Archive for the 'Food' Category

PIMMS and Lemonade

June 22, 2011

Pimm's and Lemonade

Seen the ads. Heard the ads. So many times. But it took me to move from the UK and go back to taste Pimm’s with lemonade and then have one myself.

It’s like English sangria. Very summery.  Got myself a bottle so I can mix my own at home. Will be great now that summer is here. I’m hooked.

Sitting at the pub, my friend couldn’t quite believe I had lived in England for six years and never had a Pimm’s. Sipped some of her’s and had two of my own after. Definitely hooked.

Last week, after I had been out for dinner, of the cocktail alternatives that were on the board, I chose Pimm’s with ginger ale and cucumber. Very nice too.

So next time I go back to the island I have one more thing to put on my list.

YO! Sushi

June 12, 2011

YO! Sushi - Salmon Selection  Three slices of premium Scottish salmon sashimi, two salmon nigiri and two salmon maki - California Roll  Crabstick, avocado, mayonnaise and sesame seeds

So they got a second chance. Only because I was at the airport and there wasn’t anything I really fancied amongst the overpriced options, light snacks and sandwiches.

First time I had Yo Sushi was in Reading a few years ago. I was really excited, having read about it and passing by the sushi bars many times. I didn’t like it and swore to never go back.

There weren’t enough options in the bowls passing on the conveyor belt and they didn’t come often enough. And it didn’t taste great for the price they charged. Obviously, there is a menu from where you can order other things but the excitement is in collecting bowls from the belt.

Second time around I rate them higher but I’ll keep in mind that I was in a busier restaurant at Heathrow Airport. I was very hungry, hadn’t had lunch and time was limited. So don’t go to YO! Sushi if you want to chill for a bit. You’ll get stressed only looking at the conveyor belt. It’s an eat-n-go place.

Also, when pouring water from the taps on the table be careful as the pressure is high and I made a real mess.

As for the options it was a lot better this time and bowls were coming so fast I couldn’t keep up. I went for the Salmon Selection with three slices of salmon sashimi, two salmon nigiri and two salmon maki and two California Rolls. Didn’t get full but enough to go and sit on a two-hour flight.

Salty Chocolate (not balls)

May 7, 2011

Yes, I love chocolate. All kinds of chocolate. Lately, it’s been mostly dark chocolate. And chocolate with salt.

Nice combination. Really nice. Sweet and salt. A bit of smooth bitterness sweetness with salt. Add some nuts and it makes it even crunchier. Not that the salt per se is that crunchy.

So the one I really have fallen in love for is Karl Fazer’s Milk Chocolate With Roasted Salted Cashew Nuts. Obviously, it being milk chocolate, it’s a bit sweeter. But it’s the salted cashew nuts that I love. It’s just the right amount of crunch, salt and melting sweet cocoa.

When tasting Marabou Premium’s 70% Cocoa Sea Salt Pecan, I’d thought it would be saltier and nuttier. That’s the first bite. Once I get through a few pieces, it’s really good. It’s more chocolaty. It has more cocoa. It’s healthier. It has less crunch than Karl Fazer’s but in a good way.

It all depends on my mood. Sometimes I want something less sweet and less crunchy. And the benefit I get from dark chocolate is that one piece is enough to quench my thirst for my addiction.

Then the other one I ate a while ago was Lindt’s Excellence Dark A Touch of Sea Salt, which wasn’t bad but not great. Lindt is always good. Never had anything bad coming from them but it really was just a touch of sea salt. If you really focus on tasting the salt and put your mind into it, then you will.

Might have to go to the shops and see if I can find any other kinds of salty chocolate. Or just stick to what I know…

… nah that would be boring!


The Paris mojito ain’t got nothing on the Barcelona mojito…

March 18, 2011

So, I recently spent a few days in Paris and had four mojitos at different places. Most of them around the Bastille area. One or two were ok, and I’m being nice when I’m saying ok. They weren’t enjoyable.  Too sweet, not sweet enough, no mint taste, too watery…

If you want a real mojito, go to Plaza Real in Barcelona and it doesn’t matter which bar you go to. It will be exceptional. I spent a few days in Barcelona in 2009 and made sure I got my fair share.

At one place as they were closing they poured the cocktail in a take-away cup. We didn’t get kicked out, they simply wanted to do the dishes.

Being half-Brazilian, obviously, I’m a caipirinha lover. I like the sour, I like the sweet and it’s refreshing. But adding some mint leaves and swapping the cachaça with rum makes it even more refreshing.


Kebab Pizza

September 16, 2010

Kebab pizza

Mouth-watering. Delicious. Tasty. Filling. Lush. Outstanding. Great. Divine. Flavourful.

This kebab pizza is from Valsta Vedugn o Kolgrill, a local restaurant and a very good one. Obviously, the pizza I ate was as close to perfect as it can be. The staff was very attentive. Nice, simple and relaxed atmosphere. Fresh bread and cabbage salad. Everything you expect from a Swedish Pizzeria. I will definitely go back and try other dishes.

The Swedish pizza is different from others. It is more succulent and have more filling than the Italian. It is thinner and not as fatty as the American. And the Dutch one I had was awful with a weird mix of different tastes that shouldn’t be combined.

Yes, the Swedish pizza is special. But they vary from place to place, of course. For me, the dough is very important. Soft, fluffy and slightly crispy. The ingredients have to be fresh and the right amount of filling. Too little, it may be dry. Too much, it may be saggy and break.

So, I was very lucky today. A bit pricey maybe compared to other places but probably worth it.


September 10, 2010

Just read the terrific news that a wagamama restaurant is opening in Sweden 17 October. I like it a lot.

It will be perfect to have a hot noodle soup to heat up from the freezing cold weather that is approaching.

I haven’t been to the pan-asian inspired noodle restaurant that many times, but always had a good experience. The food is fresh and mouth-watering.

I tend to go for the noodle soups, feels like it’s their specialty. They’re served in deep bowls with a lot of ingredients.

The wagamama ramen, for example, has  chicken, dory, prawn, kamaboko, tofu, mushroom, wakame and seasonal greens, garnished with menma and spring onion. It’s eaten with a wooden spoon but sometimes it’s good to use the sticks to roll the noodles.

wagamama ramen noodle soup

It’s cooked in open kitchens, so if you like you can have peek of what’s going on. It’s served directly as it gets done, so you might get your food before your friend. Not that great because I think they could time it so it all gets done at the same time.

There are many options in the menu, too many, because they always get me confused, and there’s a good variety of rice and noodle dishes and some salads. And you always get free green tea when food is ordered. Great concept.

The furnishing is quite simple with long wooden tables and benches. A bit of a fast-food restaurant feel about it, so not very fancy.

But it’s about the food, I always have a good, healthy feeling after eating at wagamama. It’s nutritious, low-fat and tasty.

The restaurant will be located in the Waterfront Building near the Central Station in Stockholm.

Now that they’ve been so clever to bring a wagamama to Sweden, why not open a Nandos as well. Seriously.

My source

Chocolate Fudge Brownie

August 17, 2010

It’s so yummy, it’s so good, it’s the best. It’s my favourite. I love it. I crave it. I think about it. I try to resist it but then I give in. It’s a treat.

Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream.

I’m a chocolate lover. Chocolate ice cream and brownies, what a perfect combination. It melts smoothly in my mouth. It’s creamy, it’s rich, it’s delicious. Yes, chocolate can be better than sex. Sometimes.

I have tried all kinds of chocolate ice creams, triple chocolate, Belgium chocolate, chocolate cookie, white chocolate, chocolate this, chocolate that… But I always go back to Chocolate Fudge Brownie. The original, not the low-fat yogurt or whatever it is.

I had really good ice cream when I was in Italy but that was in 2003 and I just remember it being very good. Not how it tastes. I need to go back to find out what is the best. Ice cream from a gelatteria or Ben and Jerry’s.


September 7, 2009

Delicious sushi to go. Ok, I love sushi but it doesn’t mean that I like all sushi.

Ready-made sushi bought in boxes is almost always dry and quite tasteless. Not enough pieces, a lot of rice no filling or very little meat. It doesn’t have the freshness sushi normally has. When it’s right you feel healthy, fresh and a sense of well-being.

All right so I was in a rush and very hungry, not in the mood for sandwich. Passed by itsu, and thought sushi will do. 5 salmon makis, 3 small California rolls and ruccola and carrot salad with sunflower seeds for £5.95. Good price.

It filled me up, it was tasty and fresh. Best sushi in a box I have had. The salmon covered the whole bed of rice. Not a great fan of sesame seeds on my rolls since they come off in the soy sauce. And not enough soy sauce, which is always a problem.

Click here for itsu’s website.

Ping Pong

August 3, 2009

Not the game. The restaurant, of course.

“Welcome to Ping Pong, the Twenty-First Century Tea House. We have twelve stylish Central London and City based restaurants serving delicious hand-made dim sum, fragrant teas and sensational cocktails.” (From their website)

I went to the Soho restaurant on Great Marlborough Street on Sunday afternoon with two girlfriends. It turned out 3 was the perfect number. The tapas-like dishes came in threes.

Two of us had never had dim sum before so it was a new experience, a good one. Many different flavours. Steamed dumplings, sticky rice, steamed buns, chilli squid and the best prawn toast I’ve ever had.

The steamed bun was whiter than white and its sweet taste was a surprise. The dumplings were fresh, absolutely delicious and I should have had some more. The sticky rice was wrapped in a Lotus leaf with a strong smell of green tea but apparently we weren’t supposed to eat the leaf. The salmon and noodle salad with goji berries, which is a red sweet wrinkly berry, different to anything else I have had.

On top of that, my dessert, mango pudding in coconut milk was very tasty. It could have been a bit bigger.

I liked the restaurant, the atmosphere, the interior. It was contemporary, clean and welcoming. I will definitely go back and introduce others to the dim sum experience.

For me, having dim sum for the first time, was a bit like when I first had sushi. Sushi was completely different but this was eating Chinease in a new way but still incorporating some of the familiar. I hardly ever have Chinease anymore, not at restaurants, as a take-away and I don’t cook it anymore. Dim sum, however, has brought the pleasure of Chinease food back, mostly because of the way it’s served.

As for the price, it was worth it!

Chilli Chocolate

May 24, 2009

The sweetness of chocolate with a sting of chilli may sound like a weird combination that shouldn’t happen and no, it shouldn’t. Especially not chilli chocolate flavoured crisps. It was something salty with something sweet and then spicy that only got sickly at the end. A daring flavour from Walker’s fooling many chocolate lovers that just didn’t work for me.

At a Christmas party last year I chose the Chilli Chocolate Mousse for dessert. My first encounter with cocoa and chilli in one dish and how delicious it was. Very rich, very chocolaty with a clear sting of chilli in my palate. I was hooked. Chocolate with chilli feels more like food than a sweet. By the way, the restaurant was Coco Rio in Southampton.

Next, I tried Hotel Chocolat’s Aztec Chilli Liquid Chocolate. A bit disappointed because where was the sting? I added some more flakes and there it was. It’s a luxorious hot chocalate product, it’s not powder, it’s chocolate flakes that need to be mixed in the milk while it’s heating, preferably on the hob. It can be done in the microwave but it needs to be stirred and back in the microwave again, doesn’t taste as good though.

Most recently, I got a bar of Lindt Excellence fine dark chocolate with premium red Chilli and the advice is to only have one square at a time. It’s spicy! And the one I will go back for.