Friday, 9 December 2011

The Chocolate Festival

Just a quick one to let you know The Chocolate Festival is back at Southbank from today until Sunday. No ticket required.

Pretty much every high end chocolate brand will have a stall there, and there is usually some chocolate themed activities and sculptures.

Here are some pics from last year (Easter time):

Happy eating,


Friday, 18 November 2011

Tastecard for £29.95

Tastecards are selling for £29.95 until Christmas Day:

Use the promo code 'HOLLY' at checkout!

Happy eating,


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Taste of Christmas 2 for 1 offer

I haven't been to this particular food fest before, but I have heard good things about it.

Two standard tickets are £22 if you quote 'TASTECARD' when you book on

Happy eating,


Monday, 31 October 2011

Hayley Fuller's Cakes

 Happy Halloween everyone! :)

Halloween Barbie Cake by Hayley Fuller- made of 3 marbled cake layers

At our office *chomp* we're rather spoiled by the lovely Hayley and her nomnom-worthy baked goodies. Occasionally *munch*, she brings in a cake and we circle like vultures until there are mere crumbs left. *gobble*

Now, all you lucky people can order your own bespoke cake - Hayley makes custom ordered stuff like KFC-shaped cupcakes, Angry Birds gamescapes, as well as more traditional cupcakes and birthday cakes.

If you've got any questions/requests, her email is

Happy eating,


Wednesday, 19 October 2011


"When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both."
- Urban Dictionary

Monday, 17 October 2011

Experimental Food Society

Apologies, but I have at least one more post before writing about normal food again!

This one is about the Experimental Food Society. I wish I knew more about it - it seems to be a combination of food and art, two loves of mine. However its not entirely clear if all of what is created is actually meant to be eaten!

They have an Experimental Food Society Spectacular this weekend starting Friday 21st October at the Truman Brewery. I might pop by the exhibition (£5) but alas my budget at the moment doesn't stretch to attend the banquet (£60) which I'm sure will look and taste fantabulous.

If someone does go, be sure to take lots of pics and report back! :)

Happy eating,


Update (28/10/2011):

So, I did end up going on the Saturday for the exhibition! It didn't have quite as much to see as I had expected (I think I went at the wrong time since there was a lot more in the papers than I remember seeing!) but what was there was pretty good. I didn't get to taste any of it since I doubt the artists (/chefs?) would have appreciated bite marks on their works of art so I just took pics instead:

Pretty, edible flowers by Rosalind Miller 

Rosalind Miller hard at work

Gothic Chocolate House by Paul Wayne Gregory

Scott O'Hara with his sugar eagle

 Look closely in between the two halves - didn't notice that at the time!!!

A fellow food enthusiast poking the Dodo cake by Michelle Wibowo to see its its real

I'd be quite cosy in this! No mortgage required, just a sweet tooth.

Chocolate Train by Carl Warner, photographer - he also had a collection of his 'foodscapes' at the exhibition 

 My favourite - a Curly Wurly Eiffel Tower by Paul Baker

 Teeny tiny cupcakes :)

I'm not actually sure what this is - but it was fascinating none the less!

Hand-shaped baked goods

Other highlights that I didn't get to take a picture of included edible clothes, camel milk ice cream, medicinal marshmallows, and baked goods even teenier than the cupcakes pictured above - they were baked in quails eggs!

I wonder how the banquet was?!

Happy eating,


Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I came across this picture gallery today. Some nutritious snacks reserved for the more adventurous methinks.

The first time I came across insects prepared for the sole purpose of eating was on my first trip ever to Hong Kong. We went to a traditional Chinese medicine shop and stacked on the rows and rows of shelves were a massive variety of  stuff I never would have considered edible before. Huge centipedes in jars, dried lizards on sticks and deer antlers sliced and stored in big vats to name but a few.

Now, you may think it is only countries in the far reaches of the world where they munch insects. Not so - it's surprisingly easy to find insects sold as a 'delicacy' in London!

The first time I stumbled upon them in London, it was actually in Selfridges of all places. Walking through the food section, I found scorpion vodkas, worm lollipops and chocolate covered ants. Bit of a shocker among the luxury goods! [Note: haven't seen them there in a while. Possibly not sold there any more, this was a loooong time ago.] I soon learnt that although in other parts of the world it might be medicine, an ├╝ber-cheap food source, or even a marketing gimmick for tequila; in London's unique little bubble insects are an expensive delicacy!

Currently, insects are being sold in a few of the capital's most uptown shops: Fortnum and Masons are selling what I'm sure are lovely BBQ flavour worm crisps, and Harvey Nichols are selling a wide variety of the stuff I originally saw in Selfridges that time, by Edible.

Of course, there is also a restaurant where you can get crunchy little bugs served to you - Archipelago (which also serves a wide range of meat, including kangaroo and crocodile) near Goodge Street serves a few dishes that will have you crunching away.

Chocolate-covered scorpion @ Archipelago

Their infamous love bug salad is a lovely leafy green salad with fried locust and cricket sprinkled on top; or perhaps their sweet desserts are more to your liking - chocolate covered scorpion or bumble bee brulee anyone??? Somehow I've managed to try them all and they weren't as bad as I was expecting!

How many of you have got your protein fix this way? :)

Happy eating,


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Roast Om Nom Nom

If I said what it actually was, would it kill the magic? :)

@ The Draft House, Tower Bridge. I recommend their Stiegl Radler beer - a grapefruit shandy, mmm...

Thanks to Tinhead for the pic which was better than mine :P

Happy eating,


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Lily Vanilli

Anyone else end up drooling over their Metro today after reading about the goodies from Lily Vanilli?

It just so happens that Groupon are doing a gift box of 8 for £9.50 today!

Happy eating,


Friday, 1 July 2011

Taste Card Offer

For anyone who has come here looking for a Taste Card offer (apparently much of the traffic to this website is from Googlers who are looking for Taste of London or Taste Card offers!), you're in luck - they are doing a deal until next Friday 8th July for a Taste Card for £29.95, compared to the usual price of £69.95!

Offer code is: SUN


Happy eating,


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Free champagne @ Launceston Place

Someone told me that I have a weird relationship with food. Perhaps they're right - I did find this hilarious!

Anyway, after thoroughly stuffing my face at Taste of London over the weekend, I've gotten this from Launceston Place:

As a thank you for visiting our stand during Taste of London we would like to offer you and up to five guests a glass of complimentary Champagne when dining with us until 31 August 2011. To reserve your table call 020 7937 6912 or book online and quote "Taste of London".

I say if you're going to splash out soon on a nice meal, might as well have some free champagne to go with it. :)

Happy eating,


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Abeno Okonomiyaki

When I was a teenager I read a lot of manga, my favourite being Ranma ½. [Bear with me - this is relevant to food!] The story is a slapstick comedy about a boy who turned into a girl when splashed with cold water. The character studies martial arts and has enemies and prospective spouses of both sexes - one of them being Ukyo, an okonomiyaki chef who's fighting technique is based on cooking techniques. In the manga, the okonomiyaki looks like some kind of yummy fried pizza cooked using giant teppanyaki grills and tossed with a spatula that looked more like a spade - and subsequently splatted into someone's face!

Ukyo, Ranma ½

The reality didn't disappoint - when I visited Japan in 2007 I was on a mission to find it. I was told that it was a bit of a localised cuisine, mainly available in Osaka and Hokkaido. So, in Osaka we asked our hotel concierge where we could find okonomiyaki, and he scribbled down in Japanese the name of the place and told us directions - it didn't have any english on the sign so we just had to compare his scribbles with the shop signs! We arrived at a very dark smokey restaurant with red paper lanterns, noren door curtains, and a massive grill in a U shape with about 3 chefs in red bandanas in the middle cooking for the huddled customers. We couldn't ask for more authentic than that! biggrin We waited impatiently as the chef pretty much tossed food around the place which somehow ended up in a perfect circle on the grill in front of us, perfectly cooked and slathered with a few different sauces we didn't quite recognise and sprinkled over with a load of bonito fish flakes. It didn't last long!

Sooo, getting back to London I was disappointed that the only okonomiyaki I could find was a really cheesy/cabbage-y version at the Japan Matsuri they hold every year. Until a friend introduced me to Abeno that is! There are two restaurants. The original, Abeno, is hidden on a small street near the British Museum and has a number of individual tables with teppanyaki grills on each. The staff don't speak much English! The newer restaurant, Abeno Too is located in Chinatown and has both a large teppanyaki grill in the middle and smaller individual tables also with grills. The staff at this one speak very good English!

Brightly lit and very modern, they're very different from the smokey dark place where I had my first morsel of okonomiyaki, but thankfully the food is almost as good. The camera-shy waiters/chefs calmly mix the ingredients and pour it sizzling onto the grill as you sit, watching, waiting, drooling, taking pictures, as if you'd never seen something cook in front of you before. Afterwards, they artfully drizzle on the sauce in a spiral pattern and dash on a bunch of bonito flakes - if you ask nicely they'll give you a little more. wink It would be a shame to eat something so pretty if it didn't taste so good! I LOVE the Tokyo mix - pork and seafood, yum. Oh they also do a good yakisoba!

Cooking! Thanks to Noodle for the pics.

Abeno Okonomiyaki

Happy eating,


Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Real Food Festival

Just a quick one to mention that the Real Food Festival is on in Earls Court from this Thursday 5th of May - Sunday 8th of May.

"About Realfood

If you love food you've come to the right place. Real Food is all about great tasting, sustainably and ethically produced food and we're aiming to connect you to the most extraordinary food experiences you will find anywhere.

From large scale annual food festivals to regular produce markets, with the best of British street food thrown in, you can explore the very best that this nation has to offer."

For today only, Groupon is offering 60% off, so standard entry tickets are for £5.40, or VIP tickets for £16.

Happy eating,


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

The Brass Rail, Selfridges

I did warn you that I would be writing about West End lunch places a bit more for the time being!

Sooooo......I stumbled across this place a few years ago, having shopped till I almost dropped - not in Selfridges, mind - I wish!

Located in the food hall section, The Brass Rail is hot salt beef heaven. According to their website, the carver Saj has been with them for over 33 years! That is a dedicated beef carver right there folks.

A bit pricy - I would expect to pay around £8 for a full sandwich & gherkin. However, my stomach is a bit bigger than most, and many people are happy to settle for the half-sandwiches they sell for around a fiver.

Soft and tasty, the foccacia bread is the tried and tested best bread to wrap up the falling-apart-tender hot salt beef with hot English mustard. Having gone there a number of times now I have begun to brave the odd looks from the carver to ask for my gherkin to be put into the sandwich. The final result being the most incredibly juicy and droolworthy sandwich ever, devoured in moments.

Keep up the good work Saj!

Full hot salt beef sandwich with gherkin, The Brass Rail

Happy eating,


Monday, 4 April 2011

Dirt Banquet

Well........I just read this and I'm not sure whether I'm tempted or disgusted:

I usually don't come across food experience related posts in the science blogs/websites I follow and this was too good not to share!

Again, not quite sure if I'll check it out, but for anyone who is interested, according to the article it will be recreated in the Secret Garden Party (near Huntingdon, Cambridge) in July this year. [Info Here]

Happy filthy eating,


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Ranoush Juice

Having just moved our offices this week to Marble Arch, I've been overcome with excitement about revisiting all the restaurants I used to love going to when I lived much closer to that area. So apologies if my posts are going to be West End themed for a while! God help both my wallet and my waistline.

I didn't think I had favourites really - but since I chose Ranoush Juice on Edgware Rd for the first day of lunch in the area without thinking twice about it, it must be my favourite!

I have only ever got one thing in this place. Nope, not even tried the juice - I have the lamb shawarma to take away. It's pretty much like a doner kebab, but all rolled up in paper. As you eat, you rip more of the paper off. Make sure you start at the twisted end.

The reason I have it to take away is because this is not something you eat in polite company, including the staff there! Layers and layers of juicy meaty goodness smothered in sauce with pickle and salad. Someone pointed out to me while I was vaguely listening that they use 'real' meat as opposed to the processed stuff you often get.

I'm not going to lie; it gets messy. I have never not got some on myself. The sauce and juice from the meat drips everywhere. It also has fresh onions galore in it. Not the place for a first (second, or third) date! But it is so fucking fantastic I have eaten two in a row a few times. NOM!

Happy eating,


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Early Bird Offer for Taste of London 2011

I've just received an email from Taste of London.

This year it is being held between 16th - 19th June in Regents Park.

There are often many various discount codes and promotions for the event, and this is the first of the year I've come across: 2 standard tickets for £32 (£20 off) or individual VIP tickets for £45 (£20 off per ticket). The offer is valid until Friday 11th March.

Already drooling in anticipation! pucca_love_13

Happy eating,


Tuesday, 1 March 2011


There is nothing like a cup of tea to make everything better, is there?

My younger, sugar-addled self would have scoffed at the thought, having been forced to drink Chinese tea with my dim sum every weekend. It didn't matter to me that the name of the meal (yum cha) literally means 'drink tea' - I was just there for the dim sum! However, they say that your palette changes as you grow and sometime in my teens I actually started liking tea - of all kinds.

/* Confession: last year, about twice I had beer with my dim sum. It seemed.....well wrong! pucca_love_14 */

London as a whole has a lovely selection of tea's - pretty much anything you could want.

The Tea House in Covent Garden, my favourite tea shop not only sells tea - it also sells all the tea parapharnelia you never knew existed! It's difficult to miss - the windows are positively stuffed full of everything they could think of, in charming contrast to the minimalist displays of the surrounding shops.
Inside, the aroma from the stacks and stacks of tea never fails to remind me of an amazing visit to the tea plantations in Sri Lanka. The Tea House doesn't sell a specific type of tea - it has Chinese, Indian, African and English tea, herbal tea, fruit tea, floral tea and probably many more tea I can't remember. They also have seasonal mixes for Christmas. My favourite from here is a Chinese black/green/floral blend called 'The Emperor's 7 Treasures' which tastes lovely and peachy. It even tastes great cold/chilled. The rooibos tea and spiced tea also come highly recommended.
Upstairs, is teapot land. One-cup teapots, glass teapots, teapot sets and all the matching mugs can be found here.
The assistants here know their stock inside out, and if they don't have what you are looking for, can suggest alternatives or expected stock delivery dates.

If fruit teas are your thing, Whittards of Chelsea do a pretty good brew. I have a love-hate relationship with fruit tea. Disappointed after trying many different types of fruit tea which smell so so different to how they taste, I am on the fence. However, the fruit teas here are much more convincing flavour-wise than many others I've tried. The dark berry based ones here are the only fruit tea I buy these days, and I couldn't live without them.

If you are lucky enough to have a bigger budget to spend on a cuppa, Fortnum & Mason do an amazing selection of high quality tea - mainly traditional English tea, Chinese tea and a few fruity teas.
Beautifully packaged (of course!) in tins to keep the freshness, the tea here makes a lovely gift - and if it's good enough for the Queen.....

Also for the bigger budget, for those who believe tea is much more than the taste and scent there is Sen. A Chinese herbal remedies shop, it also sells Chinese tea which has been used for centuries in China to ease ailments. Much more modern and minimalist than you would expect a herbal remedy shop to be, the assistants can help you find the right teas which may help your ailments. I have never visited the shop while ill though - I am always drawn to the wide collection of flowering (blooming) teas that they stock here. As each ball of tea is dropped into glass teapots of hot water, it opens into a bloom to indicated when it is ready. Some contain a single 'bloom' - a burst of colour from the surrounding leaves. Others open out to a beautiful bouquet of various blooms! They are expensive but surely worth a once-in-a-while treat.

My duckie tea infuser @ work, drinking,


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!

I hope you all have a fantastic Chinese New Year and lots of lovely food & red packets! biggrin

Happy eating,