Sunday, 29 May 2011


the wall paper at dotori
dotori is an anomaly in its neighbourhood for the area around finsbury park is well known only for its fried chicken and fastfood. i've lived around arsenal since two thousand and eight and wasn't inclined to try dotori until a year ago when my friend i recommended it. somehow, the combination of korean and japanese cuisine on the same menu struck me as a bit odd. o and i have been to dotori several times now and have stuck to the korean side of the menu. we even brought my dad to dotori when he visited last year. and i'm willing to hedge my bets on his knowledge of korean food as a) he has always loved it b) he has worked with a korean company so not only has he eaten the food with them, he has also been to korea and eaten it there. as it goes, he said that dotori was fairly authentic. 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

bread election party at gail's

voting for bread
oh dear, i really meant to write about gail's artisan bakery's 'bread election party' much earlier. after all it took place on thirty first march and it has been quite some time since. but in my defense i got caught up with work and then i flew to pakistan on april seventh for my wedding. and before i knew it the wedding was over and i was back in london and totally consumed by life administration and the never ending emails in my work inbox. this sunday has been about bringing comeconella up to seed with former food adventures and gail's 'bread election party' was one of them.

cafe vintage

hibiscus tea
we have a quirky new addition to our neighbourhood and it's called cafe vintage. o and i went there the day after we arrived back from pakistan whist nursing a particularly bad case of homesickness. in addition our first grocery had not arrived so there wasn't really anything to eat at home.  cafe vintage has a selection of sandwiches and some tea and cakes. i settled on a rare roast beef sandwich with horseradish and o had a tomato and mozzarella one. the bloomer with a oat crust was really good as was the quality of the ingredients. i wasn't able to finish the whole sandwich as it was quite large so o did the honours for me.

o had a filter coffee which he said was very good and i had a pot of hibicus tea. afterwards we split a scone with jam. i love the vintage crockery! i think it would be nice to come to cafe vintage on a warm sunny day and sit outside with a cup of tea and the newspaper. 

Cafe Vintage on Urbanspoon

cay tre soho

cay tre soho
our typical friday night is dinner and a movie. and it is usually around soho. being around soho means you have lots to choose from but that equally if you don't make a reservation you'll be facing a pretty long queue. after having found a showing for submarine i set out to figure dinner plans. this wasn't difficult as between the twitterati and the food blogosphere everyone is talking about cay tre soho. cay tre soho is the second outpost of this east london based vietnamese place. i love vietnamese food and so happily made a reservation for friday night. when i told o about where we were going he instantly recognised cay tre having read a review in the metro. 

brunch at NOPI

ottolenghi's nopo
if you want the story of how NOPI (ottolenghi's new restaurant) came about, then it's best to read the NOPI blog which is a  chronicle of this new outpost. the name itself which initially sounded incongruent is actually an acronym for 'north of piccadilly. it has taken me a while to get round to eating at NOPI. the other half and i were busy with our wedding preparations and then upon our return to london have been consumed with work. he is currently working on his chartered financial analyst exam and finally, tiring of waiting i went with a instead. it all worked out very well as a has never tried ottolenghi. 

Sunday, 15 May 2011

good for food

good for food
o isn't a huge fan of blackstock road at its finsbury park end. i have to admit that it isn't particularly savoury. it smells un fresh and looks rough around the edges. but there is a gem of a little cafe called 'good for food' which i really like. on this grey sunday o and i headed up to finsbury park to get the two five three to camden road. we were on our way to the camden garden centre to get ourselves a cactus. and before doing that we had brunch at good for food. for me it was the the tomato, mozzarella, rocket and pesto panini and for o a similar one but with the addition of salami. 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

lemon monkey after a fruitless cactus shopping expedition

eighty one o six
o and i went to stokey's aptly named 'flowers n sixteen' in search of a cactus. o's had a cactus on his mind since a mishap with my mini-cactus last year. i had been in mourning for it (i suppose it was kind of a delayed mourning for eight-one-o-six) and the dessert in general. i had over time come to love scottsdale, az and our house there. it had been a gradual transition from hate to like to love. and then in twenty-o-eight everything changed as the recession bit into our family business. my parents moved back to pakistan and my brother followed after graduating from asu. my mother had bought me two mini cactus from az on one of her trips to london - one of which didn't survive the journey. the other one thrived quite happily until o decided (with all good intent) to re-pot the cactus. it died shortly after and remained on my window sill for quite a while in some crazy hope that it may just revive itself. it turned out in the end that british soil was too moist for the cactus. 

Monday, 2 May 2011

on ladoo's and a love tray

a basket full of ladoo's from fresco sweets
where there is a wedding in pakistan, there is always the presence of mithai (sweetmeats). whoever visits brings boxes of mithai, the most common ones being ladoo's, barfi, gulab jamum and cham-cham. ladoo's are saffron coloured balls made out of chick pea flour with some cardamom. the boondi chur ladoo features more at weddings. boondi chur are small balls made of a gram flour batter which are deep fried. these are then bound together by sugar syrup. o likes boondi chur ladoo's a lot whereas i much prefer besan ka ladoo which made purely of gram flour with a little bit of semolina for a slightly crunchy texture. 

lunch at three in bani g

lunch in the garden
despite all the wedding chaos and preparations mum and i got a chance to have a relaxed lunch in the garden. i had bought her a bottle of oil infused with truffles which we used to dress up some mushrooms. our cook had also brought some apricot kernel oil from his village in skardu. the oil has the sharp smell of almond kernels and a very strong nutty flavour. i sauteed the mushrooms in this with lots of finely chopped garlic and some rosemary. 

then we sat in the garden and assembled our lunch. slices of feta cheese on toasted brown bread with the mushrooms. we all added roughly chopped walnuts for a bit of texture. we finished on the last of the seasons strawberries that came from auntie f's farm. the strawberries from her farm are so sweet it would be a sin to put sugar on them. 

keemay wala samosa at mashallah chaat house

a piping hot keema samosa
there was a time when i didn't eat samosa's. it was the time when i went from being plump to becoming thin and decided to give up all things fried. looking back, i wonder what possessed me to give up these incredibly delicious sub-continental treats. now, when i visit pakistan i have to go to mashallah chaat house in super market to have my fix of samosa chaat.