Not quite my usual bento box

It was a Friday, the sun was shining, it wasn’t raining, there was no wind, which meant that the Finzel Reach street food market was running. They had cancelled Wednesday’s market due to the weather.

My usual choice when having a bento box from the She Sells Sushi stall is to have the beef donburi and a crispy chicken hirata bao bun. I decided I would still go for the beef donburi, but I would have the sweet potato hirata bun instead of my usual chicken one.

The beef was delicious as usual. It is tasty tender beef rib on a bed of sushi rice and served with pickle and crispy onion.

This a street food dish I have had many times, as this was as good as I’ve had on previous visits. The beef was full of flavour and the garnishes added to the dish.

The hirata bun was nice, but to be honest the sweet potato was just slices of cooked sweet potato. These were inside a charcoal bao bun with some lettuce, pickles and sauce. Not sure that added much, I think I would have preferred the crunchy texture of the chicken.

Overall though, I did like my lunch and it was very tasty.

Time for TânVân

There are lots of places from which to choose from when eating out in Ealing. Some would say too much choice. There are a number of Vietnamese restaurants in the area and they all look inviting and interesting. Looking around all the different places I did like the look of the menu at TânVân.

restaurant frontage on a street with a sign on the pavement

After walking around a couple of times I went back to TânVân.

We are a family-run Vietnamese eatery and Cocktail Bar based in the heart of Ealing Broadway. We serve the Vietnamese classics such as phỏ ̉ noodle soups, bún noodle salads and bánh mì as well as having lots of vegan options! 

We are more than just a place to eat. We are a place to share, not just food, but love, memories, laughter. A place for your first date, a place to celebrate, a place to catch up with an old friend, a place for after-work drinks with your co-workers. Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, we can assure that this is the place for you.

They have an intriguing menu, but the choice of starters or side dishes felt quite limited. However there were five dishes to choose from, maybe I am just being a little picky with that. Tempted by the chicken wings, in the end I wanted to try something new, so, I went with the beef wrapped in betel leaf topped with roasted peanuts.

plate of beef wrapped in betel leaf on noodles

This was not the most delicately presented dish of food, it did look a little thrown together. There was a plate of (cold) noodles, the beef wrapped in betel leaf, and it was topped with chopped peanuts. It was served with a chilli dipping sauce. This to me was quite a substantial starter, it probably didn’t need the noodles. The beef was tasty and I enjoyed eating all the food on the plate.

There are lots of choices on the menu for mains. As well as rice bowls, there is wide choice of Phở noodle soup, Bún bowls of noodle salad, and if you prefer you can have a bánh mi sandwich. For my main course I went with the Saigon pork belly stew.

This is on the specials on the menu, and is described as melt-in-your-mouth tender pork belly braised in a light and delicately sweet and sticky sauce. It came with a hard boiled egg, a side of rice and pickled vegetables.

pork belly stew with a hard boiled egg

The pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender and the sauce was not too sweet. It worked well with the rice and pickled vegetables.

a bowl of picked vegetables

a bowl of rice

I enjoyed this dish, it was delicious and tasty, and I was a little disappointed I had finished it, as I wanted more.

Alongside my meal I had a bottle of Bia Saigon beer, which was crisp and refreshing.

a bottle of beer on a table

The service was excellent, I was given a warm and friendly welcome.

This is certainly a place I would visit again.

Doing the Polka again

Having enjoyed my previous meal at Polka Kitchen, as I was looking for somewhere to eat I decided to go there again.

On previous visits to Ealing I had noted the Sowa restaurant, but had never gone there. The proprietors of that place have now moved to some swanky new premises in Dickens Yard and renamed themselves to Polka. Now I have no idea how authentic the food is, having never been to Poland, I was intrigued and on my previous visit was impressed.

I have to say I was tempted to have the steak tartare again, as I had enjoyed it so much. However, I decided I would try something else. They have a somewhat limited choice of starters, but there are a range of soups on the menu as well. I didn’t really fancy soup, so in the end I was choosing between the beetroot carpaccio and the Polish black pudding. I went with the Polish black pudding served with cod fillet, mustard sauce and sweet onion.

This was an interesting combination and not something I would have put together, nor did I realise it was a thing, blood sausage and fish.

The Polish black pudding was tasty, it was quite similar to English black pudding, but different. The fish was a nice addition to the dish, I also liked the mustard sauce. Overall it was a really nice dish and a delicious start to my meal.

For my main course there was quite a few choices. I did initially think about the traditional pork cutlet. However I realised that this wasn’t a cutlet in the way I thought it would be, but more of a schnitzel. From another table it looked like a pork steak, breadcrumbed, and fried. Though I thought that might be quite nice, it wasn’t quite what I wanted.

So I went with the Polish-style beef roulade stuffed with bacon and pickled cucumber, served with Silesian dumplings and pickled cucumber salad.

This was a beautifully presented plate of food. 

I liked the Silesian dumplings and the pickled cucumber salad. The beef though was not as good as I thought it would be. It was a little dry and chewy. It was still a tasty plate of food.

I had enjoyed my meal, and the service was excellent.

Bento Box Time

It’s been a while since I have had a Bento Box from See Sells Sushi, but as it was Friday, and the Finzle Reach market was on, I headed off in the heavy rain to see what was around, but thinking I would probably have the Bento Box.

It was raining quite heavily, I did think earlier in the day that the market might be cancelled because of the rain and wind. However, it was open, though the weather did mean it wasn’t very busy. There was though still a queue for the See Sells Sushi stall. I did have a look around to see what was around. In the end, I went back and queued up for my Bento Box.

I had my usual choice of been donburi and crispy chicken hirata bun. Service was quick and friendly.

The beef was as usual, excellent. It is tasty tender beef rib on a bed of sushi rice and served with pickle and spring onions.

I’ve always enjoyed the hirata buns from the stall, this crispy chicken hirata bun was tasty. It was a charcoal bao bun with two pieces of crispy chicken, lettuce, pickles and sauce.

Overall a delicious box of food, which I really enjoyed.

That is not Roast Beef Tenderloin

I was in London I was staying at the Crowne Plaza in Ealing and I had dinner in the hotel restaurant. They have an extensive menu with some interesting choices.

I had mixed opinions about my previous meal at the Crowne Plaza, so wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this meal.

For my starter I went with the Creamy Mushroom Toast – sliced mushroom in rich creamy garlic sauce served on toasted bread with balsamic glaze.

This was an interesting starter. It didn’t blow me away. There was probably too much sauce and not enough mushrooms.

When I had looked at the menu before arriving at the hotel I was quite intrigued by this on the menu. Roast Beef Tenderloin – medium cooked beef served with truffle mash potato, roasted root vegetables & thyme gravy.

I did a google search for “Roast Beef Tenderloin” and liked the look of what I saw.

So when it came to the meal, for me it was a bit of a no-brainer, and I ordered the Roast Beef Tenderloin. You can imagine my disappointment when what was served at the table was this.

Though I don’t think this was roast beef tenderloin at all… also it had been cooked on the griddle! It was nice, but I hadn’t ordered steak 

The truffle mash potato didn’t have a real truffle taste, which was a pity. I had some truffle mash from M&S a few months back and that had a really nice truffle kick to it, this one didn’t. It was though nice and smooth. I liked the roasted root vegetables.

This wasn’t the dish I thought it was going to be, it was something of a disappointment. Part of my knew I should have complained at the time, but I didn’t. Part of the reason was that I knew that they probably couldn’t do very much. I don’t think they would have changed the grilled steak for roast beef tenderloin. They may have said I could have something else from the menu, but I had chosen the beef. I certainly wouldn’t order it again if I ever return to the Crowne Plaza.

Beef Koftas

We made our way to Bristol for a meal, and as we had enjoyed our last visit to the Coal Kitchen, we headed there again.

They have quite an extensive menu, but also a set menu. I went with the set menu again, but planned to have something different for my starter and my main course.

This time for my starter I had the Beef Koftas – four beef koftas, spicy tomato and red pepper sauce, fresh mint, toasted ciabatta.

Beef Koftas

This was a nice sized starter. The tomato sauce was rich and complimented the beef. The beef koftas were nice, not as tender as I think they could have been. The toasted ciabatta added some nice texture to the dish, I probably could have done with a third piece.

I liked the dish. 

Beef Short Rib Bao Buns

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. This is a place I stay regularly when working away in London. The menu changes regularly, though I couldn’t say how often it changes.

On a recent visit there was a new addition to the menu, beef short rib bao buns with Bourbon maple glaze, aioli, coriander, and peanuts.

I do like a good bao bun, so it was no surprise that I ordered this dish. I was intrigued as this was quite a fusion style dish, I don’t see Bourbon maple glaze as something you would find in Fujian cuisine.

I was pleasantly surprised to get two buns, I was only expecting one. It was nicely presented.

Beef Short Rib Bao Buns

The beef was nice and tender, and I quite liked the Bourbon maple glaze. It was a good plate of food.

On a following visit I ordered them again, as I had enjoyed it the first time.

Beef Short Rib Bao Buns

It did look a little different, also the beef was not as good as before. Not sure of why there was a difference.

Beef Donburi

I was in Bristol and went out for a walk. It was quite cold, so I only made it a short walk. I did though make a trip to the Finzel Reach street food market. One of my favourite stalls was there, She Sells Sushi.

Virtually all the time I have food from She Sells Sushi, as I did on a recent visit, I have a bento box with the beef donburi and a hirata bao bun. This time, after promising myself every time on previous visits, I did have something different.

I had a bento box with crispy tofu in a Katsu sauce, along with a portion of beef donburi.

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

Beef Donburi

This a street food dish I have had many times, as this was just as nice as I’ve had on previous visits. The beef was delicious and full of flavour. I also enjoyed the garnishes that enhanced the dish. Overall a really tasty dish.

Beef Donburi and a Crispy Chicken Hirata Bun

I was in Bristol on a Tuesday and I went to the Temple Quay Market. It now happens twice a week, on a Tuesday and a Thursday. There wasn’t a large number of stalls, but I did quite fancy the Korean fried chicken from KokoDoo. However when I arrived there was a huge queue for the KokoDoo van with their crispy Korean fried chicken.

Temple Quay Market

Instead I went off for a walk, changed my mind, and in the end did walk back. Based on the queues and I did fancy something to eat, I went to SheSellsSushi. Actually realised that the queues, though different in size, were in fact moving at roughly the same pace.

Last month I had a delicious meal from She Sells Sushi. I was quite tempted by the Tofu Puff Katsu Curry, but in the end, I went with my favourite Bento Box combination of the beef donburi and a chicken hirata bao bun.

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, as this was just as nice as I’ve had on previous visits. The beef was full of flavour and the garnishes added to the dish.

I’ve enjoyed the hirata buns from the stall, the chicken hirata bun was tasty. This was a charcoal bao bun with two pieces of crispy chicken, lettuce, pickles and sauce.

It might be that I walked back to the office to eat my food, but my chicken was cold, compared to previous meals. I will say I prefer the crispy chicken that came with the original Finzel Flapper bun they did a few years ago. However saying that, I did enjoy the hirata bun, it was rather tasty. 

Overall I did enjoy the food.

Beef Short Ribs

I do quite like the short release items that you find at Aldi. I don’t like that they are short release items, so you can’t buy them on a regular basis.

Aldi released a range of dishes for Valentines Day, including some slow cooked beef short rib. 

Beef Short Ribs

These British Beef Wagyu Short Ribs have been slowly cooked to deliver a deep flavour and succulent texture that falls off the bone. Serve with the rich Red Wine Sauce for the ultimate experience

I bought a box and cooked them according to the instructions, which was 35 minutes in the oven and then serve the red wine sauce on the side.

The beef was lovely tender, and fell off the bone. I didn’t think the flavour was as deep as advertised on the box, but it was tasty.

I would say I would buy it again, but it’s only on sale for a week, and I picked up the last box from the shelf.