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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Half Yard Hotdog – Cap’N Jaspers, Plymouth

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Muahahahaha! Talk about having a long one! Junk and Wallace bailed getting wet to sink their grubby gob on a supposedly club tradition.

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So was out at Plymouth on the first May Bank Holiday weekend hoping to have 6 full sessions of bubble blowing. But the weather did not want to play on the Sunday thus off to town we went.

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We were told by an ex club member to hit Cap’n Jaspers, a harbour side food stand and stuff ourselves silly on the Half Yard Hotdog, apparently the club’s tradition when they are diving at this neck of the woods.

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The menu consist of mainly burgers with various toppings and some hotdog options. Prices were reasonable and all made fresh upon order. The Half Yard Hotdog was £4.25. The Wallace and Junk decided to share the half yard hotdog thus making it a quarter yard each.

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After you get your order which was ran as a numbered ticket system, you get to load your burger/hotdog with a choice of condiments. Gherkins, tomato/corn relish, sweet chilli sauce, coleslaw and the usual sauces.

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The dressed hotdog. Boy it was long. Like cradling a baby.

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Junk’s portion. So how does it taste like you ask? Well, nothing fantastic really. Just a cheap sausage, freshly griddled and stuffed in a long soft roll. The condiments made a huge difference but it’s just what it was. Junk food!

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No doubt about it. It’s popular with the locals and tourist.

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Cap’n Jaspers
Whitehouse Pier
Plymouth
Devon PL1 2SL
Tel: 01752 262444

Singapore Laksa and Kway Teow – Chop Chop Noodle Bar, Kings Cross

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Oh no! Not laksa again I hear you say? Yes, Junk is almost addicted to the stuff and this post and next will be about one of my all time fav dishes.

So one day last week towards the end of the working day, I found myself a tad hungry and could not get the ideal of having a big steaming bowl of laksa out of my head. Started looking around on Google maps for any potential to appease my craving. Lo and behold! Found both Chop Chop and Hare and Tortoise outlets within walking distance from the office.

chopchopshopfrontChop Chop is a budget place serving a range of Asian/Chinese dishes. By budget, I really mean budget. One can have a starter, a drink and a main course easily under £10. Quality is not fantastic but portions are always generous.What the Boom might call, a reliable “Chew and Spew” joint. Apart from the outlet in Kings Cross, I know of one in Shepherd’s Bush and another near Fulham Broadway. There are many reviews complaining of rude or bad service which I have never encountered and I have visited all 3 outlets.

chopchopmenuOnce you are seated, you will be given a pen and a marking sheet with numbers representing dishes on the menu. Simply indicate the number of portion of the selected dish on the marking sheet.

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Of the umpteenth times I have eaten at Chop Chop, I have always told myself to try out some of their other dishes. But I could never tear myself away from their Singapore Laksa, it’s simply one of my comfort dishes.

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A bowl of Singapore Laksa at £4.90 (this have increased their prices over the years. I still remember when a bowl was only £3.90) will contain 3 good size prawns, maybe 5 thick slices of fish cake and a handful of fried tofu. The small plate of chilli oil in the first picture cost 50p more.

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They use thin rice vermicelli here and believe me, the portion is huge! The rice noodles are accompanied by crunchy bean sprouts all drench in a spicy, rich coconut milk based sauce.

Slurp, slurp, chew, slurp, there, all done!

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Also got a takeaway portion of Boom’s fav dish, the Kway Teow. This also cost £4.90 and I was intending to have it for lunch the next day as it was my WFH (work from home) day. Came the next morning, thought better of it and gave it to Boom for his dinner instead. What a nice person I am huh?

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So the Kway Teow is quite rightly made with thick rice noodles, prawns, char siew, fish cake, bean sprouts all stir fried with dark soya sauce. Boom told me the next day that the Kway Teow was a perfect cure to his after drinks cravings and boy was the portion big he said. The Boom don’t lie.

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Chop Chop Noodle Bar
1 Euston Road
London NW1 2SA
0207 833 1773

Sausage Roll – The Quality Chop House, Farringdon

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New location, new food adventures! For regular readers of my blog, sorry that I did not write much when I was based out at the Silicon Roundabout. I did have the aspiration to have a pho at every Vietnamese joint down by Kingsland Road but work and laziness got the better of me and I stopped after 3. Does not mean I did not eat lunch, just nothing worth much of a mention.

Today’s write up is more out of astonishment then it being a taste sensation. For those not as bright a spark, the title of this post reveals what is in the neatly packed parcel which cost a whole £4! Yes, it’s a humble sausage roll.

20131216-123049_Web_jpg_630x420_crop-center_q95I know many critics simply loved The Quality Chop House. Rave reviews abundant. Just google for it. Without a buddy for a sit down meal, thought I give the offerings at the adjacent shop a try especially I was peckish for a snack after my lunch. The big cuts of meat at the butcher looked promising and decided to give the sausage roll a go. Though there was no price listed, was expecting to pay say max £2.50 for a luxury version?

Had to take a big gulp when I was told the damage was £4! Four bl00dy f-fing pounds for a sausage roll! I kid you not, I got the receipt as proof!

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It’s not even a big sausage roll by any standard. The ones in Borough Market from The Ginger Pig were at least half a the size longer and were only £3 a piece I think. I usually use a packet of ciggies as the reference measure but don’t want to enrage the anti smokers lobby thus an Oyster card will do. * An Oyster card is the size of a typical bank/credit card.

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You know what? The taste of the sausage roll sure does not justify the price tag. Ok, it’s not a bad sausage roll, the puff pastry is light and flaky and the sausage meat filling was generous, juicy and well seasoned. Bits of green herbs were laced throughout the stuffing but for the life of me, I could not tell what the herbage was. Sage perhaps? Overall, a tad greasy but those of you health conscious peebs but still acceptable by my standards.

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But £4! I’m beginning to sound like a broken record. Especially when their lunch deal of a chop with a glass can be had at £15, something is wrong with their pricing. No wonder I was muttering under my breath on my walk back to the office cradling the warm £4 parcel.

Another pic for posterity!

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The Quality Chop House
90-92 Farringdon Road
London EC1R 3EA
Butcher and Shop: 0203 490 6228

Nasi Lemak and Curry Laksa – Woolfson & Tay, Bankside

A couple of post back, I promised to return to Woolfson & Tay to check out their Nasi Lemak and Curry Laksa when they are on the menu. True to my word, I managed to do both this week! Why the rush you might ask? Well, my stint in this part of town is ending soon so best put in the effort when there is still time. Not that eating some of my favourite food is much effort 🙂

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First up was the Nasi Lemak for Tuesday’s lunch. The topping option was Curry Chicken or Veg Curry and as usual, went for the half and half which cost £5.50. Also packed a portion for my Pinoy tester who was gamed enough to give this a try.

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The Chicken Curry like the Braised Chicken was made with chicken thigh pieces and was perhaps a tad too spicy for the typical Caucasian. The gravy was rich and thick with coconut milk.

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The Veg Curry was also pretty good with fried tofu slices, cabbage and other mix vegetables. What I loved about the Nasi Lemak was the small but very crispy Ikan Bilis which provided the crunch in contrasts while the humble slices of cucumber adds a refreshing note.

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Overall, pretty good. Only gripe would be that the rice was a tad mushy, especially after the gravy assault from the 2 curries.

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Next up, the Curry Laksa. Once again there was a chicken or veg option and yes, I went with half and half at £5.50. The Pinoy chickened out this time. Apparently her stomach said today is not a curry day. I was wondering how the laksa will be packed for takeaway, was half expecting those big soup containers but I think packing the gravy separately is a much better idea.

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The chicken comes in the form of a dry chicken curry, very similar to what was served with the Nasi Lemak.

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The same goes for the veg curry. Was glad that thick rich vermicelli was used, soft and silky, goes so well with the crunchy beansprouts and blanched green beans.

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Totally satisfied! I might just repeat the effort next week.

Woolfson & Tay
39 Bear Lane
London SE1 0UH
0207 928 6570

Braised Chicken and Veg Mapo Tofu – Woolfson & Tay Cafe, Bankside

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Another great find thanks to Twitterverse! Came across a tweet about this South East Asain Food Market which leads me to this bookshop nearby that also serves homecooked South East Asian dishes for lunch. Since it’s just a short walk away, off I went!

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Woolfson & Tay is a small independent bookshop with a even smaller cafe which also doubles as the cashier. There are 2 dishes daily, veg and non veg, £5.50 if you eat in and a discount of 50p for takeaway. If you are greedy like me, you can also have the half and half (i.e., half portion of both dishes) at £6 if eating in. Same discount applies for the half and half for takeaway.

I discovered this quaint little place on Thursday which was when one of my all time favourites, laksa was on the menu! But I bought my own lunch for that day so had to put my appetite on hold. I was so excited the next day that I was at the bookshop before food was ready, the glut, the shame…

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The setup for lunch service was the epitome of simplicity. A food warmer holds one dish, an electric pot holding the other with a rice cooker by the side. Shows you don’t require complicated setup to run a food business. As you can guess, I went for the half and half to go which cost me £5.50. The 2 dishes available were Braised Chicken in Spicy Bean Sauce and Veg Mapo Tofu.

My first reaction when I took my first mouthful was “this is homecooking, like what Mom would make”. Humble, simple and heart warming.

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Chicken thigh was used to make the braised chicken which I highly approved. The umami of the slightly spicy bean paste was offset by the freshness of the chinese leaf which accompanies the chicken pieces. Not unlike what I would cooked at home.

The Veg Mapo Tofu was equally good. Instead of minced meat, finely sliced green beans, baby corn, carrots, wood ear fungus and other veg was used. I like the idea of mixing both silken and fried tofu. Gives the dish another dimension in mouth feel.

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Can’t wait to see what’s on the menu next week! You bet I will rush there and report back on either Nasi Lemak or Curry Laksa day.

Woolfson & Tay
39 Bear Lane
London SE1 0UH
0207 9286570

Beef and Stilton Pasties – Polperro, Cornwall

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A few weeks back while the weather was still balmy, we went on a short weekend break to Cornwall. The Tweet has not tried living in a static caravan, let alone a touring park so I thought it’s a worthwhile for him to experience something which I think is quintessentially English. Went the whole hog and based ourselves at The Lizard which contains the most southerly point of the British mainland while we toured around the area. On the drive back home, we did an impromptu stop at the small fishing village of Polperro.

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One of the biggest gripes we had while driving around the area was parking, specifically not having change for the parking machines. Just look at how much they charge at Polperro! Take my advice, bring loads of coinage if you are in the area.

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While walking around the village, realised that we did properly ate of Cornwall’s famous food, pasty. I have always preferred the Steak and Stilton version to the traditional pasty so I went on the hunt for a couple of Steak and Stilton pasty as blog fodder.

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First stop is Tin Miners Pasty Shop which is located on the tourist trail from the car park to the harbour. I had high hopes for this shop as the pasties are baked in small batches in the oven behind the counter thus ensuring it is as fresh as it gets.

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Besides Steak and Stilton, there are many other varieties to chose from including vegetarian options. They even have dessert pasties! So wrong….

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The Steak and Stilton cost £2.65 and weigh 281g. The pasty looked well stuffed and the crimp is not too thick.

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Taste wise, I found this too salty. I know stilton cheese can be pretty salty but I don’t think the cheese is the culprit. Probably a heavy handed baker. The veg were cooked just right, not too mushy and while the beef was on the chewy side, it made a good contrast with the soft veg. Overall, this pasty would be perfect if it was less salty and had more stilton cheese.

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Next victim please! The Polperro Pasty Shop is also located on the tourist trail from the carpark to the harbour, nestled in amongst the row of shops on the left. Compared to the Tin Miners Pasty Shop, this looked more like your typical high street chain bakeries.

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There are also a variety of flavour option available and luckily, no dessert pasties! Phew… I was assured by the lady who served me that all the pasties are baked in the premise though I could see no oven. Probably at the back of the shop.

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At £2.85 and 331g, this cost slightly more than the Steak and Stilton from the Tin Miners. The pasty does not look as plump though it is heavier and it has a thicker crimp.

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Once again, the Steak and Stilton Pasty from The Polperro Pasty Shop was way too salty and I’m pretty sure the salt did not come from the cheese! The veg here was under done as I had to crunch my way though some of the spud bits. The beef was also chewy but somehow, the texture does not feel like unadulterated beef. It feels like beef that has been coated with corn starch, what you get from Chinese takeaways? The only good thing about this pasty is the stilton, here I can taste the cheese.

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It would seem that though I was in Cornwall, the best Steak and Stilton Pasty is still from the West Cornwall Pasty Company!