Saturday, 30 July 2011

Pre-cinema grub - Jamie's Italian

Since we weren't dining at peak dinner time, we decided to chance our luck at Jamie's Italian  for some sustenance. Normally, I wouldn't have bothered given the popularity of the place and the fact they don't take any bookings. However, we did not have to worry cos we didn't realise just how HUMUNGOUS the resto is??? (the last time we visited, we were sat at the front and hadn't noticed that there was an extra dining room out back which was where we sat this time).

Decent food at decent prices with attentive service - can't argue with that, really! :)
 Deep fried calamari

 Burrata - mint and chilli a little uneccesary, the version at our local Canta Napoli is far superior

Panfried monkfish tail in a tomato chilli sauce with clams and new potatoes

Friday, 29 July 2011

Lazy Friday dinner - Kerbisher & Malt

Not as good as Geales, but then again, not bad for  20 squid for the 2 of us :)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Dinner with an old friend - St John Hotel

One of my chums from Ferrandi, Daisy, has recently moved across La Manche and settled here in the big smoke. Its been almost 2 years since I last saw her so a catch up over dinner was waaaaayyyyy overdue :)  

Whilst we were exchanging emails on when and where to meet, she handed me the rather difficult task on finding some place nice for food. My first thoughts were, "this is going to be a challenge", partly due to the fact that some of the better casual restos here in the big smoke that do not require booking are soooo popular that you need to turn up at around 5pm to get a spot (read: Barrafina or Spuntino) or places that are good often get booked up weeks in advance? Luckily for us, I finally had a brain wave and had the good fortune to get a reservation at the resto in St John Hotel.

This newish opening is tucked away on a side street off Leicester Square and on the fringe of Chinatown. Its pretty small - once you enter the front door, you are already met by reception and the resto is a door to the side. The resto is pretty small (Daisy said it reminded her of Paris......not as small as some we came across) with an open kitchen on one side of the dining room. The food, like the original St John is pretty good so a good choice all in all (however, if I had the choice, I would still opt for the original). The resto was packed by the end of our meal which made service a little slower and it was pretty noisy too but we were's to more foodie trips with Daisy! :)
Starter of snails, pigs cheek and lovage - very tasty with lots of juice to mop up with bread!

Main of pigeon, borlotti beans and anchovy - we also ordered a side of jersey royals, sorry no pic but you cannot beat a fresh spud! :)

Pudding of strawberry trifle - looks very simple but bursting with flavour! Who would've thought that strawberries and violets would go so well??!!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Banana bread farewell :(

After almost a decade or more in the big smoke, my bro and Jools have finally decided to up sticks and start a new life on the other side of the globe. The last month or so has been a little hectic for them, packing their lives up as well as saying final farewells to folk back home and in haggisland. JD and I managed to spend some time before they headed I could not think of what to get them as a leaving present (that wouldn't take up too much of their luggage), I decided to head into the kitchen and bake them one last banana bread. They both had a slice before heading to the airport and also armed themselves with some more for the long trip ahead. It was a not an easy goodbye at the airport (I really got to experience first hand how Ma and Pa Chan felt all those years ago) and it will be weird knowing that they are not a phonecall away but I wish them all the best with the new life and once they have settled in, it will be a nice excuse to head over to visit as a hollier!! :)

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Weekend away - Stockholm

With JD starting a new job imminently and me working through a "hectic" period, it looks unlikely that we will be able to have a summer hollier this year so we decided to book a last minute weekend break to Stockholm just to get away from the big smoke. Despite only having a couple of days away, it was still worth it and we were blessed with gorgeous weather to boot. Stockholm is a lovely city with loads of interesting sights to check out, the people are also amazingly helpful, polite and most can't really ask for more as a tourist really!! :)

As we only had a few meals, we didn't get to sample as much as we would've liked.....everything we did try was nice but for the most part, everything in Stockholm is RIDICULOUSLY expensive!! (many thanks to my B-grade gourmand friend for his recoms!!) Make sure you bring lots of sheckles and even if you don't, I would definitely recommend it as a short break!! :)

Stockholm is made up of lots of islands - we spent most of Saturday sightseeing at Djurgården and one of the recommendations in the guidebook was a seafood resto called Lisa på Udden. It was a bit of a trek and unfortunately, when we arrived, no-one had bothered to tell us that the place had BURNT DOWN!! (wished I'd taken a photo of what awaited us now!) Anyhoo, at this point, we were famished and had a spot of lunch at a cafe nearby - 2 fish and chips and 2 drinks for a whopping 40 squid, ouch! Pretty tasty tho! :)

We also didn't realise that most shops in Stockholm close at 4pm on a Saturday so not much retail therapy for us this hollier!! Instead, we did what the locals do and sat down for a spot of "fika" at Cafe Saturnus and shared a humungous cinnamon roll, yummy! :) 
Check the planet above the front door - funky! (the cafe is called "Cafe Saturnus")

One of the recoms from my B-grade gourmande chum was a resto called "Djuret" which specialised in feasts involving a whole beast. Sounded interesting, unfortunately, they were closed for the summer (a common for restos in Stockholm) but they had a summer BBQ resto opened which sounded pretty good called "Svinet" which is where we ended up for dinner. 
Nice, outdoor roof terrace seating

Gazpacho for starters

Assortment of pork cuts - was a little underwhelmed to be honest and most of the meat was a little dry also.....especially the cut supposedly from an Iberico pig (famed for jamon in Spain)

Munich salad - actually, the best part of our meal, how can spuds taste this good??

Our final meal was lunch at the Moderna Museet - no photos of our food (chicken and pasta salad and gravadlax) but here are pics of the canteen and the lovely setting!