Sunday, 28 January 2018

Brunching Babes - RASCALS

Goal number 8: Be more sociable and meet up with friends. Happily I can say, so far so good with this goal. On Friday I met up with an old school friend of mine, Annabelle. Because of uni I haven't seen her in over a year and what a great time we had; lots of laughter, gossiping and food and cocktails, typical girl stuff. We planned to go to Rascals, a cool place I spotted on my way to a photoshoot, we met up around 1pm and after a long session of taking photos we headed to Rascals for 4. Super hungry and ready to eat we arrived at the restaurant, only to find out they didn't open until 6pm. Having not eaten all day there was no way we could leave our stomachs empty any longer, so we walked to Shoryu where I had my first experience of a Ramen bowl, not something I'd usually order but still good nevertheless. 


Located on Curtain Road in the heart of buzzing Shoreditch, you'll find Rascals - East London's most Instagramable restaurant if there ever was to be one. If the dark mysterious exterior doesn't make you want to find out more about whats going on inside, then the neon pink lights definitely will. 

As soon as you enter you're welcomed by the friendliest team, smiles and laughter all round. You'll want your camera ready from the get-go, tropical plants filling the entry wall, vibrant wallpaper, projections on every pillar that change colours and shape, chic booths and LOTS OF PINK - it's a dream. You'll find a section of the restaurant hidden behind a curtain, I spent a lot of time trying to work out what it was. I knew it would be a private dining area, but I didn't know why everyone had taken such an interest to it. Behind the curtain is the very first wet room, no not wet room as in what you have in your house dedicated to your shower, this is a wet room that changes your whole dining experience. The whole room is waterproof and provides you and your diners with water guns, allowing you to have a water fight in that area of the restaurant. As if that wasn't fun enough, the restaurant is directly joint with Ballie Ballerson - the neon ballpit/bar that allows you to release your inner child, while sipping on cocktails, could Shoreditch bring us anything more?

Opening from the hours of 12am-12pm and 6pm-12am, in the day the restaurant allows you to escape your usual workspace and have a complete change of scenery while snacking and sipping on coffee. In the evening it transforms into perfect night out location for you and all of your friends to let your hair down and have a great time. 

We started with cocktails, the hardest decision for me as there's always so many amazing options. To make my chose easier I asked the waiter which one would be the sweetest, and the best to photograph, he responded with 'Kiss From A Rose' this refreshing Gin cocktail mixed with cucumber, lemon, whites and bitters was just what I imagine a kiss from a rose would be like: sweet, but sharp. 

Because we had both just eaten a big bowl of Ramen we weren't very hungry, but this didn't stop us from ordering the Lobster Mac & Cheese, we knew we wouldn't have space for one each so got it to share. 

After putting in our order, to our surprise the lovely Head Chef Heritier Nsemi sent us the signature Rascals Bread 'n' Butter. The bread rolls were house made, sprinkled with sea salt and baked to perfection, the butter was topped with a delicate flower and also salted. If you've ever had the bread and butter at Gaucho's it's very similar to that - delicious and nothing like your usual Warburtons and Flora. 

When our Lobster Mac & Cheese arrived we were definitely glad we ordered to share. Although it would be the right amount for one on a normal day, for two girls that were stuffed with ramen, bao buns and now bread rolls, one pan was definitely enough. 

I'm a Big Mac & Cheese fan, add Lobster and I love it even more! There was the right amount of Lobster, the parmesan wasn't too over powering and the sauce was great. The only thing I would say is the macaroni shells were a bit small so it made it hard to pick up, I prefer when bigger macaroni is used but that's just personal preference. 

Once we had finished eating, we sat for a while to take some more photographs and continue our catch up. We had some more cocktails from the Head Chef, another Kiss from a Rose for Annabelle and this time round I got a Yuzu Pretty: White Brandy, White Rum, Yuzu, Matcha, Lime and Whites, safe to say this cocktail was a lot stronger than the other but still sweet. 

We had another lovely surprise when the waitress brought over a dessert plate sent from the Head Chef. I've always wanted to see one of those melting chocolate balls in action, I see them on Instagram but have never ordered one myself. At Rascals I got to have my very first one, we got to experience the melting chocolate ball live (Calm down Alika, it's not a concert! Haha). Inside was a sponge cake, and what I think was an orange jelly. It was a really fancy, separated Jaffa cake, a cake/biscuit I'm not a huge fan of, however Annabelle enjoyed it and it was a lovely gesture. 

The atmosphere in the restaurant was great, the staff were super cool, checking in on us throughout the meal and having a good chat, we also had several dry ice displays carried out by our table. The music was fun but not too loud and all of the other guests were friendly, there's a super great vibe where everyone can just have a good time. 

The prices are great, for the quality of food, the atmosphere and decor I would expect everything to be super expensive, however it's a pleasant surprise to see that the meals cost around £7/£8 and similar prices for the cocktails. 

Overall, it was a great experience and the perfect place to go to for some drinks and a catch up with a friend. We thanked chef and promised we'd be back very soon, I'm the kinda girl that sticks to her word, especially when good food is involved. So I can't wait to return! 


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