Coco di Mama – a delicious Italian lunch

There are so many places out there to enjoy on your lunch break, but mostly all do the same food/cuisine, so we were delighted when we discovered Coco di Mama on the Nutrifix app. They serve healthy and hearty fresh Italian food. There are 21 branches around London, and we are sure you will find one near to where you work or want to visit.

We visited separately and went to 2 different branches. If you work in the Victoria area then Coco di Mama is situated on Victoria Street and is certainly very popular here, there was a constant queue and stream of people on the Tuesday lunchtime that I visited.

If you work in the city, then make sure you head to the king William street branch. The staff here despite being rushed off their feet are super helpful and look so happy, which is a delight to see.

You can pick up a cold option from the fridge which include salads, sandwiches and hummus pots. Annie actually opted for the Jackfruit Salad it was actually incredible especially the pink hummus, I (Annie) also added some balsamic vinegar but it would be perfect just the way it comes.

Or you can get hot fresh pasta from the counter. There is a choice of sizes, the large is pretty big they are very generous. There are plenty of sauces to choose from including, carbonara, pesto & meatballs. Coco di Mama cater for all dietary requirements and if you want you can get gluten free pasta. Coco di Mama is also very vegan friendly and Rach opted for the lentil pasta ragu, and went for gluten free pasta. The lentils were a great substitute for a meat sauce and the whole thing tasted delicious.

There are also fruit pots in the fridge which we definitely eyed up, we do love a fruit pot!

At the counter there is a wide selection of cakes and cookies to choose from. We have been loving our vegan lunches at the moment so we opted for the vegan dark chocolate banana bread and oh my gosh it was just insane! Rach has hers a little later on and heated it up, we both could have eaten it all over again.

There is also fridge full of cold beverages, we tried one of the new juices from Daily Dose which was delicious. We also tried Da-Sh water which was also really refreshing, I got the raspberry flavour.

Coco di Mama also serves yummy coffee, and we particulalry love the cup you get given it’s a coral colour and Coco di Mama on it. Annie had a mocha, to enjoy with her banana bread and it really did hit the spot.

We also noticed the pasta straws which we thought was such an amazing idea especially as they serve pasta in store as well!

We have recommended Coco Di Mama to so many people already and we have even been back ourselves!

Pho Restaurant Review

We jumped at the chance of visiting Pho for dinner, Rach visited Vietnam back in December 2017 and ever since then has always loved eating Vietnamese food (I mean doesn’t everyone).

We visited the Spitalfields branch which is located just a 10 minute walk walk Liverpool Street. We arrived at 19:30 and the place was buzzing. From the outside and at first glance this Pho looks relatively small, but actually it surprised us with how big the restaurant was. They have a large seating area upstairs which we had a nosey at when we went to the toilets.

The manager introduced herself to us and told us that we were welcome to try whatever we liked on the menu, as asked her her recommendations like we always do and of course went with a couple of them.

Rach ordered the Nojita to drink which was on their specials menu. This drink was muddled lime and mint, homemade lemonade & soda, shaken and served over crushed ice, garnished with fresh mint. Her eyes said it all when she tried her first sip she was in Nojito heaven!

I ordered a …. which was so refreshing and not too sweet. I would definitely order it again and would recommend you do as well if you visit Pho.

To start we ordered the Spicy Salad Rolls which were three carb-free pure veggie rolls tied together with a carrot ribbon from their new healthy menu. These were so bright and colour and well healthy! They were really delicious were full of lots of bright and colourful vegetables.

We also ordered the Nem Hai San which was a Large crispy spring roll consisting of tiger prawn, crab & pork with nước chấm dipping sauce which were INCREDIBLE! We could have eaten these all over again! If you order a starter when you visit Pho then you have to choose these we really couldn’t recommend them enough.

The third and final starter we ordered was fried squid which was also really tasty. The waitress came over and told us to mix the lime juice with the salt and pepper as it is a total game changer.

Main courses for us were easy, we knew we wanted a rice dish and the curry just sounded out of this world. I went for the chicken Ca-Ri curry and Rach ordered the same but had prawn instead. They really are not stingy on the chicken and prawn portions and we must say the prawns were ginormous! Rice is served on the side which we also tucked into but actually didn’t manage to finish (that must be a first).

We had a peep at the dessert menu but to be honest we were absolutely stuffed we couldn’t even think about eating anything else! We did spy the green tea ice cream though that sounded really tasty, we would have tried that had I had room oh and the chocolate slab!

Toilet review: They were very clean! You will find them upstairs!

The staff at this Pho were to attentive and really helpful. We cannot thank them enough for helping us have the most perfect evening.

By the time we were ready to leave the restaurant had emptied out a lot, what with it being the city you would kind of expect that as it was gone 9pm.

Panzerotto Blues Tooting Market

Want to sample the only panzerotto in London….. well you might not even know what it is, so let us tell you first and then we are sure you will want to try it too!

Panzerotto is similar to a calzone that is probably the best way to describe what it looks like but let us tell you it is NOT a calzone and Panzerotte Blues make sure you know this too….. look at these signs and you will agree!

It is basically a sourdough pizza base with a filling of your choice that is folded over then deep fried. Now you may think oh wow its fried, its going to be really greasy, well you are wrong, it isn’t greasy at all, in fact its super crispy and light and we are converted!

We were lucky enough to meet the owner and founder who chatted to us and told us the process of it and also told us little stories about the Panzerotto!

Now, we have told you a little about the panzerotto you now want to know where it is! Head to Tooting Market in, you guessed it Tooting and you will find Panzerotto Blues, you order from thier little kiosk and can either sit at the seats they have along the wall or on the main communcal seats in the middle of the market. They also sell them at Greenwich market, so make sure you head down there as well (Monday – Friday only!)

Rachel went for the Margherita panzerotto which was absolutely delicious! The panzerotto was both filling and light! We didn’t feel overly full but we were also 100% satisfied! Annie ordered their best selling panzerotto which was the Panz Jungle- mushrooms, spinach, goats cheese and a sprinkle of chilli flakes giving it that extra kick!

The Margherita was £5.50 and the Panz Jungle was £6.35 which we think is very decent for a market stall lunch, especially when it’s so fresh and cooked in front of you!

A Jazz Apple a Day

Apples have to be one of our favourite fruits of all time, every morning before we leave the house we grab one out the fridge and yes we do believe they have to be kept in the fridge but we wont get into the debate!

We love having an apple ready and available to eat whenever we get slightly peckish! Did anyone else’s mum tell them to ‘have an apple’ if they moaned about being hungry? Gosh how that has stuck with us!

We went away to Colchester for the weekend and we always make sure we throw a couple of Jazz apples in our bag to keep us going when we get peckish!

We are actually quite fussy with our apples, they have to be super crunchy and full of flavour, we cannot stand a soft furry apple YUK! That is where Jazz apples are so good, they can be out of the fridge all day and still have a delicious crunch to them.

Jazz Apples originally from New Zealand and are actually the result of a natural breeding process between the Royal Gala and Braeburn apple! Jazz apples are grown in sun drenched orchards in New Zealand but they are also grown in the UK, Europe, USA, Chile, South Africa and Australia.

Look our for their distinctive bright blue label in the supermarkets when you are browsing the apples. Jazz apples can be found in Aldi, Asda, Tesco, M&S, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Ocado, Morrisons, Lidl, Coop & Booths.

We found ours in Sainsbury’s and we purchased a pack of 4! They didn’t last long hehe we need to re stock the next time we visit the shops!

So the next time you go to the shops branch out a little bit and try the Jazz Apple! We cannot recommend it enough and we have got our friends and family loving them as well.

Chelsea Creperie

We have FINALLY visited the Chelsea Creperie! It might have taken us two attempts because we were being ditzy and went to the wrong place last time lol! That’s the last time I (Annie) does the directions, think Rach can take on that role from now on she does a far better job.

We visited the Creperie on a Tuesday afternoon at 3pm, making sure we missed the lunch time rush. The creperie is located just a 15 minute walk from both Fulham Broadway and South Kennsington Station.

Upon arrival the waiter asked us if we would like to try one of their rainbow lattes and of course we said we would. When they arrived they were green and orange on top!

We sat in a little booth that was full of Nutella cushions, very cute! And it was the perfect spot for us to get some work done and also have a good old catch up!

We both looked at the menu and there were so many options to choose from! In the end I went for a Nutella crepe (of course) with raspberries and salted caramel ice cream! It was so delicious and the crepe was perfectly cooked.

Rach went for the Amazing Apple it was served on a cute heart plate and was your typical crepe! It was a parcel that was stuffed with delicious cooked apples, salted caramel sauce and a serving of salted caramel icing (Rach swapped this as the menu said it was vanilla) it was sooo delicious and the apples were just incredible!

There were also lots of savoury crepres in the menu which also sounded delicious and had we not already had lunch we probably would have opted for one of them (you know we love the share).

They also had a number of waffles to try and had it not of been a creperie we definitely would have tried a waffle as we LOVE them!

All in all Chelsea Creperie was super cute and the food was delicious! If you are in the area and fancy a crepe then we would definitely recommend!

La Prosciutteria Milan Review

We came across La Prosciutteria on Instagram before our trip to Milan and put it at the top of our list of places to visit during our stay. The photos of their boards looked absolutely incredible!

La Prosciutteria has two locations in Milan. We visited La Prosciutteria Milano Navigli which was located in the canal district. We had actually planned on visiting the other location which is located close to the Arco Della Pace.

We visited La Prosciutteria at lunch time, the venue was buzzing and it was full of customers ordering either a board or a sandwich! We love it when you arrive at a bar and the atmosphere is alive, it sure is a good sign!

We looked at the menu and knew straight away that we would be ordering their Gourmet Board which was priced at only 30 Euros. That may seem expensive for a cheese/meat board but trust us it was massive and only 15 euros per person!

The boards had lots of different special meats, cheeses, crostini, bread and much more! We managed to eat everything on the board and trust us when we say we were stuffed!

We are so glad we visited for lunch as our original plan was to visit and have as our starter before dinner- don’t think we would have fitted dinner in!

We also ordered a glass of red wine to enjoy with our board and we couldn’t believe a glass of wine costed just 2.50 euros! What an absolute bargain, we could have sat drinking it all afternoon it was so delicious.

It was raining during our visit but we still opted to sit outside as it was sheltered. It was November but it was actually very mild out so we were not cold in the slightest.

If we could recommend just one place to visit in Milan we would 100% say La Prosciutteria!

Ciao Gusto’s Brand Delicius

Purchasing all of your favourite authentic Italian food and drink has never been easier with Ciao Gusto Italian Deli at Ocado. We have just returned from a trip to Milan and the food was absolutely incredible. Rach had already told me how much I was going to love the food in Italy and she certainly wasn’t wrong it was delicious. It’s great to know that we can now easily purchase some of these foods online YAY!

Ocado are stocking over 30 of Italy’s most popular brands, so you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for. It is a great place to discover new and exciting ingredients as well! We had a great time browsing and loved reading about the brands. There is information on all of the brands and we realised that many of them are still owned and run by the same families who established them, some as far back as in the 1800’s!

We recognised many of the products including Riso Gallo, Filippo Berio and Giovanni Rana. There were also many products and brands that we had never heard of before and one that particularly caught our eye was a brand called Valsoia who sell dairy fee ice-cream. We have included a list of all the brands you can purchase at the Ciao Gusto Italian Deli on Ocado:

Pasta – Barilla, Rana
Rice – Riso Gallo
Flours – Polenta Valsugana
Tomato and Vegetable Conserves – Cirio
Cheese and Dairy – Auricchio, Parmareggio
Fish – Delicius, Medusa
Herbs and Spices – Cannamela
Tuna – Rio Mare
Cured Meats – Negroni
Soya and Rice products – Valsoia
Olive Oil – Filippo Berio
Vinegar – Ponti
Bakery – Colussi, Misura,
Dried fruits – Noberasco
Jams – Santa Rosa
Coffee – Lavazza
Herbal Teas – Bonomelli
Water and Fruit Juices – San Benedetto, Santal
Wine – Zonin, Santa Margherita
Spirits – Vecchia Romagna
Cherries and Syrups – Fabbri

The product that we decided to create a recipe with was the Mackerel fillets with chilli. They are amazing quality and make the perfect salad, you can find our recipe below!

This chilli mackerel salad is ridiculously easy and is the perfect work day lunch, it doesn’t take long at all and you can even make it the night before!

Ingredients
1 tin of chilli mackerel
1 packet of merchant gourmet Italian lentils
1 Avocado
5 Cherry tomatoes
Lambs Lettuce
1 lemon
Sea salt and pepper to season

Method
Put the mackerel in to a mixing bowl and break any pieces with a fork
Cut the avocado into chunks and add to the mackerel
Add the lentils to the mix and stir
Add the lettuce to the mixture
Chop the tomatoes in half, add to the bowl and toss
Transfer salad to a serving plate or bowl
Squeeze lemon juice on top of salad and season with salt and pepper

Enjoy!

The W.B Yeats Collaborates with M.I.A

M.I.A and The W.B Yeats collaborated to celebrate chocolate week and rumour has it they will be collaborating for the rest of the year! What a fabulous idea we hear you think and you wouldn’t be wrong. Any excuse to eat chocolate and we are there, so even better when there is an entire week dedicated to chocolate.

Chocolate week was from the 13th- 21st October 2018 so if you missed it this year and you are a chocolate lover make sure you look out for it next year as so many brands get involved with it.

The W.B Yeats is a pub located just a short walk from Finsbury Park Station. They serve freshly prepared food that is of an amazing quality and everything on the menu sounded delicious. We arrived at The W.B Yeats pub at 7:30PM on Friday 19th October ready to try the menu and most importantly the M.I.A Chocolate desserts that are currently on the menu and will be until the end of the year.

We have tried M.I.A chocolate previously and absolutely loved it! You can read our blog post here all about the chocolate.

We ordered both desserts and shared of course…when do we not!

The Warm Chocolate & Caramel Tart with Coconut Cream was one of the desserts and we absolutely loved it, this dessert was Rachels favourite out of the two and she could have eaten it all over again it was so delicious. We loved the rich chocolatey taste, the warm caramel sauce and the perfectly cooked buttery pastry. The coconut cream was served on the top and it was the perfect addition!

The second dessert on the menu was a Cold Chocolate fondant with Candid Hazelnut which was also incredible, we particularly liked the crispy base (we have always loved anything with a crunchy base). The mousse was perfectly set, and we loved the taste of the chocolate powering through with every bite.

We couldn’t just visit The W.B Yeats for the desserts though, of course we went enjoyed a three course meal, how could we not when the menu sounded so divine.

We ordered a bottle Of Le Campuget Syrah Grenache which was a delicious blush wine, the type of wine we have been loving recently. it was fresh, crisp and easy to drink. Le Campuget Syrah Grenache is such a summer wine and reminds us of those light evenings sipping it in the sunshine if you cannot tell already e are trying to hold onto summer for as long as possible.

We also shared some Salamanca olives and nuts which were perfect to snack whilst we had a catch up and chose what we wanted to order.

To start we shared the Isle of Wight tomatoes & parmesan on toast which was divine and so flavoursome. We would 100% recommend this starter to anyone to visits. They were incredibly generous on the portion sizes there were so many tomatoes. We love parmesan it’s one of our favourite cheeses so of course we loved that part of the dish as well.

For mains we both went for the steak, with green sauce and onions. It was unbelievable, we wanted to eat it all over again! It was served with a side of chips and of course gravy that was poured over the top of the steak. The greens sauce had parsley in it which we absolutely loved!

Angus the manager of the pub was incredible, he looked after us all evening, you can really tell he loves his job. He explained each dish to us in detail before we tucked in which we really appreciated as its nice to know a bit of background on the dish.

It was a busy Friday evening in the pub and the atmosphere was alive, we loved the vibe. We got the feeling that most people were locals enjoying a Friday night drink and a bite to eat.

We have heard that W.B Yeats serve an incredible roast on a Sunday, its huge so make sure if you visit you are hungry! We are going to have to make a return visit to try it!

Harissa Lamb Waffles with Krombacher Beer

We jumped at the chance of taking part in the Krombacher Beer and food pairfection campaign, we love trying new beers and we especially love developing recipes. Brunch is our favourite meal to eat and it’s even better with an alcoholic beverage! We love the fact you can eat brunch at any time of the day so we wanted to create a recipe that would be perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The dish we have created is Harissa Lamb Waffles and they taste absolutely delicious if we do say so ourselves, especially when matched with a cold Krombacher Pils- for us it’s #pairfection. We have made sweet waffles and protein waffles several times before but this was our first time trying to make savory waffles. We wanted the batter to have flavour and we didn’t just want them to be a standard waffle recipe so we threw a few spices in the mixture.

Krombacher Pils also knows as ‘A Pearl of Nature’ is one of Europe’s leading beers and we can totally see why. The taste of Krombacher Pils is very distinctive and the water it is brewed with plays a massive part in the flavour giving it a full flavoured apple Manhattan is some what bitter.

We got a thumbs up from our boyfriends as well as our dads they all absolutely loved it! It was great to have a little tasting session going on with them all and they all said it was very refreshing and light.

Recipe for Harissa Lamb Waffles- You will need a waffle maker

Waffle Ingredients
125g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ Tbsp Caster Sugar
1tsp Mustard Powder
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
215ml Semi Skimmed Milk
2 Eggs

Harissa Lamb Ingredients
1 tbsp Olive Oil
250g Lamb Mince
2 tbsp Harissa Paste
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ Aubergine chopped into small pieces
½ red onion finely chopped
250ml chicken stock
150g feta
Handful Parsley finely chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 5-6 minutes until brown. Add the onion and aubergine and allow the mixture to cook for 3 minutes before adding the harissa paste, tomato purée and black pepper, stir the ingredients until well combined and coin for a further 1-2 minutes.

Add the stock to the mixture (it will look slightly runny), place the lid on the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced- we left it cooking for around 15 minutes. In the mean time we go started on the waffles.

Place all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined

Put the butter in a saucepan on a low heat and remove from the heat once melted

Whisk the butter, eggs and milk in a separate mixing bowl

Make a well in the dry picture and poor the wet mixture into it, whisk the mixture until fully blended together and there are no lumps

Leave the batter to rest for until you need it

Turn your waffle maker on and allow it to heat up, once heated (the green light should show) pour in the mixture, close the lid and cook

Once the waffles have cooked and the lamb it is time to assemble the dish, place your waffles onto a plate and pour the mixture on top. Sprinkle with feta and parsley, open up your Krombacher Pils and voila you are ready to tuck in!

Krombacher Pils is available in Booths, Majestic, Morrisons, Ocado and Tesco.

The Field Restaurant Review

The Field opened its doors in May 2018, located in London fields just a short walk from London Field station or like us you prefer to use the underground you can walk from Bethnal Green (it’s about a 15 minute walk).

The Field offer a seasonal plant based menu serving brunch, lunch and dinner they, check their website for opening hours though as they are not open every day. The Field also have a weekday happy hour from 5:30pm-7pm, weekend brunch from 11-4pm, yoga every Sunday 10-11am and live music every Sunday- they have got it all going on.

The Field was opened by Nik Williamson & Ryan Petty two chefs who wanted to open a restaurant serving food that they themselves would eat, they also wanted to create innovative plant-based food which we can assure you they certainly have achieved.

We ourselves are not plant based or vegetarian but we do enjoy a plant based meal every now and then. We were really excited to visit The Field as the menu looked incredible and everything sounded really tasty.

We arrived at The Field at 7:30pm, there was a chilled atmosphere and several of the tables were already taken with couples and friends enjoying a civilised evening meal. We were shown to our table and both Nik and Ryan came over to introduce themselves and tell us a little bit about the restaurant.

We glazed our eyes over the menu before asking both Ryan and Nik for their recommendations (of course they were going to recommend everything it was their restaurant after all but we thought we would ask what the most popular dishes were).

There are a selection of smaller plates and larger plates on offer and we were advised to order a couple of each. We love trying lots of dishes so we did share everything that we chose (that way we get to report back on more of the dishes as well).

We both ordered a glass of 2016 Folle Blanche which was described as a ‘dry and fresh, a little fruity… ooh’ white wine. We loved the wine glasses the bigger the better when it comes to the actual size of the glass (well we think so anyway). It was £7.50 by the glass or £25 for a bottle, we both just opted for a glass. We were also served a jug of tap water as well which the waiter regularly replaced during out meal.

We ordered the Deep Fried Buffalo Cauliflower with House Hot Sauce to start as we were told it was one of the most popular dishes on the menu, it was absolutely delicious. There was so much flavour and it wasn’t like anything we had eaten before, the homemade hot sauce complimented the fried cauliflower perfectly.

We also ordered the Pasta Agnolotti which was pasta stuffed with Radicchio, Orange and Cashew Nut Pate. This was absolutely delicious and we particularly enjoyed the pest dressing that was drizzled over the top. We would highly recommend this dish it was full of so much flavour and we could have eaten it twice over.

For one of our mains we ordered the Summer Gnocchi which was Gnocchi, English Peas, Broadbeans and Mint. Well if you are a gnocchi lover then you will be a massive fan of this dish because it is just incredible and so fresh with so much flavour.  It was soft, smooth and a little sticky exactly as a gnocchi should be and this definitely gets a thumbs up from us.

The final dish we tried was the Zucchini which Zucchini Flower, Dill Pesto and Ratte Potatoes, this was hand down our favourite dish of the evening. We love pesto and we would eat it with everything if we could so we knew straight away we would love this dish. It was presented beautifully and cooked to perfection.

Anyone that says plant based food is boring needs to visit The Field because you will see just how flavoursome food can be without meat. The food at The Field is of a high quality and there are so many different flavours thrown in the mix.

The kitchen at The Field is open which we really enjoyed as you can see the chefs hard at work cooking the food instead of being hidden away. We think an open kitchen makes a restaurant really authentic and definitely creates a buzz.

We loved the hanging baskets that were hanging from the ceiling it made us feel like we were sat in a green house as there were plants surrounding us.

By the time we left The Field the restaurant was nearly full, the atmosphere was calm and it was quite a romantic setting- perfect for a date. If you want to try delicious, good quality plant based food without paying an arm and a leg for it then The Field is the perfect place for you.