The River Cafe (London Travel Guide For Foodies: Day 3 of 3)

the river cafe

the river cafeFind day 1 of this trip here

Find day 2 of this trip here

This post is dedicated to two men I spent most of my waking hours with between the years 2006-2011: Staffan Terje and Umberto Gibin.

My morning started slow and mindful like it usually does. A little reading, a little journaling, some meditation.

But my zen routine quickly turned into a mad sprint when I received a call from the front desk of our hotel.

“Would you like to request a late check out?” a lady with a friendly voice inquires.

Gulp. “What time is check out?”

“11 a.m.”

“Uh, what time is it now?” I ask with a large lump now forming in my throat.

“It’s 11:45 a.m. ma’am.”

Holy shit!

“Mom!”

“We gotta go!”

I’ve always hated black out curtains in hotels and this is a perfect example of why they can be a luxury and a liability at the same time.

I haven’t slept past 7 a.m. in years, but I think after two fast and furious days in London our bodies obviously needed the rest.

In fifteen minutes we were downstairs hailing a cab, completely out of time to visit Bouroughs Market. Bummer.

But, there was no way in hell I was missing River Cafe for lunch…

The River Cafe

We fly in hot with bags and suitcases flailing.

“We have to be out in 45 minutes,” I say apologetically.

“Absolutely, let’s get you set up right away then.”

“May we hold your suitcases for you?”

My mouth drops. I don’t know why I am still surprised at how helpful and kind people are here. The service in London is absolutely unparalleled to what I have experienced in the rest of the world.

the river cafe

I drop my purse and my mom at the bar and start exploring the restaurant.

the river cafeI am immediately transported back to my days cooking at Perbacco.

I scan the dining room.

There’s Sarah, our pastry chef, behind a counter of freshly baked tarts slicing Chocolate Nemesis Cake.

the river cafeI look over at the pantry station, lined with big bowls of ceci bean and kale salad; stewed peppers and blistered tomatoes; and freshly picked apples and I flash to visions of Yati, our pantry cook, squating down peeling beets before service.

the river cafe

the river cafeI look to the left at the expansive French brigade style hot line and see Benji, Alex and Sergio calling tickets back and forth, flipping pans of pasta and searing sardines ala plancha.

the river cafeI snap back into reality when my eyes make their way to the grandiose, neon pink wood burning oven–– the centerpiece of the dining room and kitchen.

It’s magnificent.

the river cafeI walk past its smoldering embers and smell of sweet smoke to the terrace outside. A long garden brimming with squash blossoms, cherry tomatoes, herbs and lettuces line the perimeter of the patio full of sophisticated diners basking in the sun.

the river cafe A man points a healthy bunch of kale out to his little boy.

the river cafeI walk back to the bar and notice that a plate full of fluffy, crusty focaccia fresh from the oven has appeared with three tiny bowls: olio nuevo, cracked black pepper and Maldon salt.

Oh man.

Savoring the bread is like riding a cloud up to heaven. I think, if I died right now I’d be cool with that.

the river cafe
Focaccia

I pick up the menu.

Ordering is easy. I know this food.

Not just in the way I know the names of classic Italian dishes and can tell how a dish will be presented just by reading its menu description. No, I KNOW these dishes. With every inch of my being.

I know them with my hands, the hands that spent hours tirelessly prepping these dishes over and over the same way day after day for five years.

I know them intellectually, from thinking about them every day. Ordering their ingredients, concocting daily specials,  studying their origins in cookbooks.

And I know them with my heart. The part of me that fell in love with Italian cooking and that lights up whenever I smell fresh basil, stir a pot of bolognese or drizzle olive oil over a plate of…anything.

The dishes on this menu were my life.

Grilled bread, covered with a heaping spoonful of those peppers and tomatoes I saw back in the kitchen are covered with purple and green basil leaves and peppery olive oil. A slice of creamy mozzarella di Bufala rests at its side.

the river cafe
Mozzarella di Bufala with bruschetta of grilled Italian peppers, basil and marinated summer tomatoes

Sarde––butterflied and wood roasted sardines––lie under a snowfall of crunchy breadcrumbs, lemon zest, chopped parsley and freshly pitted Nicoise olives.

the river cafe
Sarde – butterflied sardines wood-roasted with black olives, parsley, lemon zest and pangrattato

Beef carpaccio––thinly sliced raw beef top round––is rich and deep red like a ruby. Shaved baby beet, capers and grated horseradish complete the dish along with a glug of good olive oil and crunchy sea salt.

the river cafe
Carpaccio di Manzo – with pink & gold beets, parsley, capers and horseradish

Perfectly al dente ribbons of house made tagliatelle nest chunks of rabbit that have been slowly cooked with white wine and pancetta. Fresh basil. Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Simple perfection.

the river cafe
Tagliatelle – rabbit cooked in Pinot Bianco with basil, pancetta and parmesan

We are jamming through these dishes knowing that we have to leave for the airport very soon when I remember…

We must have dessert.

I place an order for their infamous caramel gelato and a slice of strawberry-almond tart while we finish our pasta.

Desserts appear and I am nearly in tears at this point.

I’m back at Perbacco now, sneaking into Sarah’s freezer for a spoonful of caramel gelato.

I smile when I take a bite because I actually remember enjoying Sarah’s more.

The trick to this gelato is burning the caramel, so that its flavor can over ride the fattiness of the cream in the custard. The flavor results in a pleasant bitterness reminiscent of a high acid, full body cup of coffee.

Sarah used to take her caramel to just under burnt, so that the flavor was sweet while still being front and center.

the river cafe
Caramel gelato

But, the tart. OMG.

Is this the best thing I’ve put in my mouth this trip? Or maybe ever?

OK, that’s saying a lot, but seriously this was one of those moments in my life that I will never forget.

The almond tart is chewy and buttery, sweet and nutty, caramelized and gooey. There are so many things going on in my mouth that my brain doesn’t know what to think. And frankly, it doesn’t want to even try.

Perfect, pink strawberries are intentionally placed in precise rows along the top of the tart and dusted in powdered sugar. The fresh, sweet, tart, crunchy berries pair with the tart so well I could never imagine them being apart. There is also a pool of silky smooth creme fraiche on the side for dipping.

the river cafe
Strawberry-almond tart with creme fraiche

Looking around the restaurant I start thinking about Staffan and Umberto and my stack of River Cafe cookbooks at home.

I get it guys.

I “got it” back then, but now that I’m here… I really get it. What inspired you about this place is inspiring the hell out of me now. And I have to say….you have succeeded.

You have taken the feel and beauty of this place and recreated it in a way that is you. That is San Francisco. That is completely unique, yet just like this at the same time.

So, thank you.

Thank you for everything you taught me, and gave me access to, in order for me to arrive at this place.

In this moment.

At this time in my life.

Right now.

Our bartender gets us out exactly on time to catch our flight. Before we know it we are being handed our luggage and settling into a Mercedes Benz Uber outside the restaurant.

On our way to  Heathrow airport I savor the taste of that strawberry-almond tart on my tongue.

In what was one of the quickest meals I have ever had I never felt rushed or stressed once.

I got everything in that I wanted to, and had a lovely time.

It was truly one of the greatest meals of my life.

 

Read the rest of my London Travel Guide for Foodies: day one here and day two here

* Side note: I always travel with a list of restaurant recommendations longer than I can possibly tackle. Here are the ones I didn’t get to on this trip that I will definitely visit next time…

Bourough Market

Ottolenjihi (Notting Hill)

Ye Old Cheshire Cheese

The Lamb

The Grapes

Darjeeling Express

Ivy

Pillars of Hercules

The George

Granger & Co. 

Moro

Caravan

10 Greek Street

Gloria’s 

Dean Street

Sketch

Smithfield Market

Like this article? Subscribe to The Healthy Locavore for more on how to eat local and live well in Hawaiʻi. I am so grateful for this community, thank you so much for being a part of it!

London Travel Guide For Foodies: Day 2 of 3

london travel guide

london travel guide

Find day 1 of this trip here

I start early again today.

I’m excited to get moving after yesterday.

But first, coffee…

Monmouth

This local coffee shop in Covent Garden responsibly sources and roasts beans from single farms, estates and cooperatives. They use high tech Loring Roasters from California, for all you coffee geeks out there.

manmouth coffee london
You can purchase beans by the kilo from their extensive selection to take home, or you can order a coffee drink to enjoy in house.
manmouth coffee london
A special note…On every table lies a cereal bowl full of organic whole-cane sugar from Costa Rica (dulse) for you to add to your coffee as desired.

Here I meet Alex, a friendly woman wearing a Pulp Fiction T-shirt and thick, black-rimmed glasses. We share a table and swap restaurant recommendations while I drink my Flat White, made with Yellow Bourbon coffee from Fazenda Santa Ines grown in Brazil.

manmouth coffee london
The coffee is thick and nutty with a caress of bittersweet toffee. I devour it in between heavenly bites of buttery Pain Au Chocolat made by local bakery–– The Little Bread Pedlar. Dark chocolate gushes out of every orifice with each bite.

manmouth coffee london    
Giddy and high on caffeine, my mom and I skip off to enjoy a stroll through manicured gardens and crowded streets along the River Thames. We take photographs of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster and a tour of Westminster Abbey.

London travel guide
Inside Westminster Abbey is poets corner where legends like Shakespeare, Anthony Trollop and C.S. Lewis are buried.

Looking down at Dylan Thomas’s memorial plaque I read this quote:

“Time held me green and dying. Though I sang in my chains like the sea.”

Man, if that doesn’t seize your guts…

westminster abbey

Dum Biryani House

Down a narrow staircase, in the basement of a tiny building in SOHO, where the walls are brightly painted and covered in Indian pop art I’ve come in search of Biryani.

Biryani is an Indian rice dish that’s made with meat or vegetables and all of the spices you’d find in curry powder.

The version we try here is tasty. Tender chunks of chicken legs are cooked with fluffy, curry scented jasmine rice. Fluorescent yellow raita and crispy papadam dusted with coriander and cumin are served along side.

biryani house
I appreciate the fact that they serve the sugar on the side when you  order  Masala Chai. I prefer mine with little to none.

It was another hot day in London so instead of sugar I infused my cup of tea with ice cubes.

Barrafina

A five-minute walk down the street and I’m at Barrafina.

A zippy, sleek Spanish tapas bar lined with stainless steel and good looking people.

I sit down directly in front of the hot line. The kitchen is serious. Everyone is speaking Spanish, heads are down and tweezers are out.

“Voy atras!” the dish washer announces as he slides behind line cooks to pick up dirty pans.

barrafina
Along the edge of the kitchen, where the grill intersects with pantry, are two shelves filled with the ingredients of the day.

barrafinaCarabineros, a prized species of deep-sea prawns, sit in a row with their striking deep burgundy shells still on. Razor clams, Tobay prawns and tiny monkfish are at their side. Leafy bunches of French Breakfast radishes, fennel, eggplant and a giant mound of dried paprika chilis spill over the shelf just above.

I order a glass of Hart Bros. Manzanilla––an aged, unfiltered white Sherry that is bottled just for Barrafina. It’s complex with that wonderful walnut essence I love so much about Sherry. It pairs beautifully with both dishes we order.

First is a plate of thinly sliced monkfish that has been cured with vinegar, sugar and pimenton lying in a vibrant sauce of fresh ginger and lime juice. Each slice is adorned with a piping of Membrillo (Spanish quince paste), avocado puree and sun-dried tomato.

barrafina
The second dish is Morcilla Iberica––black pudding made with Iberico pork. Two slices of rich, juicy sausage powered by smoky paprika lay in mounds of roasted Piquillo peppers. Fried quail eggs are gently laid on top and delicate, thin slices of crostini lean across each bite for crunch.

barrafina

Neal’s Yard Dairy

These guys select, mature and sell high quality local farmstead cheese. They truly deserve their own blog post, so I’m not going to go into detail here.

neal's yard dairyYou’ll want to learn more about them though….

Visit https://www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk

neal's yard dairy

I sampled two cheeses: Durrus––a buttery cow’s milk wash rind cheese from Cork, Ireland–– and Innes Brick––a silky raw goats milk cheese from Staffordshire, England.

LIving in Hawaii it’s been a long time since I’ve had cheese this good. I wish I had a whole day just to eat bread and cheese here.

neal's yard dairy

St. John’s Bakery

Right around the corner is Neal’s Yard. A colorful courtyard full of cafes, a sweet little health food store and Fergus Henderson’s bakery.

neal's yard

st. john's bakeryEagerly anticipating my dinner reservation at Henderson’s restaurant later tonight I stop in for a pastry.

st. john's bakery

st. john's bakery

st. john's bakery
I select a sugar coated, vanilla custard stuffed donut and grab a bench outside. The yard is a buzz with thirty-somethings blowing off the afternoon to enjoy life, and I’m starting to get used to these ridiculously well made pastries I keep finding everywhere.

st. john's bakery

neal's yard

The Dog & Duck

Just down the street I pass by The Dog & Duck, a victorian style pub in SOHO where George Orwell used to hang out.

the dog and duck

Duke Of York

It’s beer o’clock. I’m heading back to Seven Dials in Covent Garden where I drank yesterday.

“The stranger who finds himself in the Dials for the first time…at the entrance of Seven obscure passages, uncertain which to take, will see enough around him to keep his curiosity awake for no inconsiderable time…” – Charles Dickens

Yes Charles, that’s true.

Another regular spot of Charles Dickens was The Duke of York. This was a very seedy area in his day and this pub was particularly well known for gang violence.

Anthony Burgess was also a regular. It was here, watching the bloody razor blade fights between rival gangs, that “A Clockwork Orange” was inspired.

the duke of york
I sip a local lager that’s brewed down the street called Camden Hells and watch businessmen talking and laughing, enjoying a late afternoon pint.

the duke of york

St. John

It all comes down to this:

Respect for ingredients, starting from the farmer to the chef to the diner, equals good food.

st. john

St. John restaurant has zero ambiance, a very simple menu and even simpler food. It is by far one of the most respected restaurants in London and beloved by serious cooks and foodies around the world.

Fergus Henderson made nose-to-tail cooking and philosophy a thing. His style of cooking has inspired great chefs everywhere.

By the way, this was either him hanging out in the bar when I first walked in or his doppelgänger.

st. john

If you want traditional British cuisine done well, come here.

Sauteed lamb’s brains are served with parsley-caper sauce in a cast iron skillet. The brains are plump and creamy,  cooked so delicately they are able to still hold the integrity of their shape, unlike many “scrambled egg” versions I’ve tried in the past. It’s just like eating veal sweetbreads.

st. john
Light and puffy fried cod is served along tartar sauce made with hard cooked eggs. A squeeze of lemon is all you need.

st. johnI try grouse for the first time. A game bird not served in the U.S.

The kitchen cooks it perfectly, right on the cusp of medium rare. The crispy skin breaks off like shards of glass and the red currant jam along side complimented the gaminess of the tender, juicy meat.

Lightly sautéed spring greens, that taste like collard greens, and nutmeg scented bread sauce (breadcrumbs cooked in thickened milk) make lovely side dishes. And a piece of toast slathered with foie gras NEVER hurt anybody.

st. johnPer the suggestion of the man who sold me the donut at St. John’s Bakery this afternoon, I order the Madeleines for dessert. They are baked to order and come out fluffy and hot. Simply divine.

st. john

Another showstopper day in grand old London town.

Find day 3 of this trip here

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London Travel Guide For Foodies: Day 1 of 3

london travel guide

london travel guideIt’s 3 a.m.

Time to get up.

Bleary eyed, I brush my teeth and shove my toothbrush, clean laundry and a stack of books into my suitcase. I zip it up, grab my phone and order a Lyft.

There are zero people in line when I arrive at the San Diego airport. But, it’s like a full crowd scene in Salt Lake City. And in Raleigh, a kind southern lady points me to gate C23 in order to complete the last leg of my journey abroad.

A poor excuse for pesto pasta, a documentary on agave and one sleeping pill later and I’m standing in line at the U.K. border at 7 a.m. the following day, dreaming about my first stop…

Nopi

“We are well known for our Shakshuka. Lots of restaurants are serving it now, but I think we were one of the first. Our chef is a bit of a trendsetta,” our server explains in a beautiful english accent.

Sold.

“We’ll have that, and one of your almond croissants please.”

“Excellent choice. Our pastries are my favorite.”

london travel guide
House made sourdough and pastries (Nopi)

A cauldron of smoky stewed onions and tomatoes glimmering with toasted cumin and coriander appears with two perfectly poached, neon orange farm eggs and two dollops of creamy lebneh nestled inside. A few sprigs of micro cilantro and two slices of house made focaccia rocking a crusty char and a soft center complete the outfit.

Shakshuka at Nopi
Shakshuka – braised eggs, piquant tomato sauce, smoked labneh (Nopi)

We dig into the croissant. A sugar coated seduction of laminated dough shatters upon impact, leaving a buttery trail of almond infused fairy dust all over the collar of my shirt.

london travel guide
Almond Croissant (Nopi)

“We’re off to a good start,” I tell my mother.

london travel guide
A bathroom selfie from all angles (Nopi)

The heat, rising faster than cars racing over the autobahn, is inescapable as we walk down winding, narrow streets to our next destination…

Lamb and Flag

“it’s the oldest pub in town,” I report, leading Mom down an unassuming back alley. We stumble upon the charming two-story pub of Lamb and Flag. At 11 a.m. it has just opened for the day.

Three tables are already enjoying a round of pints and a cliche of a man dressed in traditional English attire with a mustache holds court practicing politics.

london travel guide
Lamb and Flag pub

“Out of the four local gins on your menu, which would you suggest?”

The bartender doesn’t hesitate. “Why that would be the Sipsmith of course.”

london travel guideHe sets down a rack of clean glassware to prepare our drinks.

“I’ll have the Cornish Gold Cider,” Mom says, eagerly awaiting a cold beverage.

london travel guide
Mom at Lamb and Flag

It’s unusually hot and this city is not equipped with air conditioning. I wonder how long Mom is going to last.

“This was one of Charles Dickens’ old haunts,” I recount from a blog post I’d recently read.

“It’s cozy,” Mom says with a loving twinkle in her eye.

Dishoom (Covent Garden)

“Do we have a table for two?” A young woman wearing a headset inquires to an army inside.

“We can seat you right now.”

“Great!”

The hostess leads us through tiny, crowded tables overflowing with plates of chicken tikka, soupy bowls of dahl and baskets of garlic scented naan.

The kitchen is pumping out food like it’s the Cheesecake Factory and I’m wondering how the hell they keep up with a dining room this busy.

Pau Bhaji, a classic Bombay street food snack, hits the table first. I slather the spicy, mashed vegetables onto lacquered house made buns sampling every sauce on the table: Mint-Coriander, Date-Tamarind and Chili Chutney.

london travel guide
Pau Bhaji, spicy lamb chop, gunpowder potatoes and roomali roti (Dishoom)

Next comes grilled lamb coated in a wet rub of ginger, cardamom, allspice and garlic with fresh pomegranate seeds and mint scattered on top. The meat pulls off the bone in one swift motion.

Tiny round potatoes smothered in toasted, crushed coriander and cumin seeds, cilantro and melted scallion arrive with a side of yogurt for dipping. The grilled starchy side dish is smoky and delicious.

london travel guide
Gunpowder potatoes (Dishoom)

I pick up a piece of roti like it’s a wet rag and tear off a piece. It’s warm and covered in black spots, blistered from the tawa it was cooked in. Perfection.

“I need a reset,” Mom says. Not surprised, I encourage her to go back to the hotel to cool down and get some rest.

I walk off in the opposite direction to find more gin…

Marquis of Granby

The menu says: Gin and Ale house. My kind of place.

The gin selection is impressive. I find one on the menu called Silent Pool. The description says: “Made using the water from the silent pool in the Surrey Hills.”

“I’ll have a double.”

london travel guideWhile the essence of 24 different botanicals delicately dance across my tongue I read a famous poem written by a regular of the Marquis of Granby––T.S. Elliot.

“Let us go then, you and I …”

london travel guide
Marquis of Granby

Virginia Woolf, the woman who brilliantly once said, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,” also frequented this pub.

As did Dylan Thomas.

I look at the menu again and notice that it includes dishes such as chicken wings and a blue cheese burger. The strings of festival posters strung across the bar don’t exactly go with the antique decor either.

As I longingly reflect on my life and the modern bastardization of this lovely old pub I shuffle through my brain’s rolodex of favorite quotes to a favorite one by Dylan Thomas.

“Though lovers be lost love shall not.”

I get up from the table and walk back out on to the street before the first sign of tears can hit my cheek.

SAID Dal 1923

What is that!?

I look up to see a case full of chocolate truffles, cakes and pastries of every shape and size. There is a towering stack of brownies studded with walnuts staring down at me. And is that an espresso machine?

london travel guide
SAID Dal 1923 chocolate and espresso bar

Time for a detour I think.

“Do you make your chocolate in house,” I ask, staring at the selection of chocolate bars laid out like greeting cards.

london travel guide
SAID Dal 1923

“Yes we do!”

“Let me get a bar of this 72% dark chocolate and one of your SAID mochas.”

london travel guide
Chocolate truffles (SAID Dal 1923)

A cup of coffee appears like an angel rocking a halo, playing a harp.

Two shots of espresso, a dash of steamed oat milk and decadent liquid dark, white and milk chocolate dumped unapologetically all over the rim and saucer of the cup is placed in front of me.

SAID mocha (SAID Dal 1923)

Wow.

I suck it back like I’m making sloppy, drunk love to the Italian barista with the dark hair and tight pants behind the counter.

This is freiken amazing. Why have I never seen or had a drink like this before?

The Fitztroy Tavern

Ok, one quick pint I think as I enter the Fitztroy Tavern.

london travel guide
Fitztroy Tavern

Two hours later I walk out pleasantly buzzed with a new friend named Frank.

He was sitting at the bar unwrapping a Frank Zappa CD when I saddled up. “They still make those things?” I say with a wink. He looks up through his thick glasses and laughs.

Ok, I can tell we’re gonna be friends.

We settle into a pleasant conversation discussing our favorite Netflix shows, two buck chuck and my career as a chef in San Francisco.

I ask the bartender to recommend a local lager.

“You want to try mine?” Frank says.

God, people are friendly here.

I end up going with the Samuel Smith Organic Lager which is quite guzzable.

An hour later Frank buys the next round.

“I gotta get going Frank. But, let’s take a photograph before I go!”

I shake his hand and inform him that he has just agreed to let me use the photo on my website. He laughs, indicating that it’s fine with him and I head out to catch the Underground.

london travel guide
Me and Frank (Fitztroy Tavern)

Years of living in cities taking public transportation ignites a fire in me as I enter the subway. I walk up to the ticket machine and swiftly select my route like I’ve been living here all my life.

My intuition kicks in and I start navigating tunnels and turnstiles, switching trains and maneuvering through crowds without hesitation. My brain, now completely switched off, relies on my legs which innately know where to go. The rest of my body is now just along for the ride.

london travel guide
Riding the Underground

I happily slip back out onto the busy street like it’s an oversized, fuzzy robe. The rush of the city soothing me like Ritalin calms a kid with Attention Deficit Disorder.

London travel guide
London Underground

Black Axe Mangal

I’m meeting Bianca here.

A young, intelligent, beautiful blond bombshell who I met through Darya Rose. Bianca is PhD bound and studying to become a therapist.

We waste no time diving right into a deep philosophical discussion before barely getting a drink order in.

“Shall we order a bottle of red?”

My mom has rejoined me too. She looks much better after a shower and nap.

“Let’s!”

Bianca is a doll and plates start hitting the table. They are shockingly good.

Flinstone sized hunks of bones split in half, roasted and slathered with braised oxtails and anchovy-herb butter with bone marrow seeping out of all sides are divine.

london travel guide
Bone marrow, oxtail and anchovy bread (Black Axe Mangal)

A “hot pocket” stuffed with chard, potato and unpasteurized English Ogleshield cheese oozes when I cut it open with a knife. We dip pieces of it in apple jelly and moan over how good it is.

london travel guide
Chard, potato and Ogleshield hot pocket with apple jelly (Black Axe Mangal)

A crunchy terrine resting in a pool of tart, spicy, sweet chili sauce garnished with julienned apple called “Crispy Fuckin Rabbit” arrives next.

london travel guide
Crispy Fuckin Rabbit with sweet chili and apple (Black Axe Mangal)

“Oh that’s good,” I say as I construct another forkful.

A wedge of charred cauliflower appears wearing a glob of smooth, tangy goat cheese, covered in a flurry of chopped cilantro, lemon zest and bottarga is equally as wonderful.

london travel guide
Charred cauliflower, goats’s curd and bottarga (Black Axe Mangal)

So is the Mushroom Mapo Tofu with tempura fried enoki mushrooms with pickled red jalapeños.

london travel guide
Mushroom mapo tofu and enoki tempura (Black Axe Mangal)

I thought the meal couldn’t get any better until dessert came. A frozen candy bar that tasted like Reeses Peanut Butter Cup covered in chocolate and chopped peanuts.

I’m officially in heaven. Don’t anybody pinch me.

london travel guide
Peanut butter bar (Black Axe Mangal)

I wish Bianca well and Mom calls an Uber.

As we ride back to the hotel chatting with the driver I notice how clean the city is and reflect on how kind and respectful everyone is here and how absolutely perfect the day has been.

Welcome to London.

Find day 2 of this trip here

Find day 3 of this trip here

Like this article? Subscribe to The Healthy Locavore for more on how to eat local and live well in Hawaiʻi. I am so grateful for this community, thank you so much for being a part of it!