Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Godalming Food Festival 2019

July 7, 2019

The first food festival I went to a few years ago was excellent. Has slowly gone downhill. Each one worse than the previous. Today was dire.

Why a Sunday? Public transport is non existent on a Sunday. So much for reduce reliance on the car and that we are facing a Climate Emergency.

In the past one train an hour to Guildford, one train an hour from Guildford to Godalming, with nearly an hour wait at Guildford.

Revised timetable, two trains an hour to Guildford, two trains an hours to Godalming, which is an improvement.

But try catching a bus.

Whilst waiting fora train, cappuccino off FCB kiosk.

Sunday, no butcher open, no greengrocer open.

Waitrose had a cookery demonstration. Weirdest cookery demonstration I have ever seen, the cooks were silent. The guy who was doing the talking was trying to sell stuff from Waitrose, completely ignored the cooking.

The Waitrosee demo meant I missed the hog roast.

Hog roast, dosa off Ollo Foods, Dylan’s ice cream, paella, the only stalls worth knowing about.

In the past there has been a range of beer and wine, and far wider range of food.

A stall selling fake-meat burgers. Why? Why not provide quality vegetarian food? I was surprised to see a long queue. I think they were too. Only the queue was for the neighbouring Thai stall.

A stall with adulterated cheese shrink-wrapped in plastic.

Godalming Deli has improved, or at least expanded, now has zero waste. But crap coffee from Redber.

Cafe Mila busy. Crap undrinkable coffee from Cupsmith. I saw a a cappuccino, full of froth and foam, chocolate dumped on top, yuk. In the street a sign barista coffee, meaningless.

Why is no one in Godalming capable of serving decent coffee?

Cafe Mila is usually empty during the Food Festival. That it was busy a reflection of how bad the Food Festival.

A stall with what was claimed to be craft artisan chocolate only it was not. Wrapped in plastic, bulked out with emulsifiers. Quality chocolate it was not. The guy manning the stall did not even know what was bean-to-bar chocolate.

Chocolate

– cocoa mass, sugar, vanilla
– cocoa mass, cocoa butter sugar, vanilla

Purists do not add vanilla.

Why do council markets have abysmally low environmental standards? Why not plastic free?

Worst stall by far, stall with turkey sausages sitting on the stall on a hot afternoon, sausages in polystyrene boxes. Sausages cooked, popped back in the box for people to sample. Cooked sausages crawling with flies.

Hot weather and food do not mix. Why environmental health not patrolling these markets?

Meat, cheese, should be on refrigerated stalls.

With no greengrocer, no butcher, not even a fruit and vegetable stall, it was to Waitrose.

I never made it. I saw a coffee shop called Roost. I had seen a sign for it earlier but no indication where it was.

I looked in. It goes further back than external appearance would indicate, with a garden out the back. Very pleasant ambience.

I sat in the garden and had a chat with the owner.

Coffee from Fire Chimney Coffee. The only place in Godalming that sources other than cheap crap coffee. I did not try a coffee, too late. Maybe another time.

Waitrose now closed. Made do with Cook.

On the way to the station, am ice cram parlour, crap coffee, but interestingly had bean-to-bar chocolate. And no emulsifiers.

I tried a pistachio ice cream. He said it was made differently. Taste was much different. Not sure if I liked or not.

Guildford farmers market

July 2, 2019

A warm sunny day, that turned very warm during the afternoon.

A loaf of bread and cake off one stall.

Riverford are working with Exeter University and hope to be plastic free by 2020.

Apple stall had raspberries in card boxes and hope to move their strawberries to similar boxes.

The farmers market was supposed to be plastic free this year. Why is it not?

I prefer to see strong paper bags to carry produce. Plastic bags I do not have too much of a problem with if people use and reuse, and as I do put out rubbish in. Though even these can be compostable as used by Infinity Foods. It is packaging for produce that is the problem, especially the obscene us of plastic and over packaging.

We though seem to be going backwards. What is claimed to be quality chocolate the bars wrapped in plastic.

The worst by far the turkey sausage stall. Their sausages in polystyrene boxes, shrink-wrapped with plastic.

But it gets worse, far worse, sausages taken out of the polystyrene boxes, cooked in a pan, put back in the boxes and offered to customers. Flies crawling over the cooked sausages.

The turkey sausages sitting on the stall on a very warm afternoon.

When the stall arrived, according to someone who was there at the time, an appalling stench from their van when they offloaded.

Why is this stall on the market? Where are Environmental Health?

Food and hot weather do not mix. Environmental Health should be patrolling the market. According to one witness they were seen first thing in the morning. First thing in the morning when it is cool. They should be there in the afternoon when it is very warm.

It is not though only Guildford. Every council market I have visited has had abysmal environmental standards.

A zero waste stall has appeared. Most of what was on their stall of no interest. Mainly of interest that people can bring their own bottle and refill with shampoo, washing up liquid.

Try Okomo zero waste in Downing Street in Farnham.

Cupsmith back with their low quality coffee. Coffee beans in open hessian sacks, bags of beans in the sun.

Coffee to avoid.

If wish to buy coffee, try Krema end of Tunsgate where they have coffee on sale from Horsham Coffee Roasters, a reputable roastery. Canopy opposite Waitrose have guest coffee, though last time I looked not on sale.

A pity Fire Chimney Coffee do not have a stall.

Three bottles of craft beer off a stall not seen before, Binary Botanical craft beer. One chilled to consume with lunch at Bamboo Shoots.

Unusual, brewed with hop leaves, not with hop flowers. At least that was what I was told. Their websites says brewed with hop flowers infused with hop leaves.

Dumb to proclaim beer for wine drinkers. Beer should stand on its own merits.

Craft beer sells on taste and word of mouth, not on bullshit marketing.

Binary Botanical superior table beer is unlike any beer you have tasted before. Its tropical aroma, prosecco-like taste, and clean finish come from the infusion with organic hop leaves and choice of wine yeast. It is a flavourful beer brewed to be enjoyed with food.

The name “binary” not only refers to the stem of the hop plant, but also two-digit number system underpinning our technological progress; the stem of the hop plant; and the black and white perspective we take on brewing standards and quality. It conveys the sense of useful science that we rely on to make sure that our beers taste great consistently, travels well and are better for you than alternatives.

And there was worse. Whoever wrote this bullshit no understanding of either beer or wine. No surprise Growlers & Cans declined to stock. Had I seen this bullshit first and not come across on a market stall, I would never have tried. Not doing the beer any favours.

It resembles sparkling elderflower wine, very light. Ideal chilled, sitting under the shade of trees in the garden on a hot sunny day.

Popped around to Growlers & Cans. Had 1/3 pint of the same beer I had last week.

Would have had a coffee at Krema but very warm, decided to call it a day and go home.

But first looked in cheesemonger end of Chapel Street and recommended they stocked Binary Botanical craft beer.

The Vegan Hot Dog Man

June 26, 2019

I have never understood why anyone who wishes to eat vegan or vegetarian food wishes to eat fake meat.

Winchester street food markets gets smaller each time I visit Winchester, what is on offer worse.

The Sicilian guys guys with their excellent pasta have gone, the guy doing pizzas from a horse box has gone.

The only stalls worth knowing about, cheese stall which is exceptional, French stall which is only once a month, and the bread stall which is ok.

I was too late to eat at The Square.

Signs of desperation a vegan hot dog off The Vegan Hot Dog Man. I would not wish to eat a real hot dog and there I was ordering a fake hot dog. Excellent Lincoln sausages yes, hot dogs no.

To say the vegan hot dog was disgusting would be an understatement. It was unbelievably disgusting. I hate to think what processed crap went into the vegan hot dog.

I asked the guy why serve vegan hot dogs?

That’s what people expect on a market.

Not true, a good street food market has excellent food.

Why not have quality vegetarian food, not fake meat? If this was meant to showcase vegan food then an abysmal failure.

But is is not only this vegan hot dog stall that has completely lost the plot, at Lincoln Vegan Festival disgusting looking hot dogs served with equally disgusting looking French-fries that would expects to find on a best avoided roadside kebab stall. It goes without saying I did not try.

Years ago in Covent Garden I used to enjoy bean burgers made from different beans not processed crap, not trying to emulate crap from McDonald’s.

Vegan food can be a delicious mix of fruit, nuts, grains, cereals and vegetables, added oils, ideally olive oil not highly processed so-called vegetable oils.

The push for fake-meat is coming from Big Business.

Always support local.

On Guildford farmers market, delicious dosa off the the India stall Ollo Foods.

Oxford street food market

June 22, 2019

An excellent street food market, spoilt for choice.

I settled on souvlaki as I had already decided, but other stalls were very tempting.

Oxford City Council needs to set higher environmental standards, assuming set any.

A fruit juice stall with moronic music blasting out should be told to cease, as they are disturbing the peace and quiet of the square.

Food served in polystyrene boxes not acceptable.

There needs to be bench seats as n York for people to sit and enjoy the food.

The street food market comparable with a street food market I happened upon in Berlin. That in Berlin market better, but still excellent choice and variety. As a street food market should be.

Half the market is a traditional market at least it is on a Wednesday when bread, fruit and vegetables. Not so on a Saturday, second-hand books, art, Jewellery, music.

Oxford street food market puts to shame the travelling circuses hosted in Lincoln.

Sea bream Demetrion

June 13, 2019

Demetrion is somewhere I usually look forward to eating. This evening a grave disappointment.

The quality of food and service poor.

We arrived a little after seven in the evening. A Long wait for our order to be taken, even longer wait for the food to arrive.

After an hour, I’d had enough and was on the point of leaving.

Sea bream was very dry. Either was cooked too long or been left and not delivered to the table.

The view has been spoilt by the ugly development at Ayia Napa Marina.

https://twitter.com/keithpp/status/113923857145231769

Moussaka at No 1 restaurant

June 3, 2019

With the closure of Nicolas Tavern, a poor choice to eat in Protaras.

Monday night, moussaka at No 1 comes with free wine. I chose red wine, mushroom soup for starter.

Mushroom soup excellent. Moussaka reasonable, not as good as in Athens, but still good.

Warning: Please be aware if use the free wifi, without user permission or consent or even being aware, posts comment on facebook time line that at No 1 with live highlighted link. This is very serious breach of personal data and not acceptable, and illegal. Facebook steals and abuses personal data, including location data.

Andreas Paggenis traditional Greek-Cypriot restaurant

June 2, 2019

Traditional Greek-Cypriot restaurant in Sotira.

Generous portion size. My moussaka sufficient for three people.

With the closure of Nicolas Tavern, a sad loss, now have to go further afield than Protaras to find somewhere worth eating. The remaining restaurants in Protaras are in a race to the bottom, a race no one can win, as they try to compete against all-inclusive and each other on price.

Worth trying, Ttapis and Kamasias, both in Paralimni. Demetrion fish restaurant at Liopetri River for fresh caught fish.

The place to not eat, Ocean Basket, the McDonald’s or KFC of seafood, the fish not fresh.

Blue Spice

May 28, 2019

Blue Spice is acknowledged as one of the premier restaurants in Cyprus, dining in our restaurant is a gastronomic experience. – Blue Spice

Pernera is one of those places best avoided, all-inclusive hotels, which in turn attracts bottom end of tourist market. As with Protaras, bars and restaurants competing with all-inclusive, competing with each other in a race to the bottom.

But as I was passing through Pernera, decided to eat at Blue Spice, or at least a friend decided for me when she dropped me off saying it had good reviews

A big mistake.

A strange set up, a very large restaurant surrounding a swimming pool. Also as I discovered later, an art gallery. It also appeared to be part of a larger complex including accommodation.

Souvlaki, or as they insisted on calling it it kebab, was not good. Far worse than No 1 or Vangelis in Protaras and that was not good either.

Very poor quality compared with Plaka in Athens.

As I was thinking of leaving, musicians started to arrive.

It could only get worse I thought, live music.

I could not have been more wrong. Far better than the so-called entertainment in the bars and hotels in Protaras

A guy on electric violin, a guy on keyboards and a female vocalist.

They did not play, they improvised, at one point the violinist was looping.

I asked and learnt they play every Tuesday night.

No way would I recommend Blue Spice to eat, but worth turning up around 2130 for a drink and settling down for the music.

They played a solid two hour set if not longer until around midnight.

A premier restaurant it is not, a gastronomic experience it is not, not unless count gastronomic disaster as an experience, but worth a visit for the trio who play Tuesday night.

Two places worth trying. Demetrion fish restaurant at Liopetri River and Kamasias in Paralimni.

Sea bream at Spartiatis fish restaurant

May 24, 2019

Spartiatis is a fish restaurant overlooking Konnos Bay, not that can see anything at night.

Walk down an unlit road, passed a run down block that appears to be inhabited by gypsies.

I paid a visit last night.

I ordered sea bream, fresh caught every day, or so I was assured.

First I was brought bread in a basket, thinly sliced courgettes and what looked like chips.

Both tasted ok, but it seemed odd to bring vegetables first then wait until main dish arrived, or eat now?

It turned out was a starter, which I only realised when main dish was brought, sea bream with a small salad and a side plate of chips.

What I thought was chips was not. What it was I do not know.

Sea bream was excellent, the chips not so.

A quiet location, no music.

Only half a dozen tables, if that, the new norm with the tourist industry collapsing, made worse by all-inclusive hotels which attracts the dregs of the tourist industry, drives away the quality tourists and no money flows into the local economy.

As I was leaving, I queried the sad state of affairs, the lack of diners. They told me it was like this every night weekdays.

I was tempted to hop on a bus into Protaras for an ice cream at either Café Amárena or Patisserie Amelie, but decided on yoghurt from nearby shop, then no too tired.

Try Papa’s fish and chips (a fish restaurant)  or Kamasias. Both are in Paralimni

Or during the day, Demetrion at Liopetri River.

The place to not eat, Ocean Basket, the McDonald’s or KFC of seafood, the fish not fresh.

 

Dinner at Vangelis

May 18, 2019

With the closure of Nicolas Tavern serving traditional Greek-Cypriot cuisine, Vangelis a very poor second choice.

I had eaten in Vangelis last year or maybe the year before, and noted thenn very poor choice compared with Nicolas Tavern or Restaurant Plaka in Athens.

When Vangelis first opened in Protaras it was an excellent restaurant. Had it improved from when I last ate there? Sadly not.

Chicken soup weak, insipid and watery. Very poor compared with Nicolas Tavern.

Pork souvlaki, very poor compared with same dish in Athens.

Service also very poor.

Sitting outside, pollution from passing traffic, smoke blown in face from diners, and moronic noise from nearby bar.

Why serve water in plastic? It could and should be in a glass bottle the bottles then recycled, or at very least, the glass recycled.

Restaurants in Protaras are not busy, most are nearly empty, several have closed, they cannot compete will all-inclusive hotels and lowering quality is a race to the bottom.