Broadgate Circle

“Broadgate Circle, where’s that?” my dad asked before I ventured out for brunch last Sunday. It’s nestled just a stone’s throw away from Liverpool Street Station. I always find the City of London to be a strange place on the weekend, it’s eerily quiet – but now I’ve figured out where everyone is flocking to – Broadgate Circle. It’s a relatively recent development, but it’s fast become a foodie hub and it brings together a varied collection of restaurants, cafes, bars and street food to the City.

I’d like to stress that Broadgate Circle is such a good place to catch-up with people, because of it’s closeness to Liverpool Street Station — the epicenter of all transport connections.

So, what’s on offer?

Beany Green

It’s a funky spot that brightens up the concrete jungle that is Broadgate Circle, and it’s here where I went for brunch last weekend. There are not many seats (and the majority of them are outside) as it’s the type of place that is geared up for a workers lunch. Their counter is full of vibrant salads, protein balls, and muffins to take away.  But we were here for brunch – my advice is to go hungry as you can as they offer a two-course bottomless brunch with free-flowing cocktails.

Their avocado toast is one of the best I’ve ever made. It’s served on organic charcoal sourdough, topped with avocado and then sprinkled with lime and lemon dukkah. Served with a dollop of labneh and homemade chili pesto.

beany green avocado

The Crab Tavern

I originally came here with a couple of friends and I’ve been dying to go back since. It’s such a warm and inviting eatery with leather booths and high tables – although I’d probably swerve it on a Thursday as it’s full of city slickers get pissed.

Now, you will have to shell out a fair bit to eat here, and naturally, crab does feature heavily on the menu. And I’m not kidding: hot, cold, served tartar or deep fried, on bread, in a coquette, or stacked into towers. If you can do it to a crab, they do it here.

crab tavern

Yauatcha City

Brought to you by the genius behind the Hakkasan Group and Yauatcha City offers high-quality Dim Sum. The restaurant is huge (and albeit a slightly odd shape as it essentially occupies an entire semi-circle of Broadgate Circle).

All of the delights of authentic Cantonese dim sum are on offer here and they have installed open kitchens, so you’re able to watch the skills chefs prepare a huge range of steamed, baked, grilled and fried dim sum. Just promise me if you venture here that you’ll try the Venison Puffs.

Yauatcha City

Franco Manca

I’ve mentioned Franco Manca on my blog before (and much has been said about it). I adore their slow-rising sourdough pizza bases and the fact that the ingredients are either organic Italian or locally sourced, definitely appeals to me. It’s also incredibly affordable, you can easily bag you’re a pizza for £6 – and even though it’s cheap, they don’t comprise on taste.

franco-manca

Shoryu Ramen

This joint is from the folk behind the Japan Centre, and the clue is in the name in terms of what they offer here – Ramen. But more specifically, Tonkotsu Ramen. It’s a thick, rich, 12-hour pork broth ramen served with char siu, pork belly, nitamago egg, mushrooms, spring onions, sesame, and seaweed.

But if ramen isn’t your thing, don’t fret. There are plenty of other options, like their steamed buns and gyozas.

shoryu ramen

 

 

 

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Indian Smallplates at Gunpowder

Shoreditch is notorious for Indian restaurants, and more often than not they’re the type of curry houses where you get that all too familar carb slump after filling up on bowlfuls of chicken korma, lime pickle and poppadoms. But at Gunpowder you’ll find none of the above.

I’m currently making my way through TimeOut’s Top 100 Restaurants in London and it’s no suprise that Gunpowder are ranked in the top 20, they whip up outstanding and innovative small plates cooked with authentic Indian spices.

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Gunpowder is tucked away on a small lane in Spitalfields and this narrow Indian restaurant barely has space for around two dozen covers. But the cramped conditions are worth putting up with for the quirky dishes that come flooding out of the kitchen.

We started with the patrani maach,which was described to us as a river fish cooked in a banana leaf – it simply fell apart and had a delicious, subtle lemongrass and mustard seed flavour.

gunpowder-fish

Next came the aloo chat, a dish which potatoes are roasted in a spice mix and then smashed and covered with yoghurt, chickpeass, tomatoes – a beautiful combiation which gives a sweet and tangy taste.

gunpowder-potatoes

Soft-shell crab isn’t a dish I’d expect to find on an Indian menu, but at Gunpowder the risks pay off. The crab is encased in a crisp, light batter and serves to really enhance and protect the juiciness of the crab within.

gunpowder-crab

We also devoured their outstanding okra fries – a crispy triumph and a beautiful accompaniment to any dish served up at Gunpowder.

gunpowder-orka

To finish we had the molten chocolate cake served with masala chai custard. Spiced custard is truly the way of the future.

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And, if you’re in the mood for booze there’s some interesting Indian cocktails too. I had a bellini served with chilli and corriondar, and boy it packed a punch.

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Gunpowder, 11 White’s Row, London E1 7NF

A London Favourite | Enoteca Super Tuscan

Mozzarella, artichokes, olives and fresh basil are some of my favourite ingredients to cook with, so it’s no surprise I’m a lover of Italian food. I love the variety, the taste, and of course, the simplicity of it all.

Enoteca Super Tuscan is a gorgeous Italian wine bar down a tiny side street just south of Spitalfields Market, blink and you’ll have missed it. I met my mum and sister here one day after work and by 7 o’clock it was packed.

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They’re got a huge selection of wines which is complimented with an ever-changing specials board – which is completely ingredient-led.  We started with a vegetation antipasta; a selection of cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, olives, mozzarella, peppers and green beans – proving that sometimes meat isn’t needed.

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The name of the next dish has completely slipped my mind, but it was basically cheese wrapped in ham, but it was so much better then cheese wrapped in ham. It was served on a bed of rocket with grilled courgettes and sun-dried tomatoes. The cheese melted in your mouth and wasn’t stringy from being baked and was beautifully complement by the saltines of the ham.

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For mains each of us ordered from the specials board, my mum went for the Seabass which was so tender and my sister had the Gnocchi which was served in a rich, creamy sauce. I went for the Pea and Mint Tortellini – it was so good I was scrapping the plate for every last morsel. All of our food was washed down with their house white which was smooth and crisp, and worked well with all the flavour combinations.

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A meal with my family wouldn’t be complete without dessert and a digestif. The Panna Cotta went down a real treat, it was perfectly set and a great end to a fantastic meal.

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I swear it’s some of the best Italian food I’ve had in London (second to the River Café), and I’m already eager to go back.

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Enoteca Super Tuscan, 8A Artillery Ln, Artillery Passage, London E1 7LJ

Reshaping at 1Rebel

1Rebel has been on my radar for a while now – they’re a no contract, ‘pay-as-you-train’ boutique gym. They have two gyms, both located in the city, each offering three types of classes. Reshape, Ride and Rumble. They’re all high intensity fitness classes which will put your usual routine to shame.

1rebel rumble

I’ve been following Kayla Itsiness guide for about two years now and I’m looking to shake things up a little bit. I booked myself into a Full Body Reshape class one day after work – You’re given you own workout station complete with dumbbells, resistance bands and a medicine ball plus a treadmill. Our instructor, Kelly, brought all the newbies over and explained how to class worked. If you ever find yourself running aimlessly on a treadmill or staring at the weights section in complete confusion this class is definitely for you.

You spend you time doing interval sprints – each time upping the gradient and speed, and then hoping onto the workout station doing a range of weighted exercises from squats, chest presses, push ups and v-sits.

1rebel reshape

They use Woodway treadmills which help you give you a more intense workout whilst being super comfortable on your joints to help you go that little bit faster. All the weights you need are under the bench station so there’s no back and forth to gather weights and your instructor will tell you how heavy you need to lift.

It’s HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) as its best – there’s hardly any time to think about how much pain you’re in as you switch between the treadmills and weights. I go to the gym about 5 times a week and consider myself to be pretty fit, but this class completely took it out of me. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

You can refuel at the Roots & Bulbs for cold pressed juices and smoothies. On Friday evenings you can ever get prosecco – talk about balance. If you decide to squeeze a class in at lunch you’ll also get a free smoothie.

1rebel refuel

The changing rooms at 1Rebel are incredible – they have the trendiest changing area that I have ever seen. All lockers are a glittering copper tone with heated benches and GHD hair straighteners and skin care products galore.

1rebel changing room

It is £20 a session and that’s a lot to spend on a class and something I can’t justify on a regular basis. I’d definitely recommend checking it out but it’s the perfect special occasion gym.

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1Rebel, Broadgate Circle, London, EC2M 2QS