Friday, 29 April 2011

Journey to the Southwest of England (3)

Day 3:

Cream tea, Cheese and Wine

After looking at beautiful sights from Dartmouth Castle, we began to head to the next location. Along the route, and some mis-interpretation of sat. nav.'s directions, we came into Dartmouth town centre and discovered this place serving cream tea.


Having cream tea at this restaurant, run by a Michelin-starred chef, was truly a wonderful experience! The Angelique restaurant offers a stunning view over the estuary on its top floor, where we had our cream tea.

Latte and Chamomile Tea

Cream tea

Two scones were beautifully presented on a black plank of wood with clotted cream, butter and strawberry jam on the side.

A scone

The scone was beautifully made with loose and powdery texture.

Spread clotted cream, butter and strawberry jam

Served with clotted cream, butter and strawberry jam - DELICIOUS!

Scone ready

A very English cream tea enjoyed on the very English countryside. Nice!

And since we are visiting Cornwall/Devon, we could not miss the locally made pasty!

Cornish pasties

They offer lots of different fillings for the pasties, ranging from the very traditional steak to the very unconventional Belgium chocolate and banana filling!

Then, instead of heading to another castle, we decided to pay a visit to a nearby vineyard and winery - Sharpham Vineyard.

A vineyard located at a very scenic hilly area with the River Dart running around it!

Scenery from vineyard


Stunning scenery, sunny day, cool breeze, a very relaxing afternoon with a wine and cheese tasting session at the end.

Wine and Cheese

For a price of £4.95 each, we get to taste 4 different types of wine and 2 types of cheeses. A very nice experience!

Wine bottle corks

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Journey to the Southwest of England (2)

Day 2:

Another nice and sunny day down south-west.

Land's End, Penzance

After, a lovely day trip to the most south-western tip of England, we headed back to Plymouth for dinner at a Japanese restaurant, Yukisan.

The Hoe, at night

Located near the seafront of Plymouth, in the Barbican area, Yukisan is amongst a row of shops on a quiet street.

Yukisan Restaurant

This restaurant has a very nice ambience and provides three 'distinct dining areas'.

Green tea

Green tea was served in a very pretty oriental tea pot and cups.


We ordered Suzuki (seabass) and Grilled salmon (with Japanese Mayonnaise) sushi to start. The sushi was very well made and authentic. The raw seabass very fresh and very delicious with perfectly cooked sushi rice (mixed with vinegar) with a hint of wasabi hidden in the middle of the sushi. The grilled salmon was also very nice where the fatty layer of the fish was grilled, giving it a very fragrant and some smoky taste.

Fried Scallops

We also had the Crispy deep fried scallops with home made dressing. This starter was really exceptional as we never imagined that scallops could be cooked and presented so beautifully! The nest-like thing was deep-fried noodles housing the scallops which gave us a surprise as we bite into the 'housing' we found the scallops right in the middle of it! The whole dish was beautifully presented with red cabbage and thinly shredded carrots and radish.

Roast duck sansyou

My housemate AT ordered the Roast duck sansyou pepper sauce with rice pilaffu. An absolutely beautifully presented dish (though the photo did not do it justice). The roast duck was very nicely seasoned and crispy but a little bit too overcooked to my liking. The rice pilaffu was very delicious and full of flavours. £17.50 for this dish is well worth it for the quality and the quantity of duck breasts served!

Seafood Udon

The Udon noodles in soup with seafood my mom ordered was super delicious!

All 3 of us tried it and had the same expression:" HHhhhmmmmmm........hao chi..hao chi...hao chi...hao chi...hao chi..." (HHhhhmmmmmmm.....yummy...yummy...yummy...yummy...yummy...)

The mussels, prawns tempura, scallops were absolutely fresh and delicious. The soup was simply delightful and full of flavours, so sweet that it must have been boiled with very fresh seafood for hours and hours, with a hint of sweetness and earthy taste of the Shitake mushrooms.

Stir-fried monkfish

I had the stir-fried monkfish with spring onions and ginger which was amazing! It was not the typical Chinese-style stir-fry that I expected. First of all, the monkfish was very nicely cooked, not too well-done, giving a very smooth texture and easy to chew on. The young corn, carrots, asparagus heads and onion tempura in the dish complimented the monk fish really well. A beautiful dish that went really well with nicely cooked Japanese rice.

Even the salad with home made dressing was very delicious. The dressing was made from passion fruit and had a sweet and sour taste to it which increased our appetite. Yummy!

A Japanese restaurant, one of the best I have been to in the UK so far, that I will definitely visit again!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Journey to the Southwest of England (1)

A lovely 4-days trip to the Southwest of England of course includes wonderful food, especially fresh seafood.

Day 1:

The Hoe, Plymouth

After strolling along The Hoe and The Barbican in Plymouth, we went into The Platters for dinner. This restaurant located by the seafront has a very 'local pub' feature and serves very fresh seafood.

The Platters Restaurant

Complimentary Bread Basket

Platters Ciopinno

The Platters Ciopinno - In the shell, king prawns, crab claw, mussels and fish in a tasty tomato broth. This dish was absolutely amazing and tasty with very fresh seafood and the broth was very sweet with flavours from the fresh seafood and tomato.

Big Crab Claw

The crab claw was very huge with very juicy and fresh crab meat. Yummy!

Seafood Risotto

Seafood risotto with mussels, prawns, scallops and kalamari was full of flavour. The risotto was cooked very nicely, not too soft and not to hard, full of fresh seafood flavours with a hint of tomato and chilli - Delicious! I like the fact that they used very fresh and big scallops and prawns!

Platters Seafood Grill

Platters Seafood Grill - Five different species of fish, different everyday! I believe they were salmon, plaice, haddock, and 2 other fishes that I could not recognised. However they were nicely grilled and nice with a squeeze of lemon juice over them.

With all the 3 dishes recommened by the waiter, we had almost eaten, (Quote) "All the different types of seafood they have in the restaurant." (Unquote).

The seafood was so nice and fresh that we finished them all although we only had cream tea less than 2 hours before!

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Happy Birthday to AT

A very different birthday with a very different birthday cake!

Our weekend of dining and feasting in style ended on a high with a special birthday 'cake' for my housemate.

Heston Blumenthal's Waitrose Royal Trifle.

A dessert made to celebrate the Royal Wedding but just as beautiful for a birthday cake!

The Royal Trifle was a combination of Eton Mess and Trifle - both Britain's favourite puddings.

'It combines layers of strawberry and Marc de Champagne compote, light saffron cream, and amaretti biscuits. The trifle crowned is crowned with meringue and finished with edible confetti of dried strawberries, crystallized rose petals and caramelised almonds'.

The very light texture of saffron cream and Champagne compote with a slight sweet and sour hint from strawberries goes really well with the sweet meringue on the top layer. The caramelised almonds and ameretti biscuits added a crunch to the dessert.

A very delightful cake and a very happy birthday to AT!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

A Weekend of Feasts (3)

Part Three - Savoy Grill

For pre-theatre dinner, we chose Gordon Ramsay's The Savoy Grill.

Located in The Savoy Hotel, the restaurant has a very elegant and grand deco.

The Savoy Grill Menu

Complimentary Breads

Lobster Bisque

For starter, I ordered the Lobster bisque with brandy butter. A very nice fragrance filled the air as the lobster meat was served in a big plate with a knob of brandy butter on top of it then the waiter poured the soup into the dish. A very rich soup tasting of very fresh seafood and a hint of brandy, with very fresh lobster meat, this soup is very delicious!

Cornish Crab Tower

We also had the Cornish crab mayonnaise with apple and celery salad, Melba toast and wood sorrel to start. The crab meat was very fresh and sweet while the very thinly sliced apple and celery salad added a refreshing flavour and a crunchy texture to the whole crab tower. Paired with the crab mayonnaise, each bite of this dish was like having fresh seafood right out of the sea on a tropical island! Delicious!!!

Rib-eye Steak

For the mains, I ordered the rib-eye steak medium to well done with Béarnaise sauce (herbs and lemon-y sauce). All the beef in this restaurant is at least 24 months old and dry-aged for a minimum of 35 days. As the steak was served in front of me, the smoky, char-grill fragrant hit me in an instant. As I cut into the steak, juices came oozing out of the meat. The steak was seasoned very well and cooked to perfection!

Succulent Steak Meat

Very succulent, juicy and sweet meat which went really well with the citrus and herb flavoured sauce! One of the best steak I ever tasted in UK!


My mom ordered the Braised halibut with curly kale, anchovies and charlotte potatoes. The fish was very well-cooked, giving it a nice and smooth texture. The sauce was absolutely beautiful. A very well executed fish dish, amongst one of the best I had in the UK so far.

A very enjoyable dinner experience in a grand and glamorous restaurant! A little bit pricey but you get very good quality food!

A Weekend of Feasts (2)

Part Two - The Berkeley

Saturday was my housemate's birthday so we decided to celebrate with style and glamour!

We woke up early to drive from the airport into Trafalgar Square, Central London, where our hotel is located - The Trafalgar by Hilton. My very first time driving into the very centre of London, quite an exciting experience and pleasant as there were not many cars in the early hours.

Weather was very nice again on Saturday with warm sun and slight breeze. So we went walking along St James Park towards Buckingham Palace before going to Harrods. After that, we arrived at The Berkeley Knightsbridge for our pre-booked afternoon tea - Prêt-à-Portea

The Prêt-à-Portea, is "The Berkeley London designer afternoon tea, inspired by the themes and colours of the fashion world. Serving mouth-watering delicacies with a fashionita twist". A very interesting concept, producing very beautiful miniatures.

The Berkeley Knightsbridge

Afternoon Tea Menu

Tea Set

We had the Wild Blossom and Berries tea served in fine-bone china by Paul Smith for Thomas Goode. The whole tea set looked very charming and beautiful while the tea was very fragrant with scent of flowers and wild berries and tasted equally as nice as it smelled!

Teacup with Strainer

Miniature Sandwiches

We started off with a selection of miniature savoury sandwiches which include (from left to right) miniature egg mayonnaise burger, tuna mayonnaise sandwich, cucumber and creme fraiche sandwich, smoked salmon sandwich and a very tasty chicken wrap skewer. Very delicious and well balanced flavours and textures.

3-Tier Delicacies

Then out came our beautifully made 3-Tier Delicacies which include

Bottom layer - savoury taster spoons, elegant canapés, 2 shots of honey dew melon juice. 

Middle layer - Miniature designer's inspired cakes.

Top layer - Designer's inspired cookies and 2 shot glasses of mousse and jelly. 

Bottom layer

On the bottom layer (clockwise from top left) - taster spoon of quinoa salad in baby artichokes, grilled mixed vegetables canapé, lobster mango nori wrap and wyagu beef with pepper skewer.

My favourite was the quinoa salad in baby artichokes as it was very refreshing and has a crunch to it with each bite!

Middle layer

On the middle layer (clockwise from top left) - Peach coloured Victoria Beckham sponge cake tote with chocolate crocodile print, Tory Burch strawberry and rhubarb bavarois dress with flattering gold button detail, Marc Jacobs raspberry and lychee cream jumpsuit with oversized chocolate flower belt and Red-carpet favourite Chloe praline clutch topped with gold chocolate beads.

The Tory Burch strawberry and rhubarb bavarois dress was absolutely gorgeous! The bavarian cream infused with rhubarb and strawberry was very refreshing and citrusy which goes really well with the sweet sponge-cake-like top and button detail.

The Chloe praline clutch was very amazing! A very tasty praline chocolate cake, not too sweet, executed perfectly!

Top Layer

And on the top we have (left to right) the Tom Ford light pink chiffon summer dress biscuit with rose icing and sparkly silver cuffs, Sell-out Miu Miu vanilla bikini biscuit with navy icing and signature white bow and Black and white chocolate striped 'Bellel de Nuit' inspired by Roger Vivier high-heeled shoes.

Top layer

Last but not least, (left to right) Stripped Prada summer dress of papaya, redcurrant and blueberry mousse, topped with pate de fruit, Jill Sander colour block dress of creme de menthe and coconute jelly with must-have sparkly sunglasses.

To take away

We had so much food that we were given a very pretty box to take away the remaining cakes!

A very nice experience, wonderful ambience at the Caramel Room, very tasty and beautiful food!