Pop up’s have become the new ‘MacBook’ in the world of foodies – It is cool to visit a Pop up instead of fine dining. I feel it’s a great thing because good food doesn’t always have to be Michelin star, I actually prefer a tasty meal than a beautiful looking meal and guess what going to a Pop saves you a ton of money too (Its cheap). The idea of Pop ups is definitely something I strongly support, I plan to start my own Street Food Pop Up sometime soon (watch out ;p) especially after visiting a few around London – Inspired and Motivated!
Yesterday I was invited by the lovely Miss Cakehead (Emma) to try out one of London’s most exciting food Pop Up – Death by Burrito at The Candlemaker. Death By Burrito are making waves with their contemporary Mexican street food – hotdogs, burgers, unique Sunday specials and, of course, burritos. They started off at the hipster capital of London (Shoreditch of course) and now moved to the posh end of South London – Battersea! Very Cool, I say!
When I heard of The Candlemaker, the first thing I thought was where does the name come from and then Freddie, the manager who also resides just above the pub explained that it is inspired from the candle factory which operated for over a hundred years in nearby York Road. The bar has colourful pop-art and psychedelic imagery which gives it a very retro feel – Not your regular English Pub!
I had a great evening with a bunch of London Food and Drink Enthusiasts, there were not many of us but then Emma said she believed in quality over quantity (I love that I am considered as quality – woohoo). We were greeted with a refreshing lemon Margarita – an alcoholic slush with tequila, lemon juice and mints. I definitely needed it after a long day at work (yes, I have a full time job besides blogging) and you can see how much I enjoyed it from the photograph below.
While we sipped on our cocktails and Modello (which was the choice of beer offered, I switched to it after my first cocktail) we were served nachos with guacamole. I loved the fact that the chef had added pomegranate to the avocado – very hipster! The pork belly and kimchi tacos followed soon after, which was quite a hit with the photographers specially because they looked absolutely stunning! When you are out for a meal with food bloggers, the unsaid rule is – you don’t pounce on the food before everyone has got that perfect photograph (for instagram and twitter ofcourse). The Baja Fish tacos followed soon after (my favourite of the lot) and this is something I have never had before – battered fish with tacos! You should definitely try it at home next time because its ridiculously simple to make but very contemporary at the same time (I definitely will try it at home soon). The (not so hot) chicken wings were also a big hit amongst everyone only till the REAL hot wings came – boy they were hot! Well I didn’t bother trying them after looking at the man who did manage to eat all 8 (which was the challenge) – he looked like he just got dumped, never seen a face as red as that. Finally we were served the mini burgers (which is the most popular thing in their menu) and people did get down and dirty so much so that we all started discussing the famous sexy (read provocative) burger commercials. My favourite one definitely is the Western Bacon Burger commercial with super model Padma Laxmi (It is one of the most viewed ad on youtube).
After feasting and drinking for a good 2.5 hours I was a happy girl with a full tummy. I would definitely recommend people to try out this awesome Mexican Pop up, but if you are not a fan of Mexican food then you should definitely visit The Candlemaker its an awesome pub with really friendly people!
Verdict : Great food , lovely ambience and amazing people!
You tweet a photograph and win a 3 course meal from Zomato – Yes Please! As a food blogger I do get invited to loads of places but having a sharp tongue I can’t always say that all of those experiences have been good because lets face it sometimes the food can be pretty bad – trust me even free food can taste bad! But the good news is Notting Hill Kitchen was definitely NOT amongst one of those – this Spanish -Portuguese restaurant definitely has made its way to my favourite places to eat in London.
Tucked away in the posh neighbourhood of Notting Hill it gives you a very exclusive-romantic feel specially with the candles and lamps which you can see from a distance while walking there. It is definitely a great place for a date – not the first date, because its too expensive for that (That is what my date told me ;p) but if you want to really impress someone then you know where to go – wink. I really want to meet the person who selects the music there because they clearly know what they are doing – making you feel relaxed, comfortable and takes you to a very Spanish beach restaurant mood. It is instrumental with a bit of a beachy vibe, loud enough to appreciate it but soft enough to not overpower your conversation.
The service is great too, most of the waiters are Spanish so they definitely add to the charm – imagine a Frenchman or someone with a posh English accent in a Spanish/Portuguese restaurant it wouldn’t create the same magic, would it? They were very well trained and definitely welcoming – the manager was very warm and kept coming back to ask if the food was good and our lovely waiter was very sweet to create some banter with us even though he was quite busy. The bar tender (who btw is very sexy, long locks and the whole Johnny Depp look about him) made an effort to greet us and also say bye to us even though we didn’t order any drinks at the bar.
Finally coming to the food – my most favourite bit! Drool, Slurp, Nom nom nom…… Yes these are all the adjectives I am going to use as I am lost for words – okay I know its Cheesy (even though we didn’t have any cheese). The manager told us that the chef of this place has one Michelin Star – Now you know what kind of food to expect right?
We ordered the scallops and sea bass for starters and both of them were absolute delights, the scallops well cooked and the sauce with it was divine (I was really upset, as I finished it in less than 2 minutes). I went for the slow cooked lamb shoulder with herbs for my main course – the lamb was soft, tender, beautifully falling off the skin ’nuff said! And finally the desserts – ohh boy they were such a treat – it didn’t just look like a million pounds but tasted like a billion! I went for this cocolately treat which was made with white, milk and dark chocolate mousse – I think I am going to dream about it for the next few weeks! Finally we were served a red dessert wine – which was just like the cherry on the cake to end a purrrrfeecttt meal!
Verdict : Doesn’t matter what kind of food you like – You NEED to visit this place when in London!