Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

AM Ozone Restaurant

August 17, 2018

 

I would have eaten at Caffe Macchiato, but fancied a change. A big mistake.

Sort of greeted by a toad like man as walked in, actually not greeted at all.

One surly waiter cleared away dirty plates.

Virtually empty, and easy to see why.

Dull and dingy, though did then manage to turn on a few extra lights.

An oriental-style buffet, food from everywhere.

The food not fresh, lukewarm at best, only one dish replenished whilst I was there. Open from midday until 10 pm. Do the dishes sit there all day? The plates stone cold.

I was worried would I get food poisoning. The place was shut down and fined it was disgusting. I looked in vein for a  food rating, it got zero last year, could not find, then spotted on the door, 4*.

St Martins Coffee House

July 13, 2018

Chichester is an old Roman town, the pedestrianised centre still follows the Roman Street plan, a medieval buttercross Chichester Cross in the centre, medieval side streets, surrounded by the Roman wall.

All the more depressing that the pedestrianised centre has been ruined by a proliferation of corporate chains, independents driven out by the greed of the Church and other local landowners, interspersed with what are little more than greasy spoon cafes masquerading as tea rooms and coffee shops.

From the station I trekked South Street to the Chichester Cross and all points of the compass, north, south, east and west in the hope of finding a decent coffee shop and somewhere decent to eat. I trekked in vein. It was then the medieval streets, and there in the North East Quadrant between North Street and East Street I happened upon St Martins Coffee House.

St Martins Coffee House is a restored town house, an oasis in a desert of mediocrity.

The town house was derelict, restored over several years by the current owner and now a restaurant.

Inside ancient wooden furniture, no cheap crap. Near the entrance a piano, feel free to play. It was actually in tune. Upstairs games to play chess, Japanese Go or Scrabble.

Outside a wonderful little garden.

Simple fare, freshly prepared, ingredients wherever possible sourced locally, in season, organic. Nothing hotted up in a microwave, no use of aluminium utensils, storage glass not plastic.

I selected for my lunch Red Dragon Cake. It was a little like the bean burger I used to have in Neal’s Yard Bakery in Covent Garden. Sadly long gone, as too has Food for Thought in Neal Street. Served on a bed of salad.

Generous portion size and delicious.

This I sat and enjoyed in the delightful garden.

Cakes were vegan, which I did not try, as my experience with vegan cakes is that they have never been very pleasant. Though I admit I was tempted.

I did not though give in to temptation, as I was tempted by a fresh fruit juice and the two would not have gone well together.

I chose carrot apple orange ginger fresh juice. I asked how made and it was as I had designed for a coffee shop in Cyprus and a juice bar in Athens.

It was as I expected, excellent for a hot day.

The coffee was dark roasted Italian sourced from a large company. This I declined, as would not have been good.

I made recommendations of from where they could source their coffee, top quality local coffee roasters. The moot point, may not be certified organic, but if single origin direct trade, would have traceability and transparency back to the farm, and would be able to say what inputs if any had been used, and the likelihood is none. Also for this weather, consider cold brew. And add other coffee methods, for example V60 pour over.

I suggested visit Coffee Lab, where they would be able to try speciality coffee. I did not know until I visited, Coffee Lab now have guest coffee.

Whether historic, I do not know, although called a Coffee House, St Martins Coffee House is actually not, it is a restaurant. But would make a wonderful coffee house if sourced speciality coffee, employed a skilled barista, and this would compliment their excellent food and environment and bring people in during the afternoon when quiet.

I then myself went in search of Coffee Lab where I had an excellent cold brew and cappuccino. And as always interesting conversation.

Afternoon in Winchester

June 20, 2018

A pleasant afternoon in Winchester.

Missed a bus, missed a train.

Looked in Alton Station Cafe. Tonight for bikers night, chicken casserole.

Driver of 1415 No 64 bus Alton to Winchester running several minutes late, driving like a lunatic, exceeding speed limit, hit curb and smashed bus at Four Marks.

Alight and walk down Magdalen Hill into Winchester.

Sicilian guys still serving crap from their stall. It is tragic, they used to serve excellent pasta from their stall, worth a trip to Winchester for.

Flat Whites stall no food, all gone. Different guest coffee to last week.

I decide to check out the food at The Square. Spoilt for choice. Sourdough toast with grilled mushrooms.

The people sat outside, relaxing with a coffee, chatting with friends, I am very much reminded of Tailor Made in Athens.

Shocked to learn it is already five o’clock.

I head off to Flat Whites coffee shop. Too late, closed. I drop off a couple of copies of Caffeine. As last week, I recommend, do not subscribe to Caffeine, instead subscribe to Standart.

Back to The Square, but first check out Coffee Lab. I am shocked to find now closes at three. Coffee Lab Academy, as last week, chairs piled up, there were still people sitting there. It has gone rapidly down hill with no Laura in charge.

A cappuccino at The Square. Different barista and not as good as last week. Very large slice of walnut and coffee cake. Best I have ever had.

At Alton Station, same problem as last year, an ice cream van illegally parked in the car park, obstructing access, engine running, serving ice cream.

As last week, no special left at Alton Station Cafe.

As I board train, steam  train leaving.

Lunch at Italian coffee shop Bottega dei Sapori

June 16, 2018

Late lunch at Italian coffee shop Bottega dei Sapori where once I used to eat regularly.

The food was good, the service terrible.

A long wait, I went to the cake counter and ordered.

Soup and main course delivered together. Main course I sent back, with orders not to bring back but to cook fresh. No butter for the bread.

Baffled why each serviette stuck down.

Tea is tea pigs, another small business taken in by marketing.

Coffee has changed, now supplied by Winchester Coffee Roasters. I have had twice elsewhere, not good.

I ordered a cappuccino. Then went and told them not to dump chocolate on top, as I would only have sent it back. They would have otherwise served with chocolate and not asked.

Served too hot, not good. But then from previous experience with Winchester Coffee Roasters, I was not expecting anything better.

Bottega dei Sapori need to improve their tea, their coffee and their service.

The world has moved on, will no longer get away with poor quality tea and coffee, poor service.

Visit Winchester, see what indie coffee shops Coffee Lab and Flat Whites are serving as tea and coffee, look at their delicious mouth-watering cakes.

These little indie businesses need to get their act together, otherwise they will not exist. The day before, I had a Vietnamese dish in Pho in Guildford and it was excellent.

Sirloin steak The Queen Hotel

June 12, 2018

Visits to The Queen Hotel are more and more infrequent, each rare occasion is worse than before.

The good staff from when it opened have long gone.  The food is terrible.

I was surprised to find The Little Beer Corporation on tap. Maybe they had surplus beer Wetherspoon picked up on the cheap.

My meal was not good, service terrible, the usual drunks blocking the bar.

Once again I remind myself why I avoid pubs, frequent instead coffee shops and restaurants.

Wetherspoon News (summer 2018) had two bullshit articles.  One from Tim Martin praising LavAzza as quality coffee, the other from head of Camra talking complete bullshit on why pubs are closing (no mention of pubcos).

There are only two places to eat in Aldershot, Caffe Macchiato and Indonesia street food restaurant.

There is nowhere in Aldershot for coffee.

Liquid Jade

May 5, 2018

Liquid Jade, hidden down an alley, Zebedee’s Yard off Whitefriargate.

Pleasant ambience.

The focus on tea and food. Yes, did have coffee, but would not tell me where from.

Perverse. I lacked the time to enjoy the food, and declined to try the coffee. Transparency is everything.

Owner very helpful, suggested places to visit and kindly marked my map.

Burr Coffee

April 20, 2018

Alighting at York Station the final stop, wandering through  the streets, over a bridge over the River Ouse and into the city centre.

Passed a couple of coffee shops, one of which was Brew and Brownie, but too hot to sit inside.  Ended at York Minster, back tracked to Lendal and found Burr Coffee.

Excellent brunch at Burr Coffee, the same cannot be said of the coffee. The cakes looked tempting, but I did not try.

Looking at the menu outside, brunch field mushrooms and halloumi cheese with pine nuts on toasted sourdough bread. Generous portion size and excellent.

North Star Coffee on sale, espresso blend and single origin, though no single origin served, no pour over.

I have had North Star before at Canopy Coffee, not good, therefore was curious.

Cappuccino ordered. It was terrible, chocolate dumped on top, scalding hot, undrinkable.

I kept taking a tentative sip whilst eating my lunch, but my opinion did not change, it was terrible coffee.

I had been tempted to buy a bag of North Star coffee was not sure which, though my decision had been made for me, as apart from The Docks an espresso blend, the single origin which I would have preferred, was all too old.  Having experienced an awful coffee, I decided not.

Further down the street, Spring Espresso Lendal serving Square Mile Coffee.  What a difference a few steps can make.

Sometimes I wonder, is my sense of taste awry. I then have a decent cup of coffee, and realise no, I have been served bad coffee.

Burr Coffee has on sale The North and North Wales Independent Coffee Guide in which they are listed.  The listing opens up a whole can of worms. If not serving quality coffee, why are they listed? How independent is this guide, what credibility, when coffee shops are paying £500 to be listed?

Burr Coffee, excellent for lunch, not somewhere for coffee.  A cafe serving coffee, not a coffee shop serving food.

 

Lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station

April 17, 2018

As my last visit to Nottingham, excellent lunch at 200 Degrees Nottingham Station.

As my last visit, I skipped coffee. Their house blend is not great. I wished to try their guest blend, but wished to try at their other coffee shop, which I have yet to find.

I headed off in what I thought was the correct direction, did not find, but did find The Speciality Coffee Shop where I spent the a large part of the afternoon.

Lunch at White Hart Hotel

March 23, 2018

Today decided to dine in style.

Lunch at the White Hart Hotel in Bailgate.

For starters, wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil.

The starter was a meal in itself.

Followed by rib-eye pork steak. A very impressive steak knife, an implement of quality.

Ingredients sourced locally, with a list where sourced from. A pity more do not follow this excellent example.

The rib-eye pork steak  was sourced from the butcher in Bailgate. Redhill Farm Shop, from where I obtain their excellent ham and Lincolnshire sausages.

Compliments to the chef, the food was excellent. The vegetables, at least the cauliflower, could have been cooked a tad longer.

I was warned the  rib-eye pork steak would be slightly pink. Fine for steak, but not pork, I asked that it be cooked a little longer.

I noticed an adjacent table had Lincolnshire sausages, sourced from Fosters, not the butcher in Bailgate.  These were under cooked.

I would recommend if The White Hart Hotel wish to serve the best quality Lincolnshire sausages, either source from the butcher in Heighington or from Redhill Farm Shop in Bailgate.

I later popped into the butcher and asked of rib-eye pork steak as not something I had come across before.

The offer of a coffee was declined. There are far better places for a coffee in Lincoln, Makushi aka Base Camp on Steep Hill, Madame Waffle in the High Street and Coffee Aroma just off the High Street near The Stonebow.

I had a window seat. I would not have liked to be in the main body of the restaurant as too much like a chain restaurant.

I was very impressed by the steak knife. An implement of quality.

Christmas dinner at Butcher and Beast

December 25, 2017

Two days before Christmas, what was to be Christmas dinner at the Butcher and Beast.

Er, looks like sirloin steak.

Er, yes, sirloin steak.

A communication problem. What was to be a booking for Christmas lunch, was only logged as a table booking.  One would have thought, would have at least asked when booking, is this for Christmas lunch, but apparently not. Was not even aware there was a problem until brought a menu, and queried why. Only then learnt, had not been booked for Christmas lunch.

Hence sirloin steak.

Butcher and Beast is a country pub in the Lincolnshire village of Heighington, not far from Lincoln.

Food at the Butcher and Beast used to be not up to much, overpriced and very variable. Of late, much improved. Roast Sunday dinner a few months ago was excellent