Otherwise known as the cockney critic or Mr Happy Days, Jerry Mullan’s culinary journey has been as diverse as the countries he’s lived and cooked in, whether it was running Charity events at St Paul’s Cathedral or Hog roasts at Hampton Court, he’s always smiling. Currently, Head Chef of an award-winning West London gastropub, his influences and passion are irresistible whether on a plate or being read.
Happy Days people, the lockdown is coming to an end, and that’s right, the restaurants will be re-opening. Unless we are blessed with another random heatwave, I’ll be carrying my umbrella, they don’t call it April showers for nothing, but none the less, we get to see food at its best again. I cannot wait to see, what the chefs have been creating during the lockdown, exciting times people.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any little gems hiding away on the takeaway seen. Last time was Poseidon, a childhood favourite, but my lockdown belly needs to go, my brain back into work mode, and that is not going to happen, eating a kebab every week, as amazing as it was.
So I went to Facebook, and asked for a recommendation on something not to greasy, nice flavour, and wouldn’t mind a vegetarian dish. The good people on the Gidea Park/Hornchurch group came to my call, and wow, what a response I got. Thanks again to everyone who responded, I will be checking out a few others on the list, but the one that kept cropping up was Pink Foodie.
Having a look at their website, which is exceptionally easy to use (even for a chef who has only had a smartphone for a few years), the food looked amazing, fresh, and surprisingly restaurant-style healthy. The chef, Megha Arora, has Michelin star experience, so with that in mind, and half of Facebook edging me on, I of course had to give it a go.
First impressions on the menu, it’s small with six starters, five mains, and three desserts. For me, this is an amazing sign, as the food looks epic in the pictures, and I know that it’s all home-cooked made restaurant style. Dishes such as Pork Belly slow cooked for 72 hours in wild fennel and garlic, happy day’s people.
With so many nice dishes we went for the following;
- Keema Bao
- Pork and Chive Dumplings
- Mexican-Japanese Pork Rice Bowl
- Tokyo Salmon Rice Bowl
- Delhi Vegan Rice Bowl
- Banoffee Pie (Had to be done)
We ordered at 17:45 Friday, and it was with me by 18:10, so very happy so far, it was a total of £39.64, including the 15% discount, which is automatically taken off at the checkout. So no dodgy promo codes to mess about with. It feeds three people, two courses each, that’s not too shabby at all, if it lives up to the hype.
First impressions, looks amazing, all the food is hot, tidy and smells amazing. I like how the dressings are all labelled out and in individual pots. The knives and forks are made from recycled products, very nice touch, more companies, in my opinion, should be moving this way. And on delivery, we were advised to refrigerate the banoffee pie as its fresh cream on top, super excited for dessert now.
So we started with the Keema Bao and this little bad boy was amazing. A healthy portion of lamb and the coriander chutney gives such a kick of flavour, which works amazingly in the Bao bun. The dumplings were packed with pork, and the homemade chilli dip works amazingly, not an overpowering heat and balances well with a little soya sauce. Both were decent size portions too.
Onto the mains, the Mexican-Japanese Pork was exactly what you would expect, with something cooked for that long, it just melted in your mouth. Nice and juicy, with the bean and rice salad along with the lemon salad dressing is an all-day winner. The Tokyo Salmon rice bowl, now this was interesting. The salmon is diced and marinated in ginger, lime and sesame seeds, and served cold on top of warm rice and a beautifully fresh sugar snap salad. I loved it! Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea as the hot and the cold mix, but I am a hot chocolate cake and ice cream kind of guy, so for me, happy days. The spice from the ginger and the lime, gives such a fresh flavour, to then be cooled down by the rice and the salad, for me this works very well.
I had to try a vegetarian. This dish shows how much a chef actually cares for all of their customers, meat-eaters and vegans alike and I wasn’t disappointed. The spinach daal was a good size portion, full of flavour, the spinach was not overcooked, and the curried tikka cauliflower gives it that crunch and an amazing flavour, beautiful balance of spices. Served with a fresh, simple salad to calm all those amazing flavours, such as the cumin and coriander.
Let’s not forget, the main reason we ordered, I’m only messing, but seriously, the amazing banoffee pie. This was the perfect finish to the meal, the homemade Banoffee sauce was still slightly runny, and the delivery driver wasn’t lying, it really is fresh cream which can only mean one thing, freshly prepared. When cooking to this kind of level, you can understand why the menu is the size it is, and for me. It works so much better when the chef has a lot more time to put into your food, and this has definitely been seen here. So a big well done and thank you to chef Megha Arora and Pink Foodie, and of course a big thank you to everyone on the Gidea Park/Hornchurch Facebook group, and can’t wait to try some of your other recommendations.
Much Love from the Cockney Critic!
Pink Foodie – Our Story
I started Pink Foodie (www.pinkfoodie.com) in Essex in October 2020, born out of my passion for challenging the status quo of takeaway food. We all love a good take-out but are seriously lacking a choice of fresh and healthy food cooked fresh every day – to enjoy from the comfort of our home.
With COVID induced lockdowns and my passion for cooking, I decided to launch Pink Foodie – globally inspired meals to serve a global palette.
More about me
I come from a family of excellent cooks. I know this because of seeing people going crazy over our home-cooked food everywhere: school lunches that mom used to pack, the neighbours when they knew my dad was cooking his signature korma, relatives and friends leaving the plates spot clean after the parties we used to have at home. My dad always wanted to have his own restaurant. Why he couldn’t, is a story that deserves its own separate page. Inspired by their dreams, watching my mom and dad cook amazing Indian food growing up, I have a good knowledge of Indian techniques and I am really good at mixing things up. Through professional training at Cordon Bleu Paris, travelling across Asia, Europe and the Americas and work experience in professional kitchens across 2 continents, I have polished my skills and created something that pleases a modern palette.
I have varied experience in the industry and worked at top restaurants such as:
- The Ledbury (London) – ranked the world’s 10th best restaurant in 2014
- Gymkhana restaurant (London) – 1 Michelin Star
- Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa (London)
- Jaan @Swisshotel Stamford (Singapore) – 1 Michelin Star
- Yum Bun food truck (London) – experience managing a single location
What ignites my passion as a chef is eating something new for the very first time. The joy that someone feels when they take a spoonful of something they’ve never tasted before. That’s the feeling I love to have and that’s the feeling I want to share with my guests. I believe food is the medium and a connection between people who want the same thing, good experience. And food is my way of talking.
Right now I run my fine dining Supper Clubs and Private Dining experience as CREM Kitchen
I look forward to bringing you globally inspired meals daily as Pink Foodie.
Please connect with us on:
Facebook – @pinkfoodieuk
Instagram – @pinkfoodieuk
You can find out about my private dining experience here:
My website: http://www.crem.kitchen
You can also follow my personal Instagram account: