PFR Archives UK

Masala Zone - Chicken Biriyani

UK, London – Masala Zone Bayswater

After checking this place out on the web after seeing the ad in a lift, I was surprised to learn Masala Zone is a chain. That said, on the basis of the one meal, the food is pretty decent. That’s one thing I didn’t get a chance to experience was some really good authentic Indian cuisine. The chicken biriyani is what I ordered and there’s a generous amount balanced with a serve of some spicy dhal and a serve of raitha. The biriyani had loose grains, pretty good flavour but just needed a touch more seasoning to elevate the taste of the dish. There’s plenty of chicken and after nearly polishing the plate, I was really full.

Petrus - Mains: Roast duck breast with confit duck leg & granola, spring onion and Szechuan pepper jus

UK, London – Petrus

I’m really being spoilt but I must indulge while I’m all the way over here. Another fantastic dinner in a lovely polished setting with professional service to match the professional food served. I thoroughly enjoyed my dining experience with the highlight being the main course of roast duck. What a fantastic jus so full of flavour it absolutely transforms the meal and steals the show from the perfectly cooked and roasted succulent duck. Of course, there was consistency across all the dishes and the signature dessert of the chocolate sphere presented not only theatre, but such amazing chocolate decadence. If there is a meal to finish off the night, this was it.

Hawksmoor Steakhouse - Potted Beef & Bacon, Onion Gravy, Yorkshire Puddings

UK, London – Hawksmoor Steakhouse Air Street

Another visit to Hawksmoor Steakhouse but at Air Street for some more English fare. I experienced the delights of potted meats with an order of potted beef and bacon and another with potted smoked mackerel. The potted beef was delicious and I really enjoyed the onion gravy along with the largely risen Yorkshire puddings. The smoked mackerel was also delicious and partnered well with cucumber, dill and mini toasts. A unique experience trying potted meats, I really like the flavours and textures, all inside an interesting environment.

The Ledbury - Course # 1: White Asparagus, Ham, Morel Mushroom

UK, London – The Ledbury

My first time to a world ranked and Michelin starred restaurant, I loved every moment of my dining experience. Not sure if because I’m an Aussie I got slightly special treatment given the restaurant is run by Aussie chef, Brett Graham, but the dining experience from the fantastic service in a wonderful setting, the quiet, reserved, and classy ambience, topped by delicious food made for a wonderful night, worth every cent. The highlight in food terms was the pork jowl. I did eat something a little similar (using veal) in Paris, but I have never eaten anything which made pork taste so good. The different level of flavours and textures of the dish were brilliant and all elements, not just in this dish, but every dish I ate, just sang in harmony. I was also impressed with the first course which was predominately vegetarian, yet packed so much flavour, it didn’t really make you miss meat. The dessert was another highlight of the night. I’ve made souffles at home but never eaten one at a restaurant. The passionfruit souffle presented to me was superb. Light, airy, with just enough sweetness and passionfruit flavour, a superbly balanced dish. I was very impressed and rated this amongst one of the top fine dining experiences of my 6 week holiday. I would easily go back again in a heartbeat, if only I didn’t have to travel across the other side of the world. Memorable.

Cabana Brazilian BBQ - Spicy Malagueta Chicken, Chimmi Churri, and Cool Colada

UK, London – Cabana Brazilian BBQ

I love trying new cuisines and after sampling some Argentinean fare at Casa Malevo, I was keen to try some Brazilian food, albeit, from a restaurant train establishment. However, this place surprised on the upside with this delicious grilled flavour I’ve never tasted before. The Spicy Malagueta Chicken was so moist and tasty, I absolutely loved it! That marinade was fantastic! The chimmi churri also was delicious, a lovely accompaniment to the chicken and the refreshing cool colada was a great alternative to the usual soft drinks on typical menus. What was also excellent to see was the friendly service. I was served by a guy who seemed pretty new called Eduardo and we chatted a lot and he was really friendly. Makes the experience all the more better. Australia could learn a thing or too in regard to service, certainly the enthusiasm shown.

The Mudlark - Ploughman's Platter

UK, London – The Mudlark @ London Bridge

What better way to sample some of London by making a stop to a pub and grabbing a traditional meal – the ploughman’s platter. The dish comes with lots of variety of things typically English. The pork pie was lovely, a suet made pastry filled with a nice blend of pork and fat to produce this delicious pie. The different cheeses on offer were enjoyed with some charred bread, tangy pickled onions, sweet onion jam, and a salad. It’s quite a meal and really fills you up. I couldn’t eat all that cheese unfortunately but it’s a simple hardy meal that would have offered some real fuel and sustenance for the ploughman to get through the rest of the day. Certainly fuelled me for the rest of my travels through London.

Hawksmoor Steakhouse - 4 Pancakes, Bacon, Whiskey Flavoured Maple Syrup

UK, London – Hawksmoor Steakhouse Guildhall

Part of travelling is taking in new experiences and the Hawksmoor Steakhouse at Guildhall is one such experience. Located underground in the financial district, you’re taken into a world from a bygone era, a huge open venue, steeped in history, a place where deals have been made and corporate battlegrounds fought. The service is friendly and efficient and there’s lots to choose from on the menu. The fluffy pancakes were as described, soft, light, airy and oh so tasty with plenty of warmed whiskey flavoured maple syrup which isn’t too sweet. The bacon was lovely but far too salty unfortunately, however, with some tart grapefruit juice, this helped to cut through the fat and saltiness. What a meal in a wonderful venue with excellent service for an unbelievable price – a price in Australia that wouldn’t buy half of what I experienced.

Casa Malevo - Sweetbreads

UK, London – Casa Malevo

For two entrees, a chunk of steak and a side, the meal came to £45 including tips. I really enjoyed my dining experience at Casa Malevo. The interior has a lovely warm cosy feel and the friendly efficient service was much appreciated. I really loved the sweetbreads with the acidic sauce, and a dash of lemon, just improved the taste tenfold. Once again, acidity played a key part in the Argentinian cuisine with two lovely sauces combing superbly with my steak. The chimmi churri was the best of the lot and the potato and artichoke gratin paired well, though was oversalted. I was really full and disappointed I couldn’t squeeze in dessert. I really enjoyed the Argentinian cuisine tonight. A quality experience.