Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Mauritius Bar

Having not seen my friends from the library where I used to work for ages, I travelled up to Norbury to meet everyone for a meal. We'd chosen a little restaurant on London Road, as it was nearby to the library so people could go straight there from work.

The place was deserted when we arrived, it looked like just the family of the owners in there. Our table wasn't ready to we got ourselves a drink and waited for everyone else to arrive before moving over to our table. One of our group is actually from Mauritius so we were all looking forward to sharing in some of her national dishes.

Unfortunately, the food was abysmal! We are assured that it was not representative of Mauritian food at all so I'd definitely give their cuisine another go, but not at this restaurant. So... the food. I ordered the whitebait to start, as there were only about 5 starters, and that seemed the best and I must admit, it wasn't bad - in fact, most people seemed happy with their starters, apart from the hour wait for them!

The mains were less successful - there was again about an hour wait for most, others had to wait longer. I'd order the red snapper which came with creole sauce, and it wasn't a bad taste, but the fish had been crucified! Several members of the group were vegetarians (or fish-phobic) and the menu didn't seem to have very many options for this so we'd asked the waiter if there was anything else they could do. He came back with the following options; Mixed vegetables in black bean sauce, mixed veg with sweet and sour sauce, or mixed veg and potato curry. These dishes seemed to be just frozen mixed veg and a sauce out of a jar - really not worth the money (or time) we'd spent on them.

At the end of the meal, I think the waiter could tell we had not had a very good experience, and tried to soften the blow with several random liqueurs. They didn't smell to bad (although they did smell quite toxic) but as I was driving I refused the bribery. So to sum up, the company was amazing and it was lovely to see some old friends and meet a few new ones. But the food was good, both in terms of taste, and value for money, and value for time! 2/10!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Trip to Wimbledon Night 2

So.. after the party, Ian still needed feeding - I'd had quite a bit to eat at the party so just wanted something light. We took a look at the menu of the place we were staying (The Rose & Crown) and as there was mussels I sent Ian off to the bar to order me those, and something for himself. They were out of mussels :(

Back to the room we went to get some money, and then back out to the village in search of food. This time we stopped a lot closer to the hotel, a restaurant called Piccolino's. As we only wanted something light, I went for the pasta with clams (cos the mean lady on the table next to us had just eaten the last of the mussels). Ian went for the Marinated prawn, swordfish and scallop skewers with saffron rice and cherry tomato sauce, with a side of chips cos he wasn't sure if he'd like the saffron rice. Turns out he did, but the chips were some of the nicest chips I've ever tried so I helped him eat those too! The swordfish was very good - I really wish I'd ordered the swordfish steak as it's a really meaty fish with tonnes of flavour. Ian gave the skewers 7/10 as although they were nice, it got cold really quickly. My clams were good but I really wanted the mussels (or the swordfish having tasted Ian's) as they have more flavour, so 7/10.

So our trip to wimbledon was full of good food, even though it was an expensive weekend, it was just what we both needed after a hectic couple of weeks at work.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Trip to Wimbledon Night 1

Ian and I had to go to Wimbledon for the weekend for my aunts 60th birthday party, and while we were there we thought we'd sample some of the local cuisine. The first night we wandered down the High Street and came across a little restaurant called the Cote Bistro. It was nice and quiet, so Ian and I could enjoy some lovely conversation. The waitress bought us a bottle of complimentary mineral water which was a nice touch.

The starters arrived, I had ordered the mussels (what a surprise!) and Ian had ordered the calamari. The mussels were amazing, the portion wasn't huge, but the individual mussels were and that meant they were packed with flavour, 9/10. Ian's calamari was also really good, it was the right texture, it hadn't gone rubbery like it can do if overcooked, 8/10.

The mains were brought to the table not long after. Ian had ordered one of the specials, Roast Duck with cherries with potato gratin and watercress. I thought it an interesting combination, I knew Ian liked both duck and cherries, but I wasn't sure what he'd think of them together. They worked perfectly together, the sweetness of the cherries mixed with the flavour of the duck made you 'ooo' involuntarily, and this is why Ian gave it 10/10! He didn't eat the yummy potato gratin which I stole, but instead had chips, which were skinny and crispy and very nice. My main was a fillet steak, which was cooked medium rare. The steak was really good, although the outside of it was a bit peppery for my tastes, but was interesting to try, 8/10.

Now, having had two really good courses, we couldn't resist trying the dessert menu. Ian ordered the creme caramel - which was billed as the restaurants speciality, and we weren't disappointed. The caramel flavour was intense, and I contemplated ordering a second one for myself! Ian is giving it 7/10, as although it was a really amazing creme caramel, he says it was still only a creme caramel. I had a tarte tatin (apple tart) which was good but I kept losing the apple on the way to my mouth! 6/10.

So, a good evening was had by all, and we returned to the hotel with nice full bellies (although Ian did later polish off a whole bag of popcorn!).