As I mentioned in the Dishoom post, this trip to London is all about Indian food! A few months ago I was at a lunch with an Indian family living in London and I asked for her list of best Indian restaurants. She gave me a list of 10 and I couldn’t wait for my next trip to London! First to check off the list – Gymkhana!
I can’t help it – if I’m in London I always go to Dishoom! Dishoom is inspired by the old Irani cafes in Bombay, a faded elegance, and is where you can find delicious street-style Indian cuisine. There are locations throughout London and I’ve already been to the ones in Kings Cross and Soho. Never disappoints.
For Christmas, we gave Dook and Els a 3 day trip to London in February. I really love London and have been lucky enough to go quite often over the years, so I volunteered to create the itinerary. Not everyone had been in London before, so I created a 3 day introduction to London planning!
Often for work I need to go to London and I always look forward to choosing where to eat in the evening. This time I was in the city for a week, so there were many opportunities to explore the culinary scene. Because my hotel was in Mayfair, all of the restaurants we visited are in the City of Westminster (click if you want to read an earlier post about the borough). To make it easy, I’ve divided the restaurants into 4 categories: British, Indian, Pubs and Street Food!
Good Indian restaurants is something Antwerp is really missing. So when we’re in the mood, we tend to dedicate an entire Sunday preparing dinner. This time we chose to recreate the delicious dahl we had at Dishoom in London’s King’s Cross. Although rather than cooking for 24 hours, I only had the afternoon and let it simmer for 5 hours (the next day it was even more delicious!).
The last few times I’ve been in London have been for work, not really for sight-seeing. But this time Koen needed to go London for work, so I tagged along and was able to do some exploring – including the neighborhood where we stayed – King’s Cross, while Koen was in meetings and conferences.
One of the reasons we decided to stay in Notting Hill is because we love the movie Notting Hill. Do you remember the scene in the movie, that in order to show how much time has passed by, you see Hugh Grant walking through a market? Well that market is the Portobello Market and we visited it during Day Four, enjoying a big brunch and sweets.
This summer there was a traveling food truck festival throughout Belgium – Barrio Cantina. Of course Koen and I didn’t want to miss out on the Antwerp edition!
The location was perfect. More than 40 food trucks organized on the Steenplein, so we could enjoy our food with a view of Het Steen and the River Scheldt.
On facebook, I saw a list from Buzzfeed of 23 Classic Indian Restaurant Dishes You Can Make At Home and immediately wanted to make everything. I chose four dishes to begin with – Mango Chutney, Raita, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Naan. I have to say that normally I cheat a bit whenever I make Indian food. I buy jars of mango chutney, raita (yoghurt cucumber sauce), a basic curry paste for which ever main course I’d like, and prepackaged naan (Indian yoghurt based bread). When I browsed the recipes they each seemed easy, but when it came time to make everything in one day I instantly regretted it. Unless you want to spend your entire afternoon cooking, you should definitely make the mango chutney 2 days before and the raita 1 day before. It will taste better anyway because the flavors can settle. If you prepare these two sides ahead of time, then you have time to focus on your main course and making the naan. All four dishes were fantastic! At least all the time and effort I put in was worth it 🙂