BBC Good Food Show London October 2013

Hello everyone! Apologies in advance as this will be a very different, lengthy and image-heavy post. But please do read on, as it is all good stuff and I will be entailing my experiences in the BBC Good Food Show last Saturday.
Now, let’s get started!
As soon as we stepped foot into the venue and started browsing through the sea of food stalls, this one immediately caught my eye. I knew I recognised it from somewhere but couldn’t quite put my finger where, until I saw the bakery name in their banner.
It was Karantania Deli, the very same bakery stall that I visit on Thursday lunch times at work. I’ve been working in a content marketing agency right in the centre of Covent Garden for almost a year now, and have had the luxury of visiting the regular Thursday food markets. I always go to this stall to look (sometimes buy) and salivate at all the savoury pastry goodness. I was quite disappointed to learn that they aren’t participating in the market during the Winter season, so of course, I couldn’t pass up on this opportunity and had to buy something!
My friend and I bought the 8-layer cake slice to share and it was goooood! As in finger lickin’ goooood! (True story, it was a messy slice). This artisan bakery never disappoints that just before we left, I had to come back and buy a few more of their strudels, which by that point had been reduced to their closing time prices. Bargain!
Another favourite stall of mine was the Meringue Girls. Hands down, it was the most visually pleasing of all the stalls in the show – the signature, neon logo; pretty packaging; vintage wooden crates; and of course, the vibrant and colourful meringues. The whole package was an aesthetic success. I just want to buy their book! (I hope my family reads this: *Christmas hint*) I’m sure at some point you had or will have heard of them since their meringue revolution have become more and more popular. And if you haven’t checked them out, then I urge you to do so!
One of my highlights for the day was seeing all these celebrity chefs. Now, I’m not one for idolising celebrities. In fact, I try my best to avoid mainstream celebrity culture but in this instance, it was nice to see people who have inspired me in the flesh. Seeing Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood banter live, and watching Larkin Cen (my favourite finalist from Masterchef 2013) cook live was quite a novelty experience. Plus, I got to meet Howard!! Him, Frances and Ali were my favourites in the Great British Bake Off s4. He was such a lovely guy!
For an extra £8, I also booked the macarons and wine tasting experience with Le Cordon Bleu. This is quite an embarassing story but amidst booking tickets, I saw ‘Le Cordon Bleu’, ‘tasting experience’ and ‘macarons’ together, panicked and hurriedly booked a space for the event without actually paying attention to the context. I don’t know how I have completely overlooked the ‘wine’ bit, hence, on the day I was surprised to see half of the session spent on tasting and learning about wine. Now, I’m not a big wine person (my lovely readers, please don’t judge me!) but I actually enjoyed it! The wine selection was lovely. They were a mixture of sweet and fruity which harmoniously accompanied the mandarin, Christmas pudding and foie gras macarons.
Almost finished… I just want to point out these macarons from the Dimkin’s Patisserie stall. One word, they were: intense! I bought a variety across the flavour section: capuccino, salted caramel, passion fruit & chocolate, green apple, and white chocolate & raspberry. The white chocolate and raspberry one was my favourite – the ganache filling mixed with fresh raspberries was beautiful and wasn’t too sweet.
And lastly, just two more things worth mentioning before I finish this post. I didn’t have the chance to take a picture so this will have to suffice:
Mr. Todiwala – I ate from their pop-up restaurant and also purchased some pickles from their food stall. The Goan King Prawn curry and their Lemon and Chilli pickle are highly recommended! I cannot praise it enough.
Garrett Popcorn – Originally from Chicago, they are branching out to the UK with one of the most delectable popcorns I have ever tasted. They urge to mix both sweet and savoury popcorns in one bite which I tried in their stall, and there was no other way to describe it! It was both weird and nice at the same time – the sweet caramel tone cuts through the cheesy and buttery counterpart. I am eating them right now as I type this…

Cha Cha Moon

Cha Cha Moon is a Chinese noodle bar situated around Regent Street, London. My boyfriend and I were just walking around Regent Street with very hungry stomachs looking for a good place to eat. The restaurant is a 5 minute walk from the main street, surrounded by the pubs and luxurious restaurants in the area.
I do apologise for the low-quality iPhone pictures. I didn’t have my camera with me at the time but this restaurant is too good not to blog! The interior was very relaxed yet classy. The tables are set out in long vertical tables across the room, so you have to share it with other people, which is one thing I disliked. And it was packed with after-work crowd!

For my drink, I had Guava Collins. One of my favourite drinks so I obviously couldn’t pass that choice down! It was refreshing, the perfect drink to quench your thirst after walking around London! We had calamari for starters between us. It was nice, but nothing too special in my opinion.

My boyfriend had the sizzling beef with chili bean sauce. Apparently, he enjoyed it as he devoured it within a couple of minutes! Or maybe he was hungry. But when I tried it, it was too spicy for my taste buds. I had the Malaysian fish and prawn curry, which was also too spicy for my liking. However, that didn’t stop me from eating the whole thing! It was a river cobbler fish with prawns, chilli, mushrooms and celery in a bowl of yummy goodness. The fish was tender and the sauce was so scrumptious, I am salivating as I type this!

Cha Cha Moon is definitely one stop to visit in Regent Street. Or if you don’t fancy Chinese, there’s endless options around the area with plenty of restaurants, patisserie, bars and pubs.

Port of Manila 2

Hey everyone! Last Wednesday was my 20th birthday so my boyfriend took me out for a meal at a Filipino restaurant in Hammersmith, London, called Port of Manila. I’ve already written a review for that restaurant here, but it was too exceptional I felt like doing another one.

As usual, I ordered Sago’t Gulaman (a sweet tapioca drink) while my boyfriend got San Mig. We didn’t even bother getting a starter, we just headed straight for the main!
Main Number 1: Kare Kare. A tender Ox tail and tripe stew in peanut sauce with annatto oil, pak choi, aubergine, and string beans. One of my most favourite Filipino dish of all time, this main boasts a rich nutty sauce and is perfect accompanied with the sauteed shrimp paste. 
Main Number 2: Halabos na Hipon. King prawn in shell, quickly pan fried in garlic, served with chilli and vinegar dip, and garnished with salad. A very tasty dish which my mum also often makes at home. The only downside was having to de-shell the shrimps with our hands so we were left with sticky fingers afterwards!
Main Number 3: Adobong Manok. Marinated chicken in garlic with soy sauce, vinegar and ground pepper. A very popular dish in the Philippines, not only to the natives but also with the tourists. I thought it was a pretty standard dish to show my Pakistani boyfriend, and no surprise, he loved it! In fact, he loved this main the most out of all of the Filipino dishes that he’s tasted!
And obviously, what is a trip to a Filipino restaurant without Halo Halo? It is a sweetened mixed fruits dessert served with crushed ice, leche flan, ube (yam) and ice cream! It was scrumptious and refreshing; exactly what we needed with this English heatwave!
I’m sure I’ve said enough praises about this restaurant and the food already. If you don’t mind splurging money on excellent-quality Filipino food, then Port of Manila is a brilliant choice. The staff were very friendly and chatty and the whole restaurant ambience was quite chilled and relaxed. For me, it is a taste of home – what I’ve often missed while living on my own in University!