Tom Yam – EC1 Noodle Express, Clerkenwell, London

This restaurant is a lunchtime favourite. Cheap, quick and close to work, with a good selection of noodle and rice dishes and soups.

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The bowl arrives at your table and at first sight it looks yummy. A big, spicy looking soup with many ingredients enticingly floating on the top.

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Delve deeper and the first thing you taste is lemongrass – strong and pungent.
Then galangal and lime leaves. This soup has real depth of flavour. It’s also hot and spicy. The red oil floating on the surface is from frying the tom yam paste which is full of chillies.

Ingredients are Fish ball, prawns, chicken, crab sticks bean sprouts, spinach and egg noodles. Not sure about crab sticks myself, I would have left them out. The noodles are in one mass and need some work separating them.

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This soup tastes good, especially if you like it hot. However, there are some things I would change, but not bad for a lunchtime bowl of soupy goodness.

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Words and pictures by @madgie

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Lobster bisque – English’s, Brighton

English’s in Brighton is one of my favourite restaurants. It’s been in the same family since 1945, but seafood has been sold on the site for over 150 years. So they know what they’re doing when it comes to fish! The restaurant itself is like stepping back into time (in a good way), and it’s always an enjoyable experience to go there.

I ordered two starters – a classic Lobster Bisque and 6 native oysters. The soup arrived presented beautifully with a swirl of cream and a sprinkle of parsley, and was complimented perfectly by 2 pieces of sour dough toast.

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The soup was hot, warming and fishy with a creamy texture. There was a rich flavour of lobster, hints of parsley and lots of spicy pepper. It felt like a real seasonal soup, rich in autumnal colours and tastes and the burnt edges on the sourdough toast added another dimension only enhancing the flavours.

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A proper classic soup, expertly done. And nice oysters too!

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Words and picture by @madgie.

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