Chopstreets

How A Former Banker Launched The First App Dedicated To African and Caribbean Food in The UK

Vivian ChopstreetsVivian Ngwodo is part of a new generation of women, particularly women of African descent, who are using technology to take ownership of the entrepreneurial landscape. Born and raised in Nigeria, Vivian has always been a solutions provider, a problem solver and lover of food. In 2010, Vivian resigned from her Foreign Operations job in one of Nigeria’s major banks and embarked on a journey to Scotland to pursue a Master’s Degree and began her career journey in the U.K financial industry. She relocated to London in 2012 to start a new job and was excited at the fact that being in London also meant having more access to her beloved Nigerian food. However, Vivian soon discovered how difficult and frustrating it was to find Nigerian or other African restaurants in London. Even though she quickly adapted to British and Asian foods which were readily available, once in a while, she craved Nigerian food and wanted to introduce her friends to it as well.

When Vivian realized that there was very little visibility or recognition of African and Caribbean restaurants she was inspired to launch a restaurant blog and a super directory where she reviewed and listed African and Caribbean restaurants and food business from across London in 2014. By 2015 and 2016, there was a sudden rise in African Supper Clubs in London and Londoners were excitedly looking to try the exotic and diverse flavours from the African continent.  Whilst undertaking an internship with a digital media company, Vivian began developing a Location based app that would make it easier for people from all ethnicities to find & review African and Caribbean restaurants.

Chopstreets is an exciting new social app, the first of its kind in the UK dedicated to Afro-Caribbean food that finds and curates the best African and Caribbean restaurants, takeaways, pop-ups and supper clubs. With the social networking feature, users can eat their way around the African continent and taste the delicacies of The Caribbean. Now people can instantly see African and Caribbean food recommended by their friends and contacts and event share their own dining experiences.

Chopstreets

‘African and Caribbean cuisines have been under-represented for far too long and I am on a mission to make them famous by using technology to provide a platform for people to discover Afro-Caribbean cuisine easily and also set a standard for the Afro-Caribbean food industry in the U.K. My vision for Chopstreets is that it becomes an active social network for both African and Non-Africans as I believe eating is a social activity and the best friendships are made over food.’ – Vivian Ngwodo, Founder of Chopstreets

Vivian’s innovative solution will make African and Caribbean Cuisine more accessible to the wider culinary world and change the way people view African and Caribbean cuisine forever.

http://www.chopstreets.com/

Instagram: @chopstreets
Twitter: @chopstreets

App: http://www.chopstreets.com/chopstreets-app-support/

Small Plates With a Big Taste At VOC Cocktail Bar and Restaurant

I was recently invited back to VOC Cocktail bar and restaurant which I had the pleasure of visiting a while ago. This foodie gem in a hidden courtyard located away from the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross is definitely worth a visit.

The new menu is inspired by the traders and adventurers of the 17th Century. It takes diners on a culinary adventure of small plates across three key territories: ‘From the Sea’; ‘From the Land’ and ‘From the Field’. By encouraging diners to select 2-3 small plates each this concept encourages communal dining in a warm and cosy environment.

Upon arrival we experienced a lovely warm welcoming which I could see was extended to all guests of the restaurant not just because I was an invited guest.

We enjoyed some lovely welcome cocktails. I went for a Raspberry Shrub which is bottle
matured for at least one week and is made using Pampero Especial with fresh lemon juice, honey and fresh raspberries. It is a sweet cocktail which I enjoyed and I particularly like the way in which it was presented. My friend enjoyed The Butterfly which consists of Spiced rum, ginger liqueur & coconut, topped with ginger beer & served with dried lime & a splash of liquorice which was not too sweet and had a great ginger flavour.

From the menu we selected six dishes, two from each territory. From The Sea we selected: Sea Farer Batativa Scallops with Dutch Gin, Baby Greens and Tomato Salsa, Garlic Pan Fried Prawns with chilli.

From the land we selected; Scottish Blackface Lamb, assorted Herb Crusted lamb cutlets served with petite grilled veg along with Grilled Veal Kalbi, Korean marinated veal with wild mushrooms.

From the field: Chargrilled ribbons of Aubergine & Courgette with Feta, sweet basil and lemon as well as Patatas Bravas, cubed roasted potatoes.

Of all the six small dishes my favouries were the Blackface lamb and the Pan Fried Prawns. They were just so perfectly cooked and succulent that you would be forgiven for ordering more. My friend felt that the prawns were too greasy but I really enjoyed them and in that moment you could see why small plates simply aren’t big enough!  The scallops were really well marinated and the veal slices were tender. Whilst I enjoyed the vegetable small dishes they did not stand out, perhaps I should have tried something more unusual like the Salt Beetroot Carpaccio. I shall definitely try different “From The Field” dishes when I return.

Whilst I am not the biggest dessert fan it would have been rude not to taste the sweet treats on the menu! We went for the Chocolate Mousse with Crunchy Gianduia Core and Chocolate Biscuit Base and Pastry Cream with a Hint of Lemon Short Pastry Base. Desserts are not served as small plates but we did end up sharing, I actually enjoyed both but the chocolate mousse was the clear winner.

All in all VOC is a great restaurant for any occasion. There is an attention to detail with regards to the food that means that it is definitely one step ahead of an average restaurant. The quality of ingredients and the creative thought put into creating this new small menu cannot be overlooked. The customer service and atmosphere are really great too. Make sure you take a moment to step into this hidden gem in the heart of London, you really won’t be disappointed.

VOC Cocktail Bar and Restaurant

2 Varnishers Yard, London N1 9AW.

www.voc-london.co.uk

Win A Gift Pack of Love Moin Moin Mix and Coconut Chin Chin from The Real African Food Co.

We have 10 sets of gift packs from The Real African Food Company. 10 winners (UK Based only) will each receive one pack of Love Moin Moin mix and one pack of their new 450g Coconut flavour Chin Chin each – so 2 prizes in one gift pack.

Enter the competition here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coconut450g love chin chin

Our Love Moin Moin Mix is a quick and tasty way to make the perfect Moin Moin by simply adding water! Moin Moin is a steamed savoury dish consisting of black-eyed beans, peppers and spices and is popular in West Africa. This food product is perfect for this on Gluten Free,  Dairy Free, Soya Free,  Vegan,  Vegetarian diets.

love Moin Moin

love Moin Moin

Visit http://realafricanfood.com/ for more information about stockists and where to buy!