Chicken Okonomiyaki and Salmon Soumen – Wasabi, St Pauls

image

So the weather was nice last week and being a tad bored at work, lured the Boom out for lunch. Knew he was probably suffering from a hangover from a drinking bash with his ex-colleagues the night before and thus would love the distraction.

image

After some discussion, decided to meet up at Wasabi at Paternoster Row near St Paul’s Cathedral. We have both tried making our own version of okonimiyaki the past couple of weeks and want to try Wasabi’s version to see how well we fared.

image

This Wasabi outlet is a bit different from others in that it also has a Hot Plate Station where they make okonimiyaki, yakisoba and omsoba. I have tried both the okonomiyaki and omsoba previously but that was a while back.

I got the chicken okonomiyaki which cost £4.95 while Boom got the seafood version which was £1 more. In line with my 2 course lunches, also added a Salmon Soumen to my order which at £2.95 is a rather good deal! With a bottle of green tea at £1.95, grand total was £9.85.

image

So how was the pancake? Was it as good as our homemade version? Though it was filled with cabbage, I think the batter is missing the starch component which will give the pancake a slight sticky consistency. The Boom was very happy with the amount of seafood in his pancake while I was slightly disappointed with the few bits of chicken breast in my. Overall, the portion was very generous and we were overwhelmed after 3/4 way through the pancake, the sweet teriyaki sauce did not help the situation.

image

I really enjoyed the Salmon Soumen though, the rice noodles in a light but tasty broth with bits of salmon and fresh veg was a good contrast with the rich pancake. At £2.95, it works perfectly as a side dish to any of the main meals at Wasabi. I will definitely be back for more in future.

Wasabi
Unit 6 St Martin’s Court
Paternoster Row
London EC4M 7EJ

 

Advertisements

Sushi Takeaway Dinner – Tsuru, Bankside

image

Heatwave! The past couple of days, the weather has finally taken a turn for the better with bright sunshine, nice cool breeze and plenty of flabby, pasty looking skin on show. With the weather forecast not looking too great for the weekend, thought I tempt the Boom with a cold sushi dinner tonight and in exchange, he sponsor the booze. As usual, when it comes to food, the Boom is always keen.

So took a walk to Tsuru at Canvey Street, Bankside and bought a collection of sushi bento boxes for dinner. The last time I wrote about Tsuru, it was the Chicken Katsu Curry and I have yet to try the scotch egg version which I’m told by the Yank that is fab. I’m hoping that of the boxes I have picked up, it will match my expectation. Run down of what I got:

Edamame with Chili – £1.95

Potato Salad – £1.95

Prawn and Sashimi Salad – £5.95

Salmon and Tuna Box – £6.95

Tempura Prawn Maki – £4.25

image

Compared to Wasabi, not exactly cheap with the total at £21.05 but as dinner for 2, I think it’s not half bad. A quick run down of what I think of the items.

image

The Salmon and Tuna Box and the Tempura Prawn Maki were pretty nice, the fish was fresh and seeing that the Tempura Prawn Maki was premade, was not expecting it to be crispy. Not blow your mind fantastic but not too bad either. Perhaps it might be slightly overpriced?

image

Both the Boom and I enjoyed the Prawn and Sashimi Salad. There is a tendency for rice to be dry or bland but the rice in this salad box was a joy! Moist but not mushy with scattered sesame seeds throughout, we were happy to just eat the rice on it’s own.

image

I bought the Potato Salad on a whim as I thought the presentation was rather quaint, molded into 2 quenelle shaped lumps. This is not the Western potato salad one would expect. It’s more like a colcannon, mashed potato laced with chopped onions, chives and carrots. Interesting but it needs more seasoning.

image

There seems to be a fad to spice up the humble edamame recently. Was at another Japanese restaurant just last week and apart from the normal version with rock salt, there was a kimchee version which turned out not half bad. Unfortunately, the Edamame with Chili was not well received. Generous lashings of what I think was shichimi togarashi seasoning was added to this version and the taste of raw chili overtook the freshness of the bean completely. Boom also thinks the beans were under cooked while I think it’s just because they are served cold.

In all, it was an alright dinner but I think what I bought today is better off served as lunch.

Tsuru
4 Canvey Street
London SE1 9AN
0207 928 2228

Chicken Ramen and Hosomaki Set – Deli Mama, Eastcheap

IMG-20130412-delimama_lunchA colleague from the US office was in town this week for work and I was asked to take a walk with him for lunch today. He had a couple of things he wanted to buy which took us across the river. Seeing we have made the trek, decided to go by my regular haunt when I was based out in Monument.

image

Deli Mama is located around the corner from the Monument and is an independent Japanese/Korea takeaway joint ran by a team of Korean staff. There is a range of hot dishes which you can have with either rice or noodles at the steam tray counter.

image

Or you can also pickup tubs of udon, ramen and a selection of bento boxes and sushi set from the fridge units. As you can see, the selection is pretty good and all pretty affordable.

image

I decided on my old favourite which is the Chicken Ramen where I got the spicy broth added when paying at the counter. Also added a small box of Hosomaki Set. The ramen was £5.80 while the Hosomaki Set was £3.75.

IMG-20130412-delimama_chickenramenAs you can see, the noodles is not exactly ramen but more like the korean ramyun style instant noodles. Other condiments in the noodles includes bean sprouts, shredded carrot, big bunches of coriander and sliced up fried chicken breast. I highly recommend you top up the container to the brim with extra hot water as the spicy broth has a tendency to be pretty salty. perfect comfort food on cold wet days.

IMG-20130412-delimama_hosomakisetI really enjoyed the Hosomaki Set. There are 2 Gunkan style sushi, one topped with chopped salmon and mixed pickles while the other is with a smoked mackerel salad and fresh cucumber. The one in the middle is a inari pocket with tuna mayo and pickled ginger. The last two are normal nigiri with cooked prawn and fresh salmon. Strictly speaking, these are not Hosomaki as they are the small skinny rolls but I will let that rest since they were really fresh and tasty.

When the weather gets better, I will be sure to visit Deli Mama more often. The quality and price of the offering is worth the trek!

Deli Mama
2 Eastcheap
London EC3M 1AA

Salmon with Beetroot Risotto – Chez Boom

image

Do any of you have a prejudice against some food? I know of some people who rather than say what they don’t eat can only state what they do! I despise fussy eaters… I’m not so bad as being Chinese, we are known to eat anything but I do have stuff I try to avoid and beetroot is one of those food that I am adverse to. As it is, I don’t have a sweet tooth and the fact that it stain your hands…. yeeee….

Anyway, saw this recipe on the Food Explorer booklet from Westfield London and was seduced by it’s vibrant colours. Thought it will work well when done at Chez Boom’s seeing the lighting at his place washes out all colours. Also curious as to how risotto made with pearl barley will taste like.

image

So the ingredients include (clockwise from left), ready to eat beetroot, fennel bulb, an apple, salmon fillet and pearl barley. Not included in the lineup shot are black olives and fish stock. Decided to add some leftover black olives which Boom have hanging around from previous day’s dinner thinking the black will contrast nicely with the red risotto. A copy of the recipe is also available here.

image

So you boil the barley in the stock till tender and all the liquid has been absorbed then you added in the pulverised beetroot. The barley took close to an hours to be ready which is a tad long but good as unlike risotto made with arborio rice, you don’t have to stay and stir.

image

About 10 mins before the risotto is done, stick the salmon fillet into a preheated oven. Instead of thyme, I topped the salmon with stem of the fennel bulb crushed with some salt and pepper. Waste not want not!

image

The fennel and apple salad was straight forward, I pimped it with sesame seeds, sesame oil and chili flakes for an Asian touch. Worked out pretty well, good contrast with the rich risotto.

image

Viola! Have to say this was a great success, the pearl barley was smooth and creamy yet still retained a bit of bite. The beetroot gave a slight sweetness and also thickened the risotto. The addition of black olives apart from bringing more colour, also countered the sweetness of the beetroot while the fennel and apple salad gave the dish a refreshing edge.

Will definitely try other risotto versions with pearl barley in future!

Chez Boom
Somewhere in West London
Open 24/7, 365 days a year
Strictly by invitation
Only for the worthy