Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Midweek at Monkey Nuts

Now that Chloe and I no longer work in the same office (sad face), we have to make the extra effort to see each other (obviously worth it). After much to-ing and fro-ing and diary comparisons, we settled on a mid-week dinner in North London - closer to home. 

Having visited Monkey Nuts in Crouch End many a time, their arrival in Whetstone was highly anticipated. I had spent an evening or five sampling their cocktail menu (which is utterly fabulous - the Apple Martini is a MUST) and chicken wings before, and so knew it was the perfect place for The Two Hungry Girls.

On arrival we were greeted by cheerful staff who promptly whisked over our drinks orders while we perused the menu. Apple Martini for me, and a Vodka Daisy for Chloe. They were delicious and incidentally half price during happy hour.

For starters, I plumped for the Soy and Ginger Wings, which were a heady, decadent mix of salty and sweet, crispy-skinned and joyously meaty, and served with a fresh Asian slaw.

Chloe opted for mac and cheese balls; rich and oozy parcels of the ultimate comfort food, coated in crunchy breadcrumbs.

Neither of us could resist the call of the Dirty Dog. (It was a contingency order for me, when I discovered to my utter dismay that the kale mac and cheese was no longer on the menu, but I got over it quite quickly when this arrived...)

A beef and pork frank nestled snugly in buttery brioche, smothered in a blanket of melted cheese, piled high with smokey barbecue pulled pork for good measure and bedecked with green chilli relish. This is truly a behemoth in a bun. The fries, though crisp and rather tasty, we sadly largely overlooked because of the sheer size of the thing.

Happy and full, we planned our next adventure and cooed over the marble tables and mismatched lighting fixtures.

If you're looking for comfort and cocktails in North London, Monkey Nuts is a no-brainer.

Stephanie x

Monday, 21 September 2015

Chowing Down on Bunny Chow

A few weeks ago we were wandering around Soho searching for a new lunch-time tasty treat, and we came across Bunny Chow on Wardour Street.

The concept behind Bunny Chow is a great one; a South African restaurant where they take a mini-loaf, carve out the middle, stuff it full of flavour and top it with the lid.

Stephanie and I both chose the Piri Piri Pork Bunny - I topped mine with crunchy nachos and Stephanie chose the slaw.

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Succulent 8-hour pulled pork that melts in your mouth, with the perfect combination of spices - this was the Piri Piri Pork lunch of dreams.

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Stephanie's slaw added a scrumptious crunchy contrast to the slow-cooked pork.

Needless to say, both Stephanie and I were fans, and couldn't resist going back to try one more thing...

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Introducing the Bunny Chow breakfast ...! A brioche bun, stuffed with home-made bacon, tomatoes, black pudding, mushrooms, salsa beans and egg. It is one of the best Full English breakfasts you will ever have, and will leave you in a serious food slump afterwards (as we both found out!).

Bunny Chow offer both eat in and take-out options and, for the bargain price of £4.50 for the brekkie bunny and £5 for the Piri Piri, it's a treat you do not want to miss!

Chloe x

The Hungry Girls' Diary would love to hear your favourite eats so we can head down and give them a go!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Lunch a la Plancha

Let me set the scene for you... was a particularly hideous lunchtime in Soho; the rain was beating against the office windows, the sky was a dreary shade of charcoal, and the clouds it seemed, had made their way into the building to hang over everyone's afternoon.

When days like this happen, there is only one solution according to Chloe and I - food.

We ventured out into the torrential storm for something that had been on our 'To Eat' list for a while - the Wahaca Taco Stand.

With soggy hair and hopeful hearts, we shuffled into the little bar next to Wahaca's Soho restaurant. After mere seconds of perusing the menu (there are two options available, with specials popping up now and again!) we made our respective decisions.

Feeling especially in need of protein with a long afternoon ahead, I opted for the ribeye and cheese, Chloe, being unable to resist the smokey, salty call of bacon, went for the B.L.A.T (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato). Keen not to miss an avo-tunity, I requested extra 'A' in mine, and was graciously obliged.

We watched keenly as first thick rashers of smokey bacon and delicately-sliced steak were placed on the Plancha, followed by tiny mounds of cheese. As it melted into pools of molten delight, the chef placed lavender-hued blue corn tortillas on top of each.

The base of each taco now fused together, construction could begin. With expert precision, the Plancha master added layer upon layer of flavour, pausing to ask which garnishes we wanted. The only thing left was to load up on sauces (the pico de gallo was irrestibly fresh and zesty), and carry our spoils to the bar to devour.

The soft tortillas were no match for the pico, so this was a straight up knife and fork job. The ribeye was beautifully seasoned and blissfully tender, and cut with the light, refreshing sauce, it was a heavenly experience. The B.L.A.T too was similarly transcendent, with the generous slices of crisp bacon marrying seamlessly with the toasted cheese. Each bite was heralded with a chorus of "mmms", and our only complaint was that there wasn't more to a portion (but let's be honest, we've never not had that complaint).

If you're looking for a lunch stop with a difference in Soho, this is your answer. 

Wahaca Soho - 80 Wardour Street, London W1F OTF

Stephanie x

Thursday, 3 September 2015

We Got Seoul!


Last week, The Hungry Girls' Diary took a trip to Korea and enjoyed some delicious Korean BBQ from Got Seoul at the Street Food Union Market on Rupert Street, Soho.

Got Seoul is one of the many street food stalls here, ranging from butter milk fried chicken sandwiches to couscous wraps, but the delicious smell of the Korean BBQ was too much to resist!


The choice was simple; pork belly or steak wrapped up in either a brioche bun, flat bread or a salad box. 

I opted for the Korean pork belly wrap, with added Kimchi. Succulent, slow cooked pork belly, grilled on the plancha with extra BBQ sauce poured over the top - the smell whilst waiting was torturous! 


Wrapped up in a flat bread the size of a small space ship, these guys are not messing around. Layers of pork belly, salad, slaw and that delicious favourite of mine, Kimchi, this is lunch is packed full and packed with flavour. Rather than fighting our way to find a seat at the market, we took our lunches back to the office and, due to the sheer size of this lunch, it had to be tackled with cutlery to save my blouse. 


Stephanie opted for the salad box which was layered with the scrumptious pork belly, deliciously crisp leaves and slaw. Stephanie also opted for a bit of Kimchi on the side, as she was not as sure of this delicious treat as me (I would personally eat it with everything...!). 

Needless to say, this has fast become on of our favourite lunch options and, for only £6.50 including the Kimchi (£6 without) it is a lunch treat we would definitely recommend! 

The Street Food Union market is only there Thursday - Saturday, 11am - 4pm. Make sure you head down early to not miss out on these tasty treats!

Chloe x

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Peru via Carnaby Street

An inexplicably sunny and warm Saturday lured us into Central London this weekend. With the sun on our backs and food on our minds (let's face it, it always is...), we ventured over to Kingly Court in search of sustenance. 

Just off Carnaby Street, Kingly Court is a sun-drenched courtyard that feels like a delicious little secret to everyone there. On this particular day, it was a little oasis just a stone's throw away from the tourist traps, and we couldn't be more grateful.

The seemingly impossible task of choosing where to eat was next on our agenda. Having done a circuit of the first floor, and stared indiscriminately at the plates of diners sat at the open window seats, we decided on Peruvian restaurant, Señor Ceviche

We were given the warmest of welcomes...

... and shown to our table. 

Chloe is the only person in the world I will happily share food with, so we chose liberally from Señor Ceviche's sharing-policy menu, and waited for the spoils to arrive. 

I can only assume that the chefs at Señor Ceviche are well-versed in magic, because what arrived was so utterly delicious that we sat, silent and in awe, for some time after our first bite.

First up was Chifa Chicharonnes - slow cooked pork belly bites in a soy sauce. Soft, melt-in-your-mouth pork with a crispy shell, bathed in a sticky, sweet and salty glaze, and topped with a smooth creamy sauce. We decided immediately that we could live on Chicharonnes for the rest of our lives.

And then, there were wings (we love a wing). Tamarind Chilli Wings to be exact. A devilishly dark and rich sauce, sweet, sticky, and with a warming, tantalising heat smothered generously-sized chicken wings that were moist and moreish with perfectly crisp skin. 

We allowed ourselves a main dish each as Chloe, understandably, fancied the Señor Ceviche, and I am not the biggest fan of seafood and fish. 

The Señor Ceviche definitely lived up to being the name-sake dish. Delicious citrus notes happily complimented the sea bream and octopus. The aji amarillo tiger's milk was full of flavour and the sweat potato puree gave the dish a depth and body that made it simply heaven to eat. 

I decided instead, to go for the Anticucho de Pollo. Tender chunks of chicken balanced delicately on skewers above pools of Amarillo and huacatay sauce and cool, creamy coriander yoghurt. This arrived with sweet potato fries and delectable Frijoles Negras, with bacon, burnt aubergine and a small hill of sour cream.  

We left convinced that we had to return, and that we should move to Peru immediately. A definite soul-soothing must-visit if you're burnt-out after shopping on Oxford Street.

Stephanie x

Friday, 21 August 2015

Wings Wednesdays at The Bohemia

#WingsWednesday is, by far, one of our favourite days of the week, and no-one does it quite like The Bohemia, North Finchley. From 7 o'clock on a Wednesday we take up residence on one of their insanely comfortable, beaten up old leather sofas and prepare for the feast ahead of us...

Succulent chicken coated in a delicious sauce, cooked to perfection and accompanied by a delicious dipping sauce. And what's more, on a Wednesday you can get half a kilo of these treats for £5!

To get the best of both worlds, Stephanie and I split our portions with the aim of dividing and conquering (and to see if we can finish them all!). It's worth dropping The Bohemia a tweet on the day to see if they have any specials going and this week the special was beyond belief - Detroit Hot Honey Wings. 

We placed our order, alongside our old favourite of Hot Wings with a Blue Cheese dipping sauce and some curly fries on the side, and let the feasting begin! 

Needless to say the Hot Wings did not disappoint but, the star of the show was easily the Detroit wings. A sticky, sweet, warming glaze that coated the wings perfectly was only heightened by the delectable dipping sauce on the side. They have taken up permanent residence in our hearts and next time they are on the specials board, we will be going back. 

The Bohemia is a London Brewing Company Pub  so be sure to check out their selection of beers as well. We went for the trusted favourite, Strawberry beer which we find compliments our wings perfectly. 

The next time you are in North London on a Wednesday head down to see what all the fuss is about. We promise, you will not leave wanting! 

Chloe x

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

The Fentiman's Botanical Garden Cocktail Bar

Let's start at the beginning shall we...

...that seems, for all intents and purposes, like the best place to start.

Like many a night before, we found ourselves half-skipping excitedly through Soho on a week night, in search of the next pop-up bar or restaurant, or handheld food stand that we had heard about on some obscure Twitter feed, or email that had landed by spectacular coincidence in our overburdened work inboxes.

This time, it was the turn of the Fentiman's Botanical Garden Cocktail Bar at L'Escargot. As we climbed the stairs past ornately decorated salons the colour of La Durée macarons, we had high hopes, and we were not disappointed when we reached the bar in the rafters. On this particular night, an album launch for a folk band was also taking place in the Fentiman's room, so we were treated to dulcet tones as we sipped.

A large, and very beautiful conservatory-slash-greenhouse-slash-library-slash-laboratory greeted us, and we established a perch directly in front of the very charming barman, between the company of flora and ferns that bedecked the room.

It was while we were so perched, in a heady haze of cocktails and a veritable hoedown, that we decided to start a food blog, and document our adventures properly.

We started with a 'Lillet Rose', comprised of Lillet Blanc and Fentiman's Victorian Rose Lemonade, and a 'Citrus Dream' (Ketel One Citroen, Rose Wine and Fentiman's Victorian Lemonade) respectively. The Lillet Rose was sweet and infinitely refreshing, and disappeared all too quickly.

The 'Citrus Dream' was a tantalising mix of delicious citrus notes leaving a sharp but satisfying taste on your tongue. Much like the 'Lillet Rose', it was gone all too soon. 

Next, we were dutifully offered our second round of cocktails, and plumped for the 'Fearless Fun' (tequila, cointreau and Fentiman's Ginger Beer) and the 'Curiosity' (bourbon, orange zest and a reduction of Fentiman's Curiosity Cola). 'Fearless Fun' was deliciously fresh and moreish, with a hint of heat from the underlying ginger beer.

The 'Curiosity' was balanced in the most perfect way, with the warmth of the bourbon underlying every sip creating a constant want for more. 

Having exhausted our Time Out London voucher for 4 cocktails, Chloe's gift for befriending barmen came in handy (not for the first time, certainly not for the last) and we were kept well-watered for the rest of the night with Fentiman's collaborative Bloom's gin mixes. The Bloom's and Rose Lemonade is not to be missed.

If you haven't yet visited the Fentiman's pop-up at L'Escargot then do - you won't be disappointed.

Stephanie x