Su Gigante in Sardegna, Italy (Restaurant Review)

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The restaurant Su Giganti, situated amongst the beautiful hills of Sardegna, Italy, is a restaurant (attatched to a hotel) which serves desirable, fresh, locally sourced seafood for a reasonable price.


From the range of starters, (from the more simplistic, classic, sweet honeydew melon combination with parma ham (photo above), to the more adventurous calamari dish) as a family, we shared the mixed seafood starter platter. The best feature was the refreshing, vinegar soaked octopus. Yum!

Seafood highly featured in my family’s meals. (Can you tell we are seafood lovers?!) The softly grilled seabass was delicious, and was accompanied by prawns, octopus and squid (what a range!) in the mixed seafood dish.

 In contrast, more andante pasta accompanied the fresh, high quality lobster for two (one portion depicted below). Warning: only to be tackled by those with patience to extract the lobster from the shells. No work, no reward! In my opinion, it was definitely worth the effort!

A highly recommended restaurant if you find yourself exploring Villasimus, Italy and looking for a good variety of meals. It is suitable for a family of all ages, and a perfect taster of the food Sardegna has to offer.

-afoodexplored x

Stuffed Pepper Recipe Trial (Sardegna twist)

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Having just spent a week in Sardegna, Italy, I cooked this Mediterranean Stuffed Pepper Recipe, (click words for link to recipe) with a Sardegna twist (photo above).

Fregola pasta (originated from Sardegna) replaced the cous cous, which was meant to be inside the lightly fried, juicy peppers; subtle tasting, soft mozarella complimented the dish, despite bitter feta cheese having been recommended in the recipe: the olives provided the required sourness instead.

I would use this dish to accompany a refreshing side salad, or as a main dinner dish, depending on the size of peppers purchased; as you can see, the ones we bought were rather large! Two halves were perfect for a single portion.

It’s a simple, quickly prepared dish. A combination of a variety of textures, colours and tastes; a dish which is very adaptable to accomodate different tastes. Highly advise you to consume under the blissful summer sun, either on holiday or in the comfort of your own home.

-afoodexplored x

Revolución de Cuba, Liverpool (Restaurant Review)

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With Liverpool hosting this years Clothes Show, a few friends and I spent a weekend visiting tourist locations, such as the Beatles Museum, and the Tate Museum, all within walking distance from this quirky restaurant, situated in one of the hearts of Liverpool, (the Albert Docks) Revolución de Cuba.

With live music playing, and a buzzing, bubbly, summer ambiance, we were naturally drawn to this place, and, whats more, when seated, we listened to a fautless music playlist, ranging from Wham, to the Beatles, from Michael Jackson, to Prince and even a little bit of Drake. We danced whilst the sun faded!

The photo above is just a snapshot of the food this restaurant has to offer; the tapas varies from creamy, nourishing, ham and cheese croquettes, to the more intriguing, subtly mohito flavoured, battered prawns.

The meals were very filling, especially my burrito, packed with the most tender pork. However, there was room for dessert, or course! A creamy, baked cheesecake for me, please! (Below)


And we can’t forget drinks. Our evening was replenished with many refreshing mocktails (a minty, raspberry and apple mohito anyone?!), some fruity daiquiris (similar to those childhood slush puppies, used to dye the tongue an unnatural blue, but without the colouring effect!) and a few subtly flavoured punch bowls, all presented in unique displays of tin cups, bronze bowls and interestingly shaped glasses; perfect to instagram! 

I can’t recommend this restaurant anymore: a pleasurable experience to top off a trendy Liverpool visit!

-afoodexplorer x

Peel and Stone Bakery 

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On Harborne highstreet, there is a delightful bakery called Peel and Stone. With a constantly changing menu of delightful treats on sale, as well as freshly baked bread varieties, it is the perfect place for a quick shop.

 Downstairs, there is a cosy, slightly urban restaurant, where the food is of the same high quality as the shop floor. The garlic bread resonates in my head as being  particularly soft textured; just remember to chew on parsley after, to rid that pungent garlic aroma, so as not to offend your fellow diners!

Below I have described some of my favourites products from there:

Firstly, their sourdough bread, (different varities shown in both photos) which have a unique hint of sourness. The quite dense, bouncy, crumpet like texture is particularly complementary with a warm, soothing soup. 

Their breads are also superbly frozen; some say they even taste better after defrosting!

My ultimate favourite, however, is their almond baklava croissant (in the forefront of the first picture) as its sweet, subtle, marzipan taste, and soft yet slightly chewy texture, is an unbeatable combination. Despite not being a huge fan of marzipan, this croissant somehow satisfies my taste buds.

Overall, I highly recommend this bakery if you are ever in the parameters of Harborne: go and try their savoury breads or sweet brownies, croissants and more, which are all produced to a very high standard.

-afoodexplorer x

Apple and Cinnamon Upside Down Cake (recipe review)

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A few weeks ago, I decided to bake this upside-down cake recipe (click word recipe for link) that  I found online. Upside down cakes are beneficial in the sense that toppings are less likely to be burnt and you can recognise more clearly whether the cake is fully baked (it will spring back at the touch).

The end product was super soft! Extremely nourishing with a soft texture and succulent apples (as I accidentally used pink lady apples instead of the intended cooking apples my mum bought, whoops!). It’s final appearance consists of caramelised apples creating a golden brown appearance for a warm, autumnal feel.

If you wish to try the recipe I just have a few tips before you do. When making the toffee to cover the apples, slow cook the sugar and butter, of which you only need very little: about 1/10 of butter on the recipe is needed. For the cinnamon lovers out there (like me!), sprinkle a generous topping of cinnamon over the apples. For the cake, use plain flour. When separating the egg whites and yolk, if some yolk ends up in the whites don’t worry, the whites should still foam up, at which point you can fold them into the cake mixture. To prevent yolk and white mixing, however, you can separate one egg at a time into a small bowl before combining all the whites together. 

Overall, I highly recommend this recipe! I loved it! 

-afoodexplorer

Pizza Express and Paradice (not a spelling error, I promise!)

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A teacher training day (i.e a day off school) meant a trip to Pizza Express with two friends was achievable. No lie, we were counting down the days until our lunch date.

As we arrived, feeling rather grown up eating at a restaurant without adults, we were immediately ready to order, having pre decided our meal in our  elated anticipation.

I ordered my favourite: garlic bread with mozzarella for starter and padana pizza for main. I must comment, I may have had a slight (euphemism) pronounciation difficulty when ordering.

Despite my struggle and slight embarrassment, when the food arrived it exceeded expectations. The sweet, succulent, caramelised onions, combined with the soft spinach and the desired, bitter goats cheese was delightful. 

For dessert, after struggling with split payments and voucher usage at Pizza Express (I recommend downloading the app VoucherCodes for a number of offers) we decided to visit Paradice, a gelateria on Harborne high street, Birmingham. With a range of intriguing flavours, and variety of treats available, we were spoilt for choice. 

Below is my choice: warmed chocolate brownie accompanied with rocky road and strawberry lace ice cream. Only £5! Although the strawberry lace ice cream will only appeal to specific taste buds, it was intriguing to try. The brownie and rocky road ice cream are must haves for the avid chocolate fans out there, though.

My friends both chose the melted cookie and vanilla ice cream displayed below. The 20minutes preparation time was definitely worth the wait for the melt in the mouth dessert!


I highly recommend Pizza Express and Paradice for an indulgent treat if you happen to be in Harborne.

-afoodexplorer x

P.S. I am also planning on posting another Paradice blog if I am able to try some other desserts!

Raspberry Rose Profiteroles

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A quick review:


Good old waitrose has surpassed expectations with these delicious profiteroles.

The texture combination of the creamy filling, soft icing and sugar crystals decor are truly delightful. 

The bright pink icing truly drew my eye to this product whilst pondering around the desserts isle at Waitrose; the attraction didn’t stop there. The quality of this product, with it’s strongly rose infused icing, the flavour lasting on the tongue, has meant this dessert has truly added a burst of joy to my evening.

So quickly, buy if possible! I highly recommend.

-afoodexplorer x

Wahaca!

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A surprise London visit for my birthday landed me in this modern mexican restaurant, Wahaca. What a name! With the decor (photo) visibly colourful, bold and vibrant, my excitement was almost unbearable! I was rushing to my seat in anticipation of the Mexican menu! 

What’s more, the service was delightful! We were welcomed with high spirit and laughter as the menu was presented to us. Already with the joy of seeing Matilda later in the day (go see it if you can! The choreography is especially astounding: so intricate and cunning!) I was eager to start ordering  food.

As I indulged in the delicious mini tacos filled with meat, spices and vegetables, we were informed by the waiter of the social objective of Wahaca. Their street food menu consists of dishes to share, in order to make the meal a more sociable event. What a wonderful idea in this modern world of technology!

This restaurant is an excellent place to try for those hoping to try tasters of multiple different Mexican based dishes, and who take pleasure from a little chilli, accentuating the flavours of the dishes. 

If this review does not entirely encourage you to try out this place, why not check out their menu just incase: Wahaca Menu

-afoodexplorer x

Butcher’s Social- before its new identity !

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Intriguing title, isn’t it? Well, I thought so…

Anyway…

In Harborne, Birmingham, there used to be a little urban eating place called Butcher’s Social. However, this past year it has been closed due to some decoration upgrades and a little menu change to form the new, Harborne Kitchen!  I still need to try the exquisite food of this new, classy restaurant, but I am reliably informed it presents michelin star  food! (A post for when i do manage a visit is a promise!)

However, I am not here to just discuss Harborne Kitchen, no, this is more of a commemoration post for my old favourite, Butcher’s Social. 

It was filled with crates and second hand chairs for seating and a raffle ticket system for customers ordering food. Food was even sold in takeaway packaging to complete the oddly appealing, quirky ambiance of the place!

The photo attatched only provides a glimpse  of the food sold there. With a new menu everyday, I loved the excitement of discovering which new foods were available to try! A favourite, which remained on the menu everyday due to its popularity, was the chicken wings! The photo does not give credit for the succulent, sweet honeycomb coated wings! My irrepressible sweet tooth could not resist! Whoops!

Another favourite dish, which is savoury this time (shocking!), was the mini macaroni cheese balls, which appealed to me as an avid pasta lover ! I will try and develop a recipe for this soon !! Although, with kitchen works currently at home, this may be a struggle.

Overall, with the friendly service and delectable food, I can’t emphasise how disappointed I was to see this place go and I know this may seem like a useless post about a closed down dining place, but if nothing else, it should advocate the need for everyone to try Harborne Kitchen! With the same chefs, the food should be as, if not more, delicious than Butcher’s Social.

So here is to hoping the Harborne Kitchen lives up to my (our?) high expectations. But until then!

-afoodexplorer x

P.s I have just been informed there is a Butcher’s Social in Birmingham city centre!