Zeret Kitchen in Camberwell

Last Friday night, Alex and I decided it was about time we ventured out for a meal, after weeks of skulking around the house, moaning and groaning about colds and what-not. I’d successfully used Trip Advisor to help us chose restaurants to eat at on a recent trip to Berlin, so thought I’d give it a go to pick somewhere to eat in London. My choice was unusually quick and easy for me –  I saw a review by a Facebook friend and within five minutes of searching, opted for  Zeret Kitchen in Camberwell, London.

Zeret Kitchen is an Ethiopian restaurant surrounded by a concrete jungle of high rise buildings. Some may say ‘a bit of a dodgy part of town’, but I say, ‘who cares, just be aware, keep your head down and you’ll be fine’! We’re not talking a flashy-design interior here… Just a modern, clean and nicely lit room, with a cosy atmosphere.

I’d never eaten Ethiopian food before and was really looking forward to the new experience. We arrived for an early ish dinner at 7pm and there were only a few tables taken at that time, however it did get a bit busier towards the end of our meal. Traditional music was playing and we were greeted by a really friendly waiter who did an amazing job of looking after us during our visit.

On our journey to Zeret Kitchen, I had done a bit of research, so we knew a bit more about what to expect i.e. eating with our fingers and sharing dishes amongst the table. The recommendation was to go for the house special to share, which is what we did – I think we ate a combination of  the following: Kitfo (minced raw beef, marinated in mitmita, Lega Tibs (lamb ), yebeg fitfit (spicy lamb stew with vegetables), spiced chicken tibs gomen, shuro and salad – All of this was served on a round of injera bread – A fermented sour and spongy flat bread. We were also given extra rolls of the bread, but as bread can be so filling (and because I’m not really meant to eat it) I chose to eat a lot of the  dishes without. Finger lickin’ messy, but fun!

How was it? Well, I have to say I absolutely loved every single dish that I ate. It wasn’t quick to arrive, but we were more than content waiting with our nice glass of (cheap) white wine and Ethiopian beer… Why are people always in such a rush when they are dining out anyway? My favourite dish was whichever vegetable dish that came on our plate (I didn’t catch all the names – sorry). I have to say that it was the most delcious meal I’ve eaten in quite some time. Maybe that was because a lot of the flavours were new to me, but I have a feeling the chef in this place really knows what he/she is doing.

A lot of the dishes had a spicy kick to them, but If I could manage it then I’m sure pretty much anyone can. I read in someone’s review that you can also ask for extra chilli if you do so dare!  I’d say head to the Top Table menu here for a bit more  of a detailed description of all the dishes, and hot-foot it to Zeret as soon as you can. Don’t worry about the location – It was perfectly fine and we found a safe spot to park in very close by. Our total bill came to only £32 with two wines, a beer and a bottle of water included.

We’ll, be going back, that’s for sure!

 Zeret Kitchen – 216-218 Camberwell Rd, London SE5 0ED

St George Beer

PlaceMat

Zeret Kitchen in Camberwell

Injera Bread

Tony’s cafe is actually the take away section for Zeret – It appears they must have expanded at some stage.

Zeret Kitchen London

 

Square Meal

The Crystal Palace Market

My Tuesday night did not go quite as I would have liked, this week. I spent hours trying to get to the amazing Paramount Bar for a Jing Tea masterclass (more on that later), but alas London Transport failed me and due to signalling faults or something equally as tedious, I had to turn back and take a long bus ride right back home… Luckily, after an arduous round trip home, Alex offered to pick up his grumpy and frustrated fiancee and take her to dinner at The Crystal Palace Market.

I always thought that this eaterie was quite oddly-named because there is a quite popular food market in the area named The Crystal Palace Food Market. Perhaps an alternative would have been less confusing to web searchers. Anyway, the restaurant opened back in May and their concept is to offer ‘uncomplicated, delicious & locally sourced food’ – Right up my street! Being a Tuesday night, it wasn’t heaving with customers, but we’re told that it often gets pretty booked up over the weekend, so if you intend on heading there I’d give them a call first.

They seem to have put a great deal of love and care into the interior design of the restaurant, with tiled and exposed brick walls and the perfect lighting, style is definitely key here. Unlike a lot of restaurants in London, there is plenty of space around your table so you are not sitting on top of other diners, and the music of choice was perfect for a relaxing meal. Unfortunately, we were a little chilly so I wore my coat on-and-off throughout the meal, but I presume that if the place is busier then this wouldn’t be a problem.

So, down to the nitty gritty. How was the food you ask? Well, we headed straight for the  mains – even though the starters did look pretty tempting, it was quite late into the night and being a weekday we decided not to splurge. Alex opted for the rib-eye steak (£20), which came with a side of the most delicious fries and salad, which was dressed to perfection. He did seem to be a little baffled by the additional £1.50 charge for the chance to splash some sauce over the steak, but ended up ordering a horseradish sauce and was more than content with the delicious flavours.

My choice of main was Whole Plaice (£14), which was cooked in a  charcoal oven and also came with fries and a side salad . Every mouthful was exquisite, as it was cooked to perfection. We both shared a side of grilled mixed vegetables and actually ate aubergine that was included without any problem, even though we usually try very hard to avoid it most other times! We each had a glass of wine from the pretty extensive and not overly-priced drinks menu and were more than happy with our choices, which were glasses of the cheaper red and white. No nasty vinegar tastes here!

We decided to push on through, for dessert… Well, why not!? In the past Alex has said that I make the best carrot cake (ever) and I’m sure he was trying hard to hide the fact that The Crystal Palace Market Carrot & Orange Cake (£3.60) was probably en par with my own. He loved it! Moist and flavoursome as any good carrot cake should be. I wasn’t so bowled over by my Hazelnut and caramel cheesecake (£4.50), but it was pleasant enough and was a massive portion. They offer quite a cake heavy dessert menu and I’d love to see some other types of desserts make it onto the list in future, being someone who is not meant to eat wheat.

So, would we visit again… That’s a big fat yes! The service was good and the food was great value for what you got. We were chatting to Toli – one of the owners – at the end of our meal and he was telling us all about their new Butcher and Fishmonger which is due to open soon. I was really impressed with his passion for the community, the food and his establishment and look forward to seeing things progress.

Excuse these awful pictures. Both Alex and I had zero phone battery left and it’s the best we could get. Bad blogger.
Head on over to their Facebook page for some much more appetizing pics.

CrystalPalaceMarket
Yup, I ate before I snapped. oops.

Whole Plaice

Carrot cake

Cheesecake

 

The Crystal Palace Market offers brunch and burgers during the day and the evening menu consits of Fish and meat.

See the full menu HERE

THE CRYSTAL PALACE MARKET
3-7 CHURCH ROAD
LONDON SE19 2TF
0203 475 7080

Square Meal

JING Tea & William Curley Special Edition Tea & Patisserie

Sometimes press releases can be very dangerous… Very dangerous indeed! After reading the news that JING tea and William Curley have paired up for a special edition tea & patisserie this week, one thing lead to another and I found myself purchasing shed loads of chocolate (that I didn’t need) from Mr Curley’s site –  Sometimes these things need to be sampled you see, and I’m definitely going to have a chocolate tasting marathon when my order arrives!

Unfortunately, I haven’t really got the time to step away from my desk over the next few days, which is a shame because this special pairing has been launched for one week only (21st- 25th May), at William Curley’s boutique Belgravia store. It’s all in celebration of the Chelsea Flower Show – another event I’m yet to get to, after many years of London living. Shame on me.

The special menu includes; ‘William Curley’s Rose, Raspberry and Lychee Dome of champagne and rose jelly, with lychee curd, pain de gène, fresh raspberries and raspberry mousse served with JING Ceylon and Rose Tea, made with a careful blend of dried pink rosebuds and the season’s best China black teas, providing the softness of freshly picked roses’

Oh. My!

If you can make it to Belgravia then take a look at the full details HERE. For those of you who can’t, I’ve found a sneaky 15% discount code that is valid on William Curley’s site until May 30th HERE. Enjoy!

JING tea & William Curley Special Edition Tea JING tea & William Curley Special Edition Tea & Patisserie

A week of Gordon Ramsey and Pedigree Tea

Phew! We’ll I’m glad that week is over… Hurray for the weekend! As predicted, we were pretty busy all week and unfortunately I had quite a few sleepless nights due to one sick little puppy. I mustn’t grumble though, as we got up to some rather lovely things  – All of which involved food. Oink!

On Tuesday, Alex treated me to lunch at Gordon Ramsey’s Maze restaurant, which was delicious. One advantage of freelancing is that you can take time off during the day and just make up the hours whenever you like, which makes getting bookings in popular restaurants a whole lot easier. We were there for the set lunch menu, which comes in at a reasonable £25 for four courses. Obviously the price starts creeping up when you add in drinks, but it really was great value for the quality of service and food that we received. Everything was delicious and I’d definitely recommend adding it to your list of places to eat, if you can.

On Wednesday, we were invited to take a Pedigree Tea for Betsy the Chihuahua’s first Birthday. Yes, I did say Pedigree Tea! Love The Princess in Primrose Hill are big lovers of dogs and as well as offering an afternoon tea for humans they also offer special treats for your dog. We had a really lovely afternoon and again the food was absolutely amazing. We’ll be blogging more about it over on Dog Friendly UK soon, so do keep an eye out for that review.

As Thursday came around I was hoping for a night in, but we’d arranged to meet a few friends at the Miller pub for their relaunch. After having tasted the Street Kitchen’s hot dogs last week, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on another, so dragged my butt out for yet more grub. We had a great night, but alas the hot dog I had didn’t seem to taste as good as the one I’d had the week before. I’m hoping it’s just because they were extremely busy at the launch… They had many mouths to feed and could well have been feeling the stress of it all. Don’t get me wrong, the dog was still tasty and The Miller is worth a visit if you are in the area – I just think I had set my expectations a little high on a very hectic night.

So, there you have it. I’m now catching up on work today, before heading off  to review a hotel in Rye for Dog Friendly UK on Sunday. Hopefully next week will involve a little less activity, as I’m known to be a bit of a hermit and it’s all been a bit of a shock to the system!

How was your week? Have you been to any nice restaurants lately?

Duck and foie gras terrine, black pepper poached pear, sauternes gel.

Duck and foie gras terrine,

Beetroot soused mackerel, horseradish potato salad, granny smith apple jelly.

Beetroot soused mackerel

Pork belly, razor clams, wasabi, crushed peas, lobster and sake dressing.

Pork Belly

Yuzu “tea cake’’, mango & lime jam, lemongrass ice cream.

Yuzu Tea Cake

Birthday Chihuahua at Love The Princess.

Besty's Birthday cake

Love The Princess Pedigree Tea – Besty’s Birthday cake

 

Treats for humans and doggie treats to.

Love The Princess

Love The Princess Pedigree Tea (Cakes)

 

So elegant. Face full of cake.

Love The Princess Pedigree Tea - Betsy The Chihuahua

Love The Princess Pedigree Tea – Betsy The Chihuahua

 

This Little Piggy

I really don’t mean to keep talking about food, but what the hell can this little piggy do about it when I spend so much of my time eating!? We had pretty quiet weekend so decided to head into to Effra Social in Brixton on Sunday to sample some of their food. As a lover of all things vintage, this pub is right up my street – Formerly the Effra Conservative Club and now owned by Antic the pub, Effra has retained most of its vintage charms and I really hope to head back there soon as their Sunday roast was pretty damned great. It’s a dog friendly pub so head on over and read our full review on our Dog Friendly UK site. It really is worth a visit.

This week is looking pretty busy again. Alex is treating me to lunch at Gordon Ramsey’s Maze tomorrow. I’m not sure why, but I’ll take that treat and scoff it right up! Then on Wednesday, our little Chihuahua turns the grand old age of one and luckily for us Love The Princess have invited us to try out their Pedigree Afternoon Tea. Yes, an afternoon tea for the dog in your life (and plenty of grub for humans to). How I’m going to lose any weight over the next few weeks is beyond me!

Somewhere in between all that I have to fit in mountain loads of work and some bedtime reading… I’ve been dying to get started on a few books that I’ve bought, but just never seem to have the time. I’ve got into the habit of reading everyone’s blog posts before bed, so I’ve neglected the big pile of books building by my bed. Must. Read. More.

Anyway, better scoot as there’s much to be done. Did you have a good weekend? What did you get up to?

Effra Social in Brixton

Effra-Social club

Birthday girl.

This Little Piggy

This little piggy. Over and out. Oink.