Archive for December, 2010


Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. And Dosa, a thin pancake made from black lentils and rice that originate from this state. Dosas have been around for many, many years and are a very popular dish in south India. Many people eat dosa for breakfast or dinner. It is a simple, yet filling and satisfying meal, especially when served with sambhar or chutney.

There are many different types of dosa that you can choose from. A masala dosa, which is a plain dosa, filled with a delicious combination of lightly cooked potatoes, tossed with fried onions and spices. Or a rava dosa, that is made with semolina, which gives it a nice crispy tasty. An oothappum, which originated from the dosa, but is slightly thicker, contains ingredients such as tomatoes or an onion and chilli mix, which are cooked into the batter. A ghee roast, which is a popular quick snack in India that consists of a plain dosa with butter. You can also have dosas with many different toppings and fillings, such as onions, or chillies, or paneer, which is a type of Indian cheese. If you’re going with family or a group of friends, there is a 6 foot dosa that was made to be shared and Chennai Dosa have won an award for it being the largest dosa in Europe.

The 6 Foot Dosa

The 6 Foot Dosa

Apart from dosas, Chennai Dosa also offers a wide range of south Indian dishes, including idli, parotta and fried rice. And popular starters such as, samosa; methu vadai, which is a savoury snack in a doughnut shape, and gobi 65, which is fried cauliflower. Chennai Dosa has been awarded best Idli and Dosa seller in the United Kingdom. And in less than seven years of opening its first store, seven other branches have opened, with one more opening this month. Two of their branches are pure vegetarian.

My Rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ Very popular destination with good traditional Indian food at reasonable prices.

My Recommendation:

Starter: Methu Vada

Main: Masala Dosa

Dessert: Gulab Jamun

Average Price: £5 per person.

My Tip: Book a table, as it gets very busy in the evenings and weekends!

Visit http://www.chennaidosa.com/ to find your nearest branch.

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Adagio is a small Italian pizza place hidden in central London. They make fresh, warm and absolutely delicious pizzas from the finest ingredients. Adagio means playing music in a slow tempo, and this is the name of their restaurant as they believe the pizza dough should be developed similarly; very slowly. All of their pizza dough’s are kneaded for a minimum of 72 hours before it is ready to be cooked.

Their pizza making methods come from the heart of Rome. To make their dough, they use the same process and techniques as pizza masters of Rome having been using for generations, and they believe this and also their passion to deliver the best pizza is the secret behind their success.

Adagio is unique, as the price is decided by the weight and variety of the pizza. You pick and choose from a variety of pizzas, and decide how large you want the size. They then cut the pizza using a food scissor and weigh it on the scale. This type of service is rare to see in London.

Pizza al Taglio, (Italian for pizza by the cut) is baked in large rectangular trays, this is very popular in Italy. Adagio is a good place to go when you want to grab a quick snack or a meal. And they always have a different selection of pizzas out everyday, so you always have something new to try.

Adagio - Greek Street, Soho

They call themselves ‘perfectionist pizza lovers’ and rightly so as pizzas from here are of the highest quality, some of the finest you would ever taste. The aroma hits you as soon as you walk past the shop. You can feel the perfect texture of the pizza as you pick it up. And this all builds up to the grand finale of the taste, which is so authentic and original. You will definitely want to come back to Adagio for more.

My Rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ Adagio has done very well. They are creative and original, and their style of serving pizza is very different to other restaurants. Their pricing is very fair, as it is dependant on how much you want! They also have a good selection of vegetarian pizzas to choose from.

My Recommendation: Try a variety of pizzas. If you’re not too hungry, get many small pizzas because that’s what Adagio’s about! If the ‘Zucchini Flowers, Fior di Latte Mozzarella and Gorgonzola’ is available, definitely try it. I haven’t had a pizza like it before. It’s delicious!

Average Price: £7 per person.

My Tip: Try new things! If you’re not sure, you can always get a small piece but i’m sure you’ll be asking for a bigger piece next time!

Visit their website for the full menu http://www.adagio-pizza.com/ or contact them by telephone – 0207 287 1194

Visit your nearest Adagio now:

Soho – 10 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D 4DH

Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square – 52 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QU

What is your favourite cuisine?

Wagamama is a modern Japanese style noodle bar. The first store opened in London 18 years ago and the UK now have over 60 Wagamama’s nationwide. However, only in the last three years has Wagamama opened branches overseas, but in that time, nearly 40 restaurants have been opened in over 15 countries.

The Japanese are famous for their non-vegetarian dishes, yet Wagamama has done well to produce some exquisite and unique dishes for us veggies. My personal favourite is the Saien Soba, which is a big bowl of whole wheat noodles in a vegetable soup topped with fried tofu and a mouth-watering selection of vegetables. You wouldn’t have tried noodles like it before. The tofu and soup in-one mixture is hard to get right and taste nice, and Wagamama have mastered it, so they must be must be recognised for this. I have a BIG appetite, but this meal definitely filled me up!

The Saien Soba is healthy and enjoyable and to go along with it; the perfect starter is the Yasai Gyoza, which is a portion of steam grilled vegetable dumplings, served at the perfect texture along with a unique sweet ginger soy dipping sauce. (I’m not a big fan of the taste of ginger, however I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious taste of this appetizer.)

Wagamama has created a unique way of serving their customers; they write what each person orders on the individual’s paper place mat, and order to the kitchen wirelessly via PDA’s, which adds to the interesting experience. And they also bring out the food as soon as it’s ready so it’s served hot, in comparison to most other restaurants, who bring out the food when everything is done, which isn’t as fresh and in most cases has probably just been kept under a hot light.

Using innovation and tradition, Wagamama has created an exciting fusion of food that must be tried.  I definitely suggest one the fruit juices to go along with your meal, as all of their juices are freshly made, they’re cool, very refreshing and really bring out the strong fruity flavour. My recommendation is the apple and lime juice, you won’t be disappointed.

My Rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ They could provide more choice for vegetarians, however the taste of the few veggie dishes they have, are very nice.

My Recommendation:

Starter: Yasai Gyoza

Main: Saien Soba

Drink: Apple and Lime juice

Average Price: The average price per person is around £15, including a starter, main meal and a drink.

My Tip: Use chopsticks, it really does add to the whole experience. And prepare yourself for a delicious meal, filled with strong traditional flavours, guaranteed to make your taste buds go wild!

Check out their website for more details http://wagamama.com/

Hi everyone. Hope you’re all well, thanks for taking the time to read this.

If you could spare a few moments, you could save an animal’s life. It’s free and will just take a few moments. All you need to do is complete a sponsor activity and Action for Animals will make a donation that will help save animals from life and death on factory farms. It’s simple, you just need to click on the link in the bar on the right, called ‘SocialVibe’ and follow the instructions. With your help, hopefully we can save our earth’s animals. So please support the cause and help raise donations and awareness.

Thank you.

A trendy restaurant with some of the finest burgers around. Not many know this, but Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) has actually got many influences from New Zealand cuisine; it was founded by three New Zealanders that were living in London, who missed how food tasted back home. As a result, many of the burgers carry a part of New Zealand heritage.

The first GBK opened in London just under 10 years ago, since then, not only have they opened stores all over the UK and Ireland, but more recently they have spread worldwide, to countries such as Dubai, Greece, Oman and Turkey.

As most places, GBK doesn’t have as many vegetarian options compared to the non-vegetarian selection. However the few vegetarian options they do have are very popular. The bestseller is the Aubergine & Goat’s Cheese burger. Topped with oven roasted tomatoes, mix leaf salad, mayo and relish; they’ve created one of the tastiest and freshest burgers out there.

GBK's best selling vegetarian burger

Aubergine and Goat's Cheese Burger

One of my favourites is the Falafel burger; this may sound simple, however once you taste it, you’ll realise this isn’t the case at all. The mixture of ingredients and toppings they use make this a falafel burger you haven’t seen or tasted before, especially with the combination of sweet chilli sauce and cucumber raita, which creates a whole new mix of flavours, being slightly spicy, tangy and cool all at the same time. All GBK kitchens are on view, so you can see how your food is prepared.

Adding to the unique taste is the ‘Homemade Onion Rings’ and ‘Chunky GBK Fries’. Served along with the Homemade dipping sauces is a must! They have the perfect assortment of dips, what more could you ask for? Altogether, you have an exciting blend of food, not just to eat but to enjoy.

My Rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ As the vegetarian burgers they already have are delicious in their own unique ways, they should look to introduce more vegetarian options with the same one-of-a-kind quality.

My Recommendation:

Main: Falafel Burger

Sides: Chunky GBK fries, they complete the perfect meal. Along with the tri-taster homemade dipping sauces Garlic Mayo, Sour Cream and Sweet Chilli.

Drinks: Any of their fresh juices or milkshakes go great with the meal.

Average Price: £12 per person.

My Tip: Prepare yourself for a filling meal!

Visit GBK’s website to see their full menu and to find your nearest restaurant. http://www.gbk.co.uk/

Saravana Bhavan – The Legacy

A vegetarian chain store that has been around for nearly 30 years and has now spread to every corner of the globe. Most Indian restaurants only serve the food that is from their part of India, as Indian cuisine is very diverse, every state has its own specialities.

However, in Saravana Bhavan, they bring different types of food from all over India under one roof. With such a wide variety of options in their menu, from South Indian and North Indian cuisine to Chinese, as well as sweets and savouries you won’t be left short of choice.

If you want to experience real Indian food, then the best option to go for is the thali. The thali is a meal that has a selection of different portions of food which are served in small bowls on a big plate. It is a very popular meal choice all over India and is quickly becoming the craze in many Indian restaurants worldwide. Examples of the type of food a thali would contain are rice, dhal, chapatti, vegetables, papadums and sweets.

South Indian Thali

Apart from thali’s, you can also get other traditional food, such as a dosa, which is similar to a pancake but thinner, made from rice and black lentils. Another popular dish is idli, also made from black lentils and rice, however in a complete different form – as a circular savoury cake. Both idli and dosa are south Indian dishes and are served with sambhar or chutney. Sambhar is like a vegetable stew made from toor dhal and chutney is a pasty sauce which comes in many different ‘flavours’.

North Indian dishes that are available at Saravana Bhavan include breads such as naan, parota, chapatti, and a variety of curries to go along with the breads including paneer, chaana, and potato.

Saravana Bhavan has a busy, family atmosphere, however you will never be waiting too long for your food. It is a must try, with their traditional yet modern themes and styling, they have got the correct blend for an Indian restaurant in London.

My Rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ With the prices being very reasonable for the extremely good and rich taste and quality, do not miss out on this hidden treasure.

My Recommendation:

Starters: Chilly Paneer

Main: South Indian Thali

Drink: Mango Lassi

Average Price: £10 per person, possibly even less! Very reasonable prices for very good, quality food.

My Tip: It can get busy in the evenings, so to avoid waiting for a table, get there as early as possible.

Both branches are located very near to each of their underground tube stations (East Ham on the District and Hammersmith & City lines and Rayners Lane on the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines).

East Ham – 300 High Street North, Manor Park, London, E12 6SA or Telephone: 0208 552 4677

Rayners Lane – 403 Alexandra Avenue, Rayners Lane, Harrow, HA2 9SG or Telephone: 0208 869 9966

Visit their website for more information http://www.saravanabhavan.co.uk/

Subway – Eat it Fresh

Popular sandwich bar worldwide, but few know about the Veggie Patty. The Veggie Patty is similar to a burger, placed in the sandwich. It is an ideal quick meal, which tastes brilliant with their selection of salads topped with Southwest sauce.

Veggie Patty

If you fancy something a little lighter though, you could try their Veggie Delite, which is your choice out of their delicious fresh salads in any of their 5 options of bread (Italian (Original White), Wheat, Wild Herb & Cheese, Honey Oat or Hearty Italian). And you also choose if you want a 6-inch bread or the full foot-long if you’re feeling hungry!

Subway food preparation is very quick and is done in front of you; it will normally never take more than a few minutes.

One of the best unique factors about Subway, is that as there is so much variety and choice, there is a sandwich for everyone and people can have it made to how they want. There are so many different possibilities of sandwich that could be potentially made.

My Rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ They could try to improve the presentation of the packaging style, however the taste is unique and delightful.

My Recommendation:

Wheat bread, Veggie Patty, toasted – with cheese. Topped with lettuce, cucumber, sweetcorn and green peppers. Dashed with Southwest sauce and mayonnaise.

Average Price: £3.50 for a 6 inch bread or £5.50 for a foot-long.

My Tip: Ask them to warm up the Veggie Patty separately and then toast it along with the bread and cheese.

Check on Subway’s website to find one of their many stores: http://www.subway.co.uk/

Everyone has heard about it and they’re famous for their chicken. However, not a lot of people know that there are many delicious vegetarian options as well. Just as all the non-veg fanatics go crazy for Nando’s chicken, we vegetarians have some mouth-watering veggie dishes to drool over too.

My personal favourite is the Veggie Burger. It may seem ordinary, but with their various spice levels and sauces, it’s far from normal! Every vegetarian MUST try it. And if you don’t want to go for the usual fries as a side dish (even with the Nando’s PERi-PERi spice), they have many other sides to accompany your main meal, such as, Garlic Bread (which goes ideal with Nando’s Perinaise – guaranteed to be a hit with whatever you eat), Spicy Rice, Coleslaw and Corn-on-the-Cob.

There are also other main dishes, which you can have as a wrap, pitta or burger, such as the ‘Veggie’, Roasted Portobello Mushroom and Grilled Halloumi Cheese, or ‘Beanie’. Also the Houmous with PERi-PERi Drizzle starter is a must, dug in with warm pitta, it sounds simple but not when the houmous is flavoured over with Nando’s PERi-PERi oil, you wouldn’t have tried anything like it before! Or if houmous isn’t your thing, you can try the Red Pepper Dip, which has roasted, diced red peppers tossed with chilli and spices.

With their selection of sauces ranging from wild herb to extra-extra hot, everyone’s needs are catered for. And why not add in a jug of Sangria on a Friday night to really have the full Nando’s experience! Usually, in most Nando’s, even if they’re busy, the food shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes. In recent years, Nando’s has become a very popular destination; this is most likely because of their reasonable prices and extremely good food.

Nando’s is a fun place to be, with their Portuguese music and decorated theme throughout. I’d recommend getting their loyalty card stamped because it’s definitely worth a few more visits!

My Rating: ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ ✰ The service is mostly very good, the food is excellent, so they deserve the full 5 out of 5 rating. 

My Recommendation:

Starters: Humous and Pitta Bread

Main: Veggie Burger – with cheese, medium spice (or for those daring, try extra hot!)

Sides: Peri-Peri Chips, Garlic Bread and a Perinaise.

Average Price: £12 per person, including a starter, a main, 2 sides and a refillable drink!

My Tip: Get a bottomless drink to go along with your meal, it really does help refresh your taste buds.

Check out their website to find your nearest Nando’s: http://www.nandos.co.uk/