Monday, 19 November 2012

Lunch at Martin Wishart, Cameron House Hotel

We were looking forward to our return visit to MArtin Wishart at Cameron House, having enjoyed an excellent lunch there last year.

So we set off on the road to Cameron House Hotel and arrived promptly in time for our 1.30 dining reservation.

The Lunch Menu

Anna's brown bread

My white bread

The bread was fairly standard, though good quality.  My only complaint of this meal is that we were not offered any further bread, which would have been welcome at the time!

Amuse Bouche

As always the Amuse Bouche at Martin Wishart continues to surprise and delight.  The beetroot macaron with horseradish cream was light and refreshing.  The next item was an upscale version of curry and chip, an explosion of flavours leaving you to long for more.  The dish was finished by a light veloute which we both enjoyed very much.

Starter - Terrine of French farmed Rabbit

I opted for the terrine of rabbit, which appeared as a sizable portion and had a fine rich rabbit flavour.  The was wrapped in pancetta ham and also tasted great with the pickled vegetables.

Starter - Crab three ways

Unfortunately, neither of the starters were to Anna's taste, so the waiter recommended this dish from the a la carte menu.  This dish was beautifully presented and Anna enjoyed the flavours of crab contained therein.

Main Course - Roasted Guinea Fowl Supreme

We both had the Guinea Fowl which was excellent, and was complemented well by a Fioe Gras sauce.  A soft velvety potato mousseline was hidden by the flavoursome guinea fowl, and the peas and broad beans provided additional flavour.

Dessert - Coffee and Praline Cream Mousseline

Again the same dessert was had by myself and Anna.  The dessert itself contained plenty of flavour and was accompanied by chocolate ice cream for Anna, and praline ice cream for me.  My only complaint is that the dessert did not quite fill us up the same as the fantastic Passionfruit and Orange Souffle of our previous visit.

Praline Ice Cream

Petit Fours - Blood Orange and Passionfruit Jellies

Petit Fours - A selection of hand made chocolates

Petit Fours and coffee for Anna rounded off our meal perfectly, with the salted caramel chocolate being the favourite of those selected from the tray.

This was our first visit since the award of a Michelin star and service and the quality of the food was excellent as ever.  We hope that we can return soon to enjoy another fantastic meal at Martin Wishart

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Dinner at Cafe Andaluz, St Vincent Street Glasgow

We decided to take advantage of a 5pm Big Deal which offered five tapas dishes and two desserts for £20.  Cafe Andaluz was always on the list of restaurants to try, as we had enjoyed several visits to La Tasca in the past.  Serving traditional Spanish Tapas dishes there was a good range to choose from, even with the slightly more limited choice on the Big Deal Menu

Panfried sliced chicken breast marinated in paprika, lemon & corriander, served with a chilli yoghurt.

The chicken was nicely flavoured and cooked well to ensure there was no dryness.  The yoghurt didnt appeal but the dish overall tasted good as part of the meal.

Spiced lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce

Lamb meatballs are always high on the agenda when it comes to tapas!  And these meatballs did not disappoint.  The sauce was as it should be, with a rich tomato depth, yet not too overpowering to take over the meat.

Stuffed aubergine shell stuffed with cous cous, peppers in herb tomato topped with grated manchego cheese

The aubergine dish was excellent, with the peppers, cous cous and manchengo cheese creating an explosion of flavour.  We both thoroughly enjoyed this dish!

Spicy beef on a bed of rocket with a manchego cheese & chorizo dressing.

I thought that the spicy beef was excellent but Anna was not too keen.  If you enjoy beef you will enjoy this dish.  The beef tastes nice and tangy and the goes well with the lightness of the rocket and the seeetness of the cheese.  I would be quite happy not to share this dish in future.

Roasted sweet potato, parsnip & chickpea mixed with chopped parsley & coriander, topped with a Tahini dressing

Another outstanding vegetarian option.  the parsnips and sweet potato complimenting each other well. 

Raspberry Pavlova

When the raspberry pavlova was brought out we were both a little disappointed, as it didn't look much.  We needn't have been.  This is possibly one of the best pavlovas I have ever tasted, the crisp yet soft meringue which coated even more creamy goodness really won the day.  By the end of the pavlova our only regret was not having one each!

Creme Brulee

For the second dessert we had a very good creme brulee, with the right amount of crystalised sugar and a deliciously creamy custard it was a pity it followed such a great dessert.  Portion size was good too and it was finished in no time!

We really enjoyed our meal here and overall we preferred it to La Tasca.  We both felt it was vastly superior in the vegetarian and dessert offerings, and on an even par with everything else.  We will definately return here at some point in the future.

Cafe Andaluz on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Whats next?

I am still playing catch up with the restaurants we have been to since our return from the USA.  Needless to say I hope to have more reviews loaded up shortly.  Recently visited restaurants that I will be reviewing are Cafe Andaluz in St Vincent Street, where we enjoyed some memorable tapas,  Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond, for our first Michelin Star dining experience of the year, and some good quality casual dining at Slouch in Bath Street.

We also visited Browns Brasserie at George Square for dinner and made the mistake of ordering from the fixed price lunch menu.  I have to be honest, if you buy cheap you get cheap in there.  There will not be a full review as I didn't have my phone charged, but I have heard the a la carte food is much better with a price tag to match!

What else do we have to look forward to in the future?  Well we will be returning to the Bistro at One Devonshire Gardens this weekend for another fine meal, as there was a special offer to spend £109 in the restaurant and stay the night free.  This is an outstanding offer that is available until the end of May on Sunday nights only.  You may want to check out that offer if you can!

We will be at Lodge in the Loch this weekend as well our friends wedding and look forward to sampling the food here as well, although I will be unlikely to do a full review.  I am sure it will get a honourable mention or otherwise on the blog!

Following on from that we will be visiting Glenskirlie House for Sunday lunch the following week.  This will be for a special occasion as we are taking Anna's Mum for her birthday here.  It will be out first time visiting the restaurant so looking forward to it very much.

We will also be visiting Guy's Restaurant and Cafe India at some point over the next month or so and there are a few other restaurant visits in the works. 

We will also keep a look out for good offers on the "big deal" websites such as itison, 5pm, Groupon and glasgowsgreatdeal as you never know what might come up!

Dinner at Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow

On our return to from our honeymoon to Glasgow, it was the Easter holiday weekend, and we decided to end the weekend on a high not by dining out.  We decided to visit one of our old favourites, the Ubiquitous Chip, as it had been a while since we had been due to the expense of our wedding.

Once seated and settled, we were presented with the traditional amuse bouche.  Today it was a garden pea veloute, which had a smooth and rich pea flavour.  As always this little appetiser never disappoints.

Afterwards came the bread selection.  This was new to us as we were used to receiving wholemeal and white breads.  Instead came the traditional bread with bread sticks and other assorted goodies.  I have to be honest and say I preferred the old selection.

I must apologise for not being able to describe my starter properly, as time has passed us by since this meal and we were taken aback by an unexpected change to the menu.  The deep fried balls contained goats cheese and were excellent in flavour, the cheese not being overpowering at all.

Anna had the roast fennel and star anise soup.  This seemed to be ok but the liquorice flavour to the soup was not to Anna's taste.

We both ordered the the pork belly accompanied with red cabbage.  The portion of pork belly was excellent and the flavour great, with just the right amount of fat to keep it moist and tasty.

We ordered a side of roast potatoes to accompany our meal and these were of the highest quality, roasted just right, and nice and tender inside.

Anna had the mocha mousse for dessert accompanied by some madelaines.  This got the seal of approval, not being too rich and light enough to ensure an empty glass shortly after.

As there was nothing suitable on the pre-theatre menu I was allowed to order a dessert from the a la carte.  I ordered the lemon and clementine parfait with lime sorbet and lemon sherbet.  This dessert was excellent, the parfait was sublime (I order the parfait any time I see it on the pre-theatre/Sunday lunch menu) and the lime sorbet tangy and refreshing.  The lemon sherbet gave the dessert the extra kick needed to finish the night off on a high note!

Another very good meal at Ubiquitous Chip.  However we have had better meals in the past and we look forward to returning later in the year.

Ubiquitous Chip on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Lunch in Charlie Palmer's at Bloomingdales, Santa Ana

On our shopping day we ventured to South Coast Plaza, and decided to have lunch at Charlie Palmer's.  The dining room was nice and bright, and it being a Tuesday was not busy.  However we had a very enjoyable lunch experience here.

First of all we were brought out the rolls, which were fresh and warm, and much needed after a hard shift walking round South Coast Plaza.

To start we both ordered the ministrone soup, which was light yet delicious.  A healthy start to our lunch!

We both chose the hangar steak with horseradish potato croquette, beetroot puree and asparagus.  The steak was perfectly cooked (medium for me and medium well for Anna) and went well with the flavour of the beetroot puree and potato. 

For dessert I was lucky enough to be able to order a dessert from the a la carte menu (due to being unable to eat chocolate).  I ordered the carrot and ginger cheesecake with orange marshmallow and mandarin frozen souffle.  This dessert was the best I sampled on our trip, the cheesecake being a fantastic journey through the different flavours and textures.  The frozen souffle was rich and smooth complimenting the flavours of the cheesecake very well.

Anna ordered the chocolate brownie with mango mouse and vanilla ice cream.  The brownie was not hard and heavy which can be its downfall being more like a moist chocolate cake, the mousse and ice cream creating a tasty dessert plate which left Anna fully satisfied.

The lunch menu at $20.12 was fantastic value, and a great opportunity to sample fine dining without breaking the bank.  We will definitely return when we visit Anaheim again, and hopefully have the opportunity to sample the a la carte menu and famous blood orange mojitos!!

Charlie Palmer at South Coast Plaza on Urbanspoon

Friday, 11 May 2012

Dinner at Napa Rose, Anaheim

 We were really excited to visit the Napa Rose restaurant, which is located in the Grand Californian Resort & Spa at Disneyland.  As regular visitors to Walt Disney World in Florida we have sampled the best of what Disney restaurants have to offer, from the 11 course tasting menu at the Chef's Table in Victoria & Alberts through to the delights of the California Grill with it's unforgettable views.  Napa Rose is the creme de la creme of the Disneyland Resort and there was high expectations for this meal.

When we entered the venue we immediately noticed the Charles Rennie McIntosh influence from the high back seats, stain glass windows and the rose design that Rennie McIntosh is famous for.  We asked the waitress about this but she didn't really know anything about it, which is surprising as the staff at Disney restaurants usually know the back story the restaurant.

We were brought over a selection of bread, which include onion bread, olive bread and a crisp bread (Pictured above).  The onion bread was excellent and definitely the highlight, warm and delicious.  The olive bread was ok and the other forgettable.

We decided to share the signature wood fired pizzetta which was topped with smoked prosciutto, red grapes, caramelised onions and cambozola cheese.  The ingredients worked well together and the grape was a new sensation but tasted better than I expected.

For my main I ordered the Venison, which was accompanied by sage and bacon whipped sweet potatoes and black trumpet mushroom essence.  The venison was nice but I found the sweet potato disappointing, as there was no hint of bacon or sage in the sweet potato.

Anna ordered the filet mignon with the same sides.  She thoroughly enjoyed the filet, which was good quality beef, although the filet at California Grill may be slightly better.

For dessert I ordered the Dulce De Leche creme brulee which was not so good.  It came in a biscuit base which took up much of the dessert leaving little in the way of flavour.

Anna feeling full ordered the spiced pear and blood orange sorbets.  The blood orange sorbet was excellent but the pear sorbet was poor.

As a congratulations gift we were presented with two chocolates each (even though I cant eat chocolate) Anna thoroughly enjoyed these later on in the hotel.

On reflection we definitely prefer dining in Florida and look forward to returning there in November.  However I would be willing to give Napa Rose a second chance should we return to Anaheim.

Napa Rose at Grand Californian on Urbanspoon

Dinner at Roy's Hawaiian Restaurant, Anaheim

Our first real dining experience of our honeymoon was at Roy's Restaurant which specialises in Hawaiian Cuisine.  The chain was founded many years ago in Hawaii by Roy Yamaguchi and can now be found in many locations all over the USA.

The restaurant itself had a very modern upscale vibe about it, and what better way to celebrate than having a cocktail each (A mango mojito and mai tai!) 

We decided to order from the Spring Prix Fixe menu, which offered three courses for $36.95.  For the first course we both ordered the pork dim sum with crispy shitakes and a shiso herb puree.  We found to be delightfully flavourful with the pork melting in our mouths.  It wasn't long before the plates were empty!

For my main course I ordered the hangar steak "frites".  The hangar steak itself was excellent and accompanying eggplant had good flavour.  However, I felt that the fries were disappointing lacking in taste and too much in volume.  A smaller quantity of better quality fries would have made this dish perfect.

Anna ordered the Asian pesto grilled chicken breast with lo-mein noodles, snow peas and mushrooms.  She thoroughly enjoyed this dish, the chicken was tender and juicy and the noodles just right.  The only problem she had was finishing this course as it was a lot of food.

For dessert I ordered the dessert called "PB & J", which consisted of banana pound cake, peanut butter mousse and strawberry gel.  The strawberry gel mixed well with the light and tasty banana bread and the peanut butter mousse was extremely tasty.  This dessert hit the spot without leaving me feeling overloaded.

As a honeymoon gift we were brought out a complimentary serving of their signature dessert, the pineapple upside down cake.  I am not usually a fan of pineapple so I have to say it was a truly sumptuous surprise for me to enjoy this warm pastry, pineapple and vanilla ice cream.  Anna also enjoyed a taste too although the vast amount of food was proving to be too much by this point.

Anna's dessert was Roy's hot molten chocolate souffle, with vanilla ice cream.  It was more of a molten lava cake than a souffle, although still enjoyable.  Anna could only muster a few mouthfuls as the dessert was a bit on the heavy side after such a big meal.

Overall we both had a great time at Roy's.  The portions were a bit too much for us but we will definitely return if we revisit Anaheim.  Next time we will order from the a la carte menu so that we don't leave too full!

Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine on Urbanspoon