The Lamb and Trotter – Barbican, London

Although The Lamb and Trotter Pub upstairs has been open for about a month, the restaurant downstairs officially opens this coming Monday 1st October!

I was lucky enough to be invited to the pre-opening event for the restaurant last night where we met the Head Chef Danny Burns. The restaurant has a luxurious yet relaxed feel to it with a tasting table and bar and an open kitchen to see what Danny and his team are up to.

We started with a taster of all the bar snacks and, honestly, we couldn’t help but devour it all. The bread was freshly baked and still warm, the sausage rolls still warm from the oven and the beer sticks were good quality meat (not oily, not sinewy, just perfect).

IMG-0537
Bar Snacks Taster
IMG-0538
Bar Snacks Taster
IMG-0536.JPG
The Menu

The menu looked great and we were not really sure what to order but decided on Danny’s take on the traditional 1960s Prawn Cocktail as a starter. It was more of a deconstructed version with a smokey flavour to the super large prawns resting on grilled baby gem with an avocado puree and bloody Mary sauce on the side.

IMG-0542
Atlantic Prawns
IMG-0544
Atlantic Prawns
IMG-0547
Pearl Barley Risotto
IMG-0548
Cauliflower Cheese
IMG-0550
Our mains
IMG-0551
Whole Cornish Plaice

For the mains we decided to share the Whole Cornish Plaice, the Pearl Barley Risotto and the Cauliflower Cheese. The samphire and brown shrimps worked incredibly well with the pan fried plaice in a butter sauce. Just thinking about this makes me want to eat it all over again!

The pearl barley was something a bit different for us – we have never had it in risotto form before. The flavours worked really well with the warm hug of the chestnuts, the sage and the butternut squash, I was just not sure about the texture.

The cauliflower cheese was lovely – not over cooked and just the right amount of cheesy goodness.

For dessert we shared the Lemon Posset, which was a fabulous way to end a big meal. It was fresh and light and the blueberries gave a bit of something extra to the taste.

IMG-0556
Lemon Posset
IMG-0558
Lemon Posset

The service was fabulous and it really is a great atmosphere. One to try once it opens. Not long now!

http://www.lambandtrotter.co.uk/

Advertisements

Restaurante Cheriff – Barcelona, Spain

After a long 3 hour walk around the historical Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Julia, Mike, my Mum and I decided we wanted a good Paella, so after researching the best Paella spots in Barcelona (not touristy, not a chain, not too La-Di-Da) we found a gorgeously rustic, local spot for our lunch – Restaurante Cheriff.

We ordered some pan con tomat and some Iberica ham to nibble on while we waited for our main, which we washed down with a cold Spanish white wine. The bread was gorgeously crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside, which was perfect and the ham had so much earthy flavour to it.

IMG_6646

IMG_6647

We decided on the squid ink paella, which was so creamy and came with mussels, and the mixed seafood paella which was a little more zesty and literally came with every seafood you could ask for.

IMG_6648

 

IMG_6649

The food, the restaurant itself and the service were all excellent! I will definitely go back again and I definitely recommend if you are looking for a good paella spot.

IMG_6650

IMG_6651

IMG_6652

IMG_6654

 

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d997670-Reviews-Restaurante_Cheriff-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

Que Me – Stroud Green, Finsbury Park, London

One of my current favourite cuisines is Vietnamese. It is fresh, healthy, full of goodness, but also it is so full and rich in flavour. I will finally let you in on my current favourite Vietnamese restaurant – it is called Que Me on Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park.

It is really well priced, always busy so the food is always fresh, it is absolutely delicious and it is so authentic. The owners are Vietnamese who have been eating pho since they were 3 years old and who use a family recipe – and you know I love a family run, independent restaurant where people are really passionate about their food.

I would recommend: The “Mama” Rolls, the Prawn Summer Rolls, the Vietnamese Pancake, the Lemongrass Prawn Bun, and the Special Beef Pho. I have tried all of these here and they are all amazing!

Definitely one to try!

FullSizeRender (4)
Summer Rolls and Mama Rolls
IMG_1433
Fresh Prawn Summer Rolls
IMG_1435
Lemongrass Prawn Bun
IMG_6211
Prawn Bun once I mixed in all the sauce and the salad
IMG_3142
Prawn Mama rolls – reminds me of Chinese Dim Sum
FullSizeRender (6)
Vietnamese Pancake
FullSizeRender (7)
Vietnamese Pancake
FullSizeRender (8)
Special Beef Pho
FullSizeRender (9)
The side dish with all the bits to add to the pho soup
IMG_6210
All mixed into the soup

IMG_6213

 

http://queme.co.uk/

Stone House Restaurant – Lezzano, Lake Como, Italy

Lezzano is a quiet, rural, colourful little town right next to Bellagio – this is where we stayed during our visit to Lake Como.

We rented a little apartment with a terrace that faced the lake and right under our apartment was Stone House Restaurant, so on our last evening at Lake Como, after the last couple evenings of just ordering drinks to take over to the beach with us where we would sit and watch the sunset, we finally ended up eating here.

interni
Stone House Restaurant

The restaurant had a very rustic feel to it but also has a lot of subtle decor that relates to boats, ferries and sailing. At the far end of the restaurant there is a wine cellar which is full of wines from all over Italy.

I had a steak tartare starter as a main, Jack had a steak, and we shared fries and a side salad. It felt like a feast but because it was so delicious, we managed to eat it all and even went for an ice cream sundae for dessert!

IMG_5188
Steak Tartare
IMG_5189
Steak with peppercorn sauce
IMG_5192
Side salad
IMG_5209
Ice cream sundae for dessert

After dinner we took a stroll down to the quiet beach and it was breath taking to see all the towns lit up in clusters around the lake.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g664188-d10695484-Reviews-Stone_House-Lezzeno_Lake_Como_Lombardy.html

Villa Pioppi Restaurante – Sirmione, Lake Garda, Italy

As the sun went down in Sirmione, we walked from the old town over to Villa Pioppi. It is a gorgeous boutique hotel and restaurant which has a swimming pool and beautiful terrace on the lake that faces the sunset.

IMG_4706
Walking into Villa Pioppi with the sun setting behind
IMG_4726
The pool and the restaurant behind
IMG_4727
More of the pool and lake
IMG_4723
The restaurant

We sat down at a table outside, facing the lake. Sitting on a terrace on Lake Garda, wine in hand, facing the sunset – what an absolute dream! It was so peaceful and tranquil and an incredibly stunning way to end our day.

IMG_4722
Our sunset view at dinner

Eventually we ordered dinner – we weren’t rushed to pestered to order food as soon as we got there – so we were able to really relax and have a drink while taking in the views.

We ordered two starters (a mozzarella and tomato salad and a tuna tartare) and shared a pepperoni pizza for our main.

IMG_4729
Mozzarella and tomato salad
IMG_4730
Tuna tartare
IMG_4731
Tuna tartare
IMG_4733
Pepperoni pizza

IMG_4735

The food was all absolutely delicious and full of flavour. It was a really great evening and I definitely recommend going for dinner while you are in Lake Garda.

IMG_4737
Before the restaurant started filling up with people
IMG_4740
Dinner vibes
IMG_4743
Leaving Villa Pioppi

 

http://www.villapioppihotel.com/en/

http://www.villapioppihotel.com/en/restaurant

 

Trattoria Alessi – Desenzano del Garda, Italy

We stayed in Desenzano, which is a colourful, seaside-like, small Italian lake town on Lake Garda, and on our first night we walked around the streets looking for somewhere that wouldn’t be touristy and unauthentic. We wondered through all the small, winding, colourful streets and stumbled upon Trattoria Alessi.

It was exactly what we were looking for! We very happily sat down outside in the colourful, little, wonky, side street.

IMG_4543
The colourful little street
IMG_4546
Sitting outside at the restaurant
IMG_4563
Dinner vibes

We were given the usual basket of bread and bread sticks. Now, I have a couple things to say about these baskets of bread. Firstly, they absolutely love their bread sticks before dinner. I don’t think we went anywhere in Lake Como or Lake Garda where these were not given to you. Secondly, they love to give you bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, but not any dish to put the oil and balsamic onto, so you will need to ask.

IMG_4549
The Lasagna

We ordered our favourite Italian dishes. Jack had the Lasagna and I had the Spaghetti Pescatore – both absolutely delicious – which we washed down with bottle of a simple Pinot Noir.

IMG_4585
The Spaghetti Pescatore

Once we had finished our meals we still had some wine to finish off but this area of the restaurant was closing up, so the waiter showed us into another area of the restaurant which lead into a (what we thought was a secret) garden area. It was a buzzing little atmosphere with everyone finishing off their last drinks from their dinners.

An absolutely hidden away gem – and so glad we stumbled across it!

 

http://hotelalessi.com/resort/trattoria-alessi/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g194965-d1812674-Reviews-Trattoria_Pizzeria_Alessi-Desenzano_Del_Garda_Province_of_Brescia_Lombardy.html

Giuseppe’s Place – London Bridge, London

Today I am flying to Italy for a long weekend in the Italian Lakes – In fact I have probably just landed in Milan while this post is going live – so I thought it would be appropriate to post an Italian Restaurant that I have been to recently.

Established in 1990, Giuseppe’s Ristorante Italiano (as they like to call themselves) pride themselves in being London South Bank’s oldest family run Italian restaurant (as they state in their website). In an alley way in London Bridge, there is a door way with stairs leading down into a lively, little underground, very authentic Italian restaurant. With live music playing in a corner, the restaurant completely full, the very warm welcome from the Italian waiter – we immediately felt that we had found a gem, even before we had tried the food.

The restaurant was full but they kindly let us know that if we went to the pub next door and had a drink, they would come up and let us know once a table was ready for us. So we did just that and they came and got us in no time.

IMG_3709
The Bruschetta and Anitpasti Platter

We were sat in a booth in the cozy, little restaurant and were served straight away. Between the five of us (Jack, Frank, Sandra, Victoria and I) we decided to share 3 starters and then get a main each.

IMG_3713
The Calamari

For the starters we ordered the Bruschetta, a plate of antipasti and some calamari to share. It all came how I would imagine it to come if I were in a family run restaurant in Italy. Simple, tasty Italian food. No frills and nothing fancy.

IMG_3715
Spaghetti Pescatore

For my main I had the Spaghetti Pescatore, which is my absolute favourite pasta dish of all time – seafood with either with linguine or spaghetti. It was honestly cooked to perfection – with loads of seafood (clams, mussels, calamari, prawns and fish) and a gorgeous tomato based sauce that coated it all.

It was a great atmosphere, great service, great food and overall a great little find!

 

http://www.giuseppesplace.com/