Time for some ravioli

Ealing Dickens Yard

Staying in London I drove over to Ealing Broadway to do some food shopping. However once there looking at the places to eat. I did think about Cote again. Though I looked at various menus, I wasn’t in the mood for Korean or Japanese. I ruled out the Bread Street Kitchen as it was too expensive. I did think about Bill’s which had a fixed price menu which was reasonable. However the last time I was in Ealing I remembered seeing Dicken’s Yard and this time I went and explored and found a pasta place called Pasta Remoli.

I rarely eat pasta out, as I have had some poor experiences, but this place looked good. I did walk around the block once more, but I was tempted by the pasta. The whole street looked very continental and it reminded me of similar streets in Italy, Spain and Greece.

They had plenty of tables inside, but no air conditioning. However as I hadn’t booked, I was allowed to choose where I wanted to sit inside, I sat down and looked over the menu.

It’s actually quite a simple menu, choose your pasta, choose your sauce and then choose your cheese.

You can either have a regular portion or a large portion.

I chose the large portion of Truffle & Mushroom Ravioli (for a £1.80 supplement). For my sauce I went with the simple butter and sage, described as the perfect accompaniment for any of our Ravioli dishes. I was reminded of the delicious pasta dish I had had recently at Bella Italia back in June. For cheese I went with Parmigiano Reggiano.

It looked great when it arrived.

Truffle and Mushroom Ravioli

It tasted great too. The pasta was al dente as it should be. The filling was rather good and the sage butter just added to the dish and didn’t overpower the truffle and mushroom filling. It was just about the right size portion for me. Delicious.

There were some other dishes on the menu beyond the three choices that looked good. There was a special of spaghetti with fresh clams (wasn’t quite sure how fresh the clams would be). I also liked the idea of Simone Remoli’s Signature Dish,  Fresh Lobster Spaghetti. Though at £19.80 was slightly beyond my budget. There are also some nice looking starters, sides and deserts.

I got the bill. Notice in London that they always add a service charge, this is also happening in Bristol as well. I always prefer to tip rather than a obligatory charge and will tip well if I had good service.

It looked like they had some good gluten free choices, but the following did start to ring some alarm bells.

*Gluten free: there might be contamination during the cooking process

If you are avoiding gluten, maybe not so much an issue, but if you are coeliac then this place would be a non-starter. I suspect the problem is that they cook the GF pasta in the same water as normal pasta. This is a pity as otherwise this would be a perfect place to visit if one of your party was coeliac.

Grilled Lamb Salad (okay it was a kebab)

Feeling hungry and not really sure about what I wanted I headed out from the office in London to see what was around and what tickled my fancy for lunch.

I did initially think another salad from Birley Sandwiches as I had really enjoyed the one I had last week. There was quite a queue (which isn’t too surprising), so I thought I would venture up to the Leather Lane Street Food Market and have both a bit of a walk and just to see if there was anything else I might want to eat. There were quite a few familiar stalls which I have frequented on my recent visits to London, and I did think, did I want to return to any of them. There were some I was quite tempted to try as well.

As I walked down the road I noticed the Mediterranean Grill on the side (a permanent physical place, not just a temporary street food stall) and the display of salad and curry looked very tempting.

I initially wasn’t sure, but after another short walk, I turned around and headed back.

I went with the large lamb salad box, but it came on a plate as I was eating in. I was asked to take a seat and they prepared the salad. I had the choice of rice or chips, I went with rice. They lamb was not cooked to order, but taken from the hot plate. The dish came with some chilli sauce, hummus and yoghurt.

It looked great.

The lamb was flavourful and tender. The salads were nice and fresh and well seasoned. I personally would have liked more yoghurt, but apart from that it was very tasty.

Yes it was lamb and salad, but it was basically a kebab without the pitta bread. Even so it was fresh and delicious. I then paid my bill and left feeling happy about what I had eaten. I think I will go again.

Time for a tasty salad

Popped out for some lunch, it was late, so most of the street food stalls in Leather Lane were closing up. In the end I went to Birley Sandwiches and had a salad made up. Nice idea of choosing different ingredients.

It was a very tasty salad. I had a base of fusilli pasta with rocket, with crayfish, grilled Mediterranean vegetables, tomatoes, croutons and dressed with a Caesar salad dressing. There was a wide choice of things you could have.

Korean Fried Crispy, okay Crunchy Chicken

Went out for lunch, and had some nice Korean Crispy Chicken from the Leather Lane Street Food Market.

I really do enjoy visiting street food markets. It’s something I have missed during the pandemic and lockdown. I have been virtually working from home every day since lockdown in March 2020 and therefore haven’t needed to go out and grab some lunch. I’ve gone out, just not for lunch.

I really went to the market to have a look round. I have had some really good food there and some not so good. I like to try new places and I wasn’t sure about revisiting what I had before. I then saw the Korean Fried Crispy Chicken stand and they had some interesting choices. I did though quite fancy some chicken wings and crispy chicken wings sounded tasty.

I went with the Korean Fried Crispy Chicken wings which I had with the Honey Butter. The dish came with some fries. It was served in what I can only describe as takeaway fried chicken boxes, not the type I would usually have with street food.

The chicken coating was very crunchy, not so much cripsy, but crunchy. Nice, but not what I was expecting. There wasn’t a huge amount of flavour, but I did quite like the honey butter. The fries were okay.

I do think this would be a much better dish, if the chicken was more crispy than crunchy, more flavour, more sauce. Serve it with rice and salad or even some stir fried vegetables.

Would I get it again, probably not.

Ravioli di Capra

I have been reflecting on some meals I had out over the last few years which never made it to the blog. Sometimes I just run out of time to write up a review and sometimes I forget to write up the meal. 

We went for lunch at Zizzi in Cabot Circys back in August 2019.

Though I have pizza most times I visit Zizzi, on this visit, not being overtly hungry I went with pasta. I had the Ravioli di Capra. Goat’s cheese & spinach-flecked ravioli with a tomato sauce, super green pesto & pine nuts. 

Delicious but not a huge dish, so finished quite quickly. 

Wall of Flame

I really do enjoy visiting street food markets. It’s something I have missed during the pandemic and lockdown. I have been virtually working from home every day since lockdown in March 2020 and therefore haven’t needed to go out and grab some lunch. I’ve gone out, just not for lunch.

With some in-person meetings and really an opportunity for a change in scenery and routine I spent part of last week up in London, only the second time in London since March 2020.

It was a nice and sunny Monday so I headed out for a lunchtime walk and get some lunch from the Leather Lane street food market. I had enjoyed the Samba Box from the market a few weeks back, so I went to see what was available. I was tempted to visit the Samba stall again, but I decided I would try something new and different.

My first choice was the Yum Bowl, however the queue was quite long. I had queued for a while for a crispy pork bowl, but it felt that I might be there a long time. So changed my mind and went to the Wall of Flame for chicken.

It was a portion of coleslaw, chicken and fries. Well though I was looking forward to it, it was a little disappointing. 

The chicken was a little overcooked and dry. It had been cooked on a rotisserie and had been “marinated for at least 24 hours” in their special sauce. Though the skin was tasty, the rest of the chicken was dry. The coleslaw lacked dressing. I was looking forward to some crispy fries, but these were soft and lacked flavour.

Overall a real disappointment. I should have queued.

Birthday Breakfast at the Brunello

I have been to the Brunello Lounge before on the seafront at Weston-super-Mare, though mainly for coffee. We did go there for a Christmas Eve breakfast back in December 2019 (though I didn’t write about it).

The Brunello Lounge is one of a range of lounges across the South West. They all have their own names, the one in Gloucester is the Portivo for example. They have a pretty eccentric decor, where we sat in the Brunello there was a huge soviet era painting of Lenin on the wall. I actually quite like the eccentricity of the decor.

We were celebrating a birthday, so we headed out to the Brunello Lounge. We were given a nice warm welcome and we looked over the menu. One of the things I like about the Brunello Lounge is that their gluten free menu is extensive and wide ranging. No limited choices here, the menu is nearly as wide at the “normal” menu.

We looked over, and we made our choices. I went with the muffin with bacon, sausage and a fried egg.

We placed our orders at the bar, gave our table number and waited.

We didn’t have to wait long and the breakfasts arrived.

They were eaten with gusto and I enjoyed my muffin. The sausages were excellent, but I found the bacon a little too salty, probably because it was slightly overcooked compared to how I like my bacon.

Everyone enjoyed their breakfasts.

Watch out, nice coffee again

Having enjoyed my coffee from the WatchHouse the other day, I decided to visit the place again and have another flat white, but this time I made the decision to drink in.

I had always meant to visit the place on previous visits to London. Prior to the pandemic it was always rather busy, so I would go somewhere else. It wasn’t busy when I went in and I ordered my flat white. I did think about a cake, but I wasn’t that hungry, so just the coffee.

My order was taken and I took a seat. The coffee was brought to my table, complete with tasting notes.

This was beautifully made, smooth, velvety and a great coffee taste.

Great service, excellent coffee and a nice environment.

Time for some French food

I do quite like French food, probably an echo of eating out on French holidays back in the 1970s and 1980s. Over the years I have had some really nice meals, some excellent meals, and some not so good.

I was in London for a few days working. One evening, for dinner, I decided to head out to Ealing. I parked in the shopping centre and had a look around. I saw the Amazon Fresh shop, the one where you walk in pick things up and walk out and everything is charged to your Amazon account. I didn’t go in.

I had a look around for somewhere to eat. I did consider getting some cheese and bread from M&S. I saw they did a smaller version of the French cheese platter I have had in Weston. However there was no bread left. I did think about Wagamama, but it looked very busy. In the end after some procrastination and a bit more exploring and walking around, I went to Côte Brasserie, a chain of French style restaurants.

They had some tables free and I was given a choice of where I could sit, so I had a nice small table by the window. It was a decent environment, comfortable, inviting.

I had checked out the menu earlier online, so was pretty much convinced about what I was going to have. I went with the fixed price menu.

There was a nice choice of starters, but I decided that I would go for the Tomates ‘Breton’. Brittany heritage tomatoes topped with pistou on toasted pain de campagne.

Brittany heritage tomatoes topped with pistou on toasted pain de campagne.

It looked amazing, I was really impressed with the presentation of the dish.

I wasn’t sure what pistou was so checked up on Wikipedia later.

Pistou, or pistou sauce, is a Provençal cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil. It is somewhat similar to the Ligurian sauce pesto, although it lacks pine nuts.

It was a lovely plate of food, the bread was nice, the tomatoes were well seasoned and the pistou added a nice touch.

For my main course I had the steak frites – chargrilled steak with frites and garlic butter. I upgraded to the ribeye.

steak and frites

The dish came with some additional watercress, which was a nice touch.

The steak wasn’t fantastic, it lacked seasoning and wasn’t as tender as I thought it was going to be. Upon reflection I probably shouldn’t have upgraded.

Alongside I had a Meteor beer, which was fresh and smooth.

The service was excellent, warm, friendly and efficient.

This was my first experience of Côte Brasserie and I enjoyed the experience and the food.

Watch out, nice coffee

WatchHouse

When working in our offices, I do like to take a break and pop out for a (real) coffee, rather than face the instant stuff we have in our kitchens. We moved our London offices back in July 2018 and there are plenty of places around the area for coffee and food. I have only recently returned visiting the office following lockdown. Today I went to WatchHouse, a modern sophisticated coffee place to pick up a flat white.

I had always meant to visit the place on previous visits to London. Prior to the pandemic it was always rather busy, so I would go somewhere else. So this morning it was not busy, so I ventured in, before hitting the office. I ordered a flat white, which I took back to the office.

This was beautifully made, smooth, velvety and a great coffee taste.

I will go back.