Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Casa Brindisa

JD and I met up with my bro and his wife for a nice spot of Sunday lunch at Casa Brindisa in posh South Ken this weekend.
Patatas bravas - OK but nothing special.

Ham and chicken croquettes - nice crunchy balls with creamy goodness inside.

My glass of Ribera del Duero served in a tumbler - you don't get much for 7 squid!

Generous plate of regional charcuterie 

Pan con tomate

Red pepper and chorizo tortilla - a pity it was served cold.

Octopus - my favourite dish of the afternoon, as well as a skate dish which unfortunately, I did not take a pic of :(

Sweet potato salad

Grilled lamb cutlets

I was the only one who decided to order desserts - crema catalana with pineapple. Nice but would have preferred it to be a little firmer.

All in all, the food wasn't bad but I always have a hard time going to tapas in London because it is so expensive for what you actually get!! If you are happy enough to fork out around 30-40 squid upwards for tapas, then the best place to go in town for me is still Barrafina. Buen provecho :)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Eating out - Via Condotti

We are back to our old eating habits of going out to a nice restaurant every month - for March, we decided to try an Italian in town called Via Condotti. It had a good write-up in Timeout so we were hoping for a good meal - its not that easy finding a reasonably priced Italian restaurant in London which is not a chain.....
Starter of linguine with clams and turnip tops - yep, am a sucker for pasta with seafood and white wine :)

Traditional Milanese dish - ossobucco with risotto milanese. Quite nice, I managed to find the bone marrow at the end!! (Doesn't top the ossobucco I had with Ma Chan in Milan many years back!!)

Tira misu - modern version of a classic dessert. Very light marscapone filling a chocolate "dish" with a coffee-infused sponge in the centre. Deceptively rich and pretty nice.

JD's dessert of cannoli - the traditional deep fried pastry has been substituted by a puff pastry cone and the usual rich ricotta cream replaced with a lighter custard. We both thought the traditional version is better and it was probably a case when classics should not be tampered with!

All in all a nice meal but still doesn't top our favourite Italian in town, Sardo :)

An oldie but a goodie - Busaba Eathai :)

Popped into lunch at Busaba Eathai on Monday afternoon - after a recommendation from a friend, I finally decided to try their green chicken curry fried rice.....very yummy! :)

Back to normal?

The week just past was the last week (hopefully) of haphazard scheduling of double shifts galore. The big boss paid us a visit for a few days and his right hand pastry man was also in town too. Naturally, our pastry chef was quite nervous about the visit but for me, it felt like any other week bar a stranger popping up to inspect what you are doing at any moment, a bit weird at times but manageable. I was quite lucky cos I helped with making one of the desserts for a VIP lunch on one day and found myself plating and serving with the big boss and the right hand pastry man which was a nice feeling :)
Dessert 1 : Orange and araguani cream cake which was also served with a scoop of orange sorbet.
Dessert 2: Tarte tatin - hazelnut and almond crumble base layered with apples and cranberry jelly. Topped with apples set in agar jelly. The apple and cranberry flavour combination worked really well, not a fan of the agar top though.

Both desserts were created by the right hand pastry man, not only did they taste great but they also looked very creative and attractive - a shame that we don't see him all the time as it would be great to learn more from him.

Our workload was a lot less this week (bizarrely, the pastry chef did not want us making a lot of mise-en-place whilst the right hand pastry man was here?) and service is starting to feel less daunting for me which is a plus.....

Unfortunately, the staffing issue still has not been resolved - only 1 of the 2 people expected to start last week joined our team and there is no sign of any others coming in the near future. The general manager explained to me during the week that they expect to have a full team in a month's time but am slightly skeptical about his remarks as they have been saying the same thing since I joined which is almost 2 months now!!

My March schedule looks a little more "normal" so hopefully, a bit more routine in my life :)