.: Sounds like another food weekend :.

Is there anything better than weekend? Well there is, holidays!! I had quite a mad week this week to ensure my team was up to speed with the tasks while I’m going to be away and trying to close as much points as I could. It was a back to back week and I felt exhausted. Still doesn’t feel real I’m going to be on holiday, but I’m glad this is the case.

Anyway we have an old tradition of going to the cinema when we go on holidays, but this time there was no film available at the time we went there, so we just went for dinner instead. The choice: “The real greek”. I had been there before and wasn’t really interested, but just the thought of grilled halloumi was all I needed to go back. We’ve started with the greek flatbread

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Then I went for the grilled calamari, the lamb meatballs (really delicious!!!), the stuffed aubergine and the couscous salad.

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Finally the grilled halloumi which we both love!

I have to say it tasted a lot better this time. Finally went for the caramel cheesecake. Not memorable, but easy to eat and tasty

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The Real Greek Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Today went for a brunch with a friend. Initially thought about going to the breakfast club in Soho, but the queue was quite considerable. On our way there we’ve spotted L’eto Cafe and I couldn’t resist the display of cakes on the window. After checking the queue it was an easy decision to go back to L’eto.

I’m so glad we did! The menu has really good choices, but I couldn’t resist banana pancakes with peanut butter cream. Make no mistake, this is not your usual american style peanut butter, it’s way better then that! It tastes really fresh and not too sweet, so I would say the real deal.  The pancakes had a really good flavour too

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The combination overall, quite light and tasty. Finally we’ve decided to share the green tea cheesecake, which was so fresh!

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L'Eto Caffe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Overall was quite happy with the choice. Such a lovely experience and I’m sure I’ll be back. After brunch we went for a stroll and we’ve ended up stopping at Fortnum and Mason which is quite an institution in London. Everything is so pretty that you feel like buying everything

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So quite a lovely afternoon and a good start for the holidays!

What’s your favourite brunch place in London?

.: Asian food weekend :.

I love asian food: chinese, japanese, thai, vietnamese you name it! The weekend started with the wish of trying street food after seeing this post from time out (London best street food).

We had agreed we would meet at South Bank on Friday, but I’ve ended up leaving at Bond Street, so we’ve met in Picadilly instead for some photos.

After a bit of walking (which felt like hours since it was packed everywhere) I had the sudden wish for a nice warm ramen. He agreed with me immediately so we’ve ended up visiting Taro

It was pretty packed and let’s just say the space wasn’t that big either. We’ve managed to squeeze in between tables. While we waited for our food I’ve ordered Asahi, which I love (well let’s just say we had a Japanese Karaoke party for our christmas dinner and I’ve managed to drink the most Asahi I’ve ever thought I would on the same night).

The menu was quite big, I would say too big. I prefer a small menu where the chef can focus on the quality, but also have to admit it’s quite common for asian places to offer a big range.

I’ve ordered gyosa while we waited for our meal, but they were a bit over-burn at the bottom. But all I was craving for was the ramen, which didn’t disappoint

Photo from Taro’s website

Really delicious and fresh. All I was craving for before coming back home

Taro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday went for a brunch in Marylebone and realised I hadn’t been in this part of the city for ages! The choice was Fromagerie. This time I had battery on my phone, but my friend doesn’t really feel comfortable with my taking photos of the food, so I didn’t. We’ve ended up chatting for most of the time so I didn’t even realise I’ve finished my food without a photo. Ups!

La Fromagerie, as the name suggests, is a french place, more exactly a french little grocery shop and yes they sell fromage, quite a lot of it. I didn’t explore the cheese section because it was too packed. Had 30m to appreciate the corridor and all the goodies while on the queue for brunch

La Fromagerie from official website

Tip: Don’t go there if you are in a hurry. As said, we’ve waited more than 30 and we only had 2 couples ahead of us. Also the food took forever to arrive to the table, but it was delicious when it did!

Tip2: Check the cakes available on the day, everything looked delicious! I didn’t had any space left for cake, but they felt tempting

Again, because it’s a grocery store, the space available is quite small, but it looks really cosy. We’ve managed to get a space in a corner so we felt quite relaxed.

We’ve ordered a latte and a capuccino and we couldn’t tell them apart. I went for the eggs Benedict, whereas my friend went for the french toast. 5 points for griffindor, the toast was the winner.

It looks something like this and it’s absolutely delicious, served with red fruits. so yum!

I’m glad we’ve decided to swap dishes and share half of each so I had the chance to try this.

La Fromagerie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After that we’ve had a stop over a famous book shop. Yes I’m talking about Daunt Books. I love this amazing classical bookshops you can find in London 🙂 Daunt’s expertise is around travel books, both in terms of providing guides but also travel literature (one of my favourite genre) to get you inspired before you go.

Photo from my other half

Photos from my mobile phone:

I was wondering where the magic books would be 🙂

I’ve decided to buy something special for us, a book for my dream trip Japan

The bag is gorgeous as well

Next, while we were waiting for my friends, we’ve carried our walk down from new Bond Street, picadilly and then moving towards one of my favourite places in London: I Love Nata. We had been there already the previous weekend, but one can’t simply resist natas

I Love Nata Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
For dinner, we’ve ended up going to Holborn to a Vietnamese restaurant Viet Eat

Quite a small place but as it was away from the crowds it felt like the perfect choice. I went for the summer rolls and for a pho. The summer rolls were quit fresh.

Could eat summer rolls as a main, they are so delicious and fresh!

I’ve also enjoyed my pho noodles with prawns.

photo from Viet Eat facebook

It was fresh and ok. I had better before, but felt so light that it was indeed the best choice. I’ve tried a bit of the curry and it was pretty good. We didn’t had to wait long for the food either. Its conveniently quite close to the underground

Viet Eat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

And no, my asian weekend isn’t over. Today we’ve decided after breakfast to go for Star Wars, so after I’ve bought the tickets online we went to Westfield London. After the movie and while he was shopping my christmas present, I did a stop at itsu for a chicken rice.

itsu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
I don’t really mind asian food at all, in fact I love it!

What’s your favourite Asian dish? And where do you recommend to go for it?

.: New York Day 1 :.

After a good night sleep we were more than ready to go outside and enjoy the views from the central park, so this is precisely what we’ve decided to do. What a surprise! I have to say that although I didn’t had big expectations, the park surprised me a lot by it’s beauty. Even though you can see the huge towards from most of the park, it’s very easy to forget we are in a big city as the colours are so gorgeous and each area of the park so diverse!

What I was expecting

So something similar to Hyde Park in London but with taller buildings around. The reality was way better! This is where it feels it was a great idea to go over Autumn

You can see our hotel from the park (House of Essex)

And the magnificent autumnal colours

After our walk we went to swipe our rooms and then we went back to the city to try to find a data card and for some lunch.

Tip: If you’re going abroad check the number of days you’ll be out and how much your operator will be charging you in roaming. In most European countries for example Vodafone offers the passport, which costs £3 a day to use the same services as in UK. But, if we are let’s say 1 week away, that would be more than a pay as you go card. So do the maths and check what works for you. In some places you’ll find free WiFi, like most Starbucks, but if you feel the need to use google maps while you’re trying to find a place maybe you’ll reach the conclusion you need data!

We had some amazing Tacos in a local Mexican grocery store @ Hells Kitchen. I forgot to take pictures. But this is the place Tehuizingo

Tehuitzingo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Photo from Zomato

You know a place is good when someone that is leaving ensures you know how good it is. So tasty!

And the first rooftop of the week, spyglass. We were feeling tired by then and most of the rooftops only open after 17h, so once we  found one that was nearby and already open we had to give it a go: Spyglass

I ended up going for a cocktail with gin, ginger and lemon (yap, I’ve spend the whole week with a cool, so was feeling sore throat and tired) ($18 per cocktail, which seemed to be pretty much the standard everywhere we went)

Official photo from spyglass

The view wasn’t perfect as the place is pretty cosy, but it was awesome to enjoy the golden tones over the city

After the cocktails we went for a warm shower and rest at the hotel as I couldn’t stop coughing.

For dinner we went to KatsuHama for warm cosy ramen!

Really friendly and relaxing place and the ramen was pretty good, exactly all I needed (although I have to say the sauce was a bit to thick for me)

Katsu-hama 55st Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Could get used to this life!

.: Wed. night out club :.

Yap, that’s right, I’ve created a little dinner club at work. We’ve made a vow to try different restaurants in Bristol, especially because most of us will leave at the end of the year anyway.

The problem with a dinner club at work is that I feel shy photographing the food!!!! So I’ll have to rely on uncle google to find some photos.

The Ox
I had been at The Ox before. If you know Bristol the odds are you’ve been there already or you are looking forward to go. I simply love it! The steaks are delicious and the decor is brilliant, even the chandeliers.

The last time we went there, we’ve ended up being allocated to the cosy room. For mains we’ve decided to share T-Bones. Oh gosh, such a meat feast!!! It’s quite expensive (£65) but it’s worth it, the meat is sublime. It’s way better than the picture below shows.

Then we had Malbec, lots of it. They have a very good wine selection. I didn’t had a dessert as I was quite full, but it was indeed a great evening and one to repeat.

The Ox Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

CAU

It had to be a competition with The Ox! CAU is quite recent in Bristol but ever since I’ve noticed it I’ve been looking forward to give it a go.

Because we’ve all wanted to try the special cuts, it means that the smallest portion was 400g, so we’ve skipped starters. I’ve ordered Lomito (£28 for 400g) which was massive. I’m not joking, seriously massive piece of steak and so delicious!!!! The pepper sauce was really good as well. I felt it was too much for me, but it was so good I didn’t rested my fork until I’ve finished it all!

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Again it was followed with really nice wine. It wasn’t a cheap meal but it was certainly a very good one! Let’s just say next morning I didn’t had breakfast.

CAU Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Pump House

I had the Pump House on my wishlist for a long while and it was an absolutely brilliant evening! You know the places that take you by surprise? Pump House was one of them. I had pump house on my wishlist for a while now, mostly because of the long list of gins (462 different gins). I booked a table for 4 of us and we had such a great time. First we were sitting down just having beers & gin. The first gin that I was recommended was the seaweed which was absolutely delicious!

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Next I had blackwater. In the meantime we went to our table, a really cosy space and this is when surprise really started. The bone marrow, the cheese, all of the starters were so good that we were just making funny delighted noises, all of us.

Sample photos from the food

Then the Pork belly, absolutely delicious! Points to note you can choose any wine by the glass, that’s right, any wine in the menu! Really tempting to try the food and wine pairing which they offer on Friday’s and Saturdays. Brilliant place to go

Pump House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It’s been quite an expensive club, but the food experience has been really good!!!

.: A meat Paradise @ Pitt Cue Co :.

Last weekend (and precisely because it was the Carnival long weekend), the weather was rubbish! I can’t recall a year where that weekend was a good one. So it was the perfect opportunity to go out for lunch with some friends. After a lot of arguing we’ve agreed to try Pitt Cue Co @ Soho.

You know those places that take you by surprise? This was one of them! From the top you just see the small bar, but there’s a small space downstairs – quite cosy I would say – but then the friendly service and the food menu. Suddenly you realise this is not just a burger place, I would say it’s a temple of meat. And so many good flavours!!! The chicken was superb, I had one of the specials which was delicious too.

Look at this, seriously, so yummy

Everyone on our table was like: “Oh my God this is so good!!!” and it was! I’m sure we’ll all be back more often.

If you plan to visit on the weekend try to go a bit earlier because the space is quite small, so there are not many tables available

.: Hide & Seed – Putney :.

I know many times most of us avoid hotel restaurants because we don’t believe they offer good value for money. But as I’ve realised in the last few years after spending a lot of my time in hotels sometimes we get good surprises.

Hide and Seed is part of a boutique hotel in a quiet area of Putney. My plan for the day was to start with a good lunch and then go for a walk along the river.
The restaurant is really easy to find and feels peaceful as soon as you arrive. Maybe because it was a Sunday lunch we were surprised to be the only guests. The decor is really charming and cosy, it feels you are in a beautiful library.

The menu is quite simple but as everything you need. As soon as I saw the wine menu I was delighted to see vinho verde (green wine) on the menu.

I jumped starters and ordered the chicken with mushrooms where he had the hide and seed burger. My chicken was really tasty and the Jasmine rice cooked within vegetables was a nice fresh surprise.

He said the burger was really tasty but should have been more mixed together, as it was handmade. I have to admit I was to greedy with le chocolat!

It was an overdose of chocolate, next time share it! He had the lemon desert which was really soft and yummy too. My espresso was tasty and creamy as well. Staff was really friendly through the meal. Considering we were alone they’ve managed to leave us some space and took care of us anyway (if you know what I mean). So overall a really lovely lunch, totally recommended for a relaxing day in Putney.

How to get here?

* By train – it’s less than a 15m walk from Putney rail station
* By Underground – East Putney on the district line – 5m walk
* By car – there is a parking area in the hotel, although typically this area has loads of traffic all the time! So would advise you to take public transport

Thanks to the zomato team for inviting us!

Click to add a blog post for Hide & Seed on Zomato

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.: An afternoon with English tea :.

It’s a cloudy Sunday afternoon, feeling lazy on my Pj at home and then started fancying a nice tea. Ended up skipping lunch (as I had breakfast at 11h with scrambled eggs Ramsay’s way) and went straight for a nice English tea.

One of my favourite places to have tea, is not even the Savoy (which I’m looking forward to go), but something more traditional like the Maids of Honour in Kew. I guess it makes a difference when I can simply walk there.

Kew is certainly my favourite place in London! Would love to live here, but I guess I’m close enough anyway

Official Photo

The maids of honour tarts were first discovered by king Henry VIII and were declared so delicious the recipe was kept under lock and key for 200 years.

The monarch is believed to have seen Anne Boleyn eating the tarts baked by one of her maids of honour and was so captivated by the tart’s taste he declared they should be made only for the royal court.

You can build your own tea set, which I recommend it must have scones included, but I’ve decided to go for the Maids of Honour as it does include a tart 🙂

The teas are incredibly delicious as well, they have lots to try, but I ended up going for the classical earl grey

The Scones are absolutely amazing!!!!

We’ve decided straight away that we must bake scones at home, so here’s the recipe we’re going to try:

Do you like scones? What’s your favourite way of having them? I love with cream and them jam on top, or just jam, so good!

And now need to be brave for another though week ahead of me. Enjoy your Sunday,

.: Another food day in Lisbon :.

On my last Friday in Lisbon I really had a great food day.

Lunch was in Sintra, in a traditional place called Apeadeiro. It’s really easy to find, in the city centre.
As soon as we’ve got in, we were welcomed by really friendly staff. In our table we had fresh cheese (ohhh I really missed this!) and some other starters

The bread was simply delicious! It was refilled a few times. For main I’ve decided to have the grilled squid.

Grilled squid – Half a portion

Yes, believe it or not, the photo above is half a portion and it was quite filling. Absolutely fresh and delicious! The boys had veal which was pretty good as well.

Still there was space for some pudding, chocolate mousse

To end our meal, we were served port wine (complimentary). I was impressed by the fact that they’ve left the bottle in our table, so we could have whatever we wanted. If this isn’t good service, trust based, then I don’t know what is!

Port Wine

Overall we left pretty amazed with the food quality, and the genuine honest good service. Can’t recommend enough! As soon as I’m back in Sintra, I will be back!

Dinner

For dinner, the plan was something really special. Both me and my sister went to fulfil a long awaited wish list: visit a Fado House in the heart of Lisbon! This was a kind gift from the Zomato team in Portugal. Thank you!!!

Cafe Luso is located in Bairro Alto, everyone’s favourite going-out area both tourists and locals alike. I find Bairro Alto quite a special place because all the classes mix here, poor and posh alike. There are really trendy restaurants and bars and somehow it all combines together.

Bairro in the evening

For years I wasn’t really a fan of Bairro Alto, simply because it’s always crowded. But I guess that once you live in London, crowds mean something different. And I have to admit it’s quite nice to have a drink (or more) outside while talking with friends in a nice warm evening.

I digress, apologies. Back to Cafe Luso. Let’s set up the mood properly.

I have to say thar Cafe Luso was mostly oriented for foreigners. The most traditional fado houses can be found in Alfama. Still I would recommend this experience to locals alike (it was a bit expensive though, 82€ for 2 people).

The space is quite big on the inside, the tables were filled with tourists, but it was a nice ambience. The “show” starts at 20h30, so we had been advised to arrive at 20h15, which is what we did.

The menu has a couple of options with pre-planned menus, which makes the choice a lot easier. I had the F which was octopus warm salad followed by a meat main.

The show includes not only Fado, but also “Marchas”, which is a Lisbon tradition in early June. If you are planning to visit Lisbon I would recommend you try to visit around early June so you can see it. All the city gets decorated with lots of colours and everyone eats and dances outside. Really good fun.

Marchas Populares de Lisboa

But the main part is all about the Fado. There were 3 main “fadistas” (People that sing Fado): a young lady (which was my favourite), a guy and a more traditional Fadista.

Marchas

So, we have a saying in Portugal which is Silence, we’ll be singing Fado. (Silencio que se vai cantar o Fado), which means a sign of respect for Fado. Because it’s so soulful, we get drawn to it and absorb every word. Maybe because of the drinks, some of the guys in the main tables were quite noisy.

Silencio que se vai cantar o fado

The food arrives as the show carries on. It’s served slowly so you can enjoy the show. So please don’t arrive starving, otherwise it may be a bit painful to wait for all the dishes to come.

Octopus warm salad

Main dish

Pudding was a brownie. Felt more like a chocolate cake than a brownie, but good anyway

We’ve decided to stay for the 2nd part of the show, which starts at around 22h20. They close the main room and the ambience becomes a lot cosier. The small tables get candles and the evening progresses on the more romantic side. Both me and my sister decided to have some liquors.

I really recommend the stay for the 2nd part of the show. I’ve really enjoyed it! We didn’t stayed for the end, but it was an amazing dinner. Quite an experience

Tip: If the “Fadista” sings really well, at the end of the song we say “Ah Fadista!”

After the Fado experience, we’ve both decided to go to a rooftop bar. Yes I know, I can’t resist them, can I? As we were so close, we’ve decided to visit Silk.

Silk is located in a gorgeous building called Espaco Chiado

And this is the bar:

(Photos above from google)

The view is really beautiful, but still it doesn’t beat “Rooftop Bar @ Hotel Mundial

I wanted a Portuguese gin, but they didn’t had any in stock. I was also upset that regardless of the gin everything would be served with cucumber. Not impressed with the drinks choice but the view is worth it.

So overall, it was an amazing day!!! Can’t hardly wait to be back!

Happy Easter! I’m travelling to Copenhagen for the weekend 🙂

.: Gin Tonic with a view – Le Chat :.

One of the things which is quite trendy in Lisbon is exploring Gin Tonic. They love having English Gin, but as I have plenty of that here in the supermarkets, what I’m really keen on having is Portuguese Gins. And if I can match that with sunshine and a nice view even better! So that was the plan for one of the afternoons we were in Lisbon.

Le Chat

Le Chat is located in the middle of 24 de Julho street, a famous street just in front of a night-out area (Santos).

Photo from google

Another photo from google

It’s brilliant that Lisbon has so many “views” (Miradouros). I need to explore them all, I’m sure I’ll make it or not ahhahahah

I’ve ordered Gin Mare and he ordered something else along with a dessert

Gin Tonic

Gin Tonic with a view

The view itself is not one of the best, as you see the harbour-side pretty much, but the space is really relaxing.

I felt that the chairs could be a bit more comfortable, and we didn’t really had a table, just a cube on the floor to place our drinks, but oh well!

After our drinks we even had the chance to visit the Zomato Offices in Lisbon 😀 The guys were quite happy with all the female staff around. It seems to be such a relaxed and creative environment, so cool!

Zomato Selfie!

So quite a nice afternoon!

.: Food Moments in Lisbon Part II :.

Yap, expect a few more posts like this! It was quite a gastronomical week
For Sunday, my choice was the Lisbon Restaurant Week, an event that happens in major cities and aims to allow people to enjoy the fancier restaurants at more reasonable prices. Part of the money goes to charity as well.

Since Sunday was the last day I had to take advantage of it. My choice was a beautiful restaurant in my favourite place: Sintra.

Arola is located at the heart of Penha Longa, a gorgeous park in Sintra (I wish I could afford to live here!!!!)

Photo from the official website

Outside view

One does not simply resist a place like this!

You feel posh just for getting in! The place is just as it looks on the pictures above. We were welcomed by a big smile and guided to our table. Oh joy, the light around us!

Table decor

We were offered the covert: bread, with tomato and garlic. Every dish was always followed by an explanation of the ingredients and why they were put together

In this case, in old times people used to smash the garlic against the bread and then spread the tomato on top with olive oil. So good!

Millers gin tonic

Tip: Even though you won’t find any Portuguese Gins on the Gin Menu, you can ask for it. On this particular day, they actually had Sharish. Also, on the main restaurant of the hotel they have more than 100 different gins!

The starter was carpaccio

So delicious!!! It had apple, onion and pistaccio. Well all I know is the combination was perfect!

Crab pate – so good too!

But the best was yet to come, the famous batatas bravas

Batatas bravas

You can’t resist these! Sooooo good!

Everyone went for the meat as the main dish, I went for the fish and I have to say what a great choice it was!

Fish with asparagus, almond and curry sauce

Finally, we had greek yoghurt for dessert, again it didn’t disappoint either!

Such a yummy yoghurt!

 

Overall I was delighted with the experience. The place is absolutely stunning and the service was as it should be: Professional, elegant and personal at the same time. Better than many posh pretentious restaurants I’ve been. Would be back for sure!