The Joint, Brixton

am very glad we seized the opportunity to check brixton village out before kodaline’s show at o2 brixton (which was beyond amazing; they are SO incredible live!!!) last friday night; the amazing pulled pork that we had at the joint was perfect fuel for the long night we had ahead of us!

nestled happily among other hidden food gems in the very interesting brixton village market is where you will find the joint. it occupies a tiny shop space which is solely for its kitchen, while its patrons occupy tables which are spread out along the walkways in the shop’s vicinity:

this picture was taken when we first arrived around 6pm so it hadn’t gotten crowded yet; the tables filled up really quickly after a while! the menu at the joint is simple but very satisfying; they have a great range of sides to accompany a smaller range of mains, and everything is reasonably-priced!

we initially only ordered just 1 side – the hush puppies, because it sounded exciting and was unique to the joint. but the food was so good that we ended up adding on another side order of hot wings (recommended by the waiter)! the sides come served in bags tied with twine and labelled with a note – A+ for the adorable idea!
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hush puppies – £3.50

we thoroughly enjoyed the hush puppies! the (friendly) waiter described them as savoury donuts fried with sweet corn, and they ended up far exceeding my expectations! they came wonderfully warm and drizzled in a barbeque sauce, perfectly golden-brown and crisp on the outside while fluffy and light inside:

they were a little denser, firmer and less pillow-y than a regular sweet donut which i thought was the right consistency to go with the savoury taste of it. (for those who know what indian rojak is, they were like the delicious fried dough fritters you get with that!!! almost a taste of home right there 🙂 ) i absolutely loved how they were crunchy on the outside but soft inside, and also how they were not very greasy at all despite being freshly-fried. a very tasty and unique side dish that i will not hesitate to order again when i return!

as mentioned earlier, we were so pleased with the food that we decided to order a serving of hot wings midway through the meal:
hot wings – £3.50

i thought these wings were very similar to those they have (and that i adore) at patty & bun! the sauce was very asian-inspired, barbeque sauce-based and topped with a healthy sprinkling of spring onions and chillies. we were quite surprised that the wings did actually pack some spice, unlike many places which dub their food “spicy” when it isn’t actually (at least not for our spice-accustomed asian tongues, that is)…

the wings were delicious – they were thoroughly seasoned and cooked to perfection, and the meat fell off the bone and was extremely tender and moist! given that there were only 2 wings and 2 drumsticks, they were polished off in no time.

now on to the mains, we ordered 1 regular pulled pork bun, and 1 asian pulled pork bun. the buns were very impressively huge:
20140321_18274320140321_182750when i saw them being brought towards us standing extremely tall and proud in all their glory right in the centre of the plates, i was slightly daunted by the prospect of (1) having to attempt to eat it glamorously and (2) having to finish all of it. turns out the former was warranted (no cutlery provided, its all about getting down and dirty!) but the latter wasn’t (it was so good i finished every single bit).

evidence of getting down and dirty (#glamforever):20140321_183230
boy (man?) vs bun
check out how huge it is in comparison to the size of my mouth…

i ordered the asian 16 hour bbq pulled pork bun, which differed from the regular one in terms of its toppings – the base of bun and salad and coleslaw was the same, but the asian version has pickled ginger, chilli and spring onion instead of apple candied bacon in the original! it was delicious and i thoroughly enjoyed it. after trying a bit of each other’s, we agreed that the asian version packed a greater punch and was the more memorable of the two! the original version was lighter though; the barbeque taste in the asian version came out a lot more strongly which made the former leave a much “cleaner” aftertaste.

the pulled pork, which was heaped very generously in the bun, was sweet and juicy – the kind of juicy that results in liquid trails racing down your hands. but i didn’t mind one bit because it was certainly worth the mess! the pork was delicious, but my favourite part of the whole thing had to be the bread – sourdough infused with vanilla and fig (which explains its interesting yellow colour!). i honestly could not make out the flavours of vanilla and fig very distinctly at all, but there was something very special about the texture and taste of the bread. it has a wonderfully browned “skin” and a brioche-like consistency – absolutely loved it!!! needless to say, the bun, pork, salad, coleslaw etc all came together wonderfully to make for one very good pulled pork bun, and what made it even better was how reasonably priced it was – £7 for something so big!!! we left extremely satisfied, despite our sticky hands and the smell of sauce that lingered on them (despite multiple washes) for the night.

done and dusted

i was very pleased with our choice of dinner venue before the concert, and it set the tone right for what promised to be a fab night out 🙂 so if you’re planning on going to brixton village and don’t know what to eat, i assure you that this will not disappoint (it certainly didn’t let me down)! i need to make another trip back soon to check out all the other exciting things they have on offer; its a place that deserves to be visited whether you’re going for a concert in the vicinity or not!

The Joint

87 Brixton Village Market
Coldharbour Lane
London SW9 8PS20140321_190541 20140321_190559

PS. be sure to wear a little more because it can get a little cold and drafty along the alleys of brixton market in winter. once the food comes and you tuck in though, you’ll be warmed up in no time 😉


(dessert at) Roka, London

today on rockabitebaby, i present to you… *drumroll please*… quite possibly my new favourite dessert in all of london and one of the BEST molten lava cakes i have ever had – none other than roka’s dark chocolate molten matcha lava cake.

please do me a favour and FEAST YOUR EYES –
Imageafter a wonderful japanese dinner at nizuni (directly across the street from roka) last weekend, my pig-in-crime for the night and i decided to try our luck at roka and see if they’d just let us order dessert. we weren’t too optimistic and were initially turned away but we must have looked pretty shattered, because we were later told that we could do that if we sat outside, so brave the cold we did!!! and boy am i glad we did.

we didn’t even need to look at the menu to place our order; we had come for just one thing: what they call the CHOCOLATE TO MACHA PUDDING, YO-NASHI AISU, rather underwhelmingly described on their menu as a dark chocolate and green tea pudding with crunchy jivara and pear ice cream. i really don’t know why its misleadingly called a pudding, because this is some seriously amazing molten lava cake!

we requested to change our pear ice cream to black sesame ice cream (green tea + black sesame = one of my all-time favourite flavour combinations), and were greeted with this humble-looking cake not long after:

looks can be deceiving/do not judge a book by its cover – i was apprehensive when the cake first arrived at our table and wondered why it was square and not the usual more cylindrical-shaped lava cake. but we quickly learnt that our worries were completely unfounded when we dug in:

the dark chocolate cake erupted with amazing green matcha goodness that just wouldn’t stop oozing out!20140308_205528if this isn’t a beautiful mess, then i don’t know what is…

the dark chocolate cake was crisp at the edges but moist inside, and even got a little gooey towards the centre, just as a perfect molten lava cake should be. it was light and not overly-sweet – pretty much a match made in heaven with the molten matcha that was of the perfect consistency. the matcha taste was really authentic; there was not a hint of any cheap artificial matcha flavouring at all and topped with the yummy black sesame ice cream which was smooth, creamy and fragrant with black sesame bits, we were truly in dessert heaven.

indeed, this slice of heaven didn’t come cheap (i can’t remember the exact price but it was about £10), but it was worth every penny (and calorie)! it proved to be one of those rare (or not so?) things which made me remind myself not to stuff my face too quickly so the enjoyment could be prolonged, and that caused an escalating sense of loss as what was on the plate slowly diminished. 😦

a must-try if you are at roka and i will without a doubt be back for this, hopefully along with their proper food too!!! for matcha lovers out there, it is essential that you give this amazing cake a try to better your quality of life. as for non-matcha lovers out there, it is equally imperative that you do the same; you might just change your mind about this green goodness.


37 Charlotte St
London W1T 1RR

PS. feast for two that night at nizuni across the street, before the night got even better than it already was with aforementioned epic dessert:
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might (or might not) have gotten a little carried away with the ordering (but we did finish it all!!!)

needless to say, i was a very very happy bunny that night 🙂

Abeno, London

located just a stone’s throw away from the british museum, abeno is the perfect spot for a legit japanese food fix after a day at the museum.  specialising in okonomiyaki (japanese pancake containing a variety of ingredients), this traditional japanese establishment also serves a range of other foods cooked before your eyes on a hot plate at your table, including teppanyaki, yaki-soba (fried noodles), and om soba (noodles wrapped in egg).

my friend and i visited on a friday afternoon and we were greeted by the sight and smell of food glorious (fried) food being cooked at the centre of each table once we entered, which got us even more excited to eat. (NB: as enticing as the smell of freshly-fried goodies is, unfortunately it lingers on your clothes so wear something you’re going to wash…). abeno occupies a simply-decorated and cosy shop along musesum street that makes for a very pleasant place to have a casual lunch:

they have a special lunch menu, so its not a bad idea at all to make a trip down for that all-important mid-day pick-me-up:20140307_132810

since they are known for their okonomiyakis, it wasn’t difficult to decide what we wanted to go for – we decided on an osaka mix and a tokyo mix. it came with a miso soup and the side dish of the day which was some kind of green bean-like vegetable in sesame dressing. 20140307_134313
the miso soup was flavourful and wonderful for a cold day, but i do wish they had added some ingredients into the soup instead of just having a measly few pieces of seaweed. i really enjoyed the side of greens – it was well-chilled, extremely fresh, and they had a very nice crunch to them. the sesame dressing was also light and added in just the right amount such that all the greens were well-covered, but they certainly were not dripping in sauce.

not long after, the raw okonomiyaki ingredients were brought to our table in shiny metal bowls, all ready to be mixed and cooked before our eyes!

we were rather pleased with their generosity with the ingredients! every condiment was also very fresh, and everything was subsequently mixed together to give this:20140307_134210

then the cooking began! the mixtures were poured onto the hot plates before us and shaped, before being left to cook under metal lids for a few minutes.20140307_134440

after some fancy flipping and the removal of the lids, this is what greets you:
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trust me, by this point, the smell and wait you’ve had to endure thus far will leave you completely ready to tuck into this pancake of goodness sitting pretty before you! but before going for it, there’s one final step to be done – the decorating of the okonomiyaki! there is a range of sauces/toppings you can pick from – japanese mayo, sweet katsu sauce, seaweed and bonito flakes! needless to say, we opted for everything, and a bit more 😉

the final product:20140307_135229after admiring the bonito flakes that were very much alive and swaying atop the freshly-made pancakes for a bit, we happily commenced demolishment of the okonomiyakis.

there was actually not much difference in taste between the tokyo mix and the osaka mix, which i think probably means not enough kimchi was added to the osaka one to give it that additional spicy punch. nonetheless, both were very good. the ingredients were fresh, the pancake was lovely, warm, fluffy and tasty, and the sauces that accompanied them were great complements. the combinations of ingredients were good, and i particularly liked the squid and prawns which were really crunchy and naturally sweet! it didn’t take long for us to get through the pancakes though, because they were not very big at all. for someone with a big appetite, you’d probably be just half-full but there is the option of getting a deluxe okonomiyaki (which i assume is bigger), or adding noodles to the mix though!

we had room for dessert, and i was really excited by the impressive range of desserts they had on their menu:

after much deliberation, we opted for the kyoto sundae!20140307_143742
kyoto sundae: green tea ice cream, azuki red beans, cream – £5.95

besides the fact that the sundae itself was structually unsound and basically impossible to eat without putting the scoop of ice cream in serous danger of rolling right off, it was pretty good! hidden beneath the cream were some crunchy cereal bits as well as mochis, so it pretty much had all the makings of a perfect matcha sundae. i love red bean so my only qualm was that they were a little (or not so little) stingy with the red bean sitting atop the ice cream. also, for its price i had imagined something bigger, but then again i suppose the size of the okonomiyakis for the price we paid should have been some indication to manage our expectations with the dessert serving size. matcha anything is always good though, so i still really enjoyed this dessert!

abeno is certainly worth a visit for the relatively novel experience of having your food prepared before you. the quality of the food is also commendable, and it makes for an entertaining lunch experience although i think the okonomiyaki itself though very tasty and rather yummy, isn’t particularly mind-blowing. i’d probably be raving about it more if it was slightly more reasonably priced! at £13 for the lunch set, it is a bit steeply-priced for what you get. (or maybe i’m just comparing this to what you pay for something similar back home or in japan, which i really shouldn’t be doing because this is london after all…) i will return if i’m craving teppanyaki-style food or some good japanese dessert, but probably not as frequently as i would if the pancakes were just that tiny bit cheaper!

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47 Museum St
London WC1A 1LY


PS. they have a sister outlet serving the same things (if i’m not wrong) – Abeno Too located near covent garden/trafalgar square at great newport street!

Foxcroft and Ginger, London

started hearing lots about this cafe in soho recently, and after doing a bit of stalking of their instagram location tag (tip: best way to get yourself excited about imminent meals), i decided that i had to make a trip there pronto.

foxcroft & ginger is probably somewhere you’d walk right past if you weren’t looking for it; it has a rather narrow storefront at the very start of a stretch in soho that isn’t full of food outlets (berwick street) like the rest of the streets of soho are. people definitely do know of its existence though, given the healthy crowd that was there at 11am on a weekday morning. it is a simply but stylishly decorated space, and gives off a really chill/laid-back vibe, perfect for putting you in the mood to have a cup of tea and slice of cake (actually do you even need a mood for that? that’s basically my permanent mood.).
downstairs seating area

the menu had a great range of what we thought were very reasonably-priced breakfast/brunch options:20140227_11141920140227_111425nothing excites me more than an extensive brunch menu; what’s there not to love about breakfast food? get in ma belly!!!

they also serve pizzas and some very enticing-sounding buns when brunch is over; the menu can be found at their website!

you place your order at the counter, where you’ll probably be drawn to some (or several) of their sweet treats on display:
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the french toast with ham, cheese & honey mustard came highly recommended and seemed to be a very popular choice with their patrons, so that’s what i opted for! as for my friend, he couldn’t resist a good plate of eggs benny with smoked salmon. and we couldn’t resist the scones on display that were calling out to us, so we got a scone with butter and jam as well, to share between us.

food was promptly served, and soon i had some of the most delicious-looking (and tasting too, i subsequently learnt) toast sitting happily before me:
french toast with ham, mature cheddar & honey mustard – £6.20

craving more of this right now as i type this post. just look at it!!! -drool alert- this was like a ham and cheese toastie on serious steroids. my favourite part of it was the honey mustard; it added a light sweetness which made what would have already been yummy ham & cheese toast even better. the honey also prevented the toast from being too dry as regular toasties can sometimes be. the bread was drenched in sweet (but not overly so) syrupy goodness which made it moist, but it was added in just the right amount so that it did not become soggy. the ham was delicious as was the cheddar, and the bread was warm and wonderful. also, check out that amazing melty gooey cheese:
20140227_113745what’s there not to love?

my friend had the eggs benny with smoked salmon:20140227_113501
eggs benedict with smoked salmon – £8.25

i didn’t have much of it (was too preoccupied with stuffing my face with french toast), but had enough to know that this was good eggs benny (though not particularly outstanding)! the muffins were nice and fluffy while the hollandaise sauce was light and yummy. the eggs were also perfectly poached. my friend enjoyed it and was satisfied!

as mentioned earlier, the scones on display at the counter where we placed our orders were begging to be eaten, so we ordered a plain one to share. it was served with jam and butter:

luckily the scone was rather large, because it was yummy and we might have been a little sad if it was any smaller and resulted it in us getting through it any more quickly hahaha. my favourite part of it was the crusty edges on the outside while the inside (ahh i should have taken a picture) remained soft and moist. it was dense, and i really liked the jam that accompanied it (i wonder if they make it themselves…). my only regret is that i didn’t have it sooner because scones are always that bit yummier when eaten all warm and toasty!

i really enjoyed foxcroft and ginger 🙂 i hear their pancakes (irresistible combination of berries, bacon, mascaporne and syrup) are amazing, and i will definitely be heading back to try them!

Foxcroft and Ginger

3 Berwick Street
London W1F 0DR


PS. if you haven’t had enough dessert there, or even if you have but are just greedy like me, snog is very conveniently located just a 1 minute stroll away:
the only thing better than a snog special – a snog special in the sun!!! HELLO SPRING 🙂


“I could spend the rest of my life eating in hawker centers.”
“I get the sense that Singaporeans are less likely to “go out” for Chinese or Indian than they are to just go out and eat everything in sight.” (emphasis added)

as i’m sure i’ve said many times before, Singapore – home to only some of the most unpretentious yet the most delicious food in the entire world :’)