Natural Kitchen Salad

Working in London on a Thursday, it was time for a quick lunch. I popped out to see what I could get, I was surprised by how busy everywhere was. There were long queues in most of the usual places I visit for lunch. In the end I went to the Natural Kitchen. I haven’t been there for quite a few years, even before the pandemic.

As well as a table menu, they also do take out salad boxes. You get to choose three salads and either a hot or cold protein choice.

There was a shorter queue compared to other places, so it wasn’t long before I was served.

I went with the large cous cous salad, coleslaw and the Greek salad. I chose the barbecue chicken, which comprised two grilled chicken thighs in a barbecue style sauce.

I did enjoy the salad. It was a decent portion and very tasty.

Quick Salad

This was a quick salad I put together. I took some salad leaves, added some chunks of cucumber, halved tomatoes, sliced spring onion and sliced red pepper.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

One thing I do like to add to a salad is roasted butternut squash.

I take some butternut squash, peel and cut into cubes. I then coat these in olive oil and a little golden syrup or honey. This is then roasted in a hot oven for twenty to thirty minutes.

I then either serve straight away with a salad, or I let them cool down and add to the salad later.

Time for Olive + Squash

Back in at the beginning of December I was in London working and needing lunch, I was in the mood for a salad. Having not enjoyed my recent salad from Birley Sandwiches I thought I would give Olive + Squash a visit on the other side opposite Birleys.

Olive + Squash

As well as “choosing your own salad” they also have a menu of salads you can order as well.

I went with the Portobello Bowl. 

This is a chicken, mushroom and lentil salad. It also included spinach and croutons. This was lovely and fresh. I did enjoy the salad, but I think next time I would have it without the chicken and have extra mushrooms.

Time for a change

Back in at the end of November I was in London working and needing lunch, wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for, but after walking around Leather Lane market I made a decision. I decided that I wanted a salad.

I had enjoyed my salad from Birley Sandwiches so joined the queue.

I had a pasta salad with rocket, tomatoes, mozzarella, avocado, croutons and olives.

I do like the way they make the salads fresh to order, they toss the salad in the dressing for you.

When I got back to the office, I put the salad on a plate and tucked in. It was nice, but not as nice as the salads I have had there before. It was a little too salty for me. Maybe it’s time for a change, when I next get a salad.

Rice Salad

We have rice salad quite a lot, usually more often in the summer, but if I have cooked more rice than we need, then I might use the surplus to make a simple rice salad.

I have found I prefer basmati rice over long grain rice for a rice salad, but either will do.

My usual additions are sweetcorn, diced peppers, diced onions, peas, mushrooms, spring onions and courgette.

I use to dress my rice salads with mayonnaise, now I use a little olive oil, white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Slow Roasted Pork Salad

Back in the summer for an evening meal, we had slow roasted pork belly with potatoes and salad.

The pork belly was from M&S and comes already seasoned. It has no rind, so you don’t get crackling, but slow roasting usually (for me results) in rubbery crackling anyhow. It is a tasty joint and a favourite in our house.

I did small roast potatoes, using Maris Piper potatoes which are par boiled and then roasted in hot oil in the oven. I generally add a little butter towards the end of cooking to add colour and a final crispness.

The salad included a personal favourite of thinly sliced raw cauliflower in a spicy mayonnaise. We first had this eating out at a  cafe in Wapping Wharf in Bristol. We stole the idea and now have it on a regular basis.

Overall a delicious meal and very tasty.

Merguez sausages with salad and flat bread

The title of this blog post really doesn’t do justice to the plate of food I bought from Kabylia at the Finzel Street Food market.

I was going to our office in Bristol more over the summer and one Wednesday in August I once more found myself in Bristol.

I popped out for a walk at lunchtime and it was nice to see the St Nicholas market bustling with people after seeing it a few months ago quite empty.

There were huge queues for Matina, Low & Slow, and the felafel place. I didn’t feel like queuing so I left the market and I popped to Finzel Reach market to see what was on sale.

There weren’t as many stalls as there was pre-pandemic and it isn’t as busy as it was on Fridays/

I decided to try Kabylia, the Algerian street food stand. 

Kabylia is a cultural, natural and historical region in northern Algeria. The Kabyle people are indigenous to Kabylia and speak the language known as Amazigh.

I had some Merguez sausages with a feta and pepper pickle, salad and flat bread. The sausages were reheated to order, placed on flat bread and then the salads were added.

Took it back to the office it was rather nice. The pickle was tasty, the salad was lovely and I enjoyed the flat bread. The Merguez sausages were a little soft, I prefer a meatier sausage and these weren’t quite to my liking, though they did taste right. Overall though it was a lovely plate of food which I did enjoy eating.

Overall I did enjoy something I wouldn’t have normally chosen.

Delicious Gastro Pub Food at the Canbury Arms

It was August and we were staying with family in Kingston. The night before we had had some great sushi at Obon and on this evening we were visiting the Canbury Arms.

This is a pub, probably what most people would call a gastro pub, there was a section of the pub for people who wanted to drink, but there was a larger section with tables for people who wanted a meal. There is a difference in decor between the two sections, the restaurant area looks a lot more like you would imagine a restaurant should look like, whilst the bar area has lots of wood.

We were shown to our table and I looked over the menu, I have to say I had cheated and looked at the menu online before, but even so looking at the menu in the flesh, I wasn’t sure what I would have.

For my starter I decided to have the calamari and share it with my son. I kind of default to calamari as a starter, something that I do enjoy, and I have had great calamari in a variety of places, but sometimes I think I should have something else as a change.

It was nice, but nothing special, I think if I went again I would choose something different from the menu.

My sister in law went with the farmhouse pork, black pudding & sage scotch egg, brown sauce.

Now it was only later when I had posted the picture to Instagram (as one does) that someone commented on the saucy nature of the presentation of the food. Having said that I was offered half of the scotch egg, to which I said, yes please. This was actually rather excellent, and I really enjoyed the intensity of flavour in the pork around the egg. I could have eaten all of that dish.

For my main, there were some lovely choices, but I decided that I would go against my usual choices and have the chicken. Usually I would avoid the chicken, as I have it quite a lot at home, but this time I decided I would go down a different route and I would choose the chicken. This was a chicken supreme, asparagus, butternut squash puree, sautéed wild mushrooms & tarragon butter. I think what sold it to me was the wild mushroom element of the dish.

The chicken was cooked to perfection, tender and moist and full of flavour. The butternut squash puree was to die for, it was so smooth, buttery and full of flavour. The mushrooms weren’t as good as I was hoping, but I did enjoy them. The tarragon butter was an addition that in my mind brought the dish together. This was a delicious plate of food and I really enjoyed eating every mouthful.

We had some great food across the table, some great looking steaks. I did quite like the look of the sea bass fillet, on crushed jersey royals, peas, spring greens, with caper butter.

The salad from the specials menu was also outstanding. Black Quinoa Salad with roasted cauliflower, feta, pomegranate and harissa dressing.

Overall we had a wonderful meal, delicious food and we left feeling very happy and satisfied.

Back to the Mediterranean

Back in London and it was time for lunch.

Didn’t really know what I wanted, the Leather Lane street food market was full of possible choices. In the end though I made a return visit to the Mediterranean Grill which I had been to a few weeks back.

I went with the large mixed salad box, but it came on a plate as I was eating in. I was asked to take a seat and they prepared the salad. I had the choice of rice or chips, I went with chips this time. The dish came with chicken and lamb and the salad was served with some chilli sauce, hummus and yoghurt.

The chicken and lamb were very tasty and tender.

The chips were rather nice, crisp and hot, if anything too hot.

The salads were nice and fresh and well seasoned. I personally would (again) have liked more yoghurt, but apart from that it was very tasty.

Yes it was basically a mixed kebab without the pitta bread. Even so it was fresh and delicious. I then paid my bill and again like last time left feeling happy about what I had eaten. 

I think next time I will have rice again, I don’t know if they do pitta bread on the side, but I might as well ask.