t

Theresa's Profile

Title Last Reply

Simple lunch or tapas in Girona province

Gracias!

Jul 24, 2014
Theresa in Spain/Portugal

Simple lunch or tapas in Girona province

Thanks Gastrocar - I'm not sure how 38 and 60 euro menus suit our need for 'cheap/casual/low end' ! :o), but the Can Roca idea is a really good one.

I've had a look at the info that's available out there, and I can't find any detail on their opening hours - beyond the fact that they open for lunch Monday-Friday. Do you know what time they open at lunch time? We could do with being able to eat earlyish - at about 1pm - but in Spain that's often too early. And do you know if we would need to book?

Thanks for the tip!

Jul 24, 2014
Theresa in Spain/Portugal

Simple lunch or tapas in Girona province

I've searched the boards, but can't find anything for this area other than recommendations for very high end stuff!

We will be travelling up from Barcelona airport to France and want to stop somewhere in Spain for lunch - preferably accessible from the motorway (the A7?) and between Girona and the border.

Does anyone know of any places which will do a good traditional lunch and/or tapas? Or at least a village or town which looks promising for us to take a chance. We're after cheap/casual/low end, but good food!

Jul 23, 2014
Theresa in Spain/Portugal

New Malaysian and Middle Eastern/North African in south Liverpool

Bizarre - I just had to edit my post, because my tablet changed the word nasi to Nazi ...!

Jun 13, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

New Malaysian and Middle Eastern/North African in south Liverpool

I went back again this week. We went for the nasi lemak again - very good - and a fish laksa, which was excellent. They obviously only use the cheapest ingredients protein-wise, so there was no fancy fish in this, just some dried/tinned fish with a strong taste, but together with the hot and sour flavours it was spot on.

We also got a beef rending and plain rice - this had obviously been cooked for hours, so the meat (again a very cheap cut) was very tender and had a thick sauce clinging to it. One or two large bits of fat or gristle, but still very good. All this came to £16.

I'm not an expert in Malaysian food per se, but I cook other Asian foods a lot and I really think this is the real deal - I just worry that their use of less popular cuts and very bony, sometimes chewy, meat may put off some people. I really want them to survive - their attention to detail is great for a lowly chip shop on Lodge Lane! I just wish they had the fish head soup I saw someone eat years ago at Kopi Tiam in London ... it looked great.

Jun 13, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

New Malaysian and Middle Eastern/North African in south Liverpool

No - I haven't noticed it, but sounds worth a try.

Jun 13, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Liverpool, Albert Dock] Any reccs?

I think it's been upgraded/rejuvenated in the last few years, so it may be better than the last time you went - it might be worth checking their menu on the website

Jun 08, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Liverpool, Albert Dock] Any reccs?

The Albert dock is a bit of a desert, but if you fancy just snacks, then Vinea is a good call - it's basically a wine bar with charcuterie and other stuff, but as you don't drink, it might not suit you. It is a nice independent place in a dock full of chains though.

The Tate café can be quite good, but not cheap.

The Maritime Museum has a restaurant which is supposed to be good, but I've not been - only round the corner from the Tate.

The only other place in the dock I have heard decent reports on, aside from East z East, is Gusto - but it's a chain and I've not been, so can't comment.

Good luck!

Jun 07, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

New Malaysian and Middle Eastern/North African in south Liverpool

I've recently tried two very different places near me in Liverpool.

Lodge Lane is becoming a bit of a takeaway strip these days - one or two of them are worth going to, but most are pretty poor. But our local chippy, at the bottom end of the Lane has recently acquired new owners. For those who don't know Liverpool, the first thing I noticed when coming up here from London 34 years go was that every chippy was run by Chinese people and they all had full Chinese menus (in addition to the usual fish and chips/sausage dinners etc). This was so much the case that the only chippy anyone knew of that didn't serve Chinese food was one on Whitechapel called the "English Chippy"!

Anyway, this chippy is now doing Malaysian food - and it's really rather good! We've only been once, but I managed to give the menu a decent trial. We had:

Malaysian lamb soup - very comforting, lots of flavour and a few pieces of slightly chewy lamb on the bone.

Nasi Lemak - this seemed really authentic, with all the usual ingredients (rice, boiled egg, peanuts, some kind of dried fish, sambal and even a piece of pandan leaf) along with some small pieces of chicken. Lovely all mixed together.

Malaysian chicken curry - really good and just as I'd imagine they make at home. She told me they make all their own spice pastes, and you can tell. I ordered it on the bone, as I always prefer that and did not want to end up with chicken breast - but it is very boney, and although it's probably more authentic like this, the meat wasn't very juicy. But delicious nonetheless.

A noodle dish - Mee Goreng, I think - again, really good flavours and lots of attention to detail (sambal on the side, sprinkles of spring onion etc).

The noodles were a bit over cooked - but it's a chippy for god's sake. They are only just finding their feet, and they still only had one copy of their full menu on about 12 sheets of paper - but really worth a look if you're in the area.

Then last night we went to a new place on Lark Lane - the Medjool Bistro - It says it's food from the Middle East, Turkey and beyond. The menu includes Persian lamb dishes, Egyptian breakfasts, falafel and chicken with apricots - so it seems to stretch from Turkey and Iran, down through the rest of the Middle East and round to tagine country. It's very good value and bring your own wine, which is another bonus.

The food was mostly very good:

Peri peri chicken wings (yet another country represented there!). These were ok, but not special. Lots of parsley and raw garlic spread over them,which I didn't like (I hate too much raw garlic - it makes me feel ill), so I scrapped it off. The other starter was aubergine rolls stuffed with feta and covered with more parsley and garlic - a bit bland, except for the garlic hit.

The main courses were great though Persian Kofte with a really lovely yoghurt sauce and lamb shank cooked with tomatoes and dried lime - this was really good. I have cooked with dried lime before, and I wasn't sure if I liked it - it was very strong. but in this dish the waitress told us that they used whole dried limes in the cooking, so the flavour was still there, but much more subtle - very nice indeed. Both came with dill and barberry rice.

We had a portion of bread, Turkish coffee and a pot of Turkish tea and the bill came to about £36 - what's not to like?

Jun 06, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland
1

La Telline, Restaurant and Chambre d'Hote, Villaveuve, the Camargue

After a couple of years wanting to try this place, we finally did a couple of weeks ago. Our flight into Nimes that morning meant that we would have time to stop there for lunch before driving further West to our destination in Herault.

What a gorgeous place - we didn't meet the labrador, but we had an excellent lunch and I would love to go back - although our finances won't allow that to happen very often.

The starter of tellines was great - loads of them. My only initial gripe was that I always find aioli too overwhelming - I have a personal dislike of lots of raw garlic as it makes me feel ill. But after asking for a wedge of lemon it completely transformed the dish for me - I enjoyed every last one of them - really lovely.

We both had the fish gratin to follow, which looked very small, but was packed with fish and very filling. It came with wild rice and a bowl of pureed courgette and basil (I think - my memory fails me I ashamed to say).

The house wine - both red and white - are great.

We couldn't manage pudding, so waddled off happily to our car - 100 Euros lighter, so it was expensive, but we loved it. I would love to stay overnight next time - maybe if we have a morning flight back home from Nimes ...

Jun 06, 2014
Theresa in France

Summertime in Lodeve/Montpellier and Surrounding Environs

:o)

Have you tried any of my recommendations? I'd love to have updates - as we only spend a total of about 6 weeks every year in the area, we don't always know if places have gone down hill or even closed down.

Jun 03, 2014
Theresa in France

Yorkshire Dales

That's interesting - will have to give it a go. I agree about the food - I love the way the Northcote team are putting NW food on the map. I wish they would be less clinical in their renovations though - they are designed to within an inch of their lives, with the aim of making them look like the old pubs they used to be, but just making them feel like they are part of a big national chain... I think the few Brunning and Price places I've been to manage to avoid this.

May 29, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Yorkshire Dales

The problem, I think, with Harrogate itself is that it is a strange town which has more places to eat than you would expect because it is popular venue for conferences for political parties and other large institutions - so qulaity is not that great. There is a Betty's Tearoom there, which apparently is good for old fashioned British food and service.

However, you'll be in an area with some rich pickings pub-wise.

The Malt Shovel Inn in Brearton, not far north of Harrogate - haven't been for years, but looks the same and worth checking reviews.

The Angel at Hetton - again, it's ages since I've been, but I believe that they have kept the same formula and 'signature' dishes which make for a really good meal.

Further north on the east edge of the Dales is The Blue Lion in East Witton near Leyburn - somewhere I have always wanted to stay and eat, but never made it.

A bit off your patch maybe, but the Inn at Whitewell near Clitheroe is in a fabulous location and great food - another long-standing favourite. Worth a detour on your journey home maybe.

Ribble Valley Inns have a few places on the edges of the Dales - The Bull at Broughton and the Highwayman Inn are the nearest and also The Three Fishes, a bit further away. They are run by the Northcote Manor people, so they know what they are doing. I'm not overly keen on their corporate approach to renovating their pubs, but they serve some really good Lancashire and Yorkshire food.

One town/village I've just thought of is Askrigg - I seem to remember that there is a really good small restaurant there - it's right in the middle of the Dales and very beautiful, so it's worth a google!

May 29, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Summertime in Lodeve/Montpellier and Surrounding Environs

There are a couple of threads on here where I have made recommendations for this area, so a search for languedoc threads over the last few years is worth doing, but none of them would be dive-type places - and the cheapest, lowliest bars would be unlikely places for veggie food.

One place I've eaten in twice recently is a cafe in Pezenas - Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots!). It's on the newly semi-pedestrianised road where the Saturday markets are held, and it is a real gem. It is part Salon de The, part cafe, and they serve a small daily-changing menu of main courses and a few desserts (I think). The main meals are a perfect lunch size if you are eating out in the evening and are between 7 and 9 Euros. Really good quality and small scale home-cooking - we had a carpaccio and a spinach and sardine tart (both fab, with decent sized salads which were more than garnishes).

In Lodeve, the best place has always been Le Petit Sommelier - consistently good traditional regional food. Not sure about veggie options though.

There is also another very good place in Lodeve, which has competed with the above for the last few years, which serves lots of fish - I think it's called Terre et Mer.

There are lots of pizza vans about, especially nearer the coast, and they ain't half bad - a decent and very cheap lunch time snack.

May 28, 2014
Theresa in France

First Time in London - Meal Plan Thoughts

They are all places I would love to go to, but would not attempt two meals that special and of that size in a day!

May 09, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

First Visit to London Food Recommends

There's no reason to go to Brick Lane really, but there is a decent market on Sundays (with some interesting food stalls too) and you are only around the corner from Tayyabs and Needoo for very good and very cheap Punjabi food.

Many have started to criticise these two places, but I still think they do much better Indian food than the vast majority of British 'curry houses' - they are particularly good for their tandoori dishes and although people complain about the amount of ghee in some of their dishes, I loved the dry curry and the lamb and spinach. They are both incredible value too.

And isn't one of the good Szechuan restaurants - Gourmet San - just along the road too - five minutes walk from the top end of Brick Lane? I've never been, but always wanted to go - I think people went off it after it was reviewed by the Observer, but it's probably still better than most Szechuan places you'll find.

May 09, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Strange Indian menu - seeking experts perspective!

We finally tried Yukti's last night - but went for a takeaway rather than eating in.

It's in Old Swan, and the place itself is strange - a big modern building with a large car park (for a restaurant anyway) attached. The building is divided into three - a shop (we didn't investigate that at all), a functions 'wing' and the restaurant in the middle. When we arrived there were quite a few young Asians outside - mostly on their way in to the function suite. It doesn't necessarily mean anything food quality-wise, but there isn't a large Indian/Pakistani population in Liverpool - especially not in Old Swan - so we thought this could be a good sign. Inside the restaurant there were about 50/50 white and Asian people eating.

It's smart inside, without being too shiny (which seems to be a trend these days). There was music, but it was quiet, and, when we were there, jazz was playing.

Now for the food. My summary is that it was quite good and I would go back again to explore the menu a bit more.
Starters were Welsh lamb fillet - very tender (although not pink, as I had hoped fillet would be served) and quite spicy (as in hot), but no sign of the advertised pomegranate yoghurt dressing. Potato and onion bhaji were nice enough. Accompanying dressings/dips (yogurt and mint, tamarind one and a mild chilli one) were ok, but not special.

Mains were Goan fish - this was pretty good, with a light coconut-based sauce and nicely cooked cod. I was impressed that despite it being a takeaway (and therefore having to survive a drive home of a few miles and sitting in the oven while we ate our starters) it was still not over cooked when we ate it.

The Lamb bhuna was ok - the lamb again was meltingly tender and the sauce was a good and thick, clinging to the meat. It did taste a bit too much of cloves, and almost over-spiced generally (I'm not talking about being too hot though). Maybe the sauce had been reduced down too much?

The pulao rice was decent - none of the bright reds and oranges you get in many places. The breads just ok.

There's no doubt it's better than your average British curry-house, and the lamb and fish had been cooked perfectly in the main courses. But I'm not sure of Indian "fine dining" - I really enjoy a more home-cooking style - so I want to try more things on the menu before I give a more definitive opinion.

The bill at £32 was reasonable, as we got 25% discount. I don't know if this was because it was takeaway, or if it was a special offer for all customers.

Even though Liverpool-based Chowhounds are a bit thin on the ground, I would love to hear what others think.

Mar 22, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

A wild ride around the countryside...need some suggestions on the sprint to CDG from Nice. We'd appreciate suggestions on any other aspects as well.

I agree with those who think Carcassonne is overrated. However, the view of it from the outside is magical (although the restoration is far from true to its original state ...). I think there are better, more scenic places to stay between the Dordogne and Provence (the Haut Languedoc National Park is amazing), but on the other hand, if you do visit Carcassonne, it is better to be there in the evening and overnight when the day trippers have gone.

If you do go to the Carcassonne area, the Relais de Chantovent in Minerve is worth a stop for lunch.

Other places en route to Provence (perhaps with some minor detours) include:

The Auberge des Gorges de Madale, just off the D908 http://aubergedesgorgesdemadale.jimdo... Set, no-choice menu, outrageously good value, very good food, big portions (too big for me ...).

Les Marroniers, Lamalou les Bains. Amazing value sert lunches and also serve their cheapest menu in the evenings (around 14 Euro).

L'Ocre Rouge, Herepian. Further East on the D908. Very good modern French cuisine. http://www.locrerouge.fr/

L'Ortensia in St Gervais sur Mare. Perfect food, stunning views from the dining room. http://www.restaurant-ortensia.com/

I have recommended most of these before, and those posts will include restaurants in other places in the Languedoc (such as Sete, Nimes, Arles), so it's worth searching the board for other threads.

Mar 08, 2014
Theresa in France

Strange Indian menu - seeking experts perspective!

I've sent the link to you John - so Helen, if you want to know which cottage I booked in Cartmel, you can contact John for it, and he can forward my email on to you. All very complicated... and it may not even be a problem putting the link up on here - I just wasn't sure.

Mar 01, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Cafe de Pearl - Bubble tea on Bold Street, Liverpool

Ooh - will have to check that out. I've always walked past thinking it looked like somewhere not worth going to - but decent Szechuan sounds like something which needs further investigation.

Mar 01, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Strange Indian menu - seeking experts perspective!

Lots of good advice here. I have the same reservations as most of you - it could be really grim. And Ninm - the mad typos are probably a good indication of the quality (or lack of...).

Phil and Harters - you're right - I think I need to take one for the team. And, of course, for Raymond Bland ...

Feb 27, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland
1

Strange Indian menu - seeking experts perspective!

The provenance thing is funny though - they claim that they locally source their ingredients and meat produce, but I'd hardly call Norfolk and Cornwall as local to Liverpool ...

I think his reference to working with Raymond Bland is hilarious - especially in the context of a chef from India working with someone expert in French and British cuisine! I wonder if Raymond would consider that this version of his surname could damage his brand ...?

Feb 27, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Family Trip to Ireland

If you search on the boards for Kinsale, you'll find quite a few reports and recommendations, including mine from nearly four years ago. I'm not sure how useful my stuff will be now, but there are a couple of places in the town which have been around so long that they are almost institutions, so they are probably little changed.

By the way, it would be more useful to tell us what your budget is in Euro or sterling rather than dollars.

Feb 27, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

Strange Indian menu - seeking experts perspective!

A new Indian restaurant has opened in Liverpool, and it's good to see that it isn't the usual bog-standard British curry house menu. However, it looks to me like they are trying to do too many things - they are tarting up the food (using terms like "green pepper coulis", "chickpea gateau" and "coriander pesto", probably in an attempt to appeal to the fine dining set (or at least the people who are impressed by this kind of language); and it looks like the menu is a mix of cuisines from all over the country.

I would be interested to know what the Indian food experts on here think of the menu! And would you eat here ...?

http://www.yukti.co.uk/

Feb 27, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Cartmel, Cumbria] Pig & Whistle

Just had a look, and can;t see away to send you a private message - am I being dense?

Feb 24, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Cartmel, Cumbria] Pig & Whistle

It was a lovely one bed place - not very characterful, but the living area was lovely with a woodburner and decent kitchen bit. They had made really good use of the space - there was plenty of room and it was fun playing house for a weekend. Most places I've looked at will do three night weekends between the half term breaks in October and February. Many will do it even in high season if it's a last minute booking. This was about two mins walk from the Pig.

Not sure about the rules on here, but I'll send you the link if I can do it via your profile...

Feb 24, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Cartmel, Cumbria] Rogan & Co.

Yeah - it was reading that that reminded me to put this review up!

Feb 22, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Cartmel, Cumbria] Pig & Whistle

After the less than enjoyable Saturday bar-snack lunch, we returned on the Sunday for a late lunch/early evening meal. I like that they serve this all day on sundays - it means you can go for a good long walk and not worry about having to get to the pub for your roast dinner by 2pm for last food orders.

This was a lovely meal - starters of smoked salmon, chicken liver parfait (REALLY good - came with a slightly too sweet chutney), and ham hock terrine (with an overly sweet piccalilly). Sweet pickles and chutneys seem to be a bit of a Rogan thing.

The roast beef was great and properly rare. Good roasties and veg served with it, plus a lovely hot cheesy leek dish served in a little skillet. The pork was good too. We didn't have pudding, but went back to the cottage to finish off the cheese we had bought (having remortgaged our house) at the Cartmel cheese shop the day before. Will definitely go there again - it may have been my best ever roast dinner in a pub/restaurant - if not, it was definitely in my top two or three.

Feb 22, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Cartmel, Cumbria] Pig & Whistle

We first went to the Pig and Whistle just over two years ago, before Simon Rogan had taken over operations - we were staying in one of the B&B rooms upstairs.

This time we had booked a cottage for the weekend, and ate at the Pig twice - once for bar snacks, and once for a sunday roast (I'll comment separately on this).

So, on a rainy and cold Saturday lunch time, what better than to have an early lunch by the fire in the Pig and then watch Liverpool demolish Arsenal in the Royal Oak up the road. I was really looking forward to the two of us sharing the short menu of hot snacks as a decent brunch - but the standard was a bit mixed. We ordered everything on the menu:

- fish goujons - good tartare sauce, but fish was a bit dry;
- beer and cheese on toast was good;
- mini ham hock croquettes were disappointing (we had adored the larger versions served to us as an amuse in Rogan and co the night before, so we got two portions of these, but regretted it).
- Something described as 'garlic and thyme fries' - these were honestly horrible. It was mashed potato formed into 'chips' and then fried. Very strange, and the flavour of fresh thyme was way too strong. I hope that was just an experiment ...
- I think there was another dish, but I can't remember what it was.

After reading positive reviews, and having also had a brilliant Sunday lunch there, I have a feeling that we turned up on a bad day - so I'm hoping this isn't a typical experience.

Feb 22, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland

[Cartmel, Cumbria] Rogan & Co.

We went to Cartmel for a weekend a couple of weeks ago and ate at Rogan and Co. on the Friday night. It was different from the only other time we've been (more than two years ago), in that it now does food which has moved slightly towards the L'Enclume style, whereas before it was more of a 'normal' modern English bistro style place. Prices were quite a bit higher too.

Overall, it was great, but with one or two misses. The amuses were fab - ham hock croquettes were lovely, with an English mustard emulsion and prawn crackers with something lovely on (can't remember what it was). Both were divine.

Starters were mixed. I ordered a dish with crab, charred cabbage leaves and chicken scratchings. I thought it sounded great, but it was a bit underwhelming, and a real disappointment after the amazing amuses. The crab was a bit bland - not very crabby - and the chicken scratchings tasted stale! It was very odd - there was that unmistakeable flavour of something that has been in a jar a bit too long - so if they do them in advance (maybe once or twice a week?) they should make them more often. The other starter was good - cured pollock with pickled vegetables. Beautiful delicately cold-smoked fish - my only complaint was that the pickles were very sweet - I like a bit more of a lemony zing. Actually, sweet pickles became a bit of a theme over a weekend of Simon Rogan (see my Pig and Whistle review on that thread).

The mains were top notch - a really good lamb dish and an equally good guinea hen one. Each came with winter veg - one with parsnip, the other with celeriac. All perfectly cooked and with very good sauces/gravy.

The pudding I had was ok - I can't remember the details, but it was rhubarb and ice cream, and I think, from what the menu said, I was expecting brioche with brown butter. - which sounded like a brilliant combination of flavours - but it came with a brown butter biscuit, which was a bit disappointing. the cheese selection which my husband ordered was great - all in perfect condition.

So - a very good meal and a decent wine list which doesn't have to break the bank. The staff were lovely too. I'd go again - but there were one or two bum notes.

Feb 22, 2014
Theresa in U.K./Ireland