London Burgers: Byron Burgers

When I first moved to London one of the meals that I came to miss from back home was my favourite burger joints of Missy Moos and Flipside (you can read my reviews of their burgers here and here). And after recovering from a severe infection I decided that enough was enough and set out to begin exploring the burger haunts of London. Thus I was introduced to burgers in London with Byron Burgers.

The layout of the Byron restaurant was interesting with the interior decorated and set out to mimic an old-style American diner. The restaurant also featured table service which was pleasant and professional at the Hammersmith location. We were greeted at the door and seated within seconds of entering and given ample time to peruse the menu.

While their menu is not extensive they cover the range of basic burger combinations. In the end I settled for the Cheese, which came with the description of ‘choose from mature Cheddar, American, smoked Cheddar, Monterey Jack, blue cheese or Emmenthal. Served with lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayonnaise.’ I opted for a classic cheddar to see what it was all about.

The meat patty was nice, of a good thickness. The vegetables were all fresh and good amounts used. The sauce was not overdone and the bun was fresh. However I was not overly sold and the burger felt it was too safe, missing that ‘wow’ factor that the burgers patties back home had. I had nothing against it and polished the entire thing off but did not feel the need to rush back for another one as I did with Flipside and Missy Moos.

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Burger Verdict: Not bad, but not mind blowing either… 

6/10
Byron on Urbanspoon

Pizza by the meter @ Sartori Restaurant

I went to Sartori to celebrate my friend A’s birthday earlier this year. It was to be a delicious and very filling night!

The range of pizza options is more than enough to satisfy everyone and you can order a few different options of pizza toppings if you do order the pizza by the meter so it is near impossible to not please the entire crowd. I do not know what toppings I ended up trying as I think we ordered almost every one across the numerous meters of pizza that the group ordered. Even stuffed to the brim with all the pizza I found some room to split a desert with a fellow diner and it was not a mistake!

The atmosphere of the restaurant was inviting and while crowded made for a great night out with friends both new and old. And the tables are well set up for the long slabs of pizza, with plenty of room for plates and drinks with the pizzas occupying the elevated center spot on the table.

Overall I highly recommend this place and with it’s central location it makes for a great meal out in London whether as the highlight of the night or as a pre-show meal.
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London Pub Meal

When I first arrived in London I caught up with a friend from back home and he suggested that we go to a pub for dinner as we had quite a few months of catching up to do. We ended up checking out one of the two larger chains of pubs in London – the one we ended up going to was a William Morris.

As we were planning to spend a while in the pub catching up I ended up ordering a pitcher of a cocktail to try out and settled on the ‘Woo Woo’ (£9.69) which contained ‘Archers peach schnapps, Smirnoff vodka, cranberry juice’ and was a very easy to drink cocktail.

For dinner I ordered the chicken and bacon pasta (£6.79). The pasta was as expected for the price – a little over cooked, flavours were a little lacking but overall it was edible and did the job of being food for dinner.

While the meal did nothing to inspire me for the price I could not complain and the drinks were very cheap too. I would probably head back again but only for the prices and with good company.

Lunch @ Mr Greek, Toronto

My last day in Canada was spent with my extended family having lunch at Mr Greek. I ordered the Greek Style Chicken Penne which was ‘Marinated fire-grilled chicken fillet, roasted pepper, fresh basil and pennon a light garlic cream sauce with a side or garlic bread‘ ($13.95). The dish came with a choice of sauces between the garlic sauce that I picked, a rose sauce or a fresh homemade zesty tomato sauce. The meal was very filling due to it’s size and the flavours balanced out nicely.

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Greek Style Chicken Penne ($13.95)

We spent a while in the restaurant as it was our last meal together before I had to head back to London. The waitstaff were wonderful and not pushy at all with us remaining for a few hours. I would happily go back to this restaurant as I would love to try their Gyro’s which looked amazing!

Mr. Greek on Urbanspoon

Recipe: One Pot Pasta

This is a recipe that I was introduced to by my dad and have made many times since. It is such a simple recipe to make and very versatile. Matha Stewart has a recipe called one-pan pasta that I used as inspiration the first time I made this dish. Since then I have created this dish depending on the content of my fridge and pantry.

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Step 1: brown onions and garlic with some oil in the pan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Garlic cloves thinly sliced (to personal taste).

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Step 2: Add all the ingredients in and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Ingredients:

  • Pasta
  •  Tin of diced tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Stock
  • Optional ingredients from fridge or pantry – In this batch I added asparagus, green beans, kidney beans and ham.

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After 20 minutes the liquid will have been absorbed or boiled off you will end up with a flavoursome pasta dish. A trick I like to use is to cut out the salt in the dish and use stock instead of water for added flavour.

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And voila the finished product!

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What have I been drinking recently?

I was looking back over my most recent posts and realised that even though this blog started to chart my development and interest in wine that it had drifted away from that. So here is a post to make up for that sad little fact! Over the past 3 or so months I have been quietly sipping my way through a range of drinks and here are some of the highlights!

Wine:

Dom Perignon 2003 vintage

Dom Perignon 2003 vintage

I cracked this bottle of champagne on my last night in Perth when I was having a farewell dinner with family and friends. It was a very lovely tipple to have and received positive comments from everyone on the night. After holding on to this bottle for a little over a year this was the perfect occasion to crack it open, surrounded by good friends and family!

Moet and Chandon 2002 vintage

Moet and Chandon 2002 vintage

I opened this bottle of wine that I received for my 21st when I was having brunch with some girlfriends from university. I really enjoyed this champagne, it was smooth and perfect of sipping on while eating pastries, fresh fruit and other nibbles. I would happily have another bottle of this in the future!

Lambrusco sparkling

Lambrusco sparkling

This was a cheap bottle of bubbles from Marks & Spencer was what I ended up picking up with a friend to celebrate landing my first teaching contract in the UK. It was a sweet sparkling wine that was easy to drink and a cheap celebration until I received my first pay check.

Villa Maria 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

Villa Maria 2013 Sauvignon Blanc

I was feeling a little homesick a few weeks ago and ended up picking this up from my local corner wine store. Villa Maria is my favourite of the bigger wine brands from the Marlborough region.

Chianti 2010

Chianti 2010

I was in the mood for a red one night and popped into my local Tesco. I saw this Chianti on special and decided to give it a try. I was not overly impressed with this wine and it is not one that I will likely try again in the future.

Isla Negra Rose and Echo Falls White Zinfandel Rose

Isla Negra Rose and Echo Falls White Zinfandel Rose

When my new housemates moved into my flat we decided to get to know each other over a few bottles of wine on our first weekend living together. A quick run to my local Tesco with the instruction of Rose and I selected these two, one sweet (Echo Falls) and the one dry (Isla Negra). The Echo Falls was quite enjoyed all round, it was not overly sweet but just sweet enough be enjoyed by myself and my housemates who prefer sweeter wines. The Isla Negra was also a nice wine but dryer and more acidic than the Echo Falls. Overall the Echo Falls was the winner of the night.

Villa Maria 2012 Rose

Villa Maria 2012 Rose

While I was still in my Rose fad I picked this one up one evening to try. I was quite impressed with the wine and it had a refreshing finish to it. I will pick this one up again for sure!

Trivento 'Tribu', 2013, Malbec

Trivento ‘Tribu’, 2013, Malbec

I tried the Tribu Malbec at a wine bar in London, called Gordon’s Wine Bar which was was a funky bar that had lots of seating down a side street that you could use after purchasing your wine from the bar inside the building. The wine was a great drop also, being a Malbec it was a safe and delicious choice.

De Bortolli * Syrah Gamay

De Bortolli Syrah Gamay

Before I left Perth I had one last pizza night with my friend K. This was something we started back in university where we would have Broadway pizza’s and a bottle of wine and unwind from the past semester and exams. This time around I picked out the Shiraz Gamay that I brought back from my trip to the Yarra Valley last year (blog post here). The wine was very nice and I really have enjoyed all the Gamay’s I have had so far.

Other Alcoholic Drinks:

Peach and Apricot Rekorderlig

Peach and Apricot Rekorderlig

I discovered a new Rekorderlig flavour when I arrived in the UK. This one was quite nice, not overly sweet and very easy to drink as all the Rekorderlig ciders are. If this flavour makes it to Australia, give it a try and you will love it!

Woo Woo cocktail

Woo Woo cocktail

My first night out in London was with a friend from back home who had moved over to London before I did. I ended up ordering a pitcher of a cocktail to have while we caught up over the past few months. The Woo Woo consists of Archers peach schnapps, Smirnoff vodka, cranberry juiceand was very easy to drink.

Maracuja Pie cocktail

Maracuja Pie cocktail

This was  a cocktail I had at Breezes on Como called the Maracuja Pie cocktail, which consisted of ‘vanilla vodka, fresh passionfruit, vanilla Galliano, pineapple juice and a crumble dusting.‘ The cocktail was delicious and one that I will have again for sure! You can read the full review of the meal here.

sipping on Fosters

sipping on Fosters

I went out with my flatmates around London one long weekend to wander around the different tourist sites. For lunch we stopped at a pub and my flatmate ordered a pint of Fosters which I felt the need to have a sip of being an Australian. Have to say that I was not sold with Fosters, personally I think there are much better beers out there.

Crabbies Ginger Beer

Crabbies Ginger Beer

Instead of the Fosters however I ended up ordering  ginger beer after being told they were out of the Vasse Felix’s Classic Dry White that I originally ordered. An easy drinking ginger beer that I would have again, it’s no Matso’s but will have to do until I can find someone who stocks in in the UK or return home!

Strongbow cider

Strongbow cider

I was craving cider and ended up picking up a 4-pack of Strongbow cider one Friday night to celebrate the end of the week. Strongbow is a basic cider and not one I tend to gravitate towards unless I need a quick cider fix as it’s not a flavoursome cider but it did the job in this case after a long week at work.

Porn Star Martini and Hollywood cocktails

Porn Star Martini and Hollywood cocktails

The Porn Star Martini cocktail consisted of Mango, passion fruit, orange, lime, Absolut Vanilia and the Hollywood cocktail consisted of Southern Comfort, sweet raspberry, blueberry,  açaí berry. The Porn Star Martini was my favourite on the night and

 

Lunch @ Breezes on Como, South Perth

Before I left Perth I went out to lunch with my friend Miss J. Miss J suggested we try out a new restaurant and after a look in her entertainment book she settled on Breezes on the Como. When we arrived we were the first ones in the restaurant and the only ones for most of our meal, which did not bother us as we had plenty of chatting to do before I left.

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Maracuja Pice cocktail ($14.9)

While we looked over the menu and decided what we wanted to have for lunch we ordered a round of cocktails. I selected the Maracuja Pie cocktail, which consisted of ‘vanilla vodka, fresh passionfruit, vanilla Galliano, pineapple juice and a crumble dusting.‘ The cocktail was delicious and one that I will have again for sure!

We ordered some cheesy garlic bread to share as a starter. I ordered the Cordon Bleue for my main, while Miss J ordered the Linguine. I quite enjoyed my dish, it had an interesting array of flavours that to my surprise worked very well together. Miss L also enjoyed her meal, saying it was nice and quite filling.

Overall the restaurant and food was nice. The service was prompt. The atmosphere was lacking, although we did have a mid-week lunch. I will be back for the cocktail when I return to Perth if they still have it on the menu and perhaps I should coincide it with dinner and see how the atmosphere compares to my lunch.
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