Raspberry and Banana Muffins (with British Lion Eggs)


I have forever been using this recipe for making my most trusted popular muffins since the days of university. I guess it is time to share my secret, not only it taste fabulous, it is also healthy. The raspberry can also be changed to other type of berries, equally delicious too.

When choosing to buy eggs, I always go for eggs that has been stamped with British Lion mark. This is a mark that can be stamped onto eggs by producers who are signed up to its Lion Quality Code of Practice. When you see the Lion logo on the egg shell or box, it means that the hens are British and have been protected against salmonella and that there is full traceability of hens, eggs and feed. And British Lion egg producers also print a "best-before" date on every single egg to ensure freshness.

Find more egg nutrition info here

Raspberry and Banana Muffins (for 12 servings)

300g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120g sugar, extra from topping
50g porridge oats, extra for topping
2 medium ripe banana
300g fat free natural yoghurt
5 tbsp sunflower oil
1 egg
150g raspberry

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar and oats together in a large mixing bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, mash the banana until smooth. Add the oil, yoghurt and egg into the mashed banana until evenly combined
  4. Tip the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, mix together with  a wooden spoon until lump-free.
  5. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, then sprinkle the tops with sugar and oats.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown.
  7. Cool completely before enjoying the muffins.
Find more egg recipes here.

Jubo, London


So lately, I have a thing for KFC. I don't mean the fast food chain, Korean fried chicken is like the fashion of the moment at least in the Korean world and I do love a finger licking fried chicken. Jubo, meaning canteen in Korean is the second branch to open at Exmouth Market. I have always been told, New Malden is the Koreantown of London and it is where the benchmark is set. Yet, I have not made it so far and I will just stick to what I can found in central London for the time being.


"Yangnyeom Tongdak" Koren Fried Chicken (Soy Garlic / Hot)

The menu is centred around K-town staples with the like of fried chicken and buns. Korean inspired cocktails are served here as well as the local Korean Hite beer and soju. I am not too keen on the fact that they only serve draught beer in half pint, and pricing it to similar price of a full pint.  Our main business of the evening, was the fried chicken wings. We went half soy garlic and half hot flavour, it is not as spicy as expected which we could have gone for the volcanic hot. Deep fried to amazing crunchiness and sticky coating. It is the best I had in London yet.

Yaka Mein

Bulgogi Rice Bowl
Rest of the meal was less impressive. Yaka mein is an US export commonly found in many Creole and Chinese restaurants in New Orleans, a beef noodle soup with a cajun seasoning in the broth. Meat was on the dried side, it is a interesting bowl of noodle just not spectacular. The bulgogi rice bowl was better, it is a tad sweet the meat and I added Sriracha sauce to mild down the sweetness.


Eoh Muk Jeon

Ojing-Eo Tuigim

The kimich was alright, missing the pungent kick of sourness and heat. Eoh Muk Jeon is a Korean flat style fish cakes with sriracha drizzle, lightly pan fried. Non memorable. Ojing-Eo Tuigim is baby squid calamari which they forgot the sweet mayonnaise and was just edible.

Beef Galbi

The beef galbi were not too bad, chargrilled lateral cut 24 hours marinated short ribs accompanied with a kimchi slaw. I thought it needed more smokiness and the meat could be more tender, it was still enjoyable and I don't remember tasting the kimchi in the slaw. It's a decent crunchy creamy slaw.

When it comes to food, it may seems like I am very picky. If it is good, it is good. If it is bad, it is bad. If it is edible, it is edible. Well at least I am still alive after so many trial and error. The Korean fried chicken were truly the most tastiest of the night or just about in central London. For the rest, not the best and not the worst. I think I had the misfortune of attending the first day of soft launch and experienced shocking service. A very big miscommunication, different staffs told us different items was unavailable on the menu which got us confused what was actually available on the menu. Lastly, waited 15 minutes before the wings arrived and a horrid of more than 45 minutes until next arrived, unacceptable to the point nearly wanted to walk out to so many other fantastic options in the area (not that I did). If I can get the wings for take away, that is what I will do next time.

Score: 2.5/5
Price: £20/head (50% soft launch, ~£30 for two people)

Click to add a blog post for Jubo on Zomato
Square Meal


The Trading House, London


Unless you work in the city, surrounded by many grand looking buildings can feel alienated. Located at the former site of Bank of New Zealand. The grade II listed building now has been masqueraded as a mock Victorian colonial trading house. "Frontier importers and exporters of particular and peculiar eccentricities, curiosities and antiquities" revealing stuffed white peacock on the bar, antlers on the walls, puffer fish on the side. It's a paradise for antique explorers.

Watermelon Martini and Spiced Cumin Mary

You know you are in for a serious game when the beer list comes in natty booklet of an extensive range of global craft beers. The drinks list was also impressive, selection of spiced-twist cocktails, a traditionally British G&T list and amongst others. Seeing that big piece of watermelon, it has to be the refreshingly cooling watermelon martini. I hope this count as one of my one of 5-a-day fruit and vegetable allowance. Both me and Mr T thought the spiced cumin Mary was superb, a different take of the traditional Bloody Mary with kick of cumin spice.


Pan Fried Garlic Mushrooms

Asparagus Soup

The food offered is inspired by the deli, rotisserie and BBQ. We may have over ordered on the starters. Crispy calamari with lemon mayonnaise, light and not memorable. Pan fried garlic mushrooms with crusty bread and truffle butter, it was an easily forgotten dish eventhough it tasted nice just nothing special. The asparagus soup was good, creamy and thick.

Steak and Stout Pie

Beef Kebabs

A pub classics, steak and stout pie. Rusty mashed potatoes, mushy peas and thick gravy (I seriously do not like thin gravy). The pastry case is thin and the meat is tender. It's a good pie and mash, big portion too just missing a spark from it.The beef kebabs was an eye of dramatic presentation. The kebabs was indeed hanging, drizzled with a sweet chilli sauce glazing the meat with the juice and sauce trickled down onto the chips. The meat was supposed to be medium cooked, it was tending towards well done and making it tough and dried. Contrary the vegetables were all very nice and sweet.

The trading house is an impressive venue with live music playing every night. So good so Mr T have returned many times for drinks. It may not be the best pub food, it is definitely worthwhile for the extensive drinks or on the looking out for banker bachelors.

Score: 3/5
Price: £20-30/head (50% soft launch, ~£30 for two people)

Click to add a blog post for The Trading House on Zomato
Square Meal


Lobos Tapas, London


The newest to join the tapas war in London is Lobos ("wolves" in Spanish) Tapas in the heart of Borough Market. There's a threat to the Spanish scene of Borough Market, coming from three Brindisa alumni who are now operating the new Lobos Tapas. This new joint has a big focus on meat, specifically Ibérico pork - said to be the king of pork. Also featuring classic tapas dishes and lots of Spanish drink too.


I do apologise for the photos being so dark, I was in a wolves cave. More precisely, a narrow dimly lit tunnel with bare filament bulbs hanging and trains raffled overhead. It seems a fitting for the name of the restaurant "wolves" and it is partly set within a railway arch on a mainline into London Bridge station.

Padrón Peppers

Octopus Vinaigrette

Ham, Chorizo & Cheese Board

Padron Pepper seems like a safe bet, really it is a game of roulette. No one hit the jackpot, it was seasoned just right and made it ever so moreish. Tender pieces of octopus and crunchy onion salad with a right note of acidity to the vinaigrette. The ham and cheese board consisted of Ibérico Bellota ham, spicy chorizo, manchego cheese, breadsticks and ciabatta from Bread Ahead bakery at Borough Market. Ibérico Bellota ham is what top prime ham should taste like, oily (healthy fat of course) and rich, melt instantly in the mouth. What's missing is maybe a glass of sherry, that would have completed the board.

Green Salad

Ribeye and Foie Gras

Secreto Iberico, Mojo Chips

Playing the health card before the rise of cholesterol, a green salad which is after all just a salad with a good sharp dressing. What is rising the cholesterol level? F-o-i-e g-r-a-s, sitting on a scrumptious ribeye steak cooked medium rare with caramelised onion sauce. This whole thing just melt in the mouth. Billed as the "hidden" cut of the Ibérico pork, secreto refers to the cut from between the shoulder blade and the loin (I believed the Chinese would refers to this as the neck end).Fantastic flavour and marbled with fat on the surface resulting in juicy tender meat. Mojo is a freshy herby sauce with enough garlic to knock your head off, so much garlic it gives a little heat in to it and was drizzled over thinly sliced fried potato or what they called it as chips which will erroneous a lot of people.

Lobos is on top of its game for their meat, it is a heaven for carnivores. It is a small cosy place with great atmosphere and friendly knowledgeable staffs. Prices are not cheap, I wouldn't mind paying for the quality of Spanish cooking and I know I would be returning soon to have more Ibérico pork.

Score Rating: 3.5/5
Price: £30/head (50% soft launch, £36 for 2 people)

Click to add a blog post for Lobos on Zomato
Square Meal


Grim's Dyke Hotel, London


I rarely leave central London and I mean stepping outside of zone 1. One Saturday, we took the metropolitan line to North London, Harrow-on-the-hill and then a taxi whizzed us to the historic grade II* listed country house on the London/Hertfordshire border. The urban side of London can really easily suck you in and forgetting there is still a greener side not so far away from you.

A glass of bubbly, a book to read, a sun beaming on you and maybe a few lips to chat to, wish that was life everyday that I can relax to. Minus the bubbly and the book, I was definitely here to relax for the afternoon.

Former home of W.S. Gilbert



We were given a tour to this remarkable grand building, Grim's Dyke Hotel. The building itself is best known as the home of W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan, who died on the grounds attempting to help a local girl who had got into difficulties swimming. Lady Gilbert continued to live at the house until she passed away. Since then, Grym's Dyke was used as a rehabilitation centre for tuberculosis sufferers and it was transferred as a hotel in 1970 and still is a hotel now. The hotel itself is a popular wedding and private function venue. It also played host for numerous well know films and TV shows. I am not surprised, it's not easy to find such beautiful surroundings in London.

The Kitchen Garden

Lady Gilbert's Room
The hotel is surrounded by stunning gardens and woods with hiking trails. If I did not remind myself, I would of have forgotten that I was still in London. It feels wonderful for once and awhile, to feel the fresh air of the countryside, hear the bird singing and enjoying the sun. The hotel's kitchen has it own little garden growing herbs, fruits and vegetables. Using seasonal ingredients to create the restaurant's menu.

We also had a peek of Mr and Lady Gilbert's rooms, now used as hotel suites but most features had remain from the original design.

Closing the tour was a sumptuous spread of afternoon tea delights in the formal dining room, thank you to the hotel's generosity. The portion size was something different to central London hotels, everything was so much bigger or just me used to seeing the fine dainty elegance. Nevertheless, it was hard to keep our mouth drooling and our hands away from the plate.


A selection of favourite sandwiches, home-smoked scotch salmon on walnut & raisin bread with cream cheese, free range egg mayonnaise with mustard cress on homemade bread and cream cheese & cucumber on a finger sandwich. I particularly liked the walnut and raisin bread, with a hint of sweetness.

Tomato and Pesto Tart
The tomato and pesto tart may not have the best look, but it was fantastic and the tart case was like paper thin.


What is afternoon tea without scones? Freshly baked fruit and plain scone with strawberry preserve and Cornish clotted cream. It is just how I like my scones, light and fluffy.


Swan Choux Buns

As tempting as getting a sugar rush from the fanciers (rich chocolate macaroon, strawberry tarts, raspberry shortbreads and swan choux buns), I only managed to disintegrate the swan choux bun, and the choux bun was light and thin. So good I ate a whole one. What I heard from the others was the macaroon was excellent too. I was already too full to finish the three tiers

Guess what, this is a fraction of the cost compared to central London prices and who does not like a bargain. It's perfect for a quiet weekend away, only 30 minutes from London immersing in the stunning serenity presence and rich history of Grim's Dyke.

Price: £15.95/head

I was invited to review the afternoon tea at Grim's Dyke Hotel.

Click to add a blog post for Gilbert's Restaurant - Grim's Dyke Hotel on Zomato


Balls & Company, London

Walking down the street, you can find burgers & lobsters on the left and chicken & steak on the right. Further down will be cereal café, around the corner is porridge café and more. Now to make the appearance of the perhaps a craze of ultra focused restaurant is the humble meatball. Balls & Company, Soho’s first gourmet meatball gaff.

Behind the brain of the kitchen is Australian-born chef Bonny Porter (a finalist on Australian Masterchef, who has worked at The Arts Club and Village East). The restaurant itself will seat 30 on the main floor and 20 downstairs which also have a basement bar. There was a small queue on the day I went, the turnaround time is actually quicker than expected.


Special Menu

Drinks Menu

The concise menu does exactly what it says on the tin, offering the choice of five varieties of ball served in Mauviel copper pans (eyes were shinning on the pans constantly) using the highest quality produces. A selection of sauces to choice from to accompanied the balls and of course seasonal sides and desserts.

Raspberry Cuba Libre and Blueberry Fizz


Tasty cocktails to start the evening but wished the alcohols was stronger and some snack to nibble on. The snack is sort of between crispy and poppadom, slightly salted,

Wagyu with Tomato 

Pork with Pesto

Salmon with Béchamel Sauce

Go for two plates of ball or if you're very hungry like us, three plates of ball between two carnivores . We can in fact eat for the nation. All balls are served in portion of fours with a sauce. Coarsely minced Wagyu beef meatballs cooked medium rare with the classic tomatio sauce, it was good and packed with meaty flavour. It is hard to complain to Wagyu, so keeping it simple is the best way to eat it. The pork is flavoured with ricotta, parmesan, milk bread, pine nuts, basil and sage. We went along with the waiter suggestion of pesto with the pork. It worked brilliantly, soft balls and garlicky pesto. Lastly was the salmon mixed with dill and seeds, with a creamy ricotta and parmesan béchamel sauce. I don't know if it was supposed to be slightly uncooked in the middle or not, indeed our salmon balls was still pink in the middle. It did not bother us much as we loved raw fish. It is hard to go wrong with fish and white sauce, which they did spot on. The consistency of the béchamel sauce is much thicker than normal but it made a good presentation on the balls and tasted lovely. All the balls we had was delicious, the sauces did not over flavour the balls itself. Equally the balls would have been fantastic on its own without the sauce as it was so flavoursome, the sauce is a great addition with the sides.


Polenta Chips

Heirloom Tomato with Balsamic Pearls

When you think of meatballs, spaghetti would come up next in the thought. We had spaghetti for our sides, and being more adventurous with polenta chips rather than chips. They were both overly seasoned, too heavy handed with the salt beside that the polenta chips was very crisp and the crust is thicker than chips. Not ordering some sort of greens is just not me, we also had a side of heirloom tomato salad. The tomato was unbelievably different to the tomatoes found in the supermarket, it is juicier and stronger in tomato flavour. The balsamic pearls added extra fun to the dish.


By now, I'd lost the plot on how full I am already and still went ahead with a dessert. The irresistible brownie with Persian fairy floss and Purbeck vanilla bean ice cream. It feels like a kid again having candy floss (or fairy floss, hi Australian). Persian fairy floss (pashmak) is a variation of candy floss made from sesame and sugar, and resembles sheep's wool so look wise is different. The texture of the brownie is on the gooey side and not that crumbly. Hidden underneath the floss is a scoop of ice cream. It was a good satisfying dessert, not so good my waistline I know unfortunately.

With all these new ultra focused restaurants, some are stepping out as winners and I think Ball & Company is a success. It's a new restaurant and improvements are needed on the service, overall it was friendly and attentive. The small menu means it can focus on the quality of the ingredients and play on the creativeness on making delicious ball (minus the salt). Who knew meatballs can be so playful?

Score: 3/5
Price: £20/head (50% soft launch, £38.76 for two people)