Flat White: A Latte of Love

Please forgive the (expertly crafted) title.

Hey everyone, Catherine here!

I ended up sleepily stumbling into Soho last week to run some errands. Because of my inability to be a fully functioning adult my poor sleeping schedule, I was excited to find that Flat White, a coffee shop I’ve wanted to visit for a while now, was nearby where I had to go. (By excited I mean grateful to whatever higher powers exist that I would be able to stay awake for the next couple of hours.)

On a street bustling with food stalls, Flat White sticks out with its small black storefront and minimalist name etched atop the store. It has two little benches right outside, but it seems to be a busy street so I’m not sure I’d want to sit there. I wandered inside to the sounds of clinking cups and a low hum of conversation. It’s small: I was immediately beside the till and staring up at the menu, determined to appear nonchalant despite nervously avoiding eye contact with the barista.

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Pictured: Flat white: £2.80

I ordered a flat white. Obviously. If unsure what to go for, just opt for that. It’s the store’s namesake; seemed like a solid choice. I was expecting good things since their website states that they serve “refined artisan style coffee.” I don’t consider myself a coffee connoisseur, but I was assuming it’d be of a high standard.

Dude, it really was. It was the best flat white I’ve ever had. It tasted… perfect. The beans hadn’t been over-roasted, the ratios were perfect, and the art atop the coffee is so expertly done. If you want a top quality coffee, I’d seriously recommend heading to Flat White. I give pretty high scores as it is, but I was honestly left impressed afterwards.

I felt more awkward taking a photo here than anywhere else I’ve been though, maybe because it’s such a small store and the baristas could see me being an awkward hipster taking photos of my coffee. (It’s for the greater good, I tell myself; I have a blog!)

Ratings

📍 Location: 17 Berwick Street, W1F 0PT

💰 Price: 4/5. Kinda expensive for a flat white. My local coffee shop sells flat whites for £2.20. Then again, in coffee chains such as Costa and Starbucks, theirs go for £2.60, so it’s not much up from that.

🍰 Taste: 5/5. I can’t say anything bad about how it tasted. Best flat white I’ve ever had. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to try their food, but their breakfasts all sound amazing. I’ll go back and try one sometime soon!

🏙 Ambience: 3.5/5. Lots of market stalls outside which obscure the view a little, but it’s nice to see all the food in the area. Inside, it’s really small and narrow. Next time I’ll try to have my order ready in my head before going inside so I don’t have to awkwardly stand at the till, feeling like I’m in the way. They bring your coffee and food to your table though. Their menus were cute. The area it’s in is good for shopping.

Muffin Much Better Than The Pastry Parlour

Hi, Catherine again.

I went for an interview a few days ago – on an empty stomach, because I was too nervous to eat (and I call myself an adult). So afterwards I ventured a minute down the road to find The Pastry Parlour, a sleek-looking place tucked away beside a fountain.

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This was the lovely lineup that waited inside. The macarons are really quite big (for which I was thankful), but all the food looked so good I really wanted to try one of everything…

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Pictured: salted caramel cupcake, cappuccino (£2.50), lemon macaron

I’m afraid I forgot to take note of all the prices, but you can see a lineup of some of their food on their website here.

The atmosphere was nice. Outside you could see the fountain with horse statues, a dedication to when a team of horses escaped their stables and ran through those London streets. Inside, marble tables decorated the place, and my boyfriend and I opted to sit before one of their big windows.

📍 Location: 8 Piazza Walk, London E1 8FU

💰 Price: 3.5/5. It’s a wee bit pricey for some things, but then again having a couple of macarons from Ladurée costs more than having this big one.

🍰 Taste: 4.5/5. My lemon macaron was perfect. It had a slightly crunchy texture on the outside, but was soft on the inside – and I was surprised by the lemon filling. So tasty… um, anyway. The cappuccino was really good too; they pride themselves on serving gourmet coffee. Frothy at the top – good stuff. My boyfriend enjoyed his cupcake too (and let me try a bit).

🏙 Ambience: 4/5. It is a bit tucked away in a corner; it seems like a spot for locals since it’s surrounded by apartments, but it’s also in the heart of quite a business-oriented area. If I’d got the job I’d applied for, I would’ve gone in there for lunch very often. It’s close to Aldgate Station too, so it’s not a far walk if you’d like to try it out.

Ivy League-Worthy Café

Catherine here again!

I went on a date with my waifu today to The Ivy Café in Wimbledon Village. Shoutout to Frith for showing me this place. ♥ It’s actually en route to where I used to attend university, and yet I never noticed it before. It’s almost tucked away on the corner, but its vintage-looking sage coloured doors beckon your attention and curiosity. (And fear of prices.)

My friend and I went in and were greeted at the door by two ladies in lovely uniforms. (So cute.) When I play The Sims and the notification tab tells me I have to put down a host station I’m always bemused since not many places actually have that sort of thing, but this place did. Anyway, we didn’t have a reservation but there was enough room for us. It got fairly empty between 11:30-1:00pm, between breakfast and lunch.

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Pictured (counter-clockwise from bottom left): Pot of Tea (£3.75), Avocado and Spinach Benedict (£7.95), The Ivy Café Vegetarian Breakfast (£12.50).

📍 Location: Wimbledon, SW19

💰 Price: 4.5/5. It’s what you’d expect from most restaurants and cafés in London, if a little cheaper. Similar pricing to Bill’s restaurant. It’s worth mentioning that they offer Afternoon Tea for £19.75; cheaper than a lot of places in London.

🍰 Taste: 4.5/5. The toast was perfect; my eggs were runny how I like them; the tea was piping hot; we were given extra toast. I didn’t like the Hollandaise sauce, but I dislike most sauces. It didn’t stop me from eating it.

🏙 Ambience: 5/5. The décor was spot-on. The lights were contained within terrarium-esque structures and paintings covered the walls. It looked pretty outside too, but it was way too cold to sit out. We were seated at a table a little cramped, but it was no problem. Until I nearly knocked over a glass pitcher of water which my friend caught. She’s the real MVP.

Go ahead and check out their menus right here. We’ll be going back for Afternoon Tea. I really want that lemon and lime profiterole…

La-Di-Da Lunch at Ladurée

Yo, Catherine here! Again. Sorry.

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Pictured (clockwise from top left): Pistachio Religieuse (£5.10), Hot Chocolate with Cream, Cappuccino, French Toast with Syrup (£8.20)

My friend and I met up in Covent Garden a little while ago to go for ice cream. Yes, during winter. Don’t ask questions, just accept that I want all food all the time. Anyway, the place we were going to get ice cream was closed. We’ll be going back there again sometime though… eventually.

But since we were in Covent Garden, I suggested we pop into Ladurée. I was intending to just buy a box of macarons before realising we could have lunch there. We sat on the upstairs balcony overlooking the square filled with street performers and a market place. It was bustling; oddly soothing background noise while talking over lunch.

The French toast I had was soft, warm, and sweet. I was given so much syrup there was no chance I’d run out. My friend’s hot chocolate was rich; she too had an abundance of cream to mix into her drink. She also let me try some of her Pistachio Religieuse and wooow. It’s filled with cream and I need another one. The drinks were served in really small cups, but they were pretty as heck.

📍 Location: Covent Garden, London

💰 Price: 3/5. Beautifully presented, really tasty, expensive enough to make me a little uncomfortable.

🍰 Taste: 4/5. Drinks were really small, but everything tasted good. Especially the pastry. I’d recommend getting macarons or a pastry tbh.

🏙 Ambience: 4/5. A wee bit cramped and a little crowded, but cosy. The market place and street performers beneath the balcony were nice to overlook. The pastel colours of the store and its china were so pretty.

Didn’t Macaron Choice With Ladurée

Hi, Catherine here!

… Y-you did get my title, right? “Macaron choice” = “make a wrong choice”? Please appreciate my punny titles. It’s all I’ve got.

Anyway, long time no see. Maybe. Unless you’ve never been here before. Either way, you’re here to read about macarons. I also enjoy reading about macarons. For your benefit (not mine), I invested in a box of Ladurée macarons for part of my mum’s Christmas present. She loved them so if you’re stumped on what to get your mum, these seem to go down well.

However, they are… pricey. I bought a small box of 8 macarons, which was around £16. The smallest box is a box of 6, which is £13.90; I think different packaging effects the price. 8 macarons for £16 though hurt my soul a little bit, but I’ve never seen inexpensive macarons before and they’re luxury treats (I think). I can’t fault them; they tasted great, soft with a slight crunch on the outside, and each flavour was perfect. I tried the tonka one. The bright green one that looks radioactive. It tasted nice actually, almost vanilla-ish? It’s milder than you might assume.

macarons

I chose: vanilla, coffee, chocolate, pistachio, lemon, rose petal, tonka, and orange blossom. My favourites were the coffee, pistachio, and lemon ones; my mum liked “all of them.” Thanks, mum.

📍 Location: Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, London

💰 Price: 3/5. Very expensive, but macarons always are. The packaging is really pretty. I guess it’s worth it for a treat.

🍰 Taste: 5/5. Top quality macarons tbh. Can’t fault them.

🏙 Ambience: 3/5. Customer service was rushed but they were pretty busy. It’s a small shop so be prepared to queue outside. Everything is gold and shiny. Impossible to eat in but it’s a nice area; you’ll probably find somewhere to sit if you wanna.

It was amazing, I-talian ya!

Today marks the day of my three movie cinema marathon, and what better way to start the day than to go to a nice Italian café in the middle of a shopping centre?

Off to Caffé Pascucci I went.

A cute little café in the middle of a shopping centre, but surprisingly there was a nice relaxing atmosphere (most likely due to it being an early Sunday morning). In the background you can hear festive little Christmas tunes playing from the ice rink downstairs. 

Now in the Christmas mood, I was thoroughly wanting a nice hot chocolate to pretend that I was still in cold England.

The hot chocolate itself was incredibly decadent, but not too sweet topped with whipped cream, amaretti biscuits and amaretti sauce. Each element of the drink created wonderful layers which, when merged, produced a perfection of flavours and textures against your tongue 

Each mouthful was so moreish, I definitely need to go back!

Magnum’s Magnus Opus: The London Pleasure Store

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Catherine here!

Finally, finally, I traversed to the Magnum Pleasure Store near Bond Street recently. It’s a bit of a dreary day; cloudy and humid, but I found something that cured those blues: Magnums.

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Pictured: double-dipped milk chocolate Magnum, coated with pistachios; cinnamon almonds; strawberry balls; and chocolate flakes, and drizzled with white and milk chocolate.

It’s expensive; I feel you pay for the service more than anything. To be fair, the service is faultless; the employees were all very welcoming, helpful, and talkative. I asked for a recommendation on what else to put on my Magnum when I felt a little overwhelmed by all the possibilities. There’s not a lack of toppings you can choose from. (Tom vouches for the rose petals; he says they’re aromatic.)

Magnums in local supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s cost around £3 as a rule. The single-dip Magnum in the Pleasure Store is £4.50, while the double-dip is £6.50. It is expensive and I don’t think I’d do it again, but it was a fun experience which I don’t regret trying out.

The Magnum itself was really, really tasty. The ice cream was soft, the chocolate coating had a gentle crunch, and all the toppings provided a unique taste. (I really liked the cinnamon almonds.)

Credit to Tom for the glorious title.

Taste: 5/5
Price: 2/5; £4.50 for single-dip; £6.50 for double-dip
Ambience: 3/5 It looked fancy, especially from the outside; the window displays are really pretty and impressive. There’s not a lot of seating inside and it is a little squashed at the back of the store. The street you find it on is beautiful though.
Location: 56A S Molton St, London W1K 5SH

Recipe time!!

Well hello my little duckies! It’s your lucky week, Kim here again!

Today I’m going to be sharing with you my recipe for a gorgeous breakfast!

All you need is an avocado, eggs, salt, pepper and some form of breakfast meat like salami or bacon (I used venison salami).

Recipe

1 avocado

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Small slices of salami/bacon


Method

1. Cut avocado in half and pre heat the oven to 160degrees with fan.

2. Scoop out a little of the avocado filling to create a well.

3. Crack each egg into the avocado halves (don’t worry about overspill, just make sure you’re using a tin that can keep the avocados upright in the oven). Place the scooped out avocado on top of the avocado halves.

4. Place tin in the pre heated oven for about 15-20minutes depending on how runny you want your eggs to be.

5. Once the eggs are cooked, take them out and place in a bowl or on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

6. Take your meat (in my case the salami) and chop it into small slivers that can be placed on top of your eggs.

Et voilà! Your baked eggs in avocados are ready!! 

Pictured: baked eggs in avocado with venison salami slices.

If you try out this recipe please leave a comment with a photo or any suggestions on anything you did differently!!

Happy eating, 

Kim x

Oodles of noodles (and pork)

Kim here!

So my cousin took me out for brunch today! That means it’s noodle time!
It’s a relatively simple restaurant, exactly what you’d expect from Malaysia 🙂 plastic chairs and a simple silver table makes for a relaxed atmosphere.

We ordered their speciality Noodles with barbecued pork, which was an incredibly simple dish that was packed full of flavour! I’ll definitely be going back with Cat (when she visits me…)! 

  
Pictured: Noodles with Barbecue Pork


Taste: 5/5 – the taste was so simple but full of flavour. Each bite complimented the sweetness of the sauce with the sharpness of the chilli. 

Price: 5/5 – although my cousin treated me, I took a peek at the price list and concluded that it was actually incredibly worth it and that I would actually be willing to pay slightly more for it!

Ambience: 4/5 – I think because we went at lunchtime we didn’t anticipate the lunch queue, but when we managed to nab a seat it calmed down, and service was relatively quick!

I loved going here, so props to my cousin for taking me!! 

See you later, 

Kim xx

Man-go coconuts for Mango Coconut Pandan Jelly

Yummy yummy yummy in my tummy! 
It was comic-con last weekend, so my new friend Sophie and I went! It was so awesome! However it got very hot very quickly and we needed to cool down. 

We found this cute cafe style stall in the middle of the mall called Hui Lau Shen. They served us the most delicious cold mix of mango, coconut and pandan jelly. The colours were so vibrant, almost as vibrant as the flavours! 

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The sweetness of the mango mixed with the coolness of the coconut just made the perfect taste for my palette. Definitely going to take Cat here if she ever visits me 😉

Taste: 5/5 – a perfect blend of flavours and texture for a hot day

Price: 4/5 – 10ringgit which is quite good but I was expecting a larger glass rather than a takeaway cup

Ambience: 4/5 – relatively great ambience, in the middle of a mall so it can get busy and noisy.
Until next time,

Kim x

Nothing Crumby About Crumbs and Doilies

Catherine here!

Today I ventured to Piccadilly Circus with a few friends. It was my birthday a few days ago so I managed to force my friends to gather for cupcakes, since I’ve wanted to visit Crumbs and Doilies for a while now.

It’s somewhat hidden down a small alleyway that isn’t really an alleyway. Veering off the road, you’ll spot a bright blue archway, which leads up to the small but quaint cupcake shop. It’s in a cosy square lined with various cafés and restaurants, many of which are three stories tall.

Not Crumbs and Doilies, though. Tucked into its little nook, all six of us squished inside and gazed upon the glorious cupcakes. The selection wasn’t as big as I’d expected, but I think some are made to order; others are for certain holidays. They offer tiny ones and bigger ones. I just went for the latter.

Pictured (left to right): white chocolate and matcha cupcake, Oreo cookie cupcake, tiramisu cupcake

You can purchase a box of 12 tiny cupcakes or 6 regular sized cupcakes for £17. It was a bit too pricey for me, so I bought these three. Their banana split one looked very birthday appropriate and colourful though. A couple of my friends tried their brownies and said they were a bit sweet, but pretty delicious too.

I loved the cupcakes I tried – the tiramisu and the white chocolate and matcha cupcakes, and my boyfriend thought his Oreo cookie one was “the best cupcake he ever had.” The cake itself and the icing were both soft, light, and airy. They’re quite big and substantial; they’ll probably fill you up. Fair warning: you will get icing on your nose.

Taste: 5/5 – I think they were the nicest cupcakes I’ve ever had too.
Price: 3/5 – it’s pretty expensive in there, especially if you want a box of them for friends or family, but they’re good for a treat.
Ambience: 4/5 – it’s very small and quiet inside, but it’s in a nice square; my friends and I found a bench outside to enjoy our cupcakes.

The Coffee Bean – I love you so matcha

Where to start? 

Okay, whenever I land in Malaysia the first thing I HAVE to do is grab a coffee. I mean I’ve just gotten off of a seventeen hour flight so I definitely need a coffee (or tea). Who cares if I haven’t showered since yesterday? Who cares if I’m in day old clothes? If I don’t get my caffeine fix, I’m definitely going to be a major grump 😡😡😡

But I digress. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is possibly my favourite coffee shop as it’s reminiscent of Starbucks and Costas but at a slightly lower price. I’ve only ever been to the ones in Asia although I would love to try its birthplace SoCal one day…

Anywho. I absolutely adore Malaysia’s Matcha Tea Latte whether it’s hot, cold or frappè-d (?) I don’t even know if that’s a word… If it wasn’t, it is now 😁

  
PICTURED: HOT MATCHA TEA LATTE

I think what I love the most about this drink is that it’s not too sweet. The sugar that is added offsets the natural bitterness of the matcha and just adds enough depth to match the creaminess of the steamed milk. 

I definitely prefer my drink to be hot although it is yummy in any form hot, cold or blended.

Definitely would recommend to anyone in Malaysia to try their Matcha Tea Latte!

Kim:

Taste: 5/5

Price (value): 5/5

Ambience: 4/5 – can be found in nearly all shopping centres, so can sometimes be a little noisy and busy 

Catherine: I need to take Cat here one day!!

Until next time,

Kim x