10 Greek Street, Soho, London
We got off on the wrong foot, 10 Greek Street and I. A few weeks ago I foolishly attempted to get a table there at about 9.30 on a Saturday evening only to be greeted by spectacularly stressed-looking staff who basically laughed at our request for a table for 2. Fine, we’ll take our business elsewhere, then. Ended up in the perfectly lovely (but expensive) Duck Soup down the road. Two...
Bone Daddies, Soho, London
‘GUSH’, they all went. ‘WOW’, they cried. ‘OMG NOM’ said the Internet. All of a sudden everyone was an expert on Japanese noodle soup. RAMANIA. What do the hep cats eat in between bouts of anorexia? Ramen, apparently. Spearheading RAMANIA is Bone Daddies, in a corner of Soho that only a few years ago was know as ‘that dirty bit near Somerfield’,...
PREVIEW - Surbiton Food Festival, May 4th-19th...
Here at MBFBY? I don’t usually use the blog to plug stuff, but I’ll make an exception in this case as the thing I’m plugging is a food festival on my doorstep in Surbiton. Also, the food festival has been organised in my beloved local boozer The Lamb, so this is not exactly a cynical product endorsement written in exchange for some free cheese. However if anyone does want to...
The Delaunay, Aldwych, London
If there’s one thing I like, it’s going out for dinner and not having to pay the bill. Not in a ‘I was invited to review this restaurant because I’m a freeloading blogger of low moral fibre’ kind of way, in a ‘someone nice taking you out for dinner’ sort of way. When my opera-loving mother-in-law said she was going to be in town and suggested dinner...
BBQ Whisky Beer
Hello! How are you? Oh, I’m fine. Work? Busy. Really busy. The blog has suffered, unfortunately. Yes, I know no-one cares. What? Yes, I know the haiku post was shit. Well, there’s no need to be nasty. Fine. No really, fine. Yeah, whatever. Not if I see you first. For the first new post in a while I’m going to do things a little differently - there’s going to be no...
Patty & Bun, London W1
Yes, another review of a burger restaurant. However, you’re in for a treat today. For this review, I’m going to harness the power of HAIKU. WARNING - Quality of poetry not guaranteed. We joined the queue A hipster hamburger joint Cold Saturday night “Only half an hour” Said the chipper clipboard bloke “It better be good” Inside it’s makeshift The...
Stein's, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Surrey
KINGSTON: LAND OF CHAINS. That’s what they call it. ‘They’ meaning me. Don’t get me wrong, unlike many food bloggers I have nothing against chains. MBFBY? is a blog of the people. It’s just that there are an awful lot of chains in Kingston. Off the top of my head there’s a Pizza Express, Zizzi, Strava, Byron, Nandos, Las Iguanas, Jamie’s Italian,...
MEATmission, Hoxton Market, N1
In a stunning return to form, MBFBY? has not only managed to write a post only 3 weeks after the last one, but I’ve managed to review a brand-new hot trendy restaurant that’s only been open for 2 days. Unfortunately, this is another review of another burger restaurant, like all the reviews these days. I am fully aware of how bored some people are of reading about burgers, hearing about...
The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell EC1
Hello. How are you? It’s been a while. Time to get back on the blogging horse. Truth be told, I’d become rather bored and irritated with food blogging. The blogger/chef/PR cliques, the arse kissing, the frequent foodie smugness of my Twitter feed (inevitable when you follow so many food-related people), seeing dozens of reviews of the same places within days of opening and the fact...
A jaunt around the Pacific North West of the USA
MBFBY? has been ‘away’. You know, just like AA Gill when he goes ‘away’. However, unlike Mr Gill I wasn’t ‘away’ shooting endangered species with a blunderbuss like a pseudo-colonial arse. Aside from spending hours in branches of 7-11 marvelling at the gallon-sized cups of root beer and creative point-of-sale techniques (see above photo), I was driving...
The French Table, Surbiton
Fine dining. Remember that? Once upon a time if you wanted to treat yourself you’d find the fanciest restaurant you could afford, ideally one where waiters remove crumbs from the tables with little silver scrapers and every dish has artful drips of sauce painstakingly painted on the square, semi-opaque glass plate. Then recession happened and the restaurant industry changed beyond all...
Tommi's Burger Joint, Marylebone, London
When I first heard that “some Icelandic burger bar” is opening around the corner from possibly the finest burger restaurant in London I was instantly intrigued, and 99% certain I knew who would be behind it. Not because I have an obsessive interest in Icelandic fast food (though I sort of do), but because there’s only one proper burger chain in the whole of Iceland. McDonalds...
RECIPE - BBQ Pulled Pork
Radical stuff going on at MBFBY? in this post. Not a lazy restaurant review like usual but a recipe, like a proper food blogger would post. Pulled pork. Some of you are probably sick of hearing about pulled pork. Well, you can ‘do one’ as they say in Manchester. The reason people are all over it is because it’s so bloody good. Plus, if you’ve let yourself get annoyed by a...
Hawksmoor Bar, Spitalfields
I was going to the opening of an exhibition at the Whitechapel (I’m SO painfully bloody cultured, yah?) and was in need of somewhere to eat afterwards that wasn’t a curry on Brick Lane. I tweeted for recommendations and hilariously the Brick Lane curry touts (never ones to miss a trick) have taken things firmly into the 21st century, trawling Twitter for anyone mentioning Brick Lane...
BBQ Shack at the World's End, Brighton
I’ve heard lots of praise about a dive pub in Brighton, where an expert BBQ pitmaster by the name of John Hargate has set up shop. Mr. Hargate is reputed to be knocking out high quality authentic US BBQ to the unwashed masses of London-On-Sea. Some of this praise is notable for coming from the mighty Jay Rayner, certainly the UKs most visible food critic. Mention food to someone in Brighton...
Anna-Mae's @ Eat St, King's Cross, London
STREET FOOD! All you need is an idea, a gazebo and a Twitter account. Leave your job at the ad agency, go on a long holiday for inspiration, come back and start selling authentic Nebraskan pulled veal sliders to your old colleagues at one of Central London’s many STREET FOOD markets. I’m all for it, personally. I like the fact that people can start something interesting with next to...
Pho, Wardour St, Soho
I usually start my reviews with a little story of how I came to be eating at the restaurant in question or maybe even a small rant about some annoying new culinary fad, but in this case I was asked if I’d like to review Pho by their PR, so I’ll get straight to it. Tally ho! It’s busy. It’s Wednesday. You can’t book. It’s Soho, what are you expecting? Of...
Brunswick House Cafe, Vauxhall
When reviewing somewhere that isn’t in Soho or Mayfair, it’s customary to write as if you’ve been forced to travel to the end of the earth in search of you artisan brunch. “In the vast wastelands of Vauxhall a beacon doth shine from the smog” etc. I’m not going to do that as there’s actually quite a lot going on in Vauxhall (the cricket, the epicentre of...
MEATmarket - Jubilee Market, Covent Garden
MEAT. IN A MARKET. MEATmarket. No messing around here. For their second venture in 6 months, the MEATLiquor team have gone back to basics. Utilitarian, stripped-down, situated on the mezzanine floor above Covent Garden’s less salubrious market. Judging by the old menus on the stairwell, the space was previously occupied by a particularly low-end Chinese restaurant. Jubilee Market,...
Goodman, Maddox St, London
“Heifer whines could be human cries, closer comes the screaming knife, this beautiful creature must die, this beautiful creature must die”, sang Morrissey in the mid-80s. Unfortunately Mozza wasn’t demanding the beautiful creature be slaughtered to make quality dry-aged steaks, he was making a passionate plea to the trenchcoat-wearing hoards of 1985 to reject the carnivorous...
Roganic, Marylebone, London W1
There’s no point doing a proper review of Roganic. The 10 course tasting menu can truthfully be described by that most stupid of modern terms: ‘EPIC’. ‘Food-as-theatre’, ‘breathlessly exciting’, ‘progressive’ and ‘MIND BLOWING’ are more overused descriptive terms that could also be employed. If you want a blow-by-blow then...
The Seagrass, Chapel Market, Islington
Pop-up. Love it or loath it, the pop-up concept is firmly here to stay. I’m ambivalent - on the one hand I like the fact it gives folk with good ideas/products a chance to reach customers without having to sink thousands into a risky bricks-and-mortar operation. On the other hand the term has become ridiculously overused and hijacked by mainstream brands (hello Boxpark). You can peddle any...
Ceviche, Frith St, Soho
Soft opening? Sounds a bit nasty to me. ‘Come to my soft opening’. Hmm. Anyway, my visit to Ceviche was on the ‘soft opening’ first night so bear this in mind as there was 50% off the bill. Also it was really dark in there so apologies for the pitch-black photos. It’s a bustling place, full to the rafters by the time we got there. An attractive bar area at the front...
PUB REVIEW: The Lass O' Richmond Hill, Richmond...
I’ve tried to get in to this cavernous pub beside the grandest of the Royal Parks a few times now but because it’s beside the grandest of the Royal Parks it’s always RAMMED. All these no-booking policies these days have dulled my senses - I must have forgotten it is actually still possible to book a table in London in 2012. However I thought ahead this time and on a wet...
MBFBY? - The first year
A year ago today I thought ‘hey, doing a food blog sounds like a good way to get free stuff, plus I’d get to whinge about stuff. I’ll give it a go’. Well, I’m still here 12 months later and it’s turned into a thoroughly enjoyable endeavour. The free stuff thing didn’t really pan out. Here’s the entire list of freebies MBFBY? received in 2011: - a...
Cây Tre, Old St, EC1
Serves me right. I should never have ventured into the bleak wastelands of Shoreditch on a Saturday night. 10 years ago you could have called it exciting round here, now it’s all lads-on-tour, shouting, breaking glass. Come back hipsters, all is forgiven. Plus there’s STILL no cash machines that don’t charge £1.75 for the privilege of access to your own money. Anyway, a good...
Smoak, Malmaison Hotel, Piccadilly, Manchester
A brief review to see in the first month of the year. Going to do a navel-gazing ‘1 year of MBFBY?’ post next month, and there’s a reviewing vist of Young Turks at the Ten Bells in the pipeline. I might even review Pitt Cue Co using only haikus if I can actually get a table. In the meantime another visit to Manc and another restaurant checked out… Smoak. SUCH a Manchester...
MIshkin's 25 Catherine St, Covent Garden WC2
I wasn’t sure about Mishkin’s when I first heard what Polpo impresario Russell Norman was planning for his fifth opening. “A kind of Jewish deli with cocktails” said the Twitter account. My reservations were increased further when I found out it wasn’t going to be kosher, and they would be serving a pork hot dog. A pork hot dog in a Jewish-influenced deli? Is this not akin to opening a...
The Hawksmoor, Seven Dials, WC2
Vegetarians look away now. There’s nothing for you here. The Hawksmoor is a temple of beef and no mistake. Since the first one opened in 2006 (Spitalfields), they’ve become known as the top steakhouse in the capital. I dined there a couple of years ago and the steak was excellent, but the experience slightly sullied by sloppy service and clientele comprised almost exclusively of male...
José, Bermondsey St, London SE1
After managing to review somewhere that hadn’t even opened yet last time, normal service has been resumed here at MBFBY? towers. Here’s another review of somewhere everyone else wrote about 6 months ago. It’s a sunny, autumnal Saturday morning in SE1. We decide to go for an amble round the foodie enclave of Maltby St (home of the excellent Kernel Brewery), then go for a spot of...
MeatLiquor, 74 Wellbeck St, London W1
You are going to get SICK of hearing about MeatLiquor. This post will be a drop in the ocean on Food Blog World™ , where a tidal wave of hype is brewing. It’s going to hang around the top 10 on UrbanSpoon for months. I mean, it’s not even supposed to be open yet (official date is 11.11.11 - ‘course it is) and there’s already like a million blog posts about it or...
The Albany, Queens Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey
The Albany is a riverside gastropub in Thames Ditton, a curious slice of rural Surrey right on the border of Greater London. It’s a grand old building, painted in a typical shade of gastopub beige. First impressions weren’t good - Mrs MBFBY? rang to book a table the day before and they’d obviously cocked it up as there was no record of our booking. After a little bit of...
COCKTAIL BAR REVIEW - Rules Cocktail Bar, 35...
Yeah, that’s right, I’m reviewing a cocktail bar. I don’t care what you think. I’ve drank enough foaming pints of Old Bastard’s Mindfuck whilst writing about places for this blog to have earned the right to a bit of luxury every now and again. Nothing against ale, obviously. I proper love ale, me. Know what I mean? Sound. I heard Rules make the best cocktails in...
PUB REVIEW - The Dean Swift, Butler's Wharf,...
It’s been a tumultuous couple of months in MBFBY? world. An insane work schedule (unbelievably, writing this blog doesn’t quite pay the bills so I design and animate motion graphics ‘on the side’), a bunch of weekend commitments and major renovation work taking place at MBFBY? towers has left precious little time for the blog. I can only apologise to all 15 of you. Anyhoo,...
The Mark Addy, Salford
I was really looking forward to my trip to the Mark Addy. As a northerner, few things are more inviting that a pub with plenty of local ales on tap plus a menu with 2 different tripe dishes and a liberal use of bone marrow. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. The plexiglass-covered staircase entrance is reminiscent of a 1970s discotheque, I can imagine DCI Gene Hunt screaming into...
PUB REVIEW - The Palm Tree, Mile End, London
To walk to the Palm Tree is rather lucid experience. The East End streets suddenly end. You are by a deserted canal, totally covered in bright green algae. Across a stretch of grass is a lone pub. It looks like it was once part of a larger street but is now the only remaining building. The windows are dark but the door it open… The Palm Tree was my local many years ago when I lived in a...
Moolis, Frith St, Soho
I’ve been meaning to write a post about Moolis for a while now. I’ve had takeaway from there numerous times but never actually sat down and ate in there (I usually go for the excellent goat wrap. That’s right - GOAT WRAP! Not many places can boast a goat wrap on the menu). I received an email from Moolis PR asking if anyone wanted to review it and I gamely volunteered, so bear in...
Scandinavian Kitchen, Gt. Titchfield St, London
There’s something inherently 1970s about Scandinavia. Fondue, Abba, wooden panelling, chunky jumpers and the smorgasbord to name but a few retro-tinged Scandi-trends. Scandinavian Kitchen isn’t overtly 1970s inside (though they are playing Abba) but the food on offer is what I imagine to be the best 1970s-style smorgasbord buffet ever. Part cafe, part coffee shop and part kitch...
Big Apple Hot Dogs, Old St, London
I’ve just had a remarkable hot dog. I’m working Eastside today, way out of my West End comfort zone. I was walking down the roundabout end of Old Street, pondering the limited lunch options. I was also pondering how somewhere that combines the desolation of an industrial estate, the architecture of a council estate and a population seemingly comprised of tramps, scallies and 20...
South Bank Centre Special - Dishoom and Pitt Cue...
It’s pretty mental down the South Bank at the moment. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Festival of Britain (the reason for the South Bank Centre’s inception) there’s all manner of shenanigans going on. It’s buzzing at the best of times but if you visit this summer you’ll find a giant, mournful fox, psychedelic huts, a fake beach, a victorian fairground and a...
Seeing as it’s Friday, I though I’d do a quick post to share a Spotify playlist I complied full of awesome food-related songs. Pic kind of unrelated but I’m not at home today so I grabbed this off my limited selection on flickr. Besides, what could be more rock n’ roll that a hot dog with loose burger meat on top and chilli chips? Some of the links are a bit tenuous but...
Sam's Chop House, Back Pool Fold, Manchester
It’s a lovely, sunny day in Manchester (insert weather cliché here). Where to head for a seasonally apt light lunch? I know - I’ll head into this dark Victorian basement for a steak and kidney pudding. Many people have recommended this Manchester institution to me recently. I gather Sam’s Chop House has had many ups and downs over the years but have been promised it’s...
Nando’s. You wouldn’t think a ubiquitous chain could stir up such strong feelings when introduced to polite conversation. On the one hand you have your Chicken Cottage purists who think ‘it’s just a posh KFC’, whereas on the other hand you have folk with this sort of opinion: “Oh god, not Nando’s. For one it’s a high street chain and I think...
Riding House Cafe, Gt. Titchfield St, London W1
I know this area well. I cut my teeth as a runner a few doors down from the Riding House Cafe many years ago. Back then it was a branch of bar HA HA, where one could enjoy an overpriced, under-gassed Stella after work if the Kings Arms opposite was too busy. It’s always been a smart part of town, with plenty of little neighbourhood-type places to eat (Efes or Back To Basics for example) and...
Spuntino, Rupert St, Soho
I found myself in Soho, on my own, with a few hours to kill. Many men have used this excuse before, many will continue. What would I tell my wife? Maybe I could text her pictures, showing what she’s missing? Would that just make it worse, documenting my sins? What’s that at the end of this seedy alleyway? No queue? Excellent. I am of course not talking about an early-morning visit...
PUB REVIEW - The John Snow, Soho
A very short review today of The John Snow on Broadwick St in Soho: - It stinks of wee and poo. The public toiliets opposite (mainly used by Soho’s colourful junky community to shoot up in) are actually far more pleasant. - The beer is absolutely disgusting, even by Sam Smith’s very low standards. - It’s inexplicably busy all the time. The only reason I can think of as to why...
PUB REVIEW - The Commercial, Herne Hill
Herne Hill is almost unrecognisable from the pretty but slightly rough-around-the-edges bit of South London I knew when I used to live round here many years ago. It’s gentrified to the max these days. The rough old sports pubs are long gone and they’ve even pedestrianised the bit outside the station. There’s still the odd fried chicken outlet though. Keeping it...
Koya, Frith St, Soho
Another day, another hyped Soho restaurant. No reservations, obviously. I was actually on my way to the fabulous Moolis next door, but at the last minute saw there was a table for two at this rather popular Japanese canteen. Having heard endless good things about Koya, we ducked in and grabbed that table. Literally as soon as we did, the hordes of young media zombies lurched up Frith Street,...
Polpo, Beak St, Soho
As one of London’s hottest restaurant critics, I am expected to have my finger on the pulse. True to form, just as Russell Norman opens his third uber-cool Soho eatery (the achingly hip and oversubscribed Spuntino) I finally get around to visiting Polpo, the first of the three, which opened back in 2009. One reason it’s took me so long is the no-resevation policy, a must-have these...
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mandarin Oriental...
We’re pushing the boat out. We’ve kicked it off it’s trailer (where it’s lay stricken since Bullseye ‘87), pushed it down the road to the station, bundled it onto a train, off the train at Waterloo, onto the tube, up the escalator at Knightsbridge, dragged it across the road (avoiding the Maseratis) and into the opulent lobby of the Mandarin Oriental, where we’ve given it to one of Heston...