Monday, 5 August 2013

#Challenge2013 - July

Being my birthday month, it would have been a surprise had I not been able to find an excuse or two to eat out in July.  I was looking forward to flexing my newly-bought tastecard but I am, as yet still to use it (and trust me, this is not for a lack of trying but more for a lack of my reading terms and conditions such as booking in advance).  Despite this, July is probably one of the less exciting updates to Challenge2013 as it did not really involve me branching out too much, which defeats the point somewhat of the challenge!

What was more surprising was what I ended up eating - burgers featured TWICE in July (which is more than the year to date), one courtesy of The Grove, an independent pub in Surbiton (mainly as it was the only main meal for less than £20 on the menu) and the Diner near Carnaby Street.

The burger in The Grove was by far the better, leaner and tastier of the two.  I like the Diner for it's quirky, faux american interior but I always fall foul of brown food, mainly as there is nothing else on the menu.  This is the term I use for food I don't eat when I am cooking for myself; fried, lacking in fresh ingredients and high in refined carbohydrates.

Sweet potato falafel at PropStore
Propstore is a fantastically quirky pop-up bar and cafe located within the National Theatre complex on London's Southbank.

The quirky decorations add to the great atmosphere at PropStore
As the name suggests, all the furniture is from the prop store at the theatre which means it is a fantastically eclectic mix of chests, sofas, spare tables etc.

One of the pleasant suprises at the PropStore is the cost of the food; as with the market on Southbank it is affordable, some would even say cheap (bare in mind I live in outer London when I say this).  The selection was interesting, but sadly it was hard to find something which was not deep fried.  Which is why I opted for the Sweet Potato Falafel.  It was delicious, as fluffy as such a thing can be and far less greasy than I was expecting.  The apple coleslaw which came with it was far too creamy for my liking but it was crunchy, fresh and had a good varitey of flavours.

Sweet Potato Falafel with Apple Coleslaw and Pitta
Korean-style Stir-fry from Ohaio
I stumbled across a fantastic Sushi and Stir-Fry place in New Malden called Ohaio which with one visit has become a firm favourite.  Whilst you CAN get chips with sweet and sour sauce if you like, you can also order stir-fried vegetables with steamed rice or some delicious fresh sushi.

The other great thing about Ohaio? They deliver!  Although, for me to be at home and not motivated to cook most of what they offer would really be shameful (especially as I could cook it and eat it in the time it would take to get it to my house from New Malden I suspect).

Oh well, here is to a tastier, more varied August!

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