Tapas at Brunello

We went for lunch in Weston and decided to head to the Brunello Lounge.

We weren’t really that hungry, so decided against a full size main course, and we ordered three tapas dishes, some fries and onion rings. Service was quick and efficient, which is always nice when you don’t have a huge amount of time for lunch.

We had some chicken wings, the salt & pepper squid, and the hummus.

The chicken wings were fried crispy chicken wings, which had been coated in a sticky sauce and dressed with sesame seeds.

For me the chicken was overcooked. Probably a result of being cooked twice more than anything else. I do like chicken wings, but these weren’t my favourite.

The squid was nice and crispy and there was a large dollop of aioli in the middle.

My favourite of the trio of dishes was the hummus. This was beautifully presented little dish of hummus with fried chickpeas, chilli and parsley. This was served with some flatbread.

The fries were nice and crispy, as was the batter on the onion rings.

Overall a nice snack for a quick lunch.

Time for Park’s Kitchen

I realised I was spending too much time walking around thinking about where to eat. So I did a quick perusal of Google Maps. I decided I would go to Las Iguanas, mainly as I had a £10 voucher from their app I could use. Having arrived in Ealing I went to look at Las Iguanas, I decided despite the voucher I wasn’t really in the mood for Las Iguanas. I remembered I had blogged about my visit there in Birmingham in 2022.

Overall I was a little disappointed. I think this was more down I had quite high expectations about the food, and it was just okay. I don’t think I will be going out of my way to visit Las Iguanas anytime soon.

So made the decision that I might go to Las Iguanas, but would first walk around Ealing again. I might be tempted by someplace else. Which is why I found myself standing outside Park’s Kitchen.

I had seen on previous evenings it had been popular and I quite liked the look of the menu. They had space, so I went in and asked for a table. Sorry Las Iguanas you were close, but not close enough. 

Inside it was more cafe like than restaurant, but still a pleasant environment in which to eat a meal.

Though I had looked over the menu outside, I still looked over the menu sitting at the table. There was quite a bit of choice about different kinds of meals, and then combinations of said meals. I decided I would go for the meal deal, though I messed up by ordering a beer instead of a soft drink.

So I had a smaller portion of Tofu and Seafood Soup Soondubu Jjigae.

This was followed by the Seafood Bibimbap.

Alongside I had a portion of vegetable Mandu. These were fried vegetable dumplings.

Actually all the food arrived near enough all at the same time.

The soup was rather nice, the tofu was soft, there was a good portion of seafood in the soup, and there was lots of flavour. I quite liked it.

The Bibimbap arrived in a really hot stone bowl (in a wooden case). Inside was rice, vegetables, and seafood. It was a process of using the heat from the bowl to make the dish. I did like the dish and it was an interesting combination of flavours and textures.

The Mandu were just okay, nothing special.

Though the service was prompt and efficient, I did feel it was a little frosty. Not that was a problem.

I would though certainly visit again. The food was delicious and tasty.

Time for a sandwich, well a nice sandwich

Portwall Tavern

Went out for a walk at lunchtime. I did consider Low N Slow at St Nick’s market, but the brisket wasn’t looking that good today, it looked excellent last week. I then went to the Finzel Reach street food market. I did consider getting lunch from She Sells Sushi, but I’ve had that quite a lot recently, so thought no. 

I had a look at La Panza next to the office, which has a £10 lunch deal. I was very tempted, but disappointed to find out that the deal had only one choice of pasta, which was a cheesy broccoli bucatini pasta, which I didn’t really fancy. I had hoped they would have a choice of pasta, but they only had a pasta of the day.

I then remembered I had enjoyed a sandwich dish from the Portwall Tavern, so went there and had the pulled lamb ciabatta with potato wedges. 

The last time I visited the Tavern I had swapped the wedges for skin-on fries, this time I didn’t. That was because last time the wedges had looked so good.

This was a substantial open sandwich. There was a slice of ciabatta with salad and a good sized portion of the slow cooked (pulled) lamb. The lamb was garnished with some mint yoghurt.

I don’t normally do sandwiches, but this wasn’t a sandwich, this was quite a substantial meal. The lamb was full of flavour, very tender, and tasty.

I enjoyed the sandwich. Generally I don’t do sandwiches.

Going Vegan at Wagamama

When I was staying in London for a few days I went off to Ealing to get something to eat. I did think about going back to Polka, but it was closed on Mondays. Reinata was another place I had considered, but they had gone back to their Winter opening times, so wasn’t open in the evening until Thursday. After spending way too much time walking around Ealing I decided I would visit VanTan again. I had enjoyed my last meal there, so after looking at the menu outside and choosing the Braised Fish Claypot. This was described as braised fish steak caramelised in a sweet savoury sauce with steamed rice. I was given a warm welcome, and handed a menu. Alas though the fish dish was on the menu outside, it wasn’t on the menus at the table. Rather than have something else, I decided I would head off to Wagamama instead. 

I had an equally warm reception at Wagamama. I was shown to a bench and I had a look over the menu. I chose three dishes at Wagamama. Generally I would have two, but was feeling peckish, and it was difficult to choose.

The first dish I chose was the crispy chilli mushrooms. A vegan version of the crispy chilli squid. This was coated and fried crunchy oyster mushrooms. They were dusted with a red pepper powder and served with a chilli and coriander dipping sauce.

The crispy chilli mushroom was nice, not as nice as the chilli squid, but was tasty.

The second dish was one I have had before, which was the mixed mushrooms bao buns. This was mixed mushrooms with crispy panko-coated aubergine, creamy vegan mayonnaise. topped with coriander.

I did feel the mushroom bao buns could have had a lot more mushroom in them, what mushroom was there was slightly overpowered by the crispy panko-coated aubergine.

For my main dish I had the silken tofu gochujang rice bowl. This was something I hadn’t had before. It consisted of silken tofu coated in a spicy gochujang sauce with bok choi, pickled cucumber, snow onion slaw and red onion. It was served on a bed of sticky white rice. finished with spring onion, sliced red chilli, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and red pepper powder.

This was an interesting dish, and when it arrived it surprised me. Why it surprised me I don’t know. I guess I was expecting more of a hot tofu dish with rice, whereas this was more a salad with rice and deep fried tofu.

The silken tofu was excellent. I really enjoyed the dish, there was a nice mix of different textures and flavours. The bok choi was a little tricky to eat with chopsticks and there wasn’t a knife to cut it either.

I didn’t plan it, but all three dishes were vegan. Overall I enjoyed all three dishes and would certainly have them again.

Doing the Polka again, one more time

I first went to Polka earlier this year and actually had two excellent meals, I enjoyed my first meal so much, I went again the next day.

On previous visits to Ealing I had noted the Sowa restaurant, but had never gone there. The proprietors of that place moved to some nice new premises in Dickens Yard and renamed themselves to the Polka Kitchen.

So when I was back staying in Ealing, I decided I would make a return visit. The menu was the same. I looked over and thought about what I would have. There are only three starters on the menu, a beetroot dish, black pudding, and a steak tartare.

I went with the steak tartare. I had really enjoyed this the last time I was there.

It looked just as pretty as it did before. It consists of steak tartare or my starter it was served with egg yolk, pickled cucumbers, onion, and mustard seeds. This was such a pretty plate of food. Alongside I was given some sliced Polish bread. The steak was tender and fresh, I liked the addition of the pickles, and egg yolk. The pickled mushroom was a nice, and I enjoyed every mouthful. It was just as good as I remembered from the first time I had it.

As there was a (short) delay with getting my starter I was given a shot of Polish vodka on the house, which I quite enjoyed.

For my main course I had originally wanted the pierogi filled with goose meat, but that wasn’t available, so I went with the wild boar pierogi in a mushroom sauce. I did think about having one of the dishes I had before, but I hadn’t tried the pierogi before, so went with that dish.

The pierogi were nice and soft, but still had a bite to it, al dente. The pierogi filling had a robust strong flavour. The pierogi came with a mushroom sauce. I would have liked to have had more sauce.

Overall the food was delicious, and the service was excellent, friendly, warm, and welcoming. Though I’ve had a lot of things on the menu, I do think I will visit again.

Soup and a Scone

I was visiting Lytes Cary Manor, a National Trust property in Somerset. After visiting the house and walking around the garden I popped to the cafe.

I went with their soup and a cheese scone deal.

I think the soup was carrot and coriander, there wasn’t a sign, and I forgot to ask. The soup was nice and tasty. It was thick and warming.

The scone was fresh and also tasty.

My main complaint, was that the soup was served in a card pot, but the scone came on a china plate. I would have preferred my soup in a china bowl.

What should I have?

I was in Bristol and looking for some lunch. As it was a Monday there was no Finzel Reach or Temple Quay street food markets. I headed off to the St Nicholas Market to see what was available. There is a wide choice of places to eat there, though not all are open on a Monday. As per usual there was a long queue for Matina for their excellent Kurdish wraps, even with the recent “dramatic” price increase. I remember the time they were less than a fiver, now they are over eight pounds each. Well I suspect costs have risen for them, they had to rise at some point, but they appears to be rising quite a lot over the last couple of years.

I still have to try the MOMO bar, but decided that wasn’t going to be today. I did consider going for the Low and Slow barbecue box, but in the end headed to La Lola.

The last time I ate at La Lola I had the crispy squid, but wasn’t too enamoured with their chipped potatoes, which were like thick crisps.

This time I went for their seafood paella. I was served quickly, and this a good looking paella with a nice amount of seafood, which included prawns, squid, and mussels.


This was a delicious paella, lots of flavour. 

Fries of Mine

I wasn’t really that hungry walking around the streets of Amsterdam but I was a little peckish. 

A few places caught my eye, but the prices were, well not eye watering, but not in my budget. 

I noticed that Ter Marsch & Co was quite popular, so looked at the menu, they did burgers. I wasn’t in the mood for a burger, but the signature fries looked interesting. You could also see into the serving area and I liked how they were making the signature fries.

I decided to go for the Fries of Mine, which had been winner of best fries 2020 (in the Netherlands). This was fries with truffle mayo, grated parmesan cheese, cheese-nut crumble, diced pork sausage, and fried parsley.

Despite the queue, it moved quite quickly and it wasn’t too long before I was ready to place my order. I ordered my fries at the counter and then took a seat. When my fries were ready, my number was called and I collected my fries.

They looked fantastic.

I was provided with a little wooden chip fork, personally I would have liked a bigger fork. The twice cooked chips were hot, with a crisp outside and fluffy inside. The topping was generous, but not overpowering. You could tell it was just the right amount as by the time I finished the box of fries, there was a small amount of topping left in the box. I never felt as though I was just eating plain fries.

This was a lovely place to eat fries, it was rather cosy, but that just added to the charm of the place. The service was welcoming, friendly and efficient.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to have, but I really glad I went here and I enjoyed my signature fries.

Funghi di Bosco

I was looking through my email when I saw that there was a message about a pizza special offer for 7.99 and to try out some new pizza. I checked the Pizza Express app on my phone and saw the pizza offer.

I was thinking about what to do for lunch, so headed to Pizza Express at Cabot Circus. There was plenty of room, and I was given a warm welcome. I wasn’t exactly in a hurry, but I wasn’t really in the mood for a long slow lunch, so was pleased with the speedy efficient service.

I looked over the menu, and didn’t see any new pizza, well maybe I misread the email. The last time I was at Pizza Express I had the Fiorentina, so this time I wanted to have something different. I did quite like the idea of mushroom pizza, so decided to order the Funghi di Bosco on a Romana base.

The pizza arrived quite promptly and looked good.


There were plenty of mushrooms. I liked how they used chestnut mushrooms; I much prefer chestnut mushrooms, personally I think they have a nice texture and flavour. The base was nice and thin, I do like the Romana base.

What was amusing was the email was actually from Bella Italia and not Pizza Express. So Bella Italia had new pizza on their menu. Well maybe next time I am out for lunch and fancying pizza I will visit Bella Italia.

Mixed Grill at the Gardens

Entrance to a hotel

We were on holiday at the Cerro Mar Gardens in Albufeira in Portugal we made a couple of visits to the hotel restaurant. On my first visit I had an excellent swordfish dish.

On our second visit, I was tempted by the cataplana, but it was for two, and everyone else was choosing different dishes. I even considered just having the cataplana to myself.

Cataplana is a traditional Algarvian dish cooked in a special copper pot of the same name. The ingredients typically include onion, red and green peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, tarragon, parsley, white wine, and a variety of meat or seafood, such as cubed pork, chouriço sausage, chicken, fish, prawns, clams, or other shellfish.

In the end I went with the mixed grill. This was steak, lamb, chicken, sausage, and two kinds of pork. It was served with fries and a tiny salad.

I thought the swordfish was excellent, this dish, not so much. I was rather disappointed. Maybe it was too simple, but the cuts of meat were rather thin and were overcooked and slightly dry. I would like to have had more salad. The fries were okay. That really though sums up the whole dish, it was okay, nothing special.

I wish now I had ordered the cataplana.