Review: One Week in Birmingham

“When a man is tired of London’s shit, he moves to Birmingham.” Jamelia.

I’m not going to start telling you the pros and cons of London and Birmingham, what would be the point in that? You’ve already decided exactly what you think of them and your mind will never sway, and fair play to you, stick to your guns, or knives, or acid – whatever floats your boat.

Long and short of it is I’ve moved from London to Birmingham, “but why would you do that? There are loads of restaurants in London, and in Birmingham there’s nothing but Big John’s and 45 Harry Ramsden’s,” (autocorrect really wanted to change ‘Ramsden’ to ‘Ramadan’ which has given me an idea for a pop-up, get in touch for investment opportunities or if you’re a chef called Harry who can work nights).

Well, it turns out there are loads of great places to eat in Birmingham, and it only seems to be getting better. When I last lived in the Midlands in 2007 you could probably count on one hand the number of decent places to dine (that might be a lie but I can’t be bothered to research), but here we are August 2017 and I’m back, and what you really want to hear about is where I’ve been eating this week. WELL, hang on a fucking second and I’ll get to it. Jesus.

Harborne Kitchen

“Oooh, would you look at that. I bet they do lunch.” I said to the woman who has moved here with me as we walked down Harborne High Street looking for somewhere to go for lunch.

And bugger me senseless, they did do lunch, two courses for £18! Imagine! In London that would have cost me £4,500.

To begin we had some Sourdough and some churned, whipped buttery goodness. The best bit about this was that I got to indulge in one of my favourite past times – licking stones (which is one of the reasons I’m not allowed round Ronnie Wood’s house).

Sourdough Harborne Kitchen

Sourdough Harborne Kitchen

Salmon, I never usually order salmon because it’s BORING but I didn’t fancy the veloute or the parfait. Good news, it was nice, with a lovely pickley-ness knocking about to maintain my interest.

Salmon Harborne Kitchen

Salmon Harborne Kitchen

The beef was goooood, and with the smoked mash, peas and crispy onions on top you’ve pretty much stuck all my favourite food items on one plate you bloody genius.

Featherblade of beef Harborne Kitchen

Featherblade of beef Harborne Kitchen

I had a lovely glass of Fleurie with my beef, the woman accepted the waiter’s recommendation for her two glasses of white wine, they cost £13 a glass so I’m not talking to her anymore.

Four boys out of five

 X 4

The Indian Brewery

On my first Friday night in Birmingham I met an old friend and decided to show off how ‘bang on trend with all the top cool shit going down’ I am these days by taking him to The Indian Brewery near Snow Hill.

This small venue does craft beer and Indian street food snacks, this gave me an excellent opportunity to pretend to know about beer and also talk about the time I lived in India.

We ordered a couple of pints or Birmingham Lager and a selection of food.

Indian Brewery Birmingham

Indian Brewery Birmingham

The stand outs were the fat naan with chicken tikka and red onions, and the Bombay Wings which had a batter round them that sort of tasted like onion bhaji. The masala fries were a bit of a non-event and could do with some more spice to them.

Four boys out of five

The Plough

I went here after work on Wednesday, and seeing as it’s at the end of the road and I imagine I’ll be going there all the time I’m almost certainly going to give them 4/5.

It was taco night on Wednesday, you get four for £12.50, so I ordered the slow cooked chorizo and chilli,  spiced pork belly with slow-cooked apple, chilli battered cod and buffalo chicken tacos. The other on offer was a veggie one which obviously I didn’t choose as I’m a man.

Tacos at the Plough Harborne

Tacos at the Plough Harborne

These were all pretty good, the cod was the best, followed by the chorizo. I always feel a bit disappointed with tacos, as I’m usually not entirely satisfied and I’ve got juices all over my hands – a bit like your dad in his shed.

Four boys out of five (told you)

I’ve booked to go to Adam’s next month which will hopefully bring about the first 5 boy review of this new and exciting era. My favourite review I’ve seen of it so far is by this guy who was clearly pissed off that a taller, better looking man was talking to some women.

8 months ago
Went there with my wife, food was bland very bland to be honest nothing special however am concerned about a waiter that is tall short back and sides first of all he smelt of cigarettes and chatting up with a group of girls I think it was a party rude attitude should take immediate action for a 5 star restaurant

Review: Dirty Bones

“Mucky penis, more like!”

“Bones, not boners.”

“That’s a shame. Do these people not know anything about viral marketing?”

This was the conversation I had while discussing where to go for lunch on Saturday. We had planned to go to the Rum Kitchen but a truly baffling conversation about trying to book a table for three people left me so exasperated that I’ve decided I can never eat jerk chicken ever again.

Dirty bones – when someone says let’s go and eat at ‘Dirty Bones’, the first thing that comes to mind is of course Richard III and his skeleton found having a nap in a council car park in Leicester.

Richard’s boozy brunches

Not a lot of people know, but one of the reasons Richard III was defeated, and killed, at the battle of Bosworth was because he was a bit pissed.

He and a few of the other House of York lads had gone for one of their infamous ‘Boozy Brunches’. Here they’d drink shit loads of Prosecco and eat hundreds of tubes of Pringles.

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Dickie suffering from Pringles hand

It is perhaps with this in mind that Dirty Bones offer their:

“BOOZY BRUNCH: Feel the weekend vibes at London’s best boozy brunch.

Our Boozy Brunch Flights get you up to four dirty drinks for £19pp, with options including the Lexy cocktail, Dirty Mary cocktail, Spiked Ice Coffee or prosecco by the glass. Mix n’ match, or pick your poison and stick to it.”

The Dirty Mary cocktail a clear nod to Richard and his exploits, with the rim of the glass adorned with with sour cream Pringles.

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Dirty Mary cocktail

I enjoyed the Dirty Mary and the Spiked Coffee had a decent amount of booze in it. Congratulations everyone.

Coffee cocktail Foodie Boys

Spiked coffee

FOOD

Now, as it was the weekend the restaurant were only offering their Weekend Brunch menu. I searched the menu for something with bones in it.

“Excuse me, waiter! I have a bone to pick with you. Does the chicken and waffles have any bones in it?”

“We hope not!” the waiter laughed.

“Oh, that’s a shame. The caramelised banana waffles?”

“Erm, I wouldn’t have thought so.

With no bones for me to chew on I decided on the short rib hash.

14 hour slow-cooked pulled short rib finished with caramelised shallots and mustard seeds. Served with potatoes and two eggs.

Maybe it’s because I was very hungry, maybe it’s because I’m a fat man, but there wasn’t enough rib for my liking, however, it was very tasty.

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Short rib hash

Fortunately, the others had ordered burgers and fries, so I ate their incredibly addictive skinny fries with onion and garlic salt like a man possessed.

I had a dessert ‘milk and cookie’ which was milk gelato and a soft baked cookie. The milk gelato was alright, and the cookie was hard. The fact a fat man who is desperate to be morbidly obese, and to achieve type two diabetes, didn’t finish it – speaks volumes.

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All in all, you’d have to say:

3.75 boys out of 5.

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Review: Yeah! Burger

After our incredibly successful review of We Serve Humans at the Jackdaw and Star (over  ****** potential impressions on Twitter achieved and a healthy ****** blog views reached – get in touch to find out the numbers behind the stars) it wasn’t a big surprise to hear from the marketing guys at the Star pubs again.

“Please,” they begged “will you come and review ‘Yeah Burger’ at the Star by Hackney Downs?”

“Hang on, let me get this straight – East London and burgers, right?”

“Correct.”

“We were hoping you’d say: ‘Yeah’.”

“Oh, yeah. So, are you up for it?”

There was only one answer to that: “Absolutely.”

Toby

I arrived twenty minutes before Tony, due to typically poor transport planning on his part.

“What shall I do?” I asked him.

“Go incognito,” urged Tony “pretend you’re just an ordinary schmuck from the street and see how they treat you.”

I ordered a pint and tried not to betray my celebrity status, but I fear the bar staff were all too aware that I had something special about me.

Tony

TFL fucked me, yet again, leaving Toby to try and initiate the blogger / vendor process.

Worried, I told him to get himself a pint, keep his mouth shut and not to do anything that could jeopardise us getting burgers.

I arrived to see Toby propping up the bar shouting about geese to a poor bartender.

Toby

“Fire me over a couple of GEESE please, barkeep!” I said to the bartender, wooing her with my wordplay.

There was a beer called ‘Goose IPA’ you see.

I had already bought a Camden Hells that I hadn’t finished, but I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to impress the young, possibly Australian woman behind the bar.

“GEESE, you see, is the plural of GOOSE!”

“TOBY! Leave that woman alone,” Tony shrieked as he ran towards the bar on entering the pub.

“What can I get you?” she calmly asked.

“Two goose, please.”

“GEESE!” Toby yelled again.

“Go and get us a table, Toby.”

Oooh political

As a pair of deeply political kinda guys we were pleased to see ‘Yeah Burgers’ getting on board with the General Election. 

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“Where the fuck is Sir Timothy Farron in all this?” Tony demanded to know.

“He thinks burgering is a sin.” Toby laughed to himself, “burgering – like buggering, like what gays do.”

“Yes, I got it.”

The food

We didn’t try those political items as we thought we may be swayed from a truly impartial review.

So, we settled for a Gladiator burger, and a beef Coney Island hot dog.

The Gladiator burger was very much a burger, but with confit garlic mayo, avocado and most importantly chicken skin. The chicken skin was a delicious addition and the salty hit instantly cured Tony’s hangover.

Yeah Burger Gladiator burger
Gladiator burger


“Surprised it’s not GOOSE SKIN,” shouted Toby, looking around the pub, desperate for a reaction.

The Coney Island hot dog was a beef frank with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.

Toby scraped away some of the tasty onions as they do his IBS riddled stomach a right mischief – life can be so cruel.

Coney Island hot dog

Coney Island hot dog

“The bread should be OK seeing as it’s sourdough,” he assured the barman, who had a Jeremy Corbyn T-Shirt on, “the onions perhaps not! Onions for the many! Not for the poo!”

“Shut up, Toby.”

The burger and hot dog were excellent, as were the fries and sweet potato fries.

The side order of pickles was a bit sad, and not very pickly.

“Is everything OK with your food?” asked the bartender as she cleared our empty glasses.

“It is, very good indeed. But could you help us with something, what genre is the music that’s playing in here currently?”

“Um, I’m not sure who it is.”

“Ah yes, but is it… Grime?”

“It could be Grime. Yes. I think it’s Grime.”

“YES!” We had never heard this music before and were thrilled to be part of Corbyn’s grime scene.

You do not have to say anything…

Before we left, Toby wanted to get to the bottom of the barkeep’s mysterious accent.

“Hello, I’m Detective Inspector Twang, and I’m making routine inquiries today.”

“I’m sorry?” she had now become wary of our conversations.

“I’m from the Dialect Squad. Anything you say will be taken as evidence.” He winked slowly.

“I really don’t understand what you’re on about.”

“Sorry about him,” apologised Tony.

“999, ACCENT EMERGENCY” shouted Toby as Tony dragged him away and with him, his last chance to woo this enigma of a lady.

YEAH OR NAH?

It’s a YES YEAH from us for Yeah Burger at The Star by Hackney Downs. It’s a fine way to spend your summer afternoon; go for the burgers, stay for the grime and leave before you meet Toby.

4 Boys out of five

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Review: Zindiya

Having lived in London for the past six years I was totally under the impression that the very concept of ‘street food’ had been invented here. It turns out people have actually been selling food items outside of restaurants and shops for  thousands of years! Who knew?!

With this newly acquired knowledge I decided to stick it to London and get a train to Birmingham.

Birmingham’s one of those places that feckless dullards say “it’s shit,” about whenever its name crops up in conversation. These people have never mustered an original thought of their own and tend to go through life parroting opinions they’ve heard that they think will be socially acceptable to their peers.

Not like me, I have loads of opinions of my own. Don’t believe me? Tweet and ask for one: @FoodieBoys This not going along with the crowd thing can probably be put down to the fact that I’m incredibly well travelled and interesting. Not only have I lived in Vietnam, but I also lived and worked in Delhi for a year. That’s right, Delhi, in India.

Indian food a short taxi ride from Birmingham city centre

You can only imagine my delight when I discovered there was a recently opened Indian street food establishment in Moseley, Birmingham. I booked a table for two and dusted off my Hindi dictionary.

“Bhains ke aage been bajana,” I said as I walked towards the bar.

“Sorry?” The waiter responded.

“Playing the flute to a buffalo is a waste of time.” I said, with my eyes closed, nodding slowly in a wise manner.

“Table for two is it?”

“Ek anaar, sau bimaar – one pomegranate is all there is, and a hundred men are sick trying to get it.”

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Lager and a From Oozy with love cocktail

After sitting down and looking at the menu we ordered some drinks, then some food. A tale as old as time – this is commonplace in restaurants.

Being a man, I ordered a pint of lager and my lady woman ordered  a rose cocktail that came in a plastic bag. A lovely touch. I attempted to come up with a suitable anecdote from my time spent in Delhi, India.

“Oh, that’s such a lovely touch. It actually reminds me of a time in Chandni Chowk when… a… when a… erm plastic bag… erm, fell… from the sky and it made me think… about… plastic bags.”

Fortunately the menu offered more opportunities to reminisce, for example with Pani Puri. I looked back fondly on the time in Delhi when this particular treat gave me a few days of watery diarrhoea.

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Aloo Tikki Chaat

To begin we ate Aloo Tikki Chaat – Potato cakes and spicy chickpeas, drizzled with tamarind chutney and yoghurt. LOVELY.

I ordered Lady Fingers as I wanted to do an Alan Partridge impression, it goes like this: “Oooh, lady fingers.” Pav bhaji is something I ate in India too, actually in Mumbai.

Sure, I’ve been to Mumbai. Where else have I been I hear you ask? Thanks for asking, I’ve also been to Jaipur, Kolkata, Amritsar, Varanasi and others. Incredible, India.

Chicken tikka – now, I like chicken tikka, chicken tikka is good and tasty. I am pleased, NAY, THRILLED to announce that this chicken tikka was delicious. The meat was perfectly moist, and the edges were slightly charred which gave it a lovely depth of flavour.

The seekh kebab was very good too, with a decent level of spice present.

I often think the best part of an Indian meal is the starters, Zindiya with its tapas style Indian street food was perfect and allowed me to talk about myself at length, wonderful.

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Four boys out of five.

 

Review: Little Social

I’ve seen Jason Atherton on Saturday Kitchen quite a few times, he wears tight t-shirts in that: “Yeah, I’m a middle aged man, sure, I look after myself. I like a couple of pints with the boys but I’m equally happy with a kale smoothie? Absolutely. What’s the big deal?” kind of way. And fair play to him.

Jason has 74,000 restaurants spread across the world. Many of them have the word ‘social’ attached to them.

City Social – you’re only allowed in if you had a part to play in the financial crash.

Social Eating House – the menu is inspired by bricks.

Pollen Street Social – the waiting staff all buzz constantly, only stopping once they’ve stabbed you and they perish.

And then there’s Little Social where the chef is a midget. It was here we went for a birthday lunch back in January! I know! So many questions, like: How has it taken me so long to write this up? Why didn’t I take a photo of the menu so I could remember what I ate? Aren’t professional kitchens potentially hazardous to midgets?

What I can tell you is that I had a cocktail, here’s a picture of it. It was very nice indeed.

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Here’s a photo of some butter, which I almost certainly had with some bread. If memory serves me correctly this was also perfectly pleasant.

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Here is my starter. Now, this was a beetroot based starter, and I do remember it as it was very nice.

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Here’s a mackerel. I think it was alright, I mean mackerel is always alright isn’t it really. Cheers mackerel.

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Here’s a bottle of wine we drunk. Notice the butter in the background, it’s been partly eaten. This lends weight to my earlier point about having consumed the butter with some bread.

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What can you say? A lunch time menu – 3 courses for £30 (I think, it was in that ball park) enjoyed in the knowledge that you’re helping a midget. Perfect.

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3.5 boys out of 5.

Review: Duke of Sussex

Before we begin discussing food we thought it might be useful to give you some interesting facts, meaning you come away from the blog with knowledge you didn’t have before. You might then share this newly acquired knowledge with your friends – helping to boost our reach.

DID YOU KNOW?: When Prince Harry gets married his Grandma is going to make him the Duke of Sussex? I know?!

DID YOU KNOW?: The first Duke of Sussex was Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son of King George III, back in 1801.

DID YOU KNOW?: The Duke of Sussex is also a pub by  Chiswick Park station / Acton Green.

“How will this help boost your reach?” you ask. Well, allow us to explain.

“You know that Prince Harry?” You say while sat in a pub / on the bus / having a smear test.

“Yes,” responds your friend / the driver / the nurse.

“He’ll become the Duke of Sussex when he gets married.”

“Oh really? Where did you hear that?”

“FoodieBoys.com.”

It really is that simple.

The Duke and tapas

Prince Augustus Frederick absolutely adored tapas and once famously said to his mate John, “John lad, there’s just something proper reassuring about paying £60 for 6 tiny plates of food rather than spending £15 on one actual meal.”

Augustus loved tapas so much that he actually used to spell his name ‘Prince Augustus Frederack’ just so he could say his name contained all the letters that make up the word ‘tapas’.

His dedication was SO great he actually grew giant croquetas in his garden.

The first Duke of Sussex showing off his massive croqueta.

With all this in mind it is of little surprise to find a pub named after the Duke serving up tapas to the eager mouths of West London.

The food

It was a…Tuesday afternoon I believe, possibly a Wednesday or even a Thursday, when we entered the pub (for full disclosure I can’t remember but it could have been any day of the week that wasn’t a Friday, Saturday or Sunday – I remember those days, it’s the others that are all just one long, sad, blurry march towards death).

We entered the pub and ordered various tapas items and a bottle of Rioja – I ordered Rioja as it is from Spain and I wanted to impress the barkeep. “I’ll have one of the SPANISH riojas,” I said, just loud enough for the rest of the pub to hear.

The wine was good, I also had a beer which was most pleasant. The food was, like so much tapas, total and utter ‘meh’ as people on the internet used to say back in the day.

Before we leave you with the all important score, there’s one last fact for you.

DID YOU KNOW?: The first Duke of Sussex invented aioli? 

The first Duke of Sussex discussing aioli with his mate John.

The score

2.5 boys out of 5.

As far as bog standard tapas goes this is well up there. The Duke would have been piiiiiiiiiiised.

Review: The Quality Chop House

You know that tricky scenario when you want to go for dinner but you’re also poor?

There are options available to you, such as:

  • Nandos
  • Take a Pepperami to a Michelin star restaurant and eat it in the toilet before leaving
  • Have a Pot Noodle in the park

Sadly I’m not allowed to lower myself to these levels as I’d have my official #Foodie hashtag removed.

So, rewind to Monday 27th February, one day before pay day. I remember it well, I was hungry and I was poor.

I’d wanted to visit The Quality Chop House in Farringdon for ages and never got round to it, then on Monday 27th February I discovered they do BYO on Mondays.

I should specify here that the ‘your own’ here refers to wine – not chops. Going to a ‘chop house’ and bringing your own chop is almost always frowned upon – you wouldn’t rock up to KFC with your own chicken would you?

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Quality Chop House Menu

I booked a table and headed to Tesco to grab as many bottles of Echo Falls I could carry. Three bottles of Echo Falls is as many as I could carry – one under each arm, one clutched in a hand, with one hand free for other activities.

“Good evening, would you like me to pour your wine?” The waitress asked.

“Erm? Decant it first for goodness sake.”

“Of course, and can I take your order?”

“Perhaps first you could advise what would best compliment my Echo Falls Peach And Mango flavoured wine.”

“Oh, without doubt the leeks followed by the mince on toast.”

“Very well.”

Starter

Leeks and anchovy

Leeks and anchovy

The burnt leeks and anchovy was underwhelming. Fine, but not great – which is why I used the word ‘underwhelming’.

Now I think about it, I’m not sure it’s the right word – if the leeks had blown my mind would I have described it as ‘overwhelming’? I doubt it. Being ‘overwhelmed’ by leeks sounds like something that might happen to a frail old man at an allotment. Think on.

Main course

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Mince on dripping toast

That’s a dreadful photograph, I blame the fact I’d just polished off my second bottle of Echo Falls – this time I quaffed Strawberry And Lime flavoured wine.

This dish was not underwhelming, if it was appropriate to use the word ‘whelmed’ I’d say it well and truly whelmed me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The beef dripping toast made me feel all warm inside.

I also had a delicious treacle tart, but I didn’t take a picture of that as after the bottle of Echo Fruit Rose Summer Berries flavoured wine I could no longer operate my phone.

All in all, a ruddy good experience.

Four boys out of five.

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Review: Il Pampero

Greetings! Welcome to another food blog! YAY! Hopefully we can expect some of this:

“I perused the menu.”

“Oooh, this sausage is cooked to perfection.”

“The asparagus had a real depth of flavour.”

“I’m not paying for this so I’m not actually going to tell you it was BANG AVERAGE.”

As a top, London foodie influencer I receive emails about soft launches of restaurants. I don’t really like the phrase ‘soft launch’ as it makes me think of Donald Trump wearing a sailor hat, trying to thumb his flaccid penis into you having forgotten to take his viagra.

Restaurant soft launches are basically a chance for them to make sure everything works before officially opening their doors to the public. Usually they will only charge 50% for food, so it’s a good chance to go somewhere you might not normally visit.

With this in mind, a few weeks ago I found myself in Belgravia. ME! In Belgravia, with my reputation (my reputation as someone really fucking cool who used to live in East London).

Basically I really like Italian food these days, so saw a soft launch for a new Italian place there and thought: “well, surely it’ll be good because posh people have great taste right?”

WRONG

Il Pampero is the restaurant in the Hari Hotel, which is owned by Harry Styles of One Direction fame (this is included for SEO purposes).

I ordered a Negroni to start, which was a pretty good Negroni. It came on a little bit of wood with a bit of fake, old newspaper on. Quirky, but bloody annoying having to peel it from the bottom of your glass every time you took a sip. I only had like four sips though as I’m an absolute, bloody, raging LAD.

Negroni

Negroni plus paper

My starter of sweetbreads with mushrooms was pretty good. I’d give it a good solid 7/10. Here’s a picture of it.

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Sweetbreads

My main was less good. Saffron risotto with veal ragu and crumbled bone marrow.

The veal ragu and crumbled bone marrow could have been literally anything in the whole wide world and you wouldn’t have tasted it over the massively over-powering saffron.

Saffron risotto

Saffron risotto

If I hadn’t have been here on the soft launch that risotto would have cost £19.50. Imagine! Fortunately they took it off the bill so I didn’t have to weep.

Two boys out of five.

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Review: Viet Eat / Viet Food / Ngon

Have I ever mentioned that I taught English in Vietnam during my gap year? I hope I have as it’s probably worth knowing, but just to be sure I’ll mention it again here.

Back in 2003 I taught English in Vietnam, yeah 2003 – before you even knew Vietnam existed. It was a crazy time, get in touch if you’d like to arrange a meet-up with me where I can talk to you, at length, about this.

Anyway, as a result I really got a taste for the cuisine over there – pho, bun cha, beer, summer rolls, cafe sua da, banh mi pates, marijuana – all the good stuff.

So, I often go to Vietnamese restaurants in London. Here I will treat you to a review of three of them I have recently visited.

Viet Eat

Here we had various things, but I’ll talk about the two in the picture – the first being a beef bao – MEH – go and have bao somewhere that specialises in bao, like that restaurant called Bao.

The Vietnamese fried rice was OK. I always used to have this in Vietnam on my gap year, have I mentioned I went to Vietnam on my gap year? I also always used to oder this in Tre Viet in Hackney, I used to live in Hackney, have I mentioned that? Yeah, I had a gap year and I also lived in Hackney – I’m everything you always hoped you’d be.

I like this stuff as it’s got rice, prawns and bits of sausage in it. The sausage is sweet and tasty, cover the whole thing in soy sauce and you’re on to a winner. This one was OK (as I mentioned in the previous paragraph #OK).

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2.5 boys out of 5

Viet Food

How DO they name these places? Here are a few ideas for any potential Vietnamese restaurants opening:

  • Viet nourishment
  • Viet sustenance
  • Viet nutriment
  • Viet fare
  • Viet foodstuffs
  • Viet edibles
  • Viet provisions
  • Viet rations

You get the idea. I was here for a work lunch, did I mention that I have a job? A job, a gap year and a former dwelling in Hackney – blows the mind really.

Here we’re looking at Bún Thịt Nướng or chargrilled lemongrass pork to you shit munchers, and crispy spring rolls. The bun was good, the spring rolls were rubbish.

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3 boys out of 5

Ngon

Ngon is Vietnamese for ‘tasty’. This seems like a good opportunity for me to teach you some Vietnamese.

  • Tôi là một giáo viên – I am a teacher

That’s the main one you need when you’re teaching English on your gap year in Vietnam.

During my gap year in Vietnam I would often drink shit loads of 5p beer and then have a banh mi pate. Banh mi pate’s are baguettes with various bits of meat and pate in them and frankly when you were pissed they were incredible.

I’m yet to find one in London anything similar, however Ngon do an excellent pork banh mi.

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Banh mi

They also do a good cafe sua da – iced coffee with condensed milk. I would show you a photo but I forgot to take one.

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3.5 boys out of 5

All in all, the lesson here is that I’m better than you in every conceivable way.

Review: We Serve Humans

Having moved away from London’s trendy East I think it’s important to go back every now and then to keep up with the latest on-point, peng (reminder: Google some Vice articles for some more trendy phrases to add here) food happenings.

So, last Saturday I gave Toby a ring:

We Serve Humans?”

“Yep.”

“Is this like those weird German couples who eat each other’s penises that you’re always going on about.”

“I’ve mentioned it like three or four times.”

“I’m not letting you eat my penis.”

“How many times! I don’t want to eat YOUR penis, I just wonder what they’d taste like and what garnishes would go with them. Anyway, I’ll meet you at the Jackdaw and Star in Homerton at 12:30.”

“Fine.”

“Bring your penis.”

As we approached, we began to debate how we introduce ourselves.

“We can’t just march in there and say we want to gorge on the meat of the slain.” Toby worried.

“Don’t worry, we’ll say: ‘I believe the kitchen is expecting us’.” said Tony.

“Perfect.”

We walked into the bar:

“We’re here for the humans!” Toby barked in a mad panic.

“Oh, of course. You must be the bloggers,” the barman said calmly.

“Shhhh, don’t call us that in public, we’re not monsters.” We responded in unison.

“OK, just a minute. Take a seat.”

We sat ourselves down and nervously waited, the tension was palpable.

“I don’t want to be a party pooper, but I just couldn’t wait…” Toby said as he stared, ashamed, at his shoes.

“You couldn’t wait for what?”

“To try…human flesh.”

“Oh fuck, what did you do?”

With this Toby flung off his left shoe, his left sock and put a bloodied foot on the table.

“You tried to gnaw your little toe off didn’t you?”

“Yeah.”

“How was it?”

“I could only taste blood and tears really.”

“Shut up! They’re coming!”

A man emerged from the kitchen and walked towards our table. Tony grabbed the ketchup and placed a napkin in his lap.

“Hi,” the human said offering us his hand.

Unsure whether to bite it or shake it, we ignored it totally.

“OK, what can I get you?” The human offered.

“Human, please.”

“Yes, that’s me.”

ANYWAY, long story short, this chap was Paul Human the founder of We Serve Humans.

We then proceeded to feast on NOT the flesh of humans but the flesh of cows, chickens and pigs. Lovely.

Potato

Let us begin with the chips (chips are made with the flesh of the potato). These were covered in beer cheese sauce and we stuffed them in our faces at quite a rapid rate.

Fries with beer cheese sauce

Fries with beer cheese sauce

Chicken

We then had some of the fried chicken wings (chicken flesh) with whisky and ginger sauce. These chicken wings are reason enough why we are better off continuing to eat chicken rather than human. They were delicious. If human arms were this tasty chickens would be eating them greedily.

Buttermilk chicken wings with whisky and ginger sauce

Buttermilk chicken wings with whisky and ginger sauce

Beef

Burgers. This is what We Are Humans are all about. Proper beef, served medium rare covered in some seriously good toppings.

‘The chairman’ was great, but even better was the ‘End of democracy’ which is ‘the chairman’ covered in chilli and jalapenos. NICE.

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The End of Democracy burger

A shout out to the buffalo chicken burger too.

“This is good, it tastes like buffalo sauce.”

“It is buffalo sauce.” Paul Human told Toby.

“But it’s not bright orange like Donald Trump’s penis?”

It turns out they make their own buffalo sauce, rather than use Frank’s like everyone else does.

We then discussed what Donald Trump would taste like until the early hours.

The best burgers and wings we’ve had in Hackney.

Five boys out of five

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