Top 5 Breakfast Places in London

top-5

Well, we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But you know what’s more important for me, a big Sunday breakfast to cure my weekend hangover and get me prepared for my Monday.

Disclaimer, these top 5 breakfast places are my personal favourites and where I would go eat whilst living in London after a night out, obviously cause who eats breakfast during the week? Not me, weekday morning struggles were too hard for me to make myself some breakfast. Hence, it’s all right to treat myself once in a while. You get what I mean, right?

So, now let’s see my top 5 breakfast places in London.

 

  1. Breakfast Club:
    the-breakfast-club

    This one’s on top of my list when it comes to getting a hearty breakfast, inspired by the 80’s classics, it totally lives up to that and you’d feel like you’re in one of those cosy, American diners where a lot of stories have been told. The interiors have fairy lights, pictures of customers and just amazing vibes breakfast and brunch vibes. And the most fascinating or rather exciting part is there is a secret door at the Liverpool Street Breakfast Club, this secret door is basically a refrigerator, which leads you to a bar section and you could just convert your breakfast into a champagne brunch. It’s really cool and if you’re in London you should definitely check out Breakfast Club. It surely wouldn’t be a disappointment.
    What to order: Egg Florentine, Pancakes and Classic Burgers
    Location: Breakfast Club is at 9 locations across Central London
    Timings: 7:30am – 11pm
    Price: £30 – 40 for two
  2. Dishoom:
    dishoom-breakfast

    Dishoom is inspired by Bombay’s Irani cafes from the 1960’s and founded by Zoroastrian expats. Dishoom was my go to place whenever I missed home food. There were detailed interiors, having that old Bombay charm to it. Dishoom isn’t only great for breakfast, but their Indian street food, lunches and dinners. The only downside is, no matter what day of the week it is, it is very likely there will be an hour-long queue. But we all know, those good things are worth the wait, right? No need to worry, while waiting to get a table you’ll get constant refills of hot chai for free! So if you’re missing Indian food on your holiday in London or craving it, I highly recommend Dishoom.
    What to order: Kejriwal, Bombay omelette, Naan rolls and chocolate chai
    Location: Dishoom is at 4 locations across Central London
    Timings: 8am – 11pm
    Price: £30 for two
  3. My Old Dutch:
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    My Old Dutch is what I call ‘pancake paradise’, opened over 50 years ago serving authentic Dutch pancakes in enormous portions here. My Old Dutch is my number one pancake place in London, they have a mind-boggling menu of sweet and savoury pancakes. I can assure you to be confused about what to order off the extensive menu. Cheeky tip there, go with a group of friends make them order everything you would want to try and order for the best, dilemma solved. Also, they have “Madness Monday’s” where all the pancakes on the menu are priced at 5 pounds. It’s a great bargain and a perfect Monday motivator. Forget your diet while going here and just dig in the perfect Dutch goodness.
    What to order: Everything, sorry it’s too hard for me to pick favourites here! But you could order one sweet and one savoury to balance the flavours.
    Location: My Old Dutch is at 3 locations across Central London
    Timings: 11am – 11pm
    Price: £25 – 30 for two
  4. Cereal Killer Café:
    cereal-killer-cafe

    Now the name gives it all away, this place takes their cereal very seriously. To begin with, let’s talk about their creative interiors, it’s probably one of the reasons why I used to keep going back here. Cereal Killer’s colourful, quirky and artistic décor is done using cereal boxes, milk bottles and artwork made out of cereal itself, I bet you’d take a lot of Instagram-worthy pictures here. Now, this isn’t your average cereal bar, they offer 100 types of cereal, 30 flavours of milk and 20 toppings besides, they internationally ship their cereal so if you’re a big cereal fanatic you can have it shipped at your doorstep. Check this one of a kind cereal café and reminisce your childhood.
    What to order: chocopottomus, unicorn poop or be creative and make your own.
    Location: Cereal Killer Café is at 2 locations in London – Bricklane & Camden
    Timings: Bricklane – 8am – 8pm, Camden – 9:30am – 7pm
    Price: £15 for two
  5. The Ivy Chelsea Garden:
    the-ivy-chelsea-garden

    The Ivy is a posh, sophisticated Richard Caring’s Ivy franchise that serves European continental food, lot’s of truffles (duh, it’s a fancy place) and smashing brunches. This isn’t the kind of place you’d want to go in your jumper and smudged mascara from the previous night! Here, you want to put on a cute dress and on and go for a special occasion. It’s a lovely place to go to on a sunny summer afternoon as they have an outdoor garden and rooftop space. The interiors are very eye catching and elegant having a Persian feel, and a lot of plants, greenery and garden elements around you. They’ve got a tantalising menu to fit for everyone. I would suggest giving this place a shot for your birthday or any occasion per say. A tip, always try and get a table outside.
    What to order: Truffled eggs, Avacado and tomato toasts, mushrooms on toast and a glass of rosé, please!
    Location: 197, King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5ED
    Timings: 8am – 11pm
    Price: £50 – 60 for two
    ivy-chelsea

There you have it, all my favourite breakfast/ brunch places in London that will cure your hangovers and cravings. And forget about the calories you will be consuming just enjoy your meal and then you have the entire day to burn them off! Also, always remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so let’s try and not skip it.

If you want to know about my favourite rooftop bars in London, you’ll find them here.

 

Stereotypes and misconceptions about India 

Stereotypes & Misconceptions about India

Recently at a bar in Mumbai, I had a strange encounter with these white guys from Europe traveling across India for a month. Well, it was strange cause, I was surprised what they though of India and us Indians to be, and it made me realise how every white person who comes to visits India or even interacts with us, has a few preconceived thoughts and stereotypes about India. This wasn’t my first experience, while living in the UK I’ve had people ask me questions like “are you allowed to date?”, “why don’t you have an Indian accent?” and the list could go on. I had to keep explaining that India is not what they see in movies or they hear about. It’s really big and diverse, and they’d be so surprised with what I would tell them. Not everything you’d hear about is false, but there is a lot of stuff that’s exaggerated and has just created a bizarre image about India, which is why explaining myself about India, that it’s not what you may think it is.

Indian isn’t a language:

So a lot of foreigners, assume Indian to be a language, and it isn’t that’s our nationality. I was communicating with a taxi driver in Hindi (our national language) and I was asked by one a foreigner, if I was talking to them in “Indian” well they meant Hindi which obviously I corrected. So, a fun fact here, Hindi is our national language, besides this there are 28 official languages spoken across India and over 200 dialects. Yes, this would be probably one of the most diverse nation in the world.

Curry isn’t the only Indian food and not every Indian eats spicy:

India has mastered the art of making curries, but there are debates and conflicts about curry being originated from England (does England like taking credit for everything we do?) non the less, if you’re visiting India, curry isn’t the only thing you should be trying, there is a variety of dishes such as South Indian food like idlis, dosas or chaats like bhel, aloo vada and there’s lot more you could find here. Now getting to our spice tolerance level, for the record not everyone in India can eat spicy, example myself, I have tears streaming down my face if my food has too much chilli. So next time you’re hanging with an Indian, don’t assume they’re spice superman, you’d be surprised to see that you could probably eat spicier food than your Indian mate.

Dating is a taboo:

So, I encountered this experience twice once in London and in Mumbai when I met these blokes from Amsterdam, who tried flirting, but I wasn’t responsive and the next thing they said to me was, “Oh you’re not allowed to date right, you’ll have an arrange marriage.” To he honest, this really pissed me off, cause you know nothing about my life to comment and coming back to our culture, arrange marriages do exist, but as time has passed by, everyone’s allowed to date find who they like and this doesn’t mean if someone’s flirting, I need to give them what they’re looking for. Times have changed, and arrange marriages exist in the rural areas of India and those marriages seem to be lasting a lifetime so I don’t see what’s wrong in that. Guys, honestly watch out before passing comments like this, it is quite personal and offensive.

Every woman would be in a Sari:

When I was a part of an exchange program in college, while talking to these students they told me they didn’t carry their normal clothes as it would be “too revealing” for India and most girls and women would be dressed in saris is what they heard. This has been one of the most false statements I’ve heard, like my mum doesn’t even know how to drape a Sari forget wearing it everyday. Saris are beautiful and elegant, they are worn on special occasions like weddings and festivals, not on everyday basis. In big cities like Mumbai and Delhi girls would be dressed in normal jeans and tops, or even dresses for night outs. And working women wearing indo-western clothes to work which would be wearing a scarf along with your jeans, or a longer top known as “kurta”. We live a pretty updated fashion world, so please get this mindset off and Saris are beautiful.

The Indian Accent:

So every white person thinks the Indian accents in very think and loud, how they mimic us in all the American tv shows saying “what are you doing?” I’m sure you’re imaging the accent while reading this. Now, open up your mind, not every Indian has that accent, we are very well spoken and let me repeat myself about the diversity in languages in India. Literally accents in English change from city to city, people in UK were pretty surprised by my accent as it wasn’t the thick accept you’d have imagined and wouldn’t guess that I was Indian. I’ve been fortunate enough to get the best education which allows me to speak well, but seriously that accent you’d very rarely find across India, maybe if you go down to south India (which is also the most literate part of the country).

These are a few stereotypes I’ve come across, and what people thought about India and sometimes I found it really frustrating about having to explain my about things like this, and such stereotypes did exist but but everything has evolved over time, and sometimes a lot of things could be offensive if you have failed to be opened minded about a country and its culture. So, if you’re visiting India with an open mind I can assure having a life changing experiencing the culture here, seeing two sides to India and be mind boggled with diversity in one country its self.

Turkey Trails 

 A spontaneous holiday turns out to be one of the best holidays. If you’re holiday criteria is having a balance between culture and partying, Istanbul would be a perfect fit. It’s a city building a bridge between two continents, Asia and Europe divided by the Bosphorus river, a cultural afternoon to a wild night. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, often mistake to be the capital. This city oozes exquisiteness of history and civilisation and a thriving edge to modern developments. To explore the city entirely could take you couple of days, but is definitely worthwhile as you’ll find multiple layers of history and character where this is an Arab and European influence making this destination unique. Unlike other Islamic cities, Istanbul is very modern and international, attracting tons of tourists each year. There’s a story to every place in the city, starting from The Hagia Sophia to the 500 years old grand bazaar or the spice market. And of course, the blue mosque cannot be missed, however there’ll always be an hour long wait to get into the mosque.


On a bright sunny day, taking the Bosphorus cruise would be ideal, getting a glimpse of the Asian and European side.


For a cheap but a fun night out, Taksim square, is the perfect place to be at. A long street with lots of bar lined up one after another, good music and a chilled vibe to the place is the best way to end a long day in Istanbul.


Turkish delights, the dark muddy coffee (something I didn’t personally like) but l loved the Turkish teas, baklava filled with pistachios and topped with fresh cream was my favourite, for all the meat lovers you’re in for a treat when it comes for Turkish food.


Well, there is a downside to Istanbul, the weather being quite chilly and unpredictable rain, but that shouldn’t be stopping anyone from exploring this iconic city. Besides this, taxi drivers in Turkey are big a scam, they’d charge exorbitant prices for the shorter distance, rig their meters, or play with currencies (fool tourists with Liras and Euros). Hence, always try and use public transport available, or insist on the taxi driver to keep the meter on and pay that price only.


Overall, Istanbul is a beautiful city, with a vibrant atmosphere and so much to explore. I’m already planning my next trip to Istanbul, get started and plan your next holiday!

Street Eats Under A Pound 

It seems unreal doesn’t it? When I moved to London, and if anyone asked me what was the one thing I missed from back home, undoubtedly it was the street food, it’s literally been my appetite saviour for so many years now. If there’s some boring lunch/dinner cooked at home, just run down and have a lot of options to choose from without making a hole in my pocket. However unbelievable it may sound, street eats in Mumbai start at as cheap as 10p. And it’s full of flavours and freshness, obviously it’s not the healthiest option, but hey, it’s better than have your dominos pizza.
If you’re visiting Mumbai, something that you cannot miss out on is the street food, to be warned you’ve got to have a good immune system and a spice tolerance to handle these local Mumbai delicacies.

1. Vada Pav

My all time favourite, Vada Pav is a potato patty with a hint of coriander, garlic and a lot of spices and masala put in a bun with the best garlic chutney (Indian sauces) and green chillies, even known as the “Indian Burger”. It cost as little as 10p for a vada Pav in Mumbai and you’ll find a Vada Pav-wala in every nook and corner of the city. But the best ones I’ve come across by far are the ones in worli and flora fountain, people being queued up and waiting to get that piping hot Vada Pav.


2. Bhel

Bhel is made out puffed rice, finely chopped onions, tomatoes and boiled potatoes, and the binding substance, the three chutneys– tamarind chutney, mint chutney and garlic. You can alter your bhel according to your palette. Weather you’d like it spicy or sweet or something in between. Bhel is a perfect evening snack to have something light but not too filling. And again, Bhel costs about 20p only and my staple places I have bhel is Hari Om Bhel in Fort.

3. Road-side Sandwich

This is nothing like the cold Tesco sandwich you’d have here. These sandwiches are freshly made infront of you, fresh veggies and cheese put in generous portions, grilled and given to you with a tangy ketchup. And wondering how much this would cost, it would be around 25p but the prices vary depending on your sandwich fillings. This is a must have accordingly to me. One of the best sandwich-wala is at Nariman Point.

4. Dosa

Dosa is an Indian pancake made out of rice flour and you can literally have upto 100 kind of different fillings in it. Dosa is one of the healthier options. It’s known as a South Indian delicacy but everyone in Mumbai love it! Dosa is normally served with a coconut chutney and sambhar (a tomato gravy). The best places to have dosa in Mumbai would be Babulnath Dosa and Ramarshray Dosa in Mantuga where people are waiting in lines from 5 in the morning. Dosa start from 40p and vary according to the fillings. This is a perfect filling lunch meal.

5. Bhutta

Bhutta is a corn cob roasted on charcoal, there is nothing fancy about it. It’s fresh corn being cooked and then topping it up with butter, lemon and some spice. This is everyone monsoon favourite food. Having Bhutta in the chilly monsoon is one of the things everyone in Mumbai does. Right opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel at Gateway you’d find these friendly Bhutta-wala enjoying the rains, roasting golden corn cobs and serving it to you in your cars. These roasted corn cobs cost only 15p and are normally big in sizes.

I think, besides the food being so cheap. It’s fresh and made right infront of you, these guys who are making this food get the joy of feeding people and love being appreciated for what they make. They might not make big profits but yet serve the best food in generous portions which everyone can afford. Now, these streets are a must have when you visit Mumbai.