Sunday, 20 March 2011

Tapas In Estado Puro NH Neptuno, Madrid

I had been to Estaduo Puro before and it as I had not gone back for a while thought it would be a great place to have a sunny Saturday lunch looking over Neptuno

Let see the place is a lot of fun and they have some great interesting ideas and fun presentations... see previous post!!

The entrance

The menu the two sets of prices are for inside the restaurant and outside the restaurant in the terraza. 

Photo of a photographers sister taking a photo of a  photographer.... 

I love ensaladilla russa, it always takes me back to my grandmother making it and summer days in Madrid. This version is a well worked version of the ensaladilla. They make a mayonnaise with some of the tuna and egg to mix in so there is a strong taste of tuna. The espuma of mayonnaise on top was a nice touch.

These looked very pretty, patatas bravas. My only niggle with this is that they were not spicy enough. the roasted new potatoes were an interesting choice but I personally always like the potatoes to be crispy and fluffy.

Flamnquin of jamon and foie. Little bit of beef  jamon and foie grass breaded and fried.  

Croquetas de Jamon.  

They were nice, interesting the use of leeks into the mixture, flavour wise good..

Chicken wings with chimmichurri, this was a real let down for me as I am a very big fan of chicken wings and love me some great chicken wings. These ones where boiled or steamed and tossed in a little chimichurri. Loved the paper presentation. 

Mini burgers, this ones were good actually really enjoyed them.  Liked the bread with straw chips.

Bombas de carne. Potatoes stuffed with meat, spicy tomato sauce and alioli . Enjoyed this too.  This is dish is very popular in barcelona and enjoyed this version. Although I have to say that the sauce underneath was spicy made this a great dish!

 Fried aubergines with honey. The aubergines looked really good and fried well, but the honey dip was way too sweet for it so it ended up over powering the aubergines.

Pigs trotters with cuttlefish: This dish had for me a good and bad side, the good great pigs trotters , sticky and great flavour. 
Desserts (left to right): San Marcos, Cuajada of chocolate and Tiramisu. These were very good  we fought over the tiramisu !

So Estado Puro, interesting modern take on tapas! Great view of Neptuno ! I recommend the desserts.

Saturday, 19 March 2011


You know what happens its the weekend, you´ve just gotten off a flight and slept 2 hours and suddenly inspiration hits you. You can´t help yourself it grabs you and suddenly you have to reach out and create...

So we were having lunch in Estado Puro in Madrid and well lets just say that after a couple of glasses of Berdejo my chefs mind kicks in and here is the result... DONT PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD OUR YOU´LL GO BLIND!!!!

I think it actually helped the presentation: flamenquin of jamon iberico with foie  and two brava potatoes

We added a croqueta of jamon

Friday, 18 March 2011

Bar Tomate in Madrid

Went to Bar Tomate which is part of the Tragaluz Group, in Madrid. Had a very interesting Sunday Lunch. Really enjoyed the relaxed style of food, very brasserie-esk.

Little bread basket, good bread

Selection of croquetas, queso azul (blue cheese), setas (mushrooms) and jamon... the fun thing was trying to figure out which was which!! Haha by the time you where half way through them you were kind of like oh right this one is the cheese one!

Liked this dish nice crispy fried fresh artichokes with salt ! 

Waffer thin pizza cooked in a wood oven with blue cheese and sun dried tomatoes. The base was good but the oven was not hot enough so we got a soggy pizza base, which was a shame but it was still good. The great thing about wood ovens is that of you get them nice and hot you can bake a pizza in 4 minutes but with a super crispy base!

This was fun as well, toast bread with escalibada which is roasted peppers, aubergines and onion with boquerones in vinegar and black olives 

Layered potatoes with sobrasada, poached egg and manchego cheese shavings, this dish was a real revelation to me, it had all the ingredients for a sunday lunch, potatoes, meat, egg and cheese! Great hangover food.

Chipirones with fried egg... this dish did not work for me not a big fan of sauteed chipirones with egg... sauteed chipirones great love them... fried egg, there is nothing better but together I personally did not like it

Duo of white and dark chocolate cake... love chocolate, it was ok, have to say my sister makes great chocolate cakes so a little bit spoilt there. Oh and I know its sounds like oh yeah my sister can make it better, but its more like my sister bakes kick ass cakes!!

I have a big problem with tart tatins, more than anything is that I have had to make a few of them and having learnt from chefs like Michel Roux how to make tart tatins that must have a lovely caramelised sauce coming from the pan it really bugs me when people serve it like poached apples on pastry. You have to balance the sweetness of caramelised sugar tart apples and flaky pastry and must be served hot !! 

 So all in all great place to go grab a meal, recommend for anyone who wants to get something a little different when they are in Madrid. Plus on the upside Friday and Saturday nights the place turns in to a bar and club after dinner with DJ and everything. Great addition to the Madrid eating scene.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Fun Interesting Indian Restaurant in Marylebone

Had a great Sunday Lunch the other day in a small Indian restaurant called Trishna . This place was suggested by a food photographer and well I was very surprised by the creativity of the food. Judge for yourself.

Two dips for the poppadoms
The poppadoms were grilled and tasted interesting
A potato dish that I cant remember the name off, lucky you, but it was spectacular with the spiciness, crispy caramelised onions with a yoghurt sauce.
Grilled quail tandoori with sesame seeds and cucumber with  yoghurt
Tandoori Guinea fowl with lentils. Lovely way of steering away from  traditional chicken.

Seafood briyani with scallops and prawns. Dahl with what ended up being a very spicy fried chilli
Yoghurt Raita, spinach, plain chapatti and garlic naan and the dahl
My favourite dessert Gulab Jamun, little balls of sweetness fried in gee and soaked in sugar syrup. Served warm, it was so good that I had it with the ice-cream on the side and never ate the ice-cream
Warm mango rice pudding
Cumin magdalanes

Highly recommended if you would like to have an interesting Indian meal. They also have a great Lunch menu!!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A little piece of tradition

This is how they serve Cochinillo in Meson De Candido in Segovia. More than two hundred years old! This is what its all about great product made simply.

 I had the pleasure of eating here for the first time this year. Although I had already met Candido and his team when they came to London to do their culinary show.

Simply made the cochinillo with salt, water and pig fat. Crispy outside and tender inside.

Celebrating Segovian Gastronomy week we started with a game terrine made of pigeon, duck and hare wrapped with bacon and a fig compote and fig reduction 
Seared trout on a bed of spinach, candied lemon zest and honey blossom sauce
The Suckling pig or Cochinillo that Candido chopped for us, served with its juices. No garnish nothing just the crispy skin and the succulent sweet tasting meat.

Caramelized Torrija with chocolate ice-cream. Soft and fluffy first time I have tried torrija that had not been fried but soaked in a mixture of milk sugar, lemon zest and cinnamon. It was like eating a piece of bread soaked in sweet milk. Wonderful!

Does anybody else think that this is wrong?

Does anybody else think that the use of Tapas on this sign is a little bit strange? I mean, I enjoy fusion and love a little bit of mixture and different influences but is it not a little wrong to use the term tapas for indian food?

Firstly tapas is Spanish and its all about small portions but at the same time so is mezze and dim-sum. Why would they use the term Tapas for Indian food because its fashionable? Seeing it like this they could have said Indian Dim-Sum which in my opinion is a little bit more in keeping with asian food. Any comments from anybody?

Are culinary terms that are regionally specific interchangeable? Could we now have Indian Paella as well or Spanish Dahl? Should we be using fashionable terms to sell our food even if it has nothing to do with our food ? Should we sell out ?

Still my opinion is that they should not call it Indian Tapas...

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Tapas in Valladolid, Spain

This was a small tapas trail that we did in Valladolid in Spain. This was organised by the Winery Pico Cuadro from Ribera De Duero

Never been to Valladolid and found the city very interesting. Considering that this city has a yearly tapas competition you can really see that they take great care of them.

What follows is the trail that we took and the food that we ate !!

The group who hit Valladolid, a group of chefs, managers and the guys from Pico Cuadro.  Vinotinto was the last place we went to and the great thing is that we were all together still by the end. 

Beautiful the Spanish Royal Cavalry Academy of Valladolid the start of the night.

First stop Bar Suizo for a beer and a plate of queso manchego and jamon iberico.
Mahou served cold with a good amount of head, creamy and just the thing to start the night off 
Ready to start the engines, manchego cheese and iberico ham  match made in heaven. Beer, cheese and ham

La Taberna Del Herro, this place is famous for their broken eggs, fired egg and potatoes mixed together in pan. Breakfast for dinner, another beer 

Great dish to line your stomach with for the wine and beer to follow during the night. There is a great little addition to this dish which is a pimenton oil and of course some good crusty bread.

Our favourite of the night La Criolla. We had to fight our way into the  bar and what  place would attract a group of chefs but the open kitchen at the end of the bar. 9 chefs staring at another 6 chefs cooking during a busy Saturday service. Better than watching TV.

Winner of the 2004 Tapas awards. This dish was stewed vegetables  on top of courgette with glazed  mayonnaise. Interesting liked the idea of the vegetables and the mayonnaise on top a little too rich on the glaze though. 

Lamb sweet bread a la plancha, simple but great taste. 

This was a mini bocata of piquillo peppers and ventresca of tuna. 

Pincho of the month, monkfish stuffed with langoustine and pumpkin shooter. This one we did not like, one of the disadvantages of seeing how things are made is that you can see that the monkfish was cooked in the microwave which made it stringy and dry... Don´t know why they did that since everything else was done great a la plancha. 

Supposedly the best croquetas in Valladolid

That dish of croquetas basically last about 30 seconds on the bar.

Here they are... not bad creamy in the centre and light. Good but have now started a croquetas file. This one goes into at 6 out of 10... like more flavour in my croquetas
Bar Jero, was like walking into a typical basque pinchos bar. Bar Jero has won a lot of awards in the recent year in the Tapas competition and they make some very taste pinchos what follows is a carousel of pinchos that I can´t remember them all... they all where sweet tasting but good 

Red wine, switched from beer as things where heating up.

Your guess is as good as mine, what I do remember is that the bacon and cheese with barbecue sauce was sickly sweet but reminded me of barbecue pizza. There was a foie gras with raspberry, smoked salmon with cream cheese. All good but I suggest don´t order more that 1 or 2 as they are heavy and cloyingly sweet.  

Warm pinchos as well very good but with sweet predominating through them as well. Can´t remember  what they were but there was one with prawns... think the wine had started.

Vinotinto, the guys of the kitchen was kind enough to allow us into the open kitchen , great Asturian made coal barbecue.  

Pulpo a la gallega, ok don´t need to explain this because it was very very good and disappeared quickly enough. The potatoes in cachelos and just a right amount of pimenton picante. 

Take your eye of the ball for a second and that is all thats left of a chuleton de vaca vieja... literally took a sip of wine and looked away for a second and bang gone.... the bone was really good though.

There ends the photo tour as we then finished and moved off for Gin and Tonics. The camara was packed away into my pocket from then on. Though for those who are interested Valladolid has a 4 to 1 girl to boy ratio when going out. But we where advised that it is very difficult to start conversations with them....we tried though !!!! But that is another story.

So if you guys have a chance go to Valladolid!! Great food !!