Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nobody Inn

We would never have found this pub had it not been our neighbour who showed us how to get there. Set in a small village in the middle of Haldon Forrest lies this beautiful historic pub with the best house ale and good food. What else can you ask for?

On our first visit we tried the award winning steak and ale pie, made with Nobody Ale (£10.75).  Great pie with crust all the way around!
Cocktail meatballs (£7.95). The sauce was really tangy and I wish there was more.  It was meant to be a starter dish though.
The Nobody West Country cheese plate selection for 2 (£10.95).  This was just one portion!  Smashing cheese Gromit!
Sticky ginger pudding (£5.75).  Loved how light the pudding was and it was a great contrast to the sticky heavy toffee sauce.  A match in heaven along with clotted cream!

We found ourselves back in Nobody in a week's time.  Lunch was extra pleasant in the garden.  Nobody Ale battered fish of the day and chips (£10.45).  Excellent dish with fresh fish and the tartare sauce was out of this world. 
Open sandwich of rare beef on horseradish sauce and salad (£7.95).  My husband seemed very happy with his sandwich.
Ham - home cooked with chips, peas and fried free-range eggs (£8.95). The ham was not too salty at all (which is a problem I have with most gammon).  I would have liked my eggs cooked a bit more but it really wasn't a complaint at all.  I loved the dish.
Nobody Inn
Doddiscombsleigh, nr. Exeter, Devon, EX6 7PS, UK.  Tel: 01647 252 394

The Duke of Wellington

Believe or not it was our very first visit to Portobello Market of all the times we were in London.  I suppose we are not really the type to dig through stuff.  We did enjoy looking through old books at the Oxfam there though.  When it was time to eat we would have been happy getting fish and chips from the chip shop but my dad wanted to have a sit down and a drink so we settled for the Duke of Wellington and expected the worst.

Dukes waldof salad (£6.95).  Although the stilton seemed to be missing but it was not a bad dish with crunchy apple and walnuts.
Fresh fish in Young's beer batter (£11.95).  Not the best fish and chips but it was OK.
Speciality British sausage sandwich with caramelized onion (£6.95).  It was probably the best dish of the day.  The Cumberland sausages were delicious!  Perhaps we had very low expectations but the food, although pricey for what you get, was actually decent.  Tip:  there is a chip shop 2 doors down called The Fish Pond and it's got the best chips in the world!
The Duke of Wellington
179-181 Portobello Rd., London, W11 2ED, UK.  Tel: 020 7727 6727


I can't believe I went to Wimpy. It was past lunch time and I did not have the energy to look for another place to eat.  To my surprise the place was actually really busy with older customers chatting and having tea.  I looked at the menu and picked the biggest burger there was.  It's basically a quarter pounder topped with a grilled frankfurter ring.   Why not I thought.  Yes it was probably very unhealthy but to be honest it's just as greasy as any other fast food joint.  And it didn't come out all squashed and dried (yes, I'm talking about you McDonald's).  The chips tasted infinitely better too.  Perhaps I won't be making fun of Wimpy anymore.
Branches across UK

Michael Caines at ABode Exeter

Another very satisfying lunch at Michael Caines' restaurant in Exeter. Everything, including the bread basket, was so yummy we find ourselves back again and again.
Amuse bouche for the day.  I admit I was a bit sloppy to not have taken notes on what it was.
Pan fried Brixham scallops.  Fresh and delicious, the celeriac puree and vinaigrette really complimented the dish.  At last someone found a good use of celeriac.  
Quail three ways.  Loved everything on the plate and the jus was to die for.  
We had a fish dish and a beef dish for our main courses and both were delicious.

Michael Caines at Abode Exeter
Cathedral Yard, Exeter, EX1 1HD, UK.  Tel: 01392 223-638

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mr. Pancake House

A number of dishes we tried at Mr. Pancake House: omelet, breakfast burrito, and crepe. With pretty much everything on the menu around RMB40 we thought it was pretty good bang for your buck.  We heard that service is bad but we didn't feel mistreated.  Maybe it was lunch during a weekday and it wasn't busy?

Mr. Pancake House
877 Wuding Rd. (nr. Jiao Zhou Rd.), Shanghai.  Tel: 6255-1648

Jing'An Restaurant

It was our first visit to the then newly-open Puli hotel and its main restaurant Jing'An.  While we liked the spacious and roomy restaurant we were less impressed with the food. Not that it was bad,  but we felt that we were being charged a lot of money for very average food.  There was a set lunch menu with 2 courses at RMB188 and 3 courses at RMB220.  Daily specials such as fish and chips, burger, ham and cheese sandwich were available at RMB190.  RMB190 for a ham and cheese sandwich?  You have to be kidding right?

Cauliflower soup from the set menu.  My friend L picked it as it was the only hot starter amongst salads and liver parfait on the list.  The verdict?  It was OK and nothing special.  It's cauliflower soup after all.
From the set menu again omelet with salted cod and lemon.   L seemed to like it and she said it's quite an unusual combination for an omelet. 
I went for a beef tartare from the a la carte menu.  The beef was imported I believe but it was under-seasoned. And at almost RMB200 I thought it was a bit much.   We have not been back to the place since.

Jing'An Restaurant
The Puli Hotel and Spa, 1 Chang De Rd. (nr. Yan An Rd.), Shanghai.  Tel:3203-9999

Monday, February 20, 2012

Frankie's Place

A little gem in Hongqiao which serves authentic Singaporean and Malaysian food. I am still mad at my friend who somehow did not tell me about this place sooner. The food is always good I find myself back again and and again even though it's a long trek for me.

Cao Hor Fan - broad white flat noodles with veg, mixed seafood and pork (RMB32).  It is apparently Cantonese but I have to say I had not seen anything like it of all the years in Hong Kong.  My Malaysian Chinese friend told me however that this dish IS the ultimate comfort food for them in Malaysian and everybody loves it.  It's most likely a variation of a fried noodle dish from Canton but adopted a life of its own in Malay-Chinese cuisine.  I have to say thick and gooey gravy is never my thing.  I tried some nonetheless and it actually tasted pretty good.  Just think thick soup and noodles.  The dish always comes with pickled green chilli slices and I have to say the chili is a magic touch.  I can see why my friend orders this dish each and every time she goes to the restaurant.
Ayam limau purut, aka lime leaf chicken (RMB38).  I love all kinds of curries and this dish was to die for.  Love the lime leaf taste on top of the rich and flavorful curry base.  It was out of this world.  A must have!
Laksa Singapore style (RMB35).  I guess Singapore version is the version I am familiar with, but I should find out what the Malay version is like.  Loved the soup base and all the fixings, just like what you would get at food markets in Singapore.
Nasi lemek (RMB35).  It looked good and my friend's husband confirmed it.
Beef randang (RMB45). The sauce was beautiful and beef was tender and lean.  I have had drier randeng before but I prefer this version for sure. 
Frankie's Place
546 Huang Hua Rd.(nr Hong Jin Rd.), Shanghai. Tel: 5476-1086