Last November I was attending some meetings in Cardiff, after they were over I was walking back to the car park to get my car and drive home. I realised I was hungry and decided to get something to eat.
Cardiff has quite a bit of choice of places to eat, but I didn’t really have the time to look round find somewhere so in the end I chose Barburrito.
I’ve had Barburrito tacos before at Paddington and Bristol Airport, so it was something I knew I liked.
I had three Barburrito tacos with pork and chicken. You also get a handful of tortilla chips and salsa. I like how you have some choice over which salads and extras you get with your tacos.
Though I always think with Barburrito that the meat is generally overcooked, however I did enjoy my tacos and the salad and toppings tasted very fresh.
With the unusual lovely hot weather, my barbecue has been used a lot, and the barbecued meat served with a selection of salads.
One new recipe I have been doing has been going down well and involves using pork belly strips.
Take the pork belly and season with salt and pepper, I then sprinkle the pork with chopped fresh coriander, though I have also used dried coriander, along with some lemongrass. Add a little olive oil and leave to marinade. I either buy pork belly without rind, or if no choice remove the rind before marinading and cooking.
I find pork belly general works best with long slow cooking, but I also like it on the barbecue as well. So you could cook the pork slowly in a warm oven, or throw caution to the wind and grill it on the barbecue.
I try and cook it on the barbecue so that it takes it’s time, but doesn’t dry out. One method I have used with a whole chicken also works with the pork belly.
Though you can cook directly on the barbecue, it can be quite challenging to ensure that the pork is tender and cooked properly. A challenge is that it is difficult to control the temperature of the barbecue unlike a normal grill. The key process I use 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 pork belly is placed on the grill, it is not over direct heat. This needs to be done with caution as the charcoal will be really hot and I use a tool with a long handle to do this. The pork, after placing on the grill, was then covered, I used a wok lid, but this is where a kettle barbecue comes into its own. This works well with larger pork belly joints as well.
I quite like Bao Buns. I don’t actually recall when I had my first Bao Bun, a filled steam bun, but I think it was from the SheSellsSushi stall at one of the Bristol Street Food markets. I’ve had some really nice ones, and some which were rather disappointing.
Having enjoyed the buns from Master Bao the last time I was there, and needing lunch I decided to visit Master Bao again. As this is a shopping centre, there are a range of outlets all with a common eating area. You order at the counter, take a electronic gizmo and when it buzzes you collect your food. Not the best way I think of having a nice lunch, a bit too fast food for me, but it works. I ordered the lunch deal of two bao buns and a side dish
I had this before, but did enjoy it, the Shiitake Mushroom Bao – teriyaki shiitake mushrooms, pickled onions and miso.
This was mushrooms cooked in a teriyaki sauce and served in a hot fluffy bao. The bun was warm and fluffy, and the mushrooms very tasty. It was a bit messy to eat, but I got there in the end.
My second Bao was the Mr Bao – slow braised pork with house pickles, roasted peanut and coriander.
The pork was very tender, and the peanut added a nice crunchy texture to the Bao. I would have liked a little more coriander, but otherwise it was delicious.
Both Bao buns were soft and fluffy and full of tasty fillings.
I had enjoyed the pork dumplings last time, but this time I went with the fried chicken.
This was not as good as I thought it could be, but the chicken was nice and crispy with a tasty sauce.
I don’t actually recall when I had my first Bao Bun, a filled steam bun, but I think it was from the SheSellsSushi stall at one of the Bristol Street Food markets.
I’ve had some really nice ones, and some which were rather disappointing. I have also made them at home as well, well made is a strong word, I bought some ready prepared, steamed them, and added my own filling. That’s almost “made”, but I am keen to try and make some properly one day.
Needing lunch quickly and having parked at the Westfield Centre in West London, there was a wide choice of places to eat but in the end I did quite fancy giving Master Bao a try.
As this is a shopping centre, there are a range of outlets all with a common eating area. You order at the counter, take a electronic gizmo and when it buzzes you collect your food. Not the best way I think of having a nice lunch, a bit too fast food for me, but it works.
I ordered the lunch deal of two bao buns and a side dish. My first choice of bao was the shiitake mushroom bao.
This was mushrooms cooked in a teriyaki sauce and served in a hot fluffy bao. It was rather nice, I wouldn’t say I was blown away, but I did enjoy it. The bun was warm and fluffy, and the mushrooms very tasty. It was a bit messy to eat, but I got there in the end.
My second choice of bao, was the chicken bao made with 24 hour marinated fried chicken, fried wasabi, kimchi and coriander.
I enjoyed the crispy chicken and the accompaniments added a nice spicy extra to the dish. The combination of textures, soft vegetables, crispy chicken and soft bao, was a delight.
As I had chosen the chicken bao, I chose a side dish and went with the pork dumplings.
These were nice and tasty, steamed and then finished off in the frying pan.
Overall I really did enjoy the dish and would certainly go again.
This is a recipe I cook quite often, it was inspired by visits to Sais’ Thai in the Oxford Covered Market. Though it has similarities to the dish I had at Sais’ Thai, it’s not quite the same, actually it’s quite different, but I don’t usually use the ingredients they do.
I cook some cubed pork belly in the oven, for about twenty minutes I then remove from the oven and stir fry in a wok with some soy sauce and fish sauce, along with finely chopped garlic and ginger. You could add chilli as well, if you like a bit of heat in your stir fry. I then take a range of vegetables, including but not always limited to: ribbons of carrot, pak choi, red cabbage, courgette, mushrooms (shitake and brown), baby corn, and onions. These are added to the wok. And cooked for a couple of minutes. I then add spinach and basil. I would prefer to use Thai Basil, but I have had trouble either finding it locally or growing it in the garden.
The dish is then served with a sprinkling of cashew nuts. It works well with rice, but I have also served it with noodles as well.
I enjoyed my tacos from Taco Barra so much last time I had them again on a recent trip to the St Nicholas Market. As with my last visit I went with the crispy chicken and pulled pork and the fried halloumi. You have a choice of salsa, I went with mango on the chicken and the halloumi, and red salsa with the pork. They use white and blue corn tacos.which are heated to order and then filled with your choice of filling.
In a previous blog post I talked about the new tacos place in St Nicholas Market in Bristol. I enjoyed the tacos I had there last time, so decided to pay them another visit and have some more tacos.
You can have a single taco for £3, two for £5 and three for £7. This time I decided to go with three. As with my last visit I went with the crispy chicken and pulled pork, for my third choice I decided to try the fried halloumi.
You have a choice of salsa, I went with mango, and they also include salad. They use white and blue corn tacos.which are heated to order and then filled with your choice of filling. I really enjoyed these tacos as I did before. Great mixture of textures and tastes.
There have been quite a few changes in the food markets at St Nicholas Market. The Brozen stall has been replaced with Low and Slow. Grillstock shut down and their space taken by Wokyko with an Asian inspired menu..The Sausage Station has closed and their stall has been replaced by Taco Barra which as you might guess from the name sells tacos!
Regular readers of the blog will know I quite like tacos and so it wasn’t too much of a difficult decision to try out some from the new stall.
You can have a single taco for £3, two for £5 and three for £7. I quite like the concept of a single taco, sometimes wandering about the food market in St Nicks (and other foodmarkets) I sometimes wish I could get smaller portions, as I fancy eating a range of dishes (like tapas) rather than just a single bigger portion. A single tacos would be perfect in that scenario. However as no other stall really does that kind of offer, so I went with two tacos.
They use white and blue corn tacos.which are heated to order and then filled with your choice of filling. The menu changes, but I went two two tacos, crispy chicken and pulled pork. You have a choice of salsa and they also include salad.
I liked the freshness, textures and varied tastes of these tacos.. The crispy chicken was tasty, crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. The pork was tender and tasty. The salsa was full of flavour and added the necessary kick that the tacos needed.
Overall great customer service, tasty unique tacos and some great flavours. Definitely worth a return visit.
One of my favourite places to eat Thai food is Sais’s Thai in the covered market in Oxford. I now rarely get the chance to eat there having stopped working in Oxford in 2015. I did manage a return visit earlier this year and it was just as tasty as I remembered it.
Looking for somewhere to get some lunch when working in our London office I found GrabThai on Fleet Street. Looking at the menu it bought back memories of the delicious Thai food from Sais’s Thai.
There is quite a bit of choice, from stir fries to curries to pad thai.
So what of the food?
I went with the Pad Prik King Pork, this is pork and fine bean stir fry in red curry paste and kaffir lime leaves served on a choice of rice. I went with the brown rice and extra cashew nuts.
It didn’t look anything like the image on the website or on the menu, which was disappointing.
Well it was quite nice, but I had such high expectations that no wonder I was slightly disappointed. There was a nice spiciness to the dish, the pork belly was tender, though I think I would have preferred it meatier or even slightly chewy! The brown rice was tasty and added texture. I did ask for extra cashew nuts, these were scattered on top, so I needed to mix it into the stir fry. There was a good proportion of stir fry to rice, sometimes I have found places give you loads of rice and very little of the main dish.
Would I go again? Well I think I might, but with so much choice in and around Fetter Lane, it might be some time before I go back.
So we were on holiday in Sussex and wanting somewhere to eat that a) accepted Tesco vouchers and b) had a decent gluten-free menu, we ended up in Eastbourne, with the choice of Pizza Express, Prezzo and Zizzi. Out of the three I personally prefer Zizzi, we had recently eaten at Prezzo we headed towards the Zizzi branch in Eastbourne. We had spent the day in Hastings so it was a thirty minute drive and the Apple navigation app took us as far as a roundabout close to the restaurant, but there was plenty of post 6pm free parking available.
I would say the outside of the restaurant was very uninviting, for a second or so I actually thought it might have closed down. We had a little trouble finding the door, but once we were in, it was a totally different experience. The inside was bright, fresh and welcoming and then the welcome from the member of staff (think he might have been the manager) was just as fresh and welcoming.
We were sat down and perused the menu. Lots of choices, the last time I went to Zizzi I had pizza, so really wanted something different. For a start I did consider the calamari, as It is a personal favourite, but as my son was going to have this, I decided to go with something different.
For my starter in the end I went with the Bruschetta. Speciality tomatoes, red onion and roasted garlic, in extra virgin olive oil, on toasted bread. With super green pesto, fresh basil & riserva cheese. I added some creamy bufala mozzarella as well.
Apart from not getting the fresh basil, I really enjoyed this dish. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but that is something I quite like now and again.
For my main I had a new dish on the menu, the Pork Belly Arrosto. Oven-roasted pork belly with creamy riserva cheese mash, crispy crackling shards, garlic kale & broccoli & a Chianti & rosemary sauce.
The pork was slow cooked and then finished off in their pizza oven. The mash was smooth and creamy, but not as cheesy as I was expecting. The shards could have been lighter and crispier, they were a little chewy. The kale and broccoli were really nice too. The sauce was tasty, I could have done with more though. Overall a really tasty dish and something very different to the pizza (or pasta) I usual have at Zizzi.
Using Tesco Vouchers meant that this was also a cheap meal and great value for money. If we were ever in Eastbourne again, I think we would visit again.