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Cuines Santa Caterina, Barcelona

Hi

Just wondering if anyone can confirm that this cafe / shop still exists? I've seen good mentions of it in a lot of different places but their website seems gone? We were hoping to go there for Sunday breakfast when we're in Barcelona in late April.

Thanks!

Mar 01, 2014
millie_g in Spain/Portugal

Hobart on a Monday/Tuesday

Try the long bar at the Henry Jones for a drink. You may have to call ahead to confirm their closing time but I do recall a couple of late night early / mid week cocktails there. And its a good bar.

How about Smolt for dinner? They are open every day. We had a few meals there on our last visit and enjoyed them.

Feb 27, 2014
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

Barcelona - which restaurant for our second (& final) night in Barcelona?

We will be staying in Madrid for a month in March from where we're heading to Barcelona for a weekend. This will be our 3rd time in Barcelona.

We've managed to get a booking at Tickets for the Saturday night. Yay! :)

Seeing we will be going the tapas route on the Saturday night, we are thinking dinner in a restautant (rather than tapas crawl) on the Friday should be the aim.

So, we're wondering what type of restaurant to dine at on the Friday night.

Originally we were planning ABAC... but I don't like the fact that its quite remote and isn't really based on catalan cuisine.

We are considering Cinc Sentits. We've been there once before and really enjoyed it. Should we try somewhere new (for us) though?

I've noticed Lasarte getting favourable mentions on CH.
And Hisop?
We've discounted 41 degrees as we're dining at Tickets.

We're not absolutely looking for a high end dinner. Seeing as we are only spending 2 days in the catalan region, something at least based on catalan cuisine would be good.

We're wondering what fellow chowhounds would suggest?

Feb 27, 2014
millie_g in Spain/Portugal

Four Days in Madrid - Specific Questions

I had another idea... depending on when in March you are in Madrid, Gourmet Madrid is starting to run their tapas tours in the historical district (i.e. around Plaza Santa Ana, close to the Westin) on Sunday nights from the 18th March.

I tried a few tapas tours when I was last in Madrid and this was by far the best option. Small groups, great food, excellent host and not too expensive (pay up front).

That would be an excellent option to try a variety of tapas in authentic tapas bars in the area. I found myself going back to almost all of the bars I was taken to on the Gourmet Madrid tour. Well, all bar one, which I could never find again!

Feb 27, 2014
millie_g in Spain/Portugal

Four Days in Madrid - Specific Questions

I second DOCC on calle del Prado (right around the corner from the Westin) as a great spot for a quick breakfast around the hotel.

I think you really should have breakfast at the Westin Palace on at least one morning. It really is a special spot under the stained glass domed ceiling. Food and service was always great when I have been there.

What about Estado Puro for modern tapas on the Sunday night? Its in the nh hotel practically round the corner from the Westin. I checked their website and they are open on Sundays. They also list that they are open for breakfast so could be another option for you. I went to Estado Puro a few times when I was last in Madrid and enjoyed the experience although I thought the service a little slow when they weren't busy.

I've stayed in the area of las letras a few times now and haven't had a problem finding somewhere interesting to eat on a Sunday night.

Feb 26, 2014
millie_g in Spain/Portugal

Dining in Auckland - trip report

This is a short summary of our great dining experiences in Auckland a fortnight back (I’ve already posted a review of brunch spots we’d tried).

We decided on Mudbrick for our lunch on Waiheke Island and it was a fantastic decision! We hired a car which we picked up from the ferry terminal so that we could drive around the island as we wanted. The winery is in a gorgeous spot with lovely views and grounds. It is definitely worth allowing time to walk up the hill at the back of the property and to have a look in their glass house where they grow their micro herbs. We had booked a leisurely late lunch and took our time over the 3 courses. Service was excellent. We started with island oysters and then went a la carte. My favourite course was my entrée, Atlantic King Scallops & Kataifi Prawns. I had the fish special for main, which was delicious and fresh and very summery (gazpacho, beans etc). Dessert was a deconstructed rhubarb tart. The view from the restaurant was lovely too. After lunch we had time to continue our wine tasting in the next building.

Our favourite dinner was Clooney. This place is so classy. Service was attentive but not too formal. Food was outstanding. Again, we went a la carte. The stand out dish was the duck with black pudding and cherries soaked in pinot noir. My partner had sugar cured ostrich for entre which was divine. We shared the dessert that incorporated mandarin, pumpkin, sweet spice & brown butter. I have to admit the combination didn’t appeal to me at all but it was delicious and I could have gone another serving! The wine list was interesting, with ample wines by the glass.

Before dinner at Clooney we walked to the Victoria Market precinct for a drink at Tom Tom, a bar on the 2nd level of the complex with great views back on to the tower (which was lit up rather well). It was definitely a great spot for a pre-dinner drink (good wine list too).

A more casual option we tried was Everybody’s Izakaya. This is next to Roxy (in the same complex) and has a super cool fit out. Service and food was casual but fun. There is a large list of sake. We shared a number of dishes, most were great. We didn’t have a booking and turned up around 9pm on a Thursday evening to find that they were taking last orders (despite them being open “until late”). The bar next door (in Roxy) was nice for a post dinner drink.

Dinner on the last night was in The Sugar Club (at the top of sky tower). We had booked dinner for 8pm which meant that we missed sunset (apparently fantastic) but we did have a quick drink in their bar, which has a good view of the main dock area of Auckland, before being seated at our table. Service was friendly enough but a bit mixed and not up to the standard we were expecting, with not enough assistance with the menu offered, despite our questions. Food was good, as was the wine list. We had previously eaten at Dine, before its closure, and were expecting a restaurant with service at about the same level.
I would have liked to have gone back for brunch (only on weekends). If you don't want to spend the money on dinner here, but still want to take the time to enjoy the view, perhaps try the bar or brunch.

Oct 04, 2013
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

Great breakfast spots in Auckland - trip report

We’re back from a long weekend in Auckland and want to share some great breakfast / brunch spots we found in the city centre…

* Federal Delicatessen (in the casino complex, Federal St). We visited numerous times at different times of the day. Even though this place models itself on an American diner (only coffee option seems to be filter coffee), there were some interesting options on the menu. I had the ‘Morning Glory’, a breakfast salad with quinoa, haloumi, mushrooms and mint. All topped with a poached egg. Delicious! www.thefed.co.nz

* Federal & Wolfe (corner of Federal St and Wolfe St). We went twice during our time in Auckland and enjoyed both omelettes on the menu. Open Monday – Saturday. Depending on the day and time, patrons seem to be a mix of suits and arty types. Nice coffee too!

* Buttermilk – Victoria St, opposite Victoria park (almost under the over pass). OK, this isn’t quite in the CBD but it’s a short (mostly down hill) walk from the CBD. They run an all day brunch menu. We both went for egg dishes and tried “Our Grill” and Poached Eggs with hollandaise, tomatoes, bacon and mushrooms . Both dishes were beautifully presented, well cooked and not too big! The coffee was great. Seems to be open every day. www.buttermilkcafe.co.nz

One spot we didn't try due to lack of time is brunch at the Sugar Room (top of sky tower). The menu looks good and judging from the view at night, the day time view must be fantastic. They only do brunch on the weekends.

All in all, there’s no need to settle for boring hotel breakfast buffets!

Sep 26, 2013
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

Christmas Day Lunch - Melbourne

Donovans apparently do Xmas lunch and they are on the beach at St Kilda.

Also, you may want to check out Grossi Florentino (althought probably over the budget?), Bistro Vue and PM 24.

Aug 30, 2013
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne lunch under $10

Satay Bar (Flinders Lane, close to William St) or Brim CC (organic japanese cafe on Little Bourke St) are my recommendations.

Aug 22, 2013
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

A la Biche au Bois - near Opera Bastille, monday night

Also, can anyone confirm if Le Bistrot du Dome (2 Rue Bastille) really has closed? (It was going to be our backup.)

Aug 17, 2013
millie_g in France

A la Biche au Bois - near Opera Bastille, monday night

Hi

We've done some research (thank you chowhounds!) and decided we'd like to eat here on a Monday night (late September) after the opera (Bastille). We think we'll be ready to eat around 9:30pm.

Should we book? And if so, how far in advance?

Many thanks.

Aug 17, 2013
millie_g in France

Reservation at Alan Wong's

We enjoyed the Chef's Tasting Menu in early June. We booked through Open Table for 9pm which was our chosen time (to allow for a pre dinner drink at waikiki).

Have you tried the reservations page on the Alan Wong website (honolulu-reservations)? They seem to have more dining windows there. And they also have posted a contact email address.

Jul 17, 2012
millie_g in Hawaii

Dining around Honolulu... LONG!

We have (fairly) recently returned from a 3 week holiday in Hawaii, where we visited Oahu, Hawaii and Kauai. We used chowhound a lot for our research on where to eat during our holiday (thank you chowhounds!) and so I wanted to report back on our dining experiences.

This is my last summary, of our dining highlights on Oahu.
All but 2 spots mentioned are in Honolulu. We visited in May and June 2012.

First up is the list of restaurants we enjoyed.

* SIDE STREET INN - Hopaka St.
We went twice for dinner and never had to wait long for a table. We were impressed on both occasions with the food and the service. Loved their pork chop! Also we still fondly recall the special fried rice.

* TOWN (Kaimuki)
We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner here. My main of monchong fish, limu and veg was excellent and was my stand out dish for the whole trip. All the food we tried was great, the wine list was interesting and the service was very professional and informed. The restaurant had a fun vibe too (we dined around 8pm on a Saturday night, with a booking). I liked the mix of modern mediterranean and hawaiian produce. I would really love to be able to visit again, often.

* ALAN WONG
We had a late booking on a Saturday night. The place was full but not too noisy. We went for the Chef's tasting menu with the wine match as it was our last big night in Hawaii. The food was excellent. Stand outs were the Crab "Tofu" Agedashi, Scallops and the Kona Lobster. The Pink Snapper and Kula Strawberry Romanoff were memorable too. The wine matches was excellent. We did have a few minor complaints, mostly to do with service. We were asked for photo ID at the bar where we were having a drink whilst we waited for our table (we haven't been asked for ID for almost 20 years???!!!!). The cutlery was repeatedly replenished for the upcoming whilst we were in the middle of a course. We were given wine which we were told would go very well with the next course (which was described) and then when the food arrived, it wasn't what had been previously described. Overall, these were minor quibbles and we had a very enjoyable night.

* KAIWA
Great food. Somewhat haphazard service. Our hot starters (abalone was tasty) came out before the sashimi. Next course came out whilst we were still working on the previous. Its a casual spot with great interior design but we thought it was a bit pricey for the casual service.

Great spots for lunch:

* DOWNTOWN (Honolulu Academy of Arts) - My fave lunch. Really fresh and tasty food. Great ice tea. Fast service. Not too pricey. Its location between Iolani Palace and Chinatown makes it a good spot to stop for lunch when you're sightseeing around downtown, even if you're not planning to see any art. Turns out its related to TOWN (above).

* NEIMAN MARCUS - nice view from the balcony. We enjoyed their light but tasty salad options.

Bars we enjoyed in Honolulu:

* MAI TAI BAR at the Royal Hawaiian. We visited about 4 times and decided their Scratch Mai Tais were the very best! They had live music earlier in the evening and the view of waikiki and diamond head is great.

* HOUSE WITHOUT A KEY (HWAK) - a beautiful setting right by the beach, and with great drinks and food. We went twice and enjoyed the live music and hula (with a recent former Miss Hawaii) for no cover charge.

* LA MARIANA - this was a hike (actually a rather expensive cab fare) from Waikiki but was worth it. The service as good as were their Zombies and Mai Tais. We tried the Hawaiian pupu platter and it was delicious (and huge!). The live music duo that was playing in the bar on the night we went were good fun. Its a good idea to get to this spot before it gets dark so that you can see the view of the marina for a while at least.

'Cheap and Cheerful' Casual Dining we liked:

* ACAI BOWLS - a nice cool breakfast or snack. We enjoyed the one from VINTAGE ISLAND COFFEE the best out of the ones we tried.

* DUKE'S WAIKIKI - Good value breakfast buffet with super friendly service. The juice isn't fresh but they do make omelettes to order and the view of Waikiki is fun.

* RAMEN NAKAMURA (2141 Kalakaua Ave). We had the oxtail broth specialty ramen. Tasty! We were lucky we didn't have to wait for a seat but we ate quite late that night. We walked past plenty of other times when the queue had at least 15 people waiting for a spot to sit.

Out of Honolulu:

* MATSUMOTO SHAVE ICE - we thought the texture was so light. Good flavours!

* SHRIMP SHACK (53-360 Kamehameha Highway, Hauula by Ching's Store) - go for the speciality garlic shrimp that's pan fried. Truly DELICIOUS! And so what if your hands get so messy, it all adds to the experience!

Jul 17, 2012
millie_g in Hawaii

Dining around Hawaii, the big island (long!)

I am sorry to report our time on the big isl was shave ice free. We did have some great shave ice on Kauai and Oahu though.

Jun 27, 2012
millie_g in Hawaii

Dining around Kauai (mostly on the north shore) - long trip report!

We have recently returned from a 3 week holiday in Hawaii, where we visited Oahu, Hawaii and Kauai. We used chowhound a lot for our research on where to eat during our holiday (thank you chowhounds!) and so I wanted to report back on our dining experiences.

This is my summary of our dining highlights on the island of Kauai (we were there in early June)...

Princeville
We stayed at the St Regis so we tried pretty much all the dining options at the resort.

Kauai Grill - Nice fine dining restaurant with interesting modern cuisine (pan asian / hawaiian). Excellent service. We had a nice corner (round) booth away from the windows (we'd seen enough sunsets by that stage anyhow) which meant we had a nice quiet booth to ourselves. We enjoyed mostly seafood items from the menu although the appetiser of crispy poached eggs was the standout. Tasty white choc & yuzu pavlova for dessert. Great pre-dinner cocktails, OK wine list.

St. Regis Bar - lovely view of Hanalei Bay, the mountains and sunsets. We visited a few times. Good drinks. OK food. Slow service.

Mailani Dinner Show - At the St Regis, on Makana Terrace (great views before it gets dark). Not quite a Luau. Nice hawaiian themed buffet followed by a polynesian show that included fire twirling, hula, live music and story telling. We tried poi here and decided it must be an acquired taste ;)

Lappart's Ice-cream - great, wish we could have tried more flavours!

Hanalei
We were a little disappointed with our dinners in Hanalei. Nothing to do with the food, we just found it difficult to get a table!? Most of the restaurants we'd picked out didn't take bookings (seemed to be the norm in town) and when we got to the restaurants there was either a really long wait (over 45 mins) or they just weren't taking anyone at all.
For example, we would have loved to have tried Postcards. They were either closed (private function) or too busy to accommodate us, even after we'd told them we'd tried previously and it was our last night in the area.
Another example, Bar Acuda took our names for a table at 7:45pm on a Tuesday night, saying that the wait was 20 - 25 minutes. We got a drink from their bar (great wine selection) and went to sit in their outdoor area to wait. We waited 30 minutes, I went in to check, they said another 10 minutes... that was when I'd noticed that people at a table near us had been waiting about 45 minutes for their food. We decided not to wait any longer.
Anyhow, enough grumbling, here is where we did eat...

The Dolphin - We ate here twice. The first time was in the diner (we tried their teriyaki ahi speciality). The other night in their sushi bar. We enjoyed cocktails before dinner outside by the river. The menu was full of fresh seafood. We enjoyed the chef's special sushi roll especially and thought that the sushi and sashimi options were far more successful than the entrees overall. Loved their mochi dessert. Friendly and efficient service too!

Tahiti Nui - Great atmosphere with live local music and nice drinks. Service is slow but we were expecting that (thanks chowhounds!) so we weren't bothered. Check out their website for performance times.

Neides - We ate here after the long wait at Bar Acuda. We both ate off the Brazilian menu. I had the coconut based fish stew which was very tasty. He had the NY strip steak with blackbeans and rice. Very nice food unfortunately the interior isn't very atmospheric (all the outdoor tables were gone, no surprise, they were much more pleasant).

Hanalei Pizza - Excellent pizza. Their base is quite unique, I can't recall all the interesting ingredients they use. There are a small number of tables inside and outside. You can also do takeaway. We popped in for lunch and tried a couple of pizzas by the slice. I could actually go a slice now.

Taro Truck - Nice taro smoothies and plate lunches. I didn't enjoy the taro mochi. Could it be an acquired taste?

L&L Hawaiian - We didn't realise this was such a chain when we tried it (I don't think we would have tried it, to be honest, had we known). Anyhow, we were hungry for a plate lunch and this spot did the trick. I enjoyed an item from their healthier options of garlic shrimp with rice and salad. It wasn't the best garlic shrimp I had in Hawaii but it was good.

Waimea - a good spot to stop on the way to / from the canyon. Both spots listed here are on the main road through town.

Island Tacos - try the Kalua Pork and Mahi Mahi Canjun tacos. The side of fried wonton strips was addictive.
Jo Jo's Shave Ice - Go for one of their recommended combos. Watch out for the nail on the door! It sadly ended the life of a brand new aloha shirt!

I've already posted our thoughts on the big island and I will try to post a summary of Honolulu soon.

Jun 26, 2012
millie_g in Hawaii

Dining around Hawaii, the big island (long!)

We have recently returned from a 3 week holiday in Hawaii, where we visited Oahu, Hawaii and Kauai. We used chowhound a lot for our research on where to eat during our holiday (thank you chowhounds!) and so I wanted to report back on our dining experiences.

This is my summary of our dining highlights on the Island of Hawaii...

We spent most of our dining time in Volcano Village which had (surprisingly for us) quite a few cafe and restaurant options. All of the venues I list below are on Old Volcano Rd.

Lava Rock Cafe is a standard type diner. We went once in the afternoon for coffee then returned on another night for burgers. The service was super friendly. The food was fine. The decor was no frills.

Kilauea Lodge Restaurant - We stayed at the lodge and so had breakfast there (included in our rate) every morning. We thought the breakfasts were fine (if a little heavy). We enjoyed our 2 dinners at the restaurant more. There was a good mix of options on the menu, which had a definite european feel for us, with a few items changing daily. Over our 2 dinners we had a variety of surf n turf (Kona lobster and steak), antelope schnitzel and mahi mahi cajun style. The atmosphere in the dining room was very cosy (it was cold and wet outside, even in June) in front of the fireplace. Its a good idea to book a table ahead as the dining room did get quite busy and I noticed that they tried to stagger the bookings.

Kiawe Kitchen - this was our favourite dinner over our 4 nights spent in Volcano Village. The service and food was great. We thought that they were quite slow clearing tables and the backlog of people waiting to dine but in the end we were very glad that we waited the half an hour for a table (we arrived at 8pm on a Friday night and someone ahead of us in the queue actually convinced us to wait it out, they had been there before). We enjoyed our shared anti-pasti starter (it was huge and had a mix of vegetables, meats, cheeses etc). The rack of lamb special was excellent. We shared a peach tart for dessert. Delicious. Great wine list too, with lots of interesting glasses from around the globe by the glass. They don't seem to take bookings unless you have a group of 6 (but I have heard different things on this topic).

We had a few foodie stops around Hilo that we enjoyed and I want to mention:

Baker Toms - Great malasadas and an interesting chat with the baker himself! Its on the highway, a few miles north of Hilo on the way up to Waimea.

What's Shakin - Fresh shakes and smoothies in a nice setting on the scenic route. They have food too, we tried a turkey frank with a mango and tomato salsa. Sounds strange but it worked!?!? Loved seeing their dragon fruit up on the trellis behind the shack.

We enjoyed seeing and sampling the food on offer at the Hilo Farmers Market on Saturday morning too.

Our only real dining experience on the western side of the island of Hawaii was Pahu i'a at Four Seasons Hualalai (on the Kona coast). We'd booked ahead for a 6pm sitting to be able to enjoy the sunset. We were very happy to be given a table for 2 right by the path between the restaurant and the beach. The setting was lovely and the service very attentive. We started with their signature Mai Tai which was a very sophisticated version. We went for the ahi poke with breadfruit which may not have been our favourite poke on the trip but it certainly was the most theatrical, being prepared right by our table. To add to the theatre, the poke was followed by the conch shell blowing and lamp lighting ceremony which happened right in front of us on the beach. A stand out for us was the local abalone with kaffir leaf and coconut. I also really enjoyed my main which was ahi crusted with seaweed. We both went for souffle for dessert. I was disappointed with the texture of the souffle, particularly my chocolate selection. The wine list by the glass was OK, I didn't think the selection on offer warranted the prices. Overall we had a really enjoyable night out. Total bill was $320, before tip.

Kauai and Honolulu still to come...

Jun 26, 2012
millie_g in Hawaii

REPORTING BACK FROM KAUAI NORTH SHORE/EAST SHORE (warning: lengthy!)

Interesting summary! We just returned from Kauai and had some different experiences to you at the north shore spots we both visited.
Bar Acuda's service was so slow that we got sick of waiting for a table and went elsewhere (nice wine though).
We stayed at the St Regis and enjoyed the breakfast most mornings. The buffet wasn't very large but we enjoyed the egg station and the view and we certainly didn't have problems with service.
Our last dinner was at Kauai Grill and we had a great time. We also had one of the large booths on the other side of the room to the windows but we liked the space. We had mostly seafood and enjoyed it.
Tahiti Nui is very atmospheric, especially with the live music. We only had pupus and drinks though. Service was slow but we were expecting it (from previous reviews we'd read here) so we weren't disappointed.
I plan to post a trip report soon.

Jun 24, 2012
millie_g in Hawaii

Wellington over New Year - replacement for Martin Bosleys?

Thank you very much for the suggestions!
We've managed to get a dinner reservation at The White House & we're looking forward to trying it out.
Boulcott St Bistro is also open during the period but Citron and Logan Brown are also closed.
And the menu at Flying Burrito Brothers looks great. I hope we can fit them in during our stay.

Dec 14, 2008
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

Wineries and restaurants - Western Australia

I second the Cullen recommendation! We had a glorious lunch there a couple of years ago. Sardines and Scallops for entre, Marron on a quinoa salad for mains. Delicious! And accompanied by some great Cullen wines.

Nov 29, 2008
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

Wellington over New Year - replacement for Martin Bosleys?

This problem is worse than I originally thought... since this posting I've discovered that Matterhorn and Artbitrageur are also closed for the first few days in the new year (until Mon 5th).

Is this going to be a widespread problem for our trip?

Nov 28, 2008
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

Australia travel/eat suggestions

If you want something in Oz that isn't very "big city" then I would recommend Margaret River, Western Australia or Tasmania (perhaps pick a section of the island to concentrate on). We've been impressed with the food, wine and scenery in both spots!

Margaret River is an easy drive from Perth and there is plenty to see and do in the area.
For Tasmania, you could concentrate on the area around Launceston (which includes the Tamar valley), the east cost, or perhaps the area around Hobart?

Both states have good websites, for further info.

Nov 27, 2008
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand

Wellington over New Year - replacement for Martin Bosleys?

We're going to be in Wellington for 3 nights from the 1st Jan '09 and I had my heart set on dining at Martin Bosley's. I've just found out that they will be closed!!! :-(

Does anyone have any other suggestions for a lovely restaurant meal in Wellington?

Thank you!!

millie_g
Melbourne, Australia

Nov 26, 2008
millie_g in Australia/New Zealand