Zoilo – Argentinian Cuisine

We visited Zoilo for dinner on Friday. We wanted to try somewhere new and we have recently discovered the Marylebone (close to Oxford Street for those unfamiliar with the area) food scene (we know it’s not that new but we didn’t really know about it before now). Marylebone village (as it’s called) is home to a large variety of different restaurants which we will be sampling one restaurant at a time! So keep an eye out for more blog posts focussing on food from this area!

Back to Zoilo – we selected this particular restaurant because we felt like having steak and our Google searches tended to point in Zoilo’s direction! The restaurant itself feels quite romantic with dark walls and dimmed lights. This would be a good restaurant for a date night or special occasion.

For starters we ordered the Provoleta which was a baked Provolone cheese, almonds and oregano honey. We weren’t really sure what to expect but as soon as we saw the dish we were instantly grateful that we had ordered it! It was delicious! The texture of the cheese is slightly like halloumi but the consistency is like a mozzarella in terms of the elasticity of the cheese.

We also had the spinach and goats cheese, raisins and pine nuts and the classic beef, grilled peppers, spring onions and olives empanadas. Empanadas are an Argentinian (and South American) speciality which consist of a fried pastry outer crust combined with a delicious filling. Despite being extremely delicious, we think that just ordering two of these was the right decision. Although, we were tempted to order two more, they are quite heavy and had we eaten two more it would have been difficult to enjoy our mains – the steak!

(Food photos as taken by us)

For our main we ordered the sirloin steak with a side. The steak was perfectly tender and succulent. We had the steak with some chimichurri (a condiment made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and red wine vinegar) which was a welcomed change from having traditional peppercorn sauce or béarnaise sauce with steak.

We were very pleased with our Zoilo experience and would recommend this restaurant to you if you are a fan of steak and want to try some traditional Argentinian cooking.

As always, please leave your comments below if you have visited Zoilo or if there are restaurants in London that you would like us to try!

Thanks for reading 🙂

The Bill: £65 (two starters, one steak to share, one side, and two diet cokes)

Food Value for Money: 70/100

Another visit soon? Yes

Overall Rating: 7/10

Reservation required: No

Number of visits to date: 1

 

Breakfast at the Urban Pantry

Having walked passed Urban Pantry (UP) practically everyday for a very long time, we finally decided to try their breakfast! As usual, before finalising the decision to try UP we did a bit of googling to see what their menu was like. This revealed that UP have received countless awards over recent years, not to mention the TimeOut award for Best Brunch Spot and they have also featured in books about where to eat in London. This gave us some reassurance that UP would be of a good standard but we needed to see for ourselves!

The place is always full on the weekend, often people are turned away and told to come back later, which they do. There is cute outside seating for the warmer weather and the inside has a cosy feel.

We ordered the scrambled eggs on sourdough toast, the veggie breakfast and a portion of the baby pancakes. The eggs were a great consistency and the portion size was good. Overall, we were very satisfied with the eggs! It was also a nice touch that the staff came over to check to see if we wanted hot water refills for our tea which is something you normally have to ask for yourself.

Those pancakes…for those of you who are familiar with our blog you will be aware of the importance that we place on pancakes! That’s why when we saw pancakes on the menu we knew that we had to sample them! We were pleased to see that UP offered a baby portion of pancakes (for people like us who didn’t want to have to sacrifice ordering pancakes over eggs!) Now let’s get onto the pancakes! As pancakes go, this was a good batch! The size and texture was just right, our only suggestion would be to put the maple syrup in a small jug on the side so that you can control the amount. The staff were very accommodating so I’m sure that they would have done that for us if we had asked. Personally, having been on a ketosis diet (blog posts talking about this will be up on the blog shortly) things are tasting much sweeter than they otherwise would have been if we weren’t on ketosis.

Overall, we had a really good experience at the UP and would recommend it! It looks like it’s going to become a regular breakfast place for us!

Leave your comments below if you’ve been to UP with your feedback or if there are any restaurants/cafes in London you would like us to review next 🙂

(Food photos as taken by us)

The Bill: £30 for two people (3 breakfast dishes and 2 tea’s)

Food Value for Money: 75/100

Another visit soon? Yes

Overall Rating: 8/10

Reservation required: No

Number of visits to date: 1

Austria

Salzburg

We hadn’t visited Austria before so we were both really excited to see what it had to offer. We hopped off the plane, jumped into the rental car and headed into Salzburg. The airport is about 20 minutes from Salzburg town centre.

The town is built around the river Salzach. On one side of the river there is the old town, a market and quite a lot of small shops and restaurants. The other side of the river there are some museums and the Mirabellgarten.

We recommend that you try typical Austrian food – chicken schnitzel, cheese spaetzle and a dish with potatoes, bacon and fried eggs on top which was really tasty! And not to forget The Cheese!

We drove from Salzburg to the lakes – St Gilgen and Fuschl which were beautiful areas!

We stayed in the Hotel Falkensteiner Schladming which exceeded our expectations! The breakfast and dinner were included in the price which was reasonable. The hotel has a lovely spa with an indoor/outdoor pool which was one of the reasons we selected this particular hotel! It’s in a good location being an hour away from Salzburg airport and around an hour and 15 Minutes from Hallstatt.

Now we didn’t go skiing this trip but the hotel is perfectly positioned to hit the slopes with 4 ski resorts in the surrounding area! Not to mention the hotel also offers discounts on ski equipment rental!

Hallstatt

Hallstatt is probably one of the most instagrammed European towns! It’s not surprising when you see how breathtaking it is in real life! This place is a must when visiting Salzburg!

There is a train that climbs up the mountain in Hallstatt to the salt mine (which is what this area is famous for) where there are spectacular views and a cute little restaurant to have a latte macchiato!

We had a great time and three days was long enough for us to explore the main areas! We would recommend this trip if you just want to have a relaxing weekend away to eat some good food and breathe in the fresh mountain air!

We have a few more trips coming up in the next few months so stay tuned!

Piano (Persian Restaurant) in Chiswick

On Friday evening we decided to have Persian food for dinner. The restaurant is in Chiswick High Road and we’ve walked past it many times wondering what it would be like. We have tried quite a few Persian restaurants in London but we haven’t really been very impressed. There is something in particular which we have been on the hunt for and that’s the green rice, Baghali. This is the first thing that we look for on the menu! So I’m sure you can imagine our delight when we finally found it on the menu!

From the inside the restaurant looks quite formal and I think that they have some live entertainment some nights of the week. There is outdoor seating where you can sit and have dinner or just have a shisha.

The Food

Ghel Gheli (Meatballs) and Taftoon Naan

For a starter we had the meatballs, they were a sort of soup of tomato sauce. Dipping into the sauce with the bread and then dropping a meatball on top was delicious! If you may have read from previous posts we’re big on meatballs and these ones were great!

Koobideh and Khoresh Bademjan

This dish is consisted of a minced lamb skewer with rice. The lamb was cooked very well and had a delicious flavour. The rice rice very fluffy and buttery just how we like it! The Khoresh (meaning stew) was an Aubergine stew with lentils. The stew was delicious! It was nice to have a vegetarian option which was really tasty and filling.

We really enjoyed our dinner at Piano and would recommend it to anyone who loves Persian food or if you’re looking to try something new, you won’t be disappointed!

The Bill: £20 per person

Food Value for Money: 85/100

Another visit soon? Yes

Overall Rating: 8/10

Reservation required: No

Number of visits to date: 1

Macellaio RC

A few weeks ago we were invited to dinner by some friends to Exmouth Market. We didn’t really know what to expect as neither of us had ever been to Exmouth Market before. We took the tube to Chancery Lane and then walked from there, it was about a ten minute walk (not as far as it looked on Google maps when there didn’t seem to be any tube stations close by).

Exmouth market isn’t like anywhere else in London. It’s pretty much one street which has bars and restaurants either side. On a Friday evening the whole place was lit and it had a really nice vibe. It didn’t quite have the Shoreditch (which would have been further east) hipster vibe but it had more of a laid back cool kids (adults I mean) feeling. From what we observed, the Italian restaurants seemed pretty authentic with most of the employees speaking Italian amongst themselves and lots of Italian people hanging out at the bars. This was a good sign that lead us to believe that these restaurants weren’t pretenders, they were places where some of the Italian Londoners went to have some good food and a good time on the weekend.

The Food

The menu is in the form of a newspaper which is a cute touch making things more interesting. For starters we had a variety of different dishes and got mains we all had steak.

Bolito Croquette

These were very nice, we hadn’t tried anything like this before. They could only be described as deep fried meat balls! We are big fans of meatballs so these were an interesting take on an old favourite!

Burrata and Buffalo Mozarella

We were unable to decide between having the burrata and the buffalo Mozarella so we decided to get both! We preferred the Mozarella as it was creamier and had a nicer texture, it also wasn’t as salty.

Liver Cooked in Butter & Sage and Served with a Roasted Onion Purée

Some people aren’t really used to eating liver but to our group it felt like home! There is a traditional Lebanese dish which consists of liver which was something everyone was familiar with. So, seeing this on the menu we knew that it wasn’t going to go by unnoticed.

Fillet Steak with a Side of Mashed Potatoes

The quality of the steak was excellent! It was cooked to perfection and was extremely tender. This was probably the best steak that we have had in a while. The steak comes on it’s own so it’s good idea to order a side or two with it. But the mashed potatoes weren’t really to my liking.

T-Bone Steak and Other Selection

The Place

The restaurant itself has a buzzing and lively atmosphere. Where we were sitting we could see the chefs cooking. Given that this is a butcher/restaurant and it’s clear that they take great pride in their produce, they bring the meat to the table raw so that you can see it before cooking which is a nice touch. When you enter the restaurant you can also see the meat in the fridge, if meat is your thing then this is the place for you!

The Bill: £53 per person

Food Value for Money: 75/100

Another visit soon? Yes

Overall Rating: 7/10

Reservation required: Yes

Number of visits to date: 1

Stay tuned for our next blog.. Our adventures in Ischia!

Day Three – Our Adventure in Capri

Waking up to another beautiful morning in Sorrento not wanting to miss a thing we hurried down to breakfast so that we could get ourselves onto the boat to Capri. Before heading off to Capri we had an emotional drop off at the Hertz car rental as we said goodbye to our little Fiat. The people at Hertz were efficient and it only took a Matter of minutes for them to complete the paperwork. It did cost us extra to return the car to a different location from where be collected it but it was worth it because we would be going to Ischia next! On a side note though, We were so happy with this car we even started thinking about getting one here in London!

We walked from the Hertz place down to the port of Sorrento, the ticket was €70 for a return ticket each. The boat is quite big so if you’re closer to the front of the queue it’s likely that you’ll be able to get a seat and the journey only takes around 25 Minutes.

When we arrived to Capri we didn’t really know where to explore first. At the port there are a lot of restaurants and souvenir shops. Not being very interested in this area, we switched on our google maps and decided to head up! We trekked for about half an hour making our way up the winding roads towards the top of Capri. We could have chosen to jump in a convertible taxi which seemed to be unique to Capri but instead we wanted to experience the walk. After reaching the area where there are many shops and restaurants we were walking around and came across a bus station. The bus station was shuttling people to Anacapri, again, not really knowing where we wanted to go we decided to buy some tickets and hop on the bus. I say hop on the bus but it wasn’t that easy, there was a long queue for the bus and although the sign said that the bus would come every ten Minutes, that meant ten Minutes Italian time which was in fact around 20 Minutes.

When we reached Anacapri we decided to take the chair lift to the summit of Monte Salero (€11 each). This was a lot of fun! If you’re visiting Capri you really must try it (see our Instagram for some live footage)! It takes about 15 Minutes to reach the top and the views from the top are simply spectacular. There’s a cafe at the top as well so if you feel like chillin and having some lunch up there you can do that too.

After taking a load of photos we took the chair lift back down and explored the hidden passageways of Anacapri on foot. Surprisingly it was deserted at around 15:00 we were looking for somewhere to have a late lunch but most places had stopped serving lunch. Instead, we decided to head back down to mainland Capri. The queue for the bus to get down there was enormous! So if you’re planning on heading up to Anacapri make sure that you allow extra time to travel back down so that you don’t miss the boat! The last boat off the island is at around 17:30. As we had to wait for a while for the bus and were running out of time, we decided to jump on the boat back to Sorrento.

That evening we went into Sorrento and watched the Mexico vs Germany match. We then went to dinner at a lovely restaurant which deserves an entire post all to itself! So watch this space for a review of .. coming soon..

Chairs & Coffee

I knew that I wasn’t going to get out of going for a run this morning so after a few diversions we set off on our run. When we got to Fulham we headed straight for Chairs & Coffee which is probably our favourite place for breakfast in Fulham so far.

Wanting to make the most of the good weather we sat outside, but opted for the table in the shade because today had been exceptionally hot! The place has a very chilled out feel and we never feel rushed when we go there.

The Food

Today we ordered free range scrambled eggs on sourdough with Parma ham and truffle olive oil and free range scrambled eggs on sourdough with avocado, chili and sesame seeds. These weren’t the usual dishes that we order when we go there. But, today we wanted to branch out and try something different. The scrambled eggs had a creaminess to them which we both enjoyed and the portion of avocado was very generous, probably the most generous we have experienced.

Unfortunately, the only thing was that after having eaten the Parma ham we were poisoned, violently sick throughout the afternoon/evening. That being said we won’t stop going for breakfast here because after so many visits we have never before been sick. Next time we’ll just stick to what we usually get which is the burrata or the scrambled eggs with chorizo and goats cheese.

The tea is also one of our favourites, we appreciate it when we can see that cafes are as serious about tea as we are. In addition, they give free refills of hot water which is what all places should do.

The Bill: £25

Food Value for Money: 75/100

Another visit soon? Yes

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Reservation required: No

Number of visits to date: >10