Meal at Da Vinci’s in Twickenham

I’ve been suggested to remove my post about my meal at Da Vinci but go there for pizza! ‘Tis is nice!

Sorry that the blogging has slowed down recently on Munch and Makeup – I’ve just bought a house with my boyfriend so have been awfully busy! Will be back on it soon though.


Visit to Imperial China in Teddington

This is my favourite place to eat dim sum. What’s even better is that this restaurant is close to home, so I thought it would write about this place.

I’ve noticed that after a few years of eating at Imperial China, it’s getting busier and busier, especially on the weekends. The last weekend I went, we didn’t book a table and had to wait 40 min. However, a couple of people who had actually booked a table – had to wait even longer, I think it was because they were waiting for a table for 2, which the restaurant has very little of. Ok, so the service fluctuates – as it gets busier, the staff get more stressed and the service starts to go downhill, but the food however, is delicious every time!

The dim sum menu is extensive at Imperial China. My favourite dishes are the pork puff pastries, prawn dumplings and the baby chilli squids.

The pork puff pastries are fresh, flaky and the meat inside is so tasty. The prawn in the prawn dumplings are big, delicious, and the pastry wrapped around the prawns are perfect. The baby chilli squids are on the main menu and are a bit expensive, but are definitely something worth treating yourself too, if you like squid. I love the chilli kick that the crispy squids have.

The standard of food at Imperial China, has always been better than the dim sum restaurants that I’ve been to in China Town. It’s well worth a visit if you like the little parcels of goodness. Just get to the restaurant early!

Which is your favourite restaurant? What are your favourite dim sum dishes?

Visit to the Modern Pantry

The Modern Pantry Over the weekend I went to The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell with some of my family to celebrate my cousin’s birthday over brunch.

The restaurant decor was clean, fresh and modern and the atmosphere was casual, relaxed and busy at the same time. The staff were friendly and warm as we arrived. We were 10 minutes late for our booking but our table wasn’t ready yet anyway.

Once the table was ready, we were seated upstairs. The restaurant is set in a Georgian listed building, which felt homely and welcoming. It’s definitely a nice place for friends to catch up at.

To drink, I had organic apple juice (£3.00) which was nicely presented with a slice of apple in it. However, it tasted a bit weak after a while because of all the ice that was in the glass. To eat, I ordered a cooked breakfast. I chose two poached eggs and toast with smoked streaky bacon, slow roast vine ripened tomatoes and buttered mushrooms (£8.50).

Unfortunately the food took over an hour to arrive, it was like they forgotten about us! They did acknowledge this and when the food came, they said there was no charge for the food which was really nice.

The food was nicely presented and really tasty (not sure if I was just very hungry though!). The poached eggs and mushrooms were perfect, the bacon was nice but wasn’t a great fan of the bread which was very oily. All in all, it was a nice breakfast treat!

In the end we only paid for the drinks and service charge. The service could have been better, but if I’m in the City again, I would definitely go to The Modern Pantry again as there are other things on the menu I would like to try!

Have you visited The Modern Pantry before? Leave a comment on Munch and Makeup and let me know how your experience was.

Bounty Milkshake Recipe

In my previous posts on munch and makeup, I’ve written about a strawberry milkshake recipe and also a Oreo milkshake recipe. Over the weekend my boyfriend and I decided to try making a bounty milkshake.

We blended up two chocolate bars, half a tub of ice cream and some milk.

It tasted like a coconut dream!

Do you like coconut? Let me know what your favourite milkshake is…

Guest post: Visit to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

My boyfriend and his mates went to Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, which was recently awarded one Michelin Star. After being very jealous that he didn’t take me, I got him to write me a guest post on munch and makeup to make up for it! Here’s what he had to say…

We arrived 10 minutes before our table was ready, the restaurant was located in Mandarin Oriental Hotel in prestigious Knightsbridge. The whole of the first floor of the hotel seemed to be dedicated to the restaurant, rather than the usual hotel lobby. There was a separate bar before you went into the restaurant, which looked really nice, but we didn’t go there.

We booked an early table (6.30pm) on a Sunday, so the restaurant was quite empty and quiet. However, all the tables were full by 7pm! The attentive and very friendly staff seated us next to kitchen, which had a glass wall so you could see the food being cooked. The menus were already on the table, ready for us to analyse and decide what we wanted to eat!

Ordering was the hard part, the waitress had to come back to us a couple of times because we just couldn’t choose!

Before picking what food we wanted, we ordered bottled water for the table and both a bottle of red and white wine, which included the 2007 RieslingTrocken Grosses Gewächs Jesuitengarten Bassermann-Jordan, Germany (£95.00) and 2005 Catena Zapata Malbec ArgentinoMendoza, Argentina (£135.00) and then carried on with bottles of Rioja throughout the night.

We had to order our dessert, the tipsy cake, the same time as our starters, as the chef had to prepare and spit roast the pineapple. A bit strange but well worth it!!

I chose the rice and flesh (c.1390 – saffron, calf tail and red wine) to start (£16.00) and the others chose, meat fruit (c.1500 – mandarin, chicken liver parfait and grilled bread) £13.50, salamugundy (c.1720 – smoked calves heart, beetroot, horseradish and walnut) £15.50 and savoury porridge (c.1660 – snails, girolles, garlic and fennel) £14.50.

The rice and flesh was well cooked and had a strong flavour which I can’t describe. For my main dish I shared the wing rib of Irish Angus for 2 (c.1830) which is described on the menu as having mushroom ketchup, red wine juice and fries (£72.00). The meat was quite fatty but you could eat a chunk with a chip and it was really good and so tasty. The chips were also superb. They were three times cooked which made the chips crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

After the mains, came the best bit –the tipsy cake! It was like a fluffy chewy hot sweet bun with pineapple bits. It hit the spot with my sweet tooth! It’s probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten and the custard was out of this world.

To finish, we had a bottle of Tawny Port (£95) I had a great time at Dinner and would recommend that everyone should go at least once! Overall we spent £680 which included a service charge.

Puff Pastry Pizzas

My housemate from uni showed me how to make puff pastry pizzas back in Bournemouth. They are so easy to make and I still eat them now, so I thought that I would share the recipe on Munch and Makeup.

I cheated with the pastry by buying Just Roll’s ready to cook pastry from the supermarket, rolled it out on a buttered baking tray and then used tomato puree for the base (although at uni we just used Bolognese sauce from the jar), topped it with grated cheese and added mushrooms, mozzarella and cooked meats including Italian Prosciutto, Salami Milano and Chorizo.

Popped it in the oven for 10 minutes at 170C and it was done!

Yes, my baking tray is very old and looks worse for wear, but I am actually buying a new one today!

Flaky puff pastry is one of my favourite things! What toppings would you choose for a puff pastry pizza?

Visit to Rock and Rose Restaurant

Last weekend my boyfriend and I went for dinner and drinks at Rock and Rose restaurant in Richmond.

The staff were really friendly when we arrived, the atmosphere was buzzing and the decor was certainly glamorous. There were lots of roses, chandeliers, bright pinks and blacks!

First, we headed to the bar for a pre-dinner drink. It was very busy and took a while to get served, we also noticed that a couple of the bar staff didn’t seem to get along – one told the other his mojitos looked bad in the Asahi glasses! Apart from that, my cocktail was well worth the wait! I had the cocktail of the week which was the chocolate martini, which is supposed to be an after dinner cocktail but I couldn’t wait to try it!

We were shown to our table and ordered a bottle of gewurtztraminer to drink and some bread and olives to nibble on.

To start my boyfriend got grilled halloumi bruschetta, portabello mushrooms and figs which he enjoyed and never knew he liked figs until then! He says the bruschetta was awesome!

I had the chilli salt squid to start, which was wonderfully chewy on the inside with a nice crunch on the outside. The sweet chilli dipping sauce gave it a nice spicy kick.

I had the rock and rose glazed ribs as my main course, the portion was bigger than what I expected and came with hand cut rock fries with coleslaw. I loved the saucy ribs and the delicious tasting chips. I wasn’t a fan of the coleslaw though, it was warm and soft and I like mine crunchy and cool.

My boyfriend had the Angus rib eye steak rare with hand cut chips, but he didn’t really enjoy it. He said the cut was tasteless and was too charred on the outside and his chips were too big and quite crispy but not really cooked through.

We were so full but got tempted with the dessert menu and ordered a white chocolate & passion fruit cheesecake. It tasted heavenly and the passion fruit sauce gave the white chocolate a nice tang.

The meal came to £94.50 plus service charge which is quite pricey for just a normal night out, but will definitely come back and have already recommend this place to my friends. The meal could have cost more if we didn’t check the bill, as two portions of the monkfish curry was added onto it which weren’t ours!