Friday, 19 September 2014

BURGER & LOBSTER, HARVEY NICHOLS, KNIGHTSBRIDGE

As you all know I love a burger however I have never had one at Burger & Lobster, I really should one day, but not this week! Pascal sometimes gets annoyed with me when I drag him to Shake Shack or Patty & Bun however he is happy to go to Burger & Lobster as it is a little bit superior. 

For those of you who don't know the concept, Burger & Lobster opened a couple of years ago in Mayfair and it doesn't have a menu - instead it serves a cheese & bacon burger, a lobster roll on brioche or a whole grilled lobster, all with fries and salad and priced at £20 each. It also has a great cocktail menu. The original restaurant was in Mayfair (it was famous for it's phenomenal queues) but now there are five others in London and they are even opening in New York now.

We started with a cocktail - there were all different types:



I went for a Mint Collins and Pascal had the Williams Fizz - both were delicious!!



Then there was the food decision. For me there was no decision - even though I am a burger fanatic, I had the lobster roll. Last time Pascal had the lobster but this time he went for the burger. We were tempted to have all three….



The lobster roll was AMAZING! I loved it all - the chips, the salad, the brioche and the lobster - I did add extra mayo…you've got to live a little!! The salad is dressed with Parmesan, red onion, peppers and balsamic and is really delicious - not the normal salad you ignore, and the fries are thin, salty and crispy. It is the perfect meal.



Pascal loved the burger - it's big and meaty and covered with cheese, bacon, pickle, salad, tomato and mayo - plus with the yummy fries and salad. £20 is expensive for a burger but Pascal reckoned it was worth it. We also didn't have any starters or puddings which is very unlike us, but both our meals were very filling (and we didn't have the option of eating more)!!!

I am not a risk taker…I am a creature of habit and I have to say I don't know why I don't come to Burger & Lobster more often - you know what you get and it is very very good. My only complaint is I am not eating the lobster roll on a beach in Nantucket….but after a few of the killer cocktails, you might think you are!!

Burger & Lobster

Fifth Floor Harvey Nichols
109-125 Knightsbridge,
London
SW1X 2RJ
Tel: 020 7201 8676
Email: knightsbridge@burgerandlobster.com

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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

HERB CRUSTED LAMB WITH LENTILS

For once I have a very good reason for being rubbish at updating my blog. Firstly, and probably most importantly, I got married…..secondly I had my birthday….and finally I became class rep at school (a full time job)! During this time I have eaten an enormous amount (no surprise there) so I am starting with the delicious meal Pascal and I cooked on Sunday.

As you can see from the blog recipe category so far, we do love lamb and this one I would really recommend. The recipe did say to use a saddle of lamb (prepped into 2 cannons, 400g each). We could only buy a half leg of lamb so used this instead.

Ingredients for 4 people:

1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp dried herbes de Provence
100ml rapseed / olive oil  
800g half leg of lamb
Dijon mustard for glazing
Malt vinegar to serve (optional - we didn't use any)

Lentils
1 onion, diced
200g lardons
200g puy lentils (we bought ready made)
2tbsp dried herbes de Provence
175ml white wine

Herb Crust
1 lemon, zested
8 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp mint, chopped
100g croutons, crushed (we had to buy cheese flavoured ones as that was all the shop had)


Preheat the oven, ours was 180 C, but if you are fan assisted, 160 C is probably recommended. It will say on the lamb package.

While the oven is preheating, mix together the 1 tbsp of fennel seeds, the 2 tbsp of herbes de Provence & the 100ml of rapseed / olive oil.


Cover the lamb in this mixture - you need to get your hands dirty and rub it on.


Once the oven is preheated, cook the lamb according to the packet instructions. (Ours took around 1hr 10 minutes, it will also depend on how pink you like it).

While the lamb is cooking you can rest for a while however about 30-40 minutes before it is ready, it is time to prepare the herb crust and cook the lentil mixture.

For the herb crust, crush the croutons - we used a blender.


Chop up the anchovies, mint, parsley and zest the lemon skin. Then mix together with the crushed croutons in a bowl.



Cook the diced onion and lardons in a frying pan - you don't need oil as the bacon creates enough fat.


We had a packet of ready made lentils that just needed to stand in a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes - very easy!


A minute before lentils are ready, pour the white wine into the frying pan.


Then add the lentils and 2 tbsp of herbes de Provence and combine.


Finally take the cooked lamb out of the oven and brush liberally with Dijon mustard.



Cover with the herb crust, once again easiest to get messy so use a spatula and fingers/hands.


Finally carve and serve with the lentils - season with malt vinegar if you fancy (we didn't).


I have to say this was much better than I thought it would be and could be my favourite lamb dish so far - it is so full of flavour - anchovies and lamb should basically get married. Pascal doesn't even like anchovies but he adored this dish. Arabella had some the day after and loved it and I finished the leftovers today - I can't wait to cook it again!!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

PAN Y VINO, TORRET, MENORCA

I went to Pan y Vino twice this summer, but actually I could have eaten there every night - for several reasons. Firstly it is a beautiful setting - secluded, candle lit, romantic and peaceful. Secondly the owner and staff are so friendly and welcoming. Finally the food is AWESOME! A combination of French and Spanish with a touch of English. We enjoyed the restaurant so much that we went twice within a week. 

The restaurant changes its menu daily as they like to use seasonal, local produce. The first time I went I had goats cheese wrapped in smoked salmon followed by crispy sea bass, it was delicious. However the menu had changed by the time we went again. Unfortunately I did not take a picture of it and can't remember exactly what we all ate but I have the pictures and we all agreed it was the best meal we'd had on the island.

One of the first things I like about Pan y Vino is that it does a really good amuse bouche selection. It changes like the menu but we had prawn bisque, deep fried Camembert and black pudding spring rolls.


All were incredible even though I don't even like black pudding. There was also freshly baked bread which we dipped into the soup.


For starters Arabella and Agathe had the croquettes - my favourites - thankfully Arabella was happy to share.


I had the beef carpaccio with Parmesan, rocket and a quail egg. This had actually been on the menu when we came before and I ordered it as I'd had serious food envy, and rightly so as it was so tasty. The beef was really tender and literally melted.


Pascal had chicken terrine with dates which he wolfed down.


Unfortunately I cannot remember exactly what we all had for mains other than we all really enjoyed it!

Pascal had duck which came in a spring roll - his favourite.


Arabella had sea bream with pesto and vegetables. Even though it was an adult portion, she enjoyed it so much she ate the whole thing. (They will do a pasta or grilled chicken for children if you'd prefer).


Agathe had mixed fish which she adored.


Finally Lili had steak which was cooked to perfection.


I had roast chicken with foie gras poele and a potato cake - I only had it because I love foie gras poele - it was totally worth it, I must order chicken more often.


Unfortunately we were all too full for pudding which was a shame as the restaurant does an amazing cheeseboard.

I am sorry my descriptions are so vague but I can confirm that it was an awesome meal and if you are in Menorca and you want a smart, special meal, Pan y Vino is the place to go. I cannot wait to return next year. I am just gutted it has taken me 34 years to find such a hidden gem.

Pan y Vino
Cami de la Coixa, 3
Torret
Sant Lluis
Menorca
Tel: 00 34 971 150201
email: reservas@panyvinomenorca.com



Monday, 1 September 2014

ANAKENA, SAINT LlUIS, MENORCA

As I mentioned in my blog last year, we go to Menorca every summer and I have been going since I was born. Being a creature of habit I always want to go to the same restaurants we went to as children but this year we decided to branch out and try a few new places.

Anakena is super cool for Menorca - a white decor, relaxed atmosphere, billowing curtains, great cocktails, several terraces and the food has Eastern, Mediterranean and South American influences. A bit superior to my usual pizza joints!

We went with our bestest friends and had a fantastic time. Obviously starting with a g&t and a mojito while we looked at the menu.




It was tough to decide what to eat! Once we had ordered we nibbled on the homemade bread with tomato salsa and herbed butter and then had a amuse bouche of a potato rosti topped with pesto and vegetables….it was delicious and I always love an extra course!




We also ordered a couple of portions of the prawn and crab croquettes as we all LOVE them. They were absolutely scrumptious - Boris had them again for a starter and I was tempted too!


However I went for the "gyosas traditionales" (as did Pascal and Amanda) which are Japanese dumplings stuffed with pork and vegetables with a sweet spicy sauce.


They were very good - although I would have preferred a soy sauce!

Fran had a timbale of langoustines and quinoa, which was a fresh prawn salad, marinated shrimp tails, quinoa and marinated avocado - it looked and tasted fantastic.


The final starter was the tuna tartar in a soft Asian vinaigrette and flying fish roe - I had serious food envy and apparently it was amazing. 


We were all impressed by our starters.

For mains Boris had the steak tartar with baked country bread. It was phenomenal. I am not normally a huge fan of steak tartar, it makes me feel a bit icky, but this was unbelievable - I would definitely order this next time. It might not look extraordinary but it really was.


Fran, Amanda and I all had the crab cakes baked with rice and prawn crackers. It was very good but very rich and we all enjoyed it however it was lacking a side - it would have been much better if it had a salad with it.


Hard went for the homemade chicken green curry with basmati rice - the curry was great but the rice was full of raisins which did not go down well. A big no no for Hard and certainly a big no no for me!! I hate fruit and food.


Finally Pascal had the veal sirloin with truffled potatoes from Menorca which I was tempted by as I am obsessed with anything with truffles - once again half was good, the other half wasn't. The veal was cooked perfectly pink and was extremely tender however the potatoes weren't cooked properly and you could barely taste the truffle. The asparagus was tasty though and it was well presented.


Boris was the only one who had a pudding as they had no cheese (boo). He went for the chocolate lasagna - even though I am not a pudding fan, this tasted delicious!


We had a fun, fantastic meal and the setting was beautiful - we will definitely be back although some of us will be ordering different things - I will without a doubt be having the steak tartar!! If you are in Menorca, the restaurant is worth a visit. There were children there but I would say it has a more adult vibe. It opens at 8pm and only during July and August.

Anakena
Caserio de S'Uestra, 4
07710
Saint Lluis
Menorca
Tel: +34 971 156 727
Email: reservas@anakenarestoran.com

Sunday, 31 August 2014

BOISDALE, BELGRAVIA

As you can see the blog has been very quiet of late…I have been on holiday in Menorca which was lovely although now it is back to reality. Thankfully I am very happy to be home especially as we were seeing our gorgeous friends last night. As they were coming up from West Sussex we needed a restaurant by Victoria and so we went to Boisdale which is a Scottish restaurant with live music, 2 bars, 3 dining areas (including a conservatory) and a cigar roof terrace (plus a lot of tartan)!

We had a drink at the main bar before supper - there was plenty to choose from but we went for our usual poison of a g&t and a Hendricks on the rocks.



Like always I had checked out the menu before we ate but even so I was undecided as it was full of good things. In the end I went for the dressed crab with spiced avocado and melba toast - my favourite!



It was absolutely delicious - as was everyone else's starters.
Lezah had the lobster cocktail, shaved fennel, harissa mayonnaise and Marie-rose sauce.



Karl had Dunkeld classic old smoked salmon with shallot and caper relish.



But Pascal chose the best the "Menage a trois" (so French) which was three different salmons and was absolutely delicious - a fabulous choice!



For mains Pascal and Lezah both had the ribeye steak burger with gruyere cheese, a roast field mushroom, truffle mayonnaise and thick cut chips. They it was cooked very rare and Pascal claimed it was one of the best burgers he has ever had.



I had serious food envy as I had gone against the grain and ordered the Atlantic cod and smoked haddock fishcake with spinach and anchovy butter sauce. It was absolutely incredible - I had forgotten how much I loved a fishcake!!



Karl went for the 7oz tornado fillet steak which was soft and tender and served with green peppercorn sauce.



The food was fabulous - unfortunately we were all too full for pudding which I was gutted about as the cheese board looked amazing especially as it had a "black bomb" cheese which you rarely see. Definitely next time!! Instead we had coffee and a sambucca (I am regretting it now)!

Pascal and Karl had wanted to have a cigar however the cigar terrace closes early (if only we'd been informed) and then despite good service previously, we were then told the restaurant had closed and it was time to leave - a sour way to end a fantastic (and expensive) night. However the food was so good, we will be back….we will just book an earlier table next time!

Boisdale

15 Eccleston Street,
London
SW1W 9LX
Tel: 020 7730 6922
Email: info@boisdale.co.uk

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