Bone Daddies, Soho, London

I haven’t found much ramen in London that floats my boat, but Bone Daddies remains one of my current favourites. It’s a busy venue, in Soho, and there’s been a bit of a queue on some evenings. I evaded that with a lunchtime visit and ordered the Tonkotsu ramen for £11. Bone Daddies is not your typical ramen destination. By it’s own description it’s New York inspired and your ramen purist might roll up their eyes by the mere sound of that. Give it a chance though and it’s still a great shade of one of my favourite dishes. Fresh notes, flavourful broths and some of the best fried pork belly that I’ve had in this form. The twenty hour broth is bright not only in appearance, but in flavour with some punchy savoury seasonings. Some of the richest soups I’ve had and it won’t break the bank.

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8.5/10

Bone Daddies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ping Pong, Soho, London

The number eight is an auspicious number in Chinese culture, it reflects fortune and wealth. And triple 8 is even better. It also happens to be the price of Ping Pong’s current lunch special. Only £8.88 for your fusion-Asian dumpling fix. There’s two basic options, one meat, one vege. I opted for the latter which gives you four dumplings and two sticky rice parcels. That’s definitely not enough for one appetite, let alone mine, so I supplemented the BBQ pork buns (£4.10). Ping Pong (the restaurant, not the sport) is quite prolific here in London, with nine stores and all the gravity of such a footprint hence deals – and marketing!

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On Sundays they offer a make-it-or-break it bottomless brunch dim sum option for £25. That has been tempting. The food is all steamed right in front of you. It’s fast and the dumplings and buns were great. The pastry is sticky but manageable and the fillings are flavourful and interesting. Even the rice parcels had some vege paste inside which made them enjoyable (I had anticipated plain-ish rice). And I was very content with the pork buns too. The fillings are proper and meaty and didn’t taste dodge as they can (and do) in some places. So I’d be bouncing back to Ping Pong in no time.

8/10

Ping Pong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gelupo, Soho, London

I have a new favourite gelato place in London. And I’m not the only fan. One of the busiest gelaterias in central London is Gelupo. Gelupo has only one store, and that’s in Soho. That is already a good sign. Why do I like this place? The gelatos have immense flavour, they come in a variety of revered and unusual flavour combinations and the soft, creamy texture is great. It is very melty, so make sure to eat up quick. The Island Poke (pineapple and chilli) sorbet has a wild kick worth trying, but my preference is in the gelatos. Of that, the ricotta and sour cherry is my favourite. They offer samples, although the salted caramel never disappoints. I can’t remember the name of the rich, chocolately flavour one I had – that seemed to have doses of everything and is an extremely indulgent dessert. Almost like a gelato fondant. Prices are fair, £3 ,£4, £5 for one, two or three scoops, and although there’s a queue at busy times it is always worth the wait.

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9/10

Gelupo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mother Mash, Soho, London

My friend Davina, from Canada, but these days Melbourne, was in town for the week. We had spent a busy Monday morning being tourists around London. And like many tourists we were after a lunch with that British edge. Something traditional, something local. We ended up in Soho. And we found ourselves at Mother Mash. Mother Mash is a venue that celebrates the humble mashed potato. And a major way. It’s a three step process but your first big decision is what type of mash to go for. There’s eight (!), and the mashes are made to order. Some include vege, cheese, or are of the sweet potato cut. I liked both the Cheesy Mustard and the Colcannon ones that we got. These are some fun and worthwhile twists on the regular. And your other choices are for the main (sausage or pie) and one of five gravy options. The vegetarian sausages are executed well. And the gravies are delightfully savoury and there’s plenty of it. My pie was the special Lamb Hot Pot and this was tasty. It’s meaty, chunky and some awesome flavours (only downer is it might be ordered in). For £9.25 – £9.95 the price is reasonable and can understand it being a popular haunt for the work-time lunch.

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Mother Mash Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Snog, Soho, London

So much food, so little time. I’ve been procrastinating on checking out Snog for a little while now. Snog is right next to the regular street food market and on the times I’ve been interested, the size of the queue been a little off-putting. According to the locals in the office, it’s a bit of a hangouts for the teens and tweens. Snog plays the angle of “less guilt” desserts, the frozen yoghurt is fat free and sweetened with agave nectar. I can’t be bothered Googling if that means it is healthy or not so I’ll reserve my judgment there. I went for the salted caramel pour in classic size (£3.50) and I wasn’t feeling any of the toppings so went plain. It’s fine, it’s a mooted salted caramel taste and the colour is very pale. Not overly sweet, not salty at all. It’s all too boring on its own and the toppings are rather expensive, even two additions will set you back an extra £1.50. I’d like my froyo to be able to stand out without the toppings. So I’ll pass on the next go.

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6/10

Snog Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hoppers, Soho, London

One of my absolute favourite restaurants in London is Hoppers. And I’m not alone there, there is a constant stream of fans also queuing for the experience. Expect to wait some time if you’re coming during the usual dinner and lunch times. If full, it’s a process of leave your details and they’ll message you and on a chocka day that could be >1hr. One of the reasons it’s busy is due to being awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand. But the more important reason is it offers fast, tasty, consistent Sri Lankan-styled food that is a huge step beyond the norm.  And I’m getting better at the ordering. So a base curry and a hopper is the first thing you should get. The conical dosa is fine if you prefer something with a bit of crunch. Of the menu, I quite like the root vegetable kari (£6) and the hopper (£4.50), you definitely need the one with the egg. It’s also nice to have a few sides and pickles as well for a nice, diverse plate, and it’s worthwhile sharing a few starters. Try the chicken lollipop chukka (£6) or the taro, cashew and ash plantain fry (£3.50) The drinks are fab, check out the Wattalapan Milk (£5.50) for something a more refreshing. Prices are more than reasonable at Hoppers and despite the long waiting time, it’s a speedy exit as well.

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10/10

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L’Eto Caffe, Soho, London

It has been dangerous for both my diet and my wallet being situated so close to L’Eto Caffe. I mean, you can see my keyboard there, so you know I’m having some afternoon office guilt session. And it all makes sense. L’Eto some fantastic looking windows in Soho, and the treats are as up to scratch in taste. I asked for a suggestion as my mind was overwhelmed by the options, and the most popular choice reported back is the Honey Cake. By the way, that’s always been my little tip – when asking for suggestions, ask what’s most popular. Asking for their favourite usually results in some politically correct / vague/ it depends on you response. Simplicity delivers the ultimate sophistication at L’eto. The main ingredients in this layered sponge are honey, butter, sour cream, sugar and walnuts. And a single whiff would easily turn Pooh bear into a frenzy. The cake has a rich sweetness and the cream avoids it feeling heavy. Feeling delicate but that honey flavour is pure intoxication. One of my fave patisseries in London to date.

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9/10

L'ETO Caffe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Honest Burgers, Soho, London

If I’m honest, I’d tell you this is a positively palatable product of a burger! The medium rare patties at Honest Burgers are well beyond medium rate. They’re huge and hunger-busting. I’m also a fan of the chips, which wisely come with all burger orders. Saves you a step for sure. Honest Burgers has a whole lot of stores across London so they’ve got an angle, and it’s proven successful so far. That tends to involve juicy, gigantic patties, with just a bit of red dripping out. That’s a good thing, but in this case did make my bottom (bun) a little soggy which was the only real downer. There’s a rustic quality to the skin-on chips and there’s plenty of them. My choice was the Honest (£10.95) which is beef, onion relish, bacon, cheddar, pickles and lettuce. Could have done with more bacon but the the pillowy bun and sheer meat goodness wins it out on the day.

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8/10

Honest Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cutter & Squidge, Soho, London

The sandwich cookie delights of Cutter & Squidge are a right showstopper. Heads were turned. I was glad I gave it a go and it was tasty enough, but at £3.90 it’s a little outrageously priced. I went with the raspberry s’more which features a vanilla cookie (or should that be two?), raspberry and marshmallow. And everything tastes great. The marshmallow is homemade and a pillowy fluffiness. The touch of toasting brings out the royal marshmallow flavour. The raspberry cream is tasty without being overpowering and the vanilla cookie holds up well enough. So no real complaints other than the price. I liked it enough but not enough to want to buy another in a hurry. The cakes looked awesome, so that’s probably my go to for a return visit.

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Cutter & Squidge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bao, Soho, London

I am such a fan of Bao that I’ve been twice in one week. After discovering it’s delectable Chinese-fusion styled treats I couldn’t keep away. On one occasion it was lunch, and the other dinner, and both times didn’t have much of a wait at all. The store is a small one at that and there’s a queue. Thankfully, the food flies straight out of the kitchen so the tables clear away in good time. I’m close to having sampled most of the menu and there is no misstep. The baos (£4-5) are freshly steamed, full of tantalising flavour combos. It’s got some authentic notes but not too much that it scares you off eating. The guinea fowl chi shiang rice (£5.75) was quite a tasty little bowl and peanut milk (£1.50) is not to be missed. Of all the baos, my favourite is the classic (£4) with pork and peanut powder.

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9/10

Bao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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