More Tacos

Halloumi Tacos

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.

As before they were delicious and tasty.

Time for an Italian salad

Fetter Lane

When the weather is hot and sunny and I am working in London, I usually prefer to have a salad for lunch rather than a hot lunch. Near the office there are plenty of places for lunch and lots have a wide choice of salads. I have enjoyed those from the Natural Kitchen where you choose from a selection. Another place I have had salad a few times is the branch of Coco di Mama which is close to the office. They have a wide choice of pasta dishes as well as salads.

I decided to have the Sun-Sational Speck & Bufala Salad. This has crispy speck, bufala mozzarella, mixed Italian beans & quinoa, mango, avocado, pepper pearls, capers, pesto-harissa and pea shoots. It was quick and easy to pay and the service was warm and welcoming.

Sun-Sational Speck & Bufala Salad

It was a really tasty salad, it didn’t overdo the mixed leaves unlike some pre-packed salads I have had from other places. I like the use of mixed Italian beans in the salad which was something I do have at home, but not often seen before. The mango added colour an sweetness, as did the pepper pearls (with a hint of heat).I like pea shoots and these were really nice and added a distinctive flavour to the salad. I wasn’t enamoured with the buffalo mozzarella, and I didn’t think the crispy speck added anything to the salad, I would have preferred to have fresh speck. Having said that, these are minor criticisms, of what was a really tasty salad. Something I would certainly have again. As well as tasty food, they have great service, so a return visit is very likely.

Time for some more tasty tacos

Crispy Chicken Tacos

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.

Halloumi 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.

Time for a salad box

Olive Grove

One place in St Nicholas Market I have not been to for ages is the Olive Grove salad bar. They do a lovely salad and tapas box which you can have either just as, or with lamb kofte, grilled chicken or halloumi.

I really like the choice of salads and tapas they have. Pulse power comprises a mix of pulses. They usually have a pasta salad and a potato salad. Should say that the potato salad is not your usual mayonnaise covered potatoes, this has none of that! They are very tasty as a result. I like the Greek salad they have too.They have a choice of different kinds of olives, stuffed vine leaves.

Overall if you are looking for salad I think Olive Grove is a great place to go for.

Time for a danish pastry

nyhavn

On this day fifteen years ago in 2004 I was eating a Danish Pastry in Denmark, Copenhagen to be specific.

danish pastry

In case you were wondering this pastry was 12 inches across, it was huge. No I did not eat it all by myself!

My memory of it was that it was delicious, fresh and tasty.

Time for an incredible Harry Potter Cake

Harry Potter Cake

No I did not make this cake, but I saw it in the window at Patisserie La Reine in Broadmead in Bristol. I like the book form they have used, and have not gone for a simple closed book, it actually looks like an open book too. They have managed to catch the character of the sorting hat, though does a hat even have character? My only thought was why did they choose that colour?

Time for some tasty new tacos

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!

Taco Barra

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.

crispy chicken tacos, pulled pork tacos

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.

Time to grab some Thai

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.

Grabthai on Fleet Street

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.

Pad Prik King Pork

It didn’t look anything like the image on the website or on the menu, which was disappointing.

Pad Prik King Pork

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.

Time for a cheaper pizza

In the past we’ve had some good experiences at the Bella Italia at Cribbs Causeway and we’ve had some pretty poor ones too. We have been there a number of times, and they have revamped the places a few times over the years. Now it has a more of an American diner feel to it, rather than the Italian restaurant style it had before.

One of the key reasons we decided to return to eat was that we had a special offer. We used an offer code, so we only paid five pounds for each dish, which made the whole meal very good value for money.

Though we had to wait for a while, we were once our table was ready we were given a warm and friendly welcome and and it was quick and easy to place our order.

I ordered the Funghi Luganica – A ‘white pizza’ with a mascarpone and porcini base, topped with garlic & thyme chestnut mushrooms, pancetta, Luganica sausage and mozzarella.

unghi Luganica - A ‘white pizza’ with a mascarpone and porcini base, topped with garlic & thyme chestnut mushrooms, pancetta, Luganica sausage and mozzarella.

I’ve had this pizza before at Bella Italia and I enjoyed it last time, and I enjoyed it this time as well. The base is mushroomy (is that a word) and savoury, over the traditional tomato that you find on most pizza. The chunks of mushroom on the pizza were very nice and I really enjoyed them.

My son had the Queen Margherita pizza. Tomato and mozzarella base, oven-baked then topped with torn bufala mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, rocket and green pesto.

Queen Margherita pizza. Tomato and mozzarella base, oven-baked then topped with torn bufala mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, rocket and green pesto.

This looked great and he said it was fresh and tasty. It was finished off, which doesn’t always happen.

My wife had the fresh egg tagliatelle in a tasty carbonara sauce with crispy pancetta and leeks.

fresh egg tagliatelle in a tasty carbonara sauce with crispy pancetta and leeks.

However this didn’t look anything like the picture on the menu on the website when we got home, where are the leeks? Having said that she did say the pasta was very tasty.

Service was mixed, our main waiter was warm and friendly, but other staff looked rushed and flustered.

Overall though we had an enjoyable dining experience.

Time for a rainbow cake

rainbow cake

Last year my daughter and I baked my wife a birthday cake. As my daughter is coeliac, it was gluten free. This was a great success.

For my daughter’s birthday I decided to bake her a cake. Last time we baked five different coloured cakes using Dr. Oetker’s Colouring Gel.

This time I decided to go with seven layers and used colouring gel from Aldi, which worked just as well as Dr. Oetker’s giving us bright strong colours.

Recipe

Take one egg and put this on your balance scale.

Weigh out an egg weight of caster sugar.

Same weight of soft butter.

Cream the sugar and butter.

Before adding the egg, weigh out an egg weight of Gluten Free self-raising flour, then add two eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and add some vanilla essence. Now add the colouring gel, we added a fair bit to have a strong colour.

We had a

Red cake using red colouring gel.

Blue cake using blue colouring gel.

Pink cake using pink colouring gel.

Orange cake using yellow colouring gel with a hint of red gel.

Violet cake using red and blue gels.

Green cake using blue and yellow gels.

Yellow cake using just the yellow colouring gel.

Mix the egg, gel, essence into the creamed sugar and butter.

Then fold in the flour, until the mixture is smooth.

You could add a little milk if you want to have a smoother batter.

The cake mixture was spread into a lined six inch cake tin and baked at 180℃ for about 15 minutes.

The cakes were left to cool and then the cake was built with a whipped cream and strawberry jam filling.

This is where things started to go wrong, as the cake was built it appeared to be stable and then it all started to slide apart. I managed to stabilise the cake with a wooden skewer, but lots of the cream had splurged out the sides. So I then tried to fix things by using a palette knife to spread the cream on the sides of the cake. This did not work and the cake looked a real mess…

I did dust the cake with icing sugar and then we presented the cake with flaming indoor fireworks. I was unable to cut the seven layers as single slice, so we took off the top four layers and put that on a separate plate and cut that into slices.

Though it looked messy, it was very light and very tasty.