Rocket’s Burger

I was over in Dublin for an event, and having arrived late to my hotel, I decided I wanted a quick lunch, but didn’t really have the time to head into the city centre or even looking around. I could have eaten in the hotel, but I thought it was a little bit pricey.

After a quick browse around the area I decided to try out Rocket’s and have a burger and fries. The look and feel, the menu and the concept reminded me of Five Guys in the UK.

There was a lot of choice of different burgers, but in the end I went with a cheeseburger with fries, and a coke. After placing my order I took a seat and my burger was served to me at my table, which is always nice.

Burger

It was a good burger, tasty and nice toppings, you could also taste the cheese. The burger had a good meaty beefy flavour and I liked the sauce it was dressed with. I did feel that it was a bit thrown together, but that does seem to be the norm with this kind of burger though. I had a similar experience recently at 1885 Burgers in Harwell. As a result it can be quite challenging to eat, without making a mess. Can I be the only person who eats a burger with a knife and fork now and again?

fries

The fries were okay as was the drink. 

Would I go again? Well I think it’s unlikely I will be in Dublin in that location again for sometime, so I would have a burger there, but I don’t think that will happen in the foreseeable future.

Waiting for a plane

Starbucks

So there I was at Dublin Airport and I had a long wait, over five hours! So it was time for a coffee, there were a few choices.

The main reason I went to Starbucks was that there were power sockets. This meant I could drink coffee and charge up my phone and laptop.

I ordered a flat white and took a seat, plugged everything in and then drank the coffee.

I am not a great fan of Starbucks coffee, but needs must and in the end I thought it was alright. I certainly made it last though, so I could maximise the charge on my devices.

Homemade Gluten Free Pizza

Homemade Gluten Free Pizza

I often use the Schär gluten free pizza bases quite often to make pizza.

The process I use is to take the Schär base. This is then topped with tomato. I personally prefer to use passata or other tomato base on my pizza, but my daughter prefers that I use tomato puree. On top of this I use a mix of grated cheese, usually mozzarella and cheddar.

Toppings vary and depend on what we have in the fridge. On this occasion I used salami, pepper, onion, and mushrooms. I usually pre-cook the mushrooms with some garlic butter.

The pizza is then cooked in a hot oven for about ten minutes, until the cheese is cooked and browned.

A simple salad

Made a simple salad.

Took some mixed leaves and added the following. 

Halved cherry tomatoes.

Slices of cucumber.

Thin slices of radish.

Strips of red pepper.

Slices of avocado.

You can add dressing to taste.

Barbecued Lamb

Last August I barbecued some joints of lamb on my barbacue.

Cooking joints of meat on a barbecue is not a simple process, you can have undercooked or raw on the inside and burnt and charred on the outside.

I used this process to cook two different kinds of lamb joint. I had a mini lamb shoulder and a boned half leg of lamb.

The first thing I did was to prepare the lamb by seasoning with salt and pepper and then marinating with rosemary, and some olive oil.

Though you can cook these kinds of joint directly on the barbecue, it can be quite challenging to ensure that the lamb is properly cooked, through, without burning or overcooking the outside. Part of the issue is that it is difficult to control the temperature of the barbecue unlike a normal grill. The key process is to recreate some aspects of a “normal” oven as opposed to the usual way of using a barbecue as a grill.

After the coals have reached cooking temperature, move them to the sides of the barbecue, so that when the lamb is placed on the grill, it is not over direct heat.

The lamb was then covered, I used a wok lid, but this is where a kettle barbecue comes into its own.

The end result was a properly cooked lamb, which was moist and succulent and full of flavour.

Sin Gluten

Sin Gluten

On our recent holiday to Spain visiting the local supermarket I was impressed with the quantity and types of products that were labelled “sin gluten” or gluten free.

These were mainstream or “normal” products and not products found just in the gluten fee aisle. This made self-catering gluten free so much easier.

The types of things that were labelled included pasta sauces, salami, chorizo, fish, meat and a range of other things. 

I do wish that labelling in the UK was just as clear, yes there are some (mainstream) products labelled gluten free, but normally I am there reading the ingredients list for those that contain gluten.

Disappointing main course

I was attending a team away day at Ashorne Hill Conference Centre and it was time for dinner. As part of my job I will often attend events and conferences. Sometimes these will be in hotels and other times they are in dedicated conference centres. I usually have lunch, which usually defaults to some kind of buffet lunch. For some events and conferences I stay over and that means having dinner.

So there I was attending an “away day” at the Ashorne Hill Conference Centre near to Leamington Spa. It was a lunchtime to lunchtime event, so there was dinner in the evening. For my starter I went with the smoked salmon on a crumpet, with a poached egg and topped with hollandaise sauce and a chive crumb, which was rather nice.

My main course, though was rather disappointing. I had gone with the mushroom pasta carbonara.

pasta

Though this was a vegetarian dish, I could quite easily see the mushrooms replacing the pancetta or the guanciale. What I didn’t expect was the pasta, that pasta that was used was pasta shells or conchiglie.

Usually with carbonara, spaghetti is the most common pasta, but fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine, or bucatini are also used.

The garlic bread appeared to be made from naan bread!

The dish just didn’t work for me, it didn’t taste right and I didn’t like it (and I usually like pasta).

In the end I returned the dish and had it replaced it with some pork belly, which was much better.

A disappointing roasted pigeon

I was staying up in Manchester. I was staying at the Macdonald Manchester Hotel. I had stayed at the hotel before in 2015, though back then I didn’t have dinner in the hotel. This time I was eating in the hotel.

Sometimes before eating out I will check out the menu and then also look at pictures on Google or Trip Advisor and see what the dishes look like.

So one dish I did quite like the sound of was the Roasted Pigeon. This was pigeon supremes, blueberry vinegar, with crispy bacon and mash.

I did find this image of the Roasted Pigeon on Instagram. 

It looked like a really impressive dish. So you can imagine my disappointment when, after ordering the dish, I was served this.

Yes, these two things are not the same.

The mash was quite nice, the pigeon was a little too charred for my liking and, though I asked for medium, it was served well done. As a result it was a little tough and chewy. The bacon was rather sad as well.

Yes this dish could have been excellent, I was expecting what I saw in the photograph. What I got was a real disappointment.