Monday, July 31, 2017

Diwan at the Aga Khan Museum

Walking into Diwan, you are immediately transported to another part of the world. The décor is made up of decorated wooden panels that were hand-carved and painted in Damascus back in 1799. Sitting by the window at Diwan, you're able to have a stunning view of the gardens of Aga Khan Park (which we totally frolicked around in afterwards). The floor to ceiling windows really make it the perfect spot to spend an afternoon.

Chef Mark McEwan is the mastermind behind the menu at Diwan. With the menu focused around using innovative approaches to Middle Eastern, North African, and South Asian cuisine, we knew we were in for a treat. But with summer in full effect, it comes with no surprise that Diwan would open up their patio and launch a new summer menu. It features a range of sharing plates with flavours from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, North Africa, and Turkey. Below are the items that we got to taste (a combination of their regular lunch menu + the new menu).

• Sweet Onion Bahji with tamarind chutney
• Advieh Spiced Calamari with Aleppo aioli
Borani-e-Bademjan, a yogurt and eggplant dip with naan
Lamb Kofta Meatballs with corn, and coconut curry
• Chicken Shwarma Salad with shawarma-spiced chicken breast, romaine, quinoa, tomato, cucumber, onion, chickpea puree, egg, tahini yogurt, and naan
• Grilled Octopus and Chickpea Salad with Moroccan olives, stewed sweet peppers, and Aleppo aioli
• Walnut and Pistachio Filo Rolls with honey lavender syrup topped with fig gelato
Strawberry Cheesecake Panna Cotta topped with raspberries and meringue

Out of the items that we tasted, my favourites were definitely the lamb kofta meatballs and the grilled octopus. The lamb kofta meatballs were swimming in the most delicious corn and cocunut curry. I smothered as much curry as I could on those meatballs! The grilled octopus is actually cooked three times - boiled, baked, and then grilled until cooked to tender perfection. A surprise favourite was the bahji. We actually didn't order it but our waiter highly recommended for us to give it a try, and I'm so glad we did. It was the perfect crunchiness of a fried sweet onion when dipped in a delectable chutney sauce. See below for photos from our dining experience.

On another note, if you've never been to the Aga Khan Museum, you have to make your way over here. The space is just stunning, including the gardens of the Aga Khan Park. Tell me what you think of it!

I mean... Can anyone not like this place?! Open for lunch on Tuesdays through Sundays (11:30am to 2:30pm), I'd suggest for you to make this into an afternoon affair. Come and relax in this gorgeous garden, and walk through the museum. At the end of your exploration, sit out on the patio & order a couple delicious dishes at Diwan. You won't regret it!


Monday, July 24, 2017 / London, UK

5 Bites of London, UK

With so much to do and eat in London, the most efficient way to do both is to find spots in the city where you can eat with a view. Here are five must-visit spots in the city that offer great food and also a stunning view.
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 Sky Garden

Start off your day on the north side of River Thames by visiting Sky Garden, a public garden located on the top floor of 20 Fenchurch Street. The space is stunning, and you’ll be able to enjoy a coffee and a pastry while overlooking a 360 degree aerial view of London’s skyline.


Located on the 40th floor of one of London’s tallest buildings, indulge in a hearty breakfast at Duck & Waffle as you take in yet another breathtaking view of London. Although they serve traditional British cuisine throughout the day, it would be a mistake to not order their signature Duck & Waffle dish during your visit.


Press for Champagne button at Bob Bob Ricard

Let’s take a break from London’s skylines and focus on another view that is just as important: champagne. Take a stroll to Soho and stop in at Bob Bob Ricard. Serving Russian-inspired British food, the décor echoes glam and your immediate view at any table you get seated at will be a “Press for Champagne” button.

Afternoon Tea

Spend the afternoon treating yourself to a traditional British affair, afternoon tea. Located in a stunning 19th-Century hotel, Claridge’s afternoon tea is the perfect way to give yourself a break from walking around the city, as there is honestly nothing better than a cuppa tea and a fresh, hot scone during midday!

Dinner & Drinks

Scallops as an appetizer at Ting

End off your day with an amazing view of London from the tallest building in the city as the sun sets for the day. Ting is located on the 35th floor of The Shard with stunning views of River Thames, including Tower Bridge. Serving up British cuisine with an Asian twist, you can’t go wrong with ordering the scallops as a starter and the côte de bœuf as your main.

After dinner, head up to Gong on level 52 at The Shard for a cocktail like you’ve never experienced before. Currently, there are 16 unique cocktails including one that actually floats! Be sure to ask for a window seat so you can enjoy your cocktail as you watch London light up for the night.

Feel The Force Cocktail at Gong.

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