La Llotja at El National – Barcelona, Spain

El National is a stunning restaurant with a gorgeous interior. They call themselves Barcelona’s Gastronomic Experience with four different culinary areas (a meat restaurant, a seafood restaurant, a tapas restaurant and a brasserie) and four different bars (specialising in beer, wine, cava and cocktails).

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On our recent girly weekend away, Renata and I went to El National and we chose La Llotja – the seafood restaurant.

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A large menu of all the different seafood dishes

There is an area of the restaurant that had all the fresh seafood on ice that you are able to pick and choose from. It is all fresh from the fisherman every morning and when it runs out it runs out so you need to get there at a decent hour to get the good stuff.

We learned this the hard way, as we tried to do dinner the Spanish way and ended up arriving at 10:30pm and eating at 11pm so a couple of the seafood bits that we did want to try had disappeared into other people’s bellies.

We ended up choosing the Pan Con Tomat, a dish with Mediterranean and Atlantic oysters, tuna tartare and scallop ceviche and some fresh prawns along with a gorgeously clean cut white wine to go with it all.

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The Mediterranean and Atlantic oysters, tuna tartare and scallop ceviche. Perfect for sharing!
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The tuna tartare (which I think was my favourite)
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The scallop ceviche.
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Baked fresh prawns with sea salt
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For dessert we had the creme caramel to share which was LARGE and we could not finish it. I think you could share this between 5 or 6 people.

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A gorgeous place, amazing service, up beat vibe and such good food. Must try even if you just come for a drink!

http://www.elnacionalbcn.com/en/

http://www.elnacionalbcn.com/en/restaurantes/la-llotja/

 

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Wright Brothers – Borough Market, London Bridge

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I have written about Wright Brothers in Borough Market before, but that was about 3 years ago, so it is time for a refresher.

After a scrumptious Monmouth coffee and a stroll around Borough Market, we got ourselves a table at Wright Brothers for some fresh seafood lunch. We got the fruit de mer petit platter to share between us and a bottle of white wine.

There were whelks, winkles, prawns, shrimps, oysters, clams and mussels presented on a bed of ice. It was all so fresh and reminded me so much of the seafront restaurants in Cannes in the South of France.

We chatted away and nibbled on fresh seafood for ages – it was a really relaxing vibe and the waitresses and waiters were really friendly and helpful.

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A must try if you haven’t been yet!

http://www.thewrightbrothers.co.uk/borough-market.html

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Exploring Temple Street, Hong Kong – Spicy Crab Restaurant

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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.

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Steamy Seafood Cuisine – Jordan, Kowloon, Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, food is very much about the experience as well as the flavour. There are hot pot dinners, cartoon character dim sum brunches, the Chinese 12 course banquet -style dinners and even outdoor barbecue spots where you have a buffet of foods available to cook.

The current new craze is the steamed seafood restaurants, which I had never been to before, where they steam an array of different dishes and then underneath there is a congee to finish off the meal which is flavoured by all the seafood, meats and vegetables that have been steaming on top. It is GLORIOUS!

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My Mum, her childhood friends and I went to Steamy Seafood Cuisine in Jordan. I had never been to one of these restaurants before but a banquet of dishes came over to our table for steaming in the middle of the table in an in built steamer.

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There is a section in the restaurant where you can create your own sauce to go with your food. I made mine with soya sauce, fresh chilies, garlic and coriander.

The meal began with seafood (lobster, scallops, razor clams, clams and fish) and then we moved onto some chicken, steak, vegetables and Chinese turnip cakes.

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Then once all the steaming had been done, the steamer came off and in the pot underneath (instead of water boiling like a normal steamer) there was congee cooking away the whole time so it had absorbed all the flavours from the foods that had been steaming above it.

It was a really good experience and the food was really fresh. The food was so fresh in fact that they have all the aquariums with the seafood swimming around at the front of the restaurant. I definitely recommend.

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http://www.openrice.com/en/hongkong/r-steamy-seafood-cuisine-jordan-guangdong-hot-pot-r474217

Villa Tropicana – Mijas, Spain

Across the road from CLC World, on the border of Mijas and Fuengirola in Spain, there is a small beach shack that has gorgeous, fresh seafood.

If you are ever in the area and it is a nice sunny day, I would definitely recommend sitting at the tables outside with your feet in the sand and the sun on your face and the sound of the mini waves beside you.2016-03-27_19.38.59

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We went a handful of times during our stay there in Spring, earlier this year to order the same bowls of mussels and clams and drink ice cold beers in the glorious sun shine. Occasionally dipping our feet into the cold sea when it got too hot.

The sauce for the clams and mussels were what really made the dishes and the fact that it was all so fresh!20160325_153254

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https://www.facebook.com/villa.tropicana.5?fref=ts

The Magic Roundabout – Old Street, London

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One Friday evening after work, Jack and I made our way to The Magic Roundabout as we had heard about it from friends and it is right by my new office.

It was a buzzing atmosphere but still quite relaxed and not ridiculously busy. We could still order drinks and food easily without waiting in any stressful queues or crowds and we still found a spot to sit down. It is a no frills pop up joint with just two stalls, one craft beers and coffee stall and a main bar where you can get the usual main stream bar drinks.

With music in the back ground (no too loud that you needed to shout into your friends ears) and great weather that evening – it was a really nice place for a chilled out post work dinner and drinks – and something a bit different.

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We shared the Tiger Prawn Slider which came with a loving portion of fries and a seafood sauce to dip them in. The prawns were beautifully grilled and popped into a brioche type bun with some fresh lettuce. Wonderful seaside flavours.

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We then made our way round to the much talked about Burger Bear stall.

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Jack got the Grizzly £10 (above) which has bacon, bacon jam (a recent foodie sensation) and cheese. Although I find a tenner a little steep for just a burger and no sides and buying from a stall – but the price was easily forgotten when we bit into these juicy, meat filled brioches.

I had the Burger Bear £7 (below) – the original Burger Bear cheeseburger. I am not a fan of raw onions so had to pull those out, but apart from that it was equally as delicious. You can taste the excellent quality of the burger meat and it is ever so slightly pink on the inside (perfectly cooked for a proper burger) and still oozing with juices as you bite into it, then there is the cheese melted over the top and then placed in a brioche with all the salad trimmings.
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http://www.londonpopups.com/2015/06/the-magic-roundabout-on-old-street-with.html

http://www.burgerbearuk.com/#about

https://www.facebook.com/prawnographyldn

Wright Brothers – Borough Market, London Bridge, London

Wright Brothers - Borough Market

What to do on a sunny April day? Go for an oysters and bloody mary brunch, obviously.

Hannah, Liz and I found ourselves at the Wright Brothers just outside Borough Market one glorious sunny April day. We sat out side where there are make shift tables made of barrels and stools. We decided on a mix of a dozen oysters (above) which were presented and explained to us by the server. From bottom and clockwise, we had Northumbrian, Irish, and Jersey shells. They were absolutely delightful and eating them in the warm sunshine, I felt like I was swimming in the sea with the creamy and fresh texture and tang from the lemon (I’m a huge fan of oysters in general, hence my dramatic explanation).

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As we were waiting for the oysters, they brought us some fresh sourdough bread and butter. Delish!

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Overall a great way to start a sunny spring day! CHINCHIN!

http://thewrightbrothers.co.uk/

It was £30 for the mixed dozen oysters and £7.50 for a bloody mary