Wow, it the only word to describe my initial thoughts about this restaurant. We arrived by taxi and it wasn't easy to find, even with GPS, and our driver asked a coupe time if we were sure there was a restaurant at the address we had given him. He was as surprised as we were when a guy wearing a bowler hat came out to greet us.
We were escorted into a lovely bar area where we waited for our friends and enjoyed G&T's.. When our friends arrived instead or rushing us to our table, we all had aperitifs with small welcome canapés.
A our table for 5 was in the centre of a beautiful room. The room which had a lovely vaulted glass ceiling, had originally been the life drawing room of the art school we were told by our charming waiter.
From our table we also had a great view of the activities in the kitchen, which is always good as a talking point if you are out with people for dinner you don't know very well.
The food was amazing, everything was beautifully presented and tasted amazing. The menu was creative without being chaotic. There are several set menus to choose from and these change so you should check them out on their website.
I can not recommend this restaurant enough. I'm just sorry we weren't in Liverpool long enough to justify another visit.
The Art School 1 Sugnall Street, Liverpool L7 7EB 0151 230 8600
Fabulous service from the moment we stepped in. There is a small bar that you need to walk through to get to the restaurant area, and so you have no idea quite how big the restaurant is until you are inside.
There are two rooms, one quite long and airy and one smaller and darker, but with views of the kitchen. We were offered a choice of tables, despite it being a very busy evening, I guess we were a little earlier than the other diners… it always pays to be on time.
I love the menu, its not fancy, fussy food, its good solid dining.
The Bone Marrow starter is always my favourite, but my dining friends enjoyed the Potted beef with Bacon and Yorkshires, Evesham Asparagus with ducked hollandaise.
For the main course there is a choice from Chicken, fish and lobster, but steaks are the obvious choice. There were also different sized cuts on a specials board, which was good for me as 350g fillet is just too much. I opted for the 250g which was perfect with an accompaniment of triple cooked chips.
Desserts were also uncomplicated, and my husband loved the rhubarb while I opted out as I had eaten far too much already.
Our waitress was charming, with a good sense of humour, but very professional and efficient too.
We loved out evening so much I booked for the following week and took some relatives there.
The Hawksmoor 184 Deansgate Manchester 0161 836 6980
What a great little spot, emphasis on the word ‘little’. It’s just off Piccadilly Circus in a bit of a culinary desert, so during lunch and dinner it gets BUSY.
I was introduced by a friend and we went for late lunch around 2pm, so breezed in, got a table and fairly speedy service too. There are a 6 option for lunch. Hakozen Bento Box, 11 pieces or 14 pieces, Vegetarian Bento box, Kobe Beef Katsu Gozen, Kobe Gyu Don or Kobe Teppanyaki Kaiseki.
We both opted from he Hakozen Bento box with 14 pieces at 40GBP. and were blown away by the presentation. The box had 14 beautifully presented tiny dishes…. on tiny dishes, accompanied by barley and endgame rice and Kombu Dash soup.
Both my friend and spent the following minutes ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘mm-ing’ as we declared each item to be better than the last one. My fave pieces were scallop sashimi and the kobe beef (this is what they are known for)…. however everything I ate was DELICIOUS.
The waitress did give us a very nice explanation of what everything was but we were so distracted by the presentation that I confess we didn’t actually pay enough attention.
If you get a chance go here, Its amazing, you will not regret it. I can’t wait to go back again……
Engawa 2 Ham Yard London W1D
250g Soft Butter 50g Icing sugar
250g Plain Flour 50g Corn Flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
These are amazingly easy to make. The only hard bit is the piping, but the beauty of the piping bag is that if you make a mistake you can scoop it up and throw the mixture into the piping bag and have another go.
The rosettes spread out a bit when they are baking so don't forget to leave some space for this. Instructions are below...
Heat the Oven to 190 C
Put the butter, flour, sugar, cornflour and vanilla into a food processor and mix until smooth.
Empty the mix into a piping bag (I managed to find a fab one that came with a stand to make this a little easier)
Pipe into rosettes or long fingers onto backing paper.
Bake for 13-15 mins in the oven until golden.
Wait until they are cooled before removing them from the baking paper.
These biscuits are incredibly crumbly, really buttery and very moorish..... You have been warned.
Spring is my favourite time in Switzerland. Its warm enough to enjoy a nice walk in the forest without the need to wear a hat and gloves, or worry too much about the possibility of rain, but not so hot that you look like you have spent an hour in a sauna when you return home.
Swiss people love being outdoors have of course got everything under control with their 'wanderweg' trails. There are trails for every ability. They are well signposted and there is even a website so you can plan your trip in advance. You jut have to watch out for the mountain bikers, and there are LOADS of those especially in the mountains and forest walking trails. They usually use the bell to alert you, but they are fast so you need to take care and be alert.
Spring is also the time when the flowers start to bloom and Switzerland has loads of places to 'PYO' or Pick Your Own flowers.
Of course the absolute best thing about spring is the longer days and the fact that summer is just around the corner......
What tends to happen is that there are 2-4 rows of tulips and daffodils, then when there are finished the lupin and Sweet William appear.
Later into the summer there are rows of Gladioli and Sunflowers.
There is a drum for the cash - its an honesty system, and usually a pair of scissors and some string to tie them together with.
I love it because you can choose which stage of flowering you pick your flowers, and can kind of arrange them as you cut to see what they will look like.
Generally I would avoid restaurants in shopping centres like the plague as I have had some dreadful culinary experiences in them, but in Singapore that rule doesn't really apply. Here the restaurants benefit from the fact that most people in Singapore spend a HUGE amount of time enjoying the air conditioning in the shopping centres......and so the range of cuisines in the centres along Orchard Road is quite staggering.
I was introduced to Tonkichi by a friend when we still lived in Singapore and I went back many times, so on this trip I was pleased that it was still there and as good as ever.The decor is typical of an tonkatsu restaurant in Japan. Nothing swanky, as you can see from the photos here, but why distract from the food ?
The Sapporo was served chilled to about 2 degrees above frozen...... but after a long day in the heat of Singapore the speed by which it was served and the temperature were both welcomed.Both my husband and I had Katsu Don, which is one of my favourite Japanese dishes. It was delicious. It was as good as and Katsu dish I have had in Japan. I would of liked the sauce to be a bit thicker and a bit more flavour, but that is just because I am VERY picky !!
I guess Japanese food isn't on most tourists list of things to eat during a tip to Sinagpore, but if you are over Laksa, chili crab and Rendang and find yourself in Takashimaya seeking refuge from the heat, then I would definitely suggest a lunch break in Tonkichi. If you live in Singapore or visit regularly, then there are no excuses. Give this place a try. They also have great set lunch bento boxes…
Tonkichi - Takashimaya #04-24, 391 Orchard Road Ngee Ann City, Singapore +61 6735 7522 Website
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