Snaps & Rye: Toby’s Lunch 12th February

We’ve noticed some bloggers contributing to Transun’s guide to Scandinavian Restaurants in the UK, and I wanted to throw our hat in the ring. After all, Toby’s been to Denmark before, so knows a thing or two about Viking eats.

So it was that Toby managed to persuade a colleague to come for lunch at Snaps & Rye, a Danish cafe a stone’s throw (from a quite strong man, like that Icelandic Magnus Magnusson was) from Portobello Road market.

It means "Welcome."

It means “Welcome.”

The interior of the place was clean and simplistic, with plush white walls which immediately pleased me because it seemed to guarantee good hygiene. Dirty, greasy marks would show up easily.

The waitress arrived, her name was something like Singe, and I immediately recounted the time I’d been to Copenhagen and therefore indicated I was accustomed to Danish cuisine. I also told her of my childhood adulation of goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, which I think put her at ease.

She told me she was from an island which I hadn’t heard of, which rather ended that conversation. Luckily, I could use that silence to order my meal.

The writing's on the wall.

The writing’s on the wall!

I went for the rare beef on rye, with marrow bone, mushrooms, egg and mustard cauliflower. I also shared some sides; potato salad and cheese and rye. With this I tried a Sealand Birk, it’s the water from birch trees, with infusions of ginger & lime. This was completely natural and organic, with a subtle sweet taste. Very refreshing.

IMG_20150212_135015 IMG_20150212_134028
The food was delicious. The beef was very well complimented by the cauliflower and mushrooms in particular (so much so it was blushing!) and the marrow was a quirky addition. The egg speaks for itself.

The food was excellent and the girl serving me was masterful. With her soft voice, I would gladly listen to her reading Hans Christian Andersen fairytales to me, the Little Murmur-aid springs to mind! Sadly, she had a full cafe to attend to and this wasn’t a practical possibility.

I had a great time and I only wish I could have stayed longer, but I had already taken up 1.5 hours of my lunch break so was technically late, although working in digital as I do, this is flexible and totally cool with my management.

Before departing, I ran my eye over some of the excellent homewares and the like they had available for sale. Yes, they did have Lego!!

You don't have to be called Madsen to work here, but it helps.

You don’t have to be called Mads to work here, but it helps.

Sour Jerk Co. at Devonshire Square

Having left my lunch (stir fry chicken) in the safety of the fridge at home (#Forgetful) I was overjoyed to see on Twitter that Epicurean event had their food market back at Devonshire square. It’s only a five minute walk from my office!

I hadn’t really looked at who would be trading so I was going in dry. Hungry and dry.

I walked past all the traders trying to give me free samples, mainly because I didn’t want to talk to them. Also, if your produce is so good why are you giving it away for free?

Shrimpy were in attendance, I had one of their delicious surf and turf buns last time they were in town. Having eaten smoked salmon and some scampi over the weekend I decided I’d batter not have any more fish!

I eventually settled on Sour Jerk Co. who were offering pulled lamb shoulder on herby cous cous generously garnished with feta and pomegranate seeds. Now, this appealed for a number of reasons which I’ll list now.

  1. I didn’t know you could pull a lamb’s shoulder.

    Pulled lamb and herby cous cous

    Pulled lamb and herby cous cous

  2. I like cous cous.
  3. I love feta.
  4. I adore pomegranate seeds.
  5. It was £5.

As far as I’m concerned lunch should cost £5 so it was nice to find a couple of chaps very much sharing my vision. I hotfooted it back to the office and consumed it at my computer.

It was very tasty and there was loads of it! I started eating it just before my colleague began on his Sainsbury’s meal deal. I was still going as he inhaled his last Quaver.

My only qualm would be that I did spill quite a bit of cous cous on the desk. This is probably more fault of my own than the Sour Jerk men, but perhaps a larger container would work better.

I might accidentally leave my stir fry in the fridge for the remainder of the week!

Toby’s Lunch 19th November

Short, sharp one today.

After picking up my IBS relief tablets this afternoon, I stopped off at Burger King and treated myself to an XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger and crinkly fries. It’s hard to deny they’ve innovated with these little potato offerings, but I found myself yearning for the simplicity of the McDonalds fry.

Impressive on the outside and inside!

Impressive on the outside and inside!

Toby’s Lunch / Review 17th November

Monday? Munchday more like.

Another week, and another chance to try out some of the foodie venues around my work.

This time it was The Fellow in King’s Cross, a terrific gastropub, just around the corner from everyone’s favourite rail station.

I was in a meaty sort of mood so I didn’t hesitate to opt for the steak, with hand cut chips and peppercorn sauce. Our food took some time to come, causing me to quip “what, are they catching the cow?” which I think judged the tone of the meal quite well. We were welcoming a new member of staff and some frivolity was encouraged.

It was during the wait that, in a moment of inattentiveness, I caused the straw in my drink to catch on fire. My straw was dangling out of the Diet Coke I had ordered, unbeknownst to me, far too close to a nearby candle.

I was busy holding court about November sales figures when I detected a commotion to the left of me. Luckily Ryan was on hand to extinguish the plastic-y flames in his glass of water. A sobering lesson in fire safety, and certainly one the restaurant should consider when planning table arrangements.

When the food arrived, it was wonderful. The steak was cooked to perfection, perfectly red in the middle while brown on the outside. As I said at the time, “well done on the medium rare steak!” Again, just allowing people to enjoy the meal without resorting to crude innuendo like others might.

My particular highlight was the handcut chips, which really were something special. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone who would listen.

4/5

Thanks very much to all at The Fellow for their permission to take a photo of this

Thanks very much to all at The Fellow for their permission to take a photo of this

Toby’s Lunch: 4th November

Do you know when you get a hankering for a certain food? That’s exactly what happened to me today as the clock ticked towards lunchtime.

So rather than join the grey, faceless Tesco queue, I hotfooted it to a cafe nearby to seek out a jacket potato!

I ordered a ‘Jacky P’ with chili con carne and cheese. My eyebrows raised when they charged me £5.50 for it, but I was soon placated when I saw the size of the thing!

A tasty morsel, now I hope I don’t “do a Brian Harvey!” Just some humour for you on a Tuesday!

Big spud

Big spud

Review / Toby’s Lunch 28th October

A bit of winter sun at lunchtime on payday? Yes please thank you very much!

Working as I do in digital, I don’t often get time to grab much more than a snack at my desk, but today was different. My wallet fat with my ill-begotten gains, I perused the King’s Cross area for a tasty bite and came back with a little more than I bargained for!

I attended the opening of Foodilic some months ago, where I received half price fare and enjoyed it very much. I returned today with no such discount forthcoming, despite a word in the ear of the counter service staff.

Undeterred, I went for the Mediterranean vegetable quiche, alongside their superfood salad and potato salad. This came to £6.50, a fee not unreasonable for the quantities offered.

So then, cardboard box of treats in hand, I sought out a bit of sun by the rail station. The quiche was moist excellence itself, while the minty superfood salad and garlicky potato helped fill a hole up.

My only qualm with the whole experience was the cutlery on offer. On my visit I found only spoons and knives on offer. I am partial to a fork, as I believe they provide more grip on slippery foods, such as the broccoli I am currently digesting.

In summary; a health-conscious lunch, at a price you wouldn’t baulk at.

Review / Tony’s lunch – Inito 28 October

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch

Inito roti

Inito roti

Whoever said that didn’t have lunch with me today. Having lived in India I’ve watched with eager eyes as Inito Roti has been put together near my place of work.

When I lived in India I used to have rotis for lunch very often, normally they’d be dipped and dunked into chickpea curries, acting as a mini naan bread. Delicious.

Now, as a big fan of wraps (the alternative to boring, old sandwiches) I was delighted to see that in Inito, roti bread was being used as an alternative to a tortilla style wrap.

Roti is generally an Indian bread, made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known as atta flour, that originated and is consumed in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

As I walked to Sainsbury’s to pick up some San Pellegrino water (I developed my taste for sparkling water when living in India) I saw Inito had opened it’s door(s).

Inito roti menu

Inito roti menu

I peaked my head through and was informed that they weren’t properly open just yet, but I could join the queue and try some of their fare.

Well, what a treat! There are numerous options here. I jumped in and went for the chicken, chickpea masala, spinach with mixed herb chutney sauce. It was a winner.

Now the amazing bit – I didn’t pay for it. “What, did your Mumbai?” No, when did I mention my mother being with me?!  It was because they’re not officially open. I was gobsmacked.

It’s only some 30/45 minutes later I realise the genius of this. Due to me enjoying the food and the proximity to my work, I’ll almost certainly be back. I could end up potentially having one of these every lunch time I want to be reminded of living in India, which is most of them let’s face it.

My colleagues are especially pleased as they adore my anecdotes about the time I lived in India.

Chicken and Chickpea roti at my work station

Chicken and Chickpea roti at my work station

It’s worth noting that we review both things we have and haven’t paid for. If you would like us to review your restaurant please get in touch. Especially if it’s going to be free.

Toby’s Lunch: 16th October

Chinese for lunch? I haven’t a clue, I don’t speak a word of it!

Seriously though, a BBC (British Born Chinese) ex-colleague recommended Chop Chop Noodle to me recently and so I couldn’t resist popping down after roping in a few workmates to fill the seats next to me!

I went for the Chicken Chow Mein (which is a popular chicken fried noodle dish) I have to say I was disappointed in the cuisine. The food was very bland and required a lot of salt to flavour the dish.

The serving staff were apathetic too, with frequent requests for tap-water falling on deaf-ears. Perhaps my ex-colleague had more luck with her multi-lingual skills.

The only saving grace was the portion sizes, which were full and filling.

Tony’s Lunch: 16 October 2014

Hiya!

How are you all?

Frittata with leeks and other items

Frittata with leeks and other items

Lunch time! I wasn’t at home last night (naughty naughty!) so didn’t get a chance to bring any food of my own in today. A mistake considering my current financial mismanagement.

I contemplated another £3 meal deal but the thought of it made my bowel quite irate. Instead I headed to a little place I know pretty well.

I chowed down on a frittata with leeks, feta and other items. This came with a side salad of broccoli and some weird nuts and some new potatoes. I washed it down with some fizzy apple drink.

£6 in total. I’d tell you where it is, but I quite like going there and if you all hear about it it’ll get full and I won’t be able to get a seat. Sorry.

Tony’s lunch: Monday 13 October

photo (10)With money a little tight before payday (total blowout at Broadway market on Saturday!)

I decided to venture to Tesco and scan their meal deal options. I have to say I was impressed by the number of different sandwiches available, they even had a HOT HOT HOT chicken with what looked like red bread?!

I wasn’t feeling that adventurous though so went for a ham and cheese sub. Got to be honest, it wasn’t up to much, however, the BBQ Beef Hula Hoops and Chocolate Yazoo really went down a treat.

For £3 I’d argue I did pretty well.

5/10