Change is good. Routine is good too. What is most important for me is good times, good people and good food.
If Routine provides this, then why change. However, if change can also bring good things, then do so. What am I going on about?
Well... instead of going to the usual breakfast place, we instead went to try the Marksman.
Brunch not as you know it, but the outcome fairly similar. There was no bottomless processco or champagne but instead a coffee and some Guinness.
The food was and is always the real reason to visit somewhere and based on a recommendation we come here for food. The Marksman is:
Public House and Dining Rooms in the East End of LondonServing great local beers, ales, lagers and ciders alongside a selection of fine wines and spirits. We have a bar menu and an exceptional restaurant — "The joy is not simply in the cooking, though it does possess the sort of vigour and attitude that makes properly greedy people swoon." Jay Rayner — Observer.
The Marksman became the first Public House in all of London to be awarded the Michelin Pub of the Year.
When I first saw the menu, the bacon chop stood out. I was going to have this, but the £20 price for breakie before a whole day out, made me think twice.
Instead I copied a friends order and went for the bacon sandwich with an egg and a side or hash brown.
Almost the same as the bacon chop, but a smaller piece and in between two slices of bread. WINNER, WINNER!
GOOD STUFF: The hash browns looks and taste delightful, if not on your dish, order it as a side
WATCH OUT: I almost walked past it, but it is 2020 and we all have maps on our phones
OMG: That Bacon, YUMMY, almost on par with PittCue.
The pull of Vapiano; i had never know before.
In my mind (I had never stepped foot inside one before), Vapiano was similar to Wagamama, but for Pasta.
I was wrong, instead it is the equivalent of Wok to Walk in a way ,but with added benefits (I hope you know what i mean).
You choose what you want and then they make it in front of you, asking if you would like certain ingredients or not and what type of Pasta too.
Looking at the menu, you can see everyones usual favourites from Arrabbiata, Bolognese, Carbonara and more. This is appealing and gives you the safe option, however, for my first time, I thought if i went for something I make myself (quite well, i should say), then I would be too busy comparing.
Long story short, I didn't order the Carbonara and instead went for the Crema Di Funghi. which is:
mushrooms, balsamic onions, garlic oil, white wine, cream, butter, nutmeg, parsley, Italian hard cheese. All that for £9.25
The new Centre Point restaurant, which has been open for about six months is very open and airy and being so new, it seems as though it is not on everyones radar yet. I was later told that we were lucky customers as it wasn't very busy and therefore meant no queueing.
As you walk in, you get a card and this gives you the keys to the Vapiano kingdom. With the card you choose what you want (tap on the screen) and then at the end pay for it (tap again).
The Crema Di Funghi was made in front of my very eyes.
The process is a series of questions about your food tastes, mix it all up and voila, your food how you asked for it.
First question: what type of pasta?
Next: Garlic? Cheese? More? Parsley? Wine? More?
So on and so forth, until the pasta has been cooked and mixed with your dish.
The pasta was tasty, good sized portion and With the addition of the large slice of bread; we were all stuffed. One question i wished they had asked whilst preparing the dish was whether I wanted it with more cream.. My answer would have been, "Yes please... some more please".
Maybe this was a personal preference, but I just wanted that bit extra cream/cheese.
The dish was tasty, packed full of garlic and therefore it was clear to me why many people have visited. It is not the best Pasta ever, but at under £10 I wasn't expecting it to be.
The fact that you can choose the amounts of certain ingredients does give the place a novelty factor and means a slight change any and every time you go.
My advice, go and be brave. Go for a change and push your boundaries.
Sat down on boxing day and you've probably thinking about all the food you've eaten and whether you needed it all.
However, the indulgence of yesterday is based on a month of celebrations and eating.
Plum Valley in Chinatown certainly opened up my stomach with the excess amount of chinese food. More importantly is an excesa of good food.
So much food. It just kept on coming.
that is the motto of this visit and restaurant it seems.
Even after the starters most of us were stuffed, however, the food and the waiters seemed to be coming back. The tables seemed unprepared too as there was hardly any table. Our lazy Suzy ( the spinning plate on our table) was dizzy with the amount of spins due to the need to switch dishes.
I think you get the theme here. Plum Valley in Chinatown makes sure you are full and stuffed.
A wide range of dishes and a room catered for private parties. To be honest i have no idea of the cost but would recommend this for a work party or get together. One caveat, the gluten free options are limited.
The menu didnt scream out Christmas, but to be honest, I think that was a good thing.
What the menu did say was: sharing, social, excess and variety.
Ive always known not to overdo the starters. Yet like my drinking, I still go overboard. Once again too much Meze and bread left me feeking absoloutely stuffed.
The menu was like your favourite singers greatest hits album. Banger after banger, your sing a long tunes one after another.
this made choosing really difficult.
First off a big thank you to Seetal and Raj for their recommendations and info on where to go in San Sebastian.
For a birthday surprise and treat for my dad, the family (seven adults and two children) went to San Sebastian. Dreams were made a reality by some forward planning and a gentle nudge by my cousin too.
Why was this a dream for my dad (and Me)? San Sebastian is know by many as the Foodie capital of the world or as the airport likes to state, San Sebastian is THE Culinary Nation. A key reason is due to the fact that the city is host to the most Michelin starred restaurants per capita. I think, the last count was at 11, 3 starred restaurants.
As well as the Michelin starred restaurants,, San Sebastian is known for its Pintxos bars. These bars serve Pintxos (their version of Tapas) all over the city and customers are treated to hand held delights in all varieties.
What I expected:
Well initially, my mind was fixed on pintxos (the Basque version of Tapas). Rows and rows of food laid out for your delight. From jamon to croquettes, but what we got was so much more.
What I got:
What I loved, is that the whole environment and atmosphere in the city was very relaxed. It was bustling and crowded, but everyone seemed happy and jovial. I will try to keep smiling as much as those in the Basque country.
I won't waste too much time with recommendations as Seetal's blog further up does that for you.
This one - http://www.savlafaire.com/top-10-pintxos-bars-san-sebastian/
But a few standouts are:
So So good. These are must visit places; and if money isn't an issue, do go to one of the many Michelin starred restaurants.
What a city. What an amazing trip. Foodie delight. Amazing city and culture. A lovely beach.
San Sebastian, thank you for a lovely few days.