I popped into London for a day, and the first thing that came to mind was - where should we eat?! There was absolutely no point looking through Tripadvisor (especially if you don't know where about you are going to eat) because there are over 17k restaurants/ eateries in London.
My sister in law came to the rescue and recommended a Mexican restaurant - Wahaca, which is well decorated, serves really gorgeous food and at an extremely reasonable price, especially for London in Oxford Circus! We really enjoyed the British Steak Burritos, and I love my Hibiscus fizzy drink (cranberry plus hibiscus).
It turns out that there is a branch in Manchester too, so it's not far from us at all. Hubby is interested too after checking out the menu, so we'll be expecting a visit there soon!
The thing I didn't do was asking for dinner's recommendation. We were in Green Park so I just searched for an Italian restaurant nearby, without thinking of what kind of restaurants they have in the area. Don't get me wrong, I do like to dine at fancy restaurants too, but I would have preferred to be prepared for it.
When we popped into Franco's in St. James, and the lovely receptionist asked for our coats, I knew immediately that we've stumbled upon one and well, I panicked haha (my family laughed at me when I said it was near The Ritz Hotel. It's so obvious!). Franco's isn't the kind that will kick you out of the restaurant just because you are dressed in jeans or whispered a bit too loud though, in fact, the staff were really nice, and the food was absolutely delicious.
You know that it is quality food, and the flavours are beautiful. We had Lobster Linguine and Rib Eye Steak, both cooked to perfection, and I have to say that it was the best steak I had in restaurants! Normally steak are seasoned with salt and pepper, and comes with a sauce on the side. Franco's steak is well seasoned without the need of anything else with it. If we visit again I'd love to have the steak again! We were also given bread sticks, what I think is crispy thin crackers(?) and really tasty Italian bread before the meal, and cookies (I'm guessing biscotti and shortbread?) after.
I'd recommend both restaurants, whether you live in London or are just visiting.
And yesterday, I finally made the Deco Roll (decorated Swiss Roll) that I have been wanting to make since last month. I've made decorated cake border before, although not really good! This time I bought a book for detailed instructions (I love Japanese recipe books because they come with step by step images, AND every single recipe has images as well), and apart from dropping the cake on the table ("clumsy" and "blur" is part of me unfortunately) and not managing to tap all the air bubbles out from the batter, I'm pretty happy with it!
The cake recipe is kind of fool proof, but you have to overcome a classic technique barrier to get the spot on texture (instead of folding the meringue into the batter, you fold AND stir, and stir it like you mean it!). I've also learned that, to make what the American's called Cake Flour (gives really light and very fine crumbs cakes), you replace 2-3 tablespoon of Plain flour (from 1 cup) to corn starch. Cake Flour is essential if you want the perfect Angel's Cake, or what we call Chiffon Cake.
Deco Rolls can be so pretty I want to use them as gifts. So I'll definitely test bake it again.