Showing posts in Food

The London List Abroad: New West Hollywood cocktail spot, Bibo Ergo Sum, has a three-part menu inspired by ‘the prestige’The London List

By Sam Bathe on 21 Nov 2017



Described by designer Oliver Haslegrave as “Memphis meets Secession”, Bibo Ergo Sum is the coolest new spot in West Hollywood. Literally translated “I drink, therefore I am”, Bibo Ergo Sum opened just last week and is the second collaboration between Arclight Cinemas’ Tait Forman and cocktail specialists, Proprietors (The Walker Inn, Honeycut). The menu is split into three parts, each corresponding to the three acts in every magic trick, and includes both clever takes on the classics and Proprietors’ own spectacular creations. Open 5pm-2am daily, Bibo Ergo Sum is worth the trip just to see stunning Art Deco interior alone, though you’d be a fool to not try out the cocktails too.

Bibo Ergo Sum, Robertson Plaza, 116-120 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

Soma Water return with another limited edition run, this time a new colourway for their Pitcher

Posted in Design, Food
By Sam Bathe on 20 Nov 2015



After selling out of last year’s limited edition Soma Black Carafe in less than 24 hours, this year the Kickstarted water filter company are back with a black edition of their pitcher. With only 2,400 made, and $15 of the price going to charity: water – Soma’s own scheme that supports clean water projects around the world – the carafe is sustainable by design, using coconut shell carbon and a plant-based casing for the filter. Lasting 40 gallons, or about two months, before you’ll need to change the filter, the Soma Black Pitcher will set you back $49 with one filter, or $99 with six, available from the Soma online store:

The London List: Brooklyn’s Mast Brothers chocolatiers open their long-awaited Shoreditch storeThe London List

Posted in Food, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 6 Apr 2015




Hip chocolatier brothers, Rick ahd Michael Mast, have become the go-to independent chocolate makers. Out of their Brooklyn factory and shop, Mast Brothers has built up a almost cult-like following, and have now opened their long-awaited flagship location in London. A factory in the back and shop and brewbar in the front – separated by little other than a wall-to-wall glass window – Mast Brothers have taken up residence on Shoreditch’s happening Redchurch Street. Following their pop-up at the Ace Hotel around the corner, the Redchurch Street factory/store offers Mast Brothers’ full range of bars, gift boxes and handmade truffles plus their brewed chocolate hot drinks.

Mast Brothers London, 19-29 Redchurch St, London E2 7DJ

The London List: Blind Pig transports guests back to a 1920s speakeasy to launch its ciders inspired by the eraThe London List

Posted in Food, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 17 Nov 2014

Stepping through the creaky doors of an unassuming London townhouse on Saturday night, guests were transported back to a boisterous 1920s speakeasy to celebrate the launch of Blind Pig. Show the rest of this post…

With a key in hand – one like you’ve never seen before, a pig’s face was cut out of the lock head – and a clue about the location, this was going to be one party we didn’t want to miss.

With the venue packed head-to-toe with 1920s imagery, the lucky attendees were quickly transported back to the Roaring Twenties. As the band took to the stage and effervescent dancers tore up the space in front, upstairs a mock casino room set guests hearts racing, while downstairs they could explore the apple store and relax in the vintage film room.

Inspired by the time, the Blind Pig cider range is blended with fruit and spirit flavours for three unique-tasting ciders including Bourbon & Blueberry, Rum & Poached Pear, and Whiskey, Honey & Apple. The ciders have an extra punch of flavour, something more complex than what’s available at the moment with each variety perfectly complementing the sweet yet sharp tones of the apple.

To launch the new cider, six young British talents have come together to form the Blind Pig Collective, producing a collection of original work inspired by the 1920s and the renowned speakeasies of the time (below). The Collective includes artists Laura Carlin, Shonagh Rae, Adam Simpson, filmmakers Joe Morris and Mark Donne, better known as Brass Moustache, and photographer Rebecca Scheinberg.


Given the mission statement of expressing the intrigue, excitement and character of the time, Adam Simpson was inspired by the romanticised idea of the 1920s speakeasies. “I liked the idea that behind a seemingly anonymous building, there was a place that brought people from all walks of life, who collectively forgot their worries,” said Adam. “I wanted to create an intriguing scene with hidden layers.”


Laura Carlin’s piece focuses on the sense of society and good times the speakeasies brought. “It was in fact a place where all parts of society could mingle and integrate with few problems between them. I wanted to portray the crazy, heightened atmosphere with the blurry assortment of different characters and eccentrics,” she said.


Shonagh Rae’s clever blend of photography, stencil printing and illustration is just as striking. “I referenced daguerreotypes as I was interested in having a strong portrait or figurative element, however I was also keen to treat this with shadows, thinking of the subdued lighting of the 1920s era,” Shonagh explains. “When I was doing some research based on the brief I was interested in portraying some sense of the subversive spirit of the time and the idea of political heroes. Bearing in mind that the artwork was to be reproduced at a large scale, I wanted to create a poster artwork with strong graphic elements representative of the artistic movements of the time, such as Constructivism and Bauhaus design. I also included one of the coordinates that appears on one of the bottles, to Chicago Navy Pier which was a well-known port and area of entertainment venues in the early 1920s.”

It was only right that at the end of the night a faux police raid brought it all to a close. With guests spilling out onto the street and back to modern times. It was a fantastic night that really transported guests back to the spirit of the 1920s and the excitement of speakeasies of the era.

Transport yourself and try a Blind Pig Cider at one of the select bars across the UK. To discover more, follow BLINDPIGCIDER on Instagram:

The London List Abroad: Local legend Roy Choi explores the Los Angeles culinary scene in new CNN webseries ‘Street Food with Roi Choi’The London List

By Sam Bathe on 23 Sep 2014



Credited with kick-starting the food truck explosion across North America, owner of the famous Kogi BBQ, local legend Roy Choi’s new CNN webseries explores the Los Angeles culinary scene. Featuring influencers including Anthony Bourdain, Michelle Phan and filmmaker Jon Favreau, Street Food with Roy Choi visits their favourite joints around town and examines the culinary trends of the LA food scene. The eight-part series debuts October 13th on

The London List Abroad: Roi Choi’s Commissary opens at The Line Hotel in Los AngelesThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 12 Aug 2014

The latest Los Angeles restaurant from Roy Choi – famous for his Kogi Korean BBQ truck – Commissary takes up residence at the city’s coolest new hangout, The Line Hotel. Joining POT, Lobby Bar and Cafe at the location, Commissary is actually housed in a ginormous greenhouse on the rooftop deck, with the menu focused on fruits and vegetables, even if they wouldn’t class themselves as a classic vegetarian eatery. Set beside the sunny pool, the restaurant is an homage to the local SoCal farmers, who work so hard to produce such wonderful, fresh produce to California. The atmosphere is laid back, but if you want to ensure you get a table, you make a reservation through their site.

Commissary at The Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010

The London List: Esters is the coffee shop Stoke Newington has been crying out forThe London List

Posted in Food, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 8 Aug 2014



Leafy Stoke Newington has it all. Quiet residential areas, gorgeous Edwardian housing, great homeware and clothes shops on Church Street, plus local restaurants, good bars and Clissold Park, but it has never had a great cafe. Esters opened without too much fanfare last year, taking the cafe’s lease off some friends and largely keeping the previous set-up when it was Fred & Fran’s name on the door. But ever since it’s been getting better and better. Show the rest of this post…

The atmosphere is relaxed, and while it isn’t the largest coffee shop, you’re welcome to sit in there with a book or a laptop and while away the morning. The baristas know what they’re doing and are careful not to burn the milk, a big problem for a number of the cafes close by. The coffees are full of flavour, without the gritty taste you can get from expresso.

Ester’s real standout though is the food. With a selection of tempting cakes and treats on the counter, the doughnuts from St. John are the best in London, filled with a range of homemade jams and creams. Their hot food is just as good too. With an ever-changing menu, every day they serve a signature sandwich plus breakfast options like a delicious Cardamom French Toast and savoury dishes inspired by Turkish cuisine.

At last, stylish Stoke Newington has a coffee shop to match.

Esters, 55 Kynaston Road, London, N16 0EB


The London List Abroad Review: Catch Restaurant, Santa MonicaThe London List

By Sam Bathe on 8 Jun 2014

Located in the majestic Casa Del Mar hotel, just off the Santa Monica beach, Catch is a restaurant that makes the most of its magnificent surroundings. Walking into the dining hall, you are greeted by swathes of light and remarkable views of the beach and sea. With floor to ceiling windows for the outward facing walls, sitting overlooking the sand feels like you are dining right out on the beach. Show the rest of this post…


With the sun beating down outside we opted for cocktails rather than wine, and Catch’s signature cocktail with tequila comes highly recommended, as does the Perfect Pear with vodka.

As you might have guessed from the location and the restaurant’s name, Catch specialise in seafood, so after the moorish cheese sticks it was only fitting that we go for the Catch of the Day. Today that was salmon, served with a green salad, tomatoes, sofrito and thick cut fries.

The perfectly cooked salmon was beautiful, light and flaky and so fresh it could have been caught barely a few minutes before. Fresh and flavourful ingredients was a theme throughout the dish and the ingredients didn’t need too much beyond seasoning. The tomatoes were fresh and plump like only California knows how and the thick cut fries were the best I’ve had in years. The sofrito, however, was the real revelation. A kind of fresh, chunky salsa, the dish came with a small pot but I could have eaten an entire bowl. Perfectly marrying all of the elements of the dish, the sofrito was so aromatic and flavourful, it stole the show even ahead of the delicious fish.

For desert we chose the indulgent Chocolate & Espresso Tart With Warm Salted Caramel Sauce. A well balanced tart, effortlessly blending the hard chocolate and espresso flavours, the warm salted caramel sauce was a great accompaniment, bringing a sweetness to the dish.

The atmosphere at Catch is relaxed, fitting the beach-side location perfectly. The staff are helpful and attentive but won’t crowd you during your meal. There is an amazing sense of grandeur when you walk into the hotel and it is matched every step of the way but the food. The ingredients used in the dishes are so fresh and flavourful, it would be easy to over-work and over-complicated the food, but everything is measured perfectly.

Catch comes highly recommended and is a unique experience being so close to the beach. Be sure to request a table by the window when making reservations as the best spots can go fast. We’ll be going back.

For reservations and more, please visit:
Catch at the Casa Del Mar Hotel, 1910 Ocean Way Santa Monica, CA 90405




The London List Review: Plum + Spilt Milk RestaurantThe London List

Posted in Food, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 21 Apr 2014

They say with fine dining, that you eat with your eyes before you taste with your mouth, and at Plum + Spilt Milk that starts the second you walk into the elegant dining hall. A long rectangular room with a wonderful bespoke, curving structure running down the centre, oversized tables and comfy banked seating fill both sides give the restaurant that immediate wow factor. Show the rest of this post…

Plum + Spilt Milk is the restaurant of the recently reopened, and equally fantastic, Great Northern Hotel. Part of a £42m renovation of the iconic property, no expense was spared with the restaurant refit. From the big, comfy armchairs to the 120 hand-blown glass pendants that cascade from the ceiling, the interior is reminiscent of Bob Bob Ricard, chic, class and elegant, and it’s matched by the food.

The vision of Michelin-starred chef Mark Sergeant, the menu is not fussy, instead delivering excellence on a collection of enticing British dishes, with touches of extravagance and creativity that sets them apart. The dishes feel familiar and homely, yet there’s a cutting edge that makes Plum + Spilt Milk a real fine dining experience.


With dinner we enjoyed cocktails that are also the brainchild of Mark Sergeant. With a manageable 10 drinks on the menu, all signature creations, the Lady Violet – pairing elderflower vodka with champagne and raspberry liqueur – and Northern Sour – pink grapefruit and lemon shaken with gin, cointreau and rhubarb bitters – both come highly recommended.


Jumping straight into the mains, we had the Angus sirloin steak and loin of venison. Both were fantastic but the venison stood out in particular. Something most probably only eat while dining out, the cuts of loin were served with pancetta and sloe gin and ranks in the top 5 dishes I’ve ever enjoyed. The sides to share made a real difference too.

The chefs at Plum + Spilt Milk take real care in preparing the vegetables as well as the mains. We shared glorious buttered mash, steamed anya potatoes, winter greens and honey-roasted parsnips which were sensational.


For desert, the restaurant offers its titular plum dish although we opted for the baked alaska, and while it didn’t quite match the brilliance of the main courses, it was delicious nonetheless. Doused in a healthy amount of alcohol before being set alight at your table, the baked alaska was a fitting finale to a fantastic meal, and big enough for three, never mind the two it suggests on the menu.

A suave and intimate setting, perfect for entertaining guests, catching up with friends or a effortlessly romantic date, the Plum + Spilt Milk floor plan allows for ample space between parties and you’ll feel like anything but sardines jam-packed alongside each other.

Little touches like the music in the room – modern rather than stuffy jazz – gorgeous menus and great crockery design really make all the difference and set restaurants like Plum + Spilt Milk apart from the nearly names across the capital. This restaurant is the real deal, and it won’t completely break the bank.

Plum + Spilt Milk is the star on the Great Northern Hotel’s lapel but deserves to be heralded as its own hugely successful venture. We’ll be coming back.

For reservations visit the Plum + Spilt Milk website here:

Plum + Spilt Milk
Inside the Great Northern Hotel
King’s Cross Station
Pancras Road
London, N1C 4TB







The London List: On The Bab brings delicious Korean street food to ShoreditchThe London List

Posted in Food, London, London List
By Sam Bathe on 16 Jan 2014

As street food moves inside for the cold winter months, On The Bab in Shoreditch is London’s first Korean ‘anju’ restaurant, a popular Korean term for enjoying food together with drinks. Offering a wide variety of kimchee dishes, we were in heaven delving into On The Bab’s starter menu. The kimchee pancake stood out, going perfectly with their fresh tofu, though the main courses were definitely the big event. On The Bab’s name refers to the Korean word for rice – bab – and their larger dishes offer a choice of meats or vegetable fritters available with rice, noodle soup or in a bun. While the soup broth makes for a tasty option, spicy pork “on the buns” was the best dish of the night. If you go with friends, the pan fried tofu and kimchi is great for sharing too, complemented with a couple of bottles of plum soju. The close-knit seating means you’re a little packed in, so go for a table for four in the back if you can, though given how popular the restaurant has been since opening, getting any table is kind of a blessing. At around £20 a head, On The Bab comes heartily recommended.

On The Bab, 305 Old Street, London, EC1V 9LA

FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

We’ve been featured on the front page of Reddit and produced off-shoot club night Friday Night Fist Fight, launched a Creative Agency and events column The London List.

FAN THE FIRE is edited by founder, Creative Director and Editor-in-Chief, Sam Bathe. Site by FAN THE FIRE Creative.

You can contact us on:

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Dribbble, Instagram and RSS.