Another great breakfast

I was making a return visit to the Drayton Court Hotel and was looking forward to my breakfast after the excellent breakfast I had had the last time I was there.

I ordered the full English which was pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs. 

As before this was a delicious plate of food.

Keralan Coconut Curry

This was a Keralan Coconut Vegetable Curry that I cooked. I cheated a little by using a curry kit from The Spice Tailor.

A delicately balanced, mellow coconut curry from Kerala. Its gentle spicing and layers of flavours makes this a go-to for those who love milder Indian flavours.

I have been using this curry kit for some time now.

I prepared the vegetables, for this curry I used onions, peppers, carrot, sweet potato, tenderstem broccoli, baby sweetcorn, sliced mushrooms and asparagus.

I add oil to a large frying pan and then add the spices from the curry kit. I used a new wok I had got for my birthday. I then added the prepared vegetables. This is cooked until softened. I then add the sauce mix from the curry kit and stir it into the vegetables. I cook it for five more minutes before stirring the curry a final time.

I served it with plain white rice.

Good food, not so good service

We visit Wagamama quite a bit compared to other places, however we have never been to the branch at Cabot Circus. It was a bank holiday and the place was busy and we had to queue (as you can’t book tables at Wagamama).

We were kept informed about the wait, I think partly to put people off, but we continued to wait. Eventually we were shown to a table and we looked over the menu.

I did consider having the shu’s ‘shiok’ chicken which when I went to Wagamama in Manchester was off the menu. I also thought about the spicy miso mackerel kokoro bowl. In the end I decided I would have a katsu curry. I chose the vegan yasai katsu curry. This was aromatic katsu curry sauce, vegetables in crispy panko breadcrumbs, sticky white rice, side salad, japanese pickles.

The vegetables were aubergine, sweet potato and butternut squash. I did think that usually I would have gone with the chicken katsu, but I what I wanted from the dish was the curry sauce, the rice and the texture of the crispy panko. The chicken wasn’t necessary and I liked the idea of different vegetables.

I did enjoy the dish, though I wasn’t enamoured with the curry sauce, maybe I should have gone with the hot spicy version. The panko vegetables were very nice, I liked the crunch and you could taste the vegetables.

To accompany the curry I had a Singha beer, which was nice and fresh. I would have preferred the beer to be colder though.

As for the service, I was less than impressed. I know at Wagamama the food arrives when it is ready, so dishes won’t be served together. Normally I am alright with this, but this time the first two dishes arrived quite quickly, the other two took much longer to be served. By the time the final dish arrived, we had nearly finished our food. We ordered some more drinks, and they spent a lot of time on the bar, before they were brought to the table. There appeared to be a fair few staff. I think part of the issue was they were being inundated with online takeaway orders which was swamping the kitchen.

So good food, not so good service.

Great donburi, disappointing hirata bun

For me it was a bit of a no brainer when I visited the Finzels Reach Market and I saw SheSellsSushi had their stall. As I joined the quite lengthy queue, I looked at the menu. They had a Japanese panko chicken curry, their beef donburi, hirata buns, sushi and Takoyaki.

I did think about the curry, but decided I would go with my usual favourite, the Bento box with the beef donburi and a hirata bun. 

There was a bit of a queue, but in the end I got served my box of beef and a bao bun. 

The hirata bun contained a piece of panko crumbed Katsu chicken breast in a charcoal bao bun served with house salad and sriracha mayo. 

I have to say I was a little disappointed. I found the chicken rather dry and lacking flavour. Compared to the tempura chicken hirata bun, the Finzel Flapper I’ve had in the past, this new version of the hirata bun was nowhere near as nice. I think if I order again I will go for the Takoyaki instead. It has also put me off trying the Japanese curry as it looked like that dish was based on the same panko chicken katsu. Having said all that it was so much better than the bao bun from Ah-Ma’s.

 The beef teriyaki domburi was delicious as always.

Tasty tender beef rib on a bed of sushi rice and served with pickle and spring onions.

Well I wasn’t impressed

At the Finzels Reach Market I decided to add a pork belly bao bun from the Ah-Ma’s Dumplings stall to my lunch.

I have had their dumplings before and had enjoyed them. So I had quite high expectations about the bao bun.

However it was awful, dry and little or no flavour. I’ve had much better bao buns from other places, this was a real disappointment. Also the accompaniments were not very nice either, the cabbage was not very pleasant and the cucumber was just okay.

I won’t be repeating the experience.

Crispy Squid

One dish I eat on a regular basis at restaurants is crispy squid.

I’ve recently eaten crispy squid at Las Iguanas, though the squid in my opinion was rather overcooked. 

I also had chilli squid at Wagamama.

That time I was expecting to have soft tender squid in a crispy batter. What I actually got was rubbery squid in a hard crunchy batter.

The second time I had calamari from La Lola at the St Nicholas Market in Bristol it was excellent.

calamari

The squid was freshly cooked, nice crisp batter, tender squid and was delicious, served with a slice of lemon.

Alas the calamari from Kingfin from the street food markets in Bristol was one of my favourite lunch dishes. You got a decent portion of squid. It was quite tasty, you could certainly taste the difference with the fact they cooked the squid from fresh.

However they have changed their menu recently so you can’t get it anyore.

As well as eating crispy squid I also make it at home. This is a recipe for making my own gluten free crispy squid.

I take some squid, sometimes I use fresh squid, I score the squid and slice into chunks. Other times I use defrosted squid rings that I cut so I get strips of squid rather than rings.

I coat the squid in seasoned gluten free plain flour. This I leave for at least fifteen minutes and check that all the squid is coated in the flour.

I then deep fry the squid in hot oil. Season and serve.

Rice with Chorizo

I diced a red onion and a red pepper. 

In a hot large frying pan, I put some olive oil and I cooked off some smoked pancetta bacon. 

I then added the diced onion and pepper. When this was softened, I added 250g of paella rice. I ensured that this was then coated with the peppers and onions in the pan. I let this cook for a minute or so before adding a jar of paella paste from Waitrose. 

After stirring in the paste I added some chicken stock. Stirred once and left it to cook.

Before serving I added some chopped fresh parsley and some cooked sliced chorizo.

Well that was a nice breakfast, pity about the coffee

Having had a delicious dinner the night before at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing,  I did have quite high expectations about the breakfast at the hotel.

I did wonder if this was going to be a buffet style breakfast, or one that you ordered at the table. In the end it was a bit of both. You helped yourself to drinks, toast, croissant, fruit, and so on. For hot food though you ordered off the menu. I ordered the full English which was pork sausage, Mrs Owton’s bacon, Hampshire black pudding, grilled tomato & field mushroom, hash brown, Heinz baked beans, and two poached eggs.  Well you could order the eggs anyway you wanted, but I went with poached.

full English breakfast

The breakfast plate was beautifully presented. The three rashers of bacon were cooked to my liking, not overdone, full of flavour. I enjoyed the sausage and the black pudding. The poached eggs were perfectly cooked, and had runny yolks. The field mushroom was delicious, though I would have liked my tomato a little more cooked. The beans and hash brown were nothing to write home about, but did help complete the breakfast plate. I really enjoyed the breakfast and is one of the best breakfasts I have had at a hotel. 

However one criticism, was the quality of the coffee, which was standard filter coffee, and not very good. I would have appreciated better coffee to go with such an excellent breakfast.

Sunday Roast

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. Having arrived Sunday evening, I went to the bar to get something to eat. Sunday at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing means that it is Sunday roast day.

I went with the dry-aged sirloin of Owton’s beef. On the plate was two slices of roast beef, roasted parsnip and carrot, roast potatoes, pan fried greens, cauliflower cheese, a huge Yorkshire pudding and served with red wine gravy.

This was probably one the best carvery meals I have ever had from a pub.

The dry-aged sirloin beef was excellent, it was full of flavour and really tender, melt in the mouth tender. I really enjoyed the vegetables too.

I think if I was going to make one criticism, was the temperature was inconsistent across the food, I think part of the issue was dishing up on a cold plate. However the food was delicious and the service was excellent.

Coffee and Croissant

We were out in Weston town and we went for a walk along the seafront before heading into Revo for coffee and tea. We has considered going to Coffee #1 or somewhere else in town, but in the end decided that we would head to Revo.

There was a bit of a queue, I did think initially we should go elsewhere, but I was convinced to stay in the queue. In the end it moved quite quickly.

We were warmly welcomed, asked if we were in for a meal or just for coffee. We were shown to our seats, well chairs and a sofa. The place was quite crowded and full of people ordering meals. I have to say I was a little surprised by how busy it was. 

We placed our order. I had a flat white and a plain croissant. It arrived very quickly. Originally I was going to have a cake (well it late morning), but in the end wanting something not sweet, I went with the croissant.

I enjoyed the coffee and the croissant was nice and fresh.

It was nice to have table service for coffee, rather than queuing and waiting which we would have had to do at Costa or Coffee #1. Nice views of the sea as well.