Author Archives: Howziewood

Review: The Ivy L.A

Hi everyone,

Last summer, I went on a trip to the West coast of America with my family. One of the places we visited on our month long journey was L.A, of course. Most of the restaurants we went to, we picked while we were there but there was one or two that we knew in advance that we wanted to visit. This included The Ivy. If you don’t already know, The Ivy is probably one of the most famous restaurants in L.A because it is always packed with celebrities. Of course, the one time I went there, no celebrities showed up. Typical.

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We started our day with a Warner Bros. Studio Tour, which was amazing! My brother is really into movies so this was his choice but I have to say it was so cool to see all the fake streets where things are filmed, the trailers where the actors take breaks and the sets of different t.v shows. I would definitely recommend it to anyone visiting L.A. IMG_1425-1IMG_1395

But onto our dinner at The Ivy. We were sat inside, which was nice as the inside is decorated with ‘homey’ things – cookbooks, strings of garlic and lots of cushions – so it felt like you were sitting in someone’s posh living room (in a nice way!). The table was quite small for four people, but I do like a lot of space to stretch out! Two of us were sat on a bench and two on chairs but the chairs weren’t particularly comfortable as they were wooden garden chairs, but hey ho. The food made up for it.

The waiters were fine, nothing special, but they were attentive and the service was quick, which always earns brownie points in my book! One thing I would say is that the restaurant doesn’t have a specific theme, the menu includes mexican inspired dishes, italian dishes, burgers, the lot. There were a lot of things I fancied though. To start, we got the Made to Order Guacamole with Tortillas (yum), the Fresh Wild French Fried Calamari (yum) and the Fresh Burrata with Roasted Baby Beets, Pine Nuts and Wild Arugula (again…yum). I would recommend all three as neither flavour nor presentation disappointed. As my main, I had the Penne with Fresh Tomato Sauce, Imported Bufala Mozzarella, Garden Basil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil (one of my favourite dishes ever, and I can confirm it did live up to my high expectations). Sorry I don’t have photos of the first two courses, they came out way too dark!

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The starters and mains seem to have faded into the background though because all I can seem to remember from that evening was the desserts. I don’t even know where to start. My dad ordered the Key Lime Pie and my mum and brother got the Homemade Profiteroles with Homemade Pistachio, Caramel and Praline Gelato with Hot Fudge Sauce (A.K.A heart attack on a plate). I won the dessert round, however, because I wisely ordered the Homemade Banana Split which involves Homemade Vanilla, Praline, Chocolate Brownie & Chocolate Chip Gelato, Fresh Berries, Pineapple and Banana, Hot Fudge Sauce, Butterscotch Sauce and Freshly Whipped Cream (can you feel the diabetes ready to pounce?). All I can say is wow.

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The light and fluffy profiteroles (pictured above) were generously filled with different ice creams and the contrast between the hot chocolate sauce and cold ice cream created this involuntary ‘mmmmmm’ sound to come from somehwere within. The two chocolate chip cookies on the side were probably the best cookies I have ever had… and I’ve had a LOT of cookies. Crunchy, chocolatey, soft in the middle and so, so moreish!

image4My banana split was more like a banana drowned in… well, everything… but I’m not complaining. Ice cream, berries, banana, cookies, banana, fudge sauce, whipped cream… what more can you ask for? I’m going to stop rambling about this dessert now because I think the proof is in the picture. My photography skills literally went out the window (along with my health) the minute this showed up (and they were already on par with a five year old, so that’s saying something). I will end on this though, just bear in mind you can order 1 pound worth of the aforementioned chocolate chip cookies to take home. Two words for you: DO IT. They still tasted incredible for the next three days.

Taste: 8/10 (desserts: 10/10)
Presentation: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Location: 9/10
Price: 8/10
Menu: 9/10

What restaurants would you recommend in L.A? Have you ever been to any of The Ivy restaurants? If so, what did you think? Leave me a comment letting me know!

Thanks for reading,

Harrie x

 

Review: Choccywoccydoodah London

Hi everyone,

Today I’m reviewing the famous Choccywoccydoodah cafe on Carnaby Street in London. For those that don’t know, they specialise in all things chocolate (in case you couldn’t guess) and cake. ‘Choccywoccydoodah’ is also a television show, revolving around the lives of the people at the stores and the things that go on there. Their flagship is in Brighton but I was in London and fancied a sweet treat, so decided to pop in.

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The interior of the cafe is really unique and funky, with a kind of black, gothic, chocolate theme running throughout. (Don’t know if chocolate is usually considered a theme, but here it definitely was!) The downstairs is the shop, where you can order cakes and buy all sorts, from marshmallows to chocolate statues!

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Upstairs is the cafe part. All of the cakes are on display for you to choose from and oh my god they are so tempting! I wanted them all! Although the tables and chairs are a really trendy gothic style, they are quite uncomfortable…but I doubt you would be sitting for long because how long does it actually take to scarf down a slice of cake? The menu consists of tea, coffee, cake, various other baked goods, hot chocolate, various soft drinks, and desserts such as banana split or ice cream sundae. So its really a case of choosing between sweet, sweeter or sweetest. As long as you know what to expect before you go, then I’m sure something will appeal to you!

We ordered one piece of Chocolate Cake, one Milk Hot Chocolate and one Americano. The presentation of the cake and the hot chocolate was very impressive, as it definitely made my mouth water. The cake comes with ice cream, drizzled with strawberry coulis and chocolate sauce and the hot chocolate arrived at the table with lashings of whipped cream, chocolate chips placed on top and marshmallows hidden under it all! You definitely get a lot for your money as a slice of cake was only £4.99 and it was more than enough for two people!

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As for taste, I didn’t particularly rate what I had. The hot chocolate was far too sweet for me and I could only stomach a few sips. The cake was nice… nothing special, but again, too sweet! I would have much preferred it without the sauces and perhaps with less icing. For someone with an extremely sweet tooth, it would be ideal, but for me, someone who has a very sweet tooth anyway, it was way too much!

The service was good and the location was perfect, as its just off of the crowded Carnaby Street, a 5 minute walk from Regent Street and Picadilly Circus. Its nice to be able to watch everyone rushing around outside in the cold as you sit relaxing amongst the cake!

Taste: 6/10
Presentation: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Atmosphere: 8/10
Location: 9/10
Price: 9/10
Menu: 8/10

Hope you enjoyed this post and leave a comment letting me know if you’ve ever been to Choccywoccydoodah and if so, what you thought! Also, what are the best places for cake in London? I’d love to have to do more cake reviewing. Oh the hard life.

Thanks for reading,

Harrie x

Is this really happening?

Is this really happening? That’s what’s going through my head right now as I sit here on my sofa on a chilled tuesday afternoon writing my first blog post. The reason I’m asking this question is because having my own blog is something I have imagined for ages, but never really gotten around to… until now. So I suppose I’m a bit apprehensive about how this will go. What’s the worst that can happen though?

Anyway, enough of all that. Just so you know, this blog, as I’m sure you can guess, will be about my journey of food discovery. Sounds very cliché I know, but it’s true. If you want to read a bit more about me, then have a look at the section over there titled (funnily enough) ‘About me’. Basically, I’m a former picky eater who now seems to love every food I come into contact with (there are a few exceptions of course). I now love discovering new recipes, restaurants and individual foods and I will bring you along to share these experiences with me. I hope you come back for some sometimes delicious, sometimes not so delicious, sometimes funny, sometimes strange, but always entertaining food related posts!

Harrie x