Bibigo – Angel

Reviewed on August 2nd, 2015 by Dina

Even after reviewing many eateries, it’s exciting to come across a cuisine that has not been tried before. Bibigo was my first experience of Korean food and it was perfect. It felt like a high end restaurant. The interior was clean and spacious with lots of wood decor and intricately carved wood panels. The bar was at the entrance with high stools. The chefs at work in the kitchen could be seen from the dining area.

There were many items on Bibigo’s menu which sounded interesting but the one that was settled for was the Hot Stone Bibimbap. A sizzling hot stone pot contained the colourful vegetables of mushrooms, sliced greens, kimchi and tofu. All of this was on top of a bed of fluffy rice. The spicy Kohot sauce and yellow sauce was given on the side. The Bibimbap tasted delicious. The combination of the seasonal vegetables with the sauces and rice went really well together.

The Kimchi Stew that my friend had was equally satisfying. The spicy stew was made of pork and tofu and came with rice. There seemed to be a slight confusion when more rice was asked for. The staff came and gave an empty bowl. So we weren’t sure if they were coming back to fill it with rice. After a short while, we asked again and this time a bowl that was full of rice was given.

The staff were all very professional and gave us good service. They were able to explain the items on the menu in detail when we asked about the dishes. The hot water and the regular water were given in small glasses. These had to be asked to be refilled throughout the meal. It may have been better to have been provided with a jug of water.

Bibigo is a truly lovely place to come to for healthy Korean food. It is nice that we will be returning to try the other items on the menu in the future.

Bibigo, 407 St John Street, London, EC1 4AB

Rating: ★★★★½

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Bliss Lane Tea Room – Flore

Reviewed on July 25th, 2015 by Dina

Motorway journeys can be good at times but it can depend on a varying number of factors. Even though the motorway service stations have improved over the recent years, they are not the most exciting of places.

A friend had a great idea for a recent journey. To make sure a proper break was had, my friend suggested why not make a day of the journey and stop over at a nice place or sight along the way. Hence the idea of doing lunch with a friend that I had not seen for a few months came into play.

Less than five minutes from the motorway is Bliss Lane Nursery in Flore. Down a small cul de sac lane leads to Bliss Lane Farm. Chickens roam in their area, lambs can be seen on the farm and it’s all so close to the car parking area. The little lane takes you up to the Farm Shop and to the Tea Room.

Bliss Lane Tea Room was welcoming and homely. It had a traditional feel to it. There were cakes on display in the counter fridge and the menu had sandwiches, breakfast, scones, pasties, soups and salads.

The decaffeinated coffee was served in a mug with hot milk on the side. It was nothing fancy but exactly what I wanted. As it was lunchtime, the Tea Room started to fill up.

The plain omelette was absolutely perfect. Soft on the inside and just slightly crispy on the outer. The quality of the eggs made this simple dish absolutely wonderful. It was served with some tasty coleslaw, root vegetable crisps and salad. It beat any service station sandwich!

The staff were really friendly and gave such nice service. All the food was cooked fresh to order. Even when we inquired about gluten free options, the staff did go out of their way to check the ingredients. They also had gluten free cakes as one of their chefs was coeliac so had been trying out gluten free recipes.

Lunch was made complete with a sweet treat of a currant slice. Packed full of currants on a buttery pastry made it a tasty dessert.

Bliss Lane Tea Room is a hidden gem and one that will definitely be returned to if I am passing by. It is highly recommended with its fresh food, friendly faces and a relaxed atmosphere. It makes me think that there must be many more places along motorways that should be sought out.

Bliss Lane Tea Room, Bliss Lane Nursery, 34 Bliss Lane, Flore, Northants, NN7 4LJ

Rating: ★★★★★

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Sawmill Cafe – Stratford

Reviewed on July 12th, 2015 by Dina

When one member of Rate My Bistro gave a surprise visit to the other, the only thing for it was to go out for cake and coffee! At last, we got to go to Sawmill Cafe together especially after one of us had been saying what a wonderful cafe it is and that it would easily become a favourite.

So many cakes and sweet treats in sight are all displayed beautifully in the window. Savoury food such as wraps, pizza, quiches, pastas, soup and stews are all behind glass fronts. It is refreshing and greatly appreciated when cafes have their food covered or behind counters. To this day, we still don’t understand why eateries choose to have self service food rather than it being served. As you can probably tell, we prefer the latter as it is more hygienic.

Sawmill FoodSawmillSawmill Honey Cake and CoffeeSawmill InteriorSawmill Interior 2Sawmill Interior 3

There is a real cuteness about Sawmill from the garlands of little lights hanging, the shelves of plants, stack of logs, the exposed brick walls to the wooden stools and benches. The staff are really friendly and give service with a smile. They don’t rush the customers even when it comes close to closing time.

Choices, choices, choices for the range of cakes and for the drinks. The honey cake was chosen and once you take one bite of this cake, you just want more. Alternating soft thin layers of the sweet honey cake and fresh cream make this irresistible.

The coffee comes in either one shot or two. The decaffeinated Americano with hot soya milk was creamy and smooth. There are lots of teas, juices and smoothies also on the menu.

All of the food is made fresh at Sawmill and they use seasonal produce. The cakes are baked in store and the quality of all the products is high.

Quality time between the Rate My Bistro team was spent at Sawmill and it sure is a firm favourite. The only hard part is to decide when to visit again. Hopefully in the weeks to come as it will be hard to leave going to Sawmill for a longer time than that.

Sawmill Cafe, 51 West Ham Lane, Stratford, London, E15 4PH

Rating: ★★★★★

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