Saturday, September 25, 2010

Anchor Inn

After our pretty satisfying dinner at the Anchor we went back for some more, this time for lunch. And now that I could drink again I had to try the Devon brewed Otter bitter. It was pretty rough but acceptable in small quantity.
From the specials board we picked poached haddock with some kind of sauce. The reason why I forgot what it was is because it was not very good at all. The fish was pretty dry and obviously frozen previously. We joked perhaps the specials were stuff that was going off in the freezer!
Lamb stew with veggies. A very winter-y dish, again it may have been freezer clearance!
At least the deep fried scampi was tasty.
The scallops wrapped in bacon was also pretty decent.
Grilled whiting. It was a little dry once again.
The treacle tart was about the only thing which stood to the previous standard. Perhaps the chef only worked in evenings.
The Anchor Inn
Cockwood, nr Starcross, Devon, UK. Tel: 01626 891-203

Bella Italia

After a morning of shopping in Exeter and we got very hungry and desperate and we weren't too choosy in where we got food. We decided to give Bella Italia a try as it was not too far from the car park and as a chain restaurant we hoped we would at least get some box-standard stuff. (You know you shouldn't have high expectation when they serve you Sanpellegrino in cans.)
The menu was pretty standard after all: salads, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, meat and some fish. We decided to have the day's special pasta. It was very simple and edible. Nothing spectacular.
My meatball pizza was also a special of the day. To my surprise it was very spicy and I liked it!
Our Little One loved her spaghetti and meat sauce from the children's menu. She loved the coloring booklet and stickers too.
It was a very forgettable dining experience as the food did not have tends to be the symptom of modern chain restaurants these days. It still beats sandwiches from supermarkets I guess (but only very narrowly I have to say).

Bella Italia
92 Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, UK. Tel: 01392 211778

Pho Real

A new pho place in town and we wasted no time to test it out. Lunch time was so busy the small joint was packed. We waited 20 mins and got given a table for 2 and there were 3 of us.
We all went for the lunch set, which came with iced tea and a starter tasting platter. The spring rolls were not bad but I didn't think much of the prawn cake.
I ordered some extra prawn rolls just to try out. They were a little plain and could use a little more prawns and less lettuce.
From the set menu you could pick between soupy pho or dry vermercili. I was told the lemongrass pork vermercilli was very tasty.
My pho was not bad and the soup base was not full of MSG. I wouldn't say it's the best in town though. Would I wait 20 minutes and sit in cramped place to eat this food again? Perhaps not.
Pho Real
166 Fumin Rd. (nr. Changle Rd)., Shanghai. Tel: 5403-8110

Tsui Wah Restaurant

Tsui Wah's menu in Shanghai is quite different than the one in Hong Kong. While I usually go for the same comfort dishes I do venture out and order the local specialities. Here is the signature fish ball dish in Sichaun pepper sauce. They were good!
Tsui Wah Restaurant
291 Fumin Rd. (nr. Changle Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6170-1282


Sunday brunch at Issimo. We like the fact that on Sundays you get a 4-course lunch (rmb198) automatically whereas weekdays you can pick between 2 or 3 courses.

Smoked trout starter with tangerine.
Beef and mushroom in filo pastry. It was actually not as nice as it looked/sounded.
My husband's choices from the pasta dishes on the set menu.
I chose gnocci and capellini. They were both excellent.
My husband's tenderloin looked so wonderful I wished I had ordered it instead.
I opted for a plaice dish but it was sold out. I agreed to switch to salmon instead assuming it would be cooked the same way but it came out in a pesto crust. It was nice but a little disappointing as I could have made it at home!
At least the dessert trio made up for my slight disappointment over my salmon. I could have easily eaten another one.
2/F, Jia Shanghai, 931 Nanjing Rd. West, nr. Taixing Rd., Shanghai. Tel: 3302-4997

Strip Prime Steakhouse

I heard so many good things about this place I was getting quite excited about our lunch.

Immediately I was disappointed when I walked in: there wasn't a non-smoking section on the lounge floor, and there were people chain smoking cigars. Eck. We decided to stay anyway and order from the set lunch menu. For 2 course it's rmb95 and 3 is rmb120.

E decided to have main and dessert instead and for some unknown reason BOTH dishes arrived the same time as our starters? Here we have the ahi tuna tartar poke style, iced shoyu broth, sun dried pineapple toast. E said it was nice but she had to wolf it down quickly so that her dessert would not melt. What a screw up.
/>Chocolate fudge brownie sandwich with vanilla ice cream.
Waldorf chop salad with blue cheese dressing. My husband said it was alright - meaning it was nothing special.
My fisherman's stew with white fish stock was basically like a watered down chowder. This fisherman sucked! He could have caught more fish.
Gazpacho. The feedback was also "alright". I suppose it's hard to mess up this dish.
Minced chicken in lettuce cups. It was dubbed the Asian tacos. C thought it wasn't bad but tacos would have been better.
Cajun jerked chicken quesadillas. It looked ok but it was dreadful to have to listen to the nonstop jerk sauce jokes my husband was trying to pull.
Wok roasted clams Macao with Portuguese chorizo, garlic herb pesto and grilled toast. It was actually very nice but I have to say this dish is not very difficult to make. And it is a little light to be a main course? I was pretty hungry after.
We didn't stay for dessert because of the cigar smoke. In any case we were not that impressed with the food we thought we would give it a pass. Perhaps we ought to try dinner and steaks?

The Strip Prime Steakhouse
6-7/F, Hong Kong Plaza, 282 HuaiHai Rd. (nr. Huangpi Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 6091-9893