Lucky Chip & Andina


One of the secrets of a good relationship is a mutual love for food – you’ll always be hungry so you might as well use it as a bonding experience with your partner. I’ve been lucky in this respect, as the Boy loves food almost as much as I do.

This story begins the way my favourite stories begin: with a promise of good food at cool places.  When the Boy announced we were going to Lucky Chip I instantly visualized the whole experience: a melt-in-your-mouth meaty patty, in between a soft brioche bun, gooey cheese, punchy hot sauce and probably some pickled gherkins for the acidic kick, all mingling under my very happy palate. Grease running down our arms optional. Even as we were walking towards it, hungry and cold, putting up with the icy wind ringing in our ears, every step was a step closer to Lucky Chip. You could say I had very high expectations, and why would I not considering the hype it surrounds it? Granted, I was late in trying out Lucky Chip, but now that I have, I can offer you a detailed and honest opinion.


We visited the one at Birthdays in Dalston. If it wasn’t for my favourite app, Google Maps, we would have lost it and wandered around until we were colder and hungrier and one of us suggested we go to Nandos. Nevertheless, despite the lack of any sign, we did manage to find it. The menu is fairly short (nothing along the likes of Byron or Gourmet Burger Kitchen), and straight to the point. I like that. The venue was dark, the tables were sticky and the walls had the sound proofing of a bubble made of glass. Virtually non-existent. I did not like that. What I also didn’t like was the group of very inebriated girls next to us (it was 1pm. I mean, SERIOUSLY.) who either owned the place, and thus didn’t care if everyone else left annoyed and never came back, or they didn’t own the place, annoyed everyone who couldn’t hear themselves think (which was pretty much everyone) and the management did nothing. I’ll go with the latter and wholeheartedly suggest you do not visit Birthdays if you want to try out Lucky Chip, but instead go to their other venue or get your burgers delivered at home via Deliveroo.


Nevertheless, the reason we were there: the burgers. I went for El Chappo (bacon, jalapenos, blue cheese and aioli), he went for Kevin Bacon (bacon, cheese, mustard, pickles). Regarding my previous fantasy of the burger dancing in my mouth, I’d say it almost hit the nail of the head. The brioche was soft, the patty was soft and juicy and the right kind of pink in the middle, nothing fell apart with every bite and nothing had the texture of rubber. The toppings were rich and grease ran down my arm – I had to draw up my sleeves which is always a good sign. It was almost amazing. Unfortunately it was a bit too salty for my taste, and so was the Boy’s burger, so I assume this was by design and not an one-off error. Still, a lot of people like their food to be salty and if you’re one of them good for you. However, if you’re not, I say still try out the burgers but not without a pint of water next to you. Now I’m thirsty just by typing this. Keep hydrated people.


The fries were skin-on and the smaller ones were crispy perfection. I liked that too.


Now, who thinks of combining burgers with ceviche?


A visit to a cat cafe, a Christmas market and a walk around Shoreditch later, we wandered into Andina for dinner. Although Peruvian ceviche is one of my favourite things in the world, I hadn’t been to Andina. I now wonder why. First of all: the place. It’s huge and busy with waiters pacing up and down, but it’s also chilled, and cool. I think it’s one of the best places for a first date; it’s casual enough to make you feel relaxed, but not too much to feel as if you’re not putting enough effort. You order little plates to share which helps to break the ice and by the time you finish off that cocktail the ice has pretty much melted! Not to mention the food, oh the food.

I digress.

We started with juices because I’m all for healthy eating at the moment (not). I went for the green pimiento juice (green pepper, cucumber, kale and ginger) which I would not recommend if you don’t like cucumber as it’s quite strong, but if you’re afraid of ginger juices, this is a good place to start. He went for a more palate-friendly fruit juice, for which the ingredients escape me. He assured me it was good.


Now, food. We had plenty.

Pepian: Panca chilli marinated chicken breast with quinoa, carob, pecans and a coriander sauce.


Salmon Tamalero: chilli cured salmon, corn tamale, fresco cheese, huacatay sauce. Excellent quality salmon swirled around a zesty huacatay sauce. What’s not to love?


Tomatada Peruana: How all tomato salads should be made – with fresh, aromatic tomatoes bursting with flavour. I still haven’t found a reliable source for this tomatoes in the UK. Anyhow, it was heritage tomato, passion fruit tiger’s milk (no it was not milk taken from a lactating tiger mum, although that would have been cool), peas and sweet potato. When ordering, I found all of their salads interesting, but if I went back I would probably reorder this one. Robust tomatoes FTW.


These little croquettes that I can’t for the life of me remember how they’re called! Delicious though.


Ceviche Clasico. For the longest time the Boy had resisted the charms of ceviche. Through that time, I went into great lengths to explain the science behind the whole protein denaturing using acids from citrus fruit, very similar to cooking which denatures the proteins using heat. He kept nodding every time but he still wouldn’t budge despite my sincere efforts to put his mind at ease. Oddly enough, he has no problem with raw fish if it’s served on a ball of rice.


Nevertheless, while we were at Andina, and after I repeatedly personally guaranteed he would like it, he managed to take a bite. His eyes widened. His eyes widened so much I thought he was teasing me. Or he was having a heart attack. He insisted it was neither, and that the ceviche was one of the best things he had ever tasted. If this incident has taught us anything is to learn how to act when someone may be having a heart attack and not miss the opportunity to have ceviche once this opportunity presents itself.

Somewhere here our evening drew to an end. We bared London’s cold wind and rain until we got home, but we were happy – and full – despite the Boy looking back in disappointment at all those ceviche-less years he spent in ignorance. I was pretty happy nevertheless.

Till next time!

5 myths about make up

1. Men don’t like it.

I’m not aware of any heterosexual man who can recognize a well blended foundation even if his life dependent on it. Men like to say that they prefer the ‘natural look’, neglecting the fact that the ‘natural look’ takes about 15 minutes to perfect. I’d say they most probably mean they like a neutral make up, but still, the interest they show for women with make up far surpasses their interest for non-made up women according to this study. Also, something to keep in mind, don’t base your make up on others’ opinions, in the same way you wouldn’t base your meals, or wardrobe or hairstyle on others’ whims.

2. It’s an investment.

It’s not. Make up is a fancy word for face paint – marvellous paint, war paint, creative paint but still paint. It can be duped and replicated and sold at much lower prices. Don’t sweat it. The only thing you should be prepared to invest in is a good foundation, but for everything else you can work around almost any budget.

3. Good quality makeup means a lot of money.

It doesn’t. Sure, splurge on something you love – if a Chanel lipstick speaks to you at the department counter go ahead. If you’ve found love in an Urban Decay eyeshadow palette, don’t let me keep you from having it in your life. But you still don’t have to spend big money to get big results. I can only speak for myself but although I love a touch of luxury on my vanity table, I regularly ignore my Benefit mascara for my Maybelline, my NYX lip pencil gets more use than my Smashbox equivalent, and I’ll probably be wearing my Rimmel 107 lipstick till I die. The drugstore is full of hidden gems – you just have to do your research.

4. You need it.

You don’t. If you can still breathe without it, you don’t need it. Perspective.

5. You don’t need it.

Don’t let anyone tell you what to put on your face (unless it’s your dermatologist, but that’s another story). If you feel you need red lips to pop down to the grocery store for milk – go for it. If your skin is acting up and a spot of concealer will make all the difference to your mood even if you’re going to be home all day – go for it. In other words, if you feel you need it for whatever reason, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

And another one for luck:

5+1. Not everyone can pull a red lip.

Everyone can pull a red lip. Study your skin’s undertones (warm, cool or neutral), look for the undertones of the lipsticks, think what effect you want your red lips to have (clashing undertones make more of a statement, while matching ones are more suitable for daywear), and try try try. You’ll probably have to try out a few until you find the one, but once you find it, you’ll instantly know. And it will know too.

Bincho Yakitori


Bincho Yakitori had been on my ‘to go’ list for a while when we finally – albeit accidentally – went after an unpleasant experience at another restaurant. Just goes to show that when a door closes, a window opens!

I digress.


Before Bincho graced Preston Street in Brighton, it was a humble stall under the far more dramatic name ‘Blood+Wasabi’ which traded around Europe. The stall then grew into a restaurant, Bincho Yakitori in Soho, where it served (among others) some of the most intricate yakitori my naive European eyes had ever seen; from chicken spleen and eel to chicken mince with cartilage (the soft white bone your ears are made up of). Before you clutch your pearls, Bincho also serves more mainstream cuts of protein, but these chefs walk their talk. Nevertheless, after some time the Blood+Wasabi team decided to leave. Brighton was the window to London’s closed door, and I’m not complaining.


Bincho is meant to be an izakaya – a place to chill and socialize accompanied with foods a drink – a concept that seems  to run up across cultures. The menu follows suit this principle – you don’t have main courses or appetisers or any other such formalities – you just order a bunch of tasting plates and you share family style. You could say that it’s like ‘Japanese tapas’, except the Japanese ate like this long before the Spanish.

The majority of food is served on yakitori (wooden skewers) and is all about big, bold flavours, nothing frilly, nothing subtle, nothing weak.

We perused the menu, I wanted to order everything, the Boy assured me we’ll come again so I shouldn’t worry, and then after much debate we settled on five dishes, a side of steamed rice and a bottle of Asahi to share. The waitresses were polite and pleasant and smiling. I like that – take note other rude and unprofessional restauranteurs.

We started off with a green salad and crispy lotus flowers.


Tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth delicious pork belly yakitori and mushrooms on the other end.


Chicken and spring onions.


My personal favourite and probably the boldest of them all flavour-wise; the Korean chicken wings. Tender and moist meat, thick and crispy crust, all slathered with a Korean barbecue sauce; rich and sweet but with a refreshing kick of heat.


A deep fried dream.

We finished off with green tea ice cream. I found this to have a bit of a bitter aftertaste which I wasn’t crazy about, but if you’re a fan of green tea, I say you get it.


The whole shebang came at less than £15 a head including drinks. Marvellous!

Also the menu changes constantly along with the specials (written on a blackboard), so you couldn’t get bored even if you wanted to.

Find them online here and physically at 63, Preston St, Brighton.


Vinoa and free wine!


I don’t post often anymore, but this has to shouted from the rooftops.

It’s raining at the moment, so I’ll just type it in here, but you get the idea.

I have a mild addiction to subscription boxes – beauty, food, coffee and now wine – they feed both my hoarding tendencies and my lack of commitment to stick to a single product whatever that is – I want to try out everything!

I digress. To give you an initial idea, it’s good wine, at good price, and this post has a link to receive your first welcome pack for free!

I just received my first Vinoa box – a box containing 4 (50ml) bottles of wine, each month with a theme (Indigenous Grapes in August, Revolution in July), but each wine is quite different from the other to keep things interesting.


Even if you’re a complete novice, you also get an interactive guide for each box with taste notes and advice on wine-food pairings to help you out. All of this, without the pomposity and pretentiousness of so many sommeliers!

The box is £9.99/month (you can get it for even less if you subscribe to the 6-month or yearly subscription), BUT you can get your first welcome pack for free through this link*.

PS: Other than the mentioned affiliate link, I’m not paid by Vinoa or anyone else to write this post, I just wanted to share the wealth and encourage the (responsible) consumption of great wine.

PPS: You may want to share this post with any wine-loving friends you have… after all the best wines are the ones we drink with friends!


*It is an affiliate link, so if you’re not comfortable with that, you could just go onto and pay for the subscription as you would normally.


Isolani – All we can cook pizza

I wasn’t going to write a review for this restaurant (hence the lack of photographs), but after my experience there I couldn’t not blog about it. You could say that experience was one of a kind.

So there we are, a happy group of seven ready to go for some “all you can eat pizza” (as advertised) at Isolani within the Agios Antonis municipal market in Nicosia. We went hungry and ready to be fed. We were the first table there, and even before anyone else arrived the waiter clarified that they would only serve six out of eight pizzas available as they were missing ingredients because they “[were] closing tomorrow for the summer holidays” (from then on referred to as lame excuse).

Nevertheless, we should have braced ourselves for what was to follow. We ordered six pizzas to start with and then – depending on which ones would prove to be the most popular ones – we would order more accordingly. As soon as we put in the second order, we were informed that we wouldn’t be getting our pizzas because they *ran out of pizza dough*. The lame excuse was repeated. The waiter (and the manager who gave the orders and who probably invented the lame excuse) seemed to think despite the ridiculousness, the lame excuse was valid enough for not serving the food they charged for.

You could say it was laughable except no one was laughing. The waiter brought us the pasta menu in case we liked something from there, but clarifying anything we ordered would be charged extra. The lame excuse did not apply to anything charged extra.

Thus, to put the whole shebang into perspective; they advertised they had an-all-you-can eat (ha!) pizza offer, they were fully booked and thus knew how busy it would get, yet they hadn’t gone food shopping to be able to serve the whole menu and only had enough pizza dough for less than half the people they expected, but that’s fine because the lame excuse would be repeated at every chance. Somehow, this would work and would not piss off the customers.

Although it’s an interesting and rather unusual approach to hospitality, I certainly hope that the money saved from not doing their food shopping was worth it, because I know seven people who won’t be returning for more.

Wising up in Athens

I wanted to go to Athens for a while now.

Until I packed my bags, got the Boy and flew to Athens!

We saw old friends…

…and made new ones…



…and went to Cookoovaya.

A pun with the word ‘cook’ and the greek word for ‘owl’, Cookoovaya preaches the principle of ‘wise cuisine’ with five top Greek chefs in the kitchen; Karathanos, Koskinas, the Liakos brothers (behind the famous Base Grill) and Zournatzis.

The first time I heard of this dream team of chefs, I brought to mind examples of such ventures where the best in a field came together to produce something extraordinary, only for the fruits of their labour to come down in flames because their egos couldn’t live under one roof.

I assume this is were the ‘wise’ part comes in – they know they’re good, but they’re wise enough to leave any petty egotisms at the door and produce good food in the kitchen.


This principle comes through in the food as well: unpretentious, with its roots in traditional Greek cuisine, but given the fine dining treatment, without any ostentatious presentation.

In other words, it was good food done well.

But first, alcohol – their house rose was delicious as it was appropriate for a balmy summer evening.

_1050779Alcohol and pretty smiles – that’s probably the winning combination.


We started with a sea bass carpaccio marinated in salt and beetroot and finished with olive oil, lemon juice and chives. Light, refreshing, with the kind of flavours that make your tastebuds sing.

If you do go to Cookoovaya and the carpaccio is still available (they change the menu according to season), do not miss it. It was my favourite dish, and I generally don’t have favourite dishes (because I eat everything!).


Octopus on Serifos fava; a contrast of flavours and textures, this took me back to family holidays in the Greek islands when I was younger. A must if you like seafood with a rustic note.


My other favourite dish: smoked eel on taro root puree and a cold parsley sauce. Love.


Their famous meat pie with an organic egg cracked in the middle which was then cut up and mixed with the mince (but was not as photogenic after that).


Ox cheek with homemade gnocchi. This was a bit heavy for me in the middle of the summer, but still delicious as the meat was melting in the mouth and the sauce was velvety smooth.


Lastly, we finished off with a bitter and milk chocolate dessert with sour milk ice cream. Although chocolatey, it had an elegant sweetness – not the cheap saccharinities you get elsewhere – and the sour milk ice cream, although unusual, was perfect in cutting through the sweetness of the chocolate.


Tsipouro. We’re in Greece afterall!


Overall it was a great experience, and I would highly recommend it. To my knowledge, their ‘5 star chef’ system is unique in Greece and it would be a wasted opportunity not to enjoy their joint work in one meal.

Price-wise, the meal above was shared between four, and came to 25Euros per head with wine, which is very good value considering the price of meals in similar restaurants in Cyprus and the UK.

If you’re going, make a reservation by calling at 2107235005, and find it at Hatziyianni Mexi road, 2A, Athens, Greece (besides the Hilton Hotel), or find it virtually on Facebook.

Photo 23-05-2015 18 05 28

Gluten-free Cacao, Banana and Coconut loaf

This was made up on a whim – it’s adapted from my current favourite cookbook, Madeleine Shaw’s Get the Glow (a full review will be following) – it’s ridiculously easy, delicious, and gluten-free. I only took a picture with my phone as I wasn’t sure how good it would be, but it went down a storm with the flatmates and a hungry Italian we recently adopted. Consequently, I just had to blog about it.

Taste-wise it doesn’t differ much from a regular albeit delicious banana bread, but a few smart swaps can make it a lot healthier: fiber-packed buckwheat flour for white flour, the iron and zinc of coconut sugar for the empty calories of table sugar, and the superfood raw cacao for sugar-filled cocoa mix. You can also add a tablespoon or two of mixed seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseeds and the like) for a more interesting texture and a bit more Omega 3, but that’s just optional.

Gluten-free Cacao, Banana and Coconut loaf


  • 250g buckwheat flour
  • 250g coconut sugar
  • 15g raw cacao
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut + 1 tsp for the end
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven at 180C
  2. Sift the flour and cacao into a bowl.
  3. Add everything (apart from the 1 tsp of coconut) and blend using a balloon whisk (make sure you don't use an electrical chopping blade or all the air will come out)
  4. Line a 2lb/900g loaf tin with parchment paper and pour the mixture in.
  5. Scatter with the remaining coconut and bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the strength of your oven. Check if it's done by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean it's done.
  6. Let cool for around half an hour and dig in!


Beauty Blogroll

Thanks to blogs and Youtube, beauty seems to slightly steal the limelight from its more far-reaching sister; fashion.

For this reason, I have acquired my beauty product hoarding tendencies, as well as spent my fair time researching, learning, applying eyeshadows, liners, blushers and highlighters. I was not disappointed; I vastly improved my skills although I’m by no means a pro.

In this post I give you my top nuggets of wisdom I picked up the last couple of years from professionals and amateurs alike:

1. Skincare is king. If you’ve got that down, everything becomes so much easier.

2. Relating to the previous point, educate yourself and you’ll never fall victim of the beauty industry marketing again; if you’ve got spot-prone skin you’ll most probably need something with salicylic acid, if you’re dry try something with hyaluronic acid. Noone needs mineral oil on their face.

3. You can be oily AND dehydrated – it’s actually quite common. Oily implies the presence of oil, while dehydrated the absence of water – oil and water not the same thing.

4. Wash your face (for a WHOLE minute – count to 60) every morning and every night without fail. You won’t believe what a difference those two minutes a day make! Make up removing is not washing.

5. Embrace acid toning.

6. Don’t try to do a feline flick if you have 5 minutes to get ready unless you’re already a pro.

7. If you’re into contouring, blend ’till your arm falls off and always bring it down to your neck.

8. Brows can make or break your face. Have them professionally threaded/shaped every now and then and take a bit of time to fill them in – even if you have naturally thick eyebrows you’d probably want to even them out.

9. When buying foundation always try it on your neck and not your face.

10. Get good brushes, and by that I don’t mean expensive. Real techniques make excellent starter brushes, will make make up application so much easier and products will blend a lot better.

If you want to read/watch/learn further, I present to you my top beauty mavens:

Caroline Hirons – the skincare Queen:

With more than 30 years in the industry Hirons has pretty much seen it all and has very kindly shared a lot of useful information with her Cheat Sheets. I’m not saying you take whatever she says as gospel – I’m just saying that within a week of following her advice I saw a massive difference on my skin personally.

Lisa Eldridge – the makeup Queen:

Currently the creative director of Lancome, Eldridge has done the make up of some pretty important people; music royalty, fashion royalty and normal royalty. She does tutorials for a lot of the looks she does for covers of magazines as well as make up for pretty much every occasion (see break up make up).

Charlotte Tilbury – the Glamazon:

To say Tilbury loves make up would be an understatement – in an interview she admitted she wore a full face of make up as she gave birth to her son in a pool and also has a ‘bedroom make up’ look she sleeps in which includes mascara and a feline flick. If you can get by the (often) overzealous self-promotion, Tilbury does a smokey eye like it’s noone’s business. Watch her for her old Hollywood glamour tutorials. Personally, she’s the one who put an end to my struggle with feline flicks.

Jaclyn Hill – the bubbliest of them all:

Hill has that contagious energy that makes you feel that little bit better even if you’ve had a bad day. Although she was trained by MAC, she uses products from a variety of brands and her make up is always flawless. Great if you’re after that over the top – but still well blended – look. Not for the faint of heart.

Kathleen Lights – the next door beauty lover:

Although not a pro, Kathleen can do some serious make up tutorials. It’s as if you’re sitting with a friend, cup of tea on hand, and talking about make up. Totally relaxing and totally cool.


Restaurant Story

Let me tell you a story about a boy and a girl who never managed to be together on their anniversaries.

The Boy and I are not good with anniversaries. Not because we don’t remember them – we do – but because whenever it’s our anniversary, it’s almost always impossible to spend it together, be it because of workload, exams or simply one of us physically being a couple of oceans away from the other!

Unfortunately this year was no exception. However, although belated, this anniversary celebration more than made up for it! The Boy booked a table at Restaurant Story, and although I like most personal celebrations to be just that – personal – this was too good not to share.

So here it is.

Starting with some amuse bouche:

Paper-thin crispy cod skin dotted with whipped cod roe and dusted with gin botanicals.


Followed by the chef’s savoury take on oreos; storeos!


Juicy prawns on a membrane covered bowl – if you tapped the membrane, smoke would come out!


Rabbit and tarragon mousseline with pickled carrot discs on top.


Black pudding with pineapple.


Chicken skewers with the most delicious sauce.


By now your bouche should be thoroughly amused, so let’s get down to (delicious) business, with my favourite part of the menu:

Is it magic? Is it wizardry? No, it’s dry ice poured over a really really cool seafood platter!


Tada! Delicious prawns, razor clams with a champagne and vinegar snow, edible flowers with something that escapes my memory but was delicious nonetheless, and little surprise in the clam shell.


Scallop tartare!


Next, warm homemade sourdough (isn’t it always sourdough?) in a leather pouch to be dipped into candle wax.


Yeah, you read that right. A candle was lit a few minutes after we sat down, only to find out later that it is in fact a beef fat candle, and you’re meant to dip the bread into the fatty paddle. Very Willy Wonka.


Like this.


Personally, I wasn’t amazed by the flavour, but a cool concept nonetheless.

Of course, sourdough dipped in fat wouldn’t go alone. Here are his best friends: beef extract collected from hung beef over the period of 6 months and a refreshing mixture of veal tongue with cubes of jellied chicken consommé in a sharp dressing.



Next, onion, apple and old tom with a gin-based broth; caramelized onion, onion burnt at the edges, onion wholly burnt, onion crisped at the top. I wasn’t crazy about this, but I really liked the contrast of the sharp gin-based broth and the sweetness of the onions.


This was one of the most interesting dishes I think; sashimi-grade scallop, with balls of cucumber and ash. See that little black sphere – that’s another ball of cucumber rolled in dill ash. That’s forward thinking people.


This next one was not on the menu – apparently the chef made it because he felt like it. You could say it was bread and butter.


Or you could also say it was a light and airy brioche, pickles and half a butter disc layered with normal butter, parsley butter, truffle butter and foie gras.

_1050637This is the life.


Next, mash. Only it’s fairies that made it, and that black emulsion you see that looks like a balsamic drizzle? That’s our old friend charcoal which appears to be one of the hottest trends of 2015 in unconventional cooking.


Trio of meat, starting with sheep sweetbread – the thymus gland of the animal for the rest of us mortals.


Followed by the loin, fried belly, and what looked like a mini samosa. Soft and crunchy, salty and sweet, meaty and earthy, this was a celebration of contrasts.


Lemon. Fresh and palate-cleansing.


This baby was my second favourite – see that long, thin leaves? Those are oyster leaves. The waiter explained that they tasted like oysters. I didn’t believe him, but man I was wrong! You even get that sharp salty twang you get when you eat oysters!

On another note, it also includes lovage – a herb – and chocolate which is always a winner.


When we were served the food, the servers also gave us long, meandering explanations of the food – not strange given the detail in the preparation of every dish. However for this one, he was succinct: Whatever’s white/brown/beige, it’s almond. Whatever’s green is dill.

The idea is that you mix everything together and feel as if you’re eating almond ice cream while also rolling in a meadow of grass at the same time.


After so many dishes I couldn’t have this chocolate-covered marshmallow babies. But the Boy had both of them, and he was happy, so I’ll take his word for them.




The end.

As you can imagine the imaginative dishes and theatrical presentation were designed to evoke ‘ahhh’s and ‘ohh’s of the diners, and for the experience to be talked about. It was successful on both fronts.

At £70 per head (excluding service and drinks), a meal there is more of a treat rather than an everyday occurrence. Nevertheless, I would very much recommend it if you’re in a celebratory mood and want to splurge on a meal at a Michelin star restaurant, but don’t won’t anything too formal (jeans are fine, tracksuits are not).

Booking in advance is essential. Find them here, and a 10-minute walk away from London Bridge tube station.

PS: Before going I had read a (negativish) review which commented on the difference between the price of the meal and cost of ingredients. Please don’t go there because you think it’s value for money. It’s not. None of the restaurants in this league are. People go there to treat themselves to impeccable service and bloody lovely food they wouldn’t make at home or have anywhere else – so go there and enjoy it, rather than judge how much the potatoes for the mash cost.


Kouzina – Brighton

Let me start by saying that Kouzina (=kitchen) is one of the cutest places I’ve been in Brighton: small, cosy and pretty.


On a gloomy March Saturday (the kind of Saturday which makes you wonder if Spring knows it’s arrived), the Incredible Lina (who will now be referred to as IL) and I went for a bit of shopping at the Brighton Open Market: we love the variety and the produce and we weren’t going to get wet. It also helped that we were going to be joined by FP (Fabulous Philippos) if we went for coffee afterwards.


On another note, I’m proud to say that I’m at a point in my life where I can do little without partnering it with some kind of food consumption – hence, if I’m shopping, I’m also eating.


Coffee/lunch/brunch it is!

IL went for Greek classic spanakopita. I didn’t have any but I was repeatedly assured that it was delicious.


That’s because I went for the big bomb – the sheftalia. The truth is I don’t have a favourite food – I have hundreds. But if I were to have a single favourite food to eat till the end of time, good sheftalia would be a strong contender.


I’m not going to say it’s the best sheftalia I ever had, because it’s not. But it’s the best sheftalia I’ve ever had outside Cyprus and I’ve tried my fair bit of them.

For this I paid south of £10. I’ve never done that in the UK.

Similarly, you can find more classic Greek comfort food on their old school blackboard, and something tells me I’ll be back for their pasticho.


However, I wouldn’t recommend going to Kouzina just for the food – we didn’t sit there for the better part of 4 hours just for the food. It’s the cool atmosphere, and the friendly staff and the warm feeling you get when you know you’re welcome there.

With all that, the ever-flowing conversation was inevitable.


All in all you should pay Kouzina a visit – whether you’re a Greek or not. They do Greek food and hospitality as it’s meant to be – leisurely, relaxed and unpretentiously simple.


Find them on Facebook and in their pretty little shop in the Brighton Open Market.

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