Uncle David’s Cafe

A new job in a new part of the city means lots of new cafes and eateries for me to explore!

I have declared Friday the day that I try a new place for lunch. #foodiefrontierday or something catchy like that. Let me know if you have any suggestions 😝

Anyway, last Friday I visited a new Malaysian Fusion cafe, run by the nicest family.

This is the type of cafe you want to be a local and loyal customer at. They have weekly deals (I may have bought a few $2 coffees during the week before Friday lunch), fun events such as a ‘breakfast tasting party’, they remember your name, keep loyalty cards in a little box, and are always up for a chat.

Uncle David’s is the kind of old school cafe that is becoming rare in the CBD.

It is a tiny little cafe hidden in a hybrid building lobby/arcade with a few other eateries and cafes that are on my list to visit.

It isn’t a swish set up, but it is cute and homey.

They have some homemade breakfast items for sale, including banana bread (made with coffee: the Nigella recipe, uncle David tells us), carrot and nut bread (secret ingredient being ginger juice), traditional savoury muffins, baked soft-egg muffins, sourdough toasties, breakfast burritos and more.

They also have a short but sweet lunch menu of some Malaysian classics (Beef Rendang, laksa) soups with crusty baguette, a kaarage chicken burger and curry.

The coffee here is good: a creamy comforting cup.

I could not resist ordering the Beef Rendang. It was really awesome. The beef was tender and its gravy rich. The egg was perfectly cooked and the yolk slowly oozed into the rice when I cut into it. The crispy wontons added crunch. It was a super filling lunch too.

I ended up attending that breakfast tasting party I mentioned, and Uncle David and Aunty Sylvia brought out a selection of delicious breakfast treats as well as…

…this awesome laksa – Sarawak style I think. Super hearty, comforting and spicy, with lots of galangal.

I’m looking forward to exploring more of their menu. This place is a beautiful hidden gem.

Rating: 4

Uncle David's Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Le Charme, CBD.

When I first walked into Le Charme, I was stunned by how beautiful it was inside.

Fresh flowers, aqua panelled walls, tulip light fittings… plus so many little extra details which make Le Charme a gorgeous spot for date night.

Plus, the prices are so reasonable. In fact, you can even get a six course meal for 30pp.

Le Charme also offers a delicious a la carte menu, filled with asian fusion dishes.

Plus, they have a cool drinks menu. I loved the sound of their mocktails and cocktails, and we got to try a few!

The Strawberry Red Kiss ($12) was the sort of refreshing blended iced fruit smoothie that you get in tropical island resorts. It was a sweet and fruity mini holiday away from wintery Melbourne!

The Mock-Jito ($13) was similar but pineapple and mint flavoured.

The Peach Melba ($12) was a refreshing mix of peach nector, fresh lemon thyme, raspberries and soda water. Plus, it was a disco drink! So pretty.

Bai Hao Jasmine Tea ($4.50) was wonderfully fragrant and served in beautiful teaware.

Now, onto the food. You can order a few dishes to share over mocktails or grab one of the larger dishes as a main. We shared this time, but I can see myself coming back for a bowl of noodles!

These pan fried prawn and chicken dumplings ($7.90) were super juicy and flavourful with crispy chewy skins. Yumm.

This singapore seafood fried noodle ($14.80) was seriously delicious. My fave dish of the night. The noodles were light and not oily, and it was spicy and complex in flavour without being super hot. The veggies were perfectly cooked, giving the noodles some crisp fresh textures. I would order this again!

The Asian salt and pepper calamari ($10.90) was crispy, succulent, salty and a really generous serving. It was kind of like ‘popcorn calamari.’

I loved the DIY Crispy Duck with pancake ($18.90). The duck had perfectly caramelised and crispy skin, and the duck meat was soft. The sticky sweet sauce it was served with tasted great in the thin pancake with the fresh cucumber and lettuce. I do wish there had been a few more greens to go around though!

These colourful lettuce baskets were filled with mock chicken and colourful diced veggies (san choy bao $8.90). They tasted fresh, healthy, full of crunch, and interesting textures.

We had to try some dessert because, well… I’m me. These sweet banana fritters ($7.90) were a giant serving – definately one to share! The tempura batter was super crispy, the bananas were slightly caramelised and soft, and tasted amazing with the creamy, sweet vanilla icecream. Loved it.

I want to thank Le Charme for inviting us to try the menu. We think the restaurant is a fantastic addition to Chinatown. The food is delicious and well priced, plus the interiors are amazing. I recommend trying Le Charme for your next date night!

Rating: 4.5

Le Charme Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: we were invited by Le Charme to try their menu. Our meal was complimentary. All our opinions are our own.

Unabara, Melbourne Central

Unabara Lobster and Oyster bar has two locations in the Melbourne CBD. We were invited to review the Melbourne Central restaurant but you can find them in the Emporium too.

The thing I love about Unabara is that you can stop to eat LOBSTER!!! midway through shopping for jeans. How lux is that?

We visited for dinner, and opted to sit outside the restaurant amongst the retail buzz. The waiters were friendly and attentive, and made some great suggestions about the menu.

We ordered:

The Lobster and Seafood Sapporo Miso Ramen ($32.90), opting for mild spice. This ramen comes with a heap of toppings, including: half a grilled Boston lobster,chashu, a grilled scallop, a tiger prawn and a nitamago (soft boiled) egg.

The miso lobster broth was seriously amazing. It is made with their lobster bisque, which simmers away for 12 hours along with herbs, onion, celery and tomato before it is ladelled into the bowl. It was rich, creamy, intensly flavoured and tasted super indulgent.

The ramen noodles were perfectly cooked, the scallop juicy and the egg velvety. The only thing that wasn’t spot on was the actual Boston lobster, which had been overcooked, and therefore was very chewy. I thought that was a bit disapointing considering that the restsurant specialises in Lobster!

The grilled half lobster was also overcooked, though it was well flavoured. The chips were crunchy and hot, and the generous serving of salad was fresh. A small pot of lobster bisque was rich and creamy, perfect for dipping chips into! There was also a thick slice of toasted brioche topped with a soft boiled egg.

The grilled Angus beef tenderloin ($28.90) was perfectly cooked and seasoned. A melt in mouth steak! The beer battered chips were crunchy and addictive, and the salad was great too. A well balanced and simple dish.

For dessert we ordered one of each of their softserve flavours: matcha, sakura/lychee/rose, and a swirl of the two flavours.

These were awesome! The matcha was rich and sweet, and the pink softserve smelt like rose, and tasted like sakura with a hint of lychee. Super yum.

Now that I know that these softserve flavours exist in Melbourne Central, I’ll probably have to stop for one every time I walk past. I have such a sweet tooth. 😝

We really enjoyed our visit to Unabara. That lobster ramen broth was delicious, hearty and was unlike anything we had tried before. A perfect winter warmer.

Rating: 3.5

Unabara Lobster & Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Papirica

Have you been to Japan recently and found yourself addicted to okonomiyaki?

Only to find that on your return back home, you couldn’t find a restaurant that made a proper one?

Your search has ended. I have found the okonomiyaki promised land.

Its name is Papirica.

I love a good cafe jungle.

Plus, it is super cute inside and the staff are mega friendly.

Papirica is typically open during the day, but they also do dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, which is when we visited.

We ordered some miso and agedashi tofu to start with.

The tofu was fresh, firm but silky, and a great snack before the main meal.

The miso ($4) had a white miso and shitake broth. It was super warming on the cold winter night that we visited and had lots of flavour.

There are quite a few types of okonomiyaki to choose from, and we ordered vegan ($13), vegetarian ($13) and seafood ($16).

Papirica also have lots of other delicious sounding things on their menu: including omurice and yakisoba. Going to try one of those next time I visit!

The vegetarian okonomiyaki was a generous serving. It was so yum. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and filled with veggies. The mayo and okonomiyaki sauce (specially made on premises) on top added some extra creaminess and salty/sweet flavour.

The vegan one was super delicious too, as it was creamier on the inside than the vegetarian one. It is made with besan, rice flour and tofu.

The seafood okonomiyaki was so prettily presented. I love watching Bonito flakes dance! If you don’t know what I mean, you should order this!

Our okonomiyaki craving was sorted. This place is fantastic and we will be back!

Rating: 4.5/5

Papirica Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bincho Boss

As someone who loves to try new restaurants and eats out quite often, one of the major things I look for in an eatery is the concept of value.

A good value dining experience means a returning customer, i.e: me.

Good value doesn’t mean cheap. It means, the quality of my experience matches what I paid for it.

I did not feel that my meal or experience at newly opened Bincho Boss was good value, which is a shame, because I was excited to see a new Japanese restaurant open in the CBD (because as you know, I seriously love Japanese food).

Let me explain why.

I went in for lunch, and saw they had some lunch ‘gozen’ sets, with prices ranging from $28 to $20.
As you can see on their menu below (screenshot from Zomato page), the gozen sets include small side dishes, so splashing out 25 dollars on an udon lunch set (including coffee and cake) sounded like an awesome deal.

There are so many great Japanese restaurants and cafes in Melbourne who do great value lunch sets for around the $25 mark.

For example,nearby Torissong has this spectacular quality feast for $25 dollars:

Shimbashi Soba & Sake bar ( in Fitzroy & CBD) has a similar deals featuring soba from $20-$28.

Plus, my local fave Namoo has a weekend deal of entree, main and drink for $19, and to span out into Korean: Diner on Franklin’s $15 Babsang lunch set is delicious.

These places have top quality ingredients, beautiful interiors and great service too.

Look, I wasn’t too disappointed when the gozen set was placed in front of me. There was a nice bowl of udon, some tofu salad and some…potato wedges?

The tofu salad was really nice, as the tofu really silky and soft. It tasted fresh. The waiter said it was made on premises, which is awesome.

The wedges were a really weird addition. No sauce, crispy but boring. I didn’t finish them.

The udon was nicely chewy, the veggies were a bit overcooked and the sauce was very light. Gotta say, there wasn’t much flavour. Very expensive bowl of udon.

I asked if the udon noodles were made on premises, trying to find a reason behind the pricing. Nope, from the packet. Interesting…

Okay I thought: maybe dessert will save this.

Coffee and cake for an extra $5. I asked for a soy latte. This is Melbourne, if they screw up coffee….

I laughed out loud when I took a sip of this latte, thought it tasted very bitter and then saw that the milk had curdled. You can even see it in the photo above.

I even heard the staff member banging the milk jug as he was making it, and I thought, he is having trouble steaming the milk. Nope, he was just trying to get the milk right to pour into my cup. How he served it to me like that, seeing that it was so curdled: I have no idea.

Of course I told them. They tried to make another and he came back to me saying that he couldn’t get it to work. I politely said not to worry about it. He said he would deduct it from the cost of my meal.

So, dessert. A tiny slither of cheese cake, a bit of white wine jelly and a grape.

If you think it looks kinda big in this photo, think about the size of your average grape, and that should give you an idea. It was a small plate and a very small slice.

I thought: what a strange dessert to serve with coffee.

It was a very savoury cheese cake, almost unpleasantly so. It tasted a bit like off milk, though, that might have been the taste of that coffee still on my mind. The wine jelly tasted exactly like white wine, and the grape tasted okay too. Not a memorable or good value dessert sadly.

In the end, the waiter deducted $2.50 for the coffee, which made me laugh a bit : “exactly half of $5” he said.

Truthly, it was a pretty dismal lunch. Not a good value experience, especially when, (as you know, because I’ve reviewed them for you) there are so many amazing Japanese cafes and restaurants nearby.

After visiting so many Japanese restaurants, this is one of the few that I have been truly disappointed by. However, they did open quite recently. I hope that when or if you visit, you have a better experience.

Rating: 2.5/5

Bincho Boss Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dari Korean Cafe

There has been a big movement to remove carbs from diets, but thankfully change is in the air. Dietitians are telling us how carbs are actually good for us, the Japanese are making ultra trendy giant Wanpaku sandwiches and K-pop stars are making giant sandwiches cool again.

Lets face it: carbs ARE LIFE.

Dari has brought those K-pop sandwiches, known as Inkigayo sandwiches to Melbourne, and I have been so excited to try them.

I had been following them on Instagram, planning to visit on a day off, but then they contacted me and asked if I wanted to check out their menu. This meant that I could try more things, and review them here for you, so I am so happy. Thank you Dari!

Dari is a korean cafe run by Yoon-ji and her mother, and they make an awesome team, serving korean street food by day and tapas by night.

Dari means bridge in Korean, as Yoon-ji aims for her eatery to be a bridge between South Korean style and flavour and Melbourne’s vibrant laneway scene. Dari is in a great location to do that: right in the heart of Melbourne’s cbd on the beautiful Hardware lane.

The first things that we tried were some sliders! ( 2 for $11 or 3 for $16) Tucked into those shiny brioche buns were epic korean flavours.

The Mexican Salad Slider was crunchy, slightly sweet and a little bit tart. Yum, but the next two sliders really blew our minds.

The Bulgogi in this slider was the best we have ever had. Bulgogi can sometimes be a bit dry or overly fatty, but this bulgogi was succulent, soft and super tasty. So delicious! I found out that Yoon-ji’s mother worked in a Korean restaurant for a long time, so I imagine she must have an secret recipe or something!!

Next up: Spicy Pork Slider, which was another stunner – slightly sweet/spicy, lots of pork and packed with flavour.

They have some really cool sounding beers too, so if you like a drink with your slider ( or vice versa) then you should come and try these!

The Korean Street Toast ($16) is a massive sandwich, but they also make another with potato salad and berry JAM!! in it ( The IDOL) which is even bigger.

In South Korea, these are a popular street stall snack, but there they made with sugar. Yoon-ji has changed that up a bit, replacing the sugar with sweet ketchup.

Check out those layers! There is ham, cheese, cabbage, veggie omelette, onion mayonnaise, ketchup and pickles. All happily together at last in fluffy white bread.

This was delightfully messy to eat. It was saucy, crunchy, meaty and packed with umami flavour, with bursts of salty vinegary pickle and the sharp sweetness of ketchup. It tasted like wholesome fast food and kind of comforting and homey. LOVED IT.

Dari also has some drinks on the menu, which I had never heard of before, such as this Pumpkin malted rice drink ($7.5) and Hong-Cho ($6.5), which is korean kombucha. Both are made in-house.

The pumpkin drink tasted like peach nectar juice, but only, pumpkin flavoured. It was really delicious and smelt so good!

The Korean kombucha has to be one of the nicest and smoothest kombuchas that I have ever tried. You could smell the vinegary smell of your standard Kombucha, but it tasted light, not too fizzy and of sweet berries.

Look: you have to try this dessert. It was a highlight for us. We had never tried anything like it before. I had an actual dream about it that night, it was that good.

The In-jul-mi toast ($12.50 with soy cream) is white toast filled with pillowy chewy rice cake and topped with sweet soy powder, slithered almonds, a drizzle of honey and another drizzle of condensed milk. You can add the sweet soy flavoured cream to dip it into, which is a must.

Pull a triangle of toast from the plate, and you will see the rice cake stretching. Then dip it into the soy cream, take a bite, and you will close your eyes at this point: because that sweet honey toast crunch with that chewy soft rice cake is seriously heaven.

YUUMMMM.

Yoon-ji said we had to try some of her fabulous lattes to have with dessert and so we ordered the black sesame latte ($6.5) and the real sweet potato latte with walnut and honey ($6.5).

The black sesame latte was SUPER sesame flavoured, with lots of ground sesame and sweet potato latte was rich and creamy, with little pops of nutty texture.

Yoon-ji is really passionate about introducing Melbournians to her take on Korean street food, and we could see that she has put her soul into Dari. Everything we tried was delicious, packed with flavour and really high quality. She makes so many elements of the dishes herself, such as the amazing sweet soybean powder in the dessert we tried.

I really can’t wait to go back and even as I write this I have a craving for that epic In-Jul-Mi toast.

Rating: 4.5/5

Dari Korean Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Coco and Joe

I was on my way to a trusty breakfast haunt when I walked past Coco and Joe, which has newly opened where old favourite Paperboy Kitchen used to be.

Checking out the menu on the window, I saw a bircher/chia/granola/berry/chocolate combo that didn’t list nuts as an ingredient. I can never order those sort of things as I am allergic to nuts, so I thought I would head in and ask. (Plus I had a sneak peak at their instagram, where it and other dishes looked awesome).

I decided to take a chance and try something new!

It looked nice inside – they kept some of the previous cafe’s design and added their own touches.

So I asked about the bircher, described on the menu as: ‘Berry Choc Bircher Bowl: a mixture of chia seeds, rolled oats, and mixed berries soaked overnight in greek yoghurt, topped with crunchy berry and dark choc granola and fresh berries’ ($8.5) the chef was there, and yay! She said no nuts, and I expressed my excitement at finally finding this sort of dish with no nuts…

I was expecting it to look like this, which I spotted on their instagram:

Instead, I got a lovely coconut bowl of bircher topped with fruit. It was still nice, but I was a bit disappointed. I mean, if you compare the two, the first dish looked more exciting!

I asked the lovely staff about why it was different and the chef said she changed it because she discovered that there were nuts in the bircher. They offered to add chocolate to it, but I said it was okay, as I already ordered a hot chocolate – I kind of just wanted the crunch of the granola!

I think communication and listening to your customer is key! I mean… I even explained how excited I was about the whole no nuts situation. I probably would have ordered something else had I known …

It was still delicious though. Simple, colourful and fresh.

Coco and Joe specialise in chocolate, so I had to order a hot chocolate….

The barista was really lovely and asked me how I liked my hot chocolates. I said ultra chocolatey, he said thick chocolate?, and I said yes!

The single origin Kumabo 70% ($5.8) was luxuriously thick, super dark and I loved every spoonful.

I also ordered a housemade bonbon, which was creamy and rich, with just the right amount of crack when I bit into it.

They had many different flavours of hot chocolate on their menu and I totally see myself going back to try some more.

In the end, I was glad I tried something new. Coco and Joe’s hot chocolates are amazing,the cafe is cosy and the food is yummy.

Rating: 3.5

Coco And Joe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tipo 00

Tipo 00 is a Melbourne Italian institution. A must visit for any lover of great pasta.

We visited for lunch as a special treat on a day off.

We had made a booking, and it is advised that you do, because it gets very busy (and even at 12.15pm on a weekday it was completely packed!)

The restaurant is pretty tiny, and quite noisy but that is part of the charm.

We were given a seat at the bar, and we felt right in the thick of it all. We watched the chefs make the pasta fresh in the kitchen, heard pans sizzling away and bartenders making drinks. There was a really vibrant and buzzing atmosphere.

Staff were such professionals and perfectly attentive too.

We started with a complimentary appetiser fresh ricotta, plenty of olive oil and focaccia bread. This was seriously delicious. There is nothing better than fresh bread topped with a fruity olive oil, and great cheese.

We ordered the special entree of the day: zuchinni flowers. These were lightly battered,fried and served with a capsicum puree. They were light and crispy with the puree adding a bit of creamy richness. Seriously great dish as it was not too filling, leaving space to enjoy the main, but still completely tasty.

Our main: Casarecce with pork sausage, radiccio, and wine wine. ($26)

This is not your typical pasta dish and it was unlike any pasta I had eaten before.

The pork sausage was full of flavour and fatty, the pasta was perfectly firm/al dente and the radiccio tasted sharp, cutting through the carbs and fats with a hint of bitterness. It was seriously awesome.

I highly recommend visiting Tipo 00 at least once when in Melbourne. Sure, it is pricy, but the service, atmosphere and delicious food is completely worth that and more.

Rating: 5

Tipo 00 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Da Long Yi X Gotcha

I was recently invited to the launch of a luxurious $99 bubble tea cocktail at a hot pot restaurant. It sounds like a strange combination but it worked so well.

The Melbourne branch of bubble tea chain, Gotcha, is next door to the Melbourne outpost of the international chain of colourful hot pot restaurants: Da Long Yi.

The two collaborated on the launch of the Kiss Of The Goddess, a bubble tea cocktail with all the luxurious trimmings.

Ingredients such as premium quality hand picked tea, patron silver tequila, absolut vodka, celery tincture, collagen and edible 24 karat gold leaf add up to the $99 price tag.

Plus, it is just so pretty! You can see the gold glittering inside as well.

It tasted more like bubble tea than alcohol. Sweet and refreshing, but I kind of wanted to add some toppings in there – grass jelly or boba! Clearly I’m addicted to bubble tea.🤣

This masterpiece of a cocktail will be available soon at the new Gotcha Melbourne Central store!

After the cocktail launch we settled into a hot pot feast. Looking at the menu, I was excited, it looked like we were in for a treat.

The feast started with these gorgeously buttery and slightly sweet ‘Golden Fried Buns.’ These were reminiscent of brioche buns except less flaky, more fluffy. So good.

Followed by the ‘Crispy Pork’, which was chewy more than crispy, though nicely spiced and flavoured with Sichuan peppercorns.

These ‘Fried Brown Sugar Glutinous’ cakes were lightly sweet, chewy and addictive. Hard to stop at one.

Then the hot pot started up: the soup bade flavours were tomato and pickled vegetable. The pickled vegetable base was our fave as it was slightly spicy. The tomato one reminded us of thin Campbell’s tomato soup, which was a simple flavour but also a comforting one. The tomato base also became more complex in flavour as we added in ingredients.

(Pictured above is also the ‘Signature Smooth Beef Slices’, which were melt in mouth delicious).

Oh boy did we add in ingredients. Da Long Yi were super generous and gave us many different platters to try.

I always order tofu when I’m eating Hot Pot, so I was especially excited at this tofu platter. There was lots of texture from all the different types, and tofu absorbs so much flavour from the soup broth.

Next up were these ‘Fish meatballs’ which were dumplings filled with fish roe. They were fishy and very heavy. Not my kind of thing, but I was glad to try them. They definately tasted better in the spicier broth, and after they had been cooked for around 20 minutes.

These fresh ‘Yang Chang Noodles’ were my favourite. They were slightly chewy, and absorbed the flavour of the soup really well. I loved them, especially in the tomato soup base.

The staff at Da Long Yi were really knowledgeable about how long to cook different things for, and were really friendly. I know because I asked them heaps of questions around each platter.😝

For these Basa slices, less than a minute was required and they became soft and flaky. Basa has such a light flavour, so it is perfect for hot pot.

I love mushrooms and was thrilled when I saw this platter. So many different types, and so fresh too. I will order this platter next time I visit Da Long Yi ( and the tofu!!).

Okay. Ready to get the meat sweats!? We were so lucky to be able to try so many different types of meat. The meat was fresh, and presented really beautifully.

Pictured above: ‘Beef Slices’

‘Pork Belly’ : delicious in hot pot, as the fat adds flavour to the broth, and the pork is soft and light.

This amazing dragon was smoking as it arrived, presenting the ‘Beef and Lamb Platter’

The hot pot bubbling away at the end of the night as we contemplated how we would be able to move after eating so much delicious food.

My experience at Da Long Yi was really great. The food was of high quality, the restaurant was clean, the staff attentive and the atmosphere buzzing.

Rating: 4.5

As we left, we were given an amazing goodie bag. Inside these bags were…

…some exciting new sustainable products which Gotcha has released: a reusable bubble tea cup, reusable straws and an adorable vegan leather cup holder.
This is so fantastic to see, as while I love bubble tea, all the plastic is horrible for the environment.
Go Gotcha tea for being one of the first major bubble tea chains to release these sorts of products!

I want to thank Gotcha, Da Long Yi and Harvey Taylor publicity for the invitation to this amazing launch. It was a spectacular night, and I’m really thankful that I could go and share it with you, my readers.

Da Long Yi Hotpot 大龙燚火锅 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sushi Samba, London

A restaurant with a name like Sushi Samba, found on the 39th floor of a glass skyscraper, can either be super fantastic or really horrible. Luckily it was damn amazing.

Sushi Samba is fusion Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian food. If you think about it, they all involve fish and rice in some way or another, so it kind of works.

First things first: make a booking. In fact, always make a dinner booking in London if you can, because otherwise you could spend hours looking around for somewhere to eat that isn’t completely full ( like we did one night!)

Then ride up the glass elevator to the 39th floor, simultaneously admiring the bird’s eye view of London while also being terrified. That lift goes up fast…

Then walk out into the restaurant and be greeted by even more amazing view. Seriously, this place is worth it for the view alone. Great for a date, as they even have a bar.

We decided to go for the lunch ‘Samba Set’, which sounded like good value at 36 pounds per person for 3 courses each.

The meal began with a complimentary appetiser of crispy plantain chips with aji Amarillo dipping sauce (spicy yellow chilli). This was a fantastic way to start the meal as I had never tried these sort of chips before. They were similar to dried banana chips but without the sweetness and the slight chilli kick of the sauce was very morish. Yum!

Next up our entree choices arrived.

The SEASONAL VEGETABLE TEMPURA came with heritage carrot, broccoli, kale and orange ponzu sauce. This tempura was beautiful. The vegetables had been cut in intricate ways, were colourful and tasted very fresh. The batter was a little bit heavy on some pieces, but was delicious.

The WAGYU GYOZA was richly flavoured, and were generously filled. The dumpling pastry was thick and lightly crispy and the wagyu tasted amazing.

I must say though, with two courses still to go, I was very full at this point! The gyoza was a pretty hearty entree.

Then onto our mains. We got to select from a list of maki rolls.

The TIGER MAKI: tempura tiger prawn, crab meat, takuwan, wasabi tobiko and wasabi mayonnaise was our favourite of the two. Fresh and colourful with balanced flavours.

The EL TOPO : salmon, jalapeño, shiso leaf, crispy onion, spicy mayonnaise and fresh melted mozzarella was a bit too cheesy and oily for me. The taste of the salmon got lost in the craziness around it.

Then came dessert:

MINI CHOCOLATE BANANA CAKE with maple butter, plantain chip, vanilla rum ice cream

This was a delicious end to the meal. The caramelised flavours of the maple butter and banana were heaven with the creaminess of the rum icecream, and the warm cake/pudding.

I thought this set was great value. There was plenty of delicious food, and of course, that view.

Definitely visit when you are in London if you want to see what the fabulous city looks like from way up high!

Rating: 4

Sushi Samba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato