.: Food Moments in Lisbon Part III :.

And the food journey continues. Seriously, Lisbon is perfect for people who want to enjoy good food! (I’m not even talking about the weather!). Obviously we go back more often to see family and friends, but at the same time we do proper holidays and try to explore new places. During a whole week I think I only went to a place I already knew, most of the places were new to me. Can’t hardly wait to go back!

The place this time was one of Avillez, (one of the best portuguese new generation chefs!), Cafe Lisboa. Avillez is mostly famous by Belcanto, a 2 star Michelin.

But as we wanted something more informal (and less expensive too!), the choice was Cafe Lisboa, and what a great discovery it was!

Even though the day was great and there was some outdoor space, we’ve decided to go indoors. The place is beautiful!

The Menu

Table decoration

The staff was really friendly throughout. I felt really relaxed! Being a weekday lunch, most of the people around were office workers, people who are lucky enough to work on Chiado!

Couvert

Just the couvert alone was pretty good! I don’t remember what all the sauces were, but they were good!

As I wanted a fish dish, I went for Vinho Verde! He couldn’t resist the beers .

Before I start showing the food I’ve ordered, I need to say that Avillez concept is all about bringing a modern twist to the Portuguese traditional food, and it delivers perfectly!

For starter we’ve ordered Farinheira with egg

Note (from Wikipedia) Farinheira is a smoked sausage made mainly from wheat flour, pork fat and seasonings (white wine, paprika, salt and pepper). Its original recipe did not contain pork fat; it was invented by the Jews during the 15th century to deceive the Portuguese Inquisition by making them believe that they were converted to Christianity by showing they were eating pork.[citation needed] It has a yellow/brown colour and is served in traditional dishes like feijoada or cozido à portuguesa. It is also eaten on its own, roasted or fried. In modern versions, it is previously cooked, then peeled and mixed with scrambled eggs and served on bread or toast as a starter.

Although it resembles a chouriço or other meat sausage, its taste is not meaty; it’s tangy (but not hot), with a doughy texture and has a somewhat sweet finish in the palate. It is never cooked sliced unlike other sausages since its dough like content would pour out of the skin during cooking.

Our farinheira

Normally I don’t order Farinheira because the flavour tends to be really strong. This was creamy and delicious, a perfect mixture of flavours.

Having checked the reviews online on Zomato, I knew I wanted the Bacalhau a Bras, another portuguese classic dish, with “exploding olives”

Bacalhau  (Cod) a Bras

So yummy!!! It was the best Bacalhau a Bras I’ve ever had! It’s not the tradicional recipe but it’s good!

For dessert we went for the chocolate Mousse, which was really creamy and delicious! Perfect!

Happy calories oh yeah!

 

Finally we couldn’t leave without having the Pasteis de Nata with our coffee.

Pasteis de Nata | Portuguese Custards

 

The pasteis where not the best I’ve ever had, but they felt great anyway 🙂

So overall we left with a smile on our face, it was a very good experience with a very good service (which thankfully was not pretentious at all). If you want to try Portuguese food with a modern twist, this is a great place to go! The total bill was 62€ for 2, which considering it’s a famous Chef in the city centre was a really good price!

After all the food, we were more than ready for a walk in the city centre, but that’s for another post 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!

.: It’s chicken time! @ Clockjack London :.

“Life is too short for bad chicken”

On a Sunny Sunday in London I was more than keen on having a proper chicken for lunch. You see, being a Portuguese in UK you really get tired of arguing that Nando’s is not portuguese food, in many of the places the chicken is quite dry. This was not the case at all @ ClockJack. In fact, the meat was really tender and cooked as it should be.
I’m jumping ahead 🙂

ClockJack is really easy to spot in the heart of Picadilly. Because it’s on a side street it’s not noisy at all, and feels very quiet. The environment is really friendly and engaging. Really easy to feel young, as you will find many young people socializing. Perfect right?
The menu is very straightforward and chicken is the Queen of the house, although they have other good options on the menu as well. I went for chicken. I’ve also ordered a few side sauces, both the smoked BBQ and the garlic one were really good. Fries are really yummy as well. I’ve also ordered the grilled vegetables – good choice!

1/4 of chicken – Looks proper chicken to me!

Sauces and grilled vegetables

For dessert we had the special cake of the day, a tart with fruit on top, the perfect ending. Overall I’ll be back more often, it was a very good visit.

Cake!!!!

Thanks to Zomato for inviting me to visit 🙂

  • Location: 4/5 – So easy to find!
  • Food: 4/5 – It’s the best chicken I had so far in London
  • Service: 3.5/5 – Friendly and efficient
  • Drinks: 4/5 – A few good beers and juices

Wish you a great weekend! I’m going on holidays!

 

.: It’s all about food – Urban Diner – Richmond :.

It was a rainy Saturday and in the middle of our house viewing (yes, after almost 4 years we are back to house hunting!) we had to make a stop for some food. I wasn’t very hungry as I’ve been feeling a bit sick, but he was in mood for a burger.

Urban Diner was one of those places that I kept on saying “One day we have to go there”, so why not today

.: Location :.

Location wise, it’s quite in the centre of Richmond in the shopping area, so you can’t really ask for more. It looks a very small place from the outside, but it’s not that small, there’s a good availability of tables.

.: Decor :.

My first impression was that I loved the tiles – I know, I know, only someone like me to be looking at the flooring, but it’s really lovely

Beautiful flooring, you agree right?

You can clearly see the American inspiration at the bar

Bar

I like the t-shirt!

.: The Food :.

Right, let’s talk about the food. They have a very good selection of drinks available, from nice beers (they had a very good stout which I couldn’t drink 😥 ), wine, juices, cocktails and the regular tea and coffee. As I can’t really drink anything else at the moment, I went for a Mint tea, which was really good

This mug makes me feel at home, having tea with my grandma 🙂

They also have a good brunch selection. Most of the options will contain egg (which I love!) but to my delightful surprise, they had Granola with Yogurt. Hi5! I’m so happy they’ve included on the menu, as it’s a very good brunch option which I’m sure many people will appreciate.

You also have a very good selection of grills, salads and burgers. Yes, obviously he went for the burger, but I’ll let him make his own review on that.

I went for the Granola, which was really delicious and all I wanted to eat really.

Granola with honey, greek yoghurt and banana

It was really really tasty and filling as well. He was glad to have a dessert in the end (as I couldn’t finish it all) 🙂

.: The Service :.

We were quickly welcomed to our table and all the ladies were really friendly and engaging.

.: Summary :.

Well, the conclusion is that I’ll be back for a proper meal soon. It’s worth the visit. I still have to try the cocktails. Price wise as really good as well.

  • Location: 5/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Food: 4/5 – Really happy with the granola
  • Ambience: 4/5

What’s your favourite place for a Brunch?

.: Eating and sleeping in Lille :.

.: Sleep well :.

One of the things I loved the most about out weekend away in Lille was actually the overall experience in the hotel! We’ve stayed at L’Hermitage Gantois Hotel, and I totally recommend a stay in this hotel!

Our hotel – From the official website

It’s quite well located but the most important factor is that it’s beautiful! As part of the Autograph collection from Marriott, it means it’s an historic hotel. It’s a perfect example on how to mix history with modern decoration. As soon as I’ve got through the door I was in love. The staff is also quite friendly throughout.

There is no covered parking nearby, so you only have 2 options really, park the car outside or use the valet parking (25€ – which I find a bit expensive).
The first part of the hotel you’ll see is the gorgeous bar, which feels like outdoors indoors. Really really beautiful and chic!

Bar area – view from the 1st floor

Official photo from the website

Our room followed exactly the same style as the common areas, classy and modern at the same time.

Beautiful isn’t it?

Elegant chair in our room

Another lovely detail from our room

The bathroom was gorgeous too!

I had to google for this one

I visited the bar after my dinner in L’estaminet next door.

Relaxing at the bar

The ambiance was perfect with some live piano music, but there was a downside, the prices. I can’t still go over the fact I’ve paid 7€ for a Schweppes as I’ve ordered a gin tonic (I’ve order botanic gin but was served Gordon’s – which I like anyway, so no problem there). Total bill for a lemonade and a gin tonic 24€. Feels a bit too much, but just for a stay in that bar probably is worth it.

Most expensive Schweppes ever!

Breakfast in the morning was delicious! The staff was once again really friendly. The china was really elegant as well. The food was tasty and for those of you that like espresso, they have Nespresso as well!

Breakfast room – Photo from google

Elegant china – Photo from tripadvisor

Final note, for those of you trying to find a romantic hotel, this is it! Your other half will only thank you if you book your stay here 🙂
So overall, it’s a beautiful hotel, really chic but not pretentious (thanks for that!). Once I return to Lille I will stay there again.

.: Eat Well :.

Food-wise, we arrived after 14h00, so after a quick walk and I guess because it started to rain cats & dogs, really I could hold the stones with my hands! We stopped in a lovely place (Le President) for belgium beer and food. I had an omelette, fries and a Tripel Karmeliet (my favourite belgium beer). As I left my phone in the hotel I have no photos 😦

My favourite Belgium Beer

Actually I need to make a remark here. I was just checking the reviews from Le President, and you will notice the reviews are awful! But then, when trying to find some photos to post here, I also found a local website and in there the reviews are 4*. Personally, I didn’t felt it was that awful at all, I had the food I wanted, the beer was perfect and we managed to relax a bit. So this got me thinking, why are the reviews so different? I guess one of the reasons is that rather than staying outside, I went indoors to be closer to the staff (and warmer too). Also, I managed to order my food in french even though he couldn’t. Staff was polite enough. So really, can a reason be that sometimes we forget to acknowledge that we are in a foreign country and we can’t expect everyone to speak english? Lille hasn’t that much tourism, so I know many people won’t be able to speak it, especially from the older generations – which was most of the staff at this particular restaurant.

Tip: When going abroad, please try to make an effort to acknowledge that not everyone speaks english and try to say a few words in the local language, if for nothing else to show that you are trying. I’m sure this will affect the level of service that you may or may not have.

For dinner, I had a booking at L’estaminet Gantois, so next door to the hotel (very convenient!). L’estaminet is a typical north france brasserie, which is precisely what I was looking for. I’m glad I did my booking for 19h30, when the restaurant was still empty, because I’ve noticed the service became a bit slow.

Love the decor!

Had a glass of house wine, and one of the typical dishes (La Carbonade Traditionnelle Flamande avec les Frites )

La Carbonade Traditionnelle Flamande, Frites

I didn’t had any space left for dessert, but overall it was a very good experience. We’ve ended our evening at the bar, as per photos above.

Any recommendations for food in Lille? Can hardly wait to go there again 🙂

.: The Stable Bristol :.

Finally I managed to visit The Stable in Bristol. We were discussing the fact that Bristol has really good restaurants when someone mentioned The Stable. 3 pints of Guinness down the line it felt like the best idea ever and that’s precisely were we went.

If you pass by it, you’ll know by now it smells beautifully every single time!

Photo from google

The Stable is quite well know by the pizzas & ciders. I didn’t try the cider this time, but will be back for more.

The place is quite big, like a big Stable indeed. The staff was quick to find us a table but forgot to explain that we could only order at the bar. So after waiting 30m we’ve decided to go there and ask for our food.

Photo from http://gingeybites.com  – Inside The Stable

The pizzas not only smell beautifully but they also taste really nice. My pizza

Pizza with egg? Just because I can!

Tasty, crunchy as a pizza should be. The flavour was simple but really good. Really good value for money.

It’s the perfect place to go with friends to enjoy cider & pizza and just relax. Will be back again

Location: 5/5
Service: 3/5
Food: 4/5
Choice of drinks and overall menu: 4/5

The best – The pizzas
Could be improved – The service

.: Eat Tokyo – Japanese Notting Hill :.

Saturday was such a great day (and quite a productive one)

I woke up, prepared breakfast for both of us, did 1h work – as Friday I didn’t do anything of what I had planned to do. Then we decided to go for a lunch & walk in Notting Hill. Hard to believe he had never been in the Portobello road!!!

I had no idea where to go for lunch this time, so I’ve checked Zomato and found about Eat Tokyo. This is really easy to find, being a very short walk from the underground station.

Once we got in we were welcomed by friendly staff who took us to our table. It almost feel like a canteen with the wooden tables and chairs. It’s a place to sit down, relax and enjoy the food with no strings attached.
The menu was huge and it had loads of good options! We went for sushi to start with and I went for the Bento Box. I also had the japanese green tea – which is really fresh and delicious, all you would expect from a great green tea.

Japanese Green Tea

The service was pretty quick. Before I had time to think of anything else, the sushi arrived. Pretty delicious! Next time I’ll have more of these.

Here’s some sexy and yummy sushi

Then my Bento Box which was quite big as well. The teriaki salmon was pretty good. His main was also quite a big portion.

Teriyaki Salmon Box

We had loads of food and we’ve paid £33 pounds for the two of us. Really good value for money! Once I’m in the area I will be back.

Give it a go, I’m sure you won’t regret it! Thanks for this places where it’s all about honest good food and not about being fancy and pretentious!

  • Location: 4.5/5
  • Decor: 3.5/5
  • Service: 4/5
  • Food: 4/5
  • Value for money: 5/5

Good – Such a quick service
The best – Delicious sushi!
Could be better – Decor of the room – it felt too much like a canteen. It would be nice if it would resemble a bit more to a cosy japanese restaurant. But then again, this is not an important point

.: Food week in Bristol :.

Yap, I spend a lot of time in Bristol indeed! This week was quite a crazy one! Was trying to organise dinner on Monday or Tuesday and failed miserably as we were all quite busy. But still managed to have a lot of good food

Monday Night – Fish of the day @ Royal Marriott Hotel

I really love the diversity of fish in Bristol, so every time I can that’s the option I’ll go for. Normally there’s always fish of the day in the hotel. Even though Monday tends to be my soup day, I wanted fish this time.

Yummy fish

When asked if I wanted dessert, I was like “not really hungry but would fancy something sweet”. The ladies in the restaurant were great and they gave me some chocolates. Was really happy with this!

They know how to make me smile!

Tuesdays – Steak Night

Tuesday is the steak night @ the Royal Marriott. I still had to do some work, therefore that’s what I had

Delicious sirloin steak

I really don’t mind going there so often, because I can relax, read a book, do some work – as I did this week – and have a chat with the friendly staff 🙂

Wednesday – RiverStation

As one of our colleagues is leaving the project we had a farewell dinner. It’s a lovely place! Really enjoyed the decor and the overall ambience. As usual when I’m going out with colleagues, I didn’t took any photos, so I’ll have to use google!

The restaurant is split across 2 floors, being the upper floor the quiet one.

This is how it looks from the outside

I went for the rainbow trout, which was really delicious, whereas the guys went for the Argentinian steak – which seemed to be pretty good as well. They also have local beers, such as those from the Bristol Factory

You can check more food photos @ Tripadvisor 

So it was a very good food week indeed!

.: Friday Nigh pub :.

Having just returned from another week away, we’ve quickly decided that we both wanted go out for dinner. My first choice was the new pub next door: One over the Ait, and I’m so glad I went!

We’ve discovered “One over the ait” in December last year and we were amazed (You can check my first review here)! First by the decoration itself, it’s so cosy and beautiful! Love the canoe on top of the bar, love the staircase to the upper floor (which we haven’t explored yet) and the chalkboard where you can find the specials of the day. Although we live next door, we didn’t had the chance to return, but tonight was the night. What if I say I love it even more?

All the staff is really friendly, the ambience is perfect and the food is really tasty.

I’ve started with a Chimay Blue. This is such a great Belgium beer!

Belgium beer and mussels? Will try next time

For the mains, and just because it’s Friday, I had the burger. Really tasty burger and crunchy fries.

Such a sexy nasty burger

Yummy fries

The pudding was even better (we went for brownies with ice cream)

Happy Calories all the way through!

The cheery on top of the cake was the live music!

Live Music

The perfect place to go on a Friday and start your weekend with a big smile 🙂

Kew Bridge is way richer now

.: Loro di Napoli – Ealing – Pizzas :.

I had been trying to go for pizzas with a friend that lives near by, but after all of us had strong calls we kept on postponing it. Last night was the night. I wanted to try the famous Santa Maria, but as there was a new opening in the scene, Loro di Napoli, I wanted to try this one first.

Make sure you book in advance or you will have to wait as the place is quite small. It’s also quite easy to find, closest bust stop is chando’s avenue, and it’s actually just south of “south ealing station” (Google maps)

We had bread and olives to start with and I have to say it’s quite a big portion.

The pizzas arrived quickly after that. All of it wood oven baked for proper flavour. Quite a good pizza especially when factoring the £9. Some are as cheap as £6. We had the “Toto” which was lovely. Recommended one with tomato.


We managed to share a tiramissu for the 3 of us, quite creamy and not soaked in sauce so a very good finishing.


Recommended for your next door good pizza. They also do take away.

  • Location: 4,5/5 – Really easy to find
  • Service: 4/5 – Efficient and polite
  • Decor: 3.5/5 – Even if the place is small I think they could try to make it more cosy like
  • Food: 4/5 – I still prefer Franco Manca, but the pizzas and the tiramisu where quite good too!

Enjoy your weekend! I’m about to start preparing our lunch with some friends in my house today, so I would expect some wine… maybe lots of wine!

.: Fishy, Fishy – Brighton :.

As the title suggests, it’s really a fish restaurant, but when in Brighton – or any other coastal city – that’s what you should aim for. I was quite keen on going for fish, as I miss it quite a lot (my parents would never believe I’m saying this, but I do!). It’s hard to buy good fish in any UK regular supermarket. Sorry, but it’s not convenient to cross the whole city to buy fish in a fishmonger. The ones available at the regular supermarkets don’t have much of a choice. Basically salmon – which I love by the way – unsalted cod (say what? Portuguese people need proper salted cod fish, but oh well) and some other random stuff. So yes, if I have the chance to find a good fish restaurant – or a good restaurant with some nice fish options – that’s what I go for.

Fishy Fishy is located in the heart of Brighton and has a lovely decoration. We’ve said “outdoors”, well actually it’s a covered outdoor, like a patio but surrounded by glass walls. Perfect to enjoy a bit of sun

As a plus, they had Portuguese Green wine (Vinho Verde). This is the perfect wine for fish

We started with the artisan bread, which was soooooo delicious!!! Olive oil and balsamic vinegar and good bread just makes my day. I’m so basic, but I don’t mind 🙂


I went for the crab linguine which was delicious! It had some chillies, so it was a bit spicy, but not too much, in the perfect quantity for my taste

And I know I said I wanted fish, but I also love pasta with “sea food”

He went for the fish and chips, wish was really good! It was not your regular bunch of oil with something similar to fish in the middle. It was proper fish

We had coffee was well and although it was not espresso the way I like it, the flavour was quite good. Have to say as well the service was really good throughout the meal. Totally recommended

  • Location: 5/5
  • Service: 4.5/5
  • Food: 4/5
  • Ambient: 4/5
  • Choice of drinks: 5/5 – it has vinho verde!!!!
  • Choice of menu: 5/5 – it has some non fish dishes, pasta and lots of good options for fish. Don’t forget to ask what the catch of the day is