Flat Iron Steak

Steak, chips and a butcher knife.

Along the famous Denmark Street, aka Tin Pan Alley, lies Flat Iron Steak. A lit-up sign reading 'Flat Iron at La Giacondo' is on display outside while the full-length glass window entrance displays what's going on inside. La Giacondo used to be a favourite hang out for the likes of David Bowie, The Rolling Stones and The Sex Pistols (to name a few), so you know that you're stepping into a venue with some rich musical history about it.

The interior features exposed brick walls, hanging vines entangled around the specials board while other green plants are scattered around the space and neon lighting reading 'steak is what you want'. And steak is what you get.

Upon being seated, you are given a cup of popcorn to nibble on while you peruse the menu. Daily specials normally include a burger and a wagyu bavette but who are you kidding, you came here for the £10 flat iron cut. The flat iron cut of steak is neatly sliced and presented on a wooden block, while the sides are served in enamel camping bowls. The steak is lightly seasoned and cooked to perfection with each slice tasting more juicier and flavoursome than the next. The creamed spinach is a must as well as the perfectly crunchy chips. Choose between bernaise, peppercorn, horseradish or fred's sauce (a spicy tomato salsa) to accompany your steak and you're good to go. 

It's all about that flat iron cut.

www.flatironsteak.co.uk

9 Denmark Street, London, WC2H 8LS

Meat & Bread

Serious meat sandwiches. Simple.

A trip to Vancouver's Gastown is not complete without a sandwich from Meat & Bread. These guys focus on two things and two things only - meat and bread. If the minimalist signage doesn't entice you to step inside and find out more, then the smell of roasted meat wafting out of the door will. 

As you enter this industrial-feel sandwich haven, you'll see exposed brick walls, hanging light fixtures and a leather boxing bag swaying near the back. Within seconds, your eyes will quickly fixate on the roasted pork under the chef's knife - and you'll forget to even look at the menu. This roasted pork makes Meat & Bread's signature sandwich - the Porchetta. Freshly made bread (still warm from the oven) is stuffed with a sizeable amount of juicy pork, crispy crackling, herby salsa verde, complete with a squeeze of mustard. Made as you pay means that you'll have one of these bad boys in seconds. Other sandwich options include a daily special, meatball or a good ol' grilled cheese. And if you can't get enough of their sauces, you can buy some sambal, salt rub or mustard to take home.

Beer, wine and soda are also available. And it's good to know that they stock 33 Acres West Coast Pale Ale - one of our favourite craft beers from Vancouver.

www.meatandbread.ca

370 Cambie Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6B 2N3

 

Bully's Bakery

Sugar fix sorted with homemade cakes and pastries.

With minimal décor, espresso good enough to please any coffee connoisseur and delicious home-baked cakes and pastries, Bully’s is a great place to chill out and soak up the atmosphere in South Berlin. 

You can choose from croissants, muffins and cakes and although the croissants are rumoured to be some of the best in Berlin, we’ve also heard good things about their cakes. We opted for one slice of their chocolate cake and one of the Apple New York Cheesecake. 

Their chocolate cake is super soft and delicately balanced by dollops of vanilla cream and a sprinkle of pistachio crunch. If you like your cheesecake, a wedge of the Apple New York is a no brainer. Bully’s slather spiced apple on top of a thick layer of vanilla cheese which sits on a caramelised, crunchy base. 

If you’re in Berlin and you’re craving something sugary, get yourself over to Bully’s asap! 

www.facebook.com/Bullys-Bakery

Friedelstrasse 7, 12047, Berlin

 

Blu Top Ice Cream

Did someone say cookie ice cream sandwiches?

If you’ve got a sweet tooth there’s a small blue van that you need to know about. Supplying cookie ice cream sandwiches to the masses, Blu Top Ice Cream have some mind-blowing flavour combinations. If you’re indecisive, you might find picking your cookies, ice cream and toppings a struggle, but we didn’t have too much trouble.

This little blue van has one ice cream special a week and up to five of their classic flavours on offer. We thought we’d sandwich our vanilla ice cream between the brown butter chocolate chip cookies and top it off with a generous helping of speculoos crumb, a cinnamon and ginger cookie crumble mix.

We’re already planning our next trip and we’ve been eyeing up the Sea Monkey special (milk chocolate ice cream with ribbons of peanut butter, caramel and flakes of sea salt) and the Cop Car (white coffee ice cream packed full of glazed donut gravel pieces).

Don’t be fooled into thinking their classic flavours aren’t as exciting, with s’mores and cinnamon french toast on the menu, you can be forgiven for wanting more than one sandwich.

Find Blu Top at KERB, Kings Cross on a Thursday, KERB, West India Quay on a Friday and Druid Street Market on a Saturday.

www.blutopicecream.com

Mammoth

Creative brunch served like a work of art.

Perched on the corner of Beatty Ave and Malvern road in an unusual triangular-shaped space is Mammoth. A cafe brought to you by the culinary geniuses behind Barry, Touchwood and Pillar of Salt, this is definitely one to add to the 'must eat here' list when in Melbourne. Mammoth goes above and beyond your run-of-the-mill avocado on toast, and instead, delivers an innovative menu that will make you think Picasso is in the kitchen.

The interior is dreamy with exposed white brick walls, oak surfaces and splashes of pastel colours throughout. With downstairs seating, an upstairs area and a bar top, the space is surprisingly roomy. In the middle of the cafe a little hole in the wall (with incredible chefs behind it) delivers the goods.

The menu is bold and exciting with each choice arousing curiosity. With four separate stacks, the North Shore is always a head-turner. Barrels of ham hock hash, poached eggs, and a cheesy jalapeño popper are balanced (on top of each other and in taste) by a grilled pineapple topped with caramelised sugar and filled with tabasco. Equally impressive is the Egg Brulee - rolled-up pickled zucchini, artichoke and soft boiled eggs with a burnt sugar finish are beautifully assembled on top of multigrain rye bread. Other weird but alluring dishes include the Cherry Lamington Puffed Pancake, Char Spanner Crab Egg Crepe and the Lobster Donut Burger. All menu choices are served as impressively as their names would suggest.

Coffee is on point too, with the use of Five Senses beans.

An imaginative brunch menu, tranquil decor and friendly staff put Mammoth leaps ahead of the rest.

www.eatmammoth.com

736 Malvern Road, Armadale, Melbourne, 3143

 

Mile End Bagels

Wood-fired bagels and cream cheese schmear for days.

On the outskirts of Fitzroy, a graffitied warehouse has been transformed into a bagel-making bakery-come-café. This is no ordinary bakery as it includes a custom-built wood-fired bagel oven, specially crafted by a Canadian stonemason.

From the outside, you wouldn't even know Mile End Bagels existed (I should know I walked past it three times). The outside walls are constantly being plastered with posters of upcoming events or specials that the bakery may have. Inside, the space is small as the majority of the venue is being used to make and bake those delicious bagels in an open kitchen - you can see the whole bagel process from start to finish. White walls, exposed bricks and bags of flour encircle a large communal table on the left, whilst takeaway Seven Seeds coffee is available on the right. The minimalist yet gritty vibe perfectly suits Fitzroy, and has a certain similarity to the hip Mile End suburb in Montreal, Canada (where the name of the bakery derives from).

The bagels are Montreal-style, which means that they are slightly sweeter and slightly denser than their New York counterpart. You have the choice of plain, sesame seed, poppy seed, a combination of everything or cinnamon-raisin. The cream cheese selection is also aplenty - plain, spring onion, dill and caper, tobiko, or honey ricotta,. Keep it simple with just a cream cheese schmear or try one of the sandwiches: smoked salmon with lettuce and tobiko cream cheese, smoked beef with kraut and spring onion cream cheese, maple bacon and cream cheese, to name a few. The menu updates regularly so you can try something different every time you visit. Bagels can be also be bought by the dozen and taken home in old school brown paper bags.

Check the guy's Instagram for specials and nonstop bagel love.

www.mile-end.com.au

14 Johnston Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, 3065

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scroll Ice Cream

Ice cream rolled up and put in a little cup.

Inspired by Thai street vendors, Scroll Ice Cream brings to Melbourne a new way to eat a much-loved dessert. How does it work? Local ingredients (predominantly milk and cream) are placed on a -20°C cold plate, crushed up, flattened and spread out to make an even layer. The cream quickly freezes into ice cream, and before you know it your dessert is being spiralled into five cute scrolls, placed into a little cup and sprinkled with delicious extras.

Scroll’s interior is playful with bright and colourful artwork, wooden pallet furniture, faux grass and a white picket fence. One wall is plastered with customer comments on sticky post-it notes - have a read, people are funny.

Ice cream flavours are fun with a number to choose from, some of which include: Pavlover which comes with strawberries, passion fruit coulis and a dusting of meringue, Coco Lovin' made with coconut cream, lychee, blackberries, and blueberries, Say Cheese - a baked New York cheesecake flavour with strawberries and biscuit dust, or Nutter Butter consisting of a Tim Tam, crushed nuts, brownie, wafers and chocolate.

And best of all, this stuff is preservative free so indulge you must.

www.scrollicecream.com.au

190 High Street, Windsor, Melbourne, 3181

 

Pizza East

Pizza East - where great pizza and Shoreditch meet.

Kitted out with low-level lighting and exposed brickwork, Pizza East is typically Shoreditch. The menu lists a number of seriously tempting pizzas including the squash, pancetta and thyme or the veal meatballs and prosciutto. There are lots of non-pizza alternatives too, making this the perfect spot to indulge and refuel.

We ordered one prawn, chilli and garlic pizza, which was tasty and packed a warming punch. We also opted for the vegetarian aubergine and burrata, which was simple but seriously good. Pizza East compliments their golden, doughy bases with liberal amounts of topping, making for a heavenly pairing.

Equipped with authentic cuisine, stripped-back décor and relaxed atmosphere, Pizza East has got the winning formula. But if pizza isn’t your thing, why not try their Saturday Brunch or Sunday Roast? If it’s anything like the meal we had, you’re in for a treat.

www.pizzaeast.com/shoreditch

56 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ

 

Fish, Wings and Tings

Fish, Wings and Tings may be small but it's dynamic Caribbean menu is mighty. 

Tucked away in the far corner of Brixton Market is Fish, Wings and Tings. Delivering exactly what it promises to with its simple yet adventurous menu, this is a great place to go for tangy jerk chicken, tender goat roti and some serious people watching. 

Fish, Wings and Tings' is small yet inviting. The single room Caribbean-come-Trindadian food haven entices you inside with its colourful walls, bold mosaic tiles and soulful reggae beats. If inside is full, it's not a problem as FWT is best enjoyed outside on their front patio - with a rum and ting (which pack a punch) or an ice cold beer in hand.

The jerk chicken (a Caribbean classic) comes with a delicious red cabbage slaw, heaps of rice and peas and is slathered in a thick and spicy jerk sauce. If you're feeling adventurous, give the Red Stripe tempura prawns with tamarind sauce a go. This little spot is great value for money - you can enjoy a hearty mountain of food and a beer for only £12 to £14!

The dining experience is a South London must.

www.facebook.com/fishwingstings

3 Granville Arcade, 2 Atlantic Road, Brixton, SW9 8PS

 

Patty & Bun

Simple and juicy burgers with the tastiest skin-on chips.

Top of every burger lovers bucket list has to be Patty and Bun. With their newest spot in London Fields situated in a railway arch, the folks at P&B are bringing simple spaces and mouthwatering food together in true London fashion.

With six different burgers to chose from, decision making is hard, but the Smokey Robinson comes out on top: beef patty is teamed with bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, lashings of their secret smokey P&B mayo and caramelized onions for a generous, juicy burger.

A trip to Patty and Bun wouldn’t be complete without a serving of their skin-on fries, which come with chicken skin salt and a moreish roast chicken mayo.

If you’re going to pay them a visit definitely try their London Fields branch, but if that’s a little out your way, they’ve got a fourth eatery coming to Soho’s Old Compton Street this year, leaving you spoilt for choice.

www.pattyandbun.co.uk

397 Mentmore Terrace, London Fields, Hackney, E8 3PH