My First Ever Visit to  Waitrose Supermarket 

I couldn’t help but write a post about Waitrose; especially since this was the first time I ever went!
Friends and colleagues, back in the days, used to tell me about this “fancy” grocery chain. However, throughout my 20+years of living in the UK, I never actually came across one. If I had to go to one, I’d have to actually make the trip!
As a bigger foodie than before, I decided to go to Waitrose in Westfield, Stratford, London as I was visiting there.


I spent a couple of hours looking at products that I’ve never seen in other grocery chains!
Some things that caught my attention and that I tried:

*Waitrose Greek Yogurt – this was actually made in Greece! So I needed to try the real thing. And I gotta say, it was the best Greek yogurt I’ve ever have (in the UK and North America). Although, a Greek friend long ago, did mention that Greek yogurt from Greece is nothing like what we have in our supermarkets. This one though felt like a dessert: so creamy, naturally sweet, thick..I couldn’t stop moaning to tell you the truth.


* Cartel Sticky Toffee Pudding – Most puddings that I’ve tried were very light, floury and soaked with the syrup. This one was heavy, sticky (had more dates) and very rich. Just few spoonfuls satisfied my craving! I had my pudding with a spoon of clotted cream.


* Rhokett Belgian chocolate cheesecake – this was probably one of the best cheesecakes I’ve had in my life. It was thick but light enough to eat after a heavy meal. There were solid chunks of milk chocolate (slightly crunch and soooo good) and a thin layer of biscuit base



* Green & Black ice cream
– If you’ve heard of Green & Black organic chocolate, Waitrose actually sells their range of ice cream!! I tried the dark chocolate flavour; which was bittersweet, very rich and thick. Although it didn’t feel that milky/creamy; it was more rich in dark chocolate. One little pot of this would got my chocolate and ice cream cravings away!


* Chocolate Torsade
– this had to be the best pastry ever. This is similar to a croissant, but it was a twist of a buttery pastry base with a vanilla paste and semi-sweet chocolate chips. This one in particular was buttery, so moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside. The choc was bittersweet and extremely rich (compared to M&S which uses a “milkier” chocolate). This was so good that I immediately had to buy another one straight after eating one!



* Yeo Valley Ice cream-
this range was also exclusively sold by Waitrose! I love their yogurt, so I supposed this ice cream would be good! I didn’t get the chance this time; but surely next time I will!

I’d love to try more items next time I make a trip to England and specifically to Waitrose
For anyone who wants a decent dessert, I’m sure you would find something delicious here; better than most other restaurants!

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Duck and Waffle, London

This restaurant that’s located in a high story building just off Liverpool street station is not only known for its all day duck and waffle dish, but for its amazing views of London! 

Duck and waffles anyone?

I’ve tried chicken and waffles before (elsewhere)and quite liked the combination! So I thought why not duck and waffles? After all I love each item.. however, I just didn’t know how the maple syrup (that was served with it) would work with those items? I wondered whether this dish was considered a savory item or sweet?


Resto

Most of the seats were located near the window; especially where there were table for 2’s and table for 4’s. Therefore, you get a good view of London.  I think that if you’d go in a larger group, you would have to sit in the middle of the restaurant; therefore not having the fantastic views of London.


Menu

The menu was basic and reasonably priced. I just went ahead with the most rated dish “duck and waffles”, which was served within 20 mins of ordering!

Duck and waffle – yey or no?

I gotta say that it was the most amazing waffle (non-liège) that I’ve ever had. It was soft (light but moist cake like texture on the inside) and a slight crisp on the outside (well-cooked I must say).


The duck was cooked similar to a porteguese chicken method. Cooked slowly until the meat was superbly tender. The maple syrup was just pure.

Let me tell you how I enjoyed this dish.  I first had the duck with half of the waffle (as a savory item to start with).  Then as a sweet ending, I had the remaining half of the waffle with some maple syrup. Personally I didn’t like the syrup over the duck as I wanted to taste the duck more.

And the views?

Wow, I couldn’t expect anything more!


Would I come here again?

Definitely, yes!!! I’d do it all over again! After all, it’s around £15 for the best waffle dish and an amazing view (as well as the service).

Dishoom, Kings Cross, London

Dishoom is a Bombay upscale cafe with vintage decor. They’ve a few locations in London, but the one I went to was the Kings Cross location.

My first visit was for dinner on a weekday! Well, I happened to get there at 6:30pm, but there was almost a 2 hour waiting time! My friend (whom I was meeting) brought a big bag of snacks to eat while waiting in the queue. However, the employee at Dishoom eventually recognized that my friend was pregnant and was very kind to let fit 3 of us in after 15 mins of waiting!

So people, if you’re going to Dishoom for dinner, bring snacks and be prepared to wait in line (unless one of you are pregnant; then maybe there’s a chance)! No, they don’t take any bookings for dinner.



DINNER


We ordered:

  • Okra fries – very unique, lightly spiced and crispy okra!
  • Black dall – so creamy and filling; this is definitely a must! The ultimate comfort food.
  • Chicken tikka – succulent tandoori chicken breast peices
  • Nihari – roasted lamb dish with the option to add lamb brain. This was a big portion but really comforting. This one dish would be enough to fill you up
  • Keema Pau – minced lamb curry with home made bun
  • Chocolate chai – now this had to be the best tea ever!! There was melted dark choc mixed with their regular chai, topped up with frothy milk. Wasn’t too sweet for me, which was a bonus! And didn’t have that powdered or condensed milk smell (I suppose they just used fresh milk). I knew after this that I had to come back again! And I did! With breakfast!


BREAKFAST 



I first ordered a regular chai (cuz I wanted the choc chai for dinner)..this chai was a bit peppery with cardamon taste.

For food, I ordered the Kejriwal (fried eggs on chilli cheese toast). This was a toasted slice of fresh bread topped up with a mixture of cheese, chilli (not spicy), coriander leaves. Broiled well. Then topped up with fried eggs. This was broiled again with some grated cheese on top! It was delicioooous!


Hubby ordered Keema Per Eedu (chicken keema with chicken liver) topped up with runny eggs and crispy thin fries. The keema was a bit spicy, but I personally didn’t find it different compared to standard Indian restaurants. The livers were cut into huge chunks rather than small pieces but it still absorbed the Indian spices.

We also ordered a nan roll (one of Dishoom’s popular breakfast items), but we ordered the egg version (fried eggs in nan).

Overall, Dishoom had a lovely ambiance with a relaxed atmosphere; service was excellent despite how busy they were; food was reasonably priced and quite unique from any other restaurants.  

This is really a great place to catch up with friends or anyone because they don’t kick you out!! Yes….friend and I were talking for about 4-5 hours (even after finishing our food) and yet we didn’t get kicked out! 😄

I’d definitely come here again; especially for the chai!

Sweat Treats of Italy

Gelato:

Gelato in Italy is not the same term as gelato in other parts of the world. In Italy, gelato actually means ice-cream.  In other parts of the country, we refer to gelato as ice cream but this is made with a higher proportion of milk (lower proportion of cream and eggs than “ice cream”).  My hubby generally does not like gelato at all, but in Italy, he loved it.  I especially loved the ricotta cheese, figs and walnut gelato from Marco Ottaviano in Florence.  Florence had the best gelato places.  In fact, I went to about 7 gelato places in the whole of Italy and I gotta say that Marco Ottaviano was the best!

The other highlight of my trip was the coffee (too bad I only had it once).  This was from Tazza D’Oro in Rome.  For around 1-2 euros, the coffee was top notch.  In Italy, usually there are usually no seating in coffee/pizza places.  We basically stand around a bar to drink coffee.  Caffe Shakerato on the other hand, was a cold type of coffee. This was freshly made with espresso, a bit of sugar, and lots of ice was shaken vigorously until a froth formed when poured.  It was refreshing given how hot it was outside (45 d.c)!

Pastries:

I found them extremely sweet (sweeter than French pastries in general). Most items were crunchy such as cannoli or even light in the form of choux. However, I fell for the Pane al Cioccolato (chocolate chip bread).

Cheap Eats in Italy

Cheap eats

We ate something “light” and cheap during the day as we toured the cities and enjoyed fine dining during the evenings.  For around 5-9 euros each, the food was high quality/fresh. My hubby and I enjoyed our days sitting by the canal in Venice and enjoying these fresh food…

Fine Dining, Italy

Fine dining in Italy!