Thursday, 18 March 2010

Update - Eating Out in Feb Part 2

Okay, so part two of my restaurant update and actually I've got a few more to tell you about but I guess that will form part of my March update which will probably appear in, ahh, say May time?!! ;-)

17th Feb Rivington Shoreditch
28-30 Rivington Street
London
EC2A 3DZ

17th Feb was 'White Envelope Day' (bonus, promotions and payrises) for Joe's company and there tends to be some sort of celebratory piss-up afterwards...

This year however it was all a little more sombre... none of the 'MD's kneeling on floor receiving shots from a tequila girl' this time - hardly surprising given the UK's economy at present!

Still, met up for a couple of drinks and then decided to head for a bite to eat with Joe's colleague and friend who had just been promoted - woot!

I've never been to the Rivington before. It's a lovely little place, really simply designed, clean lines, simplistic you know what I mean :-)

There was a rather cool light feature at the back:



(please forgive the rubbish grainy pics from my mobile camera!)

I didn't photograph my starter which was "Mixed beetroot, pickled walnut and Perroche goat's cheese salad with buckthorne berry dressing", Joe had the "Potted smoked duck and goose with red currant jelly and toast" - both starters were very yum indeed!

When it came to the main course we couldn't decide what to have so we did our usual 'order two dishes to share' and went for the "Bannockburn rib steak with chips" and a lobster!

I was quite excited about the lobster having never eaten it before - well, not straight out of the shell!

I must say, it was a little disappointing...it's quite bland, kinda like crayfish but without the taste!

Anyway, here's my plate:



And here's a pic of me and my rather intoxicated boyfriend... not quite sure what he was doing with the lobster's leg - making sure it was definitely dead?!! :-D



And here's another fuzzy grainy pic of our lovely dinner guests :-)



The staff at the Rivington were fab, we were the last ones to leave (oops!) but they were so patient with us and really friendly too... great food, great service, will definitely go there again!

22nd Feb Villandry
170 Great Portland Street
London
W1W 5QB

I'd been to Villandry last year but had forgotten about it as we'd spent our time in the bar area... the bar food is lovely :-)

I'd really love to go back sometime just to check out the food shop as it's got the most amazing quirky items, lovely food gifts and specialist items you can't find elsewhere :-)

To get to the restaurant you go in through the pub, through the shop and the restaurant is tucked away at the back.

I was meeting my friend Marie who is rather excited as she's going to America for six months to work and was also just about to head off on a cruise, lucky lady :-)

To start I had the most amazing salad... seriously, it was just the most delicious thing ever! I can't remember the name of it and can't find it on the menu either dammit! Basically it was very thin strips of rare beef, with a yummy sauce, seductively concealed under some decorative leaves, great start!



For my main course I decided to be good and order the seared black bream with sauteed potatoes, vine tomatoes and olives. It sounded lovely and I realise I'm a bit boring, especially when it comes to ordering steak in restaurant I visit - especially French ones! We also ordered some green beans on the side.

Unfortunately 'seared' meant fried in a lot of butter and the whole dish was uber greasy, plus my olives appeared to have met with a rather unfortunate (albeit decorative) end in the hands of a blender!



Think I'll stick to steak next time ;-)

Conversely, my friend's Cassoulet of Duck with Toulouse Sausage wasn't greasy at all, wish I'd gone for that!! Ah well, I often have food envy, want to try it all!

My friend and I were feeling exceptionally smug having not drunk a drop of alcohol between us so decided to round off the night with some fresh mint tea... just look at this pot!



What a legendary teapot - cutest thing ever, I want one!! Wonder if the shop sells them...


24th Feb Thai Tiger
96 Brick Lane
London
E1 6RL

I took Joe to Thai Tiger because I had Toptable points to use up.

For those that don't know/use toptable the site is fab... you book restaurants through their site - getting money off in the process (I got 50% the food bill at Villandry!). Once you've had your meal you give the restaurant a review and score it on things like food, service, atmosphere etc and the points add to the restaurant's score - which determines for people like me whether the place is worth a visit!

Once you've reviewed the restaurant you get points - points mean prizes right? In this case it's a free meal but if you save up enough you can get things like signed cookery-related books, gift experiences etc

Unfortunately the points also expire, boo, I've lost quite a few hundred recently through not cashing them in so I decided to not do likewise and take Joe out on toptable :-)

Thai Tiger is a great little place, it's tiny but the staff are just lovely and the food is pretty decent too - especially given how cheap it is!

Also the fact that the restaurant is located on Brick Lane - the home of London curry - makes for a bold enterprise indeed!

I had the tom kha gai soup to start which was very flavoursome :-)

For the main course Joe had Red Duck curry - their signature dish. I had food envy served with beef stir-fry with a sweet oyster-style sauce and rice.




It was very nice though, and fresh tasting too, not the most amazing meal either of us have ever eaten but it ticks all the right boxes and I'll definitely visit again if I'm in the area and feeling peckish!

All the time we were there the cheesiest Thai pop music was playing, put a smile on our faces although there was one particularly annoying catchy tune which stuck in our head for an unfeasibly long period afterwards!

Visit Thai Tiger if you've tired of Curry or just fancy a change and the plethora of restaurant-hired hagglers that stand outside attempting to entice (read that as bully) you into their restaurants - soooo annoying!!


28th Feb Nandos

Ahh, another non-gourmet restaurant addition to the collective post!

I LOVE nandos, it's fabulous tasty healthy (yes seriously!) fast-but-not-fast food... Your chicken is griddled before your eyes in yummy marinade at your chosen strength (I used to be a lemon and herb gal now I like it HOT!)

My favourite combo at the mo is half a chicken with a chargrilled corn on the cob (no butter) and sweet pepper mash - lush!



The boys invariably go for the corn on the cob too with a double chicken breast in pitta bread and a side order of chips - oh and of course they end up with my marinated chicken skin too the lucky things!

Nandos is a lot more expensive than macdonalds or burger king. There's a reason for that, it's not shit food! Stop eating crap processed mass-marketed unrecognisable meat produce from these environmentally destroying junk pushers and go invest in some decent grub to feed your body properly - Go to Nandos!


That's enough for Feb Food I think... will try and get some more pics up from last month soon and then give you an update on all my other news, it's been all go for me, exciting!!

Catch up soon

TJx

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