The first weekend I was in Prague my housemates Sæunn, Sophia and I went out for breakfast at a place called Café Louvre which despite having café in the name is more along the lines of a restaurant.
Since I was new to Czech culture I decided to go with a Czech breakfast which consisted of orange juice, two types of ham, edam, emmental, butter, a boiled egg and a slice of apple cake. It felt a lot like a continental breakfast with a twist, the twist being the apple cake which tasted nice but wasn’t something I was used to having in the morning.
I like that the Czech traditional breakfast is a lot healthier than the traditional English breakfast although i’m assuming that they don’t have it every day there is something nice about having cold meats and cake instead of hot meats and runny eggs.
Before leaving for my 3 month internship in the Czech Republic I went out to dinner with my mum and grandma to a restaurant in Wimbledon village called Côte.
Wanting to try out some new food I first ordered a Charcuterie Board which consisted of Savoie ham, smoked duck breast, saucisson sec and duck rillettes with baby gem salad and chargrilled pain de champagne most of which I hadn’t even heard of let alone tried. While obviously being on the very meaty spectrum of tastes I liked everything especially the duck rillettes which surprised me as I usually despise pâté like dishes.
For the acheter du cialis en ligne main course I had the chargrilled ‘Breton’ chicken which despite coming with garlic butter remained a little bit too dry during the end of the meal, the frites were skinny, light, crispy and came in an artisanal cup although overall I think there weren’t enough of them.
Having never been there I was impressed with the decor, waiting service and quality of food although Côte is definitely one of those restaurants were you pay more for smaller portioned but higher quality food, it’s not a place I think anyone would go regularly but it seems ideal if you friends/family want to treat themselves to something a bit upmarket without breaking the bank too much.
FIDEUÀ (VI-DU-WAH!), £12.95
CAU’s take on Paella. Angel hair pasta, sofrito, squid, clams, prawns & flaked pollock.
Smoked haddock and cheese croquet
5 in a basket
came in a mini deep fryer type
Crispy and light
almost like a nicely melted cheddar
Haddock had the most flavour
When you go to pick it up it crumbles and it’s hard to keep
on your fork
Nice creamy mayo
Almost like gourmet spaghetti in a can
lot more than it looks
A ting bit of spice
For over 10 years I have been going to what used to be Park Place and is now the Toby Carvery in Mitcham. For those who don’t know Toby Carvery is a restaurant/pub type setting where you can enjoy a buffet style roast dinner with everything you could possible want all regularly restocked and 4 different types of meat (beef, pork, gammon, chicken) carved right in front of you.
As it was Christmas day they changed up the menu a bit by having even more on offer including pigs in blankets and 2 types of stuffing but essentially the meal was the same as what you could normally get their not that that’s a bad thing. While I enjoyed the smoked salmon starter I felt that the main meal was too big for me to handle and I struggled to finish the chocolate cheesecake although this was my fault as you can have as much or as little of the roast as you want.
During the meal we got to pull crackers with the usual mediocre jokes and prizes inside them including a water pistol which I have been very tempted to use on the cats but have refrained from doing so yet. The chocolate cheesecake was very nice and the slices were big, as I got to the end I found the taste to be a little too sickly even with the raspberries and cream to help balance it.
This was a great Christmas lunch and although you don’t get too much more than you would usually get from the Toby Carvery it’s well worth the price just for the convenience factor alone, and with the 20% off voucher I got at the end of the meal i’ll be sure to come back soon.
During the Christmas period my mum took me to Bar Boulud which is a part of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hyde Park for lunch. As expected the design, service and food were all incredible, when you walk in you’re asked if you want to leave anything in the cloakroom then showed to your seat, once sat down you’re poured some water in to a lightly coloured glass and given a bucket of fresh bread and butter all of which get refilled throughout the course of the meal.
For starters we shared a calamari and onion rings platter as well as having the bread and butter which constantly got replaced when we were close to finishing it. For the main course I wanted to try the ménage á trois which was a tasting of all 3 burgers (Yankee, piggie and BB) but I knew my appetite couldn’t handle it so I decided to go with the BB burger which came with a beef patty, foie gras, red wine braised short ribs, truffle, frisée, horseradish mayonnaise, confit tomatoes and a black onion seed bun although I chose to get the horseradish mayonnaise on the side.
When you order such as mainstream meal as a burger at a 5 star restaurant you expect it to wipe the floor with every other burger you have ever had and let me tell you this came pretty close. The combination of the quarter of a pound patty with the red wine braised short ribs gave you a succulent, rich, meaty flavour while the rest of the ingredients served only to compliment the flavour. Having never had truffles or foie gras before it was interesting to taste what they were like and while it did go with the burger I honestly think that there are more compatible ingredients and they were there just to uphold what is expected to be in a £23 burger.
Throughout the meal we were constantly being checked up on to see if the meal was absolutely perfect, water and bread were topped up as discreetly and efficiently and possible and any requests were handled very quickly such as wanting to know how much wine is in the bottles above (approximately 27 glasses). It’s those little touches that make it worthy of being 5 star and while my limited income means I won’t be coming here again any time soon I assure you it has nothing to do with the food.
After a great lecture at Ravensbourne my friend Amin and I decided to get something to eat at Chiquito. Having only eaten a small portion of noodles all day I went ahead and ordered the biggest burger on the menu the Texan Smoke Stack, which consisted of 2 beef patties, onion rings, cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce.
As a starter we shared a piece of grilled halloumi which was my first time having it. It was surprisingly nice for a cheese based starter it looked and almost tasted like chicken although I thought the cranberry sauce accompaniment was a bit too sweet to compliment the it. In-between the starter and main course my chocolate milkshake came and it was mediocre at best, there was very little thickness to it and after just a few gulps it was almost half finished by the time my burger cam it was all gone.
It’s always nice to see burger patties in the shape of something that isn’t a circle not that a flower pattern added anything to the flavour but it was a nice touch. The meat was cooked well done which is not my preference but it’s still nice, overall it was a good burger but what stopped it from being a very good burger was how big it was there is nothing wrong with a big burger and a mish-mash of ingredients but this one was just so big that you couldn’t get all those wonderful flavours in a single bite.
This burger was so big that I couldn’t even fit it into my mouth and after a few failed attempts of converting in to 2 half burger they turned in to a meaty, drippy, naked mess of a burger which would’ve made for a nice salad if that was the original intent.
For a while now I have known that my friend Amin works at a restaurant called Javitri in Uxbridge, the restaurant used to be a cultural style style similar to Jimmy’s world bar and grill although now it specialises in Indian and Bangladeshi food. Every 6 months they put on a Bollywood themed night where you can enjoy a special 3 course menu and dance the night away on the dance floor, seeing as I hadn’t been to Javitri before I decided this was the perfect time to try it out.
While my other friend Gilmar who was meant to come with me couldn’t make it due to delays at Notting Hill Carnival I experienced Indian cuisine at its finest. There was a meat and a vegetarian starter to choose from I chose the starter meat one, the starter was a platter of different Indian food including chicken, the hottest onion bhaji and the most stuffed full of mince samosas I have ever had as well as a side salad. There was another dish that came with it too which I thought was a type of soup and like an idiot I ate it, liked it then later found out it was mint sauce to be put on the starter.
For the main course I chose the lamb tawa which I had not had before. The portion size has huge almost too big actually as this could’ve easilly fed 2 people, in fact I think that is the point of it as usually dining is done with more groups that are larger than 1 person. I also like the traditional style of having dishes you serve yourself with instead of the English style where you get only what you order on your plate, this style of serving encourages people to share food and try new things they might not have before.
While I may be good at some things dancing is certainly not one of them but the two dancers who entertained the restaurant were simply amazing and they even encouraged people to come on to the dance floor and bust a few moves but theres something about having your friend stand you up that doesn’t put you in the best mood for dancing so I passed. I also decided to pass on dessert as it was getting late and I had to get home (which thanks to the night buses was a challenge in itself). Javitri is a good sized restaurant with many different types of seating, a great selection of food and all for what I consider reasonable prices. The staff were nice, the atmosphere was relaxing and there is even an outside area for those warm England days. If you fancy something traditional and don’t mind it’s far down the high street location then this is definitely a place i’d recommend.
Having visited the dancing house before I saw the very fancy restaurant Ginger & Fred on my way out and knew it would be the perfect place for my mum, her friend and I to dine at while they were visiting Prague. As expected from a fancy restaurant the service was impeccable all the waiters were nicely dressed and spoke what sounded like perfect English, whenever our glasses got close to being empty we would automatically get a top up unless
told them not to.
For starter I had the pan seared calamari and shrimps with confit fennel, potatoes and crustacean sauce. While it was flavoured and presented well I feel that it’s one of the weaker starters, for the price it’s at you could get a 300g portion of mussels with homemade chips and still have money to spare.
For the main course I decided not to get the beef steak or leg of lamb which both would’ve been delicious instead I went for the Black Ginger & Fred burger which consists of beef ribs marinated in Coca-Cola, black Abondance cheese, onion marmalade, homemade chips and a side of coleslaw.
As is a Ginger and Fred standard the chips were fried in peanut oil which resulted in them being light, thin and crispy with a very minor fluffiness on the inside. I was found it very surprising how nice the coleslaw was considering I don’t usually like it, the flavour was not too tangy or sweet and in the right shaped container for dunking your chips in.
Despite it’s small size the black burger was everything you expect from a luxurious restaurant, the meat it had a very rich flavour which probably came from the Coca-Cola and the foie gras helped to bring everything together. The blackness of the bun was just a novelty although what I didn’t notice until much later was the combination of brioche bread and sesame seeds which is not something I have ever seen anywhere else.
Finally for dessert I had the chocolate burger in macaron with raspberry purée and apple chips. The chocolate burger was one of the most amazing
creations i’ve ever seen with so much attention to detail in the ingredients, the bun is made from 2 macarons, the cheese is made from marzipan, the lettuce is from mint and the patty is made from a chocolate brownie. The apple chips were thin, warm and wrapped
in a newspaper cone for authenticity and it was all served with a side of raspberry purée which acted almost like a ketchup.
Without taking anything away from the calamari and the black burger the chocolate burger was without a doubt the best course and something that definitely needs to be seen more often. As is usually case with fancy restaurants the taste, presentation and service is always amazing however for the prices you’re paying I would’ve liked to have seen slightly bigger portions. That being said if you’re looking for a change from the usual restaurants in Prague it’s pretty hard to beat Ginger & Fred.
As Kyri and I were on our way to see the movie Chef we figured that the perfect start to the evening would be to have a delicious meal made by a chef. Bill’s in Wimbledon is a place we have seen in the past but haven’t been inside until yesterday, with it’s spacious and gorgeous interior combined with outside seating and private booths it certainly caters for any type of eater.
After considering the duck pie and the burger I decided against that and got a full rack of ribs with a mini corn on the cob and fries. As expected it was a struggle to finish in fact I had to leave 1 bite left as I was beginning to feel uncomfortably full. The BBQ ribs were lovely and sticky while the fries were skinny and the corn was slightly smaller than I expected.
Perhaps the highlight other than gnawing on each rib like a squirrel until there was no meat left (in Kyri’s word) was the pink lemonade and ice cream drink which came with a strawberry in it, the second it reached my table and I was warned it would spill thats exactly what happened. What do you expect from ice cream and carbonated drinks? I was very pleased with Bill’s and will definitely be coming back again, maybe even for breakfast. Yes, they do breakfast!
After learning that Patty and Bun were opening a new store in Liverpool street and giving the first 1000 people a free burger on their opening day I quickly arranged to meet up with my friend Kyri who inspired me to start Food For Thought in the first place.
The place opened at 10.30 so I decided to get there at 10.15 and even then there was still a queue so big it almost stretched the entire street. It took significantly less time than I thought it would to be served apparently after 2.5 hours all the free burgers had been given out so I can only imagine how many they must have cooked throughout the whole day.
The first time I went to Patty and Bun (which was my very first food for thought post) I ordered the Smokey BBQ Robinson so I thought that this time I should get their flagship burger the Ari Gold. After seeing that Patty and Bun got my name wrong on the receipt we went to the park and proceeded to eat our burgers.
After unwrapping it and spilling some sauce on my leg I took a big bite of the burger and just as I expected it was incredible, the patty was so thick and succulent and the cheese was in a perfect melted state of half way between solid and liquid. The pickled onions were also a nice surprise although I prefer the grilled onions found in the Smokey Robinson burger.
Although we didn’t have the atmosphere that comes from sitting inside a restaurant the quality of the burgers was as amazing as always and I would gladly recommend Patty and Bun to anyone looking for something a little less mainstream. Just be aware that their burgers aren’t always free.