Trattoria Alessi – Desenzano del Garda, Italy

We stayed in Desenzano, which is a colourful, seaside-like, small Italian lake town on Lake Garda, and on our first night we walked around the streets looking for somewhere that wouldn’t be touristy and unauthentic. We wondered through all the small, winding, colourful streets and stumbled upon Trattoria Alessi.

It was exactly what we were looking for! We very happily sat down outside in the colourful, little, wonky, side street.

IMG_4543
The colourful little street
IMG_4546
Sitting outside at the restaurant
IMG_4563
Dinner vibes

We were given the usual basket of bread and bread sticks. Now, I have a couple things to say about these baskets of bread. Firstly, they absolutely love their bread sticks before dinner. I don’t think we went anywhere in Lake Como or Lake Garda where these were not given to you. Secondly, they love to give you bread, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, but not any dish to put the oil and balsamic onto, so you will need to ask.

IMG_4549
The Lasagna

We ordered our favourite Italian dishes. Jack had the Lasagna and I had the Spaghetti Pescatore – both absolutely delicious – which we washed down with bottle of a simple Pinot Noir.

IMG_4585
The Spaghetti Pescatore

Once we had finished our meals we still had some wine to finish off but this area of the restaurant was closing up, so the waiter showed us into another area of the restaurant which lead into a (what we thought was a secret) garden area. It was a buzzing little atmosphere with everyone finishing off their last drinks from their dinners.

An absolutely hidden away gem – and so glad we stumbled across it!

 

http://hotelalessi.com/resort/trattoria-alessi/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g194965-d1812674-Reviews-Trattoria_Pizzeria_Alessi-Desenzano_Del_Garda_Province_of_Brescia_Lombardy.html

Advertisements

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.

IMG_3709
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.

IMG_3713
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.

IMG_3715
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/

Sen Nin – Upper Street, Islington, London

We decided to treat ourselves to a teppanyaki dinner, which neither of us had tried properly before. Sen Nin were doing a weekday special feast menu which consisted of 4 courses for £30 per person. There was a Miso or Tom Yum soup to start, Japanese tapas next, then the Teppanyaki course and a finished off with a dessert.

We weren’t really sure what to expect – all I knew is that we booked the chef’s table so that we could watch him to the cooking in front of us.

It was a quiet Wednesday evening in the restaurant, which I guess was why they had a deal on during the week. There were a few tables of people in the restaurant, but we had the chef’s table to ourselves.

I ordered the Tom Yum soup and Jack ordered the Miso soup. They were served in little Japanese soup bowls and were nice but nothing to shout about.

IMG_2181

For our Japanese tapas dishes we chose the seafood option. There was a seabass ceviche, a tuna tartare and calamari. These were presented gorgeously on a long dish so I was very impressed when it came out. Taste-wise, again, they were all nice enough. The tuna was a little stringy and didn’t really melt in my mouth the way I thought it should, the ceviche and calamari were nice though.

IMG_2182

IMG_2183

IMG_2185

Next was the Teppanyaki and out came our Chef who explained it all to us! We had ordered the scallops and the fillet steak to share with some rice and vegetables.

He was great! This is what we had been waiting for! He chatted and joked with us the whole time that he was cooking. And he wasn’t JUST cooking, he was doing tricks with all the food! At one point he let Jack get up and try out a trick as well.

It was great entertainment for the evening. He didn’t go wild and make a massive flame on the stove but he was fun nevertheless.

IMG_2194

IMG_2198

The scallops and steak with the fried rice and the vegetable stir fry on the side were the best part of the meal by far. Nice flavours but I think the entertainment of it being cooked in front of us definitely made us enjoy it more.

IMG_2203

For dessert we got a mixture of 3 mini dessert pots and a duo of red bean and matcha ice cream and shared them all. I love matcha ice cream so that was the best bit for me (matcha is a glorious time always!) – the rest was okay but I don’t think I would have missed out if I didn’t have them.

IMG_2204

I wouldn’t necessarily be running back for a weekday set menu – but perhaps would come again to see what the weekend is like for the chef’s table teppanyaki as that was definitely good fun.

 

http://www.sen-nin.com/

Pho House – Highbury and Islington, London

12I love Vietnamese food. It tastes fresh and healthy but really fills a craving that makes it feel like comfort food at the same time.

The fabulous thing about London is that it is such a multicultural city that we get food from all over the globe and we get it made well, by people who are from those countries. So it is no surprise that we have some great Vietnamese restaurants in London.

My friends and I found out about Pho House about 2 years ago as it right by Highbury and Islington Station and near where we all live.

20160705_210729

We all ordered a sharing seafood platter with the famous Vietnamese summer rolls, some deep fried soft shell crab and some calamaris. It was all delicious and we couldn’t wait to get our mains.20160705_212715IMG_20160705_23242420160705_212821

I personally think the best thing to order here is the special beef pho (I prefer this than chicken or seafood pho in general though). I have tried the bun before but I was not as impressed – but the beef pho is excellent!!

If you like it spicy like I do, then definitely ask for some chilli oil on the side.

http://phohouse.uk/

Meat People – Islington, London

This is a very overdue post as I went to Meat People about a year ago now. We went after work one Tuesday in Spring last year and had a lovely long dinner.

Meat People is a quaint little restaurant just off Upper Street. There aren’t many tables and it is very simply decorated.

20160704_195700

We started by sharing a crab salad which was a nice fresh and tasty start to the meal.

For our mains we shared a meat platter, some greens, and cauliflower cheese. It was all gorgeously flavoured. Simple food but good quality and cooked well.

20160704_202020
Our grilled meats platter
20160704_202036
The greens
20160704_202126
Cauliflower and cheese

For dessert we shared a gorgeous berry and pistachio posset and a cheese platter.

When they served all the dishes, they were explained to us. They seemed to know exactly where all their produce came from and what went well with what, which made the experience of dinner fabulous.

20160704_210102
Posset
20160704_211026
The cheeseboard

http://meatpeople.co.uk/

Vinitus – Barcelona, Spain

Renata and I went for a weekend in Barcelona and after a day of walking around shops and markets, our feet needed a bit of a rest of we went for a well priced and very very tasty tapas and wine stop.

I absolutely love tapas and this is a good place to get large variety of tapas choices (literally anything you could think of including fresh seafood!).

corina-landa-vinitus-5661

We sat at the bar and in front of us was a gorgeous array of amazing dishes. We wanted them all!

bancone

20160722_192156
Jamon Iberico
20160722_193125
Padron Peppers
20160722_192111
Crab Stick Salad with Pan Con Tomat
20160722_193206
Burrata

Massive selection of great tapas, well priced and a very chilled atmosphere!

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187497-d1228300-Reviews-Vinitus_Barcelona-Barcelona_Catalonia.html

Exploring Temple Street, Hong Kong – Spicy Crab Restaurant

20160809_210319.jpg

Temple Street is a night market in Hong Kong where you can buy jade stones, Chinese tea sets, trinkets, bags etc. As you walk along the street you will find an interesting array of vendors, fortune tellers and opera singers. Yep – they stand on stalls singing away (no joke!).

Spicy Crab Restaurant is on the corner of one of the streets and here you can get fresh seafood every night. Just pick a number of seafood dishes and share in the middle of the table. It is very much on the street so it isn’t the nicest of venues but its a good experience being in the middle of the hustle and bustle having street food.

download