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.

The Windsor Castle BBQ

The Windsor Castle

I was listening to some live music at The Windsor Castle and decided to have a burger from their barbecue.

The chef heated up the (recently) cooked burger on the plancha on the barbecue. This was then served in a roll with cooked onions. I then had to add my own cheese, lettuce, tomato and sauce.

It was quite a tasty burger, lots of nice flavours. 

I do think it was a little pricey at £5.50 for what I got (and what I had to do).

1885 Burgers

I occasionally find myself at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, where we have an office, and on a recent visit was looking for lunch.

Pre-pandemic I would usually find lunch at the RAL Restaurant, which was pretty good.

On this recent visit I decided to try out the DiSH pop-up dining experience. This had opened in September 2021, but this was my first visit.

There are quite a few vendors to choose from, I decided to go for a burger from 1885 Burgers.

1885 burgers serves delicious, juicy burgers including veggie options inspired from when the burger was first created, in 1885! Buns are made fresh daily from a local baker, and the meat is sourced locally too.

The 1885 was two beef patties, American cheese, smoked bacon, in a toasted brioche bun.

This was a rather nice burger, full of flavour.

Roast Beef Dinner

Back in May I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. Having arrived Sunday evening, I went to the bar to get something to eat. Sunday at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing means that it is Sunday roast day.

Having had an excellent Sunday roast at the hotel in April, I again went with the dry-aged sirloin of Owton’s beef. On the plate was two slices of roast beef, roasted parsnip and carrot, roast potatoes, pan fried greens, cauliflower cheese, a huge Yorkshire pudding and served with red wine gravy.

Roast Beef Dinner

The dry-aged sirloin beef was excellent, it was full of flavour and really tender, melt in the mouth tender. I got a lot more beef this time as well. I really enjoyed the vegetables too. The Yorkshire pudding was a little dry, but there was ample gravy to go with it.

When I had this before the temperature of the food was inconsistent, this time it was much better and was a hot throughout.

Overall a delicious plate of food.

Well that was nice

I was working in Bristol and for lunch I headed out to the Temple Quay Market. I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for, so looked around. I really liked the idea of Big Nath’s BBQ, however they had (basically) sold out. This was both disappointing and reassuring, in that I didn’t get my food, but it must be good if it had sold out!

I looked around, and did think about getting some fried fish from the Kingfin stall, but in the end I went to She Sells Sushi.

Having not really enjoyed the hirata bun on my last visit, this time in my bento box I went with the beef donburi and some Takoyaki in octopus and duck varieties.

The beef teriyaki donburi was delicious.

This is tasty tender beef rib on a bed of sushi rice and served with pickle and spring onions.

The Takoyaki were very nice too. Beautifully presented with sauces drizzled over them and garnished with herbs and bento flakes.

I had two duck dumplings and two octopus ones.

On the barbecue

Over the weekend we had a couple of barbecues. It is one of my favourite ways of cooking. Even a little rain wasn’t enough to put me off.

On Saturday we had burgers, seasoned chicken and lamb ribs. Sunday we had a similar spread, with beef kebabs, lemon chicken and more lamb ribs.

For the lemon chicken, I marinaded some chicken thighs in lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic oil and some Schwartz Chicken Seasoning. This is then cooked on the barbecue. 

I find that you have to be careful to ensure that the chicken is fully cooked, so I use an old wok lid on top, to cover the chicken, to “roast” the chicken as it is grilled. I really like the crispy chicken skin that you get on the barbecue.

For the seasoned chicken I followed a similar process, but used a new chicken seasoning (from Morrisons) which had turmeric, so the chicken was quite yellow. It was delicious.

The lamb ribs were from Waitrose and I seasoned them with salt, pepper and rosemary before placing them on the barbecue.

I did think that they might need longer cooking, but they were tasty and tender.

The burgers and kebabs were from Aldi and were quite good.

Hoping the weather continues to improve so we can have more barbecues.

Taking the time for some tacos

I do quite like tacos, I have noticed that some places I had frequented before, had stopped selling them. So on a recent visit to the Leather Lane street food market I found a stall selling tacos. Initially I wasn’t sure and looked around a few other stalls, but in the end I headed back.

I went with the beef tacos. They had an interesting preparation method. The tortillas were placed on a hot plancha, the cheese was added and then the beef. They were then served in a box and garnished.

They looked really nice; the different colour tacos were fun. The beef was delicious, and I really enjoyed eating them. Something I would order again.

Great donburi, disappointing hirata bun

For me it was a bit of a no brainer when I visited the Finzels Reach Market and I saw SheSellsSushi had their stall. As I joined the quite lengthy queue, I looked at the menu. They had a Japanese panko chicken curry, their beef donburi, hirata buns, sushi and Takoyaki.

I did think about the curry, but decided I would go with my usual favourite, the Bento box with the beef donburi and a hirata bun. 

There was a bit of a queue, but in the end I got served my box of beef and a bao bun. 

The hirata bun contained a piece of panko crumbed Katsu chicken breast in a charcoal bao bun served with house salad and sriracha mayo. 

I have to say I was a little disappointed. I found the chicken rather dry and lacking flavour. Compared to the tempura chicken hirata bun, the Finzel Flapper I’ve had in the past, this new version of the hirata bun was nowhere near as nice. I think if I order again I will go for the Takoyaki instead. It has also put me off trying the Japanese curry as it looked like that dish was based on the same panko chicken katsu. Having said all that it was so much better than the bao bun from Ah-Ma’s.

 The beef teriyaki donburi was delicious as always.

Tasty tender beef rib on a bed of sushi rice and served with pickle and spring onions.

Sunday Roast

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. Having arrived Sunday evening, I went to the bar to get something to eat. Sunday at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing means that it is Sunday roast day.

I went with the dry-aged sirloin of Owton’s beef. On the plate was two slices of roast beef, roasted parsnip and carrot, roast potatoes, pan fried greens, cauliflower cheese, a huge Yorkshire pudding and served with red wine gravy.

This was probably one the best carvery meals I have ever had from a pub.

The dry-aged sirloin beef was excellent, it was full of flavour and really tender, melt in the mouth tender. I really enjoyed the vegetables too.

I think if I was going to make one criticism, was the temperature was inconsistent across the food, I think part of the issue was dishing up on a cold plate. However the food was delicious and the service was excellent.

Chilli con carne

tomatoes and chilli
Image by Kai Reschke from Pixabay

This is not an authentic recipe for chilli con carne, but a dish I cook that has lots of flavour, is spicy, contains, beef, tomatoes, beans and chilli.

This dish serves 4-5

500g steak mince the 5% fat kind. You can use cheaper mince, but I find I often need to drain the excess fat after cooking off the mince.

Tin of tomatoes. We did for a while use cheap tins of tomatoes, but found that they lacked flavour so generally now use a quality brand. I use a blender to break down the tomatoes into a passata style base. If I had a carton or bottle of passata in the cupboard I may just use that instead of the tin.

Tin of kidney beans. For this dish I find the budget range fine.

Tomato puree. Like the tin of tomatoes, I have found budget brands of tomato puree okay for some dishes, but this I want that real hit of tomato, so got for a better quality version.

Two onions, diced. Sometimes I use brown onions, other times I use red onions, depends what’s in the fridge.

Red pepper, diced.

One carrot, diced. This is about “hiding” some more veg in the chilli, as well as adding texture and a little sweetness.

Cajun spicing (optional)

Chilli powder

Garlic powder, though you could use fresh.

A beef stock cube

A splash of Balsamic vinegar.

To cook the chilli I do the following steps.

Heat a large pot (or pan) and then add a little sunflower oil.

Cook off the mince in the pan, ensuring that it is evenly cooked through. If you have used a mince with 10% or higher fat content then drain off the excess fat.

Add the onions, pepper and carrot and stir into the mince.

Cook for five minutes, stirring every so often.

Add the Cajun spicing, chilli powder and garlic powder, stir into the mince. I generally use half a teaspoon of each. If you like your chilli spicier then add more Cajun spicing, if you like it hotter than add more chilli.

I might try using fresh chilli in a future version, this I would chop (and deseed) and add with the onions and pepper.

Cook for another minute.

Stir in the tomatoes and tomato puree. Sprinkle in the beef stock cube and the splash of Balsamic vinegar.

Stir, put on a lid and cook on a low heat for thirty minutes.

Add the tin of kidney beans and cook for five more minutes.

Serve.

I serve it either with rice or tortilla chips. Sometimes I use the chilli to fill soft (gluten free) corn tortillas, which I cover with cheese and then bake in the oven.