tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:/posts Eat Like Ushi 2020-10-30T15:41:14Z Ushi tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1610155 2020-10-30T15:41:14Z 2020-10-30T15:41:14Z Village Hotel Whiston, Liverpool 10-2020

After being put up at this hotel for a course, their attached restaurant for breakfast and I ended up going for lunch too (due to time and convenience) was the Verve Grill.

English breakfast was simple and substantial, with all the necessary bits although clearly not the highest in terms of quality. But it was included in the room so I won't complain.

Lunch was mainly a burger or wings menu. I opted for the more substantial Go Spicy burger which was a thick beef patty, Hot Pepper Jack cheese, jalapenos, salsa, guacamole. Overall it was very tasty and the thick patty better than I expected given the breakfast. Best of all was the lattice fries (it came with both lattice and normal fries too, but I asked not to have the normal ones) which were like crunchy hash browns in every fried bite.

Even more to my pleasant surprise was that they still had Eat Out To Help Out and so my £14 meal became £7.

I wouldn't go back there specifically, but if staying there again I'll eat those fries again.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1610150 2020-10-30T15:25:31Z 2020-10-30T15:25:31Z Spice Village Whiston, Liverpool 10-2020

Although probably not quite in Liverpool (I'm not sure where Liverpool technically ends), I found myself staying close to Whiston. After a sunset walk through Stadt Moers park, the little shopping area of Whiston with its Tesco local became my dinner haunt. The praising reviews of Spice Village were matched by the constant flow of people picking up takeaway.

There were so many things I wanted to try, but for just one person with no refrigerator, I settled on jale jule. I asked if the naga heat for this dish was as potent as the naga I had in India (https://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/rosang-delhi-01-2015), and he reassured me not.

Their description is "A popular dish of sylhet for hot lovers. Fresh chicken tikka or lamb, mixed with onion, naga chilli, garlic, ginger, peppers, dhanya and cooked in medium dry sauce with cumin, mustard and a touch of mace. Garnished with naga and chillies." My lamb option was a tomato base with a fiery heat that started slowly then built up and left a long burn. A few times I had to stop eating to wipe my tears and let my tongue settle down, but it was delicious along with the small amount of yoghurt that I had to ask them for. Peshwari rice £2.1 had a bit of sweet flavour to it with some coconut flavour although I expected to see some dried fruit or nuts and there weren't any.

Oh well. I'll eat here again if stationed near Whiston again.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1610141 2020-10-30T15:13:26Z 2020-10-30T15:13:26Z Kurdish Restaurant Real Taste, Liverpool 10-2020

After attending a course, it was time to take the train back to London. I wanted to get takeaway from YourThai but I didn't have time to stop there before departure. My other option was Mowgli street food but they wouldn't take a phone order, only if I downloaded their app which I definitely couldn't be bothered doing. Looking around the station on Google maps, I found this place and thought Kurdish is something I haven't really tried before.

The restaurant doesn't look like much from the outside - with construction poles outside and a name like Real Taste, if the reviews hadn't been so good (4.6 on Google maps) I would never have been here.

Lamb qouzi £8 came as simply flavoured lamb on the bone which was delicious, salted nicely and so very tender. It sat on top of an ample amount of ghee-flavoured rice (biryani) as well as a soft folded naan bread, salad and a large container of okra soup rich in savoury tomato broth.

Even more impressive was that the place is cash only and I only had £6.60 on me. I asked to downgrade my order but the server said not to worry and placed my full order anyway. What incredible and unexpected service in these difficult times. I will look forward to coming back here if ever in Liverpool again.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1609847 2020-10-29T16:38:47Z 2020-10-29T16:38:47Z Brigadiers, London 09-2020

I've had Brigadiers on my list to try for a long time now and I nearly went with my parents at the start of this year, however they looked at the menu and thought it was too expensive. I have to admit, it is on the more expensive side for London, meaning it's on the very expensive side compared to Melbourne. That opportunity passed and it wasn't until the recent Eat Out To Help Out extension into September with a good 30% food that I finally had no more excuses and booked and went.

I was hoping for the sports bar area, but I think that needs to be specially booked, so ended up in a dining hall. A nice setting although nothing overly special or unique.

After a perusal of the menu and wanting to try everything, we settled for a few things which like most Indian meals ended up being more filling than expected. But it was delicious...

- Smoked aubergine missi rotis, burnt corn kachumber £6 - delicious little disks topped with chutney, spiced salad, yoghurt and herbs;
- Original BBQ butter chicken wings £10 - easily the most delicious wings I've eaten in my life. The chicken itself was pretty good but the wickedly flavoursome thick chilli, creamy sauce covering it turned it into something out of this world;
- Bhuna ghee masala kid goat chops £22 - a thick flavoursome curry coating incredibly tender goat and actually a good amount of meat rather than just lots of bone. Not cheap, but very good. A close contender for Needoo dry meat curry;
- Bread basket £7 - chilli cheese naan, onion & coriander kulcha, pudina lacha paratha. All breads were soft and nice, the favourite probably being the onion & coriander kulcha (for flavour at the expense of a bit thinner and denser).

There are so many more items on the menu I want to try, such as the mixed grill or biryani. I was so impressed with the food and flavours and can't wait to go back.

Brigadiers Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato]]>
tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1600584 2020-10-29T15:49:08Z 2020-10-29T15:49:08Z Akoko, London 10-2020

I've relatively recently discovered African food (other than Ethiopian which I've known for a little while now) and am doing my best to try it more. There's been Nigerian, Ghanaian, and Eritrean (similar to Ethiopian). Some of the latest London places have the or more generic West African, and Ikoyi has been on my very expensive list for a while now but not sure if I'll ever get there. Otherwise Chuku's, Chishuru, Sweet Hands and African Kitchen Gallery are all still waiting too.

Akoko was a new arrival, opening up in the shoulder period between lockdowns. The soft opening offered 50% off the full set menu price of £59, a bargain definitely. It did however come with several service mishaps - but I suppose you have to expect that. Our dining colleagues wanted the meal to start at 8pm instead of 7pm (which the restaurant was happy to change), and they turned up around 8.15pm. It gave limited time for the mandatory 10pm shutdown, but the restaurant thought it would be ok.

However in starting later, they suggested we order the normal or vegetarian menu so it could be commenced for their arrival. Unfortunately communication between the staff was non-existent and whereas one suggested that, another we told and look confused, then another came and asked, and another then came after our colleagues arrived to officially take the menu. Drinks (cocktails were not yet served which was disappointing but acceptable) were then asked about 8 times by 4 different people (without exaggeration) in 10 minutes. Of these requests, about 4 of them came AFTER the drinks were already ordered within a 2 minute period. And despite all that, they didn't bring out my friend's drink until being reminded later. Hmmm.

The food:

- Isu, truffles - yam topped with truffles cream and shavings. Nice;
- Boli & epa - plantain crisp with peanuts. Not that sweet for plantains (more starchy than sweet) and heavy peanut coating overpowered any other flavours;
- Veal cheeks bofrot - veal cheek meat in a fried casing. They said there were vegetables inside too but couldn't really tell. It was served on top of some kind of inedible black pulse;
- Miyan taushe, crab - pumpkin soup with little crab bits at the bottom was quite good. Guinness bread was very spongy with a rind crust and really excellent. Butter very soft could have used a little seasoning. The shoehorn device to spread the butter was fun too; 
- Smoked jollof rice & goat - I was very much looking forward to this dish and the very nicely seasoned goat was tender and slightly spicy. Jollof looked good but not seasoned and overall a bit disappointing. Garlic flowers and leaves topped the dish and were full of flavour. I suppose maybe the rice blandness was to balance the other ingredients, but I hoped for more.
- BBQ quail yassa - a tender half quail and ridiculously tasty and flavoursome. Possibly the best I've had (my only comparison being Chinese or Vietnamese restaurants). My only gripe was the quails were different sizes for each serve (and I got the smallest one!);
- Burnt uda cream, Ghanaian cocoa butter, goat milk icecream - mild goat milk icecream was very nice. It sat in a sweet boat of cream. I expected some tartness (not entirely sure why) but there was none.

If I assume that the service improves to standard professional level, I don't think I would go back for the full priced menu. I did like some of the dishes, but others seemed to lack. Maybe I need to try the others first to compare. Or alternatively if they offered a la carte, then I could pick the dishes that worked for me.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1609819 2020-10-29T15:07:38Z 2020-10-29T15:07:39Z Uncle Lim's, London 10-2020

There's not much reason to go down to Croydon other than the most available and not silly expensive (thanks corporations) visa centre in London. For this reason I've ventured once per year. The first time was a quick (other than the visa process) in and out job. The second found me eating at the new Boxpark eating area next to East Croydon station. The third time was brunch at The Breakfast Club in the same area. And this most recent one was a very early dinner at Uncle Lim's at the Whitgift shopping centre.

The shopping centre doesn't look all that flash in itself, and Covid times certainly haven't helped. But Uncle Lim's was the first place we tried after lockdown opened up in June, and so coming for a second time was an easy choice.

The Malaysian auntie is lovely and the seats are only available in the corridor part of the shopping centre outside the restaurant entrance. I suppose it technically counts as takeaway? In any case the first time was on a Sunday when they would normally be closed, but since it was their first day back and re-creating all their pastes, they were only too happy to serve us.

On that occasion, the laksa and char kway teow and teh tarik were the choices. This time laksa £7.5 and har mee £7.9 were chosen. The soups were all rich and spicy and flavoursome with a good amount of chilli, and the colour of soupy dreams. Laksa uses rice noodles (would prefer mix of egg and rice) and har mee uses egg noodles. A dessert of bobo chacha was nice and sweet, although less thick than the version I'm used to from my mum.

I'd happily come back for those noodles again, probably har mee over laksa if I had to pick one as it is much harder to find in London.

Uncle Lims Kitchen Menu Reviews Photos Location and Info - Zomato]]>
tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598650 2020-09-29T12:50:50Z 2020-09-29T12:50:50Z Casa Guedes, Porto 09-2020

After a slightly underwhelming visit to the seafood part of Bolhao market, a late breakfast/early lunch for heading off toward the beach was made easier by Casa Guedes being nearby. Porto seems to have a reputation for sandwiches, others (that I didn't get to try) being the pressed hotdog cachorrinho at Gazela Cachorrinhos da Batalha.

Casa Guedes meanwhile has the pork roll €3.9 plain or €4.9 with melted goats cheese. Online reviews say to get the cheese because it keeps the bread more moist. All I can say is that it was somewhat true, but that the plain could be more moist with a little of the gravy from their serving pan. And i did prefer the simpler flavour of the plain one.

Do yourself a favour and get both. I'd want 2 for myself next time too...

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598649 2020-09-29T12:43:10Z 2020-09-29T12:43:11Z Porto Cruz, Porto 09-2020

Technically in Gaia rather than Porto, this gelato shop was a little stop on the way back after a drunken tour and taste at Ferreira. Given the immediate area filled with port wineries, they are known for port flavoured gelato, although I didn't really like the thought of it and we'd probably tasted enough port for the day too.

Pistachio had pieces and a decent flavour. Passionfruit was very tangy but had a few too many crystals €3.5 for 2 wasn't too bad.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598648 2020-09-29T12:38:12Z 2020-09-29T12:39:18Z Cremosi, Porto 09-2020

I was looking for a good gelato and a few options came up on web searches and Google maps, such as Gelatopia or Santini. Cremosi didn't figure at all and it was only when walking past it late at night back toward the Airbnb did I mentally note it. It's a very large place with sitting space and work hours much later than the standard ones.

To deal with Covid and only one person ordering at a time, they had a mixed weird system where sometimes you pay for the gelato then select the flavours, and other times you have to select the flavours before paying. It was confusing to go twice and get asked to do things in different ways.

What I do know is that the pistachio was phenomenal - thick, creamy, nutty, excellent. The lime, mint, ginger was very tangy with a strong ginger flavour, I liked that too.

They also have desserts - tried the lemon tart which had too thick of a base and was much much too sweet. 

Also I made a mistake of getting gelato with the crepe (simple and fine, expensive for the nutella addition though) as it melted too fast. The gelato price was the same to get separate or together, so that's a life lesson. The pistachio was as good as I remembered, the port flavour tasted... like port! The 3rd was coconut I think and that was alright.
tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598647 2020-09-29T12:30:38Z 2020-09-29T12:31:11Z Cana Verde, Porto 09-2020

For the final lunch before heading to the airport, timing meant that we would need to eat around 11-1130am and unfortunately it meant that a lot of restaurants weren't open yet. I was keen to eat in an outside alley restaurant, my partner was keen for some seafood rice, but it was not to be. We went instead to Cana Verde, at least open and well reputed to be one of the best local places around.

The lunch set meal is a steal at €8 for soup, bread, choice of main and coffee. Certainly all during our meal locals kept coming in and filling all the tables.

The first was a chicken soup with orzo - simple. Soft bread with nice crust came with it too. Salmon cutlet was nice and fatty and perfect grilled, with soft potatoes. Duck rice was very flavoursome and bits of meat all throughout. It was topped with a strong melted cheese, which seemed a little unusual but made for a heavy, salty dish.

A quick and easy local meal that is recommended. As we left, we went past a place Flor de Braganca which was even more heaving with locals and had a queue of workman outside. Next time...

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598644 2020-09-29T12:15:03Z 2020-09-29T12:15:03Z O Maleiro, Peso da Regua 09-2020

A daytrip from Porto is the Douro valley, known for the most beautiful road in the world (N222 along the Douro river), wine and scenic views. After hiring a car from Porto and driving about for the day, full of windy little roads and steep ascents and descents to all kinds of recommended views, it was time to head back to Porto and get a meal along the way.

We arrived to Peso da Regua around 6pm looking for dinner. The main restaurant on my list was The River Restaurant for roasted goat, but unfortunately they didn't open until 7.30pm. After a wander around the bridges, it was just too long to wait. A Google search found O Maleiro closeby and with roast lamb on the menu. Again unlike what Google said, it opened for dinner at 7pm and we got there around 6.55pm and they were happy to accomodate.

I was disappointed that when I chose the roast lamb, they said they were only serving the short day menu. Shame. The options there seemed less enticing but we settled on two. Seated outside meant we could watch a glimpse of the Douro river as the sun set, enjoy wine served by the bottle (then charged by how much of it was consumed) and listen to the sounds of the homestyle kitchen preparing their food.

- Secretos de porco preto na brasa €14 - the Portuguese version of the Spanish Iberian black pig was extremely juicy and tender with the fat and meat grilled until they fused together to a beautiful taste and texture. Potatoes looked like crisps/chips to my dismay, but that faded when I realised they were thinly sliced potatoes freshly fried and hot, some thin to be crisp, some thicker to have a little soft potato in the middle. Buttered rice came with it too for even more food;
- Lulas grelhadas €12 - two large whole squid grilled and well charred with potatoes and salad.

A value meal that was unexpectedly excellent and perhaps my favourite of the whole week in Porto.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598635 2020-09-29T11:46:43Z 2020-09-29T11:46:43Z Meia-Nau, Porto 09-2020

The online recommendations all say that Matosinhos is the place to be for seafood. After managing to sneak in to the market just before their unexpected early closing time (Covid times) and purchasing fresh bunches of percebes for €14/kg, we made our way to Meia-Nau (TA #1, Google 4.8) without a booking. The outside tables were all reserved, but inside had space and it was pleasant enough being there out of the heat of the sun.

There is a small counter of the fresh fish on offer and they'll take you through them and weigh before any choices of cooking method. I chose the unsual looking St. Peter fish, which I vaguely recall eating forgettably in Israel (https://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/unnamed-restaurant-galilee-05-2009).

3€ cover was for the table (not per person) for soft bread, hard rye, tuna and black olives. Fish soup €4.5 was mild but strong vegetable (carrot and bit of tomato) flavour.

Our St. Peter fish was an odd looking character weighing 1.29kg for €58 (€45/kg). It was offered to us grilled or alternatively fried with roe bread soup. They said the fried version was a traditional dish, but we were in the mood for grilled rather than fried food and so went with the more simple option. It had been perfectly grilled to a very salty crisp skin (assumably the excess salt used to dry out the skin), and a soft delicious flesh with mild flavour. The saltiness was balanced nicely with buttered potatoes, cabbage and carrot. It was too much for 2 people, and they packed away the leftovers for us.

It's definitely not a cheap meal (particularly by Portugal standards) but you'll pay a lot more I think for this quality in specialty seafood restaurants in most parts of the world. I would try somewhere different next time (just because they are so many options in the area) but would happily eat here again too.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598627 2020-09-29T10:23:31Z 2020-09-29T10:23:31Z Cervejaria Brasao Aliados, Porto 09-2020

The Porto francesinha - the drunk food that you eat when sober or hungover and can't actually get (because all the places are closed) when you are drunk (assuming you aren't drunk really early in the evening). Everyone recommends eating it, and there's a few names that come up as options. Some places are known to be cheap, our tour guide said anything really cheap is probably something you don't want to be eating.

The most famous venue is definitely Cafe Santiago (https://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/cafe-santiago-porto-10-2013) and although I don't remember the experience that clearly, I do remember feeling wow this is heavy, thick and excessive and probably enough to try once in a lifetime. It seems lifetimes come around more often, and so wanting to try it again, I avoided the curiosity to relive the experience at Santiago and went to a local friend's recommendation of Brasao Aliados instead.

It's a much finer venue for one, more like a bar restaurant than Santiago's fastfood diner. The thing that also brought me here was the vegetarian option, which is hard to find out information about online.

- Francesinha with egg €10.5 - medium rare steak, bacon, chorizo, cheese, meaty tomato sauce, egg. Strong meaty flavours and quite salty, but at least the ingredients seemed decent quality (particularly the steak);
- Vegetable francesinha €10 - asparagus, mushroom, eggplant, fake sausage, tomato rich sauce. Less heavy and more tomato flavour but still a good alternative;
- Orange & mustard salad €3.5 - simple.

Finished with a large glass of white wine sangria 0.4L for €6. I would actually come back to this popular place for food and drink. That occasion would only be on the rare occasion of visiting Porto, so it probably would be to relive the francesinha.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598624 2020-09-29T09:46:08Z 2020-09-29T09:46:08Z Gelatopia, Porto 09-2020

With a solid 5 rating on Google (130 reviews) and it being so close to our Airbnb and the ribeira, I had to visit here. For whatever reason, they were handing out tiny mini cones with a sample of their dulce de leche gelato on it. It didn't sucker me in as I was going to anyway, but it was a nice start.

At €2.8 per scoop, this place is really expensive. They didn't have pistachio, so instead of this hot 29C day, I opted for the Coconut Milk & Ginger. It was a very strong ginger flavoured thick sorbet that seemed to do ok in the heat. There wasn't really any discernible coconut milk flavour. Very good but I don't know if I could justify the price over other places, such as Cremosi.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1598622 2020-09-29T09:35:58Z 2020-09-29T09:35:58Z Pedro Dos Frangos, Porto 09-2020

Far from the Nandos peri-peri (which is delicious in its own right) is the Portuguese charcoal chicken and periperi oil. I'd tried it twice in Lisbon before (https://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/o-churrasco-lisbon-10-2013 and https://eatlikeushi.posthaven.com/bonjardim-lisbon-05-2019). Each time I enjoyed the roast chicken noting the chilli (but not savoury) addition of chilli oil although not thinking it was a particularly special meal to set out for.

With one week in Porto, meal variety was important and why not a nice roast chicken? It was difficult to find consistent recommendations but Pedro Dos Frangos was a longterm institution, so popular they had opened a second one across the road. Watching the chickens being rotated slowly over the coals was a beautiful sight.

Far from the more expensive Lisbon prices (€10.5 for a whole in 2013, or €7.6 for a half in 2019), a whole chicken with fries cost a mere €10.5. It came with a semi crisp skin, not seasoned but with a touch of salt and peri oil it was delicious and great. Not the most tender but adequate (I suppose they just keep roasting until they are ordered). Chips were pretty good but not that crisp. A nice simple salad accompanied.

If it was only a short visit to Portugal, I probably would stick to seafood. However any meat cravings could easily be satisfied by a chicken.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1597994 2020-09-27T18:49:42Z 2020-09-27T18:49:42Z Ora Viva, Porto 09-2020

At the end of our free walking tour, the guide gave a list of recommendations. He said he didn't really eat octopus often, but there's only two places he would - his grandma and Ora Viva. Considering Portugal's reputation for octopus and the delicious stews I had of it last time, it seemed a strong accolade for a local place to try. It is in the ribeira area but on a back alley rather than facing the Douro, which I suppose arguably means the quality and/or value must be better.

- Grilled octopus €16 - although I took a pretty useless photo (didn't want to stand up), the moderate serving of octopus seemed to have been grilled then oiled and vegetables added. The octopus was very tender, as only the Portuguese (and probably Spanish) do, but not crisp on the outsides (which the Greeks do). Nice overall;
- Shellfish stew €19.5 - a salty saffron seafood soup with lots of little prawns, clams, and a few big ones for measure including a huge green lip mussel (with the meat completely filling the shell). Soft fish too and overall very tasty.

A very good meal overall and well worthy of the recommendation. Serves for 2 are decently cheaper than individual ones, but knowing Portugal there's only so much one can eat and would want to try multiple things (I suppose there's always takeaway...)

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1597993 2020-09-27T18:38:40Z 2020-09-27T18:38:41Z Taberna Santo Antonio, Porto 09-2020

Many an online recommendation list mentioned Santo Antonio as one of the best local dining options in Porto. It seemed to be frequented by locals and tourists with a continuous stream of people wanting to get in even to the later hours of the night. What I didn't expect was that there would be a really lovely and popular (with locals drinking) sunset spot at Horto das Virtudes. And of course after seeing the colours disappear from over the Douro river, there's no better place to eat than here.

Luckily although the place was full, the warm autumn evening (with only a light cool breeze) meant that eating outside at the first available table was a fine option. I had read that they do the best cod fritters in town and so gave up my instincts of pig cheeks or veal stew to get it.

- Empanadas 1€ each - offered first as a snack and gladly accepted. There was a nice meat version and also a fish (almost certainly cod) one with chunks of flesh and a creamy sauce;
- Pataniscas con arroz de feijao (cod patties with bean rice) €8 - crisp fried thick cod pieces served with a flavoursome rice. I wondered if the rice was cooked in a pork stock perhaps;
- Bacalhau a braga (codfish fried with sauce of onion) €14 - bacalao which has been salted and hence dried until it had an intrinsic lovely chewy texture. It was a little bit too salty (unsurprising given the method of preparation) but overall really delicious. Crisp flats of potatoes accompanied;
- Desserts are on display in the cabinet inside. Egg white flan had a strong burnt flavour (not bad though) and really soft, light inside. Cheese tart was thick and served surprisingly with caramelised pumpkin.

Overall an excellent meal and one I would go back to next time.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589518 2020-09-24T15:00:45Z 2020-09-24T15:00:45Z Ristorante La Sosta, Tessera 08-2020

After the long drive from Cortina to Venice airport, it had been perfectly timed to fit in a stop at Belluno, filling up petrol, and eating dinner before returning the car and flying out.

The options nearby were limited, but Ristorante La Sosta had good Google reviews (4.2) and was conveniently close with some free parking conveniently found around the corner. I saw Bar La Sosta and it took me a while to ask and check that the restaurant was the same (Google Maps makes you think they are separate places next to each other).

On a hot, most humid and intermittently raining evening, we sat outside and braved some mosquitoes and ordered the huge serves of pasta the internet had promised us. And it was huge.

- €11 gnocchi with (some) scallops hidden in amongst it;
- €13 seafood pasta which was large and nice, with lots of small ingredients. The prawns were not peeled which made it a bit more fiddly. Pasta was slightly al dente too.

I think 2 people could easily share 1. But if it doubt, just order one each...

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589512 2020-09-24T14:49:37Z 2020-09-24T14:51:40Z Chalet Lago Antorno, Dolomites 08-2020

After the pleasant walk around Tre Cime, we were hungry and there was a bit of time to kill before driving back to Venice airport. Definitely not enough time to try something else like Lago di Braies, but enough to get a meal. For whatever reason I stopped at one of the first restaurants once leaving Tre Cime. It was a combination of hunger, a nice setting opposite a small lake, and also the restaurant sign outside stating "polenta funghi" as though it was a sign of Italian food to come.

Like in Cortina it ended up being a German restaurant. I suppose being so close to the Austrian border, I should be less surprised.

There was no cover charge for the bread basket, another welcome practice that is not Italian.

- Tagliatelle al funghi porcini €10 - very soft mushrooms with overall a good flavour albeit a bit salty;
- Grigliata del cacciatore/mixed grill (beef, venison, bacon, potatoes, vegetables) €20 - beef rump cooked to medium (they didn't ask me), tender venison chop, bacon which was a piece of very fatty pork. Simple flavours of just grilled meats, typical German style.

It was nice sitting outside waiting to see if the rain would come, and it didn't luckily. There was constant smoke from the people around us however which was less than perfect.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589502 2020-09-24T14:36:54Z 2020-09-24T14:36:55Z Pontejel Bierstube Forst, Cortina d'Ampezzo 08-2020

After the extraordinarily long walk to Lago di Sorapis (the usual way is 2h and easy, the roundabout way the 2 older Italians and their dog suggested to us was 4h and hard), we were famished. A lot of the restaurants in and around Cortina were closed or not serving any food (other than maybe more pizza) at 4pm.

Eventually this place seemed to have some decent stuff, even if it was a German beerhall.

- Lasagne alla bolognese €11 - excellent, meaty and a thick bechamel layer;
- Tyrolean speck with cheese, pickled gherkin, horseradish - nice speck with 2 cheeses that were plain, and 2 that had more flavour. 1 seemed like a mild cheddar, but couldn't say what the others were (and wasn't told).
- Mixed salad €6

There was no cover charge and this place had the best bread collection of all the restaurants we ate at, including a nice caraway one.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589501 2020-09-24T14:30:13Z 2020-09-24T14:30:13Z International Camping Olympia, Cortina d'Ampezzo 08-2020

The view from mini-pod 1 was phenomenal especially for the sunrise and sunset times. At €70/night, the 9m2 was expensive real estate but still cheaper than every other option available in Cortina. I would gladly stay here again for all those reasons.

It does mean the options for food are limited to driving (and parking) in Cortina or eating at the ICO pizzeria. It is just like Italy to have an affordable and good quality pizzeria as a standard in a semi-remote camping site.

The did forget to cook my pizza the first night I was there waiting for takeaway (and took about 1h), whereas the second night they were conscientious and did it in 10min.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589506 2020-09-24T14:20:49Z 2020-09-24T14:20:50Z Da Po, Cortina d'Ampezzo 08-2020

The one and only gelato place in Cortina is a pretty good one. I think enough said about that.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589513 2020-09-24T14:13:41Z 2020-09-24T14:13:41Z Il Gelato di De Bona, Belluno 08-2020

A final gelato before driving to the airport. There really wasn't any point to stopping at Belluno other than for a break from Cortina and to repack our bags. But the gelato happened to be across the road to where we parked, and so lucky for me!

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589498 2020-09-24T14:12:33Z 2020-09-24T14:12:33Z Cicchetti bars, Venice 08-2020

Poor choice to go on a Monday since some of the big players like Bar All'Arco were closed. I did try all 3 spritzes of Aperol, Campari and Cynar, with what I remember of the tasting profiles to be sweeter, bitter and herby.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589497 2020-09-24T14:03:54Z 2020-09-24T14:03:54Z Bacaro del Gelato, Venice 08-2020

I skipped past Gelato di Natura (reading and seeing for myself that it was akin to Suso) and instead went for the highly rated option in the local north. It was late in the evening and they had run out of pistachio, but added a tiny little speck on top of my choices just to let me try.

Cremino al pistachio (dark chocolate with pistachio cream) and mango were both good and fine. I didn't think either of them were mindblowing and I would choose Suso for flavour and location, although at €1.8 for 1 scoop and €2.8 for 2 scoops you can't beat Bacaro for price or value.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589495 2020-09-24T13:55:10Z 2020-09-24T14:19:51Z Gelatoteca Suso, Venice 08-2020

By far the most expensive and my favourite gelato place I tried in Venice. At €2.2 for a specialty flavour or €1.8 for a standard flavour, the price per scoop means there's no advantage to sharing one cone with 2 scoops. Lucky the quality (and location right near Rialto bridge) makes up for it.

Dark chocolate was intense and not sweet. Manet was a mix of pistachio with salt crystals and chocolate hazelnut - lots of flavours and good mix.

I went the next day for a midday gelato and tried the unadulterated pistachio which was potent and had little pieces of nut - outstanding. Noce & fichi seemed to have minimal hazelnut but caramelized fig pieces made it sweet and dark. Really good.

One of the best in one of the best locations anywhere in the world.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589419 2020-09-24T13:50:42Z 2020-09-24T13:50:42Z Africa Experience, Venice 08-2020

It may seem unusual to try African food in Venice - after a few days of typical Italian foods, I was keen to try something different only because the (Google) ratings were so high. The staff are from Africa which lends a certain authenticity although maybe more authentic if they focused on one country. Nonetheless the menu was varied and interesting. The decor is also very cool with the outdoor area walls full of depictions.

- Antipasto misto - fortunately this is an African rather than an Italian antipasto, and consisted of a very good aubergine, runny hummus, nice yoghurt sauce, and slightly spicy salsa. It was served with a dense bread, kind of round corn bread, and a vegetable pastry like a pasty;
- Tagen (Egypt)(cuttlefish & prawns with vegetables) €10 - seafood was tender but very salty, the selected side of rice with broadbeans and dill was very nice;
- Mafe (Guinea)(beef with peanut sauce & vegetables) €10 - ok dish but could barely detect any peanuts. I did an odd thing and asked for injera as my side. At first they said I couldn't, then agreed, then brought me some thick bread instead. I told them that I had ordered the injera and which was then brought out soon after. Unfortunately it had been rolled up and the top was uncooked and therefore raw dough. It did have a sour taste at least (appropriately). And it cost €1.5 extra because even though a side is included with each main, they wouldn't allow me to have this one.

Overall it was a different meal and one I would go back again if I ever (unlikely) find myself in Venice for a long period of time. Just wouldn't get the injera.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589415 2020-09-22T16:24:02Z 2020-09-22T16:27:08Z L'Osteria San Barnaba, Venice 08-2020

Given Venice is surrounded (or floating on) water, it would make sense that the city serves decent seafood. Not unexpectedly being given the luxury in such a beautiful city means it will cost quite a bit. There were a few Italian/Venetian restaurants in Dorsoduro that advertised fresh seafood along the eating street of Calle Lunga San Barnaba, and the one with its namesake was where we ended up.

The waiter was in a jovial mood and when I accidentally said "gracias" he assumed I was Spanish and then served us the rest of the evening in a combination of English and Spanish. He kept all the guests entertained throughout the evening and earned his tip that night.

- Grigliata mista di pesce (swordfish, sea bass fillet, prawns, shrimp, squid) €30 - a bit expensive but for the variety and privelege as mentioned above. Nice prawns and scampi, sea bass very soft and delicious, swordfish more simple and less seasoned but juicy and slightly under cooked in a good way. Squid was a single piece and low on flavour;
- Grilled vegetables €4 - aubergines grilled in a standard and nice way;
- Pannacotta with forest fruits - the forest fruit in the picture turned out to be only an overly sweet sauce and custard rather than the picture of berries. Disappointing.

Overall an adequate meal in what is probably a cheaper venue around town. Nothing to write home about and would probably try somewhere else in the future.

tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589412 2020-09-22T16:11:46Z 2020-09-22T16:12:50Z Osteria Enoteca Ai Artisti, Venice 08-2020

I read that Ai Artisti was one of the best restaurants in Dorsoduro, and with its location along the main canal thoroughfare to pass through the area toward Accademia bridge, it wasn't surprising that it was so popular. During the lunchtime (and probably dinner too), the tables along the canal as people walk past were definitely in high demand, and we were lucky to get one that was just out of reach of the blaze of the sun.

The night before we had been turned away and although the menu is one of the more expensive options in the area, it meant for a little more suspense as to good it could be (given the popularity and reputation?). The pasta dishes seemed to be a specialty and it was one of the few that had the local Venetian specialty pasta of bigoi (traditionally made with buckwheat, but now wholewheat according to Wikipedia).

One thing is that it definitely had an expensive cover charge at €3.5 each for bread (which at least had a range of breads even if not the best texturally).

- Spaghetta bigoi in salsa (anchovies & onion) €14 - dense chewy pasta (as expected) topped simply with anchovies and caramelised onion. Very nice and full of anchovy salinity as expected; 
- Homemade maltagliati with curry, rabbit confit, chantarelles €16 - flat pasta cooked al dente with the most tender rabbit I've eaten and good little mushrooms. 

With the cover charge, it was an expensive €37 and the serves were a bit on the small side, but I have to say the pastas were a touch different to common and cooked very well.]]>
tag:eatlikeushi.posthaven.com,2013:Post/1589411 2020-09-22T16:03:47Z 2020-09-22T16:03:47Z Ristorante La Bitte, Venice 08-2020

After a long walk from Rialto bridge all the way back to Dorsoduro (which was a perfect way to see the grand canal in the evening and moonlight), there were surprisingly few good looking dinner options along that route. Eventually we made it back to near the Airbnb and the quieter more local looking backstreet restaurants I had found earlier in the day were there, even though some had stopped serving for the evening.

- Tagliolini al pesto €12 - a simple dish with a very basil pesto. We couldn't detect any pine nut flavour or texture (maybe cheaper to make it that way?);
- Bocconcini di vitello & finferli & porcini mushrooms €18 - polenta (which is meant to be a specialty of the region) had minimal seasoning but the very tender pieces of veal and mushrooms were well seasoned and had excellent flavours with which the polenta could carry;
- Dessert €6 - quite an expensive tiramisu. Although apparently tiramisu was created in Venice, so had to try it once. And it was pretty good.

Good local Venetian cuisine at reasonable prices.