Time for a Mixed Grill

The Landing Light is a Marston pub. Though very close to where we live I think I have been there only once before a meal, and even then I am not sure I actually have. So I was looking forward to going there when we went there for a birthday meal. The Landing Light is not an old pub, it opened ten years ago, it has a modern retro feel to it.

I looked over the menu and there were lots of things I liked the sound of. I decided I would have the mixed grill. This was a 4oz rump steak, a 6oz gammon steak, a pork chop, a lamb chop, a pork sausage with a fried free-range egg.

It took a while for the food to arrive, and my mixed grill was a large plate of food. Alongside all the meat, the plate came with chips, grilled tomato, mushroom and a green leaf garnish.

The meat was cooked well, the steak was delicious. Nice char but pink inside. I liked the lamb chop and the gammon. I wasn’t that impressed with the sausage, and the pork chop was less of a chop and more of a loin steak.

I did enjoy the plate of food and would certainly visit the Landing Light again.

Slow slow dinner

We had a team dinner at The River Station in Bristol. I was quite looking forward to the meal, as I have never eaten there before. It’s a lovely venue and we were given a warm welcome.

We had chosen our menu choices well before we sat down for dinner. I am not a fan of that, as what I like the look of when I am choosing from a menu, may not necessarily what I want to eat on the actual day of the dinner. 

After sitting down we had to wait a while for our food to arrive. For my starter I had harissa glazed carrots, roasted pears, beetroot hummus and watercress.

harissa glazed carrots, roasted pears, beetroot hummus and watercress

I liked this dish, though I thought the watercress spoiled the look of the plate of food. The carrots had bite and the harissa added a nice element of spice. The hummus was tasty. I couldn’t taste the pears! I am not even sure there were any pears.

There was quite a delay before the main course arrived, I had the chicken supreme, sautéed Cornish new potatoes, roasted romanesco cauliflower, truffle cream and salsa verde.

chicken supreme, sautéed Cornish new potatoes, roasted romanesco cauliflower, truffle cream and salsa verde

The chicken was cooked well and I liked the sauce and the potatoes.  Though I had no romanesco cauliflower, just plain old regular cauliflower.

Due to the lengthy delays in getting our food, I ran out of time and left before the dessert arrived. I had ordered the  apple, fig and chestnut crumble, with a lemon thyme custard. Sounded interesting, but wasn’t that disappointed I never got a chance to try it.

I did enjoy the food, but the long service was a little disappointing.

The tempura crispy chicken is back…

One of my favourite dishes from the Bristol street food scene is the bento box from She Sells Sushi. Virtually all the time when getting lunch from the stall I get the bento box with a portion of beef donburi and a hirata bao bun. 

Over the many years I have been enjoying this food, the beef donburi hasn’t changed much, however there have been many variations of the hirata bao bun.

Back in 2017 I was enjoying the delicious tender pork belly hirata bao bun. In 2019 it was the Finzel Flapper bun; same soft charcoal infused bao bun, but inside was tempura battered chicken.

Over the last few years though, She Sells Sushi had replaced the crispy battered chicken, in the first instance with panko crumbed chicken strips, and recently crunchy chicken strips. They were nice, but I prefer the crispy chicken that came with the original Finzel Flapper.

So on a recent visit to the Finzel Reach street food market I had my regular bento box from She Sells Sushi, I was pleased to see that the crunchy chicken had been replaced with crispy chicken. 

I don’t know if this is a permanent change, or a temporary thing, but I really liked the crispy chicken hirata bun. The chicken had a nice crispy batter, and chicken was nice and moist. The softness of the bao bun contrasted well with the crispiness of the chicken.

The beef donburi was slow cooked teriyaki beef rib on a bed of rice, topped with crispy onions and pickles.

This a street food dish I have had many times from She Sells Sushi, and this was just as nice as I’ve had on previous visits. The beef was delicious and full of flavour and the garnishes just added to the dish.

Overall a lovely bento box, which I really enjoyed.

Wood Chop Pizza

It was a Thursday and I was looking for some lunch, so I headed to the Temple Quay market. I had planned on having one of the delicious fish dishes from King Fin, however they weren’t there. I was short on time, so no time to head anywhere else. I did think about having some Gurt Wings, but as I looked around the market and saw the  Wood Chop Pizza stall.

They had a choice of four pizza, and I liked the idea of the burrata pizza for £7.50. I thought this was good value, they did a salami or an nduja pizza for £9, or a margarita for £6.50. I went with the burrata pizza.

They made and cooked the pizza to order. It was cooked in their (huge) wood fired pizza oven. After it was cooked it was cut and placed in a box.

There is something about a freshly cooked pizza, the doughy base was delicious. The tomato and fresh mozzarella was excellent, and I liked the addition of fresh basil.

I do like pizza, but rarely have it for lunch. This made a nice change from other things I sometimes have.

Calabrian Spicy Sausages

Calabrian Spicy Sausages

I have seen these sausages in M&S quite a few times, but have never bought them until this weekend, where they were reduced by 35%. 

The suino bianco pigs are outdoor bred by the Madeo family in the hills of San Demetrio Corone in Calabria, Italy to the highest welfare standards. The suino bianco naturally has marbled meat and its diet of cereals such as barley, corn and flax seed add to its characteristic delicate flavour. Made from Calabrian pork blended with aromatic spices.

Calabrian Spicy Sausages

I cut them in half and cooked them on the barbecue.

They were quite spicy, but I wasn’t that impressed with them. They had a kick, but I felt like they lacked flavour, the chilli took over what every that characteristic delicate flavour was that the pork was supposed to have. They were still nice, but I don’t think I would buy them again.

Spanish inspired rice dish

paella

I made and cooked a paella, or a Spanish inspired rice dish.

I diced an onion, some red pepper, some green pepper, and some chestnut mushrooms. I also diced up some chorizo sausage as well.

In a hot large frying pan, I put some olive oil and I cooked off some smoked pancetta. I then added the diced onion, pepper, and mushroom. I also added some green beans.

When this was softened, I added 200g of paella rice. To this I added some paella seasoning, paella seasoning, Carmencita Paellero Paella Spice Mix.

This is according to the description the number one selling spice mix in Spain.

I ensured that the rice was coated added some chicken stock and water. Stirred once and left it to cook.

Before serving I added some cooked sliced chorizo and chunks of lemon.

I served this with some freshly cooked fish and salad.

Time for a Soho ’65

Staying in Loughborough and having had an interesting meal at the Harvester previously in Loughborough close to the hotel, I decided I didn’t want to make a return visit there and headed to the centre of Loughborough to see what was around.

After walking around for a while I decided I would have pizza at Pizza Express. It had been a while since I had been to Pizza Express. They had a new addition to their menu, the Soho ’65.

A slice of our heritage – tomato with garlic, fresh buffalo mozzarella, olives, rocket and shaved Gran Milano cheesSe.

So I ordered the Soho ’65 and a side order of halloumi bites. It wasn’t too long before my food arrived.

This is a rather simple, but tasty pizza. It’s also a square pizza. 

I think they forgot to add the shaved Gran Milano cheese, this I didn’t notice at the time. However I did enjoy the pizza and did like the combination of fresh mozzarella, olives, and rocket. The base was baked well and was crisp on the outside, soft in the middle, and tasty.

Alongside (as I had a free side in the app) I had a portion of halloumi bites, this was crispy coated halloumi with Italian tomato dip and parsley.

Didn’t think much of these, the halloumi was okay, but I didn’t like the tomato dip. I think as it was (probably) from a jar and didn’t taste very fresh.

I did enjoy my meal and the service was excellent.

Cooked a Paella

I made and cooked a paella, or a Spanish inspired rice dish.

I diced an onion and a some red pepper, some yellow pepper, and some chestnut mushrooms.

In a hot large frying pan, I put some olive oil and I cooked off some smoked pancetta. I then added the diced onion, pepper, and mushroom. When this was softened, I added 200g of paella rice.

To this I added some paella seasoning, paella seasoning, Carmencita Paellero Paella Spice Mix.

This is according to the description the number one selling spice mix in Spain.

I ensured that the rice was coated added some chicken stock and water. Stirred once and left it to cook.

Before serving I added some cooked sliced chorizo.

I served this with some freshly cooked fish and salad.

Steak Dinner

I was up in London for a conference and I was staying at the Ambassadors Hotel in Bloomsbury. I had stayed there before in December 2008 and had eaten in the restaurant. We had eaten a delicious meal there, but I wasn’t sure if the experience could be repeated.

 I had been looking around the area seeing what was around before defaulting and deciding to eat in the hotel restaurant. The restaurant wasn’t very busy, with only a few tables occupied. However I was hungry, so wasn’t too worried. They have an interesting looking menu, but in the end I went with their special and had the steak and chips with a drink. Chips were an extra, so I went with the truffle and parmesan fries. It wasn’t long before the food arrived.

The steak was much bigger than I thought it would be, it was also a very nice steak.  The fries were okay, but I think I would preferred them plain.

It wasn’t the best steak I have ever had, but it was a good steak. I thought, for a hotel dinner, it was value for money.

Coffee at the La Viola Cafe & Bistro

I was staying at the Moxy Edinburgh Fountainbridge and wanted a coffee. The room only had instant, and as I also felt like a walk, I decided to venture out into Edinburgh to see what was available (and what was open).

I found La Viola Cafe & Bistro and went in. Placed my order,  I had a flat white, I took a seat and my coffee was brought to my table. I like it when that happens.

 It wasn’t long before my coffee arrived, it was really nice.

Lovely place for a coffee and very different to the chains I usually find myself in.