Review: Taco Bell & Cold Stone Creamery

Moody - Taco Bell interior attempts hipster
Moody – Taco Bell interior attempts hipster

It’s rare that I have a ‘Lost in Translation’ moment in Japan nowadays. Having spent a total of over two years here – on and off – there’s not much that surprises me or makes me blink twice. The irony is that the very night I try to do something very un-Japanese – the night I decide to binge on American junk food – is the night in which Japan threw all it had at me, as if to say, “Behave like a foreigner? Right! Have some Japan in your face!” Of course, it didn’t say it quite so directly though… Continue reading “Review: Taco Bell & Cold Stone Creamery”

Review: Pasha, Islington

Sorry for my absence! I have been writing a dissertation. This has meant just as much eating as normal, but it also meant that any writing was limited to academic rather than foodie topics. However, I am now FREE!

Anywaaay…. just a short welcome back post for now.

Life throws up a lot of little ironies along the way. The night before I flew to Istanbul, I was invited for a Turkish meal at Pasha in Islington for a friend’s birthday.

We ordered the Pasha dinner set for £12.95, which entails a range of hot and cold mezze with pitta bread and some meat and falafel as a main.


The mezze were pleasant – the hummus, babaganoushe, and cacik – although it’s pretty hard to get these completely wrong. However, the meats were incredibly underwhelming and not of the best quality. And I guess it wasn’t that surprising at that price. In this country. *sigh* (Istanbul posts coming later!)


What I will recommend, though, is the pistachio and cinnamon ice-cream. SO DELICIOUS. 

It may look simple but it was simply great!
It may look simple but it was simply great!

Pasha – Eat the mezze, then jump straight to dessert! 😉

301 Upper Street, London, N1 2TU

Review: Zaza Gelato Westfield

It was the last one and a little broken. But it was sooo good!
It was the last one and a little broken. But it was sooo good!

Just a quick post for today. I’d bought a Groupon voucher for Zaza Gelato as it offered cake, ice-cream and a hot drink for a bargain of £4.

Unfortunately, the “bargain” was somewhat marred by the fact that it was probably one of the worst ice-creams I’ve ever tried. I think I had stracciatella. I can’t quite remember because the gelato had actually no flavour. It was nothing more than cold sweetness. Mushy, sickly slush.

We were recommended the chocolate chai. Which was wonderful – if you like drinking hot watery milk. Eugh.

However, I can’t even begin to describe how intensely chocolatey and gooey this cake was. So if you’re in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, pick up one of these for a chocolate kick to get you through your shopping 😉

Zaza Gelato

Where: Canada Place, Portobello Road, Westfield London

More stores opening soon according to their website.

Review: Street Feast London Opening Night – April 12th

They're almost ready...
They’re almost ready…

Imagine 14 street food traders. Crammed into one yard. Serving up everything from hot dogs to jerk chicken, from scallops to green tea choc ices, from buttermilk fried chicken to tofu and mushroom gyoza. Every Friday night? Does this sound like a foodie heaven? Well, yes. Yes, it does.

When I arrived at Street Feast London at 8.30pm last Friday night, I felt pretty far removed from heaven. It was pouring with rain. The covered areas were so packed with people that rows of umbrellas were lining the fringes. Through the grim darkness and crowds, it was hard to make out what the traders were actually offering. Slowly but surely, we realised, with increasing horror, that many traders had sold out! Spit & Roast was packing up, people were walking away empty handed from Buen Provecho and the Ribman was nowhere to be seen!

PANIC. I’d invited three sets of people who didn’t really know each other. They were all hungry, standing in the rain. Many of them required vegetarian options in the absence of halal meat. I felt severe guilt at leading everyone into what looked like would be a dismal and damp disappointment.

PANIC. Divide forces! Quick! Some of my friends hit Well Kneaded for some ‘firebreads’, which are essentially like a pizza without the tomato sauce. I joined the long queue for Bleecker St Burger. The people in front of us looked round and commented, “The queue doesn’t move forward but it grows longer. So our relative position improves.”

Always look on the bright side of life.

My phone rang. More friends would be joining me soon. I’ll get you burgers, I told them, or you might not get anything at all.

Eventually, I made it to the front of the queue and made my order to be told it would cost £45. I had £35 and I went off friend-hunting to scrounge a tenner. Then I did the maths and realised I’d been overcharged £13.10. Which he was highly embarrassed about. I was just relieved that I didn’t need to pay any more!

We were also very forgiving once we tucked into our Cheeseburgers (£5). I had heard good things about Bleecker St Burger but I didn’t realise it’d be this good. The bun was light but held together well. And the patty was one of the more succulent offerings I’ve tried. YUM.


Forgiveness turned to all-out worship once we tried the sweet potato fries (£3). Oh my goodness. We turned to each other with a look of bliss on our faces. These might be the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever eaten. They looked a little soggy but were surprisingly firm. And they were simply exploding with sweet potato flavour.

Sweet Potato Fries imported directly from Sweet Potato Heaven
Sweet Potato Fries imported directly from Sweet Potato Heaven

Sadly, our Beetroot and Goats Cheese Firebread with Watercress and Pea Shoots (£5.50) from Well Kneaded was no good, because they’d run out of goats cheese and had used ordinary cheese instead. Which turned into a minor flavour car crash – edible but not particularly pleasant. With goats cheese, however, I imagine it’d be fantastic.

My friends also tucked into some gyoza from Rainbo (8 = £6). Their Chicken and Coriander is really unusual, and they do a surprisingly meaty Tofu and Shiitake Mushroom version for veggies.


To finish up, we ambushed Sorbitum and sampled an array of dazzling flavours (2 scoops = £3.50). I was fond of the Chocolate and Hazelnut flavour – it was like praline in ice-cream form – and I also enjoyed some salted caramel. Really intriguing however was the Toffee Apple and Brown Butter and ginger fanatics should not miss the Fresh Ginger and Pink Rhubarb Ripple.

Sorbitum ice-cream truck
Sorbitum ice-cream truck
Hazelnut-chocolate and salted caramel ice-cream
Hazelnut-chocolate and salted caramel ice-cream

So our mood was drastically improved by full stomachs. And the rain having the decency to pause whilst we were eating.

Street Feast has promised on Twitter that traders will bring twice the amount of food next Friday. Phew! Cos I’ve got a lot of eating to do. And if you like food, I advise you make plans to head there too.

Street Feast

Where: Merchant Yard, 317-319 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4DL
When: Fridays, 5pm – midnight

From Mediocrity to Motown, pt. 2

THE FOOD: Home-made ice-cream and cakes, plus good coffee

After a very mediocre meal, my parents needed coffee. I needed pudding. Just look at this:

That is a dessert called “The Temptations”, described as “a quintet of chocolate”. (This is a reference to THE BAND, go sort your musical education out if you’re confused!)

This is a dessert with soft, gooey home-made chocolate brownie and soft home-made ice-cream. Believe it or not, it is not overpoweringly sweet, although it’s heavy, so I recommend sharing. My parents are coffee snobs (Starbucks is the scourge of the earth) and they rated the coffee here as excellent.

The decor in this place was fab and their menu is worth reading for all the puns and Motown references:

It’s run by Asian guys and they’re super-friendly and obliging. And even turned the Motown lights on my photo 🙂

They do 10% off for students.  I’ll be heading back as soon as I can.

Overall 5/5 – Funky, fun, friendly and yum! 

Find Motown here.