Saturday, 25 June 2011

Lunch in a Lounge

@ Juno Lounge

This cafe restaurant is part of The Loungers group and has branches all over the country.

My friends and I found this cosy place tucked in a little shopping district in Cardiff few years ago and we have since revisited the place several times.

A nice cafe-restaurant with a lovely atmosphere filled with patrons enjoying coffees, relaxing and sometimes it can get really busy with people feasting on their rather magnificent food!

Filled with wooden tables and wooden chairs, when we first entered that place, we noticed that the only menu was written on a huge blackboard right at the back of the cafe. To this date, they are still doing the same, which makes them unique!

Hot Chocolate

Steak with peppercorn sauce

Initially, I wanted to try the 'specials' menu and order 'BEEF steak' but because I mis-read the menu which was actually offering PORK steak, I ended up with a rib-eye steak which was not on the 'specials'. Albeit the tiny error, I thoroughly enjoyed the medium-well done steak with lovely and tasty peppercorn sauce. The steak was nicely done and I was not disappointed at all!

Sauce on steak

Juicy and succulent steak with very nice and earthy portobello mushrooms which complimented the steak very well.

Pan-fried chicken breast on a bed of pesto Gnocchi

My friend had the 'specials' pan-fried chicken breast on a bed of Gnocchi in pesto sauce. Absolutely lovely, tender and succulent chicken breast meat with a buttery sauce filled with herby flavours from the pesto sauce.

With my lovely cup of cafe latte, it was an enjoyable lunch which made a rainy day that much nicer.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Taste of London 2011

A taste of London @ Regent's Park, London.

Taste of London is an annual event for food lovers where London's top restaurants promote their food!

It was a rainy day but the wet weather did not dampen the spirit of food lovers enjoying delicious food!

The type of food the restaurants served ranges from French to Chinese, from Italian to Japanese, from Thai to British. Every corner you turn into, you can find fine cuisine!

The Restaurants Map

Tea-smoked salmon

Rare roasted Angus steak with sweet corn

Lemon Cheesecake

Black Truffle

Braised Pork Cheek with mashed potato

Pan fried scallops with spicy squid rings

Roast duck with tamarind sauce

From starters to main courses to desserts served by restaurants we visited, we get to try very high standard and good quality food. All of which tastes as good as it looks.

Live oyster

Lemon Tart with strawberry compote

Top-dog Deluxe

Top-dog deluxe. This is one of my favourite dish. It looks like an ordinary hotdog in a bun, but there is nothing ordinary about it. Smoked Strasbourg sausage hotdog full of flavours, complimented with honey bacon and tasty mustard/mayo sauce which brings out all the flavours of the hotdog, served in very nice and crunchy toasted pain au lait is just simply delicious!

Toasted pain au lait

We also came across a Malaysian stall selling Malaysian food! We found very local Malaysian fruits like durian, rambutan, starfruits and honey jackfruit as shown in the photo below. This finding instantly had us feeling at home and excited at the same time to have food that we missed.

Honey Jackfruit

Porcini Tagliatelle with Black Truffle

The last dish that we tried was most definitely the highlight of the day! I must commend the generousity of that restaurant shaving lots and lots black truffles onto our dish!

A very good end indeed to a very enjoyable day of food tasting despite the weather being a bit downcast and wet!

I would highly recommend any food-lover to attend this event! More info on the official website.

Vietnamese and Taiwanese

Yes, we went and had Asian food AGAIN in London. Only because the Asian cuisines are so, so, so nice!

We were shopping, well actually window shopping, in Westfield London Shopping Centre and decided to have some dinner at the foodcourt upstairs. After walking along the foodcourt, we settled for the Vietnamese store - PHO, where the food they served looks enticingly delicious!

Beef Steak and Meatball soup noodles

As with any authentic Vietnamese noodle soup, the beef steak and meatball noodle soup I had was served with fresh mint and lots of beansprouts. The medium-raw steak was left to continue cooking in the hot soup and was absolutely delicious and succulent. The meatballs were also filled with wonderful herb flavours, while not losing it's beefy flavour. The soup was very tasty and sweet, freshened up by the fresh mint. Delicious!

Wok fried noodles with prawns and chicken

The wok fried noodles with prawns and chicken also looked very authentic Vietnamese with its trademark fragrant crushed peanuts and bean sprouts. The sweetness and saltiness of soya sauce complimented well by the sour lime and spiciness of chillies was absolutely amazing and gave lots of flavours to the dish!

Vietnamese rice paper roll

The Vietnamese rice paper roll with prawns, served cold, was also one of my favourite dishes. The rolls were filled with prawns, lots of crunchy lettuce leaves and herbs. Dipped into specially made sauce, the dish was just magnificent!

A wonderful dinner indeed, much better than one would expect in a food court of a shopping mall!

Our trip would not be complete without a lunch visit to the Taiwanese restaurant, Leong's Legend in Leceister Square (see previous post).

Vermicelli in Soup

We have been to this restaurant so many times, and we always order certain dishes like the vermicelli in soup as shown above. The soup is thick and tastes sour from black vinegar, filled with mussels and chopped up pork large intestines, a very delicious dish! Normally, I would say no no NO to internal organs, but this dish is just so nice!

Mussels omelette

One new dish we did try was the mussels omellete. Pan fried like a normal pancake, it was made with eggs, mussels and lots and lots of corn flour! We did not know that they used corn flour until my mom and I visited Taipei last year and asked the food hawker who was cooking it:" what made the omelette so sticky?". Covered with tomato sauce on top before serving, the omelette is just simply delicious!

Bamboo shoot rice

Another new dish we tried was the bamboo shoot rice. It was made of glutinous rice cooked inside a bamboo shoot which gave out fragrance of bamboo and tasted rather salty from the soya sauce.

Spicy stir fried snap beans

We also had the spicy stir fried snap beans which was well cooked and well seasoned. Very nice to go with some cooked with rice.

A rather enjoyable lunch and we would most definitely go again in a next trip to London!

As for a lovely afternoon tea, this time we went to Patisserie Valerie.

Apple Tart

The apple tart was absolutely gorgeous! You can see big pieces of apple; perfectly caramelized; nice and soft; sleepily lying on top of mild custard cream on a very crunchy pastry base. Dessert that is not too sweet and with lots of different textures - mouth-watering!

Black forest Gateau

The black forest gateau was equally heavenly! Layer upon layer of chocolate sponge and fresh cream with black cherries randomly embedded then topped with a chocolate roll, a touch of kirsch liquor and a nice touch of cream. Makes me want to visit Blackforest, Germany one day and try the original black forest cake!

With black cherry pieces

Belgian Hot Chocolate

Last but not least, the Belgian hot chocolate. Rich and creamy, sweet and chocolaty.

If I must be extremely picky, they did not have marshmallows with the hot chocolate! Haha!

Another satisfactory trip to London, a place that we will visit again, and again!