BAR BBQ ON ICE Review

A day off on Monday saw hubby and I at a loss for lunch. A quick twitter and pop up london search lead us to Bar BBQ on Ice.

Nestled behind Liverpool Street Station next to the Broadgate Ice Rink, BAR BBQ ON ICE is London’s latest pop up restaurant. The menu, inspired through travels to Memphis, promises to bring authentic flavours of smoke and fire alongside craft beers and great cocktails plus something for the kids.

I was excited, as you now probably know I love BBQ & meat! I was also surprised to find that there was an ice rink behind Liverpool Street.

We took quite a convoluted route around Liverpool Street station to find it due to the Cross Rail works blocking the road, but once we did we were promptly seated and looked after.

We decided to share some dishes, so we went for the BBQ Tray – which consisted of Sliders, Ribs, Slaw, BBQ Beans, Chilli, Hotdog & house cut chips; Chipotle-Maple Chicken Wings & Moonshine Shrimp.

The shrimp were amazing! Cooked just perfectly and they came with a nice bloody mary dip. The chicken wings were succulent, couldn’t really taste the chipotle very much. The BBQ tray was substantial, ribs nice and soft, there was just too much for me to eat my share so I skipped on the slider, I didn’t really like the hot dog.

It all comes served in cool metal crockery lined with printed greaseproof paper.

BBQ Tray

BBQ Tray

BBQ Tray & Moonshine Shrimps

BBQ Tray & Moonshine Shrimps

The atmosphere was quiet for a Monday lunch, but they had a few tables full. I guess BBQ meat is not everyones go to meal for a Monday lunch time – certainly did the trick for me.

Even though it’s just a pop up the detail to the decor was well thought out. It was a bit strange eating with wooden cutlery – guess it saves on washing up! The floor of the structure is extremely ‘bouncy’ so you find yourself vibrating whenever someone passes your table.

It was a great find by hubby, and reasonable given the portions. I’d go again, still need to try the Mac n Cheese. Have I ever told you about the time I ate Mac n Cheese for 3 meals in one day….???

Since publishing this post I discovered that Bar BBQ on Ice is only around until the 28th February, so best get there while you can.

BROADGATE ICE RINK
exchange square
broadgate
london ec2a 2bq
0203 011 1185
INFO@BARBBQONICE.COM

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SMILEY takes centre stage at London Fashion Week

smileyworldblog

Smiley continued its long-standing tradition of keeping a ‘Smile is always in style’ on the runway at this weeks London Fashion Week, with the launch of the latest licensed collection from uber stylish London accessories designer Anya Hindmarch. This is the second season the designer has featured Smiley in its catwalk show.

The AW14 show, which took place on Tuesday 18th February 2014 in front of the cream of London’s hipster community at Billingsgate Hall and was appropriately titled ‘COUNTER CULTURE’, received critical acclaim from the fashion press.

Inspired by treating the everyday ordinary in an extraordinary way, Hindmarch took Supermarket conveyor belts and household items, such as cereal boxes, crisps packets and washing powder boxes, to the catwalk in a playful take on everyday life.

The show paid homage to some of the UK’s leading icons from supermarket shelves, whilst the finale was played out to ‘Get Happy’ by Judy Garland and…

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Guy’s American Bar & Grill

Being a solo diner I was looking for somewhere casual, welcoming and most importantly American. So I found Guy’s American Bar & Grill, located just off Times Square on 44th street.

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I perched my solo self at the bar and checked out the menu. Once they saw me over the bar taps to actually give me a menu 😉

It has a nice focused menu with a leaning towards chicken, with a good choice of wings. I decided to go with the BBQ Buffalo Meatloaf.
Guy’s recipe for meatloaf made with lean ground buffalo, BBQ glaze, crispy sweet onion straws, ranch dressing, bacon bits + roasted garlic mash.
At $22.50 it wasn’t cheap but this was a restaurant off Times Square and you know what? It was bloody tasty!

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I ordered a Coors Light to wash it down with. I even got asked for ID! I wanted to tell him I’d turned 35 just 3 days ago but could tell by the frown on his face that he worked that out himself.

I’d come back. It was good grub and a nice chilled atmosphere. Guy did good!

Times Square

As much as the place has it’s tacky side, such as the Naked Cowboy, and the various poorly costumed characters, Times Square embodies the American Spirit.
With its neon lighted Star-Spangled Banner, the AT&T pop up for the public to send messages of encouragement to Team US at Sochi, to the US forces recruitment centre slap bang in the middle.

Love it!

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A New York Trip

Work have sent me to New York for the NY Toy fair – Yay! This is a short series of blogs based on my trip.
As old age creeps up on me my memory fails so this will be a nice way to document my solo 4 days in NYC.

Woke up stupid early so currently sat in a Starbucks on 5th avenue taking full advantage of their free wifi.

On my way here I passed the New York Public library.
It sticks out as it’s a low building amongst the sky scrapers, and also because I recognised it from the Jake Gyllenhall movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’, which with all the snow and ice around almost looks like it’s still set up for the movie.
And I am a firm believer that shit could really happen!

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Smokehouse, Islington – A birthday celebration

For my impending 35th Birthday hubby treated me to a meal at Smokehouse in Islington. I love meat and smoked meat is even better!

We had a reservation for 6pm on a Saturday, just a short walk from Highbury & Islington station and we were promptly seated in an empty restaurant, evening sittings start from 6pm.

Our waitress was very friendly, talked us through the specials and made recommendations which we followed. The menu had a Korean infusion twist, and we chose the following…

Starters

Chopped Brisket Roll + Gochujang

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Chopped Brisket Roll + Gochujang

This was amazing. I got very giddy when it was placed in front of me as it looked like my second favourite food – croquette potatoes! Sorry, I know, but I can’t help it – I love them!

This was not a croquette potato, it was just a deep fried brisket roll, but it was delicious. Before I ordered I checked what gochujang was, and it is a spice Korean mayonnaise. It complimented the roll well, and was very tasty. I was reluctant to share this dish with hubby, but I knew I just had to try what he had.

Thai Chicken Livers, Toast & Duck Hearts

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Thai Chicken Livers, Toast & Duck Hearts

I only had a little taste of this, but it did include a duck heart. This was the first time I have ever tried one, it was a little chewy! The chicken liver pate was tasty but looked like it the dish would have benefitted from having more on the toast.

Main Courses

Hubby & I chose these together to we could share half & half.

Smoked Duck, Kimchi & Potato Cake

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Smoked Duck, Kimchi & Potato Cake

This was delicious, the duck looks like it is mainly cooked through the smoking process. (I was initially worried it was raw!). I had tried Kimchi when I was in China once, and this version was far superior giving the dish a nice little kick. The egg was a nice touch on the top. I was reluctant to share the other half of this.

“The Sphere” Smoked Hame Hock, Pigs Cheek & Cuttlefish Romesco

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“The Sphere” Smoked Ham Hock, Pigs Cheek & Cuttlefish Romesco

The Sphere looked like a giant arancini, it came on a bed of pasta, and was extremely tasty. By the time I moved onto my half I was getting stuffed. This dish was quite rich, and the smoked pig cheek lardons were to die for.

Side Dish

This dish was recommended by our waitress and we heard a few of the other servers recommending to tables around us. I’d never had goat before, so was game to try it.

Goat Bolognese

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Goat Bolognese

The goat was slow cooked and was so soft and stringy it melted in the mouth. It tasted quite similar to lamb (in my opinion), and I really liked this dish. Again it was quite rich, and this would have been nice as a meal on it’s own. Perhaps with the Lamb Stovies, another side that I lusted after, but was glad we didn’t succumb as I was almost beat by the end of the main course…

However, I just had to try a desert!

Double D Tart

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Double D Tart

Similar to a Double Decker (but for legal reasons abbreviated to Double D) this had a rice crispie base, nougat middle, peanut butter(?) and a chocolate top. Accompanied by pistachio ice cream. I was a little disappointed with this as it didn’t really taste of anything, and was troublesome to get through the crispy base without catapulting a piece across the table.

Drinks

Hubby loves a good craft beer, so he sampled at least 3 different beers all served in 2/3 pints, including the Redhook Longhammer & Rogue Dead Guy Ale. He finished his evening with an aperitif of Express Coffee Liqueur, which he discovered was basically Tia Maria – oh how I laughed!

I had a couple of glasses of the Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2008, which was lovely, and an Aperol Spritz.

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The meal for two came to around £120 including a 12.5% service charge. The staff were very friendly, knowledgable and helpful that I had no qualm with the level of the service charge. The restaurant is small and intimate and a nice atmosphere. It has a bar area, and with over 20 craft beers definitely worth a revisit  for hubby to try a few more. Plenty of other dishes on the menu to try on a future visit too. Can’t wait!