Brunchin’ in London

After three trips to London in the space of one year, most of which was spent eating my way across the city, I’ve gleaned a fair amount of knowledge on the city’s vibrant food scene. When it comes to brunch, Londoners know how to deliver.

From a hearty British breakfast to Taiwanese baos, there are delicious addresses for all tastes. After sampling the best the city has to offer, I’ve put together a list of some less-traditional brunch experiences and tips for what to order! 

Dishoom 
(various locations)

You can’t skip Bacon naan and bottomless chai! This modern Bombay-style cafe has already received high praise and is on everyone’s ‘best of’ lists. Their breakfast menu is unique and especially noteworthy. We ordered almost the entire menu and each dish was packed full of flavor.  All the location are beautifully designed, but my favorite is the big warehouse at King’s Cross. 

Chinese Laundry 
07 Upper St, Angel

The breakfast of my childhood. Baozi, dumplings, and scallion pancakes topped with fried egg are musts. My favorite on the list, the menu from this kitchy Chinese eatery in Islington transports me back to the breakfasts I had growing up in Taiwan. 

Duck & Waffle
110 Bishopsgate

Breakfast with a view! Located on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, Duck & Waffle is one of the most sought after reservations in London. We made it there to watch the sunrise while enjoying the sweet-salty combination of crispy duck confit over waffles for an unforgettable experience!

Bao
(various locations) 

Although they technically do not serve brunch, I couldn’t leave Bao out because I love them too much. These pillowy soft and intensely flavorful baos keep me coming back each trip, sometimes for multiple visits in one weekend! If possible, order a variety of baos (their classic is a must!) with a couple of side plates, such as pickled cabbage, tomatoes in plum powder, and sanbei octopus. 

Monocle cafe
18 Chiltern St, Marylebone

For brunch from around the world. This trendy cafe in Marylebone with the recognizable black and white awning offers a wide array of different breakfasts, from Scandinavian cardamon buns to Japanese onigiri. 


Things in a bun with Hellmann’s new spread!

My passion for photography comes
hand in hand with my passion for cooking. When I first started food
photography, it was all meals I’ve made at home. Photography was a way to
document them to share with my family and friends. So when Hellmann’s asked me
to come up with 2 delicious recipes using their new product, Carefully
Crafted

spread
, an
option that’s plant-based and made with non-GMO sourced
ingredients, I was happy to get back into the kitchen to slather up some
spread on my favourite sandwiches! 

I love trying different cuisines and
the great thing about Hellmann’s Carefully Crafted is that it’s so versatile.
Being a fan of having a little ‘heat’ in my sandwiches, here are 2 recipes with
a kick! 

Lemongrass banh mi sandwich with sriracha spread
The perfect sandwich for your next spring picnic! 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp of Hellmann’s carefully crafted spread mixed with 1 tbsp of Sriracha sauce
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, shredded
  • 2 green onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp sodium-reduced soy sauce
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 baguettes
  • fresh cilantro leaves

Pickled radish and Carrot:

  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid honey
  • 1 carrot, 1 daikon radish, and cucumber halved lengthwise and thinly sliced diagonally

Preparation

Lemon grass chicken: In a food processor, purée lemongrass, ginger, green onions, garlic, honey, lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, oil, pepper and 3 tbsp water. In bowl, pour lemongrass mixture over chicken; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Pickled daikon radish and carrot: In bowl, whisk vinegar with honey. Add daikon and carrot; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 6 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil; let stand for 3 minutes before slicing.

Spread bottom halves of baguette with sriracha spread; top with chicken, cucumber, pickled carrot, daikon, and cilantro.


Recipe adapted from Canadian living 

Fish burger with jalapeno spread

Ingredients: 

  • 3 tbsp of Hellmann’s spread mixed with a dash of lime and bits of jalapeno
  • cod, haddock, halibut or other firm white fish
  • 2 buns (hamburger, ciabatta)
  • 1 avocado
  • pico de gallo (tomato, red onions, cilantro, lime, salt)

Preparation

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan the cook the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side until it is golden and cooked through. 

Toast buns (optional), and slather the jalapeno spread on both sides (I like a lot of sauce!) Place fish on bottom, top with sliced avocados and pico de gallo 

Recipe created in partnership with Hellmann’s. All views my own.


Pigging out in Portland

Despite only living 6 hours north of Portland, I’ve never really had the chance to visit. The city is known for its art scene, food, coffee, and craft beers. I’m not sure why I didn’t visit more often! 

Last week, I was invited by Travel Portland to experience their Portland dining month, where more than 120 restaurants offer 3 course menus for $29. I couldn’t be more excited to come, especially in the spring. There were so many on the list to choose from. Luckily, I had the help of the wonderful instagram community and different zine guides for coffee, donuts, beers, anything!. Here are some of the highlights of the trip. 

stumptown coffee at the Ace Hotel

Clyde Common

Well, no trip to Portland is complete without a visit to the iconic Ace Hotel, and having a coffee from Stumptown Roasters. After enjoying my coffee, I headed over to Clyde Common for my first dining month experience. The main course, a preserved ramp butter risotto with chili oil and chicken chicharrones, was to die for! Clyde also has a great cocktail program. With great coffee, food, and cocktail attached to the hotel, I didn’t think it could get any better. 

a walk around the Pearl district

cocktails at interurban

We crossed over to the Northeast, to Interurban, for a happy hour cocktail. One thing I was already noticing about Portland is how nicely the restaurant interior design is. Interurban is rustic, comfortable, and serves well balance, creative cocktails.  

courier coffee and blue star donuts

Following suggestions from the coffee zine, we ended up at Courier coffee. Portland has no shortage of great coffee, and friendly baristas. After coffee, we had a craving for sweets, thankfully we found Blue Star donuts from the Donutocalypse zine and headed right over. 

According to Saveur magazine, Olympia Provisions makes one of the finest charcuteries and I couldn’t agree more. They have a salami of the month club, which I would totally sign up for if I lived in Portland!  

Before my trip to Portland, everybody told me I had to come to Kachka. Admittedly, I’ve never been to a Russian restaurant. Kachka really blew my mind. All the dishes were so simple and comforting. I pictured them being made by a sweet, Russian grandmother. They also just released their own horseradish vodka. Isn’t the label just the cutest? 

Portland dining month was such a great way to have a taste of the diverse restaurant options the city has to offer. Thank you Travel Portland for having me! 

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