Cocktails and canapes on an autumn evening in a beautiful setting sounds like the dream, right?! Restaurant Ours is Tom Sellers (of Restaurant Story) not-so-new-but-I-still-hadn't-been-there spot in South Kensington. We visited one evening last week to check out The Living Room at Restaurant Ours, which is the mezzanine level bar and lounge area. It's a gorgeous spot, full of velvet furniture, a bar serving excellent cocktails and live plants in every corner, nook and cranny. 

There were three of The Living Room's signature cocktails to try, so I started with Straight Outta Brompton - a delicious concoction of gin, campari, lemon and triple sec, and I'm guessing some egg white too from the frothy top of the drink. It was a lovely cocktail, with the perfect balance for me of sharp, sweet and fruity. 

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When I think of Tuscany the first thing I think of is food. Rich meat dishes, coarse liver pate smothered on toast, unctuous bowls full of pasta, delicious olives and artichokes, glasses full of deep red wine and everything with a good dose of the best olive oil you can get - it's like the Autumn of Italy if that makes sense?! So when I was asked to come up with a recipe that was inspired by Tuscany I knew exactly what I wanted to make - a rich wild boar ragu made with liver for added flavour and served on homemade pasta with deep fried artichoke leaves to give texture, combining all my favourite Tuscan foods. 

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So many restaurants, so little time! I've eaten out a fair few times over the last month or so - places I've been to before and can't help myself going back to over and over again, new places I've been invited to review, and long leisurely dinners with girlfriends. Here's a quick round up of where I've been and what's good. Starting with my favourite....

Kricket, Brixton

I've been several times now, and will go again and again. The small plates of Indian inspired food are right up there with my idea of food heaven. I'd heard rumour of a new menu so headed to Brixton with Emily and Lou to eat one of everything on the menu, as we always do when we go to Kricket. And as always, not a single bad dish, but highlights included crab meen moiliee with bitter leaves, curry leaves, coconut and peanut; Lasooni scallop with green chilli, garlic, poha and seaweed, and Goan sausage fry with red onion, peanut, coriander and pickled fennel. Look out for their new site opening opposite Brasserie Zedel in Soho in November. 

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There's some restaurants I go to which I know I'm going to love before I've even been. Their menus read like a dream, and when I hear someone like Emily, who I have very similar tastes to (apart from the skinny bitch cali maki incident), raving about it then I know it's a sure fire thing. What I don't expect though is to end up eating the best dish I've tried all year, possibly even ever.... A bold statement, I know. But it's true.

Ormer Mayfair is the London version of Shaun Rankin's Michelin starred Jersey restaurant and it officially opens on Tuesday next week. I popped in to try their menu during soft launch, and am going to have to stop myself going back there weekly for the food. Ormer is in the Flemings Mayfair Hotel and has all the classic feels of an old school, luxury hotel restaurant, in a good way (apart from for food photos as you'll soon see). Service was attentive yet not overbearing, and the food.... Well the food was something else. 

I'm not sure if it's just for soft launch but I was welcomed with a glass of 2009 Nyetimber, which as the sommelier rightly said, has a creamy finish to it having been aged for five years in the bottle. This came with an amuse bouche of the poshest lobster roll I've tried - a great hunk of lobster encased in soft, sweet homemade brioche. 

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There's a few restaurants I've been to that I sort of forget about.... not because they were bad or I didn't like them, but I just get so swept up in all the new openings and going back to local favourites that they slip through the net. So when I woke up one morning at Wilderness Festival declaring that I needed raw fish for lunch, everyone looked at me like I was crazy. But it was all I wanted and what I was determined to have, so off we went in pursuit of sashimi. And we found it at Kurobuta's stall in the restaurant tent. And then I remembered really loving the food at Kurobuta proper in London, so I booked into their Marble Arch branch for dinner with Emily and off we went.

I'd only previously been to the Chelsea restaurant, so it was nice to check out their Marble Arch one. It's lighter and brighter and we nabbed an outside table before working our way through as much food as we could eat. We nibbled on sake, lemon, butter and salt flamed edamame while we read through the quite long menu and sipped on delicious Made in Provence rose, a bottle of which had come free with our meal as I'd booked a table for before 7pm through OpenTable. 

Then our real food started coming, and apart from the first and last dish we had, everything else was spot on. The first dish wasn't bad, there just wasn't enough of it to really tell if I liked it. Salmon gravadlax and avocado tartare, dill mayo, rice crunchies and fresh yuzu zest was light, but at about one forkful each I couldn't tell you much more than that. 

But things drastically improved here on in. I loved the miso grilled hot wings that were all umami and spicy and sticky and plentiful. 

We ordered the sticky miso grilled aubergine with candied walnuts as Emily is something of an aubergine fanatic, and it was a great choice. The twice cooked aubergine was indeed sticky and so full of flavour, with a nice texture added by the walnuts. 

Another dish I have to thank Emily for was the octopus doughnuts, which I wouldn't have ordered myself but were truly delicious. Big chunks of tender octopus were covered in the lightest, crunchiest batter and doused in creamy and miso dressings and chopped chives. 

The skinny bitch cali maki with snow crab, avocado omelette and yuzu mayo were fantastically fresh and light. Emily hated them though so I got the whole plate to myself. I loved the crunch of all the raw veg and the lack of rice, which is one thing I don't normally like about sushi as it fills me up too much which equals less stomach space for raw fish!

From the healthy to the less so, the black pepper soft shell crab tempura. I enjoyed this but would have done more so if it was served whole with a side of sauce rather than chopped up like it was. 

The last dish was the one we shouldn't have bothered with. Tea smoked lamb with smokey nasu and spicy Korean miso arrived a full hour after the rest of the food, didn't really do anything flavour wise, and cost £15.50 for two tiny cutlets.... The chicken wings we had earlier for £6 for a whole plate full. 

Our meal came to £60 each, and we had the free bottle of wine. It's not a cheap place to go but we did eat a lot of food and have a couple of other drinks. Despite a couple of duds, Kurobuta is definitely back on my restaurant list, and I will be back soon, particularly for more of their raw dish options. Kurobuta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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