Saturday, 18 October 2014

Hawksmoor, Seven Dials | Eating Out

Hawksmoor is one of those 'hype' restaurants I'd been keen to try. A few of my colleagues had raved about it, which only amped up my intrigue. 

If you're into your steaks, then Hawksmoor is probably one of the few go-to quality restaurants in London, and with five of their branches to choose from, you'll find yourself a little spoilt for choice when it comes to locations. 

For my birthday, last month, I got my teeth stuck into a good piece of fillet at Hawksmoor in Seven Dials. 







The vibe is chilled yet buzzy, and although it was a little too dark for my liking, the rustic, stripped back/ bare decor (i.e. bare brick walls, exposed pipes) is really nice. 

We ordered roast scallops with white port and garlic, shrimps on toast, 300g fillet, triple cooked chips, tenderstem broccoli, baked sweet potatoes, and creamed spinach. Really lovely! Writing this post is making me yearn for some of that good stuff right now! The steak was just right. I'm usually funny about my how my meat is cooked; I like it well done, but the waiter recommended that I have it medium-well, and requested the chef to open up the steak (he said something about a butterfly shape which completely went over my head because I was starving at that point so was in utter agreement with him) in order to avoid it being dry. No one likes dry steak.

Oh, the Hawksmoor Collins is gorgeous! The gin, lemon, Campari, bitters and soda concoction went down a treat!

One thing I loved about my visit is that the staff there know their stuff - and so they should - so are in a great position to advise those like myself who aren't as knowledgable about steak. 

Yes, the steaks are pricey, but you're paying for top quality, and with the selection of sides they offer, you'll leave feeling very well fed indeed. 

So did it live up to the hype? Well I wasn't disappointed, but neither was I wowed. In short, I would recommend Hawksmoor to friends. 

Have you been to Hawksmoor? 

As ever,

Rebecca-Monique

Sunday, 5 October 2014

My Ensemble (OOTD): Pleats and Pastels

OK, so I guess I should begin by apologising for my tardy OOTD blog post. My head is indeed held down in shame. 

I've been doing a lot of reading for the soul lately, and in doing so, have analysed the colours in my wardrobe: I've got a lot of monochrome, and quite a few bold reds and oranges, but very few subtle shades. I find pastel colours to be extremely calming, and in an attempt to mentally diffuse a lot of the chaos in my life, have started investing in a lot more subtle tones. This cable-knit jumper is perfect: feminine, comfortable, and a great transitional summer to autumn piece. 

SKIRT: Fashion Union | JUMPER: H&M | SHIRT: New Look | SHOES: Zara | BAG: H&M


If you remember this post, you'll know that I adore pleats, so when I spotted this skirt while doing a bit of online retail therapy, I didn't have to think twice about adding it to my basket. It compliments the pink jumper beautifully and the elasticated white and black banding helps break up the outfit.  
 
So that's it for another, what, few months? I'm kidding. I will be making a very conscious effort to do an OOTD post at least once a month. 

What colours are currently in your wardrobe and why?

As ever, 

Rebecca-Monique

Photos taken by Insta: @one2thr33cheese

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Photography by Rebecca-Monique Williams

Salutations! 

I recently launched my photography website www.rebeccamonique.com, and thought I'd share some linkage with you. 

I've got a photography blog going, too, so please show it some love by having a look (and if you like what you see, subscribe via Bloglovin'), if and when you get a few minutes. :)

As ever, 
Rebecca-Monique

The Modern Pantry | Eating Out

I'd heard good things about The Modern Pantry, and wanted to experience the hype for myself, so made a dinner reservation for myself and a couple friends after work. Plus, it was the perfect opportunity for a much-needed catchup. 

Located in Clerkenwell, London, the team at The Modern Pantry embrace the "desire to please and excite the palate by fusing everyday cooking with modern ingredients". I'm not entirely sure what "modern ingredients" are exactly, but the food was certainly a party in my mouth. 
Our booking was for 6pm. We were escorted to the restaurant, located on the first floor, which, for that time, meant that we were the first diners of the evening. It was lovely. The natural light beamed through the large windows, letting in majestic rays of sunlight. 

Though very classic, traditional, and somewhat romantic, the decor - namely the wall fixings - reminded me of the playroom of a well-to-do child. It really does works so well; neutral, but with pops of complementary colours and character.  
We ordered bread (focaccia, lavoche and soda bread) and olives for the table. Marvellous!
Overall, I would say the food was well presented, very good quality, and rich in flavour.  
I can't, for the life of me, remember the names of the dishes we ordered. I've probably incorrectly captioned them below, but will update this post as soon as I am more the wiser. 
Goats curd, pickled gooseberries, broad bean, golden beetroot, quinoa & landcress salad, toasted seeds, Shaoxing, verjus & rapeseed oil dressing (above)
Grilled tamarind & miso marinated onglet steak, cassava chips, Kalamata olive salsa (above)

Preserved lemon, cumin & yoghurt marinated Welsh lamb rack, pea & yuzu puree, daikon, Lebanese cucumber & samphire salad, sesame tarator, lemon & cumin dressing (above)
Heritage potatoes
Towards eight o'clock, the room was buzzing with conversation as it filled with more diners; at points, a little too noisy for my liking, but good, cheerful vibes, nonetheless. 

During our visit, staff were very polite, helpful and attentive; always making sure our glasses were full. 

How gorgeous is the above ceiling light?! 

Starters and desserts are very reasonably priced, and, to be honest, for the quality ingredients, so are the mains. We split the bill three ways and paid just under £35 each. Is it filling? Let's just say three courses will leave you wishing you'd wore that elastic-waisted skirt instead of those well-fitting trousers (if you know what I mean).

I'd definitely dine there again; I'm keen to go there for brunch or afternoon tea. 

Have you been to The Modern Pantry before? If so, what did you make of it?

As ever, 

Rebecca-Monique

Monday, 15 September 2014

Chicken Tinola | Recipes

There are very few soups that are fitting all year round, but tinola is definitely in that small group of them. This Filipino dish is guaranteed to warm the cockles in summer and winter months. You can eat it with rice, or, quite simply, on its own. It's an easy dish to make, so requires very little prep and cooking time. 


INGREDIENTS: 
Chicken (whole)
Garlic x half a clove
Ginger x 5 inches
Bird's eye Chili x 6
Pak choi x 3
Bay leaves x 2
Jasmine rice
Lemon and parsley to garnish

METHOD
Begin by prepping the jasmine rice for steaming. For this recipe, I used a rice cooker.  
Thoroughly rinse the rice twice. Save the water from the second rinse; you'll need it for later. 
As a tip: dip your hand to the bottom of the pot, to measure the level of rice. The amount of water used to cook the rice should be double the level of rice. 
Now let's prep!
Thinly slice the onions and ginger, and finely chop the garlic.
Now the main ingredient!
After cleaning the whole chicken, chop into serving chunks of preference i.e. drumsticks, thigh, breast.  
Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil. 
Add the ginger.
Then add the chicken. Gently fry to lock in the flavour. Continue stirring until ingredients are lightly browned.
 Pour the rice water into to mix and add two bay leaves. Bring to the boil for about 5 minutes.
Lower the heat and pop the lid on for roughly half an hour or until the meat is tender. 
Greens time!
Chop the chow chow into large chunks.
Chop off the bottom of the pak choi and throw away. Cut the pak choi in halves. 
Place the chow chow in the wok, and ten minutes later add the pak choi and some chillies. 
Turn off the fire, place the lid on, and let the heat of the mix cook the greens. 
Serve with steamed jasmine rice, and squeeze some lemon juice into the tinola to complement the chicken. Wash down with sparkling water and a hint of mint. 
Kain na!

SERVES: 4 
PREP TIME: 25 minutes
COOKING TIME: 1 hour

What are some of your favourite year-round soups?

As ever, 

Rebecca-Monique

Monday, 28 July 2014

Light Trails and Long Exposures | Photography

One thing I love the most about summer is the opportunity to do more photography projects and really hone and develop my skills. 

I've been meaning to do some night time shooting and experiment more with long exposures and light trails. I absolutely adore the vibrant colours, patterns, squiggles and lines that light can produce when captured.    

Show and tell time! Me and my beau went for a casual stroll around Westminster on Sunday evening and captured some of these shots:

The night before, I shot a wedding by Royal Victoria, and to end the evening, I decided to muck about with the torch on my iPhone and use my camera remote to produce these:
As ever, 

Rebecca-Monique