Pastaio London

Pastaio. It means pasta-maker in Italian and making pasta is exactly what they do here. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll spend the whole time pronouncing it wrong when people ask you where you’re going for dinner that week.

It’s a no-bookings style restaurant which serves up plates of handmade pasta with powerful sauces. It’s located just off Carnaby Street in Soho, with a huge large glass front plus a bright, Insta-friendly art mural along the back wall. It comes complete with an open kitchen where you can watch the Pastaio’s at work and rows of communal tables.

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Their starters are pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook them. We opted for the burrata which was served swimming in olive oil and had chilli and oregano sprinkled over it.

As their burrata is incredibly creamy, if not a little too juicy, you’ll need to grab yourself a side of their sourdough bread to help you mop up all that cheesy goodness.

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The main event: the crab, chilli, agretti, black & white spaghetti, and now that spring is just around the corner, this is the type of food I long for. It packs a punch and the crab does well to hold it’s own.

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Their slow-cooked sausage malloredus keeps the standards high and it’s a brilliant vehicle for another great sauce. It’s a dish comprised of small, striped shells of pasta and the sausage sauce is topped with crust crumbs from the bread – which really cuts through the richness.

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To help wash all the carbs down, we ordered the prosecco slushies. Their blood orange one giving me flash blacks to wandering Milan from bar to bar drinking Aperol Spritz.

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Would I go back? Most definitely – although I can’t help but feeling that I’m cheating on Padella.

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Pastaio, 19 Ganton St, Carnaby, London W1F 9BN

*Main photo courtesy of Pastaio 

 

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Shoryu | Buns and Ramen

Situated in a quiet street in Soho, near Chinatown, lies Shoryu Ramen – now one of six London locations. A chain of Japenese restaurants who aim to bring the more hearty tonkotsu to London. The menu here is inspired by the cuisines in the south of Japan, and mainly focused around Hakata tonkotsu ramen – a thick, rich, white pork soup served with thin ramen noodles.

I’d heard a lot of great thing about Shoryu before Serena and I went, and their set menu definitely persuaded me to book here instead of other ramen joints in the West-End (two couses and a cocktail for £22).

To start, the buns. A chicken karaage for me, and a Halloumi and shimeji mushroom for Serena. The ratio of filling to pillowy goodness was spot on, and when fried chicken is never not delicious!?

shoryu ramen

Just as we finished devouring our buns, steaming bowls of noodles arrived in front of us. We both opted for their famous tonkotsu, which is a 12-hour pork broth, topped with char siu barbecue pork belly, nitamago egg, kikurago mushrooms, spring onions, seasame seeds, ginger and nori seaweed. Neither of us had any problems inhaling it… the broth was rich and creamy, the noodles al dente, and the pork tender and juicy.

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Two buns, two bowls of ramen, and two hour laters we rolled out of Shoryu feeling extremely full but very satisfied. It’s comfort food at it’s best, more please.

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Shoryu Ramen, 3 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7HA

 

I’m feeling twenty-two: Birthday Celebrations at Roka Aldwych

This week I celebrated my Taylor Swift birthday, and Scott treated me to such a lovely day out in London – we pretty much spent the whole day eating, exploring and drinking.

 

I’m incredibility lucky to get a bonus ‘holi-birthday’ from work (one of the many perks of working at Goodman Masson). We started my day at my family home and my mum had made my favourite brunch, avocado toast – and of course cake. After all, calories don’t count of your birthday right?

 

scott and i

 

Scott and I headed into London and hit the Leicester Square box office, scoring ourselves tickets for a matinee performance of Kinky Boots.
It’s one of my all time favourite movies and the performance did not disappoint. It’s all about accepting people for who they are and not making judgement about people before you get to know them – A message that everyone needs to encompass.

 

kinky boots

 

After the show Scott and I went to Roka in Aldywch. If you’re anything like me and adore Japanese food then you absolutely must go. Everything is perfectly executed, including the rustic yet contemporary interior – it’s definitely a special occasion sort of place.

 

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We went for one of their tasting menus, which is comprised of small plates and is perfect for sharing. I love this concept as it means you can have a bit of everything and you don’t need to be as decisive.

 

sushi

 

Each plate came on at a time, meaning we could really appreciate them. The sashimi was incredible and it was served on a bed of ice – it melted in your mouth and was sliced so finely.

 

dumplings

 

Now, I’m a HUGE fan of dumplings and we were served the black cod, crab and crayfish dumplings which were delicious.

 

salad
maki

 

The main course options are in no way budget items. Scott and I choice the pork lion and the black cod marinated in miso. Both were delightful in their own ways – though the fish was incredibility hard to eat with chopsticks.

 

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cod

 

It’s not often that I have dessert, I’m much more of a savoury/starter type-of-girl. I can’t remember what I ordered but it came with green-tea meringue and a sesame seed ice-cream.

 

birthday cake

 

I honestly can’t remember Roka Alydwch enough – if you’re wanting to treat that speical someone, take them here.

 

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Roka Alydwch, 71 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN

 

cheesecake