Posts Tagged ‘fondue’

Tramshed – Take 2! (London)

If you recall, sometime last year, I visited Tramshed so I could try it out on AB‘s behalf, and ended up loving it (see post here). And so, since AB was swinging into London for the week, we decided that we simply had to go there to fuel up before a night out in Shoreditch to celebrate AC‘s birthday!

I arrived at 630PM and the restaurant was relatively empty still. I was early – as I invariably tend to be – so I sat down first and yabbered on and on to the incredibly friendly staff… Then I decided to start my night without them! :D



Espresso martini (£9.75)


Always a favorite of mine. This wasn’t nearly strong enough though, so I tried their Four Roses whiskey later on as well – pretty good.

After the girls arrived and we (I, really)  had squealed more than amply, they ordered their vino, and we put in our orders for food.


Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers (£3.95)

Yorkshire pudding with whipped chicken livers (£3.95)


I didn’t get to try this the last time round but I knew I absolutely had to get it this time! It arrived at our table, golden-brown and puffed up proudly in all its glory. We admired it for all but 2 minutes before I unceremoniously lifted the whole thing onto my plate and watched it collapse and die under my knife and fork as I portioned it out for us. The Yorkshire pudding was great but then they almost always are rather fabulous. But those whipped chicken livers??

I have a soft spot for liver, and love everything from the decadent and creamy foie gras to its decidedly smellier and rather more dubious counterpart of pig’s liver, which we eat back home, boiled in pig’s organ soup and doused with chilli – YUM. Unfortunately, neither AB nor AC  like liver ordinarily, but they very gamely gave it a go, and actually found it palatable, so that made me very pleased. But let’s hear from someone who actually enjoys liver (i.e. me), shall we?

From liver-lover to liver-lover, these whipped chicken livers were incredible. Lightly whipped, it had a mousse-like consistency, but not in that disappointingly airy way that just deflates in your mouth – it melts in your mouth instead into something cool and creamy. It doesn’t have the jelly-like consistency of terrines and parfaits, which I find a bit icky, and whereas pâté can be a bit coarse and unrefined, this was smooth and perfect. I really, really liked it. I do suggest you try this, even if you are rather more lily-livered than liver-lover (TRY SAYING THAT 10 TIMES IN A ROW).

There wasn’t really any question about what we were going to get for mains. Or rather, I dogmatically insisted on it and the 2 of them were far too sweet and nice to say no… :’)


Swainson House Farm Roast Chicken with baked garlic sauce and chips (for 2-3 to share) (£25)

Swainson House Farm Roast Chicken with baked garlic sauce and chips (for 2-3 to share) (£25)


It is really good though. It’s definitely the most popular item on the menu – you should’ve seen the number of chickens that were being ferried out of the kitchen. The waiter will carve it for you at your request, and also supply you with a gravy boat and a myriad of other sauces, though I must insist that you request for some bearnaise (which they don’t give to you otherwise), which is my personal favorite. Moist, succulent and super tasty, I enjoyed it just as much as I had on my last visit.


Buttered Winter Greens (£3.95/£6.75)

Buttered Winter Greens (£3.95/£6.75)


AB wanted to order this because she needed some veg in her life. Now, in a perfect world, I would ideally be able to tell you what vegetable this was. However, as we live in an imperfect world, I will simply hazard a guess that, if the slight bitterness in taste and squeakiness of the leaves are anything to go by, that these were brussels sprouts, and you shall have to take my word for it.

And then it was desert. We had to get this. We simply had to.


Salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts (£12.50)

Salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts (£12.50)


I’d panicked a bit earlier on when N told me that they were doing a milk chocolate fondue instead of the salted caramel one when she returned the other day. So I was really pleasantly surprised when I saw that the salted caramel fondue was back on the menu last night! The waitress told me that they switch it up occasionally but I was like, AHHHHHHH PLEASE NEVER CHANGEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! I will eat ANYTHING draped in that hot luscious amber liquid. ANYTHING, I tell you.

But why would I eat just any old thing when I can eat those heavenly marshmallows?!?! They were just as delicious as I remembered, and I simply had to beg the really sweet waiter for more. Luckily enough he obliged, setting down a plate of flabulously fat, fluffy marshies, while simultaneously extracting a promise from us that we would evacuate soon so that he could give our table to someone else (the restaurant was filled to the brim at this point). Now, on most other occasions I would have been really annoyed at being asked to leave, but since we were done with dinner anyway, and were planning on moving on to a bar shortly after, I didn’t mind in the least. It was actually a rather small price to pay for free marshmallows, in my book.

I really do like this place and highly recommend it but I doubt I’ll be returning any time soon myself because I would most likely only ever order the same things when I come here.

After we had paid, we moved on to Barrio East, where we had our drinks set on fire, and as almost invariably always happens, we ended up at McDs, when I experienced déjà vu in the form of nuggets and fries, essentially a much cheaper version of our dinner. Really good night with some wonderful, wonderful people I love very much. :’)


32 Rivington Street
Monday & Tuesday: 1130AM to 11PM
Wednesday-Saturday: 1130AM to 1230AM
Sunday: 1130AM to 10PM

Tramshed (London)

This place has been popping up all over the blogosphere so I’d had it noted down in my ever-expanding list of places to visit from quite a while back. But because A recently brought it to my attention again, I had to prioritise it and move it up in the rankings, promising her that I would try it on her behalf. And so, this post is dedicated to my lovely A, who I’m sure is having the time of her life in Berlin, and who I miss more and more everyday.
Tramshed is part of Mark Hix’s food empire. Famous for its chicken and steak (check out its url at the end of this post), the restaurant is situated above an art gallery and houses artwork by Damien Hirst, which N was extremely eggcited about.
This was the focal point of the restaurant. If you can’t see it clearly, it’s a suspended tank filled with water, holding a cow with a chicken perched atop it. I apologise if my lack of linguistic skill and artistic sensibilities means I am effectively reducing a piece of great art to little more than a peculiar centre piece. I promise I tried my hardest.
There was also this painting at the far end, but we didn’t get anywhere near enough to take a picture.
Image from here
Please take the time to listen to this and reminisce about your childhood and better days spent watching ridiculously disturbing cartoons like Cow & Chicken. 

The restaurant is in Shoreditch (but of course), a few minutes’ walk from Old Street tube station. We all know that I often get lost around the Old Street roundabout, but thankfully today I was with H and N, so we found our way there seamlessly enough. 
It was only 7PM but the place was already quite packed. Luckily I had made reservations because there was a constant stream of people coming and going throughout the night.
Knowing that the place was famous for its roast chicken and steaks, we made up our minds really quickly. Although it took a while to place our orders because the place was so busy, the food arrived much quicker than I expected, and I can’t tell you how good it all smelt when they brought it to our table.
Glenarm mighty-marbled Sirloin Steak – 250g (£22.50)
The steak was cooked to our specification. The outside was nicely charred and the meat was pink, tender and flavorful. I had a problem with the gristle though. Normally I LOVE the fat on steaks, but the fat on this was a bit too tough, almost rubbery, so I gave it a miss.
All steaks are served with chips and bearnaise sauce, which is my favorite accompaniment for steak. The tarragon flavor in this wasn’t too strong, and there was just the right amount of vinegar in it so that it didn’t taste “soapy”.
Now let’s talk about the chicken.
Swainson House Farm roast chicken
with baked garlic sauce and chips -
for two/three to share
Must say, that chicken doesn’t look too comfortable.
They serve it whole at the table and carve it up in front of you at your request. It’s often far too easy to dismiss roast chicken as an everyday dish that you would never order at a restaurant. I make the same mistake myself. But this was pretty spectacular. The skin wasn’t crispy (but let’s face it: the skin on roast chicken never goes that crispy) but it wasn’t flaccid or difficult to eat in the slightest. The meat was succulent, juicy and tasty.
The chips were good – crispy on the outside and fluffy within. And those that were nestled in and around the chicken, soaking up those meaty juices and fats? GEMS.
They serve the food with a variety of sauces and condiments which they’ll be more than happy to top up for you if you are running low on supply.
Carcass shot
And then we moved swiftly on to desserts.
We KNEW we had to get this.
Salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts (£12.50)
This totally stole the show. The salted caramel was smooth and the perfect balance of savoury and sweet. The doughnuts were like churros – crisp, airy, sugary, cinnamonny – but they weren’t outstanding. Those marshmallows though? I repeat, those marshmallows??? They were the BOMBDIGGITY.
I’ve had homemade marshmallows before, and have tried my hand at making them with friends, but these were really something else. They had the perfect texture. Soft and fluffy to the touch, light and spongy when you bite into it, and ever-so-slightly melty and gooey in the centre… We couldn’t help mm-ing and ahh-ing while eating them.
We loved them so much, I felt it necessary to make friends with the lovely waitress, who very sweetly slipped us some more. I told her she made my life and she laughed. Feel free to try your luck if you go.
As we were sharing our puddings, I felt the need to order another.
Credit crunch ice-cream with hot chocolate sauce (£1.90 per scoop – we got 3)
This was basically vanilla ice-cream with chocolate chunks and honeycomb swirled into it. It’s served with a pot of chocolate sauce on the side, for you to douse your ice-cream with as you see fit. (We actually forgot all about the chocolate sauce, so when we finally remembered it, we just upended the whole thing over our ice-cream hahaha.)
This was reasonably good, but how bad can vanilla ice-cream, chocolate chunks and honeycomb be? And to be fair, it was pretty hard to top those marshies.
All in all, it was a really good night and we definitely enjoyed the experience. Although the restaurant was really crowded, the large space and high ceilings meant it was still nice and airy, not stifling or cramped in the least. Also, I was pleasantly surprised by how effortlessly we could converse and hear one another over the general noise (again I think it was the high ceilings, but I could be wrong). 
One thing we noticed was how popular the restaurant was with MEN, particularly of the well-dressed, well-groomed variety, and we put it down to the type of fare they offer here. It definitely is a nice change of pace from pub grub. Having said that, I think the menu and presentation is still sophisticated enough for a girls’ night out.
We saw this on the wall along Rivington Street and I had to take a photo of it when I realised that this picture of Darwinian evolution, if reversed, is kind of like a pictorial representation of my friends and me when we eat. We start off civilised (extreme right)… and end up so full we can’t even stand up straight (extreme left).
After a day of no-holds-barred eating, even if I didn’t actually spontaneously combust and die from fear under my tutor’s steely gaze during Family Law today (I’m sure she could tell that I didn’t know the outcome of the case), I kind of exploded after my new neighbor came over for a night of ice-cream and girly talk.
32 Rivington Street
Monday & Tuesday: 1130AM to 11PM
Wednesday-Saturday: 1130AM to 1230AM
Sunday: 1130AM to 10PM

St. Moritz (London)

(I apologise in advance if the photos below are overwhelmingly orange-toned. The lighting was terrible – it even looked orange in real life. All my friends looked like little Essex girls.)

“Switzerland is a place where they don’t like to fight, so they get people to do their fighting for them while they ski and eat chocolate.” (Larry David)

That may well be true but I’m inclined to believe it’s because they are lulled into such good moods by daily fondues that they don’t need to fight in the first place.

Now, I know cheese fondue may not be everyone’s thing but it certainly is mine.

This place was discovered by my lovely, lovely Swiss friend, M, and we went there for the first time to celebrate her birthday last year. Since then it has become something of a tradition amongst our group of friends.

It is a tiny place, decorated in a rough and rustic style. Very warm and cosy, especially welcoming when it’s cold outside, it feels kind of like sitting in a little log cabin.


They also have other Swiss dishes here but we cannot bring ourselves to try anything else. (Although it is apparently Venison Season from 25th Oct to 2nd Dec, and apparently that’s a pretty big deal, so we may go check that out. See you there???) Most diners come here for the fondue as well. They offer many types of fondue here, including a meat and broth one called Fondue Chinoise, reminiscent of a Chinese steamboat. But we always go for the cheese fondues – the Fondue Moitie-Moitie, and the Fondue Valaisanne Aux Tomates, which has tomatoes in it. Both are served with baskets of bread and bowlfuls of boiled baby potatoes. Very no-frills and very delicious.

Fondue Valaisanne Aux Tomates: 
a smooth blend of gryuere, vacherin and tomatoes,
 served with new potaotes and bread 
(£17.90 per person)
Fondue Moitie-Moitie:
melted gruyere and vacherin cheese from Switzerland,
served with new potatoes and bread
(£17.90 per head)

It is also major carb overload. Don’t come here if you are afraid of carbs, since fondue is really a carboginist’s nightmare and a carboholic’s dream. It’s never a problem for us, because we are all carbs-a-go-go here! But to naysayers, I say, carpe diem! Seize the day! (Or really, carby diem hahahahahahahahahaha omg I just cracked up in front of the screen)

The bread is of the crusty, rustic variety, much better for fondue, because you don’t want to have soft bread that will just become soggy and wet without properly holding any of the cheese, eeps.The best part about fondue is that it’s such a convivial and sociable experience. You huddle around a bubbling cauldron of ooey gooey molten cheese with people you love. You have a chance to talk while you let your bread chunks or potatoes take a bit of a skinny dip in the jacuzzi of cheese – though since we are in fat town, it’s really more chunky dunking than skinny dipping……………. And once you are satisfied that your bread is absolutely saturated with cheese down to its very last pore, or that every square millimeter of your potato is completely draped with liquid gold, you may proceed to stuff your face. And repeat until you explode.

Please be warned that the taste of alcohol – fondues are usually made with kirsch – can be quite strong but me loves it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We always have some wine to accompany our fondue.

According to our Swiss Miss, if you lose the bread off your fondue fork, you’re meant to sing. Fair warning, I’m always game.

When you are nearing the end, a sort of crust will start to form and you should scrape it off and eat it because it is delicious and because you want to.
If you can’t get to the end, don’t feel bad, better people than you have tried. Even we sometimes don’t manage to finish it all, and we are pretty damn talented fondue-eaters.
I am not a fan of the desserts here. There isn’t a wide selection, and what I have tried really was not particularly memorable. However, the birthday cake we had on our virgin trip here, which I would like to believe was made in-house, was a delicious mountain of meringue, cream, sorbet and fresh fruit. I have half a mind to go in sometime and pretend it is my birthday to see if they make the same cake for every birthday.But never fear, L’eto Caffe is just a few doors down, and you can now proceed to roll on over and chase your dinner down with some honey cake.

(Before I end off, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE may I just talk about carbs? I am so carb-crazy I have an entire cupboard dedicated to carbs. I have christened it my CARBoard hahaha. Although asking me to choose my favorite carb is really like asking a mother to choose her favorite child, I think if it weren’t for the fact that I need some savory in my life, my favorite carb would be cake.)

161 Wardour Street
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 12PM to 3PM, 6PM to 1130PM
Sat: 12PM to 1130PM
Sun: 12PM to 1030PM