The Hangover Platter – Breakfast Delivery – South West London

Granted, it’s a first world dilemma but don’t you hate it when you wake up in the morning after a heavy night, there’s nothing in the house to eat, and your belly sounds like an angry bear? Topping it all off like a rotten cherry on top is also the fact that in order to get food you’re going to have to circumnavigate your local profit-distorting grocery store (with all the other morons who drank one too many gin and tonics the night before) in order to bring home the bacon.

PLUS none of your favourites on Just Eat have even starting firing up their deep fryers yet.

Who are you, quite literally, going to call? The Hangover Platter perhaps? These folks have come up with a new concept which frankly I wish I’d thought of. You order when you’re hungover, choosing from a mixed selection of savoury and sweet plates, they bring it to your door. The service operates between 9am and 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays, delivering (at the moment) in the following postcodes: SW2, SW4, SW9, SW11 1, SW12, SW16, SW17.

Why small plates? They say it’s because when you’re hungover you can never decide what to eat. To be fair this is true; when I have managed to haul my ass out of bed in order to buy food after an evening of inebriation, I tend to buy the shop. So what do they serve up…here’s what I got delivered to me!

Above is baked egg pot with supergreens and toasted parmesan crumbs. Really quite tasty and the egg was still runny. I think they’re working on their packaging still as it was lukewarm on arrival but very fresh and something that I could never be arsed to whip up at 11am on a Sunday morning!



Above, from left to right working clockwise, toasted granola with grated apple and yoghurt pot; fresh guacamole (which came with some granary bread) – seriously this was banging!; classic full English breakfast pot with a twist – this was a tad on the sweet side and needed toning down a bit; and the baked egg dish again.

I also tried the brownie (drowing in chocolate already!); fresh fruit salad and the Haribo (I don’t think they’re homemade but we’ll forgive them in this instance).

You know what, I love this idea, and the food was totally fresh and really reasonably priced. I know they still have a few things to iron out as they only launched at the end of October but it is off the ground, it will fly. Seriously, have a go when you’re hanging next Sunday. It’s almost worth getting drunk for.

The Hangover Platter delivers in the following postcodes:
W2, SW4, SW9, SW11 1, SW12, SW16, SW17.
Open: 9am-2pm on Saturdays & Sundays



SW2 Brixton – Boqueria Tapas – Restaurant review

The 101 of writing is that you always start with something to captivate your reader. I tell this to people I’ve taught to write in the past. As we all know, every good teacher lies and breaks their own rules. Every good teacher also however, works long hour days and becomes fatigued with time. So, I trust you are in a captivate-able mood and allow me to bewitch you with my review, as the title of this post suggests, of Boqueria Tapas on Acre Lane in Brixton.

Pan con ali-oli, as you great linguaphile Brits will know, is garlic mayonnaise. Except it wasn’t garlicly enough at Boqueria Tapas, there was very little flavour – even the olive oil flavour didn’t shine. I needed a bit more *hmm*. My compañera and I couldn’t find the right adjective, but we decided if there was an adjective that sounded like a growl, then that’s what the ali-oli needed. More growl please.

Pan con ali-oli

Pan con ali-oli

When the Calamares a la romana (deep fried squid and lemon mayonnaise) arrived, we’d almost forgotten that we’d ordered it. We were still picking at the small plates on our table anyway, so it didn’t matter too much that it had come with a substantial ‘interlude’ between the first set of tapas that had been served. Not to worry, we tucked in. The squid itself was hot and freshly cooked as it should be; tender and nothing like the Michelin-tough cephalopods I’ve had in bygone times. And by Michelin I’m referring to the rubber tyres. So far so good. There were a few little things however, the batter was a bit thin and something was lacking. When I bite into crispy fried calamari I want to jump for joy, and I just couldn’t seem to find the jump in this particular dish. I enjoyed the lemon mayonnaise dip though.


Calamares a la romana

Alcachofas salteadas con ajo, perjil y guindilla was a very, very delicious dish. It probably looks the least appealing from all the pictures I have taken, but these sautéed artichokes (served warm) with garlic, parsley and chilli were really fresh and simple. I was struck actually, at how infrequently I eat non-tinned artichokes, so much so that my brain was already expecting the vinegary sour aftermath. It didn’t materialise which made me have second thoughts: “what have I just eaten”? I almost had to do the palate equivalent of a double take. They were a lovely surprise.

Alcachofas salteadas con ajo, perjil y guindilla

Alcachofas salteadas con ajo, perjil y guindilla

The next dish was tortilla española. Could we have chosen anything less adventurous? Probably not. The Welshman sneered at me when I told him that we’d ordered it. But it’s like I said in my last post when I reviewed Amirah’s Kitchen in Wandsworth, you’ve got to check that the establishment is A. capable of the basics, and B. put through their paces. I also need to stop apologising on this blog for what I order. It’s my food and I’m darn well going to eat it.

Tortilla espanola

Tortilla espanola

As the side of my fork pressed into the golden slice of egg, potato and onion, the tortilla crumbled into fluffy semi-aggregated chunks. It was a beautiful, delicate texture and I heaped the morsels into a stable triangle on my fork – like you do when you’re trying to savour every bit of sponge remaining on your plate, long after you’ve finished your allotted portion of cake. The onion, potato, eggs – yes – all the flavours came through and lived up to the very moment I’d pushed through the bronzed top of the tortilla. But hang on a second. What is that? Sweetness. Yes, really sweet! It was not like the sweetness of carbohydrate that finds its origins in a potato. Like caster sugar sweet. This was not good. I hardly ate any more after that, save for the time when I needed a second confirmation on the true seasoning of this dish.

What happened? Had the chef put sugar in instead of salt? It certainly tasted that way. Oh dear.

Patatas bravas were less disappointing. Lovely, perfectly-seasoned potatoes with a millimetre-thin crisp coating were served piping hot.  Naturally they were topped with a piquant tomato sauce (could’ve been a dab more piquant for my taste buds, but then I have an asbestos tolerance to chilli), and ali-oli. Weirdly this ali-oli had the ‘growl’ my companion and I had lamented earlier in the evening.

Patatas bravas

Patatas bravas

Selección de quesos – it’s no surprise I almost forgot to write about the selection of cheeses. They arrived very late indeed. All our plates, cutlery and empty vessels had been cleared. It was a bit odd. Again, my companion and I had forgotten about this dish – tapas is a very distracting meal and we were getting quite full.

Spanish cheese selection

Spanish cheese selection

I asked the waiter if he could provide an description of each of the cheeses. He did. It was vague. “This is manchego. This is goat’s cheese.”

“And what is this one please?” I enquired.

“That is blue cheese.”

Revelatory. I can see that. After he had left, my companion and I looked at each other in the eye, sighed, and then laughed out of bewilderment.

Boqueria Tapas is doing some things very well. There’s freshly prepared ingredients – as we saw with the artichokes and patatas bravas – being executed with a degree of authority. Then we see a few inconsistencies or some attention to detail which is missing – such as the calamari, and the ali-oli (I really did want to jump for that calamari, but I just couldn’t).

Then of course there are the points that I don’t want to have to dwell on, nor skip on the basis of fairness. Sweet tortilla, no thanks. Blue cheese? I know that.

The venue itself was refreshing – a little cold – but so much bigger and more contemporary than I expected; there’s a huge area downstairs which caters for parties and a day cafe annexed next door. But going big is ambitious; they need to make sure they find their growl to fill it.

Boqueria on Urbanspoon

I was a guest at Boqueria Tapas.

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SW9 Brixton – Seven at Brixton – Restaurant review

Post-work drinks on a Friday is something all working Londoners are familiar with. Work ends. You hit the nearest pub. You have four pints on an empty stomach.

We commute and therefore live too far away to catch the tube to freshen up, perhaps grab a light snack, and carry on with an evening which could potentially be a great deal more civilised (next time you see me ask about the night I woke up in Morden).

After a couple of drinks, thinking about finding a decent restaurant nearby, then coming back to the drinking establishment you’ve just left (only to find that the seats you once had have been commandeered by a group of drunken advertising execs) is a not an appealing prospect. Once we’ve found a bar we stay there…Besides, when I’m having a drink I don’t necessarily want a slap-up meal anyway. A light snack suffices; after all, you still want to save room for a few more drinks.

The British don’t do light meals well, and offer little in the way of a solution to combining evening drinks and tasty nibbles, but one of our European counterparts does.

I give you tapas.

More specifically, I give you Seven at Brixton.

In Market Row, once you get past the noisy throng queuing for pizza at Frano Manca, there’s serenity. A low-lit industrial space littered with recycled and distressed tables welcomes you. Pintxos, cake, and a back wall of cocktail fodder are a giveaway as to the motives of Seven at Brixton. Little do you know that there’s a warren of rooms upstairs complete with its own art installation.

Art Installation, Seven at Brixton

Thursday night was busy. Seats were taken, and there was chatter – but not that overriding noise that pervades London’s new found love of canteen-style eating. The brown parchment menu had been thumbed by someone who prefers to manually eat their patatas bravas, and the coca cola crates – our seats – required a bit of patience at first. Industrial hardware fashioned the art installation which created the shabby backdrop to our Cruzcampos and tapas. Had I not known otherwise, I would have thought I was in a pop up bar in Shoreditch.

Between the two of us we ordered five dishes: a warm manchego, spinach and rocket salad; button, shitake mushroom and leek croquettas; tortilla with chorizo and prawns; patatas bravas, and ensaladilla rusa. I thought the manchego salad was a bit steep at £6, but everything else fell between £3 and £4 a dish – not extortionate at all.

Warm spinach, rocket, and manchego salad

Service was great. Our waiter (that seems far too formal) did a cracking job weaving in between the tables and crates while simultaneously, and successfully, balancing Old Fashioneds on his tray.

The bravas were well oiled (not oily) and the sweet fiery red sauce gave the starchy fried potatoes the subtle kick they needed. The ensaladilla rusa, a creamy potato salad, green beans, and carrot was soured with slices of green olive – taking the edge off what could have been on the verge of being too sweet. The piquillo pepper also helped tip the scales in its favour, although the crusty toasted bread could have had your teeth out if you weren’t careful.

Patatas bravas, Seven at Brixton

I couldn’t fault the tortilla which had subtle onion hints running through. Chorizo and prawns are a classic combination, but unfortunately the garlic had slightly caught (a one-off occasion, I’m sure) and didn’t do much to accentuate the flavours.

The mushroom croquettas although tasty, were a little too soft in the middle for me, and didn’t hold themselves together all that well. I would have preferred a little more chew in the chew per bite ratio.

Pinxtos, Seven at Brixton

And at this point I’m going to have to backtrack. I mentioned that I thought the wilted spinach salad with manchego was quite expensive, but come to think of it, it was probably the dish I enjoyed the most. The spinach retained its texture and a bit of crunch – even so, it was soft without being watery; the rocket did its job to give a little zing and the manchego was smooth.

My tarta de Santiago was moist and pasty – like the inside of an almond croissant. Its light and buttery base was not too sweet but satisfyingly wholesome.

Seven at Brixton is as versatile a venue as you could want. It’s a bar. It’s a bar that serves the kind of food you want when you are having a drink. I’m thinking tapas could and should shift the culture in the way we treat social drinking. Therefore I propose you consider Seven at Brixton as a venue for after work drinks. There will be no debauchery, but there will be a friendly ambience, inventive food of modest size to accompany your cocktails, and a soundtrack to tap your toe to. Equally, you could just pop in for a light dinner and a home-made lemonade as I did last Thursday. What’s more, I sense Seven is someone’s well-thought out project; you can tell they care. I’m glad I discovered you, Seven at Brixton, I hope you’ll have me back, although I think I’ll keep you my little secret.

Ambience, Seven at Brixton

Seven At Brixton on Urbanspoon