If you are a fan of Asian food then P.F. Chang’s Asian Table is the place for you. We enjoyed a lovely early evening meal last weekend and we’re literally planning our next visit! The restaurant is so lively and vibrant. When you arrive you are greeted with the most delicious smelling food.
For starters we both had the Handmade Pork Dumplings which was drizzled with soy sauce and chilli mash. This dish is an absolute must have! The dumplings literally melts in your mouth and tastes amazing.
You are spoilt for choice with the variety of different dishes. One of the dishes you could choose from the Honey Chicken or Honey Shrimp. We went for the Honey Shrimp which is lightly battered in sweet and tangy honey sauce, with spring onions served on a bed of crispy rice. Alongside Wasabi Mash Potatoes infused with wasabi, lemongrass, spring onions and cream. We also ordered Sichuan Green Beans marinated in sambal chilli paste, ginger, garlic and pickled Chinese radishes.
The dessert menu looked so good! But to be honest we were so full there was just nowhere for it to go! Lol. We did have room for a couple of cocktails though.. and tried the ‘Azure’ filled with Tequila, Shiso, Elderflower, Grape and Lemon which was very tasty but our favourite cocktail we tried that night had to be the ‘Purple Colada’. OMG!! If you love a pina colada then this drink is most definitely the one to go for. Mixed with coconut rum, Amaretto, pineapple juice, lemon juice, blue tea and coconut cream.
P.F. Chang in Covent Garden is about a five minute walk away from Charing Cross station. The restaurant also offers a lunch time menu and if you have a special occasion coming up they offer celebratory cakes with personalised messages made fresh from their pastry lab.
For the quirkiness, vibrancy and bohemian chicness, it’s one of our favourite places to visit in London. So we thought it would be nice to spend an evening at Shaka Zulu.
Located in the Stables Market in the heart of Camden, Shaka Zulu (here) is a South African restaurant, bar and club. We had heard a lot about the restaurant but this was our first time visiting. So of course we were excited to see what Shaka Zulu had to offer.
As we stepped off the escalator which takes you to the first floor of the restaurant, we were both in awe of the stunning interior. Our highlight of the evening was Shaka Zulu’s impressive decor especially on the second floor that has 20 feet tall warrior statues which are amazing! There are carved wooden murals which cover the walls and ceilings with dim spot lights to give the restaurant an intimate and relaxed vibe. The space is really big and spacious and has a great atmosphere.
We arrived late afternoon (just in time for happy hour) which includes two for one cocktails!
We certainly recommend having a cocktail. It was probably one of the best cocktails that we’ve had in London. We both are always a bit dubious of cocktails as it is hard to get it right. But the bartenders at Shaka Zulu did not disappoint. The cocktails were absolutely on point!
The cocktails made such a great impression on us that we could not wait to devour some food.
Shelley ordered the steak and Michelle ordered the ribs (not exactly South African cuisine). The food was pretty basic and bland in taste. Also, the portions were small so if you are feeling a bit ravenous one evening, possibly order two plates. No shade!
Don’t get us wrong, it was not the worst meal but certainly not the best meal that we have had. However, the decor, atmosphere and cocktails made up for the less than satisfying meal.
It was a pleasant evening and we would certainly go back for the cocktails. Also, the restaurant turns into a night club from 10pm to 2am so if you want to shake a leg then Shaka Zulu may be for you.
We had been talking about going to Rum Kitchen for awhile and a friend of ours had recently been and could not stop talking about how delicious the food is….so we said why not give it a try.
An inviting West Indian restaurant tucked away in Kingly Court on Carnaby Street, buzzing with people, with tasty Caribbean cuisines and delicious cocktails we knew we were in for a treat.
A great atmosphere, designed like a Caribbean beach hut, there was a DJ on the decks playing good upbeat tunes and it felt like you were being transported away to a Caribbean island. So if you are looking for tasty West Indian cuisine with the best cocktails, then look no further than Rum Kitchen.
We are lovers of Caribbean food so are expectations were pretty high! Lol. The Rum Kitchen offers a very meat filled menu with some of our favourite dishes. From jerk chicken, to curry mutton, plantain to macaroni and cheese. We couldn’t decide what to choose from on the menu (nothing new). But we decided on the spiced prawns, the jerk bowl and the proper jerk dish. You can choose the level of spice that you prefer, so if you like it hot or not, the chefs will cater to your taste buds. Sides include sweet potato fries, callaloo, spinach, ackee and a few more options. The meat focused menu is balanced out with exotic fruit that included watermelon and pineapple sprinkled over the coconut rice that complemented the dish and got your taste buds bursting with a combination of flavours.
You can not be in a Caribbean restaurant and not be sipping on a cocktail or a little bit of rum. The Rum Kitchen do a perfect mojito, so of course we had to order more than one…it would be rude not too. We must admit, that we are picky when it comes to cocktails but the cocktails were soooooooo tasty. You can tell that the cocktail makers put a lot of emphasis on creating the perfect drink. You can order Happy Hour drinks between 5 to 7pm.
We do recommend booking Rum Kitchen in advance as the restaurant gets very busy. So if you want to experience a taste of the Caribbean in the heart of the West End then take a stroll to Rum Kitchen. It is only a 6 minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station. Or why not try, Rum Kitchen in Notting Hill or Brixton.
We travelled to one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean….Aruba ‘One Happy Island’ and had a week relaxing and exploring in paradise. The sea is crystal clear and made up of different shades of blue. You could literally bathe in the sea all day. But don’t be mistaken…Aruba has so much to offer, from stunning beaches, to rugged landscapes and tasty authentic cuisine. We can certainly say that Aruba was the perfect getaway for the sister duo!
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the all-inclusive resort, The Hotel Riu Palace Antillas (here) that is located directly on Palm Beach. It is an adults-only hotel that boasts a gym, spa, casino, swimming pools, nightclub and a variety of restaurants and shops. All hotel guests also have access to their sister hotel, The Hotel Riu Palace Aruba situated next door which is more family friendly (here). This was not our first time staying in one of the Riu hotels but this particular hotel is definitely top of the list! The staff were friendly and we felt very looked after. There was so much to do within the resort there was never a dull moment!
Things To Do
Aruba is the perfect destination whether your a couple or on a single girls/boys trip and has something to offer everyone. From submarine tours, to horse back riding on the beach to deep sea fishing you can be as busy or chill as you desire.
One of our favourite trips has to be the Baby Beach Safari tour. You have your own personal tour guide (shout out to Sherman!) who takes you in his jeep on the bumpiest off-road adventure through the Arikok National Park of Aruba. You drive through what looks like a desert land, made up of lava formations, quartz rocks and fossilised coral at full speed. So buckle up and be prepared for windswept hair, dust and a crazy ride. Perfect for any thrill seekers!
Our first stop was the east coast of Aruba to the California Lighthouse, followed by a pit stop at the Natural Bridge, then headed onto the donkey sanctuary (where Shelley fed the donkeys), onto the Fontein Caves and ended our day at Baby Beach that is located in the south east of the island where you can clearly see the coast of Venezula across the waters which was very cool to see.
We also recommend other ways to spend your time on the island from taking a cruise across the sea in time for the sunset on a catamaran, watersports and going on the karaoke party bus (which is a lot of fun).
Food we ate
We ate so much delicious foods on the islands, from fresh fish to tasty soups, with our favourite dish of the menu being steak and lobster. The combination of the two foods work so well together!
Also, you have to try the cream of conch soup, finished with two stuffed pastry’s. A very tasty, Aruban dish that should be finished with the famous Aruban rum punch. This was certainly our favourite cocktail on the island.
Aruba is an expensive place and is certainly an island that appeals to honeymooners and retired people. However, it is still a great place to experience no matter your age as there is so much on offer, including the incredible scenery.
We would certainly suggest having a budget so if you are renting an apartment and eating out daily you will probably have a daily spend of 130 USD. If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort (like we did) your daily budget will be a lot less. So bear that in mind.
Daily activities such as the Baby Beach tour will cost around 110 USD, water sports vary from 20 USD up to 85 USD and sailing on a catamaran is around 65USD.
Aruba is also known for their designer shops located in Oranjestad, so if you want to fit in some shopping, make sure you have enough spending money to splash out a little bit.
We have enjoyed the food at Ping Pong for a few years now, but haven’t been for some time and decided to spend an evening dining at the trendy Chinese Dim Sum restaurant. There are a few Ping Pong restaurants in London, we chose the Bow Bells House location which is a five minute walk from Cannon Street Station.
The dim lit restaurant has a great atmosphere with delicious foods, amazing wine and cocktails. We ordered small dishes to share and started with the vegetable puff, soy chicken skewers, prawn and scallop sticky rice and black prawn dumpling.
The food was so delicious and came with a variety of different sauces which complimented the dishes. The vegetable puff was full of different flavours and the glazed honey melted onto the puff pastry perfected the dish. The soy chicken was cooked just right, it tasted as though it had been on the bbq and was served with a zesty orange sauce. You have to try the prawn and scallop sticky rice which tastes so good!
The rice was wrapped in a leaf which you have to unwrap, the prawn and scallop tastes great together so we definitely recommend this dish. All we have to say is mmmmmmm!! The black prawn dumpling just melts in your mouth and gets your taste buds going!
If you’re going to an event or meeting your significant other maybe choose something else on the menu as this dish is full of garlic but tastes amazing.
It’s not a night out without wine and cocktails involved! The cocktails were so tasty, Shelley had the lychee and roses martini which contained bombay sapphire gin, rose petals, fresh lemon and lychee juice. Michelle had the straight up daiquiri made with bacardi carta blanca rum, sugar, shaken with fresh lime juice.
We booked our table in advance, which we tend to do before eating out at restaurants. So we would say book a reservation to avoid disappointment. As there are other Ping Pong restaurants in London, when in the area why not try Ping Pong Southbank, Covent Garden or Soho.