Blanchette, is a lovely, petite French restaurant I stumbled upon one day in Soho, London. I had a friend visiting from abroad, as we haven’t seen each other in a while, we decided to to have lunch some place fancier than usual. On our hunt for a restaurant, we knew we didn’t want Asian food as she’s from east Asia and we wanted somewhere central. After searching on Google, we landed on Blanchette. We chose this due to the great reviews and beautiful pictures of the place; it didn’t disappoint!
The interior of the restaurant was a twist on old, victorian style with bricked walls, wooden floorboards and furniture but spiced up with large overhanging spotlights casting shadows around the room. It was small and cosy, perfect for a date/intimate gathering with a small group of friends.
Each dish was designed for sharing, so we ordered a few to share amongst us.
Everything was absolutely delicious. great wine, good food, lovely atmosphere 🙂
As the name suggests, Gyoza bar is a bar like restaurant that offers a good a selection of gyoza paired with a choice of craft beer. It is a modern take on Japanese food with a twist of contemporary and traditional cooking styles, tastes and interior design.
The restaurant also serves ramen based on homemade broth and the gyoza are grilled and served on grill pans from Japan.
Deep fried chicken gyoza served on a gyoza grill pan – how tasty does this look?
Pan fried salmon gyoza with a special mayonaise blend and pan fried pork gyoza. The salmon gyoza isn’t common so I was excited to try this! The taste of it was very interesting, it was just, different. I couldn’t quite tell if I liked it or not. Maybe you guys can tell me what you think when you give this a go!
Ramen with char siu and shoyu egg
Ramen with pork belly and shoyu egg
Sweet potato chips – this was delicious!
The interior design is a modern take of a traditional Japanese setting combining wooden panel designs with modern lighting. Mimicking a bar setting, it showcased a partially open kitchen where customers can watch the cooks wrapping the dumplings and rolling the noodles.
The strange thing was that because gyoza bar and the restaurant next to it (murakami) is owned by the same owner, even though they had separate entrances they shared the same bathroom. This meant that going to the toilet meant you will pass through the restaurant next door before entering the toilet. Not a problem, I was just slightly disorientated when I first went 😛
Top Row: Inaya lulo, Chocolate pebble
Bottom Row: Cherry chocolate, Raspberry Rose
Yautcha (London) is famous for it’s Chinese food and dim sum. However, their desserts are not to be missed! All dessert goers are escorted to the dessert bar at the back of the restaurant. The desserts are western styled. They also open till 10pm usually so for all of you with dessert cravings late after dinner, this would be a great option!
I had the Inaya lulo (top right image) which was dark chocolate with a citrus/lime tasting fruit mixed in. Personally, out of the four I liked the Raspberry rose the most! It was a lovely blend of sweet rose with a slight hint of sourness of the raspberry and hearty chocolate.
What: Desserts at Yautcha
Where: Yautcha, 15-17 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DL
Why: late night light desserts craving
Vietnamese food has recently been growing in popularity lately in London. It used to be chain Vietnamese restaurants dominating the scene, but with new, independent Vietnamese restaurants opening in more popular destinations within central London, the scene has certainly shifted.
The most well known Vietnamese restaurant in central London I’d have to say is Cay Tre. It’s my go to Viet restaurant in central London if I wanted viet food, but is too lazy search for a new restaurant I haven’t tried yet. Based in the heart of Soho, it is a popular choice for lunch or a quick dinner around the area. You can count on good food that is close to authentic Vietnamese food. Well, authentic to me anyway. I’m Asian, so my thoughts on this matter is relatively legit (or so I like to believe).
Above left: Classic Pho (steak and beef brisket)
Above Right: BBQ Pork Loin with Rice Vermicelli (Bum Cha Hanoi) with a good portion of fish sauce and chilli mix
What: Vietnamese food
Where: 42-43 Dean St, London W1D 4PZ
Why: Authentic Vietnamese food, doesn’t disappoint in tasting authentic
The classic pho is perfect for pho eating beginners. It gives you a good introduction into what pho tastes like and what you should expect with Vietnamese flavouring. The beef was cooked to a good tenderness level and the broth was well flavoured; you can definitely tell the broth has been cooked for a while absorbing the flavours from the beef.
The BBQ Pork Loin with Rice Vermicelli is one of my favourite dish at Cay Tre and one I order repeatedly each time I visit. Looking at the image makes my mouth water! It’s a step up from your usual pho. This one comes served cold, and by that I mean the vermicelli is cold as well as the fish sauce mix but the grilled lemongrass marinated pork and pork spring rolls are hot. Great combination in flavours, fragrance and temperature.
Ever wandered around Soho, London after dinner and really craved something sweet? Something a bit more substantial than say froyo (frozen yogurt)? You have your hummingbird bakery and Lola’s cupcakes who closes at 6pm. Sure there are the mainstream coffee shops like your Costa, Nero and Starbucks (opened till late in central London) but they do not do cake justice, in my opinion. There are better cake shops like Patisserie Valerie and Laduree, both famous for it’s french patisserie, but if you’ve lived in London long enough they soon start to bore you as well. Then there are your quirky oriental dessert shops; ever so exciting, but also ever so crowded.
So where do you go for something in between? I highly recommend the newly opened dessert shop: Cutter and Squidge. Situated in the heart of Soho, London, easily accessible after a nice meal, just a 10 minute walk from either Piccadilly or Leicester square station. You have time to take a short stroll to digest. They’re most well-known for their biskies but for me, I’m most drawn to their delicious looking, big slices of dream cake. They’re sold in big, fat slices, true to taste rich flavours and layers of super moist cake. I was sold when I tasted their green tea cake but if you fancy something richer in taste, the salted caramel chocolate cake is absolutely divine!
Buddy it up with a nice aromatic pomegranate and peach white tea and it’s the perfect combination. They also come in the cutest looking tea pots and decent sized tea cups!
The decoration is also super cute. Not over the top cute but charmingly appropriate for both genders.
I shall be back for more soon!