Restaurant Review: Boyden’s Kitchen

Boydens Kitchen Review Barnet

Cinnamon French Toast

Cuisine: British Artisan Cafe

Location: Barnet (Friern Barnet Rd)

Food: ?????
Atmosphere: ?????
Setting: ?????
Service: ?????

Boyden’s Kitchen is the definition of homely and quirky. The mismatched tea cups, board games and knitted dolls for sale all add to the charm of the place, but it’s the food that will keep you going back.

Their breakfast/ brunch style menu has every food lovers essential from cinnamon french toast to pancakes, poached eggs, salmon, porridge and eggs with soldiers. The green tea with mint and rose tea is particularly memorable, as in fact is their Monmouth coffee.

Fresh home made cakes pastries boyden's kitchen

Fresh home-made cakes & pastries

Their selection of home-made cakes and pastries changes on a weekly basis and serve to add to the already fabulous menu.

Boyden's Kitchen Knitted Dolls

Boyden’s Kitchen Knitted Dolls

The itself menu isn’t extensive, but what they lack in variety they make up for in quality; the food is fresh and arrives quickly despite the cafe always being busy. The dishes are every Instagramers dream, as each plate is beautifully prepared so that it looks as good as it tastes and the portions are what every food lover hopes for: hearty and inexpensive.

Fluffy Pancakes

Fluffy Pancakes

The staff were helpful and accommodating with order changes and substitutions and there are newspapers, magazines and free WiFi to keep even the most impatient diner occupied until the food arrives.

The decor is charming and haphazard and is the perfect place to visit on a lazy morning. The only criticism I could give Boyden’s is that you have to go to the counter to pay and they’re only open until 5.30pm.

That being said, the parking is free which adds to the already extensive list of pro’s and tips the scale in favor of making Boyden’s your next must visit place.


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Restaurant Review: Kings Road Steakhouse & Grill

Marco Pierre White Kings Road Steakhouse Chelsea

House cut steak, triple cooked chips and salad

Cuisine: Steakhouse
Location: Chelsea

Food: ?????
Atmosphere: ?????
Setting: ?????
Service: ?????

With Marco Pierre White’s name above the door, I expected great things (or at the very least great steak). Kings Road Steakhouse & Grill is situated in the chic Chelsea neighborhood and the restaurant promises a classy night out.

The decor can only be descried as clean and plain; it features white walls, white table cloths, white chairs and plenty of mirrors. Individual table lamps and a large chandelier add some modern touches to the otherwise classic surroundings.

Kings Road Steak house

Kings Road Steakhouse Cosmopolitan

Courses came out quickly and the waiters were charming enough; as for the food itself, it was pleasant if not slightly unremarkable. The soup of the day was caramelized onion soup which was creamy and tasty but was lacking any accompanying bread, which would have been a nice if not entirely necessary addition to the starter.

The pièce de résistance, the much awaited steak came with a choice of sauces and for those who like their steaks bloody, I am sure you would have found the cut masterfully cooked. For me, it was underdone, I ordered medium but received a rare steak. This being said, the steak itself was tender, flavorful and juicy.

Sticky Toffee Pudding Marco Pierre White Steakhouse

Sticky Toffee Pudding

The couple on the table next to us also felt their steaks had been under cooked and their medium steak were sent back only half eaten.

At this point I should add that the tables are packed quite closely together and whether you like it or not, a dinner for two becomes a dinner for six (you, and the couples either side of you).

The desert, accompanied by an ice-cold Cosmopolitan slipped down nicely and may well have been the best of the three courses.

The Kings Road Steakhouse offers various online deals to dine in for two which most of the patrons in the restaurant had pre-purchased (as they were eating from the same fixed menu that I was).

Whilst the fixed menu is somewhat limited (and requires you to pay extra for sides and certain cuts of steak) it made an otherwise expensive meal quite reasonable.

Marco Pierre White’s Kings Road Steakhouse & Grill is pleasant enough if it’s a quiet meal you’re after, however as restaurants go I wouldn’t consider this one a core shaker.


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Restaurant Review: Byron Burger

The Byron Burger

The Byron Burger

Cuisine: Burger Bar
Location: Various

Food: ?????
Atmosphere: ?????
Setting: ?????
Service: ?????

My experience at Bryon Burger is the definition of a ‘beautiful accident’. ‘Accident’ because after waiting an hour for a table at another eatery, I sought out a restaurant that would be kind enough to seat three hungry girls on a Friday night, without a reservation.

The restaurant itself is nothing to look at, I can only describe the interior as simple like it’s menu. Byron Burger’s philosophy is “do one thing and do it properly” so if it’s variety you’re after, go elsewhere. If burger’s are your food of choice however, I’d say you’ve come to the right place.

Mac & Cheese and Skinny Fries

Mac & Cheese and Skinny Fries

As a meat enthusiast, when it comes to burgers I border on obsessive. Whilst I’m un-moving on my requirements, they are pretty simple: good quality meat, perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection (which they were, the burgers at Byron are served medium unless requested otherwise).

The patties are juicy and flavorful, the buns are soft and the mac & cheese was not far off perfect. In fact it’s no wonder that over the last years several new branches have sprung up around town, after all, where the food is good the people will follow.

When it comes to burgers in London, finding a place to eat isn’t hard. Finding a restaurant that will serve you a “proper burger” is another matter altogether, however as long as you’re happy with your gherkin on the side of your burger and not in it… then if you ask me, Byron’s have all the fundamentals right.

The skinny fries were nothing to write home about but the courgette fries and proper olives are on the money. The price is reasonable, the staff were attentive but most importantly, their meat is definitely worth hopping a train into town for.


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How To Recognise People With Foreign Parents.

I’ve lived in London my whole life. I was born over here so I suppose that makes me, if not English, then British at least. So what separates me from all my English friends? Because despite the fact we all went to the same school, watched the same cartoons growing up and all now live within about a 2mile radius of each other, there is a definite difference.

It’s our families, and while my classmates were all bought up with some level of normalcy, I was raised by a man who herded sheep as a child and the woman who chose to marry him. On face value we might seem the same as every other Londoner, but once you know how to read the signs, you’ll notice that you can actually spot us as mile off…

1. You know you’re dealing with someone who has foreign parents when it takes them 10 minutes to explain to the Fed Ex guy how to spell their surname. “No… an.. as..iou… iou… no just one iou… here let me just write if for you!” Because apparently even spell-check can’t help you out with Athanasiou.

2. It doesn’t matter if she’s 26, while she’s living at home, if you’re picking her up for a date, the chances are you’re going to have to wait around the corner.

3. Also, once they do move out, it’s of no consequence how many years they’ve been living away from home, if they’re going to visit their parents, they will be coming back with a clean basket of laundry and 6 assorted Sainsbury’s carrier bags. This is has nothing to do with being spoilt, this is just how our mothers show us love.

Quiet Sunday Dinner...

4. Cooking for Sunday dinner doesn’t involve a quiet meal for 4. No, it involves peeling potatoes until your arm goes numb; after all it’s rude to cook and not invite the whole family over. And even if the whole family isn’t coming, it’s best to cook for them anyway… just in case. Don’t worry this isn’t wasteful, what doesn’t get eaten today will be re-heated four times and eaten every night next week.

5. If while cooking together you pass them the wooden spoon and they duck, I promise this is completely normal. It’s a reflex deeply ingrained in them from the age of about 10 when they brought home their first bad report card and in turn got their first beating. Other such painful memory triggers include: slippers, brooms and their mums hand.

6. This one may be Cypriot specific but, we don’t say turn ‘on the lights’, we say ‘open the lights’. And no, despite being corrected several million times, we still don’t care that it doesn’t make any sense.

7. We have all at some point in our lives received a lecture which is a variation on the classic: “I came to this country with only two pounds in my pocket and I worked hard to build all this for you so you and your sister could have everything…” This may have something to do with the fact our parents believe we don’t recognise hard work due to the fact we have never ploughed a field.

8. “I’m going on holiday to see my family” tends to mean “see you in 5 weeks. I may have a twinge to my accent upon return and if all goes to plan I will be almost black”.

9. Despite being born over here, and having cultivated just about every British tradition going,  we still refer to everyone else as: “English People“.

Souvla Sunday...

10. Again, this may be a Cypriot specific adaptation, derived from the days where public transport was called Laki The Donkey, or perhaps it’s a result of our families missing the village days where everything you ever needed was a 3 minute walk away. Either way we all live pretty much down the same road, or at a push a couple of roads over. This essentially saves money on phone calls because you don’t need to call everyone to invite them to a Sunday BBQ, you just put the meat on and wait for them to smell it.


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