Food Review: Beefeaters Woolwich

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review

Being on my fitness journey, I have learnt that being healthy is not about restricting yourself or cutting out foods, it’s about making better food choices but also allowing yourself to eat freely from time to time. That is what makes healthy eating more sustainable.

I don’t believe in all the ‘clean eating’ stuff, I’m more of the flexible IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) eating kinda gal. šŸ™‚ Even sometimes macro counting goes out of the window for me.Ā I still make conscious decisions to watch my carb intake – not because I don’t want to eat a lot of carbs – but because of my gestational diabetes diagnoses in both pregnancies I just want to err on the cautious side of things.

Last week I visited this lovely new steak restaurant, Beefeater Woolwich. Woolwich Arsenal has undergone a series of redevelopments to sass up the area. Not a bad thing as it’s nice to bring fresh people to the area but I can’t help feeling like eventually my lovely rough-around-the-edges town will become fully gentrified. Last year’s Marks and Spencer relaunchĀ was nice to witness because there’d always been an M&S in Woolwich so it was welcomed back with open arms. However I am not so sure if the same can be said for some of the other new food places that have cropped up there.

First Impressions
Beefeater in Woolwich is located on the main road underneath its Premier Inn hotel counterpart. I suppose quite a few of the hotel residents would dine here are its the closest restaurant to the hotel (Nandos is second) that opens late enough for food in Woolwich. From the outside, the restaurant looks quite modest and blends in well with the surroundings, only the giant signage gives away their location. My table was booked for 6:30pm and by then it was already dark outside so luckily the brightly lit sign helped me find my way to the restaurant entrance.IMG_9270

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I went along as a lone diner as my dining partner (my sister) had to drop out at the last minute. I didn’t mind but felt a little apprehensive because I have never really dined alone and just had visions of being seen as a loner whilst everyone else was sitting with their friends and family eating, laughing and having fun. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. I was greeted by a lovely member of staff who escorted me to my table. I told her I was dining alone and she sat me opposite the open kitchen and said that the booth is popular with people who dine alone and work/business diners who need to use their laptops whilst lunching/dining. That made me feel a little bit more at ease.

The interior decor has a modern rustic look with wooden panels and a mix of leather sofas and fabric chairs. I really liked the industrial-inspired lighting and beef cuts hanging decoration. I also loved my view of the open kitchen, I would definitely ask to be seated in the same place I sat.

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Menus for the evening; an a la carte menu and a set menu to choose from
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My view of the open kitchen
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Loving the decor of the place and the big beef cuts hanging plaque

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The Menu
From hindsight, the options I chose may not appeal to everyone but I really enjoyed my dishes. After speaking with my sister, she made a big deal about not combining seafood with steak – I didn’t know that was even a thing but there you go. Lesson learnt. The food was good, the portions were very generous and the price was affordable. I would definitely recommend Beefeater Woolwich to anyone who is local, travelling to the area or staying nearby. It’s our first steak restaurant in the area and I am sure they will become a popular choice for families wanting to eat out.

The Food
As soon as I was sat down, the host took my drinks order; I don’t drink so just went for a diet cola and a glass of water. For starters, I ordered the garlic prawn pan – I really fancied something not too heavy and you can’t really go wrong with grilled prawns. The starter took about 7-10 mins to arrive and it was lovely, hot and well presented.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Garlic prawn pan with ciabatta bread

The prawns were cooked well, not overdone nor under-cooked and I used the bread to dip the sauce that was in the pan. It tasted fresh and slightly buttery, I couldn’t really taste the garlic so my suggestion would be not to be scared of using a bit more to bring out the garlic flavour – after all, it is called garlic prawn pan. It took me 5 minutes or less to demolish the dish. I was hungry. It tasted good and I wanted more. There was decent amount of prawns in there and not a measly amount like 3-4 prawns which you can sometimes get in other restaurants. My plates were cleared relatively quickly by my waitress as I waited for my main course. I opted for the Beefeater Surf ‘n’ Turf with the prawn and lobster sauce and swapped my triple-cooked chips for sweet potato chips.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Surf ‘n’ Turf sirloin steak with king prawns (I swapped the triple cooked chips for sweet potato chips)

“All our steaks are served with half a slow-roasted tomato, grilled mushroom, Lamb’s lettuce and unlimited triple cooked chips.”Ā Beefeater menu

I had my steak cooked medium-well and it came out beautifully. The steak was tender, juicy and not bloody at all but still nice and pinkish inside. The king prawns were also very tasty but less can be said for the prawn and lobster sauce. I knew I should’ve chosen the peppercorn sauce but wanted to be different. All I could think was the saying “stick to what you know” because that really would’ve been the best option. The sauce didn’t taste much like prawn or lobster but more of just a mild creamy sauce. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t fantastic either. The flavour of the sauce was just not strong enough.

I ordered creamed spinach as a side which I’ve had at restaurants before and loved but this time it was a little more overdone than I would’ve liked. The spinach did not have the texture as I was used to – it was more like an okra texture – good thing I love okra! I’ve never tried making creamed spinach but I guess it’s not easy as it would be so easy to overcook spinach. It was still tasty nevertheless so it didn’t bother me too much.

The grilled mushroom was amazing – the taste was lovely and cooked perfectly. I didn’t think the mushroom would taste that nice but it did! The sweet potato chips were nice but I wished they were presented in a small bowl instead of on the main plate. I love chips that have a crunch on the outside but about 80% of my chips were either soggy or soft due to the moisture of them. Perhaps sweet potato chips soak up more juice than triple-cooked chips so I don’t think other diners would have the same problem. If I had this dish again I would ask for my chips to be served in a separate bowl. I left the salad leaves and grilled tomato as I’m not a fan of them but they looked tasty and fresh.

I was really full after finishing the main course. I did really struggle to eat all of my chips but ate the majority of them because I don’t like to waste food and didn’t want to be hungry when I got home. I had to think twice about ordering dessert and was stuck between choosing the lighter chocolate torte and the chocolate brownie. With the recommendation of the host, I went for the brownie. Calorie and macro counting had already gone out of the window by now so I wasn’t bothered – I just wanted something nice and sweet to end my evening.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Rich chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream

The host gave me some breathing time before taking my dessert order which was great. It gave my belly enough time to settle and make some room for something sweet. šŸ™‚ When the brownie arrived it looked amazing, it was very well presented. The chocolate brownie slice was of a generous portion and so was the ice cream. The chocolate sauce drizzle looked so pretty and executed with precision. I tucked into my brownie and was not disappointed.

The brownie was rich, soft and moist on the inside and slightly firmer on the outside – like how brownies should be. The ice cream was very milky and mildly vanilla flavoured which complimented the richness of the brownie. A well-balanced dessert I thought. A coffee would’ve been great for after dessert but as I was getting tired, I decided to skip the coffee and head off home.

My verdict?
I like this place. It’s good food, well priced for its portion size and has a lovely family-friendly atmosphere. I would definitely go back again.

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Review: Mister Paste’s new sweet and sour mango sauce makes vegetarian cooking easy!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Photo source: MisterPaste.co.uk

I don’t always make vegetarian meals even though I did wish I made more of an effort to. LO is not a big meat fan – unless it’s oven cooked (fish fingers/chicken nuggets/turkey drummers), or meatballs with spaghetti you couldn’t get him to even touch it with a barge pole.

When the founder of Mister Paste, Ian (you can read more about Ian and his company in an interview post I wrote here) got in touch last month to inform me of his new sauce I was more than intrigued to try it out. Mister Paste’s vegetarian line of food had been recently accredited by the Vegetarian Society and was exhibiting at the Just V Show in Olympia.

So let’s talk about the mango sauce… it’s a lovely rich sauce that reminds me of Nandos’ mango and lime marinade (due to the kaffir lime leaves and mango sauce) and the consistency a Chinese sweet and sour sauce. It’s rich, sweet and tangy sauce is delicious, on the recipe printout included in the pack mentions that you could add fresh mango chunks but the sauce has so much flavour (made from real mango purĆ©ed, you don’t need to). I had made two dishes with the sauce; one for myself with Quorn cubes and the other with pan-fried salmon for the family as they’re not a big fan of Quorn.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Quorn chunks with vegetables and egg noodles

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Pan-fried salmon with veggies and egg noodles

The sweet and sour mango sauce and other ingredients come in vacuum-sealed bags. All I had to buy was my choice of protein (salmon and Quorn), one red pepper, fresh coriander and lemon. I added in fish sauce instead salt as well as black pepper for seasoning and taste. I loved the chilli flakes that came with the pack so much that I bought extra. šŸ™‚ I didn’t add all the flakes because otherwise the children and Daddy P wouldn’t have been able to eat it so it was more of a sweet and tangy mango sauce than a spicy one. But that suited our taste buds just right.

I had also originally planned the dish to be made with jasmine rice but we had egg noodles left over from when I was planning to make salmon teriyaki so we used that as a sub instead. I imagine that the dish would’ve been just as delicious with rice but somehow it felt a bit healthier and lighter with soy-tossed egg noodles. Daddy P who was initially sceptical about a fruity and savoury sauce admitted that he enjoyed it. I certainly did and so did the kids and my sister who was over for dinner.

Mister Paste’s sauce packs are literally an all-in-one product. The packs provide you with not only the sauce but the ingredients to go with it (all measured out for you) and comes complete with instructions on how to use it which is quintessentially the recipe on how to make the dish. Any ingredients that may be an allergen are highlighted in bold so you know exactly what goes in it.

I am very thrilled that the company’s vegetarian line has been recognised and accredited with an awarding body. It’s a statement to show everyone that Mister Paste really knows his stuff and can deliver high-quality sauces and pastes to vegetarians, non-vegetarians and those in-between like me! šŸ™‚

Food Review: Vegetarian lunch at the Ethos Restaurant in London

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review

Okay this post is long and overdue I do apologise but having Ethos on my mind for the past couple of days, I decided I needed to post this instead of leaving it to sit in my drafts folder.

A few months back (Oct/Nov times) I decided to try out this popular vegetarian restaurant with my bestieĀ Coco who turned pescatarian almost a year ago. She hadn’t really ate out at vegetarian or vegan restaurantsĀ so I wanted us to try out a new dining experience which didn’t involve me stuffing my face with meat and her watching me. She has said a few times she misses meat and poultry so I wanted us to be on the same page this time.Ā I found out about this trendy little restaurant called Ethos through another friend who’s pescatarian. It had just opened up earlier in 2016 I believe and became really popular for non-meat eaters. There’s loads of vegetarian and more vegan restaurants popping up now which I think is great.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Ethos Foods restaurant / Photo Credit: Best of Interiors
Location, Location

Ethos Foods is located on East Castle street, just a stone throw away from London’s bustling Oxford Street. When you’re at Oxford Circus station, the restaurant is a short 7-10 mins walk away. The restaurant blends in well with its surroundings so you might walk past it without knowing. Nestled between other buildings, the beautiful glass front shows off the natural looking decor inside.

Decor

The decor inside is simple but modern. As I went around October/November times, the restaurant had a wonderful autumnal display. Lots of oranges and browns (colour theme) which looked warm and inviting. I was also very impressed with the shop front. The wide floor-length windows allow you to eat and admire the outside at the same time. I loved the black leather (I’m guessing it’s faux-leather!) booths and marble table tops.Ā I foundĀ the birch trees a bit weird at first but grew more and more fond of them whilst at the restaurant.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
TheĀ warm and inviting autumnal window display
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The seating area – see how navigating a bigger pram could be tricky? / Photo Credit: Londonist
Space

It’s not a massive restaurant – the image above of the shop front is basically the length of the whole placeĀ but I think this gives it a friendly and intimate feel. In terms of the space, I can’t really say the place is buggy-friendly. Yes the doors can open up for large or double pushchairs it’s a little difficultĀ to navigate around to the seats with a bigger pram. My advice would be to ask for a seat nearer to the buffet stations and doors. The staff are very attentive so I am sure they would be smart enough to work that out should it ever happen. I was a little apprehensive about the space beforehand (even though I only have a tiny little Mamas & Papas Urbo) IĀ didn’t bring it because I wasn’t sure I would be able to move around the restaurant comfortably with the pram. The seats are positioned quite closely together and when I had to move about with Baby Girl in my baby wrap, I felt a bit cramped and the restaurant wasn’t even busy.

As lovely as the faux-leather booths were, it was a little tricky to sit in as the tables are pushed quite closely to the chairs. The other thing was that you don’t get a booth to yourself – for Ethos to make use of the space, the booths are split into two so they can sit two sets of guests in them. It’s a clever way for utilising space but not the most friendliest for parents with young children… but then again I guess we’re not their main target market. The family-friendly space is the only downfall of Ethos though, everything else if above standards.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The buffet-style food stations / Photo Credit: Ethos Foods
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
View of the seating area / Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

Now onto the food…

Food, Glorious Food

The food at Ethos is absolutely amazing. O.M.G! The flavours, the varieties, not to mention the desserts. Oh my. We’re not a vegetarian family so I’ve not been to many though I am choosing to go to more as I really liked them. The first veggie restaurant I went to was Mildred’s in Camden and I had the most amazing halloumi and char-grilled aubergine flatbread burger. From that day onward, I knew I loved the vegetarian dining experience and Ethos Foods didn’t let me down. There was plenty of fresh food to choose from (hot and cold) and the self-service buffet meant I can easily pick a little of everything I fancy.

TheĀ food is priced on a pay-by-weight basis which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. For me, it meant better portion control and the price per kilo was affordable. I think I paid about Ā£12 for my full plate and then I spent a little more on desserts (charged separately, around Ā£2-3Ā per slice.. I chose 2Ā things) and opted for tap water my whole lunch was around Ā£20.00. Okay, Ā£20 for lunch is not what I’d spend daily but it’s a good price for an occasional lunch with friends, etc.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
My plate full of delicious food!

I had miso roasted aubergines, halloumi bites, spinach and ricotta cheese balls, green beans, Hungarian goulash, seaweed salad, cous cous, massaged kale salad with kumquats, and a broccoli with carrots cashew cream curry. My favourite was the aubergines, spinach/ricotta balls, the goulash and cashew cream curry. Everything was packed-full with flavour and spices. No-one can ever tell me that vegetarian food is bland and boring! On purpose, I tried to avoid having too much carbs simply because of having Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies it puts me at higher risk of developing it later in life. So for that reason only I am a little cautious but it doesn’t mean I cut out carbs, just limit it to a decent amount. I resisted the sweet potato fries and creamy potato gratin but had a littleĀ bit of gnocchi instead. šŸ™‚

Now that autumn is over, I am sure the menu at Ethos would be a little different. I recently checked out their sample menu online and some things are not on there like the spinach and ricotta balls and seaweed salad. However it is a ‘sample menu’ so you could still stumble upon it at the restaurant.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Dessert table (sorry for the blurred image!)

I wasn’t going to get dessert but then I thought why not as who knows when I’ll be back lol … I can’t ever imagine going here with both LO and Baby Girl – not while they’re still young as they’ll probably make so much noise and disturb everyone else’s dining experience haha! I tried to be as good as possible and only picked two things – the peanut butter bomb (an Ethos favourite) and a raspberry and vanilla raw square. The peanut butter bomb was incredibly rich, I shared half of mine with my friend and still thought it was rich. Amazingly delicious though, there was only one left which I picked but if there was more I’m sure I would’ve gone back to buy two more. They taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups but way better!

The raw square was fabulous and just as I would expect for a raw dessert. If you’ve never tried raw desserts before you are seriously missing out. It was so mouth-watering, softly whipped and had a slight coconut taste because I think they used coconut to make the base of the square. Absolutely yum!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

My friend also bought herself a raw raspberry square and a black bean brownie which I tried. It was so tasty but again so rich in taste and texture. One brownie was more than enough for the both of us. I really want to try and make my own black bean brownie and a few other raw desserts but I haven’t got round to doing so yet. I may have to put some time aside next week to do so!

So if you haven’t yet gathered from my raving review, I highly recommend giving Ethos a visit whether you’re a vegetarian/vegan or not. If the food hasn’t won you over at least pop in to give the desserts a try – you won’t be disappointed. It’s not somewhere I would say to eat for a work lunch but great if you’re with a couple of friends and looking for a place with good vegetarian food, a lovely atmosphere in the heart of Central London.

Enjoy & Bon AppĆ©tit!Ā 

Here are someĀ other bloggers who’ve also been to Ethos and written about their dining experience:

The London Mother
Fat Gay Vegan
Her Favourite Food
I’m Wandering and Positive