Saturday, December 21, 2013

English's of Brighton

 Dear old English's of Brighton. Oh what can I say? I've had this post kept for ages. I've decided to check this place out because the restaurant rank number 41 on TA, which isn't too bad.

 I'll talk about the food first. What is wrong with this picture? That bread. That horrible looking bread. Goodness gracious can't they get baguettes or something more presentable? They try to make everything look pretty but the bread just look like some 4-year-old kid work. Presentation makes a big impact - people tend to be happier and much more comfortable for the things they pay for if it looks nicer. Not just that, look at that amount of butter on that bread?? What if I don't like butter? God.

 Portion? It's definitely over priced for the tiny little portion. I'm confused really, if you want to charge that price I expect better presentation and food quality. If they are serving such ungenerous portion and horrible presentation then don't charge that much. The only thing that justifies the price is the freshness of the seafood. Then again, it's really too much. like £15 for a half dozen of oysters. A dozen usually goes for about £20, anything more has to be exquisite!

 I won't deny the seafood is really fresh though. The next thing I would go on is their service.

 Dad had this ordered 20 minutes after everything else. To our surprise, his dish arrived the earliest, right after appetiser. We jokingly asked the waitress (Staff B) where are the rest of the dishes, we ordered this last but it came first! She replied "This is a cold dish, does this mean anything to you?". I literally choked at her sarcasm. What the hell?

 As you can see our dishes came really late - after the sun has set. You can tell from the pictures. So I've ordered a glass of wine from the staff which was attending to us (Staff A). She didn't come back and I've asked Staff B to check because I've already ordered. I'm pretty sure her (basic) English is terrible she could not understand my request. She stomped back and said "You have already ordered it with my colleague why are you ordering it again?". I told her that I requested you to check not to get you to order it once again! That atrocious waitress ignored what I've said and walked off. Not even an apology.

 That got me so I had to complain to the manager. What an obnoxious waitress I feel like giving her a slap in the face!

 I didn't come here to be treated like that. The waitress was so damn rude and I've never gotten an apology even until I left. The manager apologised but that's not sufficient, he should have made that obnoxious waitress apologise. I told him I don't want to see her serving any of my food after though. I don't even have a clue why would this restaurant hire such inexperienced, untrained and ill-mannered staff to serve their customers!

On a brighter note, Staff A who served us was a really nice girl. I don't really want to go back again, once bitten twice shy. There are many other restaurants out there which can cater to my needs, so I don't need to stress myself over silly people.

I sincerely thank the person who had responded to my review on TA, but I'm sorry this is all I have to say as I've already provided all details and do not want to go over it again.

English's of Brighton
29-31 East Street,
Brighton
BN1 1HL East Sussex
United Kingdom
012 7332 7980

Friday, December 20, 2013

Apolo XI

It was really funny how I ended up in Arguineguin. Some random "swinger"/stranger approached and started a conversation which prompted me to ask about good seafood around Maspalomas. (P/S: Story bout swinger ends here) He suggested Arguineguin (famous place for seafood), and I could not decide which one to go as TripAdvisor was not quite helpful. In fact this restaurant I went to was quite low in terms of ranking. Reason being, I was in Maspalomas and about to head to Puerto Rico, in which Arguineguin was right in the middle.

 Bread and mojo sauce. Mojo is a typical Canarian product - there are various mojo sauces, from red to green to mild to spicy (slightly, its not really spicy anyway). These sauces are to suit bread / meat / fish, depending on what you're after. I really don't know how to explain. Basically what you see in this picture is a mild mojo sauce for bread. Mojo sauce is for anything / everything. I'm not kidding. It has this distinct taste I don't know how to explain to you. It's really something different. Read more here.

 We ordered a couple of dishes to share - crabsticks as appetiser. Unfortunately this is just so typical instant crab sticks (a mixture of crab flavours with little crab meat and flour perhaps) I can get from Asian grocers and then deep fry it or something. Definitely not something I would go for the second time.

 The polipo is TO DIE FOR! I think it's grilled octopus topped with some spices and sea salt. It's super soft and slimy - it does sound disgusting but it's super good. It's so chewy you would die for more!! I can't really tell what the redish stuff is on the octopus as I was focusing too much on the freshness and the sliminess of the octopus haha. Though I would say the sea salt they have added to the dish is almost unnecessary - it's way too salty so I had to scrap them off. 

Some whole fish with (green) mojo sauce, canarian potatoes and salad. The fish is undoubtedly fresh!! They have this counter in the shop to display their fish available for the shop - and mommy had taught me how to see what's a fresh fish (clue: look at the colour of the eye!). So yes. Fish was really sweet - topped with green mojo sauce with a mixture of garlic and some herbs. The fish is rather tasteless but goes really well with the mojo mixture. I really cannot tell you how mojo tastes like, it's basically a slight salty sauce with various mixture of herbs in it. This, is only available in Canary Islands. :)

Despite the ugly rankings on Trip Advisor, I would definitely give a plus point to this place - perhaps there are other restaurants that are better but this one is definitely not poor and you might want to give it a shot. :)

Apolo XI
Avenida del Muelle
Arguineguin
Gran Canaria
Spain

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Eataly

 The beautiful port of Genoa. Why Eataly? Because it has a nice view and reasonably cheap food.

 Eataly is located in various locations in the world - couple of places in Italy, New York, Japan and Chicago (I have zero clue bout other locations but Genova).

The view from the elevator.. So why Eataly? There are 3 things in Eataly Genova - (1) Proper Italian dining, (2) Food court, (3) Supermarket. So it's indirectly - (1) proper dining, (2) budget dining, (3) home dining. 

I did not get a chance to try out il Marin Ristoro, maybe next time if I ever go back again. As for eating in and taking out, yes I've done it - Meal for one costs less than €10 :)

Desserts to take away or to eat in.

 Market section. You can get fruits, vegetables, not really wide range of choices though.

 There are more wine selections than fruits or vegetables.

 Truckloads of pasta..

 And even more pasta. In whatever shape you're after. I have not even seen/heard some of it myself. It's actually quite interesting :)

This falls under the food court category, a pasta bar. There are a few bars, depending on what you feel like having. 

 This is the charcuterie bar. Prosciutto, cheese, ham, you name it, they'll do it. 
*Oopsie to the couple in the background.

 Food court tables. With that view.

The plate of meat, cheese and free bread for about €8. Quite a bargain! :)

 And if you feel like having it in the hotel, feel free to takeaway :)

 Horrible wrappers and all, but it doesn't matter.

 The entire meal costs less than €20 (for two). Ignore the fried rice at the corner as it's not an Eataly product.

There are times when you just feel like having a quiet night, I would definitely recommend getting food from Eataly. You can find it at Porto Antico, one of the main spot to visit in Genova. It has this really huge EATALY sign you cannot miss.

Eataly Genova
Porto Antico
Genova
Italy

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tapas Brindisa

 Charcuteria is a must when it comes to Spanish food... I know the method used to preserve the ham seems pretty disgusting, but humans eat the most disgusting things anyway (Like preserved bean curd, stinky tofu, cheese). Back to the food - we had the ham selection - serrano and bellota served with bread and olive oil. It's best to have it with red wine but we just didn't felt like it. I have to say that it costs so much to have it in London really, £19.50 for selection of ham. Ok I have to give them credits for hand carving the bellota if I'm not wrong. For the same portion I could probably get it for less than £5 in Spain I am so not kidding you!

Then there's the wonderful traditional black rice. I believe it is made out of seafood broth, particularly squid/crab/fish/[insert whatever seafood] and squid ink, served with even more squid and aioli - £6.95. For the same price I've paid for, I got it three times the size of what I have here. But taste? It was just so damn good, the rice is so very flavourful because of the broth.

Just to make it clearn, I'm not picking on the price, obviously no comparison. But what I'm trying to say is it way cheaper, so much cheaper to have all of these in Spain as we would probably pay 4-5 times more in London. So make sure you eat more when you're in Spain. But I know it's crazy to fly to Spain just to get one Spanish meal. So, by far, Tapas Brindisa is the best Spanish (closest to what I've had in Spain) in London. Therefore, it is definitely worth paying for if you really want to get Spanish food in London. 

Another option (if you want to spend lesser), you may check out their shop in Borough Market or purchase it online. They even have Ham School!!! I've been dubbed as "Ham Girl" therefore I should really consider going to the Ham School. I think I'm in love with Spain/food/place/[you-name-it]!

Tapas Brindisa is available in London Bridge, Soho, South Ken and Shoreditch.

Tapas Brindisa London Bridge
18-20 Southwark Street
SE1 1TJ London
United Kingdom
020 7357 8880

Tapas Brindisa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

MEATliquor

All orders are served on one tray - order whatever crap they'll still give a tray. It's located just off Oxford Street, and I did not like the environment actually. It is really dark, would probably be even darker if it's at night.

 So what's on the tray? Dead hippie (apparently very popular), cheese burger, chili dog and onion rings.

The price of a burger ranges between £6-£8. It's not cheap, but not expensive either (don't convert to other currencies please!). Portion of the burger is huge enough for one, patty is super thick and juicy. I didn't like the onion rings though, felt as though those are the ones I could get from Asda. Salad is absolute rubbish, couldn't even be bothered to separate the leaves? I would not recommend anything else, just get the burgers!

It apparently is a popular place for burgers, don't think they take any reservations. Don't expect exquisite service from them - this isn't a proper fine dining place, it's just a bar...

Sorry for the horrible quality pictures - the place itself is too dark for cellphone quality pictures! :(

MEATliquor
74 Welbeck Street
W1G 0BA London
United Kingdom

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chez Yang

That sudden cravings for Asian food... in Chamonix, France - such a wrong place really. But we had light bites just to satisfy cravings. The view of Mont Blanc can be seen from the back of the restaurant - I believe that's what they are charging for.

 Egg fried rice - tasteless. Completely tasteless I swear anyone can cook this crap. Thai fried rice - OK there are slices pineapples. That's the only "Thai" flavour I've tasted in the entire plate. Mixed vegetables - No review needed? Basically the food were just horribly bland.

Looking on the bright side? We had a great view. Anyway don't bother wasting money on this place. Thank goodness we didn't order much so we could go for Round 2 somewhere else!

For real - this is the worst Chinese food I've ever had in the past few months. It's so bad, I felt cheated... Just settle your cravings for Asian food elsewhere!!

Chez Yang
17 Rue du Docteur Paccard,
74400 Chamonix
France
+33 4 50 53 18 35

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Gate Hammersmith

This is probably the best vegetarian restaurant I've been to by far. I can't believe there is actually no meat in any of the dishes!! Ravioli being ravioli, nothing special though. Stuffed with cream cheese with a mixture of different herbs.

Green banana fritters if I remember correctly. Sometimes I just love ordering food with fancy names. I've never had any "green banana fritters" before in my life - only banana fritter which is usually a dessert. This was an appetizer. I wouldn't say this is extremely good, just felt as though it was some minced meat with flour or something. This isn't something which I've fancied so no comments really.

This is my favourite by far - aubergine teriyaki!! I'm slightly biased because I'm a fan of aubergine to begin with. Then they had to come up with such a wonderful combination!! It is coated with breadcrumbs so it's crispy on the outside while the aubergine is soft on the inside. Well you know how aubergines are like. Then there are strands of noodles with mangoes - like really just that few strands; probably 3-4 spoonful? These are all so mixed up - noodles that tasted like chinese fried noodles and then really sweet mangoes to go along with the crispy aubergines. Not sure if you can ever imagine that combination, so it's a must to try!!

Curry with basmati rice. I'm surprised the curry is actually up to par!! I was expecting diluted curry (well, I never thought Asian food is actually good here?) The curry is thick, sufficient coconut milk with generous amount of vegetables. In fact, it's so good in flavours I'd think an Indian chef prepared it!

Spicy corn and polenta cake - served with sweet potato and aubergines!! I know it's not quite appealing from pictures - a pile of different vegetables stacking up like mountain. Mix all of it together and it's THAT good!! I don't know how to describe this really, pile of vegetables - pan fried and grilled with different sorts of herbs... Mostly sweet and sourish from the lime dressing. It's a savoury dish. These dishes are all so rich in flavours, I can totally forget about meat.

The overly sweet cheesecake. That's it.

Honestly if all restaurants are that good preparing vegetarian food I'd probably stop eating meat for good. Stop eating meat is one the many resolutions that I have, which I'm trying to achieve!! 

Anyway as for The Gate in Hammersmith, I would definitely say book a table beforehand. You probably won't get a table till 10pm if you're planning to walk in. The place itself isn't very spacious to begin with. It's probably difficult to find it too - it's surrounded by houses mostly so take a closer look if your GPS takes you to that place.

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The Gate Hammersmith
51 Queen Caroline Street,
Hammersmith
W6 9QL London
United Kingdom
020 8748 6932

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Noodle Station

This restaurant, more like a fast food corner, serves really good noodles. It's a tiny shop with limited seats. They are just so clever to leave the little door gap so that people who passes by the shop gets to smell it.

 You can pick between chicken or beef. It costs only ISK1190 for a bowl - which is about £6 ish for a bowl. Not too bad - the portion is quite generous for average eater. It would not be enough if you have large appetite though. I've ordered the beef myself - the soup was good, a little salty which kind of reminds me of Vietnamese noodles rather than Thai. Beef was really tender - noodle should be cooked a little longer though, felt a little too raw/hard.

You can pick the chicken if you are not a beef eater, but I would strongly suggest to get the beef - it's more popular :)

Overall, the thing I liked most was their marketing strategy. It's just sooooo clever to leave the little gap to attract hungry people like me!! Especially when it was lesser than 4 degrees. Can't say no to a bowl of hot beef noodles!

Noodle Station
Skólavörðustíg 21a
101 Reykjavík
Iceland

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sjávargrillið

 This restaurant is soooo amazing we came here twice!! It's ranked number 3 on TripAdvisor. I normally won't rely on TA completely, but I've definitely got to say thumbs up for this!!

 I'm not a bread eater so I'm not fussy about it. But if it's particularly good, I would take another. If I have more than that there's something really good about it.. It's just plain bread served with fluffy soft creamy butter. The bread tasted like peanut butter!! It's super crusty and I really loved it!

 On our second attempt it was not the same peanut butterish taste bread, just normal bread but it was good too (not hard rock or cold crappy dough!). Crusty as usual and served with top quality fluffy butter. Noms!

 Lunch menu is similar to dinner menu, the obvious difference is the price. It's very much cheaper during lunch. Pasta with Icelandic lobster and shrimp for ISK1970 (£10 only!!!). The portion is extremely generous - the seafood is huge, fresh and so juicy!! Basically so huge I cannot finish it myself. Dinner would cost ISK2960 (£15.. still cheap for this hugeass portion!!)

 Pan fried cod with pork belly for ISK2480 (£12.70) ... While dinner costs ISK3970 (£20). The fish was really fresh!! As usual, the portion is extremely generous. It's a little too salty, if you don't want it too salty you'll have to tell the staff. The pork belly tasted like siew yuk. For real!

 16 pieces of mixed sushi/sashimi for ISK1980 (£10). It's double for dinner - ISK3960 (£20). We had this for lunch, considering that it's only £10, it's actually not bad!! When in Iceland, must eat fish!!

 8 pieces sushi for ISK2480 (£12.70); it costs ISK1480 (£7.50) for lunch. Can't afford to order 16 pieces for dinner so we went for 8!! Their sushi is quite fusion actually, they used herbs and spices, not really pure Japanese style. That does not mean it's not good, it has their own characteristics plus the fish is really fresh!!

To add on to the fusion style, a glass of wine with sushi! :)

I really like the ambience of this restaurant and the staff's friendliness. I swear Icelandic people are super nice!!! If you happen to go to Iceland, you MUST visit this place!! They don't serve typical Icelandic food, it's more towards seafood. Seafood is a must in Iceland!! It's not always full, but it is advisable to reserve a table beforehand.

Sjávargrillið
Skólavörðustígur 14
101 Reykjavik
Iceland