently. Luckily, managed to dig out some pics from an outing a few weeks back with Boom so shall attempt to trawl through my memory of what was on offer.

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Heard about Red Market from the foodie grapevine but did not managed to visit last year. So when I heard they are back this year, dragged Boom who just works around the corner for a recon. See! We were so unfashionably early that the sign to the market was still being painted!

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The night we were there, the follow outfits were present, Deshi Roti, Mei Mei’s Street Cart, La Casa Del Burrito, Bare Bone Cue, Last Gelatiera, Butchies and Dough Brothers. We did have the Hoisin Duck Jian Bing from Mei Mei’s Street Cart but once again both Boom and Junk committed the carnal sin of food bloggers. Thou shall not eat before thy snap! But from what I recall, we both enjoyed the Chinese crepe though we both felt the hoisin sauce a tad sweet.

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Next, we decided to give the Buttermilk Chicken Burger from Butchies a try. Also threw in a portion of twice cooked chips to share. If I recall, the burger was £6 while the chips were £2.50.

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The twice cooked chips were pretty good, cut from fresh spuds and served with chipotle mayo. Unlike frozen chips, they have the earthy spud taste. Sorry! Pic taken after half the portion was consumed.

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We both enjoyed the burger! Deep fried chicken thigh marinated in buttermilk with bacon and lettuce, dressed with chipotle mayo and guacamole, stuffed into a sweet toasted brioche bun. Total yum!

More picture taken of the market, enjoy!

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Red Market SS14
288-299 Old Street
London EC1V 9DP

 

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Homemade Ramen Burger – Chez Boom

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With the recent trend of hybrid foods like duffins and cronuts making the news, the one that took my fancy is the Ramen Burger. Seeing that Go Ramen! is really making a name for himself with it, thought I give it a try to see if the hype is of any substance.

The idea of using ramen noodles to form the bun of a burger is not rocket science. Back when I was in Singapore (Yes, back when policeman wear shorts!), Mos Burger, a Japanese burger chain already has a burger with a bun made from compressed sticky rice. Without stretching the imagination too much, it’s called a rice burger and is fairly popular amongst the rice eating population of Singapore. Yo! Sushi had a similar limited edition rice burger as well!

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After reading a couple of how-to articles, this was what I’ve done. First, cook the noodles as per instructions. I thought the bacon flavoured Bachelor’s Super Noodles will work well since it’s a burger. I know that the Bachelor’s noodles soaks up loads of water and is of a mushy consistency which will only help when it comes to forming the burger bun.

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Gooey mixture after adding 2 beaten egg as binding agent. Make sure the noodles have cooled down before mixing the egg or the egg might scrambled.

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2 packet of noodles into 4 portions. 2 buns for each burger. I used a mixture of tapas ramekin and cookie ring. Any round shaped container will work fine. I lined the base of the container with cling film to help with removing the noodle bun.

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Fold over cling film and weigh it slightly to help the bun firm up. Tuna tins were perfect as they are the correct size and not too heavy that it will sink into the mixture. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to chill and firm.

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Pan fry the noodle bun. Make sure you use a non-stick pan and do not turn the bun over till you are sure the bottom is well browned.

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Like this! A couple of heart stopping moment while trying to flip the bun.

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Made up burger. The rest of the burger were made up of typical ingredients, stored bought burger patty, caramelised onions, Kewpie mayo (keeping it Japanese), gherkin, raw chopped onions, sliced tomatoes etc….

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So how was the experiment, was it worth it? Taste wise, the noodle bun is slightly crispy on the outside and slightly mushy/chewy on the inside, much like the consistency of an okonomiyaki batter. Surprisingly, you can’t taste the strands of the noodles after pan frying. The bacon flavour of the noodles added a smoky taste overall and perhaps a better quality noodle odd to be used so it still retains the ramen identity.

The Boom was all carbed out after the burger and oven fries. He agreed with me that this was a fun experiment but overall just a fad.

Chez Boom
Somewhere in West London
Open 24/7
Strictly by invitation

Live from @truckstopLDN

OK people, not going to write much. Just showing all the trucks at Truck Stop and a couple of nosh pics I remembered to take before stuffing my face!

Enjoy!

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The crowd, all well behaved.

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Vanduke, brother truck of Naamyaa Cafe

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Engine, serving hotdogs.

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Yum Buns, we actually had 2 yum buns, a chicken and a pork but Junk forgot to take a picture. £3.50 each or 2 for £6. Highly recommended.

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Baba G, Indian food. I was tempted by the Bhaji Box which at £4 is a good option for sharing.

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Healthy Yummies, they were selling pan fried scallops in the shell. A colleague of mine tried it and she said it was good. Long queues though, be warned!

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Spit and Roast, the Tweet got the Poutin here. For £3.50, you get a big tray of fries topped with cheese curd and rich, full of umami roast chicken gravy. We were not expecting the gravy to be filled with shredded chicken, good thing though! The Tweet wolfed the whole tray down in a couple of minutes. Spudcaterian!

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Cheeky Italian, I think they were serving arancini balls and calzone.

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Gurmetti – Italian pork burgers

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That’s Bleeker St Burger! They won the Young and Foodish burger bash but I didn’t feel like burger today.

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Mama’s Jerk Station – Pretty self explanatory.

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Bell & Brisket – Salt Beef Bagel

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I got this from Mother Clucker. Wanted whole pieces of chook but apparently it takes to long to cook. So settled for cup of cluck. Nice!

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Anna Mae’s – Mac & Cheese. I was truly tempted but the stomach protest

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The bar! The booze!

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Original Fry Up – Typical fry up, All Day Breakfast

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Daisy Green – Frozen Yogurt

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Shawarma Shack – Kebabs

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Fishdog – Coley fish fingers

Anyway, time to get sloshed, over and out!

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Truck Stop
Somewhere in Canary Wharf
Do buy tickets in advance to get tokens for 2 drinks!
@truckstopLDN

 

Hot Dogs – Street Kitchen@The Miller, London Bridge

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Boy! These dogs are really hard to come by! Took me 3 attempts to The Miller before I could lay my chomps on them. In all, I guess it was worth the effort.

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Apart from wandering down mysterious lanes and alleys in search of interesting grub for lunch, I also resort to Google maps very often to find any potential outlets to try. The Miller was one such place. Located around the Guy’s Hospital vicinity, I would probably not find it in my wanderings. The Street Kitchen is in resident whipping up some mean dogs and reading other reviews, decided to give it a try.

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My first visit was a pure recon mainly to check out the vibe of the place. So ended up having a pint of cider and reading the menu. Loved the way they named the hot dogs after dog breeds and both the Boston Hound and Bull Mastiff looks to be potential junk candidate.

A couple of days later, managed to knock off work early and feeling a tad peckish, thought I give the dogs a go. Lo and behold! There is no food service between 1500-1700hrs. Had to settle for a bag of crisp and another pint of cider in the beer garden.

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Junk is nothing but tenacious! So another couple of days later, managed to drag Tweet along to give the dogs a run for it’s money and finally managed to score proper. I went for the Boston Hound, hoping that Tweet will get the Bull Mastiff but yes, as usual he went for the virgin option, the American Pitbull. The Boston Hound with more topping cost £7.50 while the virgin American Pitbull was £5.50. Also threw in a portion of Skin Chips with Rosemary Salt for £2.50 to share with the portion of slaw on the side that comes with every dog.

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Starting with the chips, we both enjoyed this a lot for its “rustic” character. This is not the on trend double/triple cooked chips so common nowadays but a totally different creature. Reminds me of when I was a kid, and my dad attempts to make french fries by simply cutting up spuds with skin on and frying them in a wok. Leaving the skin on and slow frying the chips gives it an earthly yet sweet undertone. So much so that the Tweet thought perhaps some of the chips were made with sweet potato.

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According to Tweet, he enjoyed his American Pitbull especially the snappy texture of the smoked pork sausage and the long strings of crispy onion. He thought I might find the ketchup too sweet but he was ok with it. I’m surprised he did not complain about the cucumber slices as it’s not his fav. I think being pickled and with slight hint of dill cut down the bitterness that he associates with cucumber.

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As for me, I did not enjoy the texture of the sausage as much. The snap of the dog was fine but I don’t like how some smoked sausage becomes slightly dry and “waxy”, much like a salami. In contrast, the thick slice of pork belly was heaven! Soft, tender, smoky, melt in your mouth and was perfect with the veg accompaniments. The only disappointment was the small bits of what I think are pork crackling. I was expecting much bigger pieces but these are more the size of bacon bits, feels like an after thought.

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In all, we both enjoyed our meal and also the ambiance of the pub with its lovely beer garden and kooky decor. I might just make it my local office pub.

Street Kitchen
@The Miller
96 Snowsfields Road
London Bridge
London SE1 3SS
0207 402 2690

Maryland Buttermilk Chicken Burger and Samurai Fries – The Drift, Bishopsgate

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Today’s lunch venue was purely a result of assumption. Assume = makes an ASS out of U not ME. Well, one of my favourite sayings came back to haunt me today!

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Was suppose to have lunch at The Slug and Lettuce between my office and Boom’s as I have a 25% discount food voucher if I use my new contactless debit card. Unbeknownst to me, the branch I chose is right smack in front of the Gherkin and was jammed packed came lunch time. Not wanting to fall back on high street chains, the Boom and I decided to give The Drift at the Heron Tower a try.

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I have been to The Drift’s sister bar The Folly on it’s opening bash and was impressed by the party thrown with free food and drinks for about 3 hours. I got pretty smashed that night if I recall but have not been back since. Another thing that left an impression was The Folly was refreshingly decorated with a shabby chic vibe, homely but ever so slightly opulent. Compared to her sister, The Drift has a more utilitarian decor but still impressive nonetheless.

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The main eating area is on the upper floor which has views into the open kitchen. View from the upper floor to the bar area is pretty impressive as well.

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Had a moment of indecision after checking out the menu. Should I go for an Asian style salad or should I go for something else. The one thing that caught my eye was the Maryland Buttermilk Chicken Burger and with Boom and the waitress breathing down my neck to get my orders in, I committed. Also shared a side of Samurai Fries with Boom which was ample for the two of us as the Boom lashed out on a double cheeseburger. Final bill with 2 pints of soft drinks came close to £40! Well, I’m not complaining as I’m not paying!

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Was disappointed with the Samurai Fries as I was expecting the katsu curry sauce to be served on the side. It would seem that the fries are tossed with the sauce prior service. The thin coat of sauce was neither here nor there, I wouldn’t have known if not told. I can understand the fries will be soggy if too much sauce was added but at least serve some of the sauce on the side. At £4.25, the portion size was ok, but still feel it’s a tad on the steep side.

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So did my Buttermilk Chicken lived up to the expectation? Unfortunately not! The batter was nice and crispy and kudos to the chief that it was not oily and the chicken breast was not dry. The problem was the batter seriously lacked seasoning! I can’t taste the tartness of the buttermilk at all and it was totally bland. I think someone forgot the salt, let alone the  herbs and spices I was expecting. The pitiful squirt of mayonnaise on the buns did not remedy the failure and I had to resort to ketchup to save the day. The saving grace was the nicely toasted brioche bun but still not worth £9.95.

In all, I think it’s all style but no substance. Nice enough place for a pint or some cocktail but don’t count on the food.

The Drift
Heron Tower
110 Bishopsgate
London EC2N 4AY
0845 468 0103

Gourmet Hotdog – The Picture House, Stafford

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This was a lunch stop on a recent trip out of the big smoke and have to say what a gem Tweet and I managed to find. The original scheduled stop was another couple of hours away and we both didn’t want to have lunch at 4pm in the afternoon. So made an impromptu stop at the next closest town on the motorway with absolutely no idea what we will find.

The only thing we know about Stafford is it’s famous for Wedgwood pottery. Lately the high streets of small towns are blighted by pound shops, charity shops and payday lenders, was not surprised Stafford suffered a similar faith. Fortunately, the town center has enough distinctive architecture to make it not as depressing as the some of those we have been.

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So while walking down the high street looking for possible lunch location, came across this Wetherspoon pub and took a punt knowing the food though not out of this world, the price will definitely be a bargain. What we saw made our jaws dropped!

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Apparently, this is an old cinema which Wetherspoon had taken over and remodeled into a pub in the 90s. The building kept the old style ticket booth and also has weekly movie nights where punters are encouraged to dress up in the spirit of the movie on show.

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The interior of the pub was equally impressive. The moldings on the ceiling was probably as per how the cinema had it and the full length bar under the movie screen was a fantastic showcase. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Anyway, seeing it was a nice day, we headed out to the beer garden which is above a small river, or should I say canal. If you don’t fancy the intimate lightning in the main cinema hall, the beer garden is a good alternative.

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Enough ambiance gawking,  on to the food. As you can see from the menu, there were many deals to be had. From 2 for chump change to meal deals with drinks.

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The last time I went to a Wetherspoon, I missed out on the hot dogs so I decided to go for the Gourmet Hot Dog with an alcoholic drink which set me back £6.95. Look at the size of the dog and the generous chips and onion rings! Not bad for £6.95 eh?

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Taste wise, have to say I was disappointed. The frankfurter was missing the compulsory snap and the filling was slightly too mushy for my taste. The chili and melted cheese helped the lackluster texture of the hot dog to be let down again by the baguette. It’s a hot dog and thus it should be soft and fluffy hot dog buns. I have nothing against baguettes but the crunchy crust and chewy texture is just wrong and makes the entire thing hard to eat.

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Anyway, at £6.95 with a pint of cider, can’t really complain especially when it is served in such an unique location!

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The Picture House
Bridge Road
Stafford
Staffordshire ST16 2HL
01785 222941

Fish and Chip – The Crown at Bray, Bray

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Had some spare time during the weekend and decided to go on a small excursion. Have been exploring the small villages and towns where I live and this week, the plan was to checkout Marlow then eventually ending up in Bray for lunch. The weather being pissy, did not managed to explore much of Marlow after all but did managed to have a constitutional walk along the river at Henley.

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Wanted to make lunch reservations at The Hinds Head but they were fully booked! Noticed there is a new addition to Heston’s empire just down the road from The Hinds Head so decided to book a table there instead. According to Wikipedia and the pub’s site, Heston bought The Crown at Bray in 2010 and I think it makes sense. Imagine if I am the proprietor of The Crown at Bray, how on earth am I suppose to compete with Heston? As for Heston, another joint in the village serves to cater to the spillage from The Fat Duck and The Hinds Head which was precisely my situation.

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The pub itself is small, dark and slightly claustrophobic with the low dark beams. Luckily, we were seated by the window and was bless with some sunlight.

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I was toying between the Roast Chicken Breast with Confit Chicken Leg or the Fish and Chip. But £18 for chicken? I pumped for the fish while Tweet being his usual boring self went with the Longhorn Cattle Burger, with cheese of cos! The Fish and Chip was £14.75 while the burger was £12.50. Pretty steep I think but it’s Heston!

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So was the food worth the price and Heston hype? Let’s start with Tweet’s burger. The burger patty was nice and thick, cooked to a nice medium and juicy with a strong chargrilled, smoky flavour. The brioche bun it was served in was well toasted and not the sweet kind which is a good thing. On the menu, the burger was served with chips and it turned out to be the french fries kind. Nice and crunchy but not as nice as the triple cooked chips that came with the Fish and Chips.

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One to my choice. The fish had a nice light batter, perhaps slightly too oily but was crispy and tasty. The fish itself was moist and flaky, not sure what fish it is though, don’t think it’s cod? The minted crushed peas was refreshing but I could do with a bigger portion. The homemade tartar sauce went very nicely with the fish. The star of the dish was the triple cooked chips! They were so good that the Tweet kept swapping his french fries chips for my version.

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As you can see from the total bill, it was not a cheap lunch. During the meal, the Tweet and I discussed the premium one has to pay to get good food. My opinion is that I don’t mind paying slightly more for well cooked food but somehow, I feel that the quantum of improvement on taste most times does not justify the price premium you have to pay. Don’t remember whether the Tweet concurred, but then again, he eats to live while I live to eat!

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The Crown at Bray
High Street
Bray Maidenhead
Berkshire SL6 2YE
01628 621936

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P/S: Not that I have been, tried to make reservations several times but no luck. At least I managed to take some pictures of it!
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