Sunday, 16 November 2014

Posh food and boris bikes

As the blog post title suggests, last weekend was mainly about eating. And cycling.  But mainly eating.

It started with Vietnamese on Friday night when I met up with Bex and Jen.  I had Pho Bo, which was very disappointing and tasted nothing like the Pho we had in Vietnam.  4 points out of 10.  We ended up in a very spangly posh cafe near Piccadilly Circus that did the most beautiful cakes - I was good and didn't have one but Bec and Jen indulged and they looked delicioso and I had to wipe the drool from my chin. 

On Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed, shoved eggs and toast down my gob and trotted on over to Peckham Rye Park Run with Liz.  I stayed at my own bumbling jog pace just in front of an injured lady, a 10 year old boy and an old man.  Half way round the first lap and they were no where near to be seen - not because I'd left them in my wake, but rather they'd overtaken me and I was all alone.  Sigh.  It would have been easy to give up and that first lap was hard, but I struggled on through and stopped to walk when I couldn't carry on.  (It sounds like I am describing a marathon....I am embarrassed to say it was a 5k!)

At the last 100m or so I overtook a lady I had had in my sights for a while (then felt very guilty about it as she looked just as wrecked as I did - I don't think competitive running is for me) and happily for me I didn't even finish 2nd to last, I was 79th out of 86.  So not great but at least I wasn't the poor soul at the end.  My time was 30m 13 seconds so I would like to get this down to a respectable time of 24 minutes, however I don't know if I have the motivation or if I am really that bothered by it.  

We rewarded our run with a lunch at Foxlow, recommended to me ages ago by Barbra.  It's the sister restaurant to Hawksmoor and they were running a 50% off food deal to celebrate their new brunch menu.  Liz and I were joined by Dan and Tom, who, running on Tom-time graced us with his presence 20 mins late.  

Liz is the best person to go to a restaurant with ever, she likes all the same food as me and was happy to share. We went a bit overboard and ordered:

Fried Chicken, Fried Egg, Croissant Waffle.  Not very interesting to eat or look at, served with a rich sausage gravy that wasn't to my taste:

Montecristo Cronut. I was most excited about this so it was a bit of a disappointment.  A weird cross between sweet and savoury, it was a deep fried croissant filled with ham and cheese, sprinkled with icing sugar.  Poorly presented, each bite was a heart attack waiting to happen and was quire underwhelming.  

Avocado, lime and chili on toast.  Not deserving of a photo - exactly what it said on the tin.

Tom had a steak which seemed nice, and Dan had the chicken egg waffle thing with a side of chips coated in 'chicken' salt, which was nothing to write home about.

The puddings however were pretty darned good.  We were very full but couldn't resist the discount so we all ordered pud.

Tom had Lemon Posset with polenta biscuits.

I had a chocolate and popcorn sundae - absolutely yummy:

Dan had the chocolate and hazelnut pot - also very delicious but very rich:

and Liz had the showstopper - the Elvis Presley Sandwich.  Toasted brioche, ice cream, banana, peanut butter and caramel with candied bacon.  It was HUGE and apparently very tasty.

I wouldn't go back, I didn't think the food was worthy of the full prices and wasn't presented that well and the 'different' combos didn't really work for me. The service was good though. 6 out of 10 points.

To work off the dinner, Dan and I decided to Boris bike back to Elephant and Castle as the roads were strangely empty.  

The food fest continued into Sunday.  I cycled to Dulwich Park to meet with Samia, Andy and Sepha where we strolled round, then headed to the Horniman Museum to look at the stuffed animals.  We finished in The Bishop with sunday roasts - really good and so much food!   

On Monday, Samia and I had a reservation at Bob Bob Ricard. I read about their signature pudding dish a while back and had always wanted to go there.  No time like the present, I thought to myself, and luckily Samia agreed.

The decor is absolutely beautiful - art deco inspired, it's dark and sexy.  You are seated in a booth with dark green leather sofas with curtains behind each sofa to give you some privacy.  At the end of the booth is a wooden panel separating you from the adjacent booth, which has a lamp, a plug socket and - the best bit - a 'press for champagne' button.  Looking at the prices of the champagne, we refrained...

The waiters are very smartly dressed and very polite, the service couldn't be faulted.  The food, however, didn't live up to its surroundings.  To be fair, we ordered the cheapest items on the menu, but when I pay £4.75 for a side order of fries to go with my burger I expect them to be worth every penny, rather than being expensive for the sake of it.

I started with the venison burger and Samia opted for the fish pie.  Both nicely presented and both tasted good, but in the end a fish pie is a fish pie, and a burger is a burger - I wouldn't say either were worth their respective £17.55 and  £16.75 price tag.

fish pie - i like the crust detail

venison burger - very nice but not worthy of the price

For pudding we had the chocolate fondant - tasty but a very small portion, and the signature chocolate glory - a gold chocolate dome filled with chocolate mousse, brownie, meringue and passion fruit orange jelly.  Top marks for presentation - too pretty to eat.  The waiter came along with warm dark chocolate sauce which he proceeded to pour over the gold dome in a pretty pattern, causing the gold ball to melt and cave in on itself.  Pretty as it was, it actually didn't taste all that good - there was too much going on in that little ball.  The jelly didn't go, there was one tiny piece of meringue, one tiny piece of brownie, and the mousse was too sickly.  The chocolate gold ball wasn't very nice chocolate and the chocolate sauce tasted cheap and again, too sickly.  For £10.50, you're definitely paying for the experience and novelty rather than the pudding itself.

I would go back, but only if I wasn't paying - I would like to try some of the other more adventurous things on the menu which may change my mind on the food. 7 out of 10!

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