Lunch at Talli Joe – the best Indian restaurant in London

I am a massive foodie and eating out with my husband is always something I am up to. We celebrated 6 years since we started going out recently and as he loves Indian cuisine we decided to have a lunch at Talli Joe. There are hundreds of authentic Indian restaurants and take-aways in London but as Talli Joe was voted the best Indian restaurant in here, it was a no-brainer and we booked a table on Saturday afternoon.

Location:

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

499B102D-7172-4EDC-AA5A-0786A9A11AA1

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 the classic Indian dishes and offers its dinners a vibrant selection of small plates which are like 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.

A3E190BA-3AF3-4F9E-8E0E-E263208CC497

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.

IMG_3999

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

IMG_3996

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

IMG_3994

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!

X

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’. 
cinc

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.

cinc2

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…

cinc3

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.

E1C031FC-463C-4E8F-BD25-551F2207DA8A

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.

47F94112-FB9A-42F9-B6FF-2CBC57328F53

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.

EAFFCD9C-6958-4704-9C6F-DD0D3307EDD3

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

7A5E97FF-B07B-459E-921D-1AF663F8CD48

This dish was accompanied by some Contino Blanco 2015 wine.

A48496C4-3907-4F80-A464-B9BDB6E63767

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

E403995A-8A11-4F1A-8022-B6CC0230C56E

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

6176565A-30E6-4EC1-85B6-852E5FDBF269

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.

B5B5CEEB-C7ED-401A-BD98-7EF7A225EA24

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.

EE46059B-8B9A-4B69-B0AF-077CE3CFA165

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.

B5A9E47D-DC44-4B9E-829F-692784EBE440

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.

05FE530D-2044-4A96-AB3D-14BA82B0DFA6

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!

C422CD7F-A3FD-4EB0-9EF2-4814A3DF5ED7

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;

4450FE5F-BCC7-48DC-B102-23D13CA01B15

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

17C418BE-25F2-4BE1-B257-E14AB26544F9

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

0765DDC1-857E-40FA-87E4-CBB0550F40C9

  • 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!

3281A897-D742-4D8A-906C-AA581DA2F84F

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!

46AEFDFF-FA40-44BF-99A5-A06782D3AC7E

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.

C9A94BD4-DC0E-4D5A-B84D-A251FD68C3C0

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.

IMG_7239

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

IMG_7201

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.

IMG_7200

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.

IMG_7204

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

IMG_7209

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

IMG_7206

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

 

Dinner at The Artist Bistro in Porto, Portugal

Last week, I was with my husband in Porto in Portugal. On our last evening, we booked a table at the popular local restaurant – The Artist Bistro. It was definitely the best meal we had whilst in Portugal.

Location:

The Artist Bistro is located inside The Artist Hotel. The hotel is based in a former art school and provides a contemporary and comfortable environment, inspiring and developing the skills of the current students of the Hotel and Tourism school who work there. It is just around a corner from a famous shopping street and commercial area of Rua de Santa Catarina. The metro closest station (Campo de Agosto) is just a few minutes away.

IMG_7513

Atmosphere:

The Artist Bistro is inspired by the artistic heritage of the building which has previously hosted an Art School. The decoration of the restaurant is classy and elegant.

All art visible in the restaurant is made up of pieces from previous students of the old school Soares dos Reis.

TheArtistBistro1

The dinning experience at The Artist Bistro is designed to socialise with the art one can see, smell, taste and feel. The atmosphere of the restaurant is warm and inviting. We were welcomed by Katia who was attending our table through the night. She was really friendly and professional. Quiet jazz music was playing in the background…

The menu:

Do you like surprises and trying new things? If you are quite open to the new experiences and you like being surprised then you will love The Artist Bistro. The key aim of the Head Chef – Hugo Dias is to surprise his dinners with a unique experience of sampling some great locally sourced food.

You can now be surprised by selecting one of 3 sampling menus:

  • Myth 5 experiences
  • Musa 7 experiences
  • Bistro 9 experiences

What all of these menus have in common is that they change on a daily basis and they offer dinners a combination of unforgettable flavours. At the beginning of the meal, we were asked if we had any allergies and whether there were any ingredients we really didn’t like. Our waitress took notes and explained that every course we’ll  receive will be a surprise-we could only choose what type of main dish we wanted to receive (fish/ meat / vegetarian). The really unique think about this restaurant was that we didn’t know what we will have for any of the courses!

We decided to try a Musa – 7 course dinning experience. Each dish was beautifully presented and made from fresh seasonal foods.

IMG_7498

While sipping some crispy white wine, our first course arrived- oysters with some red onions.

IMG_7436

We finished them in no time and the waitress brought us some mouth-watering mushroom soup with some olive oil, croutons and chives. It was delicious.

IMG_7439

From the next course onward we were surprised with different dish each. We received ‘Samosas de Artist’. We decided to play a game and identify the ingredients of our samosas-a great way of having fun whilst enjoying your meal. My samosa was with goats cheese with pumpkin and my husband received a samosa with a chicken and chorizo filling.

Next, we received some vegetable brioche with some potatoes, carrots, peppers, balsamic vinegar, courgettes which were all baked with egg. It was really enjoyable.

IMG_7442

Moving on, I received caramelized scallops with a cauliflower mouse-they were divine.

IMG_7500

My husband, on the other hand, got an octopus with a lime foam with breadcrumbs and site salad. It crackled like a sea because of the foam popping up.

IMG_7501

Following on from our great seafood dishes, I received some green beans stew based on a traditional Portuguese sausage and bread in a rich tomatoes sauce.

IMG_7505

My husband got some pork belly, crackling with balsamic vinegar.

IMG_7502

Before our main dishes were served, our waitress brought us some lemon & vodka sorbet to clean the palette. It was really refreshing.

At the begging of our meal I decided to have a fish main and I received some beautifully cooked sea bass paired up with an appetizing vegetable puree.

My husband decided to have a meat main and he received some quail with roasted carrots, potatoes pure in a port sauce with some figs and rosemary. It was the best quail he has ever eaten-extremely tender and cooked to perfection.

IMG_7460

If you read my reviews regularly then you will know that a dessert is always my favorite part of any meal. I received a delectable chocolate brownie with large pieces of nuts and some vanilla ice-cream.

IMG_7509

To finish off his meal my husband received a pear that was boiled in port and paired up with some raspberry ice-creams.

IMG_7510

Overall experience:

We both had an amazing time at The Artist Bistro. As I like surprises and trying new food, I was delighted with the concept of discovery. The restaurant serves delicious food with a twist. In addition to food, the service was great and the restaurant is conveniently located so I would definitely visit it again.

IMG_7507

Website:

For more information and to book visit:

http://www.shotels.pt/restaurantetheartistbistrot/en/home

Address:

 Rua da Firmeza 49,

4000-099 Porto, Portugal

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline

 

Dinner at Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant in Fishmore Hall Hotel

During our recent stay at Fishmore Hall Hotel we decided to book a table at hotel’s Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant. As we are both massive foodies and the restaurant is among the best places to eat in Ludlow, we decided to check it out.

Location:

Forelles Fine Dining Restaurant is located in Fishomore Hall Hotel that is only a mile away from Ludlow.

We booked our table for 7:00 p.m. We were greeted by a friendly waiter who took us to our table and made us feel welcomed.

The restaurant has a welcoming decor featuring simple beige chairs. Each table displayed a candle and a rose to add a bit of romantic atmosphere for its dinners. There was lots of natural light coming through the large French windows giving dinners opportunity to relax whilst admiring the beautiful countryside. The relaxing music was playing in the background.

The menu:

Forelles Fine Dinning restaurant offers classically based, modern British cuisine and welcomes both residents and non-residents who can choose from two menus; a three course A la Carte menu, as well as a six course tasting menu with the option of pairing each dish with an accompanying wine.

The menu at Forelles Restaurant offers a nice selection of dishes that are all built around the best produce from the area. The Head Chef-Andrew Birch provides his diners with a high quality, traditional cuisine with a twist that is based on a fresh and locally sourced ingredients from producers from all over the Shropshire Marshes.

We started our evening with some wine and we  some complimentary bread, olives and nuts.

We decided to try a six course tasting menu. As we weren’t sure which wine to go for, we decided to go for the accompanying wines.

To start with we received some signature Orkney hand dived scallops with some cauliflower, apple and ham hock croquette. They were divine. Our sommelier brought us a glass of unoaked Chardonnay Australian (2016) white wine. It offered a rich and creamy mouth feel that lead to soft tropical fruits and orange zest on the palate.

IMG_5931

Secondly we received some Isle of Wight tomato with black olive crumb and some goats curd. It was mouth watering and accompanied by some Pinot Noir, Whitehaven (2016) wine. This delicate petal rose brimmed with refreshing crushed strawberry, cherry, watermelon notes that lingered.

IMG_5933

Thirdly, some Gigha Halibut was served. It was definitely my favorite course. It was cooked to perfection and accompanied with some sea vegetables and spiced seafood bisque. Absolutely perfect combination! Our sommelier presented us with a glass of Gavi di Gavi Italian wine (2015) that had aromatic, zesty notes with apple, lime and kiwi. It was juicy with a citric and mouthwatering feel creating a refreshing, satisfying finish.

IMG_5936

Next, we had some corn fed duck breast with some smoked potato puree, carmelised shallots and hispi cabbage. It was flavorsome. For this course we received some Saumur Champigny Vielles Vignes French wine (2014) – a medium bodied red with a winning combination of plump black fruits and a refreshing dryness on the palate.

IMG_5939

Moving on, it was time for two sweet courses. As I have a bad sweet tooth, I was looking forward to trying them. First of all, we received some lavender cremeaux with raspberry meringues and raspberry sorbet. It was delicious. Our sommelier brought us some Chardonnay Navarra (2012) dessert wine of intense gold colour. It was deeply complex with notes of tinned pineapple, apricot, quince, orange peel and rosemary honey.

IMG_5943

The last course was ‘chocolate delice’. A rich dark chocolate dessert accompanied with some sorbet based on black cherries and ice cream, which was scrumptious. Our sommelier brought along some Black Muscat, Quady Elisim wine (2014) with a rose-like aroma. It was very intense on the palate and full of fantastic rich velvety fruit.

IMG_5952

Overall experience:

We both really enjoyed our fine dinning experience offered by Forelles Restaurant. If you wish to try some superb Shropshire’s cuisine then I would recommend trying one of the Tasting Menus with the accompanying wines. All dishes were delectable and presented beautifully, in addition to service which was flawless so we couldn’t have asked for more. We cleared the plates in no time which is always a good sight.

Address:

Forelles Restaurant at Fishmore Hall, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 3DP England

I hope you enjoyed reading this review!

X

Pauline