the harwood arms

One of my favourite meals in London was at The Harwood Arms. It's in a residential area and a bit out of the way, but it's also the only pub in London to hold a Michelin Star and well worth the extra travel time. Even though you need reservations to get a table, the space still looks an feels like a pub (they even hold a quiz night once a week like a lot of traditional pubs).

Now, on to the food. The menu is kind of a modern take on British cuisine with an emphasis on game meats and local produce. We enjoyed everything. And those desserts! Those desserts were heavenly. We were lucky in that strawberries were just coming into season in London and Paris (sweet strawberries in May? Yes, please.)
Potato bread and soda bread + butter
Cornish crab with raw fennel & green apple
Grilled salted ox tongue with turnip & mustard croquette, bread & butter pickles and dandelion
Grilled lamb chops, crispy pork shoulder croquette, duck sausage and roast potatoes
Poached cod with cauliflower puree, brown shrimps, chanterelles and sea purslane
Chilled rice pudding with first of the season English strawberries and Grassmere biscuit
Sticky toffee and date ice cream with caramelized brown bread and lemon curd

The Harwood Arms
27 Walham Grove
London, U.K


borough market

London's Borough Market is awesome. We loved it so much that we went two days in a row. It had a great vibe, friendly vendors that were really passionate about their products, and obviously some of the best eating options. 

Neal's Yard Dairy has an extensive selection of British cheeses. I ended up bringing home a chunk of Harbourne Blue, a goat's milk cheese that's tangy yet subtly sweet, and Westcombe Cheddar, a firm, crumbly, sharp and nutty cheese. 
We stopped by fish! kitchen's take-away stand for a fried mackerel bap (left) which was the perfect mix of crunchy, battered fish, tangy homemade tartar sauce and a pillowy soft bun. Followed by a pork belly sandwich from Roast To Go stuffed with juicy pork, crunchy crackling and smeared with sweet applesauce.
We weren't through though. We also shared a steak and kidney pie from Pieminister. The crust was flaky; the filling rich and saucy. A perfect combo.
The next day we started with a fatty, salty and delicious duck sandwich from the Market Quarter. I actually think it was duck confit that was then sauteed on a paella pan until hot and slightly crisp.
And finished with a sit-down meal at fish! restaurant. The fish and chips were just ok, but Joe enjoyed the fish pie.

Borough Market
8 Southwark St.
London, U.K


fifteen + st. john

We visited two "celebrity" restaurants while in London. Jamie Oliver's Fifteen and Fergus Henderson's St. John. I'm not that into Jamie Oliver these days, but I do have a couple of his older cookbooks and his recipes are always simple and delicious. As was our lunch at Fifteen. Here are some of the dishes we enjoyed.
House-made focaccia + olive oil
Mozzarella di bufala campana w/ char-grilled aubergines, chilli, mint, mixed leaves and aged balsamic
Linguine w/ shellfish broth, rope-grown mussels, courgettes and air-dried mullet roe
Eton mess with meringue and English strawberries
Selection of British cheeses
Dinner at St. John was quite the experience. Famed for it's focus on nose to tail cuisine, we were excited about what we would find on the menu that night. And we were not disappointed. This was one of my favourite meals of the entire trip.
Pig's spleen rolled with bacon + cornichons, red wine vinegar and red onions
Lamb's tongues and white beans
Pigeon, green beans and pickled walnuts
Peach jelly and jersey cream
Raspberry ripple ice cream
St. John
26 St. John St.
London, U.K

15 Westland Place
London, U.K


london: day 1 & 2

After many delays (an impromptu strike at the Reykjavik airport and circling Heathrow for an hour), we arrived in London very tired and a few hours later than planned. It basically meant that all we wanted was to shower, eat something and sleep. And for our first meal: fish and chips, of course. Nothing fancy (we were in no shape to be in public for a long time), so we went to The Laughing Halibut since it was close to our hotel in Westminster. I had the haddock and chips which was surprisingly not greasy at all.
The next day, we began with a ridiculous meat-laden breakfast at Hawksmoor Spitalfields. Below is the Hawksmoor breakfast for two, a take on the traditional full English breakfast. So good, but so heavy. We walked it off in the Old Spitalfields Market and nearby Brick Lane where there were two Sunday markets happening. 
2 fried eggs, smoked bacon chop, pork/beef/mutton sausages, bury black pudding, short rib bubble & squeak, grilled bone marrow, grilled mushrooms, roast tomatoes, dripping toast
Trotter baked beans

The Laughing Halibut
38 Strutton Ground
London, U.K

Hawksmoor Spitalfields
157 Commercial St.
London, U.K


home sweet home

I'm back. Still a little jet-lagged and missing being on vacation, but happy to be sleeping in my own bed again. Our flight home was cancelled due to the volcano eruption in Iceland (we flew Icelandair), but luckily they re-booked us on the next Air Canada flight to Toronto. I'll be posting more about my trip and all the eating that went down, but first a shot of all the goodies I brought home with me. Mostly chocolate and sweets (not all for me, I swear!), but there's also some cheese and wine chilling in my fridge.


bags packed

Joe and I booked a 10-day trip to London and Paris way back in January. We found some good deals on flights and hotels and figured the advanced planning would give us something to look forward to. Well, we're finally leaving! There will be lots of eating on this trip, so expect to see too many food pics when I return. 


some weekend eats

With my mom and bro visiting for the weekend, a lot of eating and cooking went down.

* mom's homemade cream of potato soup + garlic toast

* stocking the freezer full of homemade potato, cheddar & caramelized onion pierogis

* bro's dessert contribution


cooking with mom

My mom was visiting for the weekend and we decided to make traditional Filipino siopao—a steamed bun stuffed with pork that's similar to the Chinese bao served at dim sum restaurants. Neither of us had ever made them before, but luckily they turned out great (even though they didn't look so great). The fluffy steamed buns filled with sweet and savoury pork is such a good combination. When I was little my mom would buy frozen siopao when she came to Toronto (I grew up outside of the city) and they used to be one of my favourite treats.

For the filling:
1 1/2 lbs pork shoulder, chopped into small pieces
1 small onion, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 C cold water

1. Saute onions and garlic in some oil until soft and translucent. Add pork and continue to saute until pork is no longer pink. Add everything but the cornstarch mixture and let simmer on low for 30 minutes or until pork is tender. Add the cornstarch mixture and simmer for 2 more minutes. Let cool completely. 

For the buns (adapted from David Chang's Momofuku steamed buns recipe)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp yeast
1 1/2 C water, room temperature
4 1/2 C bread flour
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 C vegetable shortening

1. Combine the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix on low for 8-10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and not too sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.

2. Punch down the dough and turn onto a clean work surface. Divide into ping pong ball sized pieces. Place on a baking sheet, cover and let rest for 30 minutes. In the meantime, cut some 3-inch squares of parchment paper.

3. Flatten, then roll each ball into 4-inch wide circle. Fill with about 2 tbsp of filling. Pinch the dough to enclose the filling. Place a square of parchment on the bottom.

4. Place in a bamboo steamer and steam for 12 minutes. After steaming, you can let the siopao cool completely and freeze them. To re-heat, either microwave for about 2 minutes or re-steam.


eastern legend...again

I'm usually pretty organized when it comes to weekday meal planning. My Sundays are more often than not, spent in the kitchen in preparation for the upcoming week. But every so often, I lose motivation. This was one of those weeks. So when Wednesday rolled around, I had nothing prepped for dinner. Luckily Eastern Legend is around the corner from my house. I've blogged about this place before and it's way better than the delivery Chinese food in my area which, unfortunately, is not so good.
Spicy pork szechuan wrap: this is a special that they just started serving. It's only $1!
Insides: pork, lettuce, kimchi, bean sprouts, spicy sauce. So good and the waitress told us everything is homemade (even the tortilla-style pancake wrap).
Cantonese fried noodles
Deep-fried spicy squid

Eastern Legend
771 Dundas St. W


b.a.h. mag #2

Check out the latest issue of b.a.h. magazine. Once again, Arounna did an amazing job. 


preserve planning

I sat down over the weekend and started thinking about what I wanted to preserve this summer. On my list: candied jalapenos (blogged here), red pepper jelly (blogged here), crunchy dill pickles/cornichons, peaches, cherries and some sort of relish or salsa.

I'm also pumped about this book arriving in my mailbox soon!

Some of last year's goods.


new camera

Meet my new camera. I am so excited. I've been eyeing this guy since Christmas and it's finally mine. I really wanted the advanced features of an dSLR without the bulkiness. Just in time for my upcoming London/Paris trip!