Happy Pancake Day!

Name: My Old Dutch

Location: Holborn, London

Date Visited: 27/02/17

In the spirit of pancake day today, I am writing about some delicious pancakes that you can find in Central London!

My Old Dutch is a chain pancake house in London, they have a few located around the central area. However, for the sake of my blog, this pancake house has not spread to the rest of the UK yet therefore I will keep it in the London category.

I visited the restaurant with my flatmates late on Monday night, around 9:45pm. On Mondays they do a deal where you can get some pancakes off the menu for £5.65, which is the same price as the Kids’ menu. After a ponder over the ridiculously large menu where it is almost impossible to decide, I came to the conclusion to order the ‘Berry Compote’ pancake off the sweet pancake menu.

I am personally not a fan of savoury pancakes, which was my main motivation for choosing one off the sweet menu. One of my flatmates ordered the fruit salad one, another ordered one of the special pancakes which was not on the discount, and my other flatmate ordered two pancakes! (Trust me there should be an exclamation mark there as these pancakes are bloody massive!!!!!)

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The pancake itself was a crêpe style pancake, though it is notable that they also do american style pancakes, as described as ‘butterscotch’ pancakes on their menu, however these were not in the deal. My pancake was folded to keep the compote inside, and I was also given 3 generous scoops of vanilla ice cream with this (you have a choice between ice cream or whipped cream with most pancakes). The compote itself was slightly sour, which I had expected, however the addition of the sweet, creamy ice cream did balance out this flavour, making a good combination. The compote consisted of blueberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, raspberries and strawberries. They created a bright ruby red sauce to which I could submerge my pancake before devouring it.

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The pancake was incredibly filling! The amount sugar that I consumed did give me a slight sugar high for a while, but it was totally worth it.

Was the My Old Dutch pancake anything special?

The pancake, overall, was absolutely delicious. After I ate it, I got excited by the idea of returning to the restaurant and trying out more of their other flavours. The size of the pancake made it slightly more exciting, when you see the waitresses bringing them to your table you feel like a young child again, excited to chow down the pancake with plentiful exciting toppings on. I think that perhaps the thing that makes this restaurant more unique would be their special pancake combinations, however these are significantly more expensive than the rest of the menu, which is certainly something to take into account.

Was the My Old Dutch pancake worth the money?

I believe that the pancake was totally worth the money, especially on the deal. One criticism that I do have, however, is that I was slightly somewhat disappointed with the selection that you can get on the Monday £5.65 deal, especially since I do not like savoury pancakes. However, I have noted that on other days of the week they do offer student discount – so it does seem like it can be a place that everyone can find a pancake that they want at a reasonable price.

Would go again, for sure.

Until next time,

Sophia xoxo

My first OFFICIAL post! Valentine’s Day at Wagamama

Before I start, I would like to say that as well as writing about chain restaurants, I will be talking about unique, quirky places too. This was the most recent meal out that I have had, and it was also on Valentine’s day so thought it would be an appropriate first post.

Name: Wagamama

Location: Camden Town, London

Date visited: 14/02/2017

Wagamama is a chain Japanese restaurant found in the UK, which I am sure you have heard of before. Is my opinion even relevant? Will it stop you from going there with your friends and ordering a chicken katsu? Probably not, but I’m going to tell you what I think anyway.

I have visited the chain numerous times, I even have a usual order (who doesn’t?). However, my boyfriend had never been before, so we decided to take a visit on Valentine’s day after going to the cinema.

The location of the Camden restaurant is decent as it is very close to the station, located down a road opposite the market with multiple other restaurants on (which I am sure you will hear me write about in the future). For those of you unfamiliar with the chain, the tables are in long rows, a canteen-like vibe, so occasionally you may find yourself sitting next to a group of strangers. The food arrives whenever it is ready, rather than at the same time for each course, which has its benefits and drawbacks. Your food is NEVER cold, but there are cases, like when we went, where one person’s food arrives and they are practically finished before yours comes!

After a long debate over what my boyfriend should order, we had decided what to eat and waited anxiously for the food. The kitchen is open for all to see, and trust me, seeing the chefs cooking in the kitchen makes you salivate as the delicious aromas fill the restaurant. By the time your food arrives you’ve probably already imagined eating it about 3 times in your head.

What did I order, you may ask? My usual: Chilli Chicken Ramen with a extra side of Japanese Rice.

From personal experience I find that the chilli ramen has the most flavour, with a squeeze of the lime to balance out the chilli, it is a subtle blend of sour, salty and spicy. The amount of chicken you get is expected, about a chicken breast, and the bowl is laden with onions, chillies, bean sprouts, coriander and noodles. I do find, however, that the ramen does not always come with enough noodles and therefore the side of extra rice is a good touch. Adding rice to the ladle-spoon that you are given and dunking it into the soup creates a gorgeous sticky rice with the chilli flavour of the ramen.

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I convinced by boyfriend to order the Chicken and Prawn Yaki Soba, which I personally had never had before, however I do remember seeing other people order it and it looking delicious. After having a good sampling of his dish myself, while I was anxiously lusting over the idea of MY food arriving, I came to the conclusion that it is a good dish. The noodles had a beautiful sesame flavour, very subtle which was appropriate for chicken and prawn. However, we both agreed that the addition of some chilli flakes and oil would complement the dish and give it that extra edge. Overall, it was a good plate of noodles, but it isn’t exactly something you can’t make at home.

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We also ordered a cute little side dish, which I think for about £5 is expensive! A measly plate of a few pieces of fried squid was not adequate in my opinion. The sweet chilli sauce that came with it was tangy and fabulous with the squid, I just think for what we paid we should have got a bit more. Also seemed a bit unusual for our ‘starter’ to arrive when we were half way through our mains – but that is what we were told to expect when they seated us at our table. Unfortunately these weren’t around long enough for me to get a picture, but I think there is a picture on the menu if you do want to know what it looks like.

Is Wagamama anything special?

Not really. I am sure you can get better Japanese food in other places. Like many chain restaurants, it has a sort of place you go to as a safe bet vibe where you have a regular order that you are occasionally in the mood for on a Saturday night. I feel that it lacks a certain wow factor that you get from more quirky restaurants, but perhaps this is just due to the fact that it is a chain and therefore does not seem as unique.

Is Wagamama worth the money?

That’s up to you. One down side, for me, is that they do not offer discounts or deals, which, not going to lie, as a student I look for in places to eat. It seems ridiculous to me that I have to order an extra side of rice to make my food fill me up more, however I have seen that other orders from the restaurant do have larger portions. I do think that Wagamama is slightly overpriced but would 100% recommend going with someone who will pay for you, so that you can make the most of the menu.

All in all, it was a nice Valentine’s meal but could have been better. That’s all I have to say really.

Until next time,

Sophia xoxo

Hello

Hello there. I’m Sophia. This is my blog. It’s all about food.

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[This photo is of me mesmerised by my breakfast – I will revisit and write a post on it soon]

We need food to survive, but for some it is so much more than that. As a student, I spend the majority of my student loan on food and alcohol (but still mainly food) as it seems to be the thing to look forward to during LONG days of lectures, tutorials, library studying etc.

I live, during term time, in London, where there are THOUSANDS of opportunities to try delicious food. Whether it be in little cafes, big restaurants or even quirky food markets, London is a city that LOVES its food.

Now, since I enjoy going to all these places so much, I have decided to start a blog about it. Whether I have one reader, or millions, it is more a food diary for me to document where is good, what is good to order and whether or not I would go back. If you would like to hear my opinions then keep on reading. If you want to drool over pictures of food and menus, then keep on reading. If you think my opinion is irrelevant then keep reading anyway I might write something funny or amusing to make you smile (or not).

I am going to try and categorise the places that I go to into the following:

  • chain restaurants / cafes
  • takeaways / deliveroo
  • restaurants / cafes / pubs / bars in London
  • restaurants / cafes / pubs / bars elsewhere in the UK
  • restaurants / cafes / pubs / bars around the world
  • food markets / food stalls

I hope that you enjoy my documentation of the various foods that I eat, and I hope that it will inspire you to try these places yourself.

Lots of love,

Sophia xoxo