Monmouth Kitchen

Covert Garden is a hotbed for tourists, and most of the time it’s a no-go area for me as I’m someone who rolls her eyes when people stand on the wrong side of the escalator. But I was enticed to the area by Monmouth Kitchen, who were offering 50% off food during their soft launch. The restaurant is located in the heart of the Seven Dials and serves Italian and Peruvian-inspired small plates. I’ve never tasted Peruvian cuisine, so I was excited to see what was on offer.

It’s happened to all of us when we have had our hopes so high for a restaurant, just for them to be knocked down as soon as you walk through the door. Our table wasn’t ready when we arrived at 9pm, and Scott and I quickly exchange an eyebrow raise of ‘but it’s way past peak dining time, how are you not ready for us?’ – so were quickly seated in their bar area. The restaurant was very sleek everything was white or black and all the table tops were marbled. Once seated I ordered the only Rosé on the menu, and I was immediately disappointed, I found it too tart for my taste buds.

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We were taken over to our table in the main dinning room only to be greeted by a DJ, so the only way Scott and I could commute to each other or the service staff was by shouting at each other. Our waitress explained the menu perfectly to us and we order a range of bites and nibbles. In total we were served by a least 10 different people and I would so much prefer less people at the table.

Now eating here doesn’t come cheap and the portions are small. We ordered some of the chicken tacos and our waitresses warned us that they were mini, but they were the size of a 2p piece. All I could taste was spice which completely downed all of the other flavours – a real shame. The only bright side of the dish that they they weren’t a mess to eat like normal tacos.

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Our next dish was the mushroom and ricotta ravioli which was served with a sage butter. It was lovely, however we only had one raviolo each – I wouldn’t suggest ordering this dish if there’s more than two of you wanting to eat it.

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I love Pardon Peppers and I have them quite a lot at home as a simple starter, so I thought this dish was ridiculously over priced for what they offered. Unfortunately they were under-cooked and quite chewy.

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Next came the King Prawns, which were served butterflied with the shell on. I felt like it’s the type of place where people would judge you if you used your fingers instead of your knife and fork, so this dish just didn’t work for this restaurant.

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We were then brought the Chicken Lollipops, and so I had to use my fingers to eat these and I was past caring what my fellow diners thought of me. What annoyed me about this dish was that it wasn’t easy to spilt between two. Again, I thought this were overpriced for what is just flamboyant chicken wings.

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Our last dish was the Calamari – which they had completely forgotten about and had to remind twice to bring. Now, you can’t go wrong with deep fried food and this dish was pretty tasty and we were brought a decent portion size.

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We decided not to stick around for dessert as the food  we had so far was a not of good enough quality to charge the prices asked. The type of food served here is appropriate for a bar or standing dinner, but it’s just not right for a sit down dinner.

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Monmouth Kitchen, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Mercer Street, 20 Mercer St, London WC2H 9HD

 

 

 

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HIIT at Another Space

June has been definitely been my month for trying out new gyms and shaking up my routine. This week, I finally got round to checking out Another Space and it’s stunning. I was so impressed with how clean and white the space was – it’s got a smoothie bar and cafe, with spacious changing rooms equipped with fluffy towels and cowshed skin and hair products, plus ghd straighteners and dryers.

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It’s the new pay-as-you go concept gym from Third Space and it’s located on Tower Street, Covent Garden. They offer Cycle, HIIT and Yoga and the idea is that you should do all three in balance.

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I tried the HIIT class with Naomi on Saturday morning and it was amazing! It was super intense and our trainer really pushed us and demonstrated all the moves before hand, so there’s no getting lost. It’s a boxing / circuit training class and you’ll spend your time between the bags or doing resistance training. You’ll do a 5 minute warm up, then alternative between the bags and the floor for a total of 3 rounds on each.

Their HIIT class only started this week, so no doubt they’ll be some tweaks – the gloves were rubbish and remove quite alot of skin from my knuckles but they’re being replaced asap.

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I’m yet to the the Cycle and Yoga classes, but both the studios look fab. If you’re ever in the area I’d definitely recommend checking out at least a couple of classes. It’s a great place to kickstart your weekend on a Saturday morning before feasting on some of the many brunch spots nearby.

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Another Space, 4-10 Tower St, London WC2H 9NP

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Catching up with Friends at Jar Kitchen

Last week I had the pleasure of catching up with some old work colleagues at The Jar Kitchen, which sits at the northern end of Drury Lane. If you’re after a place to take shelter from the hustle and bustle of Covert Garden, but still want to be close to the action, then this quaint cafe is your answer.

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Blink and you’ll miss it, but once found it will entice you in with it’s homely glow from candles flickering in recycled jars that deck the space. It’s the perfect spot for both a date night, as the intimate restaurant on the ground floor seats only a few, or larger parties can make themselves comfortable on the lower fool.

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Stepping down into the basement we were seated at a reclaimed wood table. We pondered over the menu for a while, as picking any dish from the menu here is such as hard task as you’ll want everything.

Sofia when for a small plate of Kings Prawns served with chilli, garlic and coriander, with a side of triple cooked chips. Angelina went for the pork served in a jus with chard and hazelnut. And I, choice the hake with fennel, samphire and an beurre noisette. I was pleasantly surprised to see they do use plates here, rather than forcing you to eat out of jars for gimmicks sake.

My fish simply fell apart, it was cooked beautifully – in my opinion a different sauce would have gone better as it felt too rich for the dish and took away from the flavour of the hake and samphire.

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We opted for desert, as although our dishes were tasty, we still had room for more. My yoghurt panna cotta topped with figs, walnuts and honey was divine. It was light and delicate, and finished off the meal perfectly. Sofia and Angelina both went for the ‘death by chocolate tart’ which neither of them could finish – they were warned.

I’ll definitely be heading back to try their conift duck leg croquettes and to take advantage of their pre-theatre set menu; two courses for £16.50 or three for £20, bargain.

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Jar Kitchen, 176 Drury Lane, WC2B 5QF