Cheese Games

Met up with some friends at The Stable Game Room for a coffee and a bite to eat (oh and to play a game).

The Stable Game Room has many board games you can play, as well as serving food, alcoholic drinks and coffee.

I had an espresso, which was a little harsh to be honest, so much so I had to add sugar and I generally never do that to coffee. However when I was in Italy in the 1990s I would see quite a few Italians do that, so still felt I was being honest with myself.

I wasn’t that hungry, so I had the Cheese Deli Board, expecting to share it with the table.

The board was quite plentiful with cheddar, red Leicester, stilton and brie. Alongside was apples, grapes, pickle, pickled onions and cornichons. With this came bread and crackers. 

I had to ask for butter though. It was a big board and there was lots of cheese. I have to say though, the cheese was nothing to write home about, the sort of cheese you could find in any supermarket. The cheddar was quite bland in comparison to the mature cheddar I usually have. Nice to have some stilton with the dish.

For a little more money you can have a cheese and ham board. Not sure if this means the same amount of cheese and then ham, or less cheese and some ham!

Our table also had a couple of pizzas. They have a pizza oven and used fresh dough, so the pizza looked excellent and according to those that ate them, they were delicious.

Certainly would do a return visit.

That pizza I had that time

I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant.

I was a little hesitant in ordering a pizza, as it was a hotel not a pizza place. I went for the Garden Club pizza which came with mozzarella, courgette, red onion, mixed peppers on a tomato base.

garden club pizza

Well my hesitation was well founded, it was just okay, but I think they had used a pre-cooked base, rather than making it fresh. I wasn’t too surprised by that. I was a little surprised that the tomato base was tomato puree and not passata or other kind of tomato sauce. This I wasn’t too impressed with. The toppings were nice and fresh though.

I certainly wouldn’t order it again. Compared to some of the other food I had at the hotel, this was a disappointing dish. I had had some really nice food on other nights.

 

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.

Porchetta Bianca Pizza

I was staying in Wimbledon at the Hotel du Vin and had dinner a couple of times in their Italian themed restaurant. I had a nice starter of Ministrone Soup. I even surprised myself and went for a pizza for my main course, the Porchetta Bianca Pizza.

This was a white pizza topped with slow roasted pork belly with rosemary, mozzarella, mascarpone, white truffle oil and pecorino.

The base was really nice, as this was a white pizza there was no tomato on the base. There was ample toppings, and I did like the flavour of the pork belly, which contrasted well with the mascarpone cheese.

This was an excellent pizza, I would have liked more truffle oil though.

Alongside my Pizza I went with the Zucchini Fritti, which was thin strips (or shoestrings) of courgette deep fried. They were rather moreish.

Wood Fired Italian Ham, Portobello Mushroom & Mascarpone Pizza

Wood Fired Italian Ham, Portobello Mushroom & Mascarpone Pizza

Rushing about meant I didn’t have time to cook anything special for dinner. So I popped a shop pizza in the oven. I had a Specially Selected Wood Fired Italian Ham, Portobello Mushroom & Mascarpone Pizza from Aldi. It had a great doughy base, good proportion of toppings and some nice flavours. I have had this pizza before and I would have it again.

Should note I did add some extra salami slices and olives to the pizza.

Salsiccia Broccoli Pizza

I have had the Salsiccia Broccoli Pizza before, which apart from the chilli I had enjoyed. On a visit to Bella Italia for my birthday back in April I decided to have the pizza again. The Salsiccia Broccoli Pizza comes with basilicata sausage, tenderstem broccoli, red chilli & garlic topped with mozzarella and pecorino cheese on a creamy mascarpone base with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

I did enjoy the white base, and toppings. I did this time remove most of the chillis.

Mushroom & Truffle Romana Pizza

Last November went out in the evening to Cabot Circus, with a plan to do some shopping and have some pizza at Pizza Express.

I had tried to book a table online at Pizza Express, but the system was saying no availability. So when we arrived at Cabot Circus, I went in person to book a table.

We then went off and did some shopping.

We went to Pizza Express early, but they had a table. We sat down and looked over the menu. For a starter we ordered gluten free dough balls.

For my main course I went with the Mushroom & Truffle Romana Pizza.

Mushroom lovers, this one’s for you. Mixed mushrooms, béchamel, mozzarella, Gran Milano cheese, garlic, rosemary, a generous splash of truffle oil, parsley and a double pinch of black pepper come together in an indulgent vegetarian delight on a Romana base.

Took their time to bring us our main courses. We think our order actually got lost and had to be done again.

When my pizza (finally) arrived, it looked great.

Mushroom & Truffle Romana Pizza

I did enjoy the pizza, the white base was tasty and there was a lot of mushrooms on the pizza. I enjoyed the truffle oil. I think if I was making this for myself I would use a variety of mushrooms for flavour and texture.

I did enjoy the pizza, I think the service could have been better though.

Creamy Pizza

We had spent the day in London, having driven up and parked at the Westfield Centre, we decided we would eat there before heading home.

I had some vouchers, so we went to Zizzi, and they also do a decent gluten free pizza as well.

I quite like a white base, so after looking over the menu I went with the Rustica Slow-Cooked Beef & Burrata Pizza. 

With slow-cooked beef, smoked burrata and scamorza cheese, mushrooms and rocket on a white base.

It was rather tasty.

Time for a Calzone

At the beginning of May we went out for a birthday meal. Having had a nice meal at Zizzi in April we decided to visit them again. We once more sat outside, the weather was better in May than it was in April.

We had booked our table and though we had to wait for a while, well we had arrived early, but we were then shown to our table. I looked over the menu, and thought about what I would have. 

I am never sure if I like the concept of the calzone or not. I have ordered them over the years, sometimes they have been great and other times not so much. This time I decided that I would go down the calzone route. There were a couple of choices on the menu, but I went for the Calzone Pollo Spinaci. This was a calzone stuffed with roasted chicken, speck, spinach & mushrooms, in a creamy mozzarella & Bechamel sauce, topped with coppa ham.

The food took a little time to arrive, but I was quite impressed with the presentation and size of the calzone.

Calzone Pollo Spinaci

I am not so sure this was a pizza, with the creamy filling it felt a bit large a really large pasty, but made with bread rather than pastry. Having said that, I did like the filling. I quite like mushrooms and spinach, and the creamy sauce was really nice.

The coppa ham on top seemed to be an afterthought, and it didn’t add too much to the dish in my opinion, but it did make the calzone look nicer.

Overall we had a nice meal.

That was an interesting pizza

Back in July we went out to eat for a family celebration. We went to Bella Italia at Cribbs Causeway, having quite enjoyed our last visit there in June. The fact they do some good gluten free dishes was also a factor in us choosing it.

We had a lovely warm welcome from the staff and they showed us to our table. We had a good look over the menu.

I had a starter, it was the Tomino con Parma. This was soft Italian cheese wrapped with prosciutto ham and fresh sage, baked in the oven and served with pasta fritti. I hadn’t seen a picture and was a little surprised by what I got.

Having said that, it was an interesting starter, but I really didn’t think much of it, and I wouldn’t have it again.

For my main course I went with the Salsiccia Broccoli Pizza, this was pizza with Basilicata sausage, tenderstem broccoli, red chilli & garlic topped with mozzarella and pecorino cheese on a creamy mascarpone base with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Salsiccia Broccoli Pizza, this was pizza with Basilicata sausage, tenderstem broccoli, red chilli & garlic topped with mozzarella and pecorino cheese on a creamy mascarpone base with a drizzle of balsamic glaze

What I liked about the pizza was that this was quite different to regular pizza, the addition of broccoli and a white base was really nice. I liked the different cheeses as well. It was tasty, but for me there was a little too much chilli on the pizza.

Overall I have been impressed with my most recent visits to Bella Italia. The food has been more interesting, better quality and the service we have had, has been excellent. Well impressed.