The Victoria has proved to be a source of new food during my period of trying new food (especially when it comes to trying different fish), and the other Saturday was a no exception. With a new chef and a new menu on offer (both a good and a bad thing), it meant there was a new food for me to try: beer battered hake.
Normally I don’t have anything bad to say about The Victoria; we love it in there – and previously had never had a bad meal – not that this meal was completely bad I should add. The beer battered hake was lovely, as was the minted pea puree – but the chunky chips were not good; they were under-cooked – I’m never normally one for huge chunky chips I should say too.
Hopefully they are going to change their menu regularly like they always have done, as whereas before I was spoilt for choice with food – this time not so much so. I hate being negative about The Victoria, but previously we’ve loved every meal we’ve had there – and it was such a shame to all walk away from there not completely happy with what we had eaten.
It’s a pricey weekend going to London as it is, let alone when you throw in my requests to see Stomp and go for a fancy meal – well Liam did say I had to have a fancy meal in my list in the first place! I’m not a huge one for very fancy food, so when looking for options of where we could go during our weekend to London (and our chance to celebrate our year anniversary), Liam found 20 Fenchurch Street – otherwise known as the Walkie Talking Building. They have a choice of two restaurants; the Fenchurch restaurant and the Darwin brasserie; we opted for the Darwin brasserie on level 36 as the food sounded a bit more ‘normal’ – yes I’m fussy and can’t do very fancy food.
In 20 Fenchurch Street, you go up in the lift to the 35th floor and come out in the bar area where you are able to see 360 degree views of London, while walking through the sky garden I should add. Up on the next floor is the Darwin brasserie itself, where you sit and eat, enjoying the view of London. Liam was nice enough to let me sit facing the views while we treated ourselves to a champagne cocktail before our food. The food was absolutely gorgeous! I had red pepper and goats cheese pasta for my main and rice pudding (a childhood favourite) and ice-cream for pudding. I was stuffed! I managed all of the main and tried my best for the pudding, but the portion was huge. This was all accompanied by a bottle of wine – of course and finished with coffee as we soaked in the atmosphere of the restaurant; chatty and people watching; guessing the relationships of the different people that were there. I think I was enjoying my food far too much to remember what Liam had to eat; I think it was something like lamb for the main and then panna cotta for pudding – but don’t quote me on that, I’ve more than likely got it very wrong indeed.
The whole meal was fantastic and after we stood out on the balcony looking at the views of London. All very romantic – it really was lovely. I know I sound very corny saying that, but it was a perfect way to spend our anniversary, and of course we had Stomp after that.
It’s taken me quite a while to get round to writing this post. I was slightly delayed as, feel free to laugh, I had to check with my Mum whether I had actually tried gammon before. Apparently growing up, although my Dad had it a lot, I always refused to try it, or took one mouthful and stubbornly said I didn’t like it and refused to try anymore. I can’t help being stubborn!
Although I ate the majority of this huge meal (pictured – and very calorie heavy!), I did find this gammon a bit too smokey (I prefer non-smoked bacon too). It was nice getting to try the whole experience of having it with fried egg and pineapple – I did have to laugh that it was actually a slice of pineapple and not a pineapple ring like I’ve always seen.
I wouldn’t refuse to eat it again, as like everyone has always told me, it is very much like bacon – which I do absolutely love!
It sounds very odd to to title this post ‘different beans’, but that’s exactly what it was as I don’t have a clue what I ate. I was out with my family for a meal in Bradford-on-Avon on Saturday night and we went to the Barge Inn down on the canal. There, I had tuna steak with a chorizo, pepper and bean salad of their specials board; I’ve tried tuna steak only once so I thought I’d be brave and try it again – it was cooked differently this time, not as flaky as when I had it previously. Anyway, I’m skipping over my point, the bean salad had various beans in it I hadn’t tried – I’m just not entirely sure what these different beans were; there’s a possibility one was cannellini beans.
Apologies for the picture of the half-eaten food, it was only when I was part way through my food that I realised I was actually eating a new food, so took a quick snap then. If anyone recognises any of the beans in the picture, please enlighten me to what I actually ate on Saturday night!
In a shocking turn for me, in July I actually tried three new foods! If I was being clever I would have spread these out over three months and then I wouldn’t spend each month racking my brain trying to think of what new food to try. Own brain fail!
What did I try in July? Well, I tried sushi, sea bass and marrow in the space of one month. But the food I tried first was sushi, so we’ll count that as July’s food (I didn’t have my phone or camera with me when I tried sea bass in champagne sauce on holiday and I didn’t even think of taking a picture with the fried marrow we had with dinner one night and saying it was the food for August!). So after seeing a selection of sushi next to the till in the kiosk in Asda, I decided to be brave and try it. I opted for a selection of fish and vegetable rolls to try different bits and push my own boundaries as sushi has never appealed to me previously – in fact, I’ve turned my nose up at the idea of it before when it’s been suggested to me. The selection I tried contained tuna and cucumber, salmon, and sweet pepper and prawn – so a very fishy selection for someone who is only just getting used to eating more fish.
So it came as a shock to me when I did actually like it! Yes, me who has turned my nose up at sushi actually liked it – and have had it again since. My only gripe is the fact that both selections I had contained cucumber – a food that I don’t like (yes I have tried it and have managed to eat in unintentionally on several occasions and still haven’t liked it). The next step for me would be trying a larger selection of items and I’m actually willing to do that. We have a food success!
Today has been day one of 21 days of being a vegetarian – don’t worry, I don’t plan on writing every day on this one – this is more just a general post to say that I’ve started it. I’m hoping that it will get me thinking about food a bit more – and more so, I’m hoping it will help me lose a few pounds that are rapidly creeping on! That would be very handy before I go off on holiday somewhere next month.
Tonight I filled up on salad bits along with a goats cheese and red pepper tart – it should have been a lot nicer than it actually was – pretty watery, which was a shame!
Any ideas for vegetarian means would be greatly appreciated. Any vegan ones too as I have my friend Paula coming round for a meal next week and she’s now gone from being vegetarian to vegan.
When I was coming up with this list, it was said by Liam that I ought to have go for an expensive meal somewhere on the list. As I want to go to London for Stomp, it means I can combine several activities into one.