I do quite like making salads using a range of ingredients. Even as it gets colder I do like a salad either as a meal in itself or as an accompaniment to something else.
This was a recent tasty salad that I made using butternut squash. I cut up the butternut squash into chunks and roasted in the oven with some olive oil.
Once this was cooked I constructed the salad. I started off with a bed of mixed leaves. I quite like butterhead lettuce you can get from various supermarkets, or the rosa verde salad bag from M&S.
To this I add cubes of cucumber, sliced tomato, slices of red pepper, sweetcorn, pomegranate seeds, mozzarella, thinly sliced radish and Serrano ham. I also used a nut and seed mix from Aldi to add some crunch.
You can dress the salad with a dressing, sometimes I do a simple French dressing, sometimes I let the natural flavours work their magic.
We went to Wagamama for lunch. We had been shopping at the Mall in Bristol and were all feeling a little hungry.
The Wagamama at the Mall at Cribbs Causeway is in a weird open location at one end next to Marks and Spencers on a mezzanine overlooking the entrance. There are the regular benches and long tables, but there are also booths as well. We were given a nice friendly welcome and sat down at our table.
I was wondering what to have and decided to go for something different.
I quite liked the sound of the cod dish, which was cod mokutan soba, black charcoal soba noodles in a soy sauce with two fillets of miso-glazed cod, stir-fried bok choi, mangetout, red peppers and spring onions. drizzled with a sweet miso dressing and garnished with fresh ginger and coriander.
Unfortunately my fish was overcooked on the point of being burnt, so I had to send it back. When it came back it looked a lot better.
I really liked the black charcoal soba noodles, and the miso-glazed cod had a lot of flavour.
It was the kind of dish I enjoyed, but probably wouldn’t have it again on another visit.
My other half went for a curry.
Chicken nikko curry, a fragrant coconut, lemongrass and turmeric soup with chicken, roasted butternut squash, turmeric cauliflower, tenderstem broccoli, mangetout, bok choi and beansprouts. garnished with chilli, coriander, fresh ginger, lime and chilli oil. served with a side of rice with sesame seeds.
I think she made the better choice.
Service was warm and friendly and overall we enjoyed the lunch.
I like great service, actually I almost expect great service. Generally most people do not go out to a restaurant to eat, they go for the whole experience. The welcome, the opening drink, the perusal of the menu, the choosing, the ordering, the anticipation, the actual eating, the reflection and leaving the table, knowing you don’t need to do the washing up. It’s the atmosphere, the furniture, the music, or no music, the ambience. A good restaurant will try and ensure that the whole experience is just right, and good customer service, is critical for a positive dining experience.
Down in London for a short break, we went to Pizza Express in Kingston, in the Rotunda. Though they said the air-conditioning was broken, it wasn’t that hot, so it didn’t appear that was going to be an issue.
Looking over the menu I decided upon the Toscana Romana Pizza, which is described as having a bigger, thinner, crispier pizza, topped with crumbled chilli & fennel sausage, mozzarella and tomato finished with baby mozzarella, Gran Moravia cheese, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.
Though on my pizza I got slices of sausage rather than crumbled sausage and I think the pizza works better for it. The Toscana Pizza was delicious and I really enjoyed it.
My wife went with the Leggera Superfood Salad, this is made with baby spinach and seasonal mixed leaves, roasted butternut squash, beetroot, light baby mozzarella, avocado, pine kernels, cucumber, lentils and fresh basil, finished with balsamic syrup.
She really enjoyed it, she though was disappointed that it had no seafood in it! Always read the menu carefully.
Unfortunately, a lack of staff meant for me that the dining experience, specifically the service, was not as good as the pizza. We had to wait long amounts of time between getting the menu, placing our food order, ordering additional drinks and getting the bill. One of the results of the lengthy service delays was in the end we decided not to have pudding.
I don’t mind slow service sometimes, it’s nice to take your time and not be rushed, however, I do find there is a difference between slow and indifferent, which appeared to be the issue here. Too often we were ignored even though we had indicated or even said we wanted some attention. I got the feeling that this was down to a lack of staff, who were probably too rushed and forgot about the key elements of good customer service.
The food was great, just a pity about the service.