Monday, 23 October 2017

The Real Greek




Address: 96-98 Dulwich Village, Dulwich, London, SE21 7AQ

The Real Greek is newly situated in Dulwich Village, the restaurant chain has 10 outposts in London with 4 outside London, including: Reading, Southampton, Bournemonth and Windsor. 


The restaurant is located on Aysgarth Road and you cannot miss the white building with blue windows sitting pretty in Dulwich Village with plenty of outside seating. Once you step inside - you are greeted with a blue and white coastal theme. Bright and airy room with plenty of space, fresh lick of white walls, tables and baby blue chairs dotted around the restaurant. The surrounding colours and feel gives the aura of a sea side beach house.




The Real Greek boasts a relaxed Mediterranean experience of eating in Santorini. The menu can be described as an array of traditional Greek cuisine from Souvlaki Wraps and Mezes to share.


On arrival with my friend Sabrina, we were shown to our seats and given a run through of the menu. We were advised to pick 4 dishes each between us and share in a tapas like setting or choose from the set sharing menu. After careful consideration, we ordered the following: Houmous, Halloumi and Vegetable Skewer, Grilled Octopus, Pork Belly, Lamb Cutlets, Chips, Greek Salad and Loukaniko - Beef and Pork Sausage.





The standout dishes for the both of us were:-


Halloumi and Vegetable Skewer (nowadays I have become a big Halloumi fan and I order it where possible)


The Pork Belly was surprisingly good, it was slow cooked and marinated in paprika, oregano and red onion. We both really liked the flavours and cut of it. 


Loukaniko - Beef and Pork sausage, which for me can be compared to the spanish chorizo sausage. 


 The Grilled Octopus was crispy on the outside and tender and white in the inside. It was a little fatty but it was nice. 


he Greek salad was nice and what you would expect from a Greek salad, minus the olives as I am not quite a fan of those. The chips were also nicely seasoned.  


The atmosphere on the Sunday was extremely busy and bustling filled with families and couples alike. The Real Greek serve great tasting authentic food coupled with friendly, helpful service and was a great value for money.


*I dined as a guest at the Real Greek. All views and opinions are my own.


Pictures 1,2 & 3 are from The Real Greek 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Tia Maria + Coffee Project X Future Laboratory


Last month I attended Tia Maria’s Coffee project event in collaboration with Future Laboratory which took place at the hip and independent coffee shop in London’s Bermondsey called Chapter 72. The recently opened coffee and cocktail shop specialise in using award-winning coffee from roasters Extract to create cocktails such as decaffeinated espresso Martini, featuring one of the original 1980s ingredients, Tia Maria and Reyka small batch Vodka.


It was an evening of great takeaways from Future Laboratory’s Foresight Editor Steve Tooze sharing insights of current and future trends of the coffee and coffee cocktail culture. Research shows us that the coffee cocktail renaissance is set to explode with the perfect synergy of coffee and cocktail cultures. 

Discerning drinkers have been enjoying coffee cocktails since the Espresso Martini landed on the scene in the 1980s, but it only now the astronomical growth of the trend has really taken off. Waves of development in coffee have been echoed in innovations in coffee cocktails. Whilst driven by millennials aged 22-34 around the world, the trend has gained momentum. Also, this age group would like to see more coffee houses serving alcohol according to Mintel.

Alongside the impressive facts, We got to sample the Tia Maria cocktail menu which has a selection of new serves and with a hands-on masterclass with Tia Maria’s very own ambassador Stephanie Rainbow.


The Tia Maria showstoppers of the evening were the following:-

Tia Mint Frappe, Tia Mint Americano, Flat White Russia, Tia Cappuccino, Tia Espresso Martini, Tia and Tonic and the top Instagrammable one of them all the Iced popcorn frappe. My fav of the bunch was indeed the iced popcorn frappe for obvious reasons. Although, too much of these can have you bouncing off the walls.


With the guidance of Stephanie, I made the White Flat Russian which consisted of Tia Maria, Espresso, Jamaican Rum ( We used Appleton), Demerara, Sugar and fresh milk.




It was a fun and enjoyable evening of being able to explore more about the future of coffee cocktails culture and also taste the different Tia Maria concoctions of visual appealing drinks that work well in the area of advanced social media sharing. 

Thanks Tia Maria and stay tuned for my Tia Maria Bottle giveaway where I'll be announcing the details soon on my Instagram page.


Monday, 18 September 2017

Eats and Beats Supperclub



Two weeks ago saw the launch of Eats & Beats Supperclub, which took place in East London’s The Pillbox Kitchen in Bethnal Green. Eats and Beats is the works of friends and two lawyers Christina (who is also a CEO of events company Elevate Events) and Ranette (who provides private catering and has been featured by the Evening Standard 2016 and was the winner of the Guardian's Recipe swap in 2014). Both ladies love nothing more than joining forces and supporting local charities and entertaining.


The main initiative for the evening was raising money for GRIT formally known as Youth at Risk which undertakes commendable work to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK.



On arrival, there were smiling faces and I was greeted by Christina. I soon spotted the Mimosa bar which was neatly decorated - serving refreshingly good tasting mimosas in different variations. From the classic orange to pineapple to many others. You could also decorate your mimosa with adding in fruits of your choice. Once I arrived, I met Jen and her sister, who were the giveaway winners  of my Eats and Beat Supperclub giveaway which I held on my Instagram


 We soon found our way to our seats which were beautifully decorated in bold colours and beautiful flower centrepieces along with the menu for the evening. While the venue slowly began to pack up - DJ Incredible filled the air with old school riddems and current hits.


The host was the lovely Remel London of BBC 1xtra, she introduced the order of the evening and filled us with laughter. First of the live performances was Sharlene Monique - whose voice blew me away and I was impressed. She sang a song called Beautiful and it was very in need of today’s society.

Dinner began shortly after 7.15pm, first up was the Ackee and Saltfish Gyozas served with scotch bonnet infused coconut sauce and roasted sweet pepper sauce topped with crispy kale and nigella seeds. I was really looking forward to tasting this and it was absolutely beautiful. It was perfectly presented and the all the flavours worked well together on the dish. The scotch bonnet infused coconut sauce with the added addition of sweet pepper sauce made a nice warm compliment - perfectly for warming your cobbles on cold evenings or nights. It made a super and enjoyable starter. 


Next up on the performing was Kadina Kamara - again her voice was serene and soulful. For mains- we had the Turmeric & Thyme Mash which was served with sautéed savoy cabbage and Tandoori-style spiced chicken with green herbs and garlic sauce. Also served with Roti, this dish was the ultimate comforting dish - also the Turmeric and Thyme made a nice compliment to each other. It was very lifting and nourishing, The flavours of the tandoori spiced chicken were very flavoursome. 





Soon after Jolade did a spoken word performance of his love for hip-hop and it was dope. You had to be there to hear it, his verses were on point. A fantastic piece for the love of the popular music genre. 




A few other live performances by Jael and Adesayo were done. Although, I didn’t get a chance to stick around for those I am sure they were amazing. I had to make a quick exit - with that being said I missed the dessert. Judging by the below picture - it looked delicious. The dessert - Chocolate Cremuex with a cookie base, hibiscus (sorrel) spiced gelato, cocoa granola and pistachio cream.


Overall a very delightful evening for a great cause. It was an enjoyable evening. The atmosphere was just right and it was great to be in a room filled with greatness. 


 
Flyer/Food Shots: Eat & Beats
Pictures 2,3 & 6, 8, 10-12 are taken by Soulful Realist 
Other pics taken by me

Find more about Ranette via her blog - www.lovelorettaskitchen.com

Christina - Elevate Events

Grit is formally (Youth At Risk) - the website is under construction. They are on Twitter

Follow EATS & BEATS on instagram







Thursday, 24 August 2017

Pam Ban


Where: Camden Market, North Yard Chalk Farm Road London, NW1 8AH


Pam Ban cafe is the brilliant works of duo Mayhul Gondhea and Aruna Sellahewa, the Sri Lankan and Indian chai and coffee house situated in Camden Market opened its doors last month. The name Pamban comes from the island sitting right between India and Sri Lanka. Pam Ban is an exciting reflection of both the ethnic origins of the co founding duo and the meeting point of two distinct cultures. 


Pam serves its signature freshly brewed masala chai, rose chai, loose leaf tea, small batch coffee, and chilled dessert drinks such as Mango Lassi, Jaggery Milkshake, and Fulada.


For Eats - They serve a great selection of cakes, such as the Sri Lankan Love Cake - which is love at first sight that pairs wonderfully with a warm cup of tea or chai. They also serve hot food such as Pamban Rolls, which are delicious pancakes filled with chicken, mutton or veg, rolled then fried, provide the perfect snack, alternatively the London exclusive Lamprais, a Dutch-influenced Sri Lankan dish consisting of banana leaf-steamed spiced rice topped with slow-cooked curry.

Once you step into the beautiful space. you notice the stunning, striking and standout interior which is refreshingly simple, subtle, muted yet inviting. The building previously was a horse stable, while there are no traces of horses they have kept the structure of the building and you have beautiful exposed bricks, high ceilings, and large windows to allow in ample natural light. Space oozes a Swedish and contemporary feel, also dotted around is potted greenery, wooden tables with the cutest cork like stools (which are adorable to look at), plenty of table and chairs, also hanging daintily on the walls are contemporary paintings fitting to the brand and a Pamban selfie wall which you cannot miss!


Earlier this month I attended an “Invitation to a Masterclass in Chai” with a few other food bloggers. It was an intimate event to celebrate the launch of Pam Ban. On arrival, we were giving a run down of what would be taking place in the evening and greeted to a cute table set up with Indian sweets and nibbles. Soon after in a timely fashion, we got to try the various drinks offerings that Pam Ban serve on a day to day. Such as the Fuladas which is a rose infused layered summer dessert drink made with ice cream and rose syrup. Mango Lassi, Jaggery Milkshake, Red Cappuccino. We also got to try new flavors including Saffron and Lavender Chai - which both went down a treat. 

After the drink tasting session, we headed to the espresso counter where we meet with the barista who talked us through the various coffee processes which Pam Ban does use their organic beans coffee (supplied by Beanberry) and velvety Estate Dairy milk to create an unrivaled coffee offering. We also were given a fascinating demonstration about the temperature and precision of filtering the beans and shown how latte art is done. Pam Ban works closely with a selection of artisan suppliers in the UK, Sri Lanka, and India, a selection of chai-related merchandise and brewing equipment as well as handmade clay cups and Sri Lankan tea will be available to purchase from seasonally-changing product collections.




Before the evening drew to a close we got to take part in the Chai making master class where yours truly took part alongside Miriam of London Kitchen Diaries to make our very own DIY version of Chai. Presented in front of us was an array of ingredients such as turmeric, nut meg, cinnamon, ginger to name a few. 






For my blend, I went off the beaten track and used Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Anise. I also followed instructions by the hosts and added in water left that to boil (Now I must say my blend looked like a chicken curry - all you needed was a chicken breast in there and sorted! LOL) After adding the loose tea bags, continuously stirring and adding in milk and leaving to simmer - My chai was made - It was full of rich aroma from the turmeric and cinnamon - It had a warm yet subtle and velvety texture to it. It will make the perfect Chai during the Christmas season.



Pam Ban is not only great for great tasting Chai and Coffee. But it's a place which can double up as an events space too. Expect in the near future various events taking place at their lovely venue. On that note, Join them for their first Pam Ban Sessions: Live Acoustic Music on 31st August. For more information check HERE





Monday, 14 August 2017

The Adult Playground by 9NINE




Last month saw a first of its kind a 2-day adults playground pop up by Super Seed brand 9NINE which took place in London Fields, East London. It goes to show that playgrounds are not just for kids anymore, grown ups should be able to take the weight off their daily lives, play on, join in the fun and increase their happiness and well-being. (just like in the good ol days)


The adult playground was designed strictly for grown ups in mind complete with an adult sized slide, jumbo swings, super-sized see-saws, fireman pole, climbing areas, monkey bars and ball pits.The concept of Play is nothing new – it has helped to form the society we live in today and provides anticipation, pleasure, imagination, social interaction, surprise, fun, liberty and laughter, and that’s just for starters. Playing is good for our mental health as well as our physical well-being, but we seem to stop buying into it once we reach adulthood.  9NINE are about making sure we live life to the fullest and have plenty of fun along the way.



I attended the press launch ahead of its opening on 29th July and like many when I walked through the door - the first thing I laid my eyes on was the massive red slide at the entrance. I was intrigued yet scared but I knew I had to try it. I quickly climbed up like the dotting kid inside me. yet when I got to the top, my heart was beating out of my chest and I couldn’t do it! I guess the fear we face as adults kicked in.(While it may have looked like a simple slide - it dipped and it was quite narrow) Well, at least I couldn’t do it for now. But after checking out the other things to do. I went back on the slide to conquer my fear and this time I went down it. Woohoo! 



Happiness is the heart of the 9NINE brand alongside their nutritional side being their 9NINE products(which are worth checking out) for a nutritional boost. Their edible products include bars, seed fusions, and seed bombs. I really liked the taste of the double cocoa and raspberry bar, alongside the chia seed drink. Very tasty and nutritious. For more information on the 9NINE brand and its products. Visit their website here


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