Vietnamese meal at Pho & Bun in London, UK

Do you like oriental cuisine? I definitely do. During my honeymoon, I visited Vietnam with my husband and I was really impressed by how beautiful the country was and how friendly its’ citizens were. I like going out and discovering different restaurants so this Monday, I visited Pho & Bun for a dinner with my husband.

Atmosphere: 

Pho & Bun offers authentic Vietnamese food in a casual setting that will make you feel as if you’ve stepped foot in Vietnam.

Location: 

Pho & Bun is located in central London on the popular Shaftesbury Avenue which is a few minutes away from the Tottenham Court Road & Piccadilly Circus stations. It is also around a corner from both Chinatown and Soho. It is surrounded by many West End theatres, shops and tourist monuments so it is a great place to go to for a lunch or dinner if you are nearby.

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Menu:

Pho & Bun offers its dinners great selection of authentic Vietnamese street food at a reasonable price. There are 2 menus to choose from:

  • A La Care
  • 5 – courses tasting menu

We decided to order from the testing menu. Firstly, we selected 3 starters each to share.

  • Fresh summer roll with tiger prawn;
  • Pork & crab spring roll;
  • Mango salad with tiger prawn;
  • Chilli salt and pepper squid;
  • Sticky honey chicken wings;
  • Honey glazed spare ribs.

All starters were tasty but my favourite were the honey glazed spare ribs and pork and crab spring roll.

Secondly, we ordered our mains. I had some honey glazed BBQ pork with vermicelli. The dish was a combination of delicious pork, fresh vegetables and noodles seasoned with different herbs and spices.

A0BD95CE-9B3F-417C-B5AA-5B5E7C7A2934My husband ordered some Bun Sa Lemongrass beef rump steak with vermicelli.

We found both of these dishes really filling and tasty. I would recommend them especially when you are hungry as the portion size was really generous and we finished about half of our mains.

Lastly, we ordered some desserts. I had some mouth-watering pandan & coconut panna cotta whilst my husband decided to have some homemade soft yoghurt ice-cream. I love desserts and they were both delicious.

Overall experience:

Pho & Bun offers a range of original Vietnamese dishes with a  twist. The service was quick and friendly, atmosphere was casual so this restaurant is perfect for a casual dinning experience with your friends or family. What’s more, the restaurant is reasonably priced and our 5-course tasting menu was only £27.95 per person. I would definitely visit again!

Address: 

76 Shaftesbury Avenue,

W1D 6ND,

London

X

Pauline

 

 

Our dinner at José Pizarro Restaurant in London

If you read my blog regularly you will know that I am a massive foodie. I love going out to the new restaurants and discovering hidden-gems on the dining scene. I recently joined my husband for a dinner-date at José Pizarro restaurant and today I would love to tell you about my experience.

Location:

José Pizarro has 3 restaurants in London:

  • Pizarro Restaurant near London Bridge;
  • José Pizarro Restaurant near Moorgate station
  • José Tapas Bar near London Bridge.

As I work near Monument, we decided to visit Pizarro restaurant on Bermondsey Street which is a short – 10 min walk from the London Bridge station.

Atmosphere:
Pizarro has a stylish décor and an informal atmosphere.

Diners are able to select their seats next to the window overlooking a picturesque church of St Mary Magdalen, at the bar, at the long communal table or the classic tables if they fancy a more intimate dinning experience. As we were on our dinner date, we decided to have a quiet table at the back of the restaurant which was overlooking an open kitchen so we could admire the chefs preparing our tasty dishes.

The menu:

The menu at Pizarro restaurant offers its diners a selection of tasty small and more substantial Spanish dishes, made using the seasonal products which can be served as starters and mains or as tapas for sharing.

To start with, we ordered a few tapas dishes to share from the Pica Pica and Starters menu:

  • Jamón Ibérico
  • Mushroom Croquetas
  • Butifarra negra & pulpo
  • Citrus prawn fritters

Al of our starters were great but I absolutely loved the mushroom croquetas. They were the best croquetas I’ve tasted in a long time. You definitely need to try them when you visit Pizarro.

For my main I decided to have a fish of the day – Pescado del día – scallops with some aubergines. They were mouth watering and the flavours of cod and side worked perfectly together.

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My husband had a Castilian leg of suckling lamb with some mojo rojo and chickpeas. It was extremely tender and the portion was generous.

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Once we were done with our mains, it was a time for my favourite part of any meal – our desserts. I decided to be adventurous and ordered some cream cheese ice cream accompanied by some blackcurrant and camomile syrup. It was certainly different and not what I expected!

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My husband was less adventurous and just ordered some classic ice creams and enjoyed them.

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Overall experience:

We both enjoyed our dining experience. I my opinion, Pizarro is definitely one of the best Spanish eateries in London and it offers some great traditional dishes with a modern twist. The restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner for two or a casual meeting with friends over some delicious tapas and quality Spanish wine. Throughout our meal the service was attentive and the waitress made sure that we had a wonderful evening. The restaurant is also conveniently located (especially if you travel to or work in the City of London) so I would definitely visit it again soon!

Website:
For more information and to book visit:

https://josepizarro.com/pizarro-restaurant/

Address:

194 Bermondsey St,

London

SE1 3TQ

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Lunch at Talli Joe – the best Indian restaurant in London

As you know, I am a massive foodie! Eating out with my husband is something that I am always up for. Recently, we enjoyed a special occasion together, we celebrated our 6th anniversary of us officially ‘going out’. Since my husband absolutely loves Indian cuisine, we decided to investigate “Talli Joe’ near Covent Garden. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of authentic Indian restaurants and take-away shops in London, but ‘Talli Joe’ was voted the best Indian restaurant in London, so it seemed like a no-brainer to book a table on a Saturday afternoon.

Location:

Talli Joe is centrally located in Covent Garden –  a popular theatre and foodie district of London. You can get there easily by public transport; Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road stations are just few minutes walk away.

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Atmosphere:

I went to the gym in the morning and when I arrived, I was welcomed by a smiley waiter who took me to my table. Whilst waiting for my husband, he took my drinks order and made me feel welcome.

The ambiance of this restaurant is very laid-back and relaxed. I really liked the funky décor and trendy finish.

 

The menu:

When my husband arrived, we reviewed the menu and discovered that there were lots of dishes we fancied trying. Talli Joe’s menu takes a modern day twist on classic Indian dishes and offers its diners a vibrant selection of small plates which I can only describe as being similar to Indian tapas and great to share in addition to half plates which we ordered as our main dish.

To start with, we ordered a few small plates to share:

  • Kale Chaat – my favourite dish;
  • Kolhapuri Chaap – nice and tender lamb chop;
  • Old Delhi Butter Chicken Samosa – Tandoori Chicken thigh;
  • Truffle Ghee Kulcha.

 

For our mains I had  Kochi Beef Fry. It was a nice Scottish Beef rump tail fried with some paratha. My husband had Gol Baari Kosha Mangsho – a lovely Lamb roast on the bone + luchi.

To finish our meal, we ordered some traditional Indian desserts. Talli Joe’s Black Gajar Halwa was voted one of the Time Out Top Ten Dishes of 2016 so I decided to try it and it was just right to finish my meal whilst sipping a bit of green tea. My husband doesn’t like desserts much thus he decided to have Gulabo omemad- a rose-flavoured ice cream and he enjoyed it.

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We finished our dining experience with a great cocktail.

 

Overall experience

Talli Joe is a perfect destination for a relaxed Indian meal with a twist. The food was delicious and the service friendly so I will definitely visit again soon!

Website:
For more information and to book visit:

http://tallijoe.com/

Address:

152 – 156 Shaftesbury Avenue London,

United Kingdom,

WC2H 8HL

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Saturday lunch at Galvin at The Athenaeum

Have you heard of Michelin-starred London chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin? I definitely have so I decided to visit their restaurant for a Saturday lunch with my husband. Today, I would like to tell you about our culinary experience.

Location:

Galvin at The Athenaeum is a hotel restaurant located in the famous area of Mayfair in London. It is situated opposite Green Park and only a few minutes walk from  Green Park station walk and around 10 minutes walk from the Buckingham Palace.

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Atmosphere:

As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed by a friendly door hostess who informed our waiter of our arrival. He took us to our table and made us feel welcomed.

The hotel and the restaurant both have a classic and modern décor. AS we visited during lunch, the restaurant was buzzing with Londoners enjoying their afternoon in the beautiful surroundings, most with a glass of prosecco in hand. There was a soft music playing at the background.

The menu:

Galvin at The Athenaeum offers its dinners a few menus to choose from – Afternoon Tea, Prix Fixe and Lunch Menu. We decided to have a set, bottomless prosecco menu.  The menu is developed Chris and Jeff Galvin who focus on British specialties. They champion Britain’s delicious local produce and support independent farmers across the UK.

To start with, I ordered some classic crayfish salad with Espelette pepper whilst my husband decided to have some deep fried whitebaits served with a bit of tartare sauce. Both dishes were tasty and presented well.

For our mains we both decided to have a Rose County rib-eye, Béarnaise sauce and chips. It was cooked to perfection and my husband cleared his plate in no time.

I love desserts so I was in heaven when I discovered that the restaurant offers an unlimited desserts buffet to its dinners during the Saturday & Sunday lunch. I was able to choose from:

  • Blood orange cheesecake
  • Chocolate mousse & coco nibs
  •  marinated pineapple & vanilla cream Yorkshire rhubarb,
  • champagne & white chocolate trifle Fruit salad,
  • meringue & blueberry coulis
  • Apple, pear & almond tart Pistachio éclairs
  • Macaroni

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My husband prefers savoury options so he had some cheese from a selection of English cheese and accompanied it with some grape chutney.

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Overall experience

We both enjoyed our Saturday bottomless set lunch at Galvin at The Atheneaum. The restaurant is perfectly located and I would definitely recommend anyone to go for a romantic walk around the Green Park and St. James’s Park after their dinning experience, especially if the weather is nice. The service and atmosphere were flawless and as the menu is very reasonably priced I will definitely return here again soon!

Website:
For more information and to book visit:

https://www.athenaeumhotel.com/restaurant-bar/galvin-at-the-athenaeum/

Address:

116 Piccadilly,

Mayfair,

London W1J 7BJ

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

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Pauline

Dinner at Cinc Sentis Restaurant in Barcelona, Spain

Last month, I was with my husband in Barcelona in Spain to celebrate his 30th birthday. During our last day in this beautiful city, we booked a table at the famous local restaurant – Cinc Sentis. It made me question what do I consider to be the perfect dining experience? For me it’s firstly great food then service and lastly the atmosphere. Cinc Sentis definitely exceeded my expectation and I can definitely say that our lunch there was the best meal we had whilst in Barcelona.

I loved the restaurant philosophy which follows the Catalan proverb:

‘He who eats well and drinks well, does everything right’. 
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Location:

The Cinc Sentis restaurant is located in central Barcelona very close to Universitat tube station and is around 10min walk from the Placa De Catalunya.

Atmosphere:

The decoration of Cinc Sentis restaurant is modern and elegant.

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It is run by a Michellin star chef – Jordi Artal who aims to share a vision of modern Catalan cuisine with its dinners. His goal is to create memorable gastronomic experiences designed to engage the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

From the moment we arrived, the waiting staff at the restaurant were all knowledgeable, warm and inviting. There was some quiet music playing in the background…

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The menu:

Cinc Sentis offers 2 testing menus (4 and 6 dishes) which are inspired by the freshest ingredients currently in season, as well as Catalonia’s culinary traditions.

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In additions diners have an opportunity to select a pairing of wines that have been carefully chosen to harmonize with the flavours and aromas of each course. All the wines in the restaurant pairings are exclusively Catalan and Spanish.

What these menus have in common is that they change seasonally and they are the same at both lunch and dinner, so the dining experience is identical. Before we started, we were asked if we had any allergies and our waitress explained that every course we’ll  receive will be a surprise. As we had a flight to catch, we decided to try a testing menu 4 with a pairing of some carefully selected wines. Our waitress explained that we will get:

  • 5 tapas dishes
  • 1 starter
  • 1 fish dish
  • 1 meat dish
  • 1 pre-dessert
  • 1 dessert

I love being surprised and Cinc Sentis offers its dinners a really unique experience where you do not exactly know what you will get for any of the courses until they arrive. I really enjoy this concept as it stimulates conversation and the discovery part enables your senses to bring back some food memories or discover some new textures.

Whilst we were waiting for our food to arrive, we received a delicious shot based on maple syrup, cream, cava sabayon and sea salt. I am not much of a drinker but I really enjoyed it.

Our first course consisted of 5 tapas dishes:

  • Iberian Jamon de bellota;
  • Grilled vegetable flatbread with olive oil ‘caviar’;
  • Freshly shucked baby clams with Cinc Sentis secret sauce number 3;
  • Salt-baked potato, bonito tuna belly, carrot & green bean puree
  • Anchovy with quince paste and pickled pepper.

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They were all mouth-watering and delicious. This course was accompanied by some Cinc Sentis Vermouth wine which was full of aromas and nicely complemented our tapas.

Next, we received our starter-a dish called ‘ Land and Sea of Catalonia’ which was based on some baby peas, pea shoots, pea essence, black truffle, anise sea urchin, razor clams, green apple and ice plant. It was really enjoyable.

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Moving on, we received some fried oysters with lemon and salsify-they were divine.

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This dish was accompanied by some Contino Blanco 2015 wine.

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This dish was followed by a smoked hen’s egg with crisp thyme brown butter breadcrumbs and pickled onion.

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It as accompanied by some Pre Pairal 1999 wine which worked perfectly with it.

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Next, we received some our main showcasing different parts of duck: duck breast with sauteed pear, duck leg with some red wine gel and pistachio in addition to some roasted duck wing and neck pancake with some pear chutney.

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It was my favorite dish which was simply amazing! It was accompanied by some Magnum Acos 2007 wine.

For our pre-dessert, our waitress brought us some ‘lemon textures’ consisting of some lemon sorbet, lemon cake, lemon meringue and vodka ice sorbet to clean the palette. It was very refreshing.

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If you regularly read my blog, then you will probably know that I have a very bad sweet tooth. As soon as I saw our dessert which was restaurants interpretation of a famous Ferrero Rocher, I couldn’t wait to try it.

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It was simply delectable and was based on some toasted hazelnut mousse, candied hazelnuts with yogurt powder and tangerine sorbet. Our dessert was accompanied by some Moscatel Montegudo wine.

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As a final temptation, just before we asked for our bill, we received some signature cheesecake with carmelised apple and white chocolate. What an amazing, unexpected treat!

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Overall experience:

We both loved every minute of our unique gastronomic experience at the Cinc Sentis based on sampling and discovering some great locally sourced food. Each dish was beautifully presented and made from fresh seasonal foods. In addition to the food, the service was very knowledgeable and welcoming and the restaurant is centrally located so I would definitely visit it again when I am back in Barcelona.

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://cincsentits.com/en/

Address:

Carrer d’Aribau 58,

08011 Barcelona, Spain

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Our dinner at Informal Restaurant in Barcelona, Spain

As you are probably aware, I love travelling and I am a massive foodie. During my recent trip to Barcelona, I visited lots of local restaurant and bars but only 2 of them really stood out from the rest. Today, I would like to tell you about my experience at Informal Restaurant in Barcelona.

Location:

The Informal Restaurant is located in the Serras Hotel in Barcelona. It is situated in a famous Bari Gotic area, just a few minutes away from Barceloneta station. It is a 7 minute walk from Las Ramblas.

Atmosphere:
The whole hotel has a minimalist, modern decor with its linen fabrics, neutral colors and use of materials like iron and wood that connect it to the surrounding marina. As soon as we entered the restaurant we were welcome by a friendly hostess and introduced to Rodrigo who was our waiter throughout the evening. There was a relaxing music playing at the background. In the middle of the restaurant there was an open kitchen and grill which was great as you could admire your food being made.

The menu:

The menu at Informal Restaurant is developed by Michelin Star Chef Marc Gascons who focuses or Catalan and Mediterranean specialties. He aims to provide its dinners with a delicious selection of dishes made using locally sourced products from land and sea.

The restaurant offers a nice selection of dishes but we decided to order from ‘Menu Experience: Picasso’.

To start with, we ordered a few tapas dishes to share:

  • some homemade toasted flat bread with tomato and extra virgin olive oil;

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  • salted anchovies from L’Escala with olive oil and pepper;

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  • mixed salad of green beans, green peas, Iberian ham and black truffle;
  • steamed artichokes, bulgur, celeriac, orange vinaigrette and black truffle;

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  • patatas bravas;
  • free-range chicken roast croquettes.

For my main I decided to have a roasted monkfish with peas, squid and chicken juice. It was mouth watering!

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My husband had some succulent veal with potato parmentier and some seasonal mushrooms. His meal was simply amazing and he thought that it was the best veal he’s ever eaten which is a big statement to make as we eat out at least twice a week.

I love desserts and I was looking forward to trying some of Informal Restaurant’s roast apple dessert with puff pasty, pine nuts and lemon cream. It was delicious!

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My husband ordered some chocolate ice cream and gnache with olive oil and salt. It was a perfect combination of sweet and salty experiences in one dessert.

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Overall experience:
We both enjoyed our dinner at Informal Restaurant. Chef Marc Gascons offers its diners a great selection of some of the best best local food with a modern twist. Throughout our meal the service was friendly and attentive. They made us feel relaxed and welcomed. The restaurant is also very conveniently located so I would definitely visit it again next time I am in Barcelona.

Website:
For more information and to book visit:

https://hoteltheserrasbarcelona.com/en/informal.html

Address:

Carrer de la Plata, 4,

08002 Barcelona, Spain

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

Dinner at Grande Hotel do Porto restaurant in Porto, Portugal

A few weeks ago, I was with my husband in Porto, Portugal. During our stay we visited lots of different bars and restaurants and today I would like to tell you about our dinner at the Grande Hotel’s D. Pedro II Restaurant.

Location:

Grande Hotel do Porto is located on a famous shopping street- Rua de Santa Catarina. The restaurant is located at the quiet area of the hotel-away from all the hustle and bustle of the main street.

Atmosphere:

The D. Pedro II Restaurant offers its dinner a space where guests cross daily with local clients and passing tourists that when strolling by Santa Catarina Street can’t resist the temptation to come inside

The hotel has an exclusive décor and some beautiful pieces of art are visible throughout the communal areas. Many famous guests have stayed in this property. The restaurant is named after D. Pedro II – the former emperor of Brazil, who found refuge here during the fall of the Monarchy in that country. At the time, the royal entourage took up the entire first floor of the Hotel and stayed here for a while.

The menu:

Antonio-our waiter brought us our menus in no time and that’s when we discovered that the restaurant offers a great selection of dishes. Both myself and my husband are a massive foodies so we were looking forward to our meal.

To start with, we received a complimentary amouse brioche – a glass with some smoked haddock.

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I then ordered a stuffed Portobello mushroom with truffle and vegetables cream and quail egg. It was really tasty.

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My husband ordered some smoked ham cantelloni with arugula in pesto sauce, gratinated brie croutons with honey. He enjoyed it and finished it in no time.

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For our mains we both decided to have a fish. I ordered some bream fillet with olive cream and roasted peppers composition. It was mouth watering!

My husband had some braised salmon with bread crust and chard sautéed in garlic sauce. Not only his main was presented nicely, it tasted even better.

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Dessert is always my favorite part of any meal and I had some beautiful creamy coconut cake and fruit composition. It was delicious!

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My husband ordered a cheese board with a nice selection of cheeses and finish his meal with a glass of traditional port.

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Overall experience:

We both had a nice time at the D. Pedro II Restaurant. The restaurant serves tasty food and offers a great, friendly service. It is also very conveniently located so I would definitely visit it again

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.grandehotelporto.com/en/restaurant-bar/d-pedro-ii-restaurant/

Address:

Rua de Santa Catarina 197,

4000-450 Porto, Portugal

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline