CHECKOUT (4th edition – January 2012)

With Christmas being a distant memory, apart from the reminders around our waistlines and on our bank statements, we’ve decided to focus on Valentine’s Day. We’ve rounded up enough restaurants for you to drop some not so subtle hints on where you would like to be wined and dined, and they’ll suit every budget too (still thinking of those Christmas-induced overdrafts). Don’t worry, we still have our usual selection of new products, gadgets and events that have caught our eye this month…

Hamburger Mondays at The Draft House

Burger that!

Mondays are to be Hamburger Mondays at The Draft House. The fabled Yolk, Smoke or Poke will be available, with House Fries and a Pint of Sambrook’s Wandle, for £9.75 all in. If you’re not familiar with Yolk, Smoke & Poke, see their website. And Tuesdays are to be Flat Iron Tuesdays, meaning you can get an Angus Flat Iron Steak with a Green Salad and a Pint of Wandle for just £12.75. If you don’t like Wandle, they will sub in Draft House Light Lager, a glass of wine or any soft drink. We love their scotch eggs, meatballs, burgers, well, everything really…

Draft House Tower Bridge
206-208 Tower Bridge Road
London SE1 2UP
020 7378 9995

Draft House Westbridge
74-76 Battersea Bridge Road
London SW11 3AG
020 7228 6482

Draft House Northcote
94 Northcote Road
London SW11 6QW
020 7924 1814

Top January and February deals at London restaurants

Try some chargrilled chorizo at the Opera Tavern... Perfect!

30% off food at Opera Tavern

The fab Opera Tavern is offering 30% off food Monday-Sunday lunchtimes through January. Read our review here

50% off food for early diners at Renaissance pubs
Order before 8.12pm this January 2012 and they’ll give you 50% off food when a minimum of two people order a main course. Click here for the voucher. Redeemable at The Avalon, The Stonhouse, The Abbeville, The Tommyfield, The Bolinbroke and The Rosendale
Martini meal deal at Cinnamon Kitchen
For lunch and dinner you can get two courses for £16 and three courses for £19 – both with a Winter Martini.
Burger offer at The Rib Room
The Rib Room is offering a Rib of Beef Burger and drink for only £12. Created by head chef Ian Rudge and available exclusively on the bar menu, served with steak frites and beer, wine or a soft drink. To book call 020 7858 7250.
25% off at Tapas Revolution
The fab new addition to Bluewater, they have churros at the bar tempting you in. Click here for the voucher. Offer valid when dining at the bar only and not valid for take-away. Discount not valid for use with promotional offers, including Menu Rapido and set menus. Offer valid all week round (Monday to Sunday) until 29th February 2012.
40% off Yo! Sushi
Simply log in to your YO! Love Club account (or sign up to the YO! Love Club if you haven’t already – once you have signed up you must verify your account before you are able to download a voucher) to download your January Sale web voucher ahead of the crowds. Just show your web voucher each time you dine in at a YO! Sushi, Mon-Fri and Sundays to enjoy 40% off your food bill off the conveyor belt only (no orders permitted), valid up to 10 plates per person. Offer is valid from Mon 9th Jan until Sun 29th Jan 2012 at all UK YO! Sushi restaurants. Download your vouchers and get ready to tuck into 40% off at your local YO! Sushi starting Mon 9th Jan 2012. Read our review of Yo! Sushi here

Fab new Indian cookbook

Spice up your life...

Gurpareet Bains, author of the No. 1 best-selling Indian Superfood, presents Indian Superspices: lab-inspired recipes to help with everyday ailments such as colds, PMT, hangovers and even insomnia. His unique approach uses spices in medicinal quantities to alleviate stress, anxiety, allergies and a range of other ailments. It will also help manage weight loss and aid with detox. Gurpareet already has a large fan base among A-list celebrities and Royalty. He is the creator of the ‘world’s healthiest meal’ and winner of the 2011 English Curry Awards’ ‘Chef of the Year’ title. Click here to buy.

A cocktail a day keeps the doctor away

Much better that a noisy apple...

Between 9th January and 12th February, The Botanist on Sloane Square and Chiswell Street Dining Rooms in the City will help give your health a kick with a selection of good-for you cocktails to enjoy absolutely guilt-free.

Each creation priced at £8.50, is packed full of vitamins and minerals designed to restore your body and mind ready for the year ahead. We want to try the Hazy Days – a blitz of Tanqueray gin; green apple liqueur; fresh ginger and the superfood sun-dried goji berries, packed with more vitamin C than oranges, more iron than steak and more beta-carotene than a carrot.

How to make the perfect Reuben sandwich

Now that's what we call a proper Reuben... Photograph by Paul Winch-Furness photographer | © 2011

Want to know how to make the perfect Reuben sandwich? Tom Oldroyd, head chef from Russell Norman’s amazing Mishkin’s shows you how here. If only I could eat cheese I would make one. I really want to return to Mishkin’s, mostly for the Chicken matzo ball soup and all the other things we didn’t get to try on the first visit.

Create your own Big Apple Hot Dogs topping!

Looks a mess but tastes divine!

Talking of Mishkin’s (Big Apple Hot Dogs have their very own hotdog on the menu, and it is amazing (see pic). They are launching a Twitter competition for bloggers to create their own hot dog topping. Abiye from BAHD told us ‘ It’s a light-hearted contest letting food bloggers showcase their passion and skills, by creating their dream topping for our celebrated hot dogs. Running BAHD has taught me that meeting, serving and chatting, in the flesh (so to speak) with hitherto virtual friends is a true joy and I wanted to share that with bloggers and their foodie followers. Of course, developing some amazing potential toppings for our dogs is a tremendous bonus! At BAHD we are in LOVE with Twitter and all its possibilities – so this whole event will be uniquely Twitter driven. Contestants will rock up to the Vibe Bar in Brick Lane of a Sunday lunchtime, with their bespoke relishes, sauces and toppings and share.’
  An opportunity to eat, drink and relate in a great environment. There will be heats and then a grand final, deliberated on by guest judges.The winner will be temporarily immortalised, with a plaque and coveted space on the Big Apple Hot Dog menu for a year. The event is open to all and there is no entry charge, whatsoever. Although registration for attendees (in order to be sure of sampling these unique creations) is very strongly advised.To find out more follow @bigapplehotdogs on Twitter and direct message any questions.
To register to attend please TWEET and FAVOURITE the following message: @bigapplehotdogs ‘YES! I want to come to #blogeatblog and be very, very #BAHD’

Guilt-free popcorn

Sweet and salty... That's our favourite

PROPERCORN is the newly launched gourmet British popcorn brand created by young entrepreneur Cassandra Stavrou, she founded PROPERCORN with fond childhood memories of cooking popcorn with her father and developed the recipes from scratch. Flavours include – garden chives, roasted onions, sun-dried tomatoes and crème fraiche), the freshly popped butterfly corn is delicately tumbled to create a delicious, guilt-free snack. Available now from retailers nationwide (RRP 95p), including BENUGO outlets, LEON, Caffè Fratelli and Mori Sushi


A huge choice of Valentine’s Day dining this year, we, however, will be having an unromantic night in and will go out the following night.

The perfect place to pop the question

For real romance… Clos Maggiore

According to Harden’s London Restaurant Guide 2012, Clos Maggiore is officially London’s most romantic restaurant. We have never been, but it’s on the list, maybe Ade will take me one day… A five-course tasting menu with a glass of champagne on arrival (£125) or with paired wines (£164). And if you feel like popping the question, staff will hide your sparkling ring in a bespoke chocolate box ready for the big moment.
33 King Street,
WC2E, T: 020 7379 9696

Something a bit different… Volupté

Love a man in uniform? Then head to burlesque and cabaret supper club Volupté, which will be hosting a ‘Blitz Party’ to welcome all those sharp-suited soldiers and sailors home from war; women are encouraged to glam up for their macho military men, too, in glamorous 1920s attire. Expect air raid sirens, a surprise black out, performances inspired by the sultry era and a menu of oysters, lobster and chocolate fondue. £75 for three courses and a show. Read our recent review here.
7-9 Norwich Street,
EC4A, Tel: 020 7831 1622

A taste of the middle east… Comptoir Libanais

Lebanese restaurant group, Comptoir Libanais is offering a mezze of Middle-Eastern delights at the recently opened South Kensington outpost, whilst a range of cool cocktails will help wash everything down in style. And if you’re a little more low-key, a takeaway does the trick every time, whilst an on-site shop enables you to pick out your own ingredients to cook up a storm in the comfort of your own home.
1-5 Exhibition Road,
SW7, Tel: 020 7225 5006

Made with love… The Table

The Table does everything in style, and a very romantic and special place it would be to spend Valentine’s night. £35.00 for a two course set menu, or £40.00 for a three course set menu and each guest receives a Champagne cocktail on arrival. The menu looks fantastic and they will also have live Jazz for the evening.

• Amuse-bouche
• Jerusalem artichoke soup, apple and truffl e oil
• Hand rolled tortellini of New Forest crayfi sh
and organic salmon poached in light bisque
• Slow roast, free range Welsh lamb
with Dauphinoise potatoes and spinach
• Pan fried Lemon sole with fi ne French beans,
new potatoes & cherry tomatoes
• Aubergine Parmigiano, wild roquette, pear
and toasted walnut salad
• Lemon pannacotta, blackcurrant sorbet
• British cheese selection
• Coffee and chocolates

This weekend it was recommended in the Guardian as somewhere to eat on the London tourist trail. Read our review here
83 Southwark Street
London, SE1 0HX
0207 401 2760

The lovely people at The Table are offering 20% off the food bill for the 6.00pm sitting, just quote ‘We Love Food, It’s All We Eat’ when booking.

Somewhere cosy… Meatballs at the Quality Chop House

Our favourite Meatballs are dedicating Valentines celebrations to the late great Barry White. They are running a five-day and night passion extravaganza with the sound track that you would expect! Click here for more info and here to read our review.

92-94 Farringdon Road
London. EC1R 3EA
T: 020 3490 6228

Edible Experiences

Let's get edible, edible. I wanna get edible...

We love this site run by WenLin Soh & Amir “Babs” Shamsuddin, a fellow married food-loving blogging couple. Edible Experiences makes it easier for you to discover, compare and review them. From cooking and baking classes, market tours, knife workshops, cheese tastings etc, rather than restaurant reservations.

Chinese New Year at Ping Pong

'So who called me dragon breath? You want (dim) sum?'

21st century teahouse and dim sum emporium, Ping Pong is welcoming the Year of the Dragon this Chinese New Year. They are celebrating the Chinese way with fifteen days of festivities, with daily prizes such as complimentary meals and dragon t-shirts, Dragon eye flowering tea tasting and sampling Dim Sum classes Cocktail classes. Also dragon face painting for children, a dragon film festival, complimentary cocktails for dragons (if your zodiac sign is dragon) and Chinese water pipe smoking (we want to do this one!).

Look out for our February edition of Checkout

If you have any new products,  gadgets, launches or events planned, you can contact us at or message us on our Facebook page