New Ubin Seafood, Singapore

had heard about the increasing popularity and seen on various instagram and facebook feeds quite a bit about this place recently, so decided to drag (okay fine i didn’t have to drag; the fam bam is always willing to hunt down good food teehee) my family there for a meal one sunday evening.

we had previously visited this place once, but it was a long time back before it became the popular seafood haunt that it is today. i remember being very young and bewildered that we were having dinner in a coffeeshop-like setup in the middle of a bunch of car workshops!

the set-up remains the same today, but i now see the place as being charming in its own way, the kind of casual family place which people visit in their shorts and flipflops, with the menu scrawled in multiple colours on a chalkboard that stretches across the wall. its a bit like a secret shack hidden amidst car workshops nestled in sin ming, which i guess some might find appealing since it offers something very different from the usual modern set-ups that we so often visit these days.20130825_195714

we ordered 3 types of crabs, their famous beef, a plate of hokkien mee, and of course some glorious fried mantous (cannot live without, especially when there’s chilli crab sauce to be slurped up) for the 5 of us. they were having a buy 2 crabs get 1 free offer when we visited (there was a huge banner outside announcing this deal so i won’t be surprised if its a perennial offer) so that’s why we went for 3 crabs; if not for the fact that anything more would have been too much food, i think we might have given the other interesting options on the menu (like the pork knuckle) a try!

the crabs were all rather small and the meat was not particularly sweet or firm, though they were reasonably fresh. they were decent crabs though, and very reasonably priced if you take up the buy 2 get 1 free offer. the highlight of the crab dishes for me was definitely the different sauces of each style of cooking.

the first kind of crab we got was the black pepper crab:
20130825_185113besides the fact that the crab was on the (very small) side, we all thought the sauce was really delicious! it wasn’t the kind of black pepper crab that is very dry. instead, it was a little more sauce-y than usual (though from the pic it doesn’t appear to have much sauce at all on the plate i know); i prefer it this way but i’m not sure if everyone has the same preference! the sauce was very tasty and of the right consistency and pepperiness. i generally prefer crab done in other ways, but thought this was good nonetheless!

we also got a salted egg yolk crab:20130825_184613more tiny crabs! i’d like to think it was because they chose the smaller ones for us since we were a relatively small group attempting to eat 3 crabs? i am generally in love with anything that has salted egg yolk in it; i absolutely adore salted egg yolk and all its super savoury and tasty goodness. this dish was certainly no exception and was in fact one of the better salted egg yolk dishes i have had. they were generous with the egg yolk coating, and in my opinion, totally nailed the rich and grainy texture of the salted egg yolk paste. i could not get enough of this and am also guilty of licking the crab shells clean. shell-lickin’ good? i also polished off every single bit of the paste left on the lettuce leaves. am definitely getting something in this style the next time i visit, if not crab then squid!

the third type of crab we ordered was the quintessential chilli crab which no seafood dinner in singapore is ever complete without:20130825_185014
the chilli crab gravy was also very yummy and i loved the fact that there was plenty on the plate for us to drench our fried mantous in. it was of the right consistency – thick enough but not too heavy, and was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy! super yummy.

next, we had what nearly every beef-eating patron at ubin seafood orders, the rib eye steak!
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this was DELICIOUS. seriously good stuff. the beef is black angus rib eye from the states and is reasonably priced for its quality. we requested for it to be done medium-rare, and it was broiled to perfection – super yumz! i loved how the outside was done till it was just very slightly charred and hence crispy with a hint of smokiness, while the inside remained super moist and juicy. served on a large wooden board accompanied by wedges and caramelised onions, the smallest serving of this that you can order is 500g so this is perfect for sharing! it seems like this is the star dish of ubin seafood, and rightly so. a must-order when you are there!

besides the onions and wedges, the beef also comes with a complimentary plate of beef fried rice:20130825_184906
they use the beef fats that were cut off from the meat served to you to fry this super sinful plate of rice. it is a very simple dish with a bit of a smokey taste which really reminded me of claypot rice. though there are many others that rave about it, i thought it was pretty good, but definitely didn’t think it was outstanding enough to warrant having an entire bowl of something so sinfully unhealthy!

we got a plate of hokkien mee to end off the meal:
20130825_191522look at all that pork lard on the top screaming unhealthiness hahaha. this came highly recommended by the staff at the restaurant, and i thought it was pretty good! they were generous with the ingredients and i liked how it was the wet kind of hokkien mee, not the kind that’s fried dry. the sauce was tasty and despite the substantial amount the noodles came with, it remained rather light and wasn’t heavy. not a bad choice if you’re looking for some carbo to order.

all in all, it was a satisfying dinner with food cheaper but as good as that at the usual big seafood chains! i will definitely be back to satisfy future seafood cravings if i’m in the mood for somewhere casual and slightly off the beaten track. not sure if i’ll bring tourist friends here for seafood though; i feel it’ll be nicer to take them somewhere by the water instead and will probably be worth paying that bit more for a nicer ambience.20130825_185339

oh and be sure to make a reservation early before you go; the place is packed on weekends!

New Ubin Seafood

27 Sin Ming Road
#01-174, Sector A Sin Ming Industrial Estate
Singapore 575680

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Swee Choon Dim Sum, Singapore

[disclaimer: sorry for the unoptimal quality of the pictures in this post!!! i only had my phone on me to snap pics and also by the time the food came, we were so starving that i wasn’t too fussed about getting the perfect shot before tucking in heh. especially sorry for the unappealing pictures of half-eaten food!]

finally managed to head down to the famous swee choon dim sum recently for a mega dim sum feast! headed there after an intense wednesday at work and was tricked by google maps into thinking that it was really near to lavender mrt station; it was not very near after all and by the time we spotted the big red swee choon sign, we were starving and dying to eat.IMG-20130814-WA0031 unsurprisingly, there was a queue when we arrived around 7pm but thankfully it moved quickly and we were soon comfortably seated at a large table in the air-conditioned part of the restaurant! (we originally considered sitting outside so we wouldn’t have to queue for a table, but the outdoor seating is in this extremely dark alley behind the restaurant – not a very pleasant or optimal eating environment at all!) the queuing time is also made better by the fact that there are seats for you to sit while waiting, and menus and order forms are given to you so you can order and the food arrives soon after you get seated at a table.IMG-20130814-WA0029 the menu is very excitingly extensive:20130814_19195020130814_19195520130814_191935given the huge range, it’s really easy to get carried away ordering everything that takes your fancy. but then again over-ordering always happens without fail when i’m eating with these two, so my take on the consequences of being spoilt for choice by a huge menu is probably just an excuse for the fact that we ended up ordering $90 worth of dim sum that night. (who said swee choon was cheap?!)

20130814_194305 dim sum feast for “three boys” because apparently i eat the equivalent of what a 3rd boy would eat

20130814_193844 what always happens when food is served #asianproblems

20130814_194241 1. drunken chicken
the drunken chicken was quite decent though i would have preferred it to be a little more chilled. the meat was tender, moist, and well-flavoured while the sauce was light and tasty. we all quite enjoyed it! 

20130814_194422 2. mee sua kueh
the mee sua kueh is one of swee choon’s specialities. i’ve don’t think i’ve ever had anything like it! we all agreed that it was quite an interesting item on the menu – mee sua is fried together into these block-like pieces which have crispy brown outsides. i think its worth ordering just to give it a try, but it fills you up rather quickly and can get a bit boring to eat after a while since there’s nothing else (ie no meat, veggie etc) added to it. its pretty much eating plain fried mee sua in “kueh” form. will probably give this a miss the next time i’m there!

20130814_1944473. har gao
i enjoyed the har gaos although i would have preferred the skin to be a tad thinner. as for the filling, it was really yummy and they were generous with the prawns that were fresh and crunchy!

20130814_1946534. pei tan porridge
the porridge was very average, neither great nor bad. always a nice accompaniment to dim sum though, and they do a decent enough rendition of it, so its worth ordering if you want some porridge to go along with your dim sum.

20130814_1946595. pancake with egg & meat floss
another swee choon specialty! sounds like quite a strange combination and looks that way too, but it was pretty good! tasted like an asian savoury crepe, and the cucumber stick in the centre added bite and crunch to the otherwise soft mix of things. it was a good combination of tastes and textures!

20130814_194702 6. xiao long bao
i didn’t have very high hopes for the xiao long baos but they were actually pretty good and one of the better ones I’ve had in Singapore i feel! we ended up ordering 3 longs in total (omg now that I think about it that 1 long each hahahahaha. extreme eating with these 2 once again.). they were really well done – the skin wasn’t too thick and the soup and meat within were very yummy, especially when eaten fresh and piping hot!

20130814_1947107. egg tarts
the egg tarts were not bad, but nothing to shout about. they were portugese-style tarts as you can see from the pictures and the crust was flaky and crispy while the filling was quite wobbly and smooth, and not too sweet. didn’t get as excited as i usually do about egg tarts though… not sure why. i’ve been trying to think of what it was missing but i can’t seem to pinpoint it. maybe the filling was a little too wobbly and soft for my liking? the texture was almost like that of steamed egg; i guess i prefer fillings that are a little firmer!20130814_200445
very soft filling – a little too soft for my liking

20130814_1947358. prawn and banana fritter
i used to think that prawn and banana fried together in a fritter was an extremely strange combination, but i’ve come to really enjoy it! swee choon’s rendition of it was good. the banana was nice and sweet, the prawns were juicy, and the batter wasn’t too thick. the oil it was fried in was fresh (hate when oil is re-used to fry things; i always taste it in the deepfried sticks of things at old chang kee), and the 3 components all complemented each other well.

20130814_1949149. cha siu bao
the cha siu bao was good! the skin was fluffy and nice and they were generous with the filling that was juicy and not too sweet! yumz.

20130814_19535210. siew mai
they were generous with the siew mai filling which was sweet and juicy, and the skin wasn’t too thick! i remember thinking that it was a little heavy/dense and could have been more daintily done though, but then again this isn’t fine dim sum dining so i guess expectations should be managed in that aspect!

20130814_195436 11. (ryan and) big pao
the big pao was stuffed with minced pork, chicken, egg and mushroom. the ingredients made the filling nice and juicy and it was great when eaten hot, but i felt that the skin could have been a little thinner (even though it was quite fluffy).

20130814_20092912. liu sha bao
can’t have dim sum without having liu sha bao!!! swee choon’s liu sha baos are definitely one of the best i’ve had in singapore – they nailed the most important part of the bao which is to have the piping hot filling ooze out when the skin is broken. besides that, the taste of the custard filling was really really good. it was a perfect mix sweet and savoury with a texture that wasn’t too smooth; i feel that liu sha bao filling needs to retain a hint of graininess to represent the salted egg yolk that goes into it! we had another round of these treasures and i was clearly extremely pleased:IMG_20130814_221113

20130814_20294113. sesame pumpkin
i quite enjoyed this – it was basically sesame-coated pumpkin encasing red bean paste! everything went together quite nicely and i love how the sesame seeds coating the pumpkin added bite to the otherwise soft and mochi/tang yuan-like texture of the pancake. could have been a little less greasy though!

20130814_20370214. fried prawn dumplings
didn’t try this because by this point, i was completely dimsum-ed out and about to pass out from a food coma but my friends raved about it. supposedly really really good wan tons with amazing juicy prawn fillings. i would probably have had one if they weren’t fried, but i just couldn’t stomach anything so greasy anymore!

15. we also had their fried rice with shrimps and fried hor fun with shrimps (which i don’t have individual pics of), both of which we were disappointed by. they were nothing exceptional and hence not worth filling yourself up with at all! am definitely going to stick to the dim sum items on the menu the next time i visit.

20130814_205248 16. dessert
their desserts were decent! we had 3 desserts to share (even though we were close to rolling around on the floor in our stuffed states by this time) – grass jelly, ice jelly, and mango with pomelo and sago. the jellies were smooth and not overly sweet, while the mango with pomelo and sago was not bad but could have been thicker and less diluted. i was not expecting much at all since the focus of this place is on their dim sum and desserts would probably be more of an afterthought on the menu but was pleasantly surprised.  a good way to wash down all that food and end the meal on a sweet note!

20130814_210019doctor-to-be warning us of the potential ailments we might suffer from next time if we keep feasting so uninhibitedly each time we meet

given that there are not many places in singapore that serve dim sum at night (swee choon opens from 6pm-6am), its quite likely that i will be back at swee choon one day if i’m in search of dim sum past daylight. there are some hits and misses but it is overall a pretty good place with a very extensive menu so that everyone can satisfy their varied dim sum cravings. its definitely not a place for finely-made dim sum, but for the price you pay, i feel that you can’t complain at all!

(especially if you aren’t as crazy as the 3 of us who somehow managed to chalk up $90 worth of dim sum:20130814_210948
i do not know how my work clothes survived it… thankfully i did not have to go home with split seams hahaha.)

Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant Pte Ltd

191 Jalan Besar
Singapore 208882

IMG-20130814-WA0028
R001-005
feasting friends forever

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle, Singapore

i was never a fan of bak chor mee until my mother took me to this place on a random afternoon after we collected my passport at the immigration & checkpoints authority. the stall is in a coffeeshop which is behind the immigrations building, and can be accessed via a pedestrian bridge across a canal that’s near the open-air carpark next to the building. one spoonful of the noodles and i was sold!!! (still wouldn’t say i am a bcm convert though, because this is probably the only bcm i ever crave)

i’ve gone back every single time i’m back home and each time, the queue seems to be longer. not sure if its because its become more popular of late or because i’ve just been going at the wrong times, but i think it might be the former since on my most recent visit there, we arrived at 11am (we thought it was the perfect time to beat the lunch crowd) and ended up queuing for 1 hour and 20 minutes. by the time we got our food, everyone at the table still thought it was worth it though, so i guess that means i will be returning to conquer the crowds once my craving for it hits again…

what greeted us when we clambered out of the car at 11am on a weekday morning:20130723_112026half of the queue. there were about 10-15 more people that couldn’t fit into this shot; the queue so long and snaking that i couldn’t even take a panorama shot to get the entire queue in 1 picture lol

by the time we reached the front of the queue, more than an hour had passed and my cousin decided that she needed to order the biggest bowl available ($10) to make the queuing worth it. 😉 the smallest bowl costs $5, and the largest $10:20130723_121049

she managed to finish every single bit of it!!! (as i mentioned before, a huge appetite and thankfully, a high metabolism to accompany it, runs in the family :P) as you can see in the picture below, the bowl itself is actually really large and it comes with a bigger bowl of soup too, but what makes it cost more is actually additional ingredients and not anything else. the noodles given in the $10 portion aren’t significantly more, but if you compare this picture to the next one, you can definitely see the difference in the amount of meat/liver/fried fish/meatballs/dumplings they give!20130723_122842 $10 bowl

this is the $6 bowl:20130723_122900$6 bowl

so what exactly makes this bak chor mee so good?

1. the noodles are cooked to perfection. they aren’t in the least bit overcooked and retain a delicious bite while not being too hard. you’ll also never find bits of clumpy noodles stuck together (that is pretty common in noodles that aren’t as well-cooked). my personal preference is mee kia, but both the mee kia and mee pok are good!

2. the sauce – note that this sauce is a vinegar-based type of sauce so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. having grown up eating dry noodles in sauce that always includes some vinegar, this to me is the best sauce ever.

3. the chilli is really really good.

4. the ingredients are all delicious. the meat, like the noodles, is perfectly cooked – sweet, tender and not overcooked at all! the liver is crunchy and delicious (my sister who normally avoids liver like the plague actually enjoys this liver), the dumpling is not at all the kind of dumpling that has more skin than filling (in fact many people order a bowl of soup with dumplings on top of their bowl of bcm), and the meatballs are a yummy touch. and the pieces of fried solefish (ti poh) that top the dish are like icing on top of the cake – so good.

at this point, if the only reason why i haven’t successfully managed to convince you to go give this delicious bcm a try is the long queue, then i hope this helps me to further build my case 😉 :20130723_114706

another stall in the coffee shop does very good fried dumplings (guo tie) as well as chive pancakes! plus their queue is never as long as the queue for bcm, so this is a great snack as an appetiser or energy boost for the queuing while waiting in line for your noodles! the guo tie is perfectly brown and crispy on the outside without being burnt at all (check out the pic – no black bits in sight!), while the chive pancake is really well done with generous amounts of very fresh and juicy chives. both aren’t too oily as well – barely any oil was found left on the dish when we were done. i would definitely recommend ordering this along with your bak chor mee! the stall that sells these items is the 2nd stall to the left of the bak chor mee stall.

there is a western stall in between the bak chor mee stall and the guo tie stall, and this western stall is supposed to sell very decent coffeeshop-type western food! they actually have newspaper clippings about them stuck at the stall so it must be pretty good! i’ve never been one to go for western food in hawker settings though, so i’ve never given this a try. i guess this is a good option if you’re eating here with young kids who might not fancy or appreciate a bowl of bak chor mee as much as they would a plate of pork chop with fries. 20130723_113011 L to R: guo tie stall, western stall, bak chor mee stall

there is a carpark right by the coffee shop so its pretty convenient eating here if you drive! if not, walking from lavender mrt which is right by the immigration building is also a breeze. definitely be prepared to queue for about an hour if you head down at lunch/dinner time. if not, going once it opens in the morning (930am if I’m not wrong) or mid-afternoon should help to shorten the waiting time.

although my parents say that there is a stall in hong lim food centre that serves very similar bak chor mee with a shorter queue that moves more quickly, i have yet to try it and so hill street tai hwa pork noodle is currently still my favourite go-to place for bak chor mee in singapore 🙂

UPDATE: aforementioned hong lim bak chor mee has been tried and tested a few times, and unfortunately i have been disappointed each time! i find that its downfall is mainly in its noodles – what you get at hong lim somehow just lacks the same satisfying al-dente bite that hill street tai hwa somehow manages to deliver every. single. time. besides the noodles, i find that the ingredients at hill street tai hwa are always cooked to perfection, never over or underdone whereas the hong lim bak chor mee lacks that same consistency. hill street tai hwa – you have my heart, always and forever! ❤

20130723_120839

Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle

#01-12, Tai Hwa Eating House
466 Crawford Lane
Singapore 190466

Bloomsbury finds, London

had the chance to explore more food options in the bloomsbury area when the family visited and stayed in cartwright gardens just before i came home for summer! what a pity i never got down to trying these outlets earlier; i would probably have visited them quite a bit. good thing i’m not moving very far (at all) next year and so i’m going to have plenty of chances to frequent these places and make up for lost time hahaha!

1st place on the newly-discovered list: Chilli Cool!
should really have tried this place earlier. i think its the perfect place for students to get a legitimate asian food fix – reasonably-priced authentic sze chuan food in generous portions that are perfect for sharing! my friends and i had heard of and toyed with the idea of checking this place out and the hotpot buffet they have there at some point during the year, but just never got round to going… i think the lure of the juicy roast duck (and hazelnut + pistachio gelato at oddono’s after) at goldmine normally triumphed.

but because my dad is the ultimate china man (he needs his chinese food everywhere he goes – steamed white rice, piping hot soup etc), chilli cool (2 minute walk from our hotel) was the obvious choice for dinner on the first night we were back in london after cruising for 2 weeks with a lack of proper chinese food. (according to my mum, my dad’s cheeks had were getting more and more sunken by the day lol)

chilli cool occupies 2 spacious units along leigh street and is simply decorated but quite homely. we visited on a friday night and it was nearly full, patronised by a good mix of both asians (more often than not, a sign of the real deal when it comes to asian food heehee) and caucasians. besides the a la carte menu, they also have a hotpot buffet option – perfect for a cold winters day! we weren’t up for stuffing ourselves (post-cruise detox time!!!) so we ordered a few dishes from the a la carte menu to have with rice.

(sorry the pictures i have aren’t great at all; the lighting wasn’t very optimal and everyone was starving and wanted to tuck right in!)

here’s the chicken fried with chilli and cumin which was recommended by the waitress:
20130628_210210
not sure if you can see from the picture, but the servings are pretty big compared to what you’d get at a typical chinatown restaurant, and really good for sharing in a group. this chicken was probably my favourite dish of the night. it was fried to perfection and extremely flavourful! crispy on the outside in this yummy batter and juicy and tender on the inside. the chilli and cumin were also added in just the right amount, giving the dish a really satisfying kick! definitely going to order this again when i return… SO yummy that it made me forget every bit of deep-fried unhealthiness that was being consumed wahahaha. unfortunately, the picture really does not do the dish any justice 😦

another typical szechuan dish: fried long beans with chilli20130628_210335
the beans were fresh and not overcooked such that they retained a nice bite. it was again a generous serving, but i wouldn’t recommend it to the faint-hearted (when it comes to spicy food), especially if you aren’t armed with tissue paper for dripping post-chilli noses. it was spicy even for us and we were really impressed by the caucasians at the next table who were happily devouring all of it… immunity achieved from repeat visits, maybe? 😉 the dish was really tasty and was delicious when eaten with rice.

HUGE bowl of fish soup:
20130628_210544
the bowl was seriously gigantic. to give some scale, the diameter of the bowl was nearly the width of the table!!! but our initial worries of not being able to finish it turned out to be unfounded since it was so delicious that there was nearly nothing left by the end of the meal. the soup is typically sze chuan and was served piping hot, full of green and red chillies, preserved vegetable, potato and plenty of fish slices. the fish was extremely fresh (definitely not the frozen kind), and what i really liked about it was that they were very generous with the ingredients, as you can probably see from the picture. this soup is perfect for sharing in a big group (it was way more than enough for the 4 of us) and i can imagine it tasting even more delicious on a blustery winters day… my only qualm about it was the shocking amount of oil that formed a thick layer at the top of the soup when it was first brought to our table, like an oil spill at sea. i was initially quite put off by it but we managed to scoop out most of it before tucking in, and once i did, it was so good that all oily thoughts were banished and everything was fine and dandy.

this was probably the most forgettable dish out of everything we ordered – tofu with black fungus and edamame:20130628_212108

in terms of flavour it was definitely outshone by the other dishes, but i suppose that’s what made it different from the rest, and not necessarily in a bad way! it was good palette cleanser since it was light and the least oily of all. definitely the healthiest too! the serving for this dish was exceptionally small though, and i probably won’t be ordering this the next time i go.

chilli cool was a great experience overall. service was prompt and friendly, and my family enjoyed the food (my dad certainly left a happier man with fuller cheeks :P) though we all agreed it definitely wasn’t the healthiest kind of food around given that most of it is fried and oily. nevertheless, am quite certain that i will be back, brandishing tissue and an empty stomach to try the hotpot buffet, maybe! if not, the a la carte menu has an extensive range of dishes so i have many more to try!

Chilli Cool

15 Leigh Street
WC1H 9EW

2nd place on the list: North Sea Fish Restaurant

another joint along leigh street, which caught my attention on the way to chilli cool because of the impressive number of stickers and accolades they had stuck in the shop window:
20130629_212311

(i was particularly taken in by the tripadvisor certificate of excellence + 2012 winner sticker wahahaha i am a tripadvisor review junkie)

there are 2 shops to the restaurant: one of them is for takeaways while the one is a proper sit-down restaurant that appears to be a nice  little cosy and chill place for a good seafood meal. the mother and i were craving some good fish and chips one night after a long day of shopping and decided it would be perfect to buy some fish and chips back to our hotel to feast on 😉

they have a range of fish available (check out the menu below), but we went with the cod as recommended by the very friendly guy behind the counter in the shop! we also wanted to try the salt and pepper squid but were sorely disappointed when we were told that they didn’t have them that day 😦20130629_212343 20130629_213031

the service is efficient (which should be the case in takeaway outlets) and there were a few pieces of fish being kept warm in an oven-like thing, ready to go whenever a customer came in with an order. we ordered a jumbo-sized portion though, and so had to wait for about 10 minutes for it to be fried. there was a steady stream of customers coming in and leaving happily with their takeaway bags while we waited, adding to the anticipation that was building from the moment the gregarious guy behind the counter told us was the “only fish and chips you’ll eat in london from now on”! i later found out that the fish and chips here has been touted as a contender for the best fish and chips in london!

bag of purported goodness:
20130629_213508

got back to the room and was greeted by this piece of fish gloriously glistening away under the light:20130629_214427
we felt that it was definitely worth paying a little more to get the jumbo-sized portion because it was really a rather big piece of fish! but of course if you’re having it alone then a regular-sized portion would probably suffice. the fish was EXTREMELY fresh – we were told that the restaurant only uses fresh fish and never any frozen fish at all, which i really like about them because usually for fish and chips and other fried fish dishes in general, its often the case that frozen fish is used instead of fresh catch and not much attention is paid to the quality of the fish used.

the batter was light, crispy and not too thick. it was clear that the oil used was fresh, and i know i’m repeating myself here but the fish was really of great quality. a drool-worthy close up of the fish: 20130629_215152
as for the chips, they were alright, but nothing to shout about. i felt that they could have done with a bit more salt & vinegar, but that can be easily requested for when placing your order. i would also have preferred them to be a little crispier on the outside. its possible that they became slightly soggy from the condensation that resulted from being wrapped up in paper while hot, but the walk home was only three minutes and so i think they probably weren’t very crispy to begin with. do note that they charge separately for the fish and the chips.

20130629_214133

think i might go with a different accompaniment to my fish the next time i patronise north sea… am eyeing the beer battered mushrooms and the salt and pepper squid! might also give the sit-down restaurant a try – they serve a range of seafood in a range of cooking styles (grilled, fried etc) along with homemade desserts.

best fish and chips in london? i would say its definitely one of the better renditions of this national dish, but wouldn’t be so quick to say its the best, especially since i felt that the chips could have been done better! i have also had some really good fish and chips at Bonnie Gull (21A Foley St, London W1W 6DS). both are worth a try!

20130629_212326

North Sea Fish Restaurant

7-8 Leigh Street
London WC 1H 9EW

3rd place on the list: King of Falafel

grabbed a quick bite from this little cafe serving moroccan/lebanese-type food, and immediately wished i had discovered it earlier on in the year!!! had the falafel wrap which was SUPER delicious, filled with the yummiest falafel ever and lots of fresh salad and scrumptious homemade sauce. i had it in a normal wrap, though there’s the option of paying a little more and having the wrap in homemade spinach/tomato (if i’m not wrong) moroccan bread. there’s also the option of adding halloumi cheese, which i am sure is delicious! its a big wrap which they cut into 2, and it’s overflowing with goodness heehee. i LOVE falafel, and this is probably one of the best i’ve had. it was perfectly spiced and just the right amount of crumbliness while not being too dry at all – a must try for all falafel fans out there!!!

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i definitely want to go back to try their range of meat skewers and salads and houmous. was eyeing the super hearty and wholesome plates of food that some at the cafe were having while i was getting my wrap to go. just look at that hunger-inducing display that’s filled with all things amazing:
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everything is really reasonably priced too! they have coffees for under £2, and the lebanese falafel wrap was just £3.50 if I’m not wrong…
king of falafel is definitely going to be one of my first stops once i’m back in london after summer!!!

King of Falafel

5 Tavistock Place
London WC1N