Sunday, 14 February 2016

January (and Feb) Adventures

The start to the new year has been rather exciting to say the least and rather a lot has happened. Below are some of the highlights:

My birthday is in January and this means that the family has to spoil me! So, with this in mind, I ended up being taken to lunch at the Charlotte Street Hotel and dinner at Chai Ki.

The Charlotte Street Hotel has an amazing set menu which is not only very reasonable, but also is far too difficult to choose from just because everything sounds just so yummy.

Look at how good it all looks!

The Hotel's restaurant is also such a lovely environment - light and bright with colourful walls and, most importantly, delicious cocktails.

Chai Ki in Canary Wharf  has a very different vibe to the Charlotte Street Hotel. It serves modern Indian food which I love and so I was quite excited to try new dishes outside of the usual dishes I'd order.

We tried a pear and tandoori chicken salad, grilled aubergine steaks and a number of different curries. Safe to say, the plates were essentially licked clean!

I was also rather spoilt by the boyfriend too!

Once all of the birthday celebrations were out of the way, it was back to normal life.

One day, my Mum came to visit me and so we headed to Sticks'n''Sushi in Wimbledon for a light (but tasty) lunch.

Sticks'n'Sushi is a successful restaurant group which started in Denmark and is well known for having some of the best Japanese food around! Therefore, I was somewhat excited to try what they had on offer.

We were not disappointed! We shared some beef tataki and dug into two large salads.

Not only was everything delicious, all the food just looks beautiful!

Finally, some good friends took us to try out the roof bar at Selfridges - Forest on the Roof.

After speeding up in the express lift, you step out into a tunnel of fairy lights and tangled branches before walking into a magical grotto of a bar.

Happily for us, the cocktails were equally magical!

All in all, it's been a lovely start to the year - bring on the rest of it!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Shaka Zulu, London’s largest South African restaurant, knows how to make an impact. The entrance is guarded by an enormous Zulu warrior whose shadow you walk under before being whisked away by an escalator, down into the depths of the restaurant.

Once you reach the bottom, you realise just how large Shaka Zulu is. The restaurant stretches out in front of you and the whole place is immaculately themed – there are big cat sculptures and elephant heads hanging on the wall, all watched over by more huge Zulu warriors.

I was invited to Shaka Zulu to try out their rather exotic food and was intrigued to see whether it was as impressive as the venue. I soon found out I wouldn't be disappointed! 
As my boyfriend and I settled into our seats, we were given a welcome glass of fizz with some sort of pink candy-floss-like substance settled at the bottom which made me smile. We sipped on our drinks, excitedly awaiting our food! 

Starters arrived and the boyfriend and I eagerly dived in to the large sharing board which was presented. On it were lamb samosas, salmon and ostrich terrine, accompanied by a salad and garlic-y bread. The lamb samosas were delicious, but I was particularly taken with the ostrich - it was the first time I had ever tried it!

Next was mains.  I had (blindly and bravely at the time!) picked the ostrich steak and the boyfriend had gone for a steak (as in a normal-from-a-cow-beef-steak). We had also ordered a number of sides to share which included roast cinnamon butternut squash and sugar snaps with caramelised onions. 

The food may not be the most photogenic in the world, but my meat was cooked perfectly - pink all the way through and it just tasted delicious. Ostrich turned out to be quite gamey, but not as strong as venison or boar. I would definitely recommend trying it! The boyfriend was also very pleased with his steak, happily piling peri-peri fries and sugar snaps on top of it. 
Then came the puddings. Look how pretty they were! 

I was practically ready to pop after the mains, but managed a spoonful (or two!) of the yummy desserts! There was a little cheese cake, a chocolatey tart and a  creamy traditional South African tart. 
Once I had slightly recovered from munching through our rather large amount of food, I went for a little explore around the restaurant....

.....making a new friend or two along the way!

I really enjoyed visiting Shaka Zulu. The venue is just spectacular (we couldn't stop commenting on it all evening!) and the food was very tasty and definitely interesting! When I return, I am going to have to try the crocodile and the zebra! I would really recommend giving it a try, especially if you have a hungry boy in tow - I challenge them to manage to eat everything put in front of them! 
Thank you for having us Shaka Zulu- we will be seeing you soon!