Friday, 7 September 2012

Le Stado, Paris

A typically Parisian restaurant that shares two common loves with the English.

The first: rugby. It’s not just some jump on the bandwagon kind of affair while les tricolores are up and running, there’s plenty of memorabilia that pays homage from the days of Jean-Pierre Rives or Serge Blanco.

The second: duck.

Confit duck with fried garlic potatoes: all that cooking in the fat makes it easy to separate from the bone.

Duck breast with Espelette: sliced meat a little dry but the espelette chilli pepper sauce is a winner with a spice that’s just nice.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 150 Rue St Honoré, 75008 Paris, France
What? Around 14€

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Pierre Hermes, Hugo & Victor, Paris

Grand plans were laid out to visit some of the designer patisseries in Paris. But my pockets are only so deep. And I can only push the body so far towards diabetes.

So we ended up at two…

Pierre Hermes is a bit Soup Nazi… look, shuffle, order, move to the side to collect, pay and get out. Except the staff are friendly. Creations that are pretty, without being too intimidating to put in the mouth.

Now Hugo & Victor is in a different league.

Shhhhh quiet please. It’s feels more serious, like an art gallery with the goodies taunting you from behind the glass screens built into the wall. Taste as good as they look, which is pretty awesome.

4 / 5 yums!
Where? Pierre Hermes: 72 Rue Bonaparte, Paris; Hugo & Victor: 40 Boulevard Raspail, 75007 Paris, France

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Le Chateaubriand, Paris (May 2011)

The Lady Gaga of the San Pellegrino top 50. Some will get it, some won’t.

It’s such a stripped back place, and you’ll have to shed the clothes from your brain and free the mentality to experience some of this avant-garde cuisine that sets out to create lasting breaks in the ground.

Amuse bouches:

Mini brioche

Ceviche grapefruit: perks you right up

Grilled duck heart rolled in seeds (aniseed, sesame) – liquorice allsort anyone? First signs of the mad hatter.

Cucumber, seaweed – so, much, green. Cooling yet salty, you could cook a good pasta with the broth.

Wild turbot fish, arroche, Jamón ibérico jus – where’s the fish.

There is its! A healthy meat and one veg with a savoury porky juice.

Crispy skinned chicken, artichokes two ways: crispy fried slices, smoked, and a burnt eggplant dip that I don’t agree with.

Strawberries, pea puree, mint (and milk) – pairings of these ingredients are classic, but all at once… not quite.

Cherries, sabayon, beetroot crisp – perfect… until you get the olive that’s like the irritating neighbour who just lingers around.

The kind of place for bored food critics who’ve tasted everything and have come for the thought provoking food. Just like Gaga, some will get it, some won’t. I didn’t.

2 / 5 yums!
Where? 129 Avenue Parmentier, 75011 Paris, France
What? Set menu 50€

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

JaiCa, Barcelona

A kind of place that just sucks you in, and won’t spit you back out. Easily.

This could so be the Espy. Only fitted out by memorabilia of the greatest soccer team in the world. It’s a black hole.

If finding a seat is hard enough, the lack of English makes it even worse. But the universal language of the pointing finger. Use it to point to these tasty plates.

Fried squid.



Grilled pork – covered in a smokey paprika based rub, the juices that flow soaked up by bread.

Razor clams – simply grilled with a bit of lemon, olive oil.

A place even Real Madrid supporters would suck it up and pull up a bar stool for a beer and some tapas at this packed out local filled with local hipsters.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? C/ Ginebra 13, Barcelona, Spain
What? Cheap 8-15€

Monday, 3 September 2012

La Bombeta, Barcelona

There’s nothing flash about this buzzing little local not far from Barcelona’s main beach. Which is good, because there’s absolutely nothing to distract from the awesome food that flies out of the kitchen.

Patatas Bravas – that’s a spicy sauce.

Bombas – they’ve got it figured out.


Grilled prawns

Mussels a la Marinera

Fried squid – what was missing was a beer.

A menu stereotypically Spanish that’s all beautifully done.

4 / 5 yums!
Where? Maquinista 3, Barcelona, Spain
What? Smalls 3-10€, Large from 8-15€

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Bodegon Alejandro, San Sebastian

Dining at a Martin Berasategui restaurant, or Marty B as I like to call him, was an absolute pleasure.

Melbourne, Sydney, Australia, the world take note.

2 hat food at no hat prices.

Attractiveness, and amazingness.

Amuse Bouche: Asparagus soup with thin buttery toast slices

Warm spider crab salad with tomato dressing

Fish and seafood soup, Donostiarra fashion with clam, prawns, mussels and a slice of garlic flavoured hake - kind of like a seafood Stereosonic in your mouth

Glazed iberian veal cheek served on a potato and bacon terrine with warm roasted pepper jus - salty

Roast and boned shoulder of lamb with potato purée and garlic confit cream - would surrender to the blade of a blunt spoon.

French toast soaked in fresh cream and egg yolk and caramelised, cheese ice cream - not as weird as you think as the cheese was more of a sweet mascarpone.

Bodegon´s warm green apple pie with rosemary trifle and milk ice cream - Ruined Nanna's snack apple pies.

To finish: Meringue milk and rum, mini friand
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