Posts Tagged ‘Yorkshire pudding’

The Abingdon (London)

I am a firm believer in the idea that good food should be shared, and I’ll very shamelessly let it be known that I really find pleasure in taking people’s (food) virginities. In fact, I am so often right there in the thick of it during my friends’ first times, I secretly consider myself a Casanova of sorts HAHAHA.

And so, when J mentioned that she had never had STP before (WHICH MEANS THAT, ALTHOUGH SHE IS A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE, THERE IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF MY PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MAKE-UP THAT SHE HAS YET TO UNDERSTAND, AS STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING RUNS IN THESE VEINS I TELL YOU!!!!!), we decided that we would make an occasion of it and have a good old Sunday lunch with our wonderful, wonderful girlies, AB and AC. (Sorry for awkz abbreviations, girls.) I really think girls meeting for a proper, stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal should be a thing. Especially since brunch is no longer strictly a gender-specific girly activity anymore.

We were going to go to Pig & Butcher at first (see posts here and here), but 1) they were fully booked 2) there was no STP!!!!!! So I decided to take the girls to the Abingdon instead.

I was first brought here by my lovely W, whom I miss dearly, and is living proof that not all lawyers are bad people (only half joking), for a second lunch post-Yashin HAHAHA. In fact, I still have photos from that day, which was almost 3 years ago! So applaud my dedication for trawling through my immense food photo collection just to find these photos, friends.

I THINK this was roast veal.

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And STP!!!!!!

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Omg!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve just realised that it was his first time having STP too! Looks like there is a pattern emerging here, ladies and gents.

Anyway. 

The Abingdon is just a short walk away from Earls’ Court/High Street Ken tube stations. Inside, it’s really homey and welcoming. It’s bright and airy and couldn’t be further away from your idea of a stuffy old pub. Their Sunday lunch menu is very reasonably priced – 2 courses for £19.50, or 3 courses for £26.

As soon as you’ve settled down, a server will come around proffering a basket of warm bread, which is always nice. If you’re going to shove something in my face, it better be something edible.

Today, 2 of us went with the lamb, while the other 2 went with the sirloin. I don’t think it’s that hard to guess which one I went with, although I was a little torn when I saw that there was pork belly on the menu as well. All roasts are served with braised red cabbage, seasonal vegetables, duck fat roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.

The food arrived pretty quickly, which wasn’t surprising since the components of Sunday roast are usually all ready to go, and just require some quick reheat-and-assembly work.

Roast leg of salt marsh lamb

Roast leg of salt marsh lamb

Slow roast Aberdeen Angus sirloin

Slow roast Aberdeen Angus sirloin

 

Now, I will confess that I was not immediately hit with a sense of abundance, which is what I subconsciously tend to expect when I have Sunday roast. However, I will qualify this by saying that the portion IS reasonably generous, and you WILL be full. I just think that Sunday roasts should INTIMIDATE, as I am a glutton for punishment. (But mainly just a glutton.)

So. The meat.

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You all know that lamb is my favourite meat, so I am biased as anything, and to do a comparison between the lamb and the sirloin would simply be unfair and frankly, moot. But I will do a comparison between the roast lamb at the Abingdon and the one at P&B (see post here).

For me, both were cooked to the perfect level of doneness, so that, colour-wise, the meat was rosy-pink, and texture-wise, it was buttery-soft and tender. But for me, lamb has GOT TO BE fatty. It’s a pre-requisite, and also probably why it’s my favourite meat. Fat is flavour, people. Therefore, I would have to say that I preferred the lamb at the Abingdon.

And now, the accompaniments.

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The Yorkshire pudd was perhaps not as massively billowy as I would like, but it was nice and eggy. And I don’t think you can really have a bad Yorkshire pudd, to be honest. As for the roast potatoes, I liked that you could definitely taste the rosemary in the spuds, but in terms of crispness-to-fruffiness ratio, they were not as good as the P&B ones for me.

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I will confess that I was not the biggest fan of their roast veg. There wasn’t a good enough balance of flavours for me, most of these vegetables being predominantly sweet. I had been really eggcited for the braised red cabbage, especially since the incredible braised red cabbage I had last winter at P&B (sorry for the constant comparison between the 2), but this didn’t live up to my expectations. This wasn’t as meltingly-tender or flavourful as I had hoped it would be.

But no matter.

BECAUSE IT WAS STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The first time, for both AC and J. And the 32498320143518075348732342459438140293410238508th time for me. AB went with the crème brûlée instead.

Vanilla crème brûlée with homemade short biscuit

Vanilla crème brûlée with homemade short biscuit

 

The crème brûlée came in a small portion, but you know you can’t have too much crème brûlée. (If I say this, then it must be true.) I think they could have made the caramelised sugar layer a bit sweeter, a bit more burnished, but the custard portion itself was lovely – rich, creamy and not too sweet. The shortbread was a good addition to have alongside, the slight savouriness of the butter preventing the whole dessert from becoming too sickly sweet.

Not that sickly sweet is always a problem. STP is sickly sweet, but it’s a sickly sweet I can live with. No, a sickly sweet I live for.

Cue Regina Spektor… You are my sweetest downfall – I loved you first, I loved you first……………………..

Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce & clotted cream

Sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce & clotted cream

 

I will tell you very honestly that this is not the best STP in London. (OKAY, I KNOW I STILL HAVE YET TO SHARE WITH YOU WHERE I THINK THE BEST STP IS, BUT I STILL NEED TO GO RECCE. BE PATIENT. GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT.) But it is still a perfectly good rendition of it, definitely good enough to introduce to 2 STP-virgins, both of whom, I am pleased to say, really enjoyed it.

Flavor-wise, this was great, so no complaints there. AC really liked it with the clotted cream, while J mentioned that she would have preferred vanilla ice-cream instead. And I just love STP with ANYTHING – clotted cream, vanilla ice-cream, custard………………..

My tiny, tiny issue was with the texture. STP is meant to be dense but it has still got to be soft, squidgy and moist all the way through. Some recipes don’t ask for you to completely macerate the dates, and that’s fine, because I can deal with a bit of date here and there, but the problem here was more to do with uneven cooking. There were parts of this that were a little tough, easily remedied when drenched in the luscious toffee sauce, but still.

Okay. I am not seriously complaining. An STP is an STP, and I will take what I can get. I was still very much a happy child.

I mean, how can you not when faced with this????????

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So yeah. I think caught a glimpse into my soul today. We are now tight as anything HAHAHA. But no, in all seriousness, I really did have a flabulous afternoon with my wonderful girls! LOVE YOUS.

As for the rest of you, I hope you had a great weekend! Definitely do check out the Abingdon if you are in the area, and I promise I’ll do a post on Ad Cod as well soon! Actually, I’m going to P&B – again! – in a few days’ time, but I think I’ll spare you guys yet another post on it hahaha.

 

THE ABINGDON

54 Abingdon Road, London W8 6AP

OPENING HOURS:

Monday to Saturday: 1230PM to 11PM

Sunday: 1230PM to 1030PM

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

 

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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
London
EC2A 3LX
Monday & Tuesday: 1130AM to 11PM
Wednesday-Saturday: 1130AM to 1230AM
Sunday: 1130AM to 10PM