Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Yummy India chickpea masala

October 16, 2021

Initial impression dirty. It is not but gives the impression of being dirty.

I have eaten before and it was not good.

Tonight my chickpea masala was disgusting and that is being generous.

Chickpeas cooked to fuck, soggy, covered in God knows what disgusting gunk. The white rice tasteless

I thought of the reaction of Gordon Ramsay. I was too polite. I was though sorely tempted.

I left my meal barely touched. That should have told the waiters something wrong. Can we offer you something else? Not a murmur. They don’t care.

I have cooked a far superior tasty similar dish, Sri Lankan golden masala curry and mine was a far better dish.

A nearby table a couple smoking. Hawkers and beggars walking in to tables. Not good.

I only ate Yummy India because neighbouring Greek restaurant claimed to be fully booked. It was empty. When I walked by later, not even half full. Very annoying.

I am at a loss how Yummy India remains in business. It would not survive more than a few months in England.

Gail’s bakery Guildford

October 5, 2021

No lunch, no breakfast, with reluctance I decided to eat at Gail’s bakery in Tunsgate.

Could it be as bad as Gail’s in Farnham? Sadly yes, they must be vying with each other as disgusting places to eat and drink coffee.

I asked for a sausage roll. I asked that it be heated up. Girl serving refused, on the grounds out of the oven, it is hot.

Tables dirty, no one has bothered to clear the tables, let alone clean the tables.

I sit at a table, push dirty crockery to one side.

We are in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, not only should tables be cleared, they should be cleaned before next customer sits down.

Reputable places that care about their reputation, care about customer health and well being, do no allow to sit down until a table is cleared and cleaned, and would never allow tables to be piled with dirty dishes.

I return for cutlery and serviettes.

In Farnham, dish ordered is brought to the table piping hot.

In Guildford, serve yourself, including clearing and cleaning the table.

My sausage roll cold and disgusting. I leave half eaten.

I contrast with sausage rolls from Redhill Farm Shop, excellent, piping hot, a fraction of the price, but then they take a pride in what they are doing.

I watch a fellow customer, clear his table, then get cleaning spray and cloth to clean his own table.

I catch him as he is leaving. He said not somewhere he has eaten before, I think he had a coffee. He said he found the place disgusting.

Staff not wearing face masks.

Only one toilet for a quite large greasy spoon café.

Lack of ambience.

It must be a trade mark of Gail’s, disgusting food, appalling service, tables groaning under dirty dishes.

This must be one of the most disgusting places to eat in Guildford. Maybe there are worse, but they would be very bad.

I did not try the coffee. That in Farnham undrinkable, clueless on coffee. Why even sample when Krema across the street serving excellent coffee, plus the worlds smallest coffee shop serving from a red telephone box. I regret I did not eat at Krema.

A chain and it shows. No one cares, certainly not the staff.

Coronavirus biosecurity very poor: Staff not wearing masks, tables not cleaned between customers.

Gail’s best avoided.

Gordon Gino and Fred road trip to Greece

October 3, 2021

Gordon Ramsey and a couple of mates decide to sample the food of Greece, visiting a couple of Greek islands then onto Athens.

I thought it would be gimmicky, and yes it was, but somehow they got away with it.

I did not see when broadcast last Monday night, or the repeat a couple of nights later, but watched on-line tonight.

A two part series, the second Monday night.

I agree with Gordon Ramsey, Greek food better than Italian.

To my Greek friends, watch with VPN set to UK.

Synchronicity: Earlier today, a friend has left Athens for Santorini to run a coffee shop on the island and invited me to visit her.

Millstream Square Street Food and Artisan Market

September 4, 2021

The last of Street Food and Artisan Market at Millstream Square in Sleaford.

Walking from the station I was surprised how busy the town centre, Millstream Square was packed.

Three markets, this was the last. July I was not aware of, the August market was worth a visit.

Good weather makes all the difference. Today a pleasant warm sunny afternoon.

Stalls I saw last time were not there, many new stalls.

Missing the two wood-fired pizza stalls, but there was a wood-fired pizza truck. At a guess each decide two was one two many and pulled out.

Neither was the honey from Nottingham. Last market, three stalls selling honey Today only one, or I only noticed one.

I regret I did not buy any honey. I never buy from a supermarket, never cheap low quality imported honey, only English honey direct from the producer. It would though have been too much to carry. A couple of days later, I gave a stranger apples from the garden, windfalls, to thank me she gave me a jar of English honey from Washingborough, a village outside of Lincoln.

I was pleased to see the dosa stall. Highly recommended.

Not pleased to see a burger van. This is junk food.

Three Caribbean stalls: food, cakes and fruit juices.

Samples of juice, tiny flimsy paper cups. I suggested put on a compost heap. I came away with a bottle of juice.

I also bought a Caribbean ginger cake.

Craft beer stall and gin stall. From the craft beer stall four cans of beer.

What was the point of the horsebox bar? It was possible to have obtained a drink from Tablez. Or a can of craft beer from the craft beer stall.

I am bombarded with messages on social media, reduce beer tax. Why?. Beer tax is not whey pubs are failing. They are failing because badly run, not pleasant places to be. Cans of beer off the Castle Rock stall a fiver a can, some cans were six quid. But worth it for quality craft beer, something do do find in a pub.

What was needed, a coffee truck serving specialty coffee.

Last market, Jackalope Joe with coffee beans. No stall with coffee. I learnt from the tea stall, July three coffee stalls selling coffee beans.

A chocolate stall, at least had the honesty to admit all they did was bag the bought in chocolate. If a chocolate stall, invite a bean-to-bar craft craft chocolate maker, for example Luisa’s.

Spice stall, different mixes for different dishes. I wanted Sri Lankan for Sri Lankan golden masala.

Interesting discussion with one stall, Great Taste Award scam. Producers pay for this meaningless award. It lacks merit and is no guarantee of quality.

I noticed the stalls I talked to, packaging easy to recycle or compost. I do not know if this is a requirement of the market, cf South bank street food market in London, if yes excellent, if not it should be.

Natty Roots organic juices, Castle Rock craft beer, had plain card boxes to carry away their bottles and cans, easy to recycle or compost.

Pleased that complaints about the music had been heeded. People wish to talk. But better still, spin off the music as a separate summer event.

For each market publish a list of stalls

  • name – produce – twitter – web address

Why close at three? The market should be open until at least four.

I looked in the Thai restaurant. They were closed. Helpful young girl who I met in August shared with me her snack. It was excellent.

Cappuccino from Tablez was not good. A long time coming, they were not busy. I took one sip and left for the station. I missed the train. Well strictly speaking the train was cancelled. I walked back to Tablez. My awful cappuccino still sitting on the table. I took it back. Another long wait. Young server apologised for long wait and poor quality.

Looking at the menu Tablez take pride in the food they serve, quality, sourced locally, or so they claim. Why not therefore take the same pride in the coffee they serve, not insult with cheap crap catering supply coffee?

Ambiance pleasant, very pleasant to sit outside, quiet.

Luckily the next train not cancelled.

Courgette stuffed with minced pork and sweet potato served with basmati rice

August 28, 2021

Last week, left overs from a few days before, a courgette stuffed with minced pork and sweet potato, left over popped in a casserlole dish and when cool, in the fridge

Taken out of the fridge, then when reache room tempeature, fan oven 150C for thirty minutes.

Basmataie rice, brought to the boil in a pan of boiling water, allowed to simmer.

Serve.

Bunty’s Tea Room cappuccino

August 21, 2021

I had found Bunty’s Tea Room open last Saturday, thought I would try today, first time I have ventured inside.

Just my luck, a large group entered as I was about to walk in. A noisy group.

One table empty near the door. Ideal as I try to avoid crowded places during coronavirus pandemic and prefer to sit outside.

No outside seating.

WWII theme, pride of place on the wall, a large black and white photo of a Lancaster bomber flying past Lincoln Cathedral. Various WWII memorabilia dotted around. What was strange, I was the only one who appeared to notice.

My cappuccino was so-so, but what I expected, I was in a tea shop not a coffee shop. Too many mistakes, cup size too large, coffee not freshly ground, not precisely weighed.

I started to feel sick and left my coffee. The reason why, sometimes if I have had too many, fake milk. Not only fake milk, but a cheap low quality oat milk.

Please use real milk not pander to vegans with fake milk. If really must add fake milk to a cappuccino, then maybe try Rebel Kitchen Mylk for Baristas. Or if do not wish for milk, an espresso, or a filter pour over coffee.

Coffee from Seven Districts on sale. A wider range can be found in A Little Bit of Lincolnshire, shop selling local produce further up Steep Hill.

Tea served in a variety of fancy tea pots with bone china cups, as tea should be served.

The tea, a choice of tea, their own blends.

A chocolate sponge cake for later.

I will return another day and try the tea.

Located half way up Steep Hill.

If a visitor to Lincoln please do not take the tourist bus as a complete waste of money and adding to pollution and contributing to Climate Emergency. Walk up Steep Hill or if do not wish to climb Steep Hill, take the Walk and Ride to Lincoln Cathedral, then walk back down Steep Hill.

Avoid Lincoln Cathedral Cafe, an outsourced operation, service poor, disgusting catering supply coffee brewed by clueless on coffee. Always support local businesses where they care about their reputation and money flows back into the local economy.

Contrast Bunty’s Tea Room with the appalling service at Lincoln Cathedral Cafe. But that is the difference between a local family owned business where they care about their reputation and an outsourced operation which does not.

For more on life during WWII, nearby Museum of Lincolnshire Life and International Bomber Command Centre overlooking Lincoln.

Lincoln farmers market

August 21, 2021

Lincoln farmers market third Saturday of the month.

A warm muggy afternoon, heavy rain forecast.

Walked through Lincoln Central Market en route to farmers market.

Fruit and vegetables stall appears to have pulled out before the end of the month.

Coffee truck is also leaving end of the month.

Useless jobsworth who mismanages the market has done an excellent job destroying the market.

Hopped on Walk and Ride to Lincoln Cathedral.

Farmers market is busy. But then Bailgate and Steep Hill very busy.

Stocked up from cheese stall, including Stichleton and unpasteurized milk.

A chat with Lincoln Gin. I recommend a stall at Sleaford Street Food and Artisan Market at Mlllstream Square. Will be there, first Saturday of September.

Lunch at Elite on the Bail.

Walk down Steep Hill, coffee at Bunty’s Tea Room. So-so but what I expected, a tea room not a coffee shop.

Down in the city centre, drunken scum. Even for a Saturday, bad.

Espresso at Madame Waffle.

Service in M&S Food Hall bad, even by their usual piss-poor standards. No tills manned, queue for self-service tills, angry customers.

Heavy rain was forecast. Luckily did not arrive.

Courgette stuffed with minced pork and sweet potato

August 16, 2021

What to do with one large courgette the size of a marrow?

Oversize courgettes sometimes get passed off as marrows. Easy to tell the difference, marrows have longitudinal stripes.

The size of this courgette can be seen by the 30cm ruler laid alongside.

How heavy I do not know, other than more than 2kg.

Cut sweet potato into small chunks, dice half a red onion, finely chop one garlic clove.

Note: I had intended to add a chopped red chilli pepper, but I forgot.

Stuff the discs with the vegetables, any left over sweet potato add around the sides. Sprinkle with with salt, add vegetable stock, a good lashing of extra virgin cold pressed rape seed oil, the left over sweet potatoes scatter around the discs.

Top the discs with minced pork, a little more salt and oil, then sit on top one overripe cherry tomato.

Pop in oven, fan 190C for forty-five minutes.

Time and temperature, a guestimate, nothing more.

Taking out of the oven, I thought I had messed up too high a temperature too long, the minced pork looked burnt to a crisp.

But luckily not, top of the minced pork crisp, inside not.

The proof is in the eating.

Delicious, very tasty dish.

Too much to eat. Three saved for another day, Leave to cool, then casserole dish in the fridge. Reheat and serve with basmati rice.

This dish of course could be made with a marrow, and of course, should not let courgettes grow so so large, pick when small.

Sri Lankan golden masala curry

August 8, 2021

Cut butternut squash and an onion into chunks.

Add to a tray, salt and pepper, cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil, fan oven 190C.

I only used half of the butternut squash as large.

Used to dicing, I diced the onion, rather than chunks.

Tomatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, ginger, garlic clove, Sri Lankan spice pot, add after fifteen minutes.

Empty and riince butter beans.

Add butter beans and coconut milk to the vegetables. Cook for a total of 45 minutes.

Delicious.

More than sufficient, save leftovers in casserole dish in fridge for another day, reheat and serve with basmati rice.

Previously I had used sweet potato. Today butternut squash. Dish delicious with either.

Once again fail by Riverford. Punnet of cherry tomatoes covered in plastic. Why? I already had leftover over ripe tomatoes, which I substituted.Tamarind missing. I forget I already had which I could have used.

Ever since Riverford changed delivery day, and I suspect changed where came from, I have experienced problems.

Street Food & Artisan Market

August 7, 2021

Mixing street food with artisans an interesting concept. Adding in live music not a good idea.

Thunderstorms and rain forecast. Midday in Lincoln sunny.

A choice, an hour by bus or half an hour by train. I decided on train.

The first train journey since before Christmas. An old train, windows open, a minority not wearing masks.

As the train neared Sleaford, dark clouds.

I had no idea where I was heading, well ok a rough idea.

Sleaford Station on the edge of the town centre. I headed roughly North into the town.

I almost walked past where I was heading, Millstream Square, but luckily I noticed some stalls off to the left.

A quick look round, then I noticed more stalls across the millstream.

An interesting mix, a couple of wood-fired pizza trucks, an Indian dosa, a couple of cake stalls, India spices, fresh fruit juice, oak chopping boards, honey, loose leaf tea, coffee beans and live music. Between the stalls park benches to sit and eat.

Dosa from Delicacy Of South Asia was excellent. A chat before I decided. Then later I popped back to thank them.

Not enough park benches, at least that was my initial impression. But no, ignorant people sitting to chat with their friends forcing people to eat standing. Organisers should have had polite words.

The live music was a bloody pain. Too loud, female singer last session, could not sing, distorted and far too loud. I had gone for a walk out of the town centre, along a river and could hear the music.

Conversation with the stall holders nigh impossible.

A chat with Hanna of Jackalopy Joe, coffee stall, less about the beans, more about the packaging. It would have been good to have a more in depth conversation but impossible due to the music.

An interesting chat with an Indian stall selling spices, Kiran’s Spice Kits. Not individual spices but spice mixes. I asked of Sri Lankan golden masala. Yes, but not today. I described the dish. She knew what I was making and was envious.

A stall with a selection of tea. Sadly I did not chat to, I was getting a headache from the music.

I went for a walk in search of a coffee shop. Could I find, no. Not even a greasy spoon café masquerading as a coffee shop. I did later double check on google maps, possible yes, had I doubled back to the station and checked a few side streets, but I headed the opposite direction, not having seen any on my way in.

I walked past the Market Square, headed out of town, through a field, Lollycocks Field, and out along a river. I guess the River Slea.

I thought maybe the Market Square a suitable location for the market, but then thought no, passed on two sides by traffic.

The centre of Sleaford not pleasant, lined with the same shops found everywhere, continuous flow of traffic, not pleasant, lacking in character, though not as bad a Markey Raisen.

Were it not for the market, Sleaford not worth a visit.

On my return, as the market was packing up, a chat with a man hand-crafted oak chopping boards, Simply Crafted. Did I want one? No, too heavy and bulky to carry. A reduction. Ok then.

I realised too large. A refund and a smaller board. But yes, I did want a good chopping board.

Why did the market close at three? A pleasant afternoon and still very busy. In the summer remain open until four, spring and autumn three -thirty, winter close at three.

I contrast with the travelling junk food circus held in Lincoln.

The market good for local business. A bakery Emily’s Bake House and Thai restaurant Thai Sabai said they were very busy and closed later than they usually close on a Saturday afternoon. Staff at both, friendly and helpful, especially the Thai restaurant, a little girl went in and brought me out a menu.

I was directed to what I assumed to be an Italian restaurant for a coffee, it was a bistro, Tablez Cafe Bistro. I walked in and was stunned by their machine, a lever operated espresso machine. Very pleasant ambience inside, and very helpful friendly staff
.
I did not have time for a coffee, ran the risk of missing my train, but how could I not have a coffee from this machine?

Pleased to see the girl ground fresh for my coffee. It also looked as though the grinder provided a calibrated dose, but no time to inquire further.

Sadly my coffee not very good. Cheap crap catering supply coffee. They need to source quality coffee. I would suggest try Seven Districts. Their machine deserves better coffee.

It then chucked it down. I saw the black clouds, decided to head to the station, but then dallied.

I made it to the station in time and luckily a fellow passenger more alert than me. An announcement half way across the bridge, wrong platform.

Back in Lincoln, warm and sunny.

High Street, far fewer people than would expect at five o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. I later learnt that footfall was less than half the the previous Saturday. Who measures, how measured, I do not know.

A cappuccino at Coffee Aroma.

Additions to the market, a coffee truck, maybe craft beer, a hog roast. I suggest Cafe Classique invited for coffee, they could serve tea and coffee from the two stalls, mutually beneficial stalls direct to the truck, truck directs to the stalls. For hog roast invite Redhill Farm. Craft beer problematic, not problem obtaining a license, the problem do not want drunks hang around. Thee focus should remain on local and quality. No junk food. No burger and kabab vans.

I thought there was two stalls selling honey, there were three, one too many

Ditch the live music. It was a nuisance. Stallholders whish to be able to discuss what is on their stalls.

A list of stallholders an absolute must, name, product, twitter and web address.


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