Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Ocean Basket Ayia Napa

May 18, 2017

If you want bad overpriced seafood coupled with piss-poor service then Ocean Basket in Ayia Napa is the place to eat. 

There are good fish restaurants in the locality, in Protaras and Paralimni, but this is not one of them.

We had intended to eat at a fish restaurant in Paralimni. A big mistake that we chose to eat at Ocean Basket instead. 

Dips and menu arrived promptly, though no mention of what the dips were, no bread. 

A long wait before our order was taken. After half an hour or more had passed, we summoned a waitress. She did not want to know. A waiter was summoned. He at least apologised. He thought our order had already been taken. 

Once our order was taken the food arrived promptly. Too promptly to be freshly cooked.

The fish n chips was disgusting. The cod not fresh, the chips not freshly cooked. 

Any fish n chip shop in England that served this would not survive long in business.

The seafood platter looked ok, but was cold.

The bread never did arrive. 

My dining companion who chose the seafood platter in less than an hour of eating, had bad attack of food poisoning and had to run to the toilet. 

We should have walked out and left the food untouched.

A place to be avoided.

We then drove through the centre of Ayia Napa. Nighttime and yet the streets were all but deserted, the restaurants and bars empty. As with nearby Protaras, another resort where local economy destroyed by all-inclusive hotels.

Cottage pie at Alton Station Cafe

May 3, 2017

Wednesday night, bikers night. Though few bikers, too cold and wet.

This little black shed is not where to expect high quality food. Be pleasantly surprised.

I was looking forward to moussaka, no moussaka.

A choice of cottage pie or a chicken casserole.

I opted for the cottage pie, and they knocked out a salad to go with it.

The cottage pie was excellent. So good, I could have done with seconds.

I opted for crumble and custard, which also was good.

I mentioned O’Connor’s Secret Garden appeared to have closed. I suggested they looked into taking it on, provided they did not change it.

Bedda

May 3, 2017

Today, Wednesday, is street food market in Winchester.

Each visit, the market gets smaller. Though loss of many of the stalls is no loss.

Bedda is Sicilian for good.

Bedda is a Sicilian stall on the Winchester street food market.  Two Sicilian guys doing pasta. Today was their first day.

I tried their tagliatelle or was it tagliolini. Lovely creamy sauce, with added sliced oyster mushrooms (at least I think they were oyster mushrooms).

It was excellent, in fact worth a trip to Winchester for.

The only time I have had as good, was from El Maná in Puerto de la Cruz, and from an Italian chef in Bassano del Grappa, president of north Italy food association.

We had a long conversation. I was suggesting where they could have a stall.

Maybe Guildford farmers market first Tuesday of the month. I do not know if they would meet the criteria, though their food is clearly made locally and there is a stall with paella.

An absolute must for them would be Godalming Food Festival  and Staycation Live.

They should also check various events in Gostrey Meadow in Farnham, especially the Farnham Carnival.

 

Guildford farmers market

May 2, 2017

After a chilly start, the afternoon was quite pleasant. A marked contrast to the wintry weather yesterday.

Reserved my bread and flapjacks at Celtic Baker to collect later.

Excellent dosa from the chutney stall. Far superior to the dosa I had at the South Bank Street Food Market yesterday.  Ollo Foods is an absolute must for Godalming Food Festival and Staycation Live.

At least one new stall. A man selling quality pork pies. That was all he was selling, pork pies.

The farmers market is turning into Alcoholics Alley. Too many stalls selling alcoholic drinks. One fruit and vegetable stall I never buy from, poor standard, rarely fresh produce, high prices. Today they had sunk to a new low. Bags of plastic wrapped apples, the apples rotten.

Does the market not exact any standards, as other markets do?

It is not acceptable anyone selling produce that is packaged in a way that is not compostable or recyclable. This should be a condition to be on the market.

When did Environmental Health last do a check on this market? Have they ever carried out checks? Or is there a conflict of interest at play?

Why is there no quality coffee stall on the market?

Two ladies were giving away cakes. Not sure why, but the cakes were excellent. They were from a group that discusses dying. I mentioned death cafes, and referred them to an article in Standart issue 7.  They were aware of death cafes.

It was then a coffee in Harris + Hoole. Tax dodging Caffè Nero has taken a stake. Does this mean H+H now serve the same low quality coffee? Fortunately not.

South Bank Street Food Market

May 1, 2017

South Bank Street Food Market is held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a Monday if a Bank Holiday.

A wide variety of food and drink.

My only criticism,  becoming too crowded and needs to relocate to where more space.

I had a dosa off one of the stalls. Nowhere the standard of Guildford farmers market off the chutney stall.

Two coffee stalls, one a battered old Citroen van, the other .

When a coffee stall adulterates its coffee with syrups, cannot be bothered to grind coffee fresh for each cup because it is too much trouble, then it is best avoided.

Which is why I had a coffee off The Ethiopian Coffee Company. The other reason because I know they will serve me a good coffee.  I had actually been looking forward to this coffee since the day before.  Coffee off this stall is probably the best coffee in London.

I also bought cakes, Middle East Greek-style cakes, off one of the stalls.

Lincoln farmers market

April 14, 2017

Is this sad little market someones idea of a joke?

Half a dozen stalls.

Maybe middle of winter, early January, but this is mid-April, spring.

I chatted to one of the stalls, to learn it does not get much better in the summer, when fresh produce.

I found a leaflet, but what was shown appeared to be wishful thinking, as only fresh meat on the market today. I saw no bread, cheeses, cask ales.

I learnt there was a market Saturday, but up by Lincoln Castle. That there was a market every Friday, but in a different location.

Therefore had one found next week, a market further down the High Street, then turned up the next week, and found no market, would you turn up again?

And what of publicity? I have seen none.

I had had afternoon tea at Henry’s, was walking back down the High Street, through The Stonebow, was passing Stokes on High Bridge, when I noticed a few stalls further down the High Street.

As I walked past the stalls, I noticed people were walking past, not even glancing at the stalls, let alone stopping to have a look.

Very apparent no one was there for the market, but then with no publicity, only half a dozen stalls, hardly surprising.

I would not make a special trip.

Is this the best Lincoln can do, a city of 100,000 souls, surrounded by villages, a county town for an agricultural county?

But then Lincoln, a market town, does not even have a market.

Whoever is responsible for this market should hang their heads in shame.

I did at least pick up excellent strawberries.

Lincoln Street Food Market

March 17, 2017

Wednesday was a lovely warm spring day, some parts of the country almost reached 19C.

Today 9C, strong cold wind, with windchill factor much lower, then it started to rain.

Begs the question, why hold a street food market this time of year?

Would not late spring, summer or early autumn be a better time?

No publicity the days before.

Large generators beside the stalls, very noisy.

Why not an arrangement where plug into power sources from lampposts, as they do in other towns?

Awful music blasting out from many of the stalls, which was very unpleasant.

It was only later, I learnt there were stalls the other side of the level crossing, by then too late. Nothing anywhere to say more stalls.

I did not try any of the stalls, and none seemed busy, too cold. I did though have a cappuccino off The Little Bicycle Coffee Shop.

Organised by a travelling circus, which explains why not very good.

Godalming has an annual street food festival, that puts this to shame.

And if true what I was told by a local coffee shop, Lincoln BIG are paying to bring this travelling circus into town, then not good.

Lincoln should  organise its own street food festival, invite stalls.

Though on the other hand, looking at their competence or lack thereof on running markets in the town, then maybe not.

The street food market will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Through the busy pedestrianised High Street, an idiot driving through in a van, even though not permitted, with one hand on steering wheel, the other holding a mobile phone. Several pedestrians nearly run down.

Coffee Aroma is harassed for leaving tables and chairs outside after four o’clock, on the other hand blind eye turned to traffic driving through a busy pedestrianised street putting pedestrians at risk middle of the afternoon.

Lunch at Butcher and Beast

February 14, 2017

Lunch at Butcher and Beast in Heighington.

Butcher and Beast  is an old pub, built of local stone, located in the village of Heighington.

As you walk in, you are greeted by an open fire, a small bar. The fire welcome on a cold day, only problem, a blast of cold air, every time the front door opens.

The last time I ate here, a year ago, the food was not good. Had it improved?

In the past have gone into a back room, where it was very cold. Today, in the front parlour where it was bright and sunny. The back room was very dark.

Later joined by a friendly dog.

Soup was carrot and coriander, served with a bread roll and butter. Not a great favourite. It was served lukewarm. Not a great start.

Crispy prawns with salad and sweet chili dip were excellent. And served piping hot.

The gammon steak, served with chips and peas and a slice of pineapple was also excellent, though one of the gammon steaks was of a poor quality cut.  The chips were fresh.

For a tiny pub, with a  very tiny bar, a  surprising wide choice of real ales. A Bateman tied pub, therefore most were sourced from Bateman. I chose one which I think was called Taylor’s Landlord.

The barman, did not know how to serve. Very cloudy, but soon settled down laving a beautiful amber colour.

Heighington is a Lincolnshire village of stone cottages, not far from Lincoln. Its only tea shop closed a couple of years ago. The Post Office has also closed. There is now a tiny Post Office counter in the local Spar shop. Also hidden at the back of the Spar shop is the local butcher, one of the best in the country. It is worth a visit, for his Lincolnshire sausages.

Elite Meats has closed

February 8, 2017

I was walking through Bailgate and thought I would pop in Elite Meats and say hi to Kenny the butcher.

I was shocked to find  Elite Meats had closed. When they had closed I do not know.

A great loss as this was an excellent butchers.

Very popular and always busy.

Very cold and wintry in Bailgate as I wandered through.

I then looked in The Old Clock Shop.

At the end of Bailgate, top of Steep Hill, is a gold Victorian post box.

Lunch at Park Street Eatery

January 17, 2017

Roast dinner, roast beef, tasted better than it looked, but not great.

Park Street Eatery must be the busiest restaurant in Lincoln, it was packed.

Contrast with a chain eatery in the High Street, where half price and trying to drag business in off the street.

For starters parsnip soup, and a cake for dessert (which was free).

Very reasonable prices. A little over £6, with a free dessert (special offer for January). Otherwise £6-50 for three courses.

Very hot. Failure to use the thermostat on the radiators.