We walked and ate our way through London… we were super exhausted on our first night because we had clocked more than 30,000 steps that day. In this post, I will cover the food consumed, and I will talk about the places we visited in the next post.
Pret A Manger
Our first meal in London was actually sandwiches from Pret A Manger. I had been searching for affordable meals/food in London and I saw several branches of Pret A Manger on Google Maps. There was one outlet just outside Liverpool Street station when we arrived in the early morning, so we just grabbed some sandwiches there and ate while we walked to our accommodation. I got myself an egg mayo & watercress sandwich £1.75. No pictures because it’s just your standard egg mayo sandwich.
After we were settled in our accommodation, we started our sightseeing journey and came across yet another Pret A Manger (told you they are everywhere!). I decided to get myself a coconut coffee because non-dairy milks are always good for me. Not the best tasting coffee because we are so used to cow’s milk, but I’m glad that the creamy coconut did not overpower the coffee taste. It wasn’t too lemak.
I had the tantanmen £11.40 (sesame, chilli, pork mince, chashu pork, bok choy in chicken bone broth) and he had the yuzu tonkotsu £11.40 (grilled pork belly, spring onion, bamboo, egg in pork bone broth). To be honest, I did not think it was fantastic because I just had Ippudo recently, but I definitely enjoyed it! The chashu and molten egg were wonderful. We also ordered the Korean Fried Chicken £6.80 for 3 wings. I was wowed by how crispy the chicken was, even though it was coated in sauce!
*Note that there is an additional 12.5% service charge on top of the menu prices
It was mid-afternoon when we arrived at Borough Market, so we did not have a lot. Oysters were the main deal for me at Borough Market. These freshly shucked oysters from Richard Haward were so good – huge, plump and full of briny flavor. You may want to note that I usually eat my oysters with a squeeze of lemon juice and a couple drops of Tobasco sauce. I’m no expert. There was another recommendation from my friend, just diagonally across from Richard but I found Richard to be more affordable (£5.50 for 4).
Poppies Fish & Chips
You cannot say that you’ve been to England without trying their fish & chips right? Poppies is one of the best known places for fish & chips, so we had to try them. We got ourselves a takeaway order for a large cod and regular fries, because takeaway prices are cheaper and you don’t end up smelling like grease.
The order came up to £10.50 (sorry I cannot remember their individual pricing already but you can find them online) – the chips or steak fries as I know them, are ok, and the fish was moist and the batter still crispy even though I slathered it in malt vinegar and subjected them to a 10 min steambath while we walked back to the hotel. However, the fish was on the thin side, so not a lot of meat for the price.
We had our standing lunch at Portobello market, eating as we move along. We had a chicken samosa for £1.50, and a serving of seafood paella for £7. The chicken samosa was good albeit cold, I really liked the Indian flavors. The paella was a little lackluster, probably because we got the last few portions of the pan, so we got some charred rice and not a lot of seafood.
Le Pain Quotidien
For an afternoon snack, I got myself a plain scone while ZH got himself a chocolate croissant from Le Pain Quotidien. We didn’t know that this was a popular bakery chain but the croissant was good – buttery layers of pastry and bittersweet chocolate. My scone, on the other hand, was a little disappointing. It was a little doughy for my liking.
Burgers & Lobsters has always been a popular choice for lobster-lovers when in London, but I decided to go for Big Easy instead because I’ve heard recent bad reviews about B&L. Big Easy also offers lobsters for a good price. I had the 1.5lb lobster while ZH had the lobster bake. Among the two, we preferred the plain lobster because of the quality of the lobster meat. The other seafood within the lobster bake were not as impressive as the lobster.
This was a highlight of our “eatcapade” as good Chinese food is a rare find in Bremen. It came highly recommended by my friend, and touted as a popular joint of the SIA cabin crew. We ordered the “3 treasures rice” and “jzap kum chao hor” – both items off the menu. Unfortunately, since they are off the menu and the receipt only gave the total price of both dishes (£22.80 for both dishes), I cannot tell you how much they cost individually.
The “3 treasures rice” is basically roast duck, roast pork and char siew with rice. I only tried the roast pork because I don’t really like duck that much and I also had char siew in my hor fun. The roast pork was seasoned beautifully. The roast meat counter was up in front, by the door, so we saw that the restaurant relies on the microwave to heat up the roast meats instead of having the heat lamps. Despite this, the roast pork crackling was still crunchy. Impressive.
I came here for the hor fun because my friend said the wok hei here is good, and you know what? She’s absolutely right. Not many places get the wok hei right, even in Singapore. If I had to nitpick, it would be that the restaurant used kuay teow instead of proper hor fun, but that’s just me saying because I love love love hor fun.
Marks & Spencer’s cake tray
I may or may not have indulged in one too many pastries from Marks & Spencer’s. My air stewardess friend is always bringing back their strawberry scones to Singapore on her London flights and I now know why. They are DELISH. Soft, buttery, crumbly, goes so well with that lightly sweetened whipped cream and strawberry jam.
The eclairs were pretty good as well, but the cake slices in the middle were a tad too sweet for us due to the thick icing layer on top.