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

 

Restaurant Benimar – Alcossebre, Spain

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Alcossebra, which is a little seaside town in Spain, is a gorgeous place to get away from the hustle and bustle of London. We spent five nights there and we really felt relaxed afterwards. It is more of a slower pace of life and it is great for the soul.

We went for dinner at Restaurant Benimar which is known for their good steaks so we had to try them. Jack and I ordered a Chateaubriand and potato rosti between us.

It arrived on a grand silver plate with roasted vegetables on the side.

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We asked for a it medium rare because Jack likes it this way, but it came rare which I was happy about because I like it this way. It is how good steak should be eaten. It was soft and had a nice natural smokey taste from the grill.

The rosti was lovely as well and came with pieces of ham in it which gave a nice flavour to it.

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We sat outside and it was a chilled out vibe. There was live music playing from the restaurant next door and there was a breeze from the sea as the restaurant is on the seafront.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g662644-d2296544-Reviews-Benimar-Alcossebre_Province_of_Castellon_Valencian_Country.html

 

Petitbo – Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is one of my favourite cities in Europe. I love the quirkiness, the independent restaurants and cafes, the artsy vibe, the liveliness, the food, the sun, the drinks, the markets – just everything.

Renata and I went for a weekend away recently and we went for breakfast at Petitbo. It is a very cool-speakeasy-warehouse-type vibe with its mismatched chairs and comfy couches in the corner.

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We started off with some coffee and breakfast. I went for the scrambled eggs with jamon (the intensely flavoured Spanish ham) which came with homemade sourdough bread and Renata went for the porridge. The food was perfect and what a great way to start our first day in Barcelona. We finished the meal with fresh juices that we took away with us.

Good food, good drinks, chilled out vibe. If you are looking for a breakfast spot in Barcelona – I’d definitely recommend this one.

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Street Food – Istanbul, Turkey

My gorgeous girlfriends and I got our back packs on flew to Istanbul in May this year for some exploring. We managed to see loads of historical sights, visit the two big bazaars and do some shopping. This post is about all the street foods I tried while I was there.2015-05-03_14.45.31

Midye Dolma (Stuffed Mussels) – Found at the Ferry Port on the Asian Side20150504_194533

20150504_194553Emma, Astrid, Esme and I got a ferry across from the European side, where we were staying, to the Asian side, where my friend Hannah lives, as she was having a garden party at her house that evening. As we got off the ferry onto the Asian side, we saw a couple of these Midye Dolma street vendors. Obviously we had to try them. They opened up the mussel for us, scooped it all into one shell, squeezed some lemon onto it, and then it was served.

They make a rice mixture and then stuff it into the mussels to cook – it tastes very much like a seafood risotto or a seafood paella. DELICIOUS!

It costs 1 Turkish Lira for 2 mussels (£1 = 4 Lira at the time) and they are such a good tasty little street snack.images (1)

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Corn on the Cob and Chesnuts – Found around Sultan Ahmet20150503_181931

To be honest, I wasn’t too impressed with the grilled corn that I got. It was cold and the kernels was so hard and tasted like they were probably cooked in the morning and just laid out all day. They sprinkled it with salt which didn’t melt and infuse into the corn and instead lay over it dry. I doubt I will be rushing to have one of these again, but if you are to try these I would suggest asking for a freshly cooked one. Not my favourite. 2 Liras for 1 corn.

Islak Burgers (Wet Burgers in English) – Found in Taksimdownload (1)The Islak Burgers are found lining the streets of Taksim. You will see them in the windows of most of the shops. Emma, Astrid and I had one of these on our way home after Hannah’s garden party. It was surprisingly good.

It was a bun similar to a McDonalds cheeseburger bun, with a very thin meat patty inside, but what makes it a “wet burger” is that, not only is there tomato sauce on the inside of the bun like a normal burger, but it is absolutely covered in a tomato sauce. The sauce doesn’t taste as strong with flavour as a tomato ketchup. It had a lighter taste to it. This sauce somehow gave the burger bun a chewy texture, like the texture of a bagel.

A delightful midnight street snack AND it was only 2 Lira!images (2)

Simit (Turkish Pretzels) – Found all over the streets in Istanbulimages (3)These are great if you are hungry and on the go. It costs 1 Lira for one. Plain chewy-bagel-type-pretzels that are sold on every street corner.

Overall a fab place to visit and many interesting flavours. I still need to go back and try to famous fish sandwich which is also a street food.

Istanbul, I’m coming back.

Gusta Pizza – Florence, Italy

The weather was glorious in Florence when Jack and I went in April this year (but I guess I have London to compare it to, so pretty much anywhere else has great weather). It is such a beautiful city – even more so when showing itself off in the sunshine and cool, springtime breeze – and it offers such delicious foods made so simply with the freshest ingredients.

We read on Trip Advisor about a Pizza place that we had to try, so we got in a cab and as soon as we mentioned Gusta Pizza, the driver told us how famous it is and how good the pizzas are – so we knew we had made the right choice!

Gusta-Pizza-Menu

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As soon as you walk in it feels so lively and such a friendly atmosphere with the staff and chefs laughing and joking with everyone and making you feel so welcome when you enter. It is a small place with just a few large barrels with glass tops to use at tables and stools to sit on. You get in and you order at the till. Then they give you a number and you wait for it to be called then you go up and collect your pizzas.

I ordered a Napoli 6 Euros and Jack had a Calabrese 7 Euros. If felt like no time before they were out the wood-fired stone oven and onto the table. They made mine into a heart shape (CUTE!). The pizzas tasted so good. Everything from the prefect chewiness of the dough to the freshness of the sauce and the mozzarella – it was 100% the best pizza I have ever tried.

They had their own wine which we ordered as well and was absolutely gorgeous. I definitely recommend to try it – Plus it was only 10 Euros for a whole bottle!

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A Florentine institution! No pizza will ever be the same now.

Also read:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187895-d1155597-Reviews-Gusta_Pizza-Florence_Tuscany.html

Gusta Pizza