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

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Penang Beef and Ginger Chicken Noodles – Bangkok Kitchen, London Bridge

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Had to make a trip to the Post Office during lunchtime today so decided to pickup some lunch from the Bangkok Kitchen food truck parked just outside the Post Office.

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I have blogged about Bangkok Kitchen not too long ago and if I recall, I thought the food was ok and definitely value for money. There was a couple of people before me in the queue today and I managed to pickup some ordering tips from the gentlemen. The menu say all dishes with rice and noodles for £4.50 but was not specific on whether it’s one dish or you can have a bit from the options available. The gentlemen in front of me asked for 2 dishes with noodles and he only paid £4.50 and I decided to do the same.

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Not that there were options galore  As before, there were 3 choices and today’s were Red Chicken Curry, Penang Beef Curry and Ginger Chicken. I chose the Ginger Chicken as I don’t want 2 curries and went with the Pad Thai noodles instead of rice. The Penang Beef looks suspiciously like the Red Thai Beef Curry I had previously but I went for it since I don’t want to end up with 2 chicken dishes. I also added a Vegetable Spring Roll for £1 and went a bit overboard with the chili sauces as I always do.

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I won’t say much about the Vegetable Spring Roll as it’s just what it is. Packed full with a mixture of glass noodles, cabbage, carrots and black wood ear mushroom, it seriously lacked seasoning. Luckily, sweet chili sauce is included which solved the taste issue. For £1, can’t complain.

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It would seem that unlike Singapore Noodles which does not exist in Singapore, Penang Curry exist in Penang! Compared to last time, I think I made a much better choice this time. The beef in the Penang Beef Curry was tender probably due to the stewing process. The Ginger Chicken was the surprise dish for me. It taste strongly of ginger in a good way and was made with chicken thigh which I preferred over chicken breast. Apart from chicken, the dish also had slices of capsicum, onion and button mushroom. The Pad Thai noodle was ok, perhaps a bit mushy and too tangy for my taste. Do take my comments on the Pad Thai with a pinch of salt, I have never liked Pad Thai in the first place so am probably biased.

Bangkok Kitchen
Next to London Bridge Post Office
19A Borough High Street
London SE1 9SF

Lamb Biryani and Hot Wings – Hot Munchies, Southwark

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Received some comments from a regular reader of my blog saying that my posts have gotten less “junky” recently. Looking at my recent entries, he might be right and decided to try harder to return to my usual gluttonous ways. Made an effort to track down some low brow food today and remembered this small little shop under the train track bridge on the way to work.

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Hot Munchies is located in the least expected place, under the bridge that trains travel into London Bridge Station. Unlike those posh restaurants, bars and galleries under the bridge near Waterloo Station, this is a small little shop selling run of the mill kebabs, burgers, fried chicken etc. The shop’s only neighbour is a private cab office.  I would usually give such places a miss but the poster with biryanis and curry rice caught my attention. At around the £4 mark, it’s pretty affordable for this area.

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Of the 2 biryanis and 4 curry rice on offer, I went with the Lamb Biryani at £4.30 and added 5 Hot Wings for £1.70. Alas, no longer in Brick Lane, no more 4 Hot Wings for £1.

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The Hot Wings were pretty ordinary, could be more crispy but at least they were not dry. Do help yourself to the various sauces available at the counter. My concoction of chilli and garlic sauce went very well with the wings.

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For £4.30, I was not expecting much from the biryani and thus I was pleasantly surprised that it was pretty tasty. There were quite a few tender lamb pieces which I thought was generous. The rice was spiced with the usual cardamon, black pepper pods and cloves and not too oily. The curry sauce with bits of carrots, peas and onions went very well with the biryani.

In all, I enjoyed my attempt to be more hardcore junk today. Perhaps I should try harder again next week!

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You’d thought they would notice the typo!

Hot Munchies
30 Southwark Street
London SE1 1TU
0207 4070691

Thai Red Beef Curry – Bangkok Kitchen, London Bridge

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Had to run an errand and a trek to the Post Office was required. Remembered there was a small food truck next to the London Bridge Post Office and there a long queue the last time. Asian food stores with long queues always piqued by interest.

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Scoured around on the interweb, realised that the Bangkok Kitchen food truck is the offshoot of a small takeaway joint in the Southwark area which I came across during one of my walks around the area. This food truck only opens from 1200-1400hrs and all dishes are £4.50 served with either rice or noodles.

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There were 4 steamer trays on display today and I think there was a normal stir fry chicken, a Thai Red Beef Curry, Thai Green Chicken Curry and the last tray was filled with pad thai noodles. Chicken is not my meat of choice so beef it shall be! Well, at least I hope it’s beef 🙂

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Like Mama Thai, you can help yourself to the condiments on offer to customise your meal to the way you like it. Chose from crushed peanuts and a few different chili sauces. They were thoughtful enough to provide small containers so you can keep your condiments separate from the main meal. I really appreciate such small gestures, its the little thought that counts!

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So at the bargain price of £4.50, was the Thai Red Beef Curry any good? I have to say that it’s not half bad. The curry was thick and rich with coconut and spiced generously with star anise and kaffir lime leaves as well as the usual culprits that makes up a Thai red curry paste. On the veg front, you have big slices of green capsicum and crunchy green beans. Like the fact that the veg are not cooked to a mush. Both the beef and rice portion were more than generous and the only complain I have is that the beef was a tad chewy. Then again, you pay for what you get; don’t expect top grade filet steak at £4.50.

Bangkok Kitchen
Next to London Bridge Post Office
19A Borough High Street
London SE1 9SF

Mixed Pasta – Caffe Fratelli, Clink Street, London Bridge

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Though it’s Friday and Borough Market will be in full swing, somehow did not feel like getting lunch there. Passed by this cafe while walking to work and the offering looks good enough for a try.

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Caffe Fratelli is located next to the Clink Prison Museum and just around the corner from Borough Market. The cafe is bright and spacious and is a good place to rest your feet after sampling what Borough market has to offer. Looking at the signage, they serve both breakfast and lunch with the typical pasta and toasted sandwich varieties.

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I decided to have a mix of the Pesto Farfalle and Chorizo Penne. By itself, the farfalle would have cost £4.40 while the penne will be £5.55. I was charged the higher of the two which I didn’t really mind.

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Have to say I was disappointed with both pasta. The sprinkling of parmesan on top of both pasta melted and congealed by the time I’m back in office and stuck all the pasta pieces into a big lump. Though the farfalle is the right shade of green, there was hardly any taste of pesto and the pasta itself was tough and gummy. The penne fared slightly better. The tomato sauce is the right side of tangy while the small bits of chorizo is smoky and provides some chew as the penne in comparison was way over done.

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Seriously felt cheated having to pay £5.55 for it. Maybe the Chicken Escalope flatbread might salvage my impression of the place. But I doubt I will be back anytime soon.

Caffe Fratelli
Victor Wharf
Clink Street
London SE1 9DG
0207 234 0000

Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad – Rosie Tate Cafe, Southwark

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Refusing to accept that my lunch options is only confined to the vicinity of Borough Market, I went for a short walk yesterday when the sun was out. Started walking towards Tate Modern but not along the river banks and came across a rather new commercial development with the typical high street eateries but also some independent food outlets. My urge to blog has been ignited again!

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The Jubilee Line was delayed today due to some person stuck between the platform and the train at London Bridge. Wonder how that could happen as there is a glass gantry which separates the platform and the train at London Bridge. Anyway, London Bridge station was thus closed and had to get off one stop earlier at Southwark. Knew I will pass by Rosie Tate Cafe on my walk to the office and decided to grab something for lunch.

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The cafe is very spacious with separate chillers for sandwiches, pick and mix salads and prepacked lunch boxes. Of the lunch boxes, there is a choice of Chinese rice and noodles,  Caribbean style rice and choice of meat, some rice and curry as well as a range of salads.  They are all reasonably priced with the rice and noodles between £4 – £5 while the salads cost slightly less. I decided on the Mediterranean Chicken Pasta Salad which cost only £3.25! Bargain!

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The fusilli pasta is lightly dressed with a pesto dressing and it is topped with shredded cheddar cheese, some black olives, cheery tomatoes, some shredded marinated chicken, rocket and a veg stew made up of courgettes, aubergines and mange tout. The portion was generous but to be honest, the salad is just what it is, nothing special. But for £3.25, how could you complain?

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Rosie Tate Cafe
19 Great Guildford Street
Southwark
London SE1 0HS
0207 928 9100

Pork Ramen – Wagamama, Clink Street, London Bridge

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Today’s post might not to everyone’s liking since I’m going to blog about a High Street joint. There is a Wagamama just around the corner from work and I was starving and craving for something nice and warming. Sorry if you’d thought I sold out.

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With the recent ramen craze sweeping major cities around the world, London is in on the act as well. Recent openings like Tonkotsu, Ittenbari, Bone Daddies and Shoryu were all blogged to death by regular food blogs. I did try out Tonkotsu with high hopes but sadly they were dashed beyond oblivion. Understand that Wagamama revamped their menu slightly to jump on the ramen bandwagon so thought why not give it a chance?

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Decided to go with the Pork Ramen seeing it’s supposedly new on the menu. Also gave myself a treat with a side order of Tori Kaarage, for those of you not in the know, tori = bird in Japanese, i.e. Chicken Kaarage. Also added some sliced red chilies as I can’t live without heat! The ramen was £8.50, the kaarage was £4.85 while the sliced chilies were £0.70. All in lunch was £14.10. Service was not included and since the servers were all very attentive, I dropped £16 when the bill came. Junk deserves a treat sometimes.

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I was glad I gave this a go! The Tori Kaarage had a very crispy and well seasoned coating of batter which has seaweed mixed into it. Unlike most places, the kaarage were truly bite size pieces, like the popcorn chicken from KFC. While the size is convenient for popping into your mouth, I think there is a higher tendency for some pieces to be dry as the size means the moisture in the meat is more exposed to the heat. The dipping sauce that came with it complimented the kaarage well, a mix of soy sauce with some chili and garlic. Recommend that you squeeze some of the lime juice into the dipping sauce to give it a tangy edge.

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On to the Pork Ramen. Ok, I really pimped this up with the chili oil and shichimi togarashi provided. On hindsight, I could have saved £0.70 for the sliced chili since the complimentary condiments gave me the heat I wanted. Pimping aside, the miso and chicken broth was deep but not too coying, the noodles had a nice bite while still maintaining the fresh ramen texture, the menma, wakame and pea shoots added some crunch while the half tea stained egg could be marinated a bit more. But the true delight of this dish has to be the barbecue pork belly slices! The portion was generous, the belly slices were tender with melt in your mouth fat yet has the smoky and charred flavour typical of a good searing. Thought I died and gone to heaven.

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So in all, Junk was a very satisfied customer. Two thumbs up!

Wagamama
1 Clink Street
London SE1 9BU
0207 403 3659