Author: Sarah Kemp

Service at its worst at Machan Kitchen, Croydon

Hooray, there’s a new Sri Lankan restaurant on the block. Me and my mates had been patiently waiting for it to open, excited to try it out. Croydon has a few gems (The Store and Mr. Fox being two), but is in need of a lot more. But having opened a few weeks ago, last night we trudged through the rain to try Machan Kitchen. Now, I should have known that the ordering process wouldn’t be smooth when on the walk my mate told me about her previous experience. Sit down, scan the QR code, yea… we all know how to do this after months of agonising changes due to the little monster known un affectionately as COVID dramatically changing the way we live our lives. Pop your table number in, group size and browse the menu. You’d think that every member of the group would be able to order their own food to the table and pay on the app – but no. The whole order has to be done at the same time. …

Where to eat the best seafood in Brighton

I have a very vivid memory from childhood of my Uncle David (hey, Uncy Dave if you’re reading) opening and slurping oysters by the dozen at my grandparent’s dining table. That dining table was a huge focus of fun, food and entertainment as a child, whether that be my grandad cheating at cards (every damn time), my grandma serving her famous meat pie (when we found out after years of eating it that she had been using tinned meat, we were gobsmacked), me lining up the dominos and knocking them down time and time again, or the time my brother realised the salad cream he was eating wasn’t just years out of date, but had gone red… red?! His face… The oyster memory however is one that I laugh at, mainly because I was disgusted at the time at how my uncle could be knocking back such creepy, disgusting, slimy morsels of rankness. Fast forward two decades and I realise I must have inherited his obsession, as I cannot get enough of them. And it’s …

The best places to eat pasta in London

I only started ordering pasta in restaurants around 5 years ago. Why? Because over the years, I’d clearly been frequenting some shocking Italian restaurants, thinking I was Barry Big B******s because I was dining out. I remember when it all changed, however. This joint isn’t on the list because recently I went back to the scene of the beautiful crime and I was devastated to see that the friendly Italian man who used to give me free slithers of cheese as I waited for him to cook the best goddamn ragu I had ever tasted, had gone. Arguably the best ragu anyone would ever taste (even my mate in Melbourne who visited a few years ago still tells me she’s trying to recreate it) is now a distant memory. Finito. Kaput. Anyway, why dwell on the past when you can so easily look to the ever so tasty future? I have compiled my top 5 for now, although this will likely grow as I make my way around more restaurants once full Covid restrictions have …

Rejuvenation Facial at Suedey Salon

Hands up, who suffers from adult acne?! I hear ya. I made it through 33 years of my life without ever having more than one stubborn little red screaming tyke on my face at any one time. But during lockdown, one tyke multiplied and asked its friends over to the party. And party they did, completely disregarding any kind of social distancing rules. I spent hours trying to figure out what was causing my skin to have erupted, like a dormant volcano that had come to life after 100s of years. And I feel embarrassed to admit this, but I wonder whether anyone has been as naive as me, not to realise that the hormone I had been pumping my body with for so many years, was preventing these little mountains of hell from springing up whenever they bloody well want. I stopped taking the pill in October and was blissfully unaware for around 6 months of what was in store. I had been taking the combined pill since I was 16 but switched to …

Innovative tasting with The Wine List

Wine. I love it. Like, really love it. But even after being educated by an old boss of a restaurant I worked at in Melbourne, who had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the stuff, and having consumed what could be considered a small river of wine over the years, I’m still not totally sure I know everything I need to. I have threatened myself a number of times – to spend money on learning the proper way, but have backed out every time, as other hobbies stole my spare time… and cash! Recently I was contacted by The Wine List, a discover & education-focused wine subscription box, aimed at the amateur enthusiast who is looking to level up their knowledge. They offered to send a trial box so I could check it out. Sounds like me. I’m in. The premise is simple. Every month, members get: Two amazing bottles: (priced around £15-20 retail) and they value lesser known regions, grapes and winemakers Wine Roots: The Wine List’s wine course programme: 12 lessons explaining key concepts from …