BBQ Special #3—yes, we have visited 3 American-style BBQ restaurants in London within a couple of weeks—great for a direct comparison, but perhaps not so good for my waistline (hence my more-frequent-than-usual gym visits). This time we have come to west London, for a change of scene, to the Meat & Shake Southern Barbecue in Ealing, a “new kid in the block”. What makes this restaurant chain quite appealing is that they are halal, making them suitable for the friend we are meeting up with tonight.
Unlike Bodean’s and Red’s True BBQ, there are no animal skulls on the wall at Meat & Shake. The decors here are simple and vibrant; quite a relax vibe. Good choices of music playing at the background—Kings of Leon, “Tetra” by C2C, a bit of “Sweet Home Alabama”… you get the gist.
In the not-so-distant past, the idea of burgers and ribs would equate to fast-food to most people. Not any more. In the last few years, fashionable BBQ restaurant chains have opened their doors to hungry diners all over London and beyond, and the number is growing.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to Bodean’s Old Street, which I blogged about here. Tonight, 8 of us are having a gathering and we have come to Red’s True BBQ in trendy Shoreditch, which has only been open since July.
It was seven O’clock on a Friday eve. We found ourselves in Old Street, a lively area of Central East London. We were here to give our friend a proper send-off before he ran off to Oz, to start a business to build energy storage systems for the home, from discarded cells (Relectrify.com). Good for him!
Tonight was particularly bustling. People everywhere. Not just because it was a Friday, tonight was the start of the RWC 2015—Opening Ceremony followed by England’s first pool match against Fiji! After a few pints at the pub, we couldn’t resist our rumbling stomaches any longer and a liquid dinner just wouldn’t cut it. We unanimously decided to have a change of scene and move on to somewhere good to get a bite to eat.
It’s time for a second Supper Club group gathering. Where to go? It had to be Al Boccon Di’ vino(aka, the ‘divine mouthful’)! It’s a casual family-run Italian restaurant hidden in Richmond (the beautiful suburban town of Southwest London). Upon entering this little gem, you will be instantly transferred from the hustle and bustle of your daily London life into an intimate osteria hidden in one of the maze of alleys of Venice. I I first heard about Al Boccon Di’vino from a couple of family friends who used to live in Richmond, and had nothing but great things to say about this unique little place. I was properly introduced to the restaurant when one of my colleagues organised a little get-together and invited me – you guessed it, I jumped on the opportunity and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course, this would make a perfect spot for our second Supper Club outing! What’s so special about this place you ask? 1) The restaurant is very intimate – only about a handful of tables and offers one sitting per meal-time. 2) There is no menu – you simply let them know what you do or do not eat. 3) Like wine? Sure, just choose the colour and it won’t go wrong. 4) The team consisted of the larger-than-life chef-owner (Riccardo Grigolo), the lovely Simona Gilmeanu and their catering staff will make sure you feel like part of their family and guarantee you a bloody great time! Do you need more reasons? No? Great. Oh, two words of advice though: come hungry. Continue reading “Living it Large: Al Boccon Di’ vino”
The idea of Supper Club materialised just in time my need for exploring more of the London dining scene, when one of my husband’s colleagues organised a trip to the theatre-land of the West End for “The Importance of Being Earnest”. What a perfect opportunity (and excuse) to have a group of wonderful people (who I don’t know) grabbing a bite to eat together and getting to know each other. Introducing Supper Club; first stop Belgo Centraal, which offers uncomplicated yet delicious Belgian delicacies.