Sunday, November 24, 2013

Turkey Christmas dinner - Fountain's Abbey

I love this time of year when the pubs are furnished with Christmas decorations and the seasonal Christmas menu kicks in. The Fountains Abbey is probably my local pub as I'm usually down here to watch the football over a bottle of cider and when I noticed the "Turkey special" etched on the blackboard, I couldn't resist.

The turkey was cooked ok, actually everything was ok apart from the pig in blankets. This tasted like it had been cooked hours ago and left in the oven for five hours longer than it should have been. It was rock solid. I tried my best to cut through it with my fork and knife, but because it was so hard as I sliced the sausage one half flew off my plate and onto the floor, which added a sour taste to my mouth. This turkey meal was well off the mark and the lack of gravy did not help. I was really disappointed as I usually quite like the food here and expected better quality food.

My boyfriend opted for the Hunter's chicken and that again was pretty poor. The chicken had been overcooked so the meat was dry so we attempted to balance the texture with the barbecue sauce but this had been cooked to the point where it stuck to the bottom of the plate. Not impressed Taylor Walker!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Eat Italia!

I had a week off before starting my new job so booked a holiday to Rome. My main aim was to try as many Italian dishes and avoid restaurants close to the tourist spots. The best dish I tried was sea bass gnocchi in Pisa, it was just divine.

I also noticed in Italy that unlike in the UK, they don't put chicken on pizzas or any meat apart from salami, pepperoni and other cured meats.

Here are just a few snapshots of Italian dishes I took.

Seafood pizza

Aubergine pizza
Sea bass gnocchi
Sea bass ravioli
Pesto pasta

Friday, November 8, 2013

Toad in the Hole - The Counting House

The last few times I visited I've always been impressed but today I was disappointed. I chose the Toad in the Hole from The Counting House's weekly special menu and what a bad decision it was. The sausages were cooked ok but the Yorkshire pudding was really doughy and had no taste or seasoning to it. It tasted like rubber. The gravy also had a thick skin on it, which didn't help to moisten the dry pastry.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Vapiano - Oxford Circus

Vapiano is a German restaurant chain which delivers tasty Italian food made to order. Its not like any ordinary restaurant, you get given a plastic card where you place orders onto it and pay before you leave. The whole concept at Vapiano reminds me of a school canteen in a sense that you queue up, tell the chef what you want, who then either makes the food right on the spot or gives you a buzzer to let you know when your meal is ready. 

From the menu I picked the DIAVOLO; spicy Italian sausage, peppers, red onions, tomatoes and mozzarella. The pizza was thin base and delicious. The ingredients tasted fresh and I love the herb plants dotted around on the tables. 

Example part of the menu:

The restaurant by Oxford Circus does get incredibly crowded and noisy, but when you're with a group of friends I find it a great place to eat and because of the card system there are no discrepancies in splitting the bill. This was my second time at Vapiano and I have to say I enjoyed it as much as I did the first time. The only thing I don't like is clutching onto my dinner tray and edging past the crowds to sit down and eat. I have the fear that someone will knock into me and my food will go everywhere.