Option’s Belgian Choc

I love hot chocolate and one of my all time favourites would be the Belgian Choc by Options. The first time I tried this hot chocolate was back in 2005 when I visited England and I loved it. I can’t find it anywhere in Calgary, and I’m always looking.

When I got to England this time in 2010, my sister put together a care package – and sitting in the bottom of it was a few packs of this wonderful chocolate mix!

Immediately, the next morning, I drank it! I told myself I would stop by the grocery stores before heading home to pick up a canister or 2 of this mix – but I forgot! 🙁 Now, I sit at home trying to find the next best – and so far, no luck.

Options Belgian Choc website

Aji Japanese Canteen in London

We walk by the Aji Japanese Canteen every time we walked from our hotel to the tourist areas and every time we did, there always was a nice crowd inside – which made me think it’s not bad! It’s located on the South bank of River Thames just after you cross the Waterloo bridge. One evening, we finally popped in as it was a cold and rainy evening… and they had free internet which we were looking for a place to sit down and use!

It’s a different concept in this restaurant, or what they call Canteen as the space is large, but it is a seat yourself like a food court. Then, you order from the menu an they servers will bring you your food. We each ordered our own dish, and the food came out really quickly. They didn’t mind us staying there longer than we needed to, or anyone doing that actually!

I ordered the Kara Age Don which was ginger flavoured crispy fried chicken, boiled eggs served in a bowl of rice with shredded cabbage, Japanese QP Mayonnaise and Shiso flavoured Sauce

The other entree we ordered was a Soup Noodles, where you got to pick the kind of noodle you wanted, the type of soup, and the topping you’d like! So, this was fun as we got to personalize our noodle dish. We chose to have Ramen, which is a thin egg noodle, (one of our favourite types of noodles) with Shoyu soup which is a chicken broth that is kind of “soy sauce” flavoured. Then, we topped this bowl of ramen with Cha-Shu and garnished it with bean sprouts, shitake mushrooms and bamboo shoot.

Overall, this place is decent. It’s not the best, but it definitely hit the spot and it served our purpose of getting some nice noodle soup in our bellies, use the internet, and wait out the rain. This isn’t a location I would return to mainly because there are a lot of Japanese resturants that have opened up along the banks of River Thames.

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Aji Japanese Canteen on Urbanspoon

AjiZen Japanese Canteen

Waterloo
Riverside Building County Hall
Waterloo, United Kingdom
(0871) 962 0035

Belgo Centraal London

My sister really wanted to introduce Belgo Centraal to us in London at Covent Garden, so we all went to eat an early dinner there – which they called Express Lunch. The express lunch was available daily 12-5pm and for £7.95 it came with a choice of Belgo Pils, a glass of house wine or a soft drink with the selected lunch.

I ordered the Salmon Filet with leek mash and mustard cream sauce, and even though the salmon looks like it’s over cooked, it was actually cooked to perfection! It was flaky and still tender inside. The leek mash was divine and it was smooth and creamy. While both these contents sat in some mustard cream sauce, it really tied the dish together. It was a perfect pair.

We also ordered the Pork and Leek Sausages with stoemp mash and berry jus, and I have got to say the stoemp mash was better than my leek mash! It was pretty much a mashed baked potato and it was truly something memorable!

My sister ordered a Bowl of Traditionelle mussels served with frites, and of course I stole a few of both mussels and frites (fries). The mussels – they sure know how to make them here at Belgo, and they were really fresh with absolutely no fishiness to them at all. The portion of this bowl is huge and is a great dish to share!

We were having such a good time here at Belgo, we decied to order dessert! We ordered 2 to share between the 3 of us and it really was the perfect amount! Our first dessert was the Strawberry Pavlova which was not only insanely beautiful to look at, it was insanely delicious as well! The pavlova was nice and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. I’ve had a few pavlovas and they tend to be very chewy on the inside.

We ended this fine express lunch with the very heavenly Belgian dark chocolate cheesecake! The Belgium Dark chocolate wasn’t so dark that the entire cheesecake turned bitter or anything, and the texture and creaminess of the cheesecake was to die for.

This was one of the best meals I’ve had the entire trip, and I would recommend it to anyone! The location does seem strange as it is in the lower level where it appears it’s the entire building! The concept of this restaurant is phenomenal, and the food is extraordinary!

Belgo Centraal on Urbanspoon

Belgo Centraal in Covent Garden

50 Earlham St
Charing Cross, UK WC2H 9LJ
(020) 7813 2233