It Just Has To Be Delicious

I went to the Fox and Hounds in Hunsdon which is a little village in Hertfordshire just north of Harlow. I didn’t expect much but was pleasantly surprised to find that it is a gastropub serving excellent steaks and seafood.

The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, a quaint village pub with a good sized car park at the rear.

Starters all seemed appetising and included

  • burrata (creamy mozzarella), tomato and rocket
  • smoked mackerel, beetroot, watercress and horseradish
  • lobster linguine with chilli, garlic and parsley
  • black pudding, mushroom and fried duck egg
  • melon and ham
  • veal, rabbit and bacon terrine, chutney, pickles and toast

I chose the delicious crab tacos with mango salsa, guacamole and sriracha chilli sauce

Crab Tacos

Crab Tacos

Mains included:

  • Skate with spinach and brown shrimps
  • Wild sea bass with pepperonata, borlotti beans and rocket
  • Rabbit leg confit
  • Chateaubriand
  • Scotch black Angus cote de boeuf

I chose half a lobster with garlic and herb butter and chips




Some of my fellow diners had the steak



Everybody enjoyed their meals. The only difficulty was that one of our group is vegetarian and the vegetarian options were quite limited, but the chef very obligingly provided a vegetarian pasta dish.

The lobster was fresh, good quality and seasoned beautifully, the steak was delicious, well rested, and succulent.

For dessert I chose the chocolate and hazelnut torte which was like a chocolate brownie with whole nuts in it. The texture was a little dry on the outside but gooey in the middle and there were probably too many nuts in it. I would have preferred a chocolate orange version.

Chocolate hazelnut torte

Chocolate hazelnut torte

Some of my friends chose the strawberry sundae which by all reports was delicious

strawberry sundae

strawberry sundae

I loved the meal – the atmosphere was great and the food was top notch. The pub also has a comprehensive wine and beer menu. A great place which will see me returning very soon.

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Lima is a Peruvian restaurant run by Virgilio Martinez. It’s not a cuisine that I am really familiar with and always keen to true new adventures, I decided to visit Lima on a Friday night. Nestling between Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road on Rathbone Place, it’s not a restaurant that stands out and I almost walked past it. Inside the decor is modern and clean with mirrors everywhere. The wait staff are very helpful and explained every dish in detail.

I started with a cocktail called a Chilcano. This contained Luna Pisco (a Peruvian brandy), Lime, Sugar, Ginger Ale and Angostura Bitters.Very nice, refreshing and slightly bitter, it felt good on the palate.


The delicious bread was made of corn and asparagus and came with a yoghurt, lemon and chilli dip.

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We were also served an amuse bouche of quinoa with creme fraiche, which was okay but not overly flavoursome.


Starters were scallops with yellow aji pepper, muna mint and corn – a lovely flavoured dish but the scallops were thinly sliced and I would have preferred them to be left a larger size.


We also had tuna ceviche with tigers milk (a citrus fish marinade). chilli and red onion – a real treat for the senses – this dish was a favourite.


The best dish was main course Beef Pachamanca with Black Quinoa and Cusco Corn. The beef was really flavoursome with a lovely marinade, and the corn croquette topped with queso very tasty.


Sea bass chalaca was perfectly cooked and came with olluco tuber root, yellow aji emulsion and avocado oil.


Dessert included traditional alfajores (biscuits sandwiched together with dulce de leche), dulce de leche ice cream and chancaca honey.


Chocolate Mousse (Cacao porcelana) which was rich and luscious with cinnamon cream and blue potato.


What a wonderful introduction to Peruvian food. I can’t wait to return to Lima. It also has a Michelin star I note – well deserved.

sing noodles

I had a bit of a craving for Singapore Noodles the other day and decided to make something similar from pretty much leftovers.

I had some leftover roast chicken from a Sunday roast and some leftover greens which were ideal for the job. Sometimes the best dishes are made form leftovers.

You need:

3 tablespoons of Rendang paste (you can use any curry paste but this one gives it that authentic Singaporean flavour)

1 tablespoon coriander

Half a tablespoon cumin

Half a teaspoon turmeric

Some protein of your choice – tofu, chicken, beef, pork, prawns etc.

A bag of bean sprouts

A fresh chopped chilli (or some dried chilli that you can crush and flake into the mixture)

An onion finely sliced

A clove of garlic finely sliced

A few mushrooms sliced

Some cherry tomatoes sliced

Some ‘straight to wok’ thin Singapore egg noodles

Something green thinly sliced (I used a few leaves of spring greens, but pak choi or similar will be good)

Optional extras – chunks of omelette, capsicum, small slices of carrot, fresh coriander, crispy fried onions.


Fry the onion, chilli and garlic in a little groundnut oil until they begin to soften. Add the curry paste and dry spices and stir well. Cook for 2 -3 minutes. Add water if necessary to keep some sauce happening.

Add the protein and mushrooms. Stir fry for approx 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, half of the beansprouts and the noodles. Stir well and stir fry for another 2 -3 minutes to ensure that everything is coated in sauce. Stir in some fresh coriander.

When warm through, serve on a plate or in a bowl. Add some raw beansprouts and some crispy fried onions to finish.


Mustard Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

I paid my second visit to Mustard tonight, having first tried this restaurant with friends a few years ago, and remembering that the previous meal was quite nice.

The menu has all of the standard UK curry fare along with some very nice sounding chefs specials, however tonight I wanted a standard curry fix, so I chose something that I knew would satisfy.

The restaurant is modern and stylish – no flocked wallpaper or moving light pictures – the lighting is subtle, pictures modern, and general ambience is clean and minimal with wooden floors.

We chose some pappadoms to start a mixture of plain and spicy, and they were accompanied by mango chutney, yoghurt sauce, onion salad and tomato onion relish. All were really nice.

We didn’t go overboard with mains, I chose a king prawn dopiaza and my companion chose a chicken jalferezi. We asked for aloo peas as a side dish (not on the menu) and the chef happily provided this. Then a pilau rice each – the rice being lovely, fluffy and separate.

King Prawn Dopiaza

King Prawn Dopiaza

Chicken Jalferezi

Chicken Jalferezi

Aloo Peas bhajee

Aloo Peas bhajee

The Chicken Jalferezi was made with chicken tikka and a lovely gravy which was spicy but not overly hot. The King Prawn Dopiaza was full of juicy prawn meat, onions and capsicum in a plentiful medium heat gravy. The Aloo Peas was nicely spiced and delicious.

We cleared our plates ! A perfect amount of food to fulfil our curry craving, very nicely presented with good service. Everything was tasty and as expected. Lovely food, and I will return.

Saigon Shack on Urbanspoon

Saigon Shack is a small bustling cafe in Greenwich Village just off Bleecker Street. It is a cash only establishment and regularly has a queue outside.

We popped in for lunch and were lucky enough to be seated pretty quickly.

Our starter was summer rice paper rolls with prawns – they were very nicely filled with veggies, noodles and prawns and served with a tasty sauce.

Rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls

I chose rice with shrimp. The shrimp were a little on the sweet side but nicely char grilled and came with a sweet chilli dipping sauce and plenty of salad/

Rice with shrimp

Rice with shrimp

My companion chose the Saigon spicy beef brisket pho. This was full of flavour and nicely spiced with herbs, vegetables and noodles making for a heartwarming meal. Very welcome in the sub zero temperatures of winter.

Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

Saigon Shack is definitely a neighbourhood gem with a nicely varied menu and good service. The food is good quality authentic vietnamese, just remember to take cash because they do not accept cards.

Aoki on Urbanspoon

Aoki is a lovely Japanese restaurant just north of Times Square in New York. We just popped in for a light evening meal and were surprised by the variety available on the menu.

We chose a Spider roll – Soft shell crab, mayo and caviar, and a Pink Panthers Roll – crunchy spicy tuna, tempura eel, avocado, wasabi, caviar. Both were delicious and beautifully presented – they held together well.

Spider Roll and Pink Panthers Roll

Spider Roll and Pink Panthers Roll

We also chose gyoza – pan fried pork dumplings – again succulent and delicious.



Our fourth dish was tuna tataki – seared tuna with ponzu sauce and salad.

Tuna Tataki

Tuna Tataki

All of the dishes tasted really good, the ingredients were good quality and the service was excellent.

They also have an extensive drinks list which contains cocktails including the delicious Lychee Mojito.

Lychee Mojito

Lychee Mojito

Will I return to Aoki ? Definitely, next time I am in New York I will be taking my friends there for a wonderful Japanese treat.

Pure Thai Cookhouse on Urbanspoon

We went to Pure Thai Cookhouse on a Sunday lunch time. It is on 9th Avenue between 51st and 52nd Street, a small cosy establishment. When we walked in we were greeted with a cheery ‘sawasdee’ and secured a table within 5 minutes.

The menu was traditional Thai and between three of us we chose chicken satay and beef dumplings/buns to start.

Both plates were absolutely delicious – the buns packed full of shredded beef and succulent without being too stodgy. The satays were authentic and tasty, accompanied by a dish of cucumber, onion and chilli as well as satay peanut sauce.

For main course we chose pad thai with shrimp, curry paste with shrimp, chicken with holy basil and chilli, and steamed brown rice.

Wow every dish was superb, quite spicy, but so tasty that the spiciness was overtaken by the deliciousness of each mouthful.


Pad Thai with shrimp


Curry paste with shrimp


Chicken with Thai basil and chilli


Fresh coconut juice

The service was polite and efficient and the whole meal was around $60 with soft drinks.

This restaurant is a neighbourhood gem and a must-try for anybody in NYC who loves authentic, delicious Thai food.

Must Winebar on Urbanspoon

I had been intending to visit Must for some time and eventually booked it after seeing that a friend had thoroughly enjoyed a meal there. I booked online, which was easy to do and was pleasantly surprised with the surroundings when I got there. It was lively, well stocked and welcoming. the seats were a little close together, but had been staggered slightly so that it was still comfortable to leave the table when necessary.

The wine list was extensive and also contained cocktails and mocktails. I chose a glass of the Spanish treixadura which was fruity and delicious.

When bread was provided I asked for olive oil instead of butter and the waiter quickly filled my request.

I chose oysters to start with a lime and cucumber dressing.


My partner chose the chicken liver parfait with Riesling jelly


Both starters were of an excellent standard. the oysters were fresh with a divine dressing, the parfait was light and smooth and flavoursome.

For main I chose the seared Huon Tasmanian salmon with a fennel and orange salad and saffron vinaigrette


My partner chose the Arkady slow cooked lamb shoulder with couscous, fennel puree, tomato confit and olives.


Again both mains were excellent with every ingredient adding value to the overall effect of the dish, definitely fine dining at it’s best.

After the success of the previous courses, we had to make room for desserts, and I chose the cognac chocolate truffle – dark, luscious and supremely chocolatey.


My partner chose the pears with vanilla caramel, spiced gingerbread and cream.


What a wonderful meal and a shame that we hadn’t discovered this wine bar much earlier. We will definitely return – it had the wow factor.

Pinchos on Urbanspoon

Pinchos has taken over where ‘Snags & Son’ used to be, just off the main Leederville strip in Newcastle Street. The decor is pretty much the same as it was but the food is very different. The general theme is tapas of varying sizes and the waiter was very helpful in explaining the portion sizes to us.


You can buy a mouthful of food for $1 or a board for $28, so you just eat as much food as you want to.

We chose the flatbreads with labne, grapes, olives and pickles. This was very nice, olives were not very meaty – just a covering of olive flesh over the small stone, but everything went together well.

Flatbread, pickle, labne, olives and grapes

Flatbread, pickle, labne, olives and grapes

We also chose patatas bravas – fairly standard really with nice mayo and spicy relish.

Patatas bravas

Patatas bravas

The spanish pate with bread was delicious and came with a nice fennel salad.

Spanish pate with bread

Spanish pate with bread

We also had mushrooms with blue cheese, PX vinegar and almond crumb – very tasty.

Mushrooms with blue cheese

Mushrooms with blue cheese

The last dish was roast pork belly with cumin and lemon which was incredibly crispy but lacked a bit of flavour.

Pork belly

Pork belly

I thoroughly enjoyed this meal and found the wait staff helpful and polite. I definitely recommend Pinchos – it’s a bit of a neighbourhood gem.

Gusto Gelato on Urbanspoon

Gusto Gelato is the brainchild of Sean Lee, a gelato enthusiast who decided to learn his craft in the Italian town of Bologna. He uses traditional artisan techniques and the result is a smooth creamy dreamy gelato which tastes divine.

The parlour is in Leederville at the top end of Newcastle Street, a bright cheery place with tables and chairs so that you can eat in. Sean and his staff are friendly and knowledgeable and they serve the gelato with love and care, washing the scoops in between each flavour.

His flavours are not overly sweet and sickly, he has the balance of sweetness just right and the flavours are full and precise. I chose the Salted Caramel – which tasted exactly like salted caramel – salty but not overly so and caramel but not cloyingly sweet – absolutely delicious. I also had the Brittle Sweet Symphony – honey gelato with almond brittle and dark chocolate pieces – again just divine.

It’s not cheap at $8 for 2 scoops, but you get what you pay for and this is the best gelato in Perth.

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