Giuseppe’s Place – London Bridge, London

Today I am flying to Italy for a long weekend in the Italian Lakes – In fact I have probably just landed in Milan while this post is going live – so I thought it would be appropriate to post an Italian Restaurant that I have been to recently.

Established in 1990, Giuseppe’s Ristorante Italiano (as they like to call themselves) pride themselves in being London South Bank’s oldest family run Italian restaurant (as they state in their website). In an alley way in London Bridge, there is a door way with stairs leading down into a lively, little underground, very authentic Italian restaurant. With live music playing in a corner, the restaurant completely full, the very warm welcome from the Italian waiter – we immediately felt that we had found a gem, even before we had tried the food.

The restaurant was full but they kindly let us know that if we went to the pub next door and had a drink, they would come up and let us know once a table was ready for us. So we did just that and they came and got us in no time.

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The Bruschetta and Anitpasti Platter

We were sat in a booth in the cozy, little restaurant and were served straight away. Between the five of us (Jack, Frank, Sandra, Victoria and I) we decided to share 3 starters and then get a main each.

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The Calamari

For the starters we ordered the Bruschetta, a plate of antipasti and some calamari to share. It all came how I would imagine it to come if I were in a family run restaurant in Italy. Simple, tasty Italian food. No frills and nothing fancy.

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Spaghetti Pescatore

For my main I had the Spaghetti Pescatore, which is my absolute favourite pasta dish of all time – seafood with either with linguine or spaghetti. It was honestly cooked to perfection – with loads of seafood (clams, mussels, calamari, prawns and fish) and a gorgeous tomato based sauce that coated it all.

It was a great atmosphere, great service, great food and overall a great little find!

 

http://www.giuseppesplace.com/

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Atalaya – Alcossebra, Spain

Karen, Jack and I had a very experimental, fusion meal in the little seaside town of Alcossebra. The setting was lovely on a quiet side street with an artsy, oceanic vibe about it with pottery in all different shades of blue for decoration.

For the beginning of the meal they brought us some complimentary bread which was served in a basket still warm with a couple of dips on the side.

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Freshly baked bread with dips

And next came the amuse bouche which had really interesting textures and flavours.

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Amuse bouche

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For the starters we shared three: The Chicken and Foie Gyozas – a Western take on the traditional Japanese gyozas, The Chilled Tomato Salad with Basil Mouse – which was freezing cold and so refreshing, and The Prawns in Thai Sauce – which were giant prawns. It was all delicious.

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Chicken and Foie Gyozas
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Chilled tomato salad with basil mouse
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Prawns in Thai sauce with prawn crackers on top
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One of the prawns

For mains I had the Pork ribs with Hoisin Sauce which just fell apart and was so tender it melted in my mouth. Jack had the fish and Karen had the fillet steak. Everything was cooked perfectly.

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Pork ribs with hoisin sauce
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Corvina with Cauliflower and Hazlenuts

 

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Duck with Pear and Foie

We ordered Irta’s Island for dessert which was an orange mouse, cocoa crumble and vanilla ice cream put together on a dish to look like an island in the middle of an ocean coloured ceramic dish.

I am usually not a fan or orange flavoured sweets – but this was absolutely stunning and crunch of the cocoa crumble was like a triple chocolate cookie crumbled over the top and it really make the dish.

After the dessert we ordered and shared, they brought out complimentary sweets for us the end our meal. There were chocolates, slices of melon and sticks of Marshmallow.

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Irta’s Land
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Complimentary dessert nibbles
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More complimentary dessert nibbles
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The colourful menu
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The menu on the night that we went
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The restaurant

 

I was quite surprised to learn that this little town had a restaurant that was so new age and experimental with their dishes. And you could really tell that a lot of time and passion had gone into all their dishes.

http://restatalaya.wixsite.com/atalaya

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g662644-d6888411-Reviews-Atalaya_Restaurante-Alcossebre_Province_of_Castellon_Valencian_Country.html

 

Mangal 1 Ocakbasi Restaurant – Dalston, London, UK

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It might look like a take out kebab shop as you pass from the outside, but as you walk in you will see all the fresh meat skewers and the long hot coal grill with its smokey, mouthwatering and incredibly inviting smell drawing you in. At the back there is a large restaurant seating area.

Mangal Ocakbasi is a Turkish grill house based in Dalston that Jack, his mum Sandra and I discovered one evening.

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We ordered a plate of mixed dips to share as a starter – which came with a basket full of warm Turkish bread.

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For our main we ordered a large mixed grill plate to share which came with a large plate of salad. The spices on the meat enhance the flavour and are not overbearing and there is a barbeque like taste to it. We were actually surprised at how delicious it all tasted.

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We ended the meal with some sweet baklava and a Turkish tea – which was nice to have a little bite of sweetness after all the spiced meats.

Gorgeous, well priced and a buzzing atmosphere!

http://www.mangal1.com/

Warung Murah – Seminyak, Bali

On the way to Double-Six Beach in Seminyak, there is an open aired restaurant which has a buffet of mouth watering Indonesian food behind a glass window where you point at what you want and the servers add it to your rattan dish.

I always choose the red rice (which has a deliciously nutty flavour), some meat (usually grilled chicken) and some stir fried vegetables. It is healthy, full of wonderful flavours and spices, and costs me only Rp.20,000 (£1 – yes ONE BRITISH POUND!).

Belly is full and happy and ready for some lounging on the beach.

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https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g469404-d1182597-Reviews-Warung_Murah-Seminyak_Bali.html

Caravan at Kings Cross – Sunday Brunching

Caravan is the talk of the London Town for its brunches – so I decided to arrange a mini high school get-together for brunch one Sunday morning. There was Maria, Sadia, Keith, Jason, Tom and Claire. You cannot book and so we got there at 12noon, put our names down, and then sat outside with a coffee while we waited for our table. About 40minutes later, one coffee down and a decent amount of catching up, our table was ready.

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The atmostphere was great – all the tables were full and it was buzzing inside. The decor is very minimal and it looks like an old warehouse space.

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A few of us ordered Bloody Mary’s. I got mine extra spicy and it was exactly what I needed. Our orders took a little while to come but it was expected with the amount of customers that they had and we were very happy chattering away with each other that I didn’t even notice.

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Everything on the menu made my mouth water but in the end I decided to go for the poached eggs, aubergine puree, yoghurt, sumac, parsley, grain toast and soutsouki sausage £9. Claire had the same. This was a delicious concoction, which I would have never thought of putting together. It had a very Mediteranian flavour to it.

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Maria had the baked eggs, tomato pepper ragout, Greek yoghurt, toast £7.50 and some spinach on the side £3, which was great to dipping the toast into. It tasted very Spanish. Jason and Keith had the same but with chorizo £9.50 instead of spinach, which gave it a bit of a kick.

Sadia had a crab meat omlette, which had some very Japanese flavours to it with its Japanese wasabi mayonnaise, stirfried vegetables, sesame seeds that decorated the top of it. And Tom had smoked salmon with poached eggs – a classic in the brunching world.

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Then we finished off the meal with a coffee. I had one of their daily menu of filtered coffee £2 – which happened to be one from Kenya that day. They came with a very cute milk bottle on the side, which reminds me of when I was younger and the milk man would bring our milk to our doorstep in those glass pints.

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Overall the food was definitely worth all the waiting. If you are looking for something a little different for brunch, this is your place.

http://www.caravankingscross.co.uk/