India: Day 10- Dinner at Indian Accent

It goes without saying that when we go on holiday, we like to eat, So dinner at the only restaurant in India to appear in the Top 100 was on my to do list for some time!

20181215_213244.jpg

Continue reading “India: Day 10- Dinner at Indian Accent”

Opulence & Occasion at Opheem

There was a lot of buzz about the opening of Opheem so we waited a little before we went to try it out, wanting to get past any early snagging points or busy dining rooms so last month we booked a midweek table for a birthday meal. Having read a tonne of reviews by this point I was itching to go and its fair to say we were not disappointed.

Continue reading “Opulence & Occasion at Opheem”

Marcus- London 2018

‘Summer was everything good to eat’

A trip to London to see the Muppets Show live meant we had a perfect opportunity for a swanky lunch

Continue reading “Marcus- London 2018”

A month in food- June 2018

Each month we find ourselves somewhere new and often, I am too busy to write about it. So I will try and recap what we have been up to each month- I’ve probably forgotten a few along the way!

New Places:

We visited a lot of new places this month but most of them were in Madrid and are covered separately but we have been out and about locally too.

Tiffin

We tried out Tiffin in Harborne this month which has taken residence in the former location of Turners. It’s run by the same people who previously owned Purnima in Bearwood which was our go-to curry house and a leisurely walk from our house. The menu remains mostly unchanged and the staff as friendly as ever, whilst they do offer the expected Indian fare it’s their specials that we tend to go for, Jordan is very fond of their Lamb Roshni and I often have a Jinga Mass. It’s a small venue in comparison to their former establishment so it will be interesting to see what happens with it in the future.

 

Nearby is the Hop Garden which is a cool pub with lots of outdoor space- definitely worth a visit

Maekong Thai

This is in Bromsgrove but as we are in that area quite often several people suggested we should try it out. The Barton Arms is one of our favourite places to go for a quick and easy lunch but it’s always good to try somewhere new. The menu is good with some different dishes for us to try and the sharing platter starter was good value. Given the choice we would probably still pick The Bartons Arms but I’d happily give this another go too.

SadlersPeaky blindersTap Room

A new opening in Quinton this place has a good selection of cask and draught ales but I was pleasantly surprised by their gin selection too. It’s a bit of an odd location (In a row of takeaways and opposite the Toby Carvery) but the atmosphere is suitably upbeat and they have a small kitchen too

Mortimers

I had very long lunch out in the sunshine at Mortimers in Ludlow, formerly the site of La Becasse, it’s had several changes in ownership and flips between gaining and losing a star. It’s very traditional in its styling and I would have liked a better selection of gin but the meal itself was done well.

Foodies Festival

We have been to this for the three years in a row, notably the food stalls tend not to be local so on one hand you get to try something new but on the other, the throngs of people that attend are not going to experience the Birmingham food scene or support the local independents. We had some tasty plates of food and there were some different options this year. We also watched a Malaysian cooking class with Norman Musa, a very charismatic guy and one we will certainly be looking up again following rumours of him opening up a place in Birmingham. The main let down for us this year was that the number of stalls to buy produce seemed to have diminished, we got some good sausages and a couple of plants but that was it. We left still feeling hungry and detoured into Digbeth dining club on the way home and I had my best dish of the day there.

At home:

We haven’t cooked as much this month, a reflection of being on holiday, the heat and preparing to move house. I did a bit of an audit of the freezer to work out what we needed to use up and was surprised at just how much we managed to cram in there! It was quite pleasing too as I realised the only things we had that were not ‘raw’ ingredients were a bag of ravioli and some onion rings leftover from making burgers some time ago. Everything else was meat,fish,veg or ingredients such as stocks and sauces we have made and frozen or herbs,spices and citrus. I did the same thing with the cupboards and discovered things I had forgotten about so we have some new things to try.

For our own cooking, we have made a chicken tagine with preserved lemon and giant cous cous, ‘lazy’ risotto (done in the thermomix) and tried a Jamie Oliver recipe for grilled aubergine with pomegranate molasses and yogurt. For the rest of the time, we have had a number of good sausages, plenty of veg after discovering a farm shop towards Kidderminster (Hodge Hill) that has an ever changing variety of veg available and I’ve become a bit fixated with having Weetabix for breakfast.

Next Month:

No holidays planned for July so we will be trying a few new things in Birmingham instead, with a house move imminent we are trying to use up as much as possible at home so that we don’t have to move it! We will be off to the Independant Birmingham Festival at Aston Hall again after having a great time last year and im planning to visit the Birmingham Thai Festival and the Dumpling festival in one day too which might be a very indulgent day! I’m also trying out some Korean food at Topokki at the end of the week having never visited previously.

We have also booked a table at Marcus Wareing for July as we will be in London for the day to see Kermit and the gang at the O2 and wanted to make the most of it, with the announcement of the 2018 Top 100 restaurants this month we have been busy lining up our future bookings and planning a few holidays around our desired dinner options!

DiverXO- Madrid, June 2018

 

20180607_203827

It’s difficult to decide whether to write about DiverXO as doing so feels like I am betraying a closely guarded secret. Much like The Fat Duck, its not just about the food, it’s a theatrical experience in itself and one that is incredibly difficult to put into words. Dinner at DiverXO is a lot like falling into a tank of electric eels- there is an initial shock followed by apprehension as you wait, senses heightened to see what will happen next. It’s fine dining, but not as you know it.

So, go and look up DiverXO and if you decide you might go then step away now as there are spoilers to come….

Continue reading “DiverXO- Madrid, June 2018”

Mirazur- Menton, France May 2018

Fine dining on the French Riviera

20180505_233807
Continue reading “Mirazur- Menton, France May 2018”

Brae-In pictures

World class, eco friendly uber sustainable dining in a rural setting.

Review to follow
Continue reading “Brae-In pictures”

Bangkok 2018

Recap on the first leg of our trip through Asia to Australia

Continue reading “Bangkok 2018”

Melbourne 2018- Part 2: The food

This holiday has pretty much evolved around a plate and Melbourne was probably the height of this. Whilst some places will get their own review in time, here is a run down of the noteworthy ones:

Fine Dining

We might have been a little ambitious but we managed to fit in 3 fine dining tasting menus in the space of a week

Brae

Number 1 in Australia,

World ranking: 44

3 Hats

Style: Country style, contemporary Australian cuisine with an emphasis on locally grown (onsite) produce and ecologically friendly processes.

Verdict: Falls in the top 5 places I have ever eaten. The more I think about it, the more I realise it was an exceptional experience.

Vue de monde:

Number 5 in Australia

No world ranking

3 Hats

Flagship restaurant of Shannon Bennett (Masterchef Australia mentor)

Style: Contemporary Australian fine dining in city centre location. Very slick, modern feel.

Verdict: Uber swish, excellent food and open plan kitchen. Feels lavish and extravagant.

The Press Club:

Number x in Australia

No world ranking

Flagship restaurant of George Calombaris (Masterchef Australia host)

Style: Modern Greek with Australian influences. Business like but laid back atmosphere. Surprisingly small venue.

Verdict: Well priced, good food and very friendly staff added to experience. Full tasting menu is a little large but smaller option does exist. Wine pairing interesting and good value.

Casual Dining

Meletos– Yarra Valley

Set in wine country we had a very languid lunch here and I had possibly the biggest mussels I’ve ever eaten. Menu has a mix of dishes from barramundi to pork belly alongside a good range of home made pizzas. Very good quality and affordable with stunning views and quaint shop next door (good dairy shop just around the corner too)

Naked for Satan-Fitzroy

This unusually named venue is known for in pintxos. We were especially lucky as the birthday celebration meant they were 50c each! Needless to say we had a variety including wagyu breasola, smoked salmon, chorizo and an arancini ball. No doubt this was the cheapest meal we had in Australia and the drinks selection was pretty good too.

T

The Public Brewery

We only stopped here for a brief lunch and couple of drinks but the pork belly will forever be lodged in my mind. The sauce wasn’t overly sweet but very sticky and the pork just incredible.

BBQ!

We couldn’t go to Australia and not end up having a BBQ. There is a bit emphasis on quality meat and it was great to see the number of independent shops in small suburbs. Finding a good butcher at home is often hard but there were plenty of options available to us with the traditional ‘butcher,baker,greengrocer’ combo not that uncommon. On our final night we had steaks, lamb cutlets (cut to order) kabanos, marinated lamb backstrap and kebabs not to mention fresh corn and salad. It was a great way to finish off our time in Australia and I saw a possum 😁

Gaggan: Bangkok-in pictures

Too busy eating to be writing so here are a few pictures of our travels so far