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A Taste of the Caribbean at Big Mike’s Calypso Kitchen

How far would you travel for a taste of the Caribbean?

Seasoned traveller Ivo Belohoubek of DoGoodFilms lucky didn’t have to venture too far to share his culinary experience at Big Mike’s Calypso Kitchen located in East Croydon – just 20mins by train from Central London. And with dine-in returning from 17th May, diners can consume food indoors or soak up the lively al fresco atmosphere!

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The Lucky Club now deliver their famous Bao Bun Brunches to your door!

Are you missing tucking into a decent range of bao buns? Yes? then look no further as London’s popular restaurant The Lucky Club are now sending and delivering out their Bao Bun Brunches to enjoy at home. Joanne Mortlock shares more!

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Copper Chimney

Copper Chimney is an award-winning restaurant that has won accolades such as ‘Best National Indian Restaurant Brand’ and ‘Chef of the Year 2018.’ Founded originally in Bombay by JK Kapur, who built up a film productions business that has produced Bengali films such as Sagina Mahato, he started Copper Chimney after deciding to follow his passion for the culinary world. Since 1971, the restaurant has opened multiple branches in locations including Kuwait and the UAE. It has established a spot in the UK, which sits in West London, Shepherd’s Bush.  

As you step inside the restaurant, you would notice that beyond the largely modern designs of its interiors,  nostalgic tones linger.  The wicker chairs, hanging plants and colourfulness of the furniture hail for 1970s Bombay. 

The restaurant menu celebrates miscellaneous cuisines and flavours from North India, as the founder Kapur grew up in the region before the Partition that separated India and Pakistan. Using a custom clay oven that cooks with an even heat, dishes are made by ‘ustads’ – master chefs that are trained in different techniques of Indian cooking from all over the country as well as age-old recipes. In the open display kitchen positioned close to the dining crowd, the ustads can be seen visibly preparing the  dishes.    

The menu has a wide range of delicious starters. Amritsari Shrimp, originating from its namesake Amritsar is shrimp coated with carom seeds and are then battered. It has a crunchiness which is fun to eat as a light snack. Delhi-style Fried Chicken is a street food dish with a twist; the meat is pounded in garam masala and seasoned with a mix of spices and pepper. When you bite into its crunchy centre, you can notice that the meat inside is delicately seasoned. 

For the main course, Lamb Seekh Kebab is an ace choice for meat lovers – the skewered kebabs are flavoured with spices as well as coriander, and the lamb is roasted to a point that it is still succulent. The Bazaar ke Chole, which is a type of chickpea curry cooked with a spice mix and crushed pomegranates, ascertains a balance between the sweetness of the dried fruit and the aromatic flavours of the homemade spice mix. Saffron Berry Pulao, a type of basmati rice infused with berry and turmeric, is perfect to have as a side since it complements the sumptuous mains. After a hearty meal, have a cup of warm creamy chai and Gajar Pistachio Crumble which are perfect as a post-dinner treat. 

Apart from a comprehensive selection for dinner, Copper Chimney also offers lunch meal deals that cater for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians. Consider Copper Chimney your next go-to spot for a meal next time after a busy day at the shops. 

Words and images by Kesh Wang

Copper Chimney Southern Terrace, Ariel Way, London W12 7GA
|@copperchimney_uk

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Massis Lebanese Grill & Bar, Paddington

Lockdown has given many of us the opportunity to develop new interests and hobbies. I for one came to harbour a passion for Lebanese food through my frequent trips to the Lebanese takeaway in my local area for some quick bites. Famous for its hearty portions and use of fresh ingredients, Lebanese food is ranked among the world’s top healthiest cuisines by Health Line due to its use of olive oil, hummus and tabbouleh that contain good fats for lowering disease risks.

Massis is a Lebanese restaurant situated in Sheldon Square near Paddington Central right by the canal, and easily accessible via the Hammersmith and City line or the Circle line. The open plan of the layout with French doors is ideal for outdoor and indoor dining, especially on sunny days when the doors are opened up to accommodate guests on the front terrace. After 12 years of serving hungry Londoners, Massis has emerged out of lockdown with revamped interiors that combine the bold colours of traditional prints with modern furniture, along with a very tempting bar in the central area. But that is not the only change – apart from classic Lebanese dishes such as falafel and tzatziki, newly devised dishes have emerged such as the Tempura Fried Calamari and Seabass Chunks which are excellent for a mezze. 

The Tempura Fried Calamari is, as its name suggests, fried in tempura batter. A common problem with fried calamari is that it can have a rubbery texture even after frying, yet Massis does it justice as the calamari has a softness inside its crunchy exterior. Dip it into their homemade tartare sauce, and you have a starter dish perfect for sharing. There are also viable options on the menu for vegans and vegetarians. The Tabouleh is a good dish to have – the fresh zinginess of  the tomato and parsley excites one’s taste buds, not to mention the Mousakaa, a smoked aubergine purée cooked with tomatoes, onions and chickpeas which is delicious with some warm pitta bread or rice. 

Apart from the mezze dishes, the restaurant’s grill menu is also worth checking out, especially for the meat lovers. The Lahem Meshwi, which is chargrilled cubes of marinated lamb dipped in tahini sauce, fuses the rustic flavours of the lamb with the sesame in the sauce that explodes in your mouth. Have it with a glass of Spanish red wine, which is just one of the many options on the restaurant’s extensive drinks menu.

For those who prefer chicken, the Shish Taouk as a chargrilled chicken dish has the smoky quality similar to the Lahem Meshwi, but savoury in a more buoyant way. It is best enjoyed with the creamy homemade slaw on the side as well as with some French fries. 

It’s not just the food that makes Massis appealing, but also the fact that the food is value for money. Through the warm welcome given by staff and the passion shown in their food, it is no wonder why the restaurant is still going strong after 12 years in the business. Whether it’s a lighthearted lunch with your colleagues, or a big celebratory dinner party with your closest friends and family, you’re guaranteed a good time at Massis.

Words by Kesh Wang

Massis Lebanese Grill & Bar – 9 Sheldon Square, London W2 6HY, United Kingdom | @massislebanese

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Transport yourself to Latin America in London’s hottest rainforest inspired restaurant – Zuaya London

It’s been a tough 18 months for everyone over the course of the pandemic, but
now with some light at the end of the tunnel, we can finally get back to dining
at some of our favourite spots across London – and Zuaya is one of my new
ultimate favourites that you have to add to your London list of must-visit
places to go. Nestled in the back streets of London’s stylish Kensington and
Chelsea
, this place screams indulgence!

@livbyfood at @ZuayaLondon

With all the travel restrictions at the moment, it maybe be hard to go abroad,
but with places like Zuaya in London – who even has to?! You can take yourself
on a culinary journey and transport yourself to Latin America at this exotic
Kensington hotspot – with influences from across the region in Brazil, Peru and
Mexico, this dining experience will give you that WOW factor, seducing your
senses and definitely isn’t something you will forget.

Everything from the Latin American music from the resident DJ that will make
you want to dance the night away to the sounds of the south; to the stunning
tropical décor that makes you feel those Amazonian Rainforest vibes; or to the
insatiably delicious food and drink that is sure to tantalise anyone’s taste buds
– from tempting tapas, sour ceviches and fruity tiraditios, slow cooked
marinated meats in fluffy bao buns, to popping tacos and colourful tropical
salads and even twists on classics (such as the beautiful raspberry gazpacho
with feta, which was incredible). The flavours will blow your mind! Not only is
the food full of flavour explosions, but is it also presented beautifully to elevate
your dining experience.

It truly is the perfect spot for any occasion, whether it be a birthday meal, a
stylish date night, or cocktails with the girls. Treat yourself this summer and
transport yourself on holiday in the heart of London, by clicking here to book
your table now – I promise you, you won’t regret it.

Words by Liv Brown | @livbyfood

Zuaya London – 35B Kensington High St, London W8 5EB
020 7938 3533
reservations@zuaya.co
Open: Mon-Fri from 12pm to late

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ZAXX – Representing the rise in influence of Korean cuisine

ZAXX is an increasingly popular local Korean restaurant based in East London. It opened its doors just before the first lockdown in 2020 and made a name for itself despite the uncertain times. With the rise in Korean culture and cuisine in the UK, there is no surprise that customers are curious to try something different.

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CERU: Taste of Levant

The many restaurants which survived this pandemic have finally been given the green light to re-opened their doors to welcome us back. With so many choices of cuisine to choose from within London, it can be a hard decision where to start from. Joanne Mortlock recommends CERU

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Top 5 Holiday Destinations to Consider in 2021

Predicting which destinations you can visit in 2021 is almost as tricky as picking the lottery numbers. There are vaccination rates to consider, localised outbreaks, variants, and just whether there are flights to fly to where you want to go. Here, we are going to gaze into our crystal ball and attempt to find some answers. Baldwin Ho speaks directly with Tourism Boards to get the inside track on what to expect…

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The Return of Indoor Dining: Urban Foraging for Nuet Dry Aquavit

One of the greatest privileges of living in London is, hands down, the opportunity to eat and drink the world over without getting on a single flight. And it’s just as well considering the travel bans and red lists the pandemic has left us with…

It’s also worth asking, if it hasn’t been launched in London yet – has it even launched? This might have been the thinking behind the team at Nuet who’s Urban Foraging press event introduced an intimate gathering of journalists and F&B experts to their award-winning contemporary take on a traditional Scandinavian spirit, aquavit. Not only was Monday 17th May a welcomed celebration of Norway Day, it also perfectly coincided with the much awaited return of indoor dining nationwide!

The evening of networking (oh how we’ve missed you!) began at in the cosy concave basement Hide Below of Hide restaurant in Mayfair. Our introduction to Nuet Dry Aquavit was served as a refreshing spritz – the perfect icebreaker to ease us comfortably into our social setting, which got us introducing ourselves – a return of our gracious social skills, before lockdown reduced us to Zoom. Each spritz arrived with a note of old Scandinavian folk wisdom – a personal touch to fit the theme. Mine read, “One must howl with the wolves one is among“… and that, after a long and isolating lockdown, I intended to do.

Next stop on the foraging agenda lead us into the City of London to drink and dine at the Nordic Kitchen Ekte, where you could say the party got started… well, as best as it can be in our new normal. The Nuet Dry Aquavit flowed in neat shots and diversity of cocktails – showcasing the spirit’s versatility. An array of SMØRREBRØD, classic Danish open rye bread sandwiches with an assortment of freshly made toppings, filled our tables to line our stomachs. I leant that ‘Nuet’ means ‘the now’, and it got me thinking, if this is now – summer in London is only just warming up!

The world’s first premium aquavit has arrived on British shores… and the timing couldn’t be more perfect!

Special thanks to hosts; Nuet’s Janeczka, and Jo Aspin.

Written by Kai Lutterodt | @the.soho.girl

It’s not too late to forage your way around the bars and partner venues across the capital this weekend for a chance to try Nuet Dry Aquavit for the first time…

From 17th – 23rd May partner bars in London will be serving Nuet specials (including the Nuet spritz) to commemorate Norway Day, Nuet’s arrival into the UK AND our step closer to normality with bars and restaurants open for inside dining and drinking!

Find Nuet on the drinks menu across the capital, including Hide in Mayfair, EKTE Nordic Kitchen in Bloomberg Arcade, Scandi Kitchen in Fitzrovia and more. Each partner bar will be serving special Nuet cocktails

Purchase a limited edition Nuet gift set, featuring a commemorative bottle and branded Nuet glasses), available on 31 Dover, priced at £39.95.

Website: www.nuetaquavit.com

Instagram: @nuetaquavit  #NuetMoment

All photos by @lukemeggitt courtesy of Nuet.

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7 Steps To Let Go Of Your Past

The way you were parented and the many events in your life have led you to be the person you are today. Sometimes a trauma happens, be it big or small, and it reshapes who you are again. Everything in your past shaped the way you think, what you believe about the world, what you’re good at and the sort of person you are.

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