Monday, September 26, 2011

Canteen at the Royal Festival Hall

Belvedere Road

Canteen is tucked in at the base of the imposing south face of the Royal Festival Hall.

There is an outside area and inside there were a mix of shared tables and smaller booths as well as more standard tables, the whole place did feel open and quite stylish.

 We both had the half pint of prawns to start, these were a little on the small side, but well cooked and easy to peal.

I had the fish cakes, which I miss in Australia where they aren't very common. These were great, with a crunchy coating of breadcrumbs and a decent amount of fish in the cakes, providing both flavour and texture...

I had to have mushy peas as a side, these were also good.

Rob had the roast Chicken - thigh and leg, with chips which he seemed to enjoy.

The service was good and I enjoyed my Meantime Pale Ale, a good choice.

Canteen on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wilton Way Cafe

63 Wilton Way,
E8 1BG

Brunch after the night out was in Hackney, not an area I've ever spent much time in. It is certainly more gentrified in areas than I'd expected, Wilton Way included. The cafe has a few tables inside and out, with take away also being an option. London Fields Radio also operates from the premises.

Healthy breakfast seem to be the order of the day, and Danny started with the muesli, yoghurt and strawberries, which looked and apparently tasted good. I went for a long black, and despite not being sure if I could order that, got one. There may be some Aussie involvement in the coffee department.

We both had the avocado on sour dough toast, which sorted me out and set me up for the day and still felt pretty good for me!

I'm not likely to be back in Hackney that often, but it was a great place to hang out as well as serving tasty food that's good for you.

Wiltons on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Albion Caff

2-4 Boundary Street,
E2 7DD

Danny decided on the Albion Caff at Conran's newish (for an irregular visitor) Boundary Road establishment...

The take on the east end caff is a bit higher end than some I used to visit, the bottles of HP sauce and Heinz tomato ketchup.

Ev went for the scotch egg to start, which looked the part...

Danny opted for the devilled kidney's, and was presented with quite a pile.

I had the very green spinach soup, which perhaps wasn't quite as thick or flavoursome as I'd expected, but was good all the same.

My fellow dinners both chose the skirt with chips a favourite it seems.

I had the spinach and mushroom pie, which had a great crisp puffy top and a rich filling.

The bill came to

Albion at The Boundary Project on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jamie's Italian, Portsmouth

S92 - S93, Market Square
Gunwharf Quays

Not being in the UK often, I hadn't heard of the Jamie's Italian chain and had never been to one of
his establishments before.

The Portsmouth branch is in Gunwharf near the top of the 'canal' that runs back from the waterfront.

The fit out is modern, with exposed services and some nautical themes including wall coverings made from container sides. It wasn't too busy when we arrived fairly early in the evening, but soon filled up.

The Mike's grilled mushrooms bruschetta, with grilled and marinated open-cap mushrooms with lemon, thyme and garlic was good and packed with mushroom flavours.

I started with the marinated sardines featuring pickled fillets of sardines with garlic, lemon, parsley and chilli which were tangy and light.

The south coast fritto misto was packed with crispy fried chunks of fish of the day, some fried whole sardines and a big prawn and was served with tartare sauce. It looked good and was apparently tasty too!

The whole-roasted sea bass with crunchy sweet and sour vegetables let the fish flavours get through without being overpowered...

I went for the prawn linguine with pan fried garlicky prawns with tomatoes, chilli, rocket and fennel, which was satisfyingly prawn and certainly full of flavour.

The service was friendly and reasonably efficient, although there was quite a long wait for our mains. The bill came to £62. I probably wont get the chance to go back often, but would if the opportunity came along.

Jamie's Italian, Portsmouth on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Level 1
301 Swanston St
Melbourne, 3000

Sahara is fairly easy to find if you are looking for it, with a big sign above the stairs to the first floor.

Upstairs the decor has a north african flavor, we were seated on a window table with views out over Swanston St. There were several other tables filled, but there were also quite a few empty tables.

The booking through Yumtable worked, although the deal seemed no different to the standard lunch specials. There were 5 or so dishes at $10 and 5 more options at $15 including a free drink.

We both ended up going for $10 options, Phil went for the Moroccan Barramundi with wedges, which turned out to be small, and not as meaty as normal and not particularly Moroccan!

I had the Vegie Tagine with rice, which was nicely flavoured with a variety of veg and chickpeas, and had more of north african

The service was friendly and efficient, and we werewn't rushed out the door after finishing our meals. It wasn't a bad spot and I'd think about going back.

Sahara on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Bank

13 Ballarat St
Yarraville, 3013

After watching a film across the street we decided to give The Bank a try. It was busy when we arrived at 8:30 on a Saturday, and we were shown to one of the few free tables.

The atmosphere was good and the interior decor suited the building, you can almost see it through the doorway in the picture below.

We shared some olives to start and got a massive dish of them with two decent sized slices of ciabatta. The olives were served marinated or flavoured with citrus peel, which was nice, but more variety in flavours, sizes or types would have been good.

For my main I had the kangaroo loins with beetroot and corn and potato fritas, which was presented well. The beetroot and kangaroo flavours worked well together, taking the edge off the sometimes overly gamey taste.

The paella also looked good, and was super hot on arrival. It contained a good amount of seafood and chorizo.

The service was attentive and friendly. The bill was around $80 including a few drinks. I'd happily go back, but there is also plenty of local competition to try!
The Bank (food & wine) on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy in a larger map

Friday, September 2, 2011

China Red

206 Bourke St Melbourne, 3000

China Red is half way through one the malls running from Little Bourke to Bourke Street between Swanston and Russell. 

From the outside you can see into the kitchen, with dumplings being prepared before yours eyes.

I went with a group of seven and we were seated downstairs in a booth, with one of the touchscreen menu for ordering. The fit out combines the traditional and morern well, although downstairs is windowless.

The main menu is pretty big, but mostly we stuck to the cut down lunch menu, which was reasonably priced

Very soon after we ordered food started arriving, the vegetarian fried rice was huge!

I went for the spicy fish with rice which lived up to it's name and was full of chilli's and peppercorns.

The duck looked crispy and dispeared quickly.

The vegetarian dumplings were green and tasty, but not quite up there with those from Shanghai village dumpling.

The singapore noodles were piled high too!

The service was very efficient, except for one of the special dishes which took a lot longer than everything else to arrive. I'd cerainly think about popping back in for lunch again, normal/dinner prices were perhaps a little high compared to some of the neighbouring choices.

China Red on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map