PB Eats… Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant

The fact that I don’t eat meat or fish or have dairy issues has never stopped me from enjoying my food.  I’m not super fussy -if there is one dish that I can eat on the menu – it’s mine.  So I regularly frequent the likes of Wagamama, Zizzi, Pizza Express, Ping Pong.. But I did keep away from the higher end restaurants, assuming that I wouldn’t have much choice.

Until I stumbled across Ham Yard Bar and Restaurant back in August 2016.  When making the booking, they confirmed that they have a three course vegan /vegetarian/gluten free menus – with multiple options !! – available for dinner.

I met up early with my partners in crime for a quick drink in the Ham Yard Bar.  Now this hotel is one of those super trendy hot spots, full of suited blokes, high heeled women….and us ;).  We were quickly led to our table when it was ready, and while the girls got their omni menu, I was graciously presented with mine.

I am a happy go lucky, quickly click before digging in kind of girl, but the more I look at my photos – the more I think – I have to improve for the sake of this blog!!  So please bear with me…

So…the starters were:
– White bean soup with truffle salsa
– Roast squash, mixed leaves, gremolata and pumpkin seeds
– Beetroot pakora, mango and spiced chickpeas

I will always make a beeline for anything truffle-y on a menu, so I went for the soup.

Mains were:The soup was velvety and the flavour was subtle – I was expecting a strong bean flavour – but it was so well balanced.  The truffle salsa – more like chopped truffle bits with truffle oil – was lovely and added to the flavour profile, but I could have done with at least three times the amount.

– Roast celeriac, dressed lentils and spinach
– Wild mushroom broth, kale and tarragon
– Roasted spring vegetables with wild garlic dressing

Although it being the middle of summer, I went for the roasted spring vegetables as I wanted something light, and I wanted to keep some room for dessert.

The veggies were lovely, the dressing vivid and super tasty.  I did have to season it a bit, and I did push the slightly burnt potato crisps to one side.  Moving onto what is usually the best part of the meal.  To be honest, I had almost accepted the responses of ‘sorry, no options’ or the plate of berries or fruit salad as the standard dessert – but today I had two choices – including the plate of berries!!
– Chocolate and avocado mousse, strawberries and nut crunch
– Seasonal berries and raspberry sorbet.

Now who would go for fruit when there is chocolate! I obviously went for the mousse.

What arrived looked like a granola pot, and to be honest, the topping on it’s own was a bit like having breakfast – but eaten with the strawberries and mousse – it was beautiful. Soft, smooth, crunchy, tasty – and not too sweet.

We ordered coffees – I had a fresh mint tea – at the end of the meal, and the girls got a single petit four with their hot drinks – a mini cone with a meringue.  The lovely waiter saw that I didn’t have anything, and minutes later, put this in front of me – how sweet!

It turned out to be a honeydew melon sorbet – yummy!   I would definitely recommend this place – and I will go back, especially since I found out that Ham Yard Bar & Restaurant does a vegan afternoon tea – birthday plans sorted!


PB Eats… Ceviche Soho

I visited Peru in 2005 – spent three glorious weeks there and it was one of the best holidays I have had. I remember trying ceviche, and eating potatoes and avocados with every meal.  So when my friend suggested we meet up at Ceviche in Soho to plan our Tromso trip in December, I couldn’t say no!
Ceviche Soho is a small narrow restaurant with back to back, shoulder to shoulder tables – a bit too close for comfort, or the perfect position for eavesdropping, take your pick.  So onto the food. I started off with a cocktail – the Spiced Impostor Mai Tai, with spiced rum pisco, orange infused pisco, lime and orgeat – a syrup made from almonds, sugar and orange blossom water. Strong but oh so delicious! Yum Yum!!
The food menu is clearly marked with vegetarian and gluten free options – but not diary free options.  When I did ask, the lovely waitress pointed out all the stuff I could eat –  Cancha, Causa La Buena Vida, Ceviche de Beterraga, Ensalada de Quinoa and Verano Limeno. Whoo!  I chose the Cancha for nibbles – basically deep fried corn kernels, nothing great, but they did go down nicely with the cocktail.
I wanted to try ceviche – so I chose the Ceviche de Beterraga, which was, and I quote “fermented heritage beetroos, amarillo chilli tiger’s milk, grapefruit, sweet potato puree, baby watercress”.
This dish was GLORIOUS.  The here were at least three different kinds of beetroot, all marinated in this tangy, sour, sharp dressing, with a lovely kick of chilli.  Soft puree, crunchy sweet potatoes – this dish had the perfect combination of texture and flavour.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The second dish was the Ensalada de Quinoa.  Quinoa and butter beans sitting atop a lime and chilli dressing, scattered with tomatoes and red onion. There was a nice thick layer of avocado right at the bottom.
I loved the way this dish sounded on the menu, – but I found this dish to sweet. I think it was the dressing, and after a few mouthfuls I had to pimp the dish with the sharp, tangy dressing of the beetroot ceviche – which made a big difference – in a good way.
Sadly no desserts I could eat or wanted to, so we wandered to Yorica which was a five minute walk away to indulge in some frozen yoghurt… no complaints there.
Ceviche Soho – I’ll be back. Delish!

Hello People!

So here it goes, my first blog post.  There are two things I love, and save all my money to spend on – travel and food.  I love eating, and am planning my next meal while having the current one. I love travelling, experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and am always researching where to go next. 

So why this blog?  I just wanted to share all my experiences with whoever wants to know about them.   I also want to use this blog as a way to talk about my travels. So far this year, I have travelled to Canada (Toronto), the US a few times (Princeton, New York and Chicago), Kenya (Nairobi), Madagascar (all over). 

I had some AMAZING experiences, and realised that I want to spread the word!! It is also a good memory bank for me – so I can look back and see where I’ve been. Only wish I had started doing this sooner! 

Although I’m not going to go back in time and write about where I’ve been, I will be writing about where I’m going, what I eat, and what I get up to.  So enjoy 🙂