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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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!

Rock Lobsta @ Mahiki – Soft Launch Review

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I’ll admit that I am no culinary reviewer, but thought I would give my views on our visit to Rock Lobsta @ Mahiki last night.

Hubby managed to bag a table for 19.45 last night as we have a new found love for lobster. They had great pre-dinner customer service, phoning to confirm reservation, and re-iterating that this was a soft launch so our patience and understanding would be appreciated.

We arrived early so headed downstairs to the cocktail bar for an aperitif. I had never heard of Mahiki before, hubby tells me this could be the bar Prince Harry got kicked out of, I haven’t googled to confirm or deny this info. The bar is quite a strange concept for Mayfair, I was expecting more sophistication rather than a full on cheesy tiki affair. What can I say I loved it!

Cocktails were reasonably priced, although at that early hour could benefit from a happy hour to draw more people in, and all cocktails are served in novelty vessels such as heads, shells etc!

The restaurant was situated up a floor. We had a nice table in the corner, although the table was a little too high for my short stature, and the lighting a little too ambient.

We were served promptly from a friendly waiter.

Initially we ordered two snacks for starter Soft Shell Crab & Lobster Corndogs, and a for main course we were going to share a whole Native lobster with extras of salad & dripping chips. Whilst our starter came we debated as to whether a whole lobster would be enough to share, so relented and ordered another Half lobster just in case.

The starters were delicious with the soft shell crab beating the corndogs.

Our main courses came out separately, but the waiter was very apologetic and kept advising that it wouldn’t be long. I finished the half before the whole came out, but this was not a major issue. The chips didn’t seem very dripping like, and our salad turned into greens. Not major issues given it was a soft launch, and hubby really liked the Greens so that was an extra bonus.

How was the lobster? Fantastic, if a little small. It had a nice smoked chilli butter which made it so tasty. We are relative lobster novices so never sure if we get the most out of a lobster, unlike the lady on the table next to use that sucked every last bit!

We were full from all the savoury so didn’t try a dessert.

As it was a soft launch the bill had 50% off food, and this made the meal good value, had it been full price I probably would have been disappointed as you can get Lobster for £20 at Burger & Lobster, whereas they charge £32 for a lobster.

Always surprises me that you only get one claw, but guess they have to make the corndogs out of something 😉

I would recommend it for the experience and atmosphere. Really attentive staff and good grub. I hope it does well!

STK London – Anniversary Meal

For our 2nd anniversary we decided to try STK at the ME hotel on The Strand.

The hotel and restaurant are part of The One Group who are also the owners of The Cosmopolitan, where we stayed for our honeymoon in Vegas, so it was an apt choice to go for our meal.

We reserved around 2 weeks in advance and could only get an early sitting of 6pm, with a 2 hour time limit for the table.

The hotel is quite understated from the outside, so not easy to spot, but sits on the island between Aldwych and The Strand, so not too difficult really.

The restaurant is very stylish, with a dark and glitzy look. A nice selection of booths and tables, with ample space, so you don’t feel like your all squished in together.

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Our waiter was very attentive and took great pride in telling us how lively the place got later, with dancing on the tables when the DJ cranked up the volume. Seeing as we had to leave by 8pm this was a cunning ploy to pique our interest and maybe try for a later sitting next time.

We ordered a Cocktail for me, Oh L’Amour, and Beer for Hubby.

For food we chose the Chateaubriand to share, Lobster Mac & Cheese and Parmesan Truffle Chips. The main also came with Foie Gras and Spinach. The meat was cooked perfectly and there was plenty of it, so much we took home a doggy bag! The mac & cheese was delicious, and chips super tasty!

With my steak I had a glass of white wine and hubby a glass of Malbec.

Hubby had spotted a Cheese & Champagne restaurant earlier in Coventry Garden, so he already had dessert sorted, so I opted for the Cold Chocolate Fondant. It was amazing! The base had popping candy in it, and the orange sauce was lovely.

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At every course the waiter had some interesting fact to share about what we were eating or drinking, and was a great host for the evening, always ensuring we had enough water etc.

The atmosphere was relaxed and comfortable. Food was perfect, and not too unreasonable for central London.

We have seen how lively The Cosmopolitan got as the evening drew on, so can only imagine what STK London could be like after dark.

Only negatives would be the distance to the toilets – around 4 flights downstairs. And the fact that the service charge doesn’t go just to your waiter/waitress, but to the restaurant. This isn’t a big surprise, it was more the fact that they point this out on the bill, which almost guilts you into adding extra to the 12.5% already on your bill.

We would definitely go back to try some of the other items on the menu, especially their great choice of cocktails.

Band of Bakers – Paul Hollywood’s Sicilian lemon and orange sweet bread

For Band of Bakers recent 1st Birthday party I decided to bake Paul Hollywood’s Sicilian lemon and orange sweet bread. I felt is was quite apt, as this was the episode of Hollywood’s bread that the baking club starred in, and in which I had 3 appearances!

Now me and dough are not great friends, but I think we have found a mutual respect following the attempt of this recipe twice, with no major disasters, which usually come as standard with my baking.

The only thing that is a pain about this recipe is the proving time – 4 hours in total! Do not attempt to do this the night before an event, unless you want to stay up till 1am! Cough Cough!

Paul Hollywood Sweet Bread

Paul Hollywood Sweet Bread

The recipe is taken from Bread by Paul Hollywood (£20, Bloomsbury)

Serves: 8

• 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
• 7g salt
• 40g caster sugar
• 10g fast-action dried yeast
• 120ml tepid full-fat milk
• 4 medium eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
• 100g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
• Finely grated zest of 2 lemons and 1 orange (unwaxed)
• Juice of ½ lemon
• 100g flaked almonds
• 100g mixed candied peel
• 100g dried cranberries

FOR THE TOPPING:
• 2 medium egg whites
• 25g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
• 25g ground almonds
• 50g flaked almonds

1. Put the flour in a food mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the milk, eggs and the butter, in small pieces.

2. Mix on a slow speed for 3 minutes, then on a medium speed for 4 minutes, kneading to a soft, elastic dough.

3. Tip the dough into a bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

4. Grease a 23cm round, deep springform cake tin. Mix the lemon and orange zest with the lemon juice, almonds, candied peel and cranberries. Add to the risen dough and use your hands to incorporate it well.

5. On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a ball. Put into the prepared tin and place inside a large, roomy plastic bag. Again leave to prove in a warm place for 3 hours, until the dough has reached the top of the tin.

6. Heat your oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6. Bake the sweet bread on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, for the topping, in a bowl, stir the egg whites, sugar and ground almonds together to make a paste.

7. Take out the bread, spread the almond paste on top (some will run to the sides) and sprinkle with the flaked almonds and a little sugar.

8. Lower the oven setting to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4 and bake for a further 20 minutes, covering loosely with foil towards the end of cooking if it appears to be over-browning.

9. Leave the sweet bread to cool in the tin for ten minutes, then release the sides of the tin. Place the bread on a wire rack to cool completely.

Harley's Sweet Bread

Harley’s Sweet Bread

Mama Lan – Beijing Street Food – Brixton Village

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A quick bite to eat before the Band of Skulls concert – yum yum.
We had beef noodles, beef dumplings, spicy chicken wings, fried vegetable balls & pickled seaweed. It was all super tasty.
Point to note you only get chop sticks, so get practising or wear a bib!