Katie Rowe rounds up some of the best food and drink she’s devoured in the past month, including perfectly-roasted rotund potatoes from The Lamb in Chiswick and Venetian tapas from Liverpool’s Salthouse Bacaro.
I was nearly turned away from Bacaro. It was a Saturday night and I foolishly decided not to book a table at one of the best restaurants in Liverpool. Luckily though, the waiters managed to snag a spot for us at the bar which revealed the finest views of this buzzing joint.
Vases of flowers decorated the bartop while tempting liqueurs and wines gleamed from behind, and art deco-style lights illuminated a bountiful menu of Venetian tapas, including cichetti, charcuterie, and pizzettes. The barman recommended the Tagliatelle Bolognese, and as soon as he mentioned said ‘slow cooked’ and ‘rich in flavour’ in his dulcet Liverpudlian tone, we nodded our heads in compliance.
Along with that lip-smacking dish, we aimed to choose a plate from each section to share, although we ending up ordering a few more than advised as we wanted to try pretty much everything on the menu, including Affogato (ice cream topped with amaretto and a shot of espresso), which was divine.
‘Pizza or pie?’
Everyone including me had this question on the tip of their lips. But this wasn’t a mass rally at a downtown Chicago pizza joint contemplating the deep dish – although you do need to shout out your order at the bar. This was in the South West of England, at The Stable on Bristol’s harbourside where the concept is actually quite simple; choose from organic sourdough pizzas or hand-crafted pies.
Being both a pizza and a meat fiend, I went for the West Country Porker pizza topped with chorizo from the award-winning Bath Pig Co but there are plenty of veggie options too, including Billy the Kid with Rosary goat’s cheese, caramelised onions and field mushrooms. Whatever you decide on, be sure to wash it down with Stable’s cider-tasting board – the barman picks five West Country draught ciders and perries of varying strengths and flavours so you can hopefully find a favourite.
There’s no shortage of good places to eat in this upmarket pocket of west London but for a roast dinner that doesn’t scrimp or scrape on portions, The Lamb just off of Chiswick High Road is my first choice. Try the lamb for a moment of melt-in-the-mouth heaven and make sure you leave some room for the Salted Caramel Cheesecake with clotted cream.
When the sun’s got its hat on, grab a glass of Pimm’s and head out to the front garden where you’ll most likely find one of the chefs tending to plump steaks sizzling away on the outdoor barbeque.
This old favourite never fails to add a touch of glamour to Sunday mornings. Dog-friendly and filled with vintage furniture – many of it for sale – Metro Deco is a much-loved independent café, or shall I say tea salon, in Brighton’s Kemp Town. I love the Victoria Sponge doused with rosewater icing teamed with a cup of Shades of Grey – a loose leaf Early Grey-style tea with a hint of rose.
Drop in after sundown on Fridays and Saturdays for a gin and tonic or better still, round up your friends and dedicate an afternoon to mini sandwiches, home-baked scones and petit fours all served on vintage crockery and washed down with one of the many loose-leaf teas and a tea-infused cocktail. Chin chin!
It took quite a while to decide on my order at The Noodle House – they have seven different varieties of noodle and an array of regional specialities from Malaysia and Thailand, but after much deliberation a spicy beast of a dish, otherwise known as Javanese Nasi Goreng, didn’t disappoint.
Rice tossed with prawns, chicken, chilli, spring onions and Thai basil, topped with a fried egg, and served with not one, but two chicken satay skewers and prawn crackers on the side was a starter and main rolled into one. It left me in need of a post-dinner pick me up, so I opted for the Moonshadow Cocktail – a whimsical blend of Lillet Blanc and vodka poured over Jasmine and Hibiscus tea ice pops. Just make sure you let them melt a little first!
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