Grilled Octopus and Bavette Steak – Chez Boom

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It has been a pretty good summer this year though The Boom and Junk did not have much luck BBQ wise. So, an end of summer BBQ do was due!

Junk having to maneuver her rump into town, offered to make some additions to Boom’s bavette steaks. According to the horse’s mouth, it was a rare cut at the local SuperM and 500g of cow for £6 was not half bad.

In the meantime, I was forewarn by Boom that whatever I managed to forage from Borough Market needs to fit well and proper on the BBQ grill, no fish baskets or the likes which means my catch needs to be big….OK….biggish!

Got the idea of Surf ‘n’ Turf in my head and off I went to….

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And this is my friend on the hot tube home!

Junk feels cheated! Count the feet….only 7? And this cost me £16+!!! At the very least, it has been gutted and cleaned. No possibility of an ink related incident!

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Recipes from the interweb all said to boil/stew the octopus for at least 45 minutes in a concoction of dry white wine and various herbage… or none!

Tossed in a handful of black peppercorn, bay leaves, few cloves of smashed garlic and a quartered onion.

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No white wine… so dry cider it shall be! Half a can…

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After 1 hour, what a beauty!

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Are you feeling the heat?

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How about now?

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Carved up…

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And served!

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I think I boiled the octopus a tad too much. Folks! Stick to 45 minutes instead of an hour!

Boom – Ease up on the steak marinade next time ok?

Chez Boom
Somewhere in West London
Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
Only 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

 

Bun Hue, Bahn Mi and Rolls – City Caphe, Cheapside

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I know this looks like a big lunch but I had a partner in crime for lunch today. Though I could happily finish everything if I wanted to!

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Was reading another food blog and there was a post about City Caphe which I realised is pretty close to where the Boom works while only a 15 mins walk across the bridge from me. When it comes to Asian food, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Thai food are pretty well represented in the City but not Vietnamese. So City Caphe is a much needed find.

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When the Boom and I got to the place, the queue was about 15 deep but it moved pretty quickly and we both got our orders after 5 minutes. Not such a bad thing to be in the queue as it gives you time to decide what to order. In general, the choices includes soupy noodles like pho or bun hue, vermicelli salad or rice with a choice of grilled meats, bahn mi filled with grill meat options and either fried spring rolls or summer rolls.

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The Boom went with a bahn mi with chargrilled pork (£3.50) and the fried spring rolls (£3.75) while I went for Beef Bun Hue (£6.50) and the summer roll (£3.75).

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The problem with eating lunch in the city is finding a place to sit. There are limited seats in City Caphe but as food were made to order, it was pretty stuffy in the shop. Most people bring their food back to the office but sometimes taking a break from the office setting relaxes the mind. Thanks to the Boom who found this peaceful and tranquil setting near the Guildhall.

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The Boom enjoyed his bahn mi. His one minor gripe is the bread could be lighter in texture.  Get the lady to go easy on the sriracha as Boom was scorched by the sauce half way through his sandwich.

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We shared both the rolls and Boom preferred my summer roll while I have yet to have mine as my Bun Hue was very generous portion wise, especially the thinly sliced beef. The fried spring rolls was served with a portion of nuoc cham while the summer roll was served with a different sauce.

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Once again, I’m always impressed when the herbs are provided in a separate container. In this instance, there was sliced chilies, basil and some beansprouts. I would have loved more beansprouts. Word of caution, for those of you who can’t take the heat, suggest you go for the pho rather then the bun hue.

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Cute pictorial to link Vietnamese words to the food it represents. Will definitely go back to City Caphe when I’m craving for soupy noodles.

City Caphe
17 Ironmonger Lane
London EC2V 8EY

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

ze Wilde Bock – Herman ze German, Embankment

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Had an offsite event work wise today and decided to take a quick 5 minutes diversion to try  out a joint which I had my eye on for awhile. Whenever I’m in the area, it was never meal time so today it’s the perfect opportunity as it close to lunch and Junk’s tum is rumbling.

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Herman ze German as you can guess is a shop specializing in all things wurst and I believe I saw something on the menu board that resembles a frikadeller though they call it a meat ball. From my time in Germany I understand that a bockwurst is boiled while a bratwurst is grilled. It would seem that my understanding is not entirely accurate. From the wiki articles, the difference between the 2 is whether it is smoked or not. So a bockwurst is the smoked weiner.

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Of the variety on the menu board, I went with the ze Wilde Bock which I felt had a bit of everything I would like to try. It had pomme frites (chips or fries for those of you not in the know), fried onion, the curry sauce which I went for burner strength (the hottest which is meh!) and I added some sauerkraut for 30p more.

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The ze Wild Bock was £4.95, extra sauerkraut for 30p and a bottle of sparkling water for £1.25. They really get you on the drinks don’t they? Without the liquid, I felt the meal was a pretty good deal for it’s portion size.

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I really enjoyed my meal! The pomme frites were lightly seasoned with a spicy salt and not oily at all as they are baked. The roll was light and crusty but not so chewy that it hard to eat. The bockwurst had a snappy casing while the filling was uniformly smooth. The smoky taste was what made it special and it went very well with the tangy curry sauce which I would like more off. The sauerkraut rounded things off perfectly with it’s fresh crunch and I appreciate that the cabbage is really thinly sliced, nothing gets in the way worse then a big hunk of raw cabbage.

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I’m glad I finally got to try this. Well worth the wait and diversion.

Herman ze German
19 Villers Street
London WC2N 6NE

Mixed Grill Platter – Cafe 1001, Brick Lane

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Some lunches are taken out of curiosity while others are driven by insatiable cravings. Today’s lunch was a result of too many meetings, not enough time. So I was involved in a release that did not go smoothly as well as back to back meetings from get go. Found myself only with 20 minutes to spare before my next meeting and it’s already way past lunch time. No meandering around looking for interesting bites today I’m afraid.

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Felt like a long time ago when I blogged about the Polish Sausage Baguette from Cafe 1001 on Brick Lane. Guess that being one of my first posts, it feels ancient but I have only actually blogged for 3 months. Anyway, thought I take some different pictures showcasing the BBQ area of Cafe 1001. The salad bar with the cash register and big tubs filled with Red Stripe and cider. They are also selling hot mulled wine since the weather turned cold.

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Look at the fat juicy sausages on the grill! Yummy!

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Menu of the BBQ. Was seriously tempted to get the Polish Sausage Baguette again but I know it will be a boring read for you folks. So made the ultimate sacrifice and went with the Mixed Grill Platter. At £6, I still think the sausage baguette is a better value.

The last time I had the Mixed Grill Platter, the chicken breast was plain, hardly any seasoning on it. I’m glad to see that they have improved things by marinating the chicken breast in a Cajun style marinade. Made a huge difference to the meal as now it’s not just simply a dry piece of chicken breast. As usual, the polish sausage was scrumptious, the crispy bacon bits went very well with the fresh salad. The only letdown were the potato wedges, they were dry having been resident in the oven for too long. I think they should consider marinating the wedges or at least give it a spicy salt coating.

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Cafe 1001
91 Brick Lane
London E1 6QL
0207 247 6166