Friday 20 April 2018

The Coach Marlow

Slick and edgy gastropub 

Whole Stuffed Rotisserie Quail with Black Pudding and Moilee Sauce

Tom Kerridge is the chef of the moment right now, gaining mainstream success with TV appearances and book launches, he is well on the way to becoming one of the biggest chef names in the UK. His flagship restaurant, The Hands and Flowers in Marlow is a 2 Michelin starred pub, the only pub in the UK with such acclaim. I drove pass Marlow but without the time to sit down for a proper sit-down meal, so his other gastro pub The Coach, just down the road was a perfect solution for me. The Coach is a Michelin starred pub with limited tables and a long counter sitting area facing the kitchen, serving pub classics with a modern edge in small plates format, diners are encouraged to order 3 - 4 dishes per person.

The Hinds Head

Heston's gastropub

Scallop, artichoke, hazelnuts, smoked bacon

Heston Blumenthal surely is a household even for none foodies, his flagship restaurant, The Fat Duck, holds 3 Michelin stars and is perhaps one of the most talked about fine dining restaurants in the UK. However, at over £300 per person ahead before drink and service, I run the risk of not be able to pay my bill on time! Joke aside, Heston actually got a pub next to The Fat Duck, which offers modern British gastropub food at a much more reasonable price. With a Michelin star to its name, The Hinds Head is a good alternative to The Fat Duck to experience Heston's offering in a much more casual, relaxing setting.

Pitt Cue

King of BBQ

Bone in prime rib

Where do I start about Pitt Cue... the legendary BBQ joint which gained a cult following when it was based in Soho, before moving to the current site in the City of London as a trendy restaurant with an open kitchen and smart bar. It has a reputation for dishing some of the very best BBQ dishes in the UK, having eaten there 3 times already, I couldn't agree more. For the true Pitt Cue experience, order off the daily specials blackboard, which offer some mouthwatering giant cuts of meat, ranging from aged Dexter beef to the special Mangalitsa pork.

Monday 2 April 2018

Martín Berasategui


Pigeon, stuffed with olives and foie gras, charcoal roasted with pil-pil kohlrabi
and carrots, cocoa and potato cappuccina 

There are not many restaurants at the top end level I would return for, especially ones that are not in London. However, Martin Berasategui's flagship 3 Michelin starred restaurant in San Sebastian is an exception. Having eaten at all three 3 starred restaurants in San Sebastian in my first trip to the city, I found that Martin was far superior and totally faultless. It was an easy decision for me to come back, the food at his restaurant is modern, refine and visually stunning, I got nothing but high praise. Once again, I opted for the restaurant's signature offering: The Great Tasting Menu, with 15 courses of world-class dishes one after another. 

Mirador de Ulía

Fining dining with a spectator view

Hake cheek with white wine jelly and potato

One of the best things about San Sebastian is its beautiful landscape, with green hills overlooking sandy beaches and a sky blue ocean. To truly enjoy the amazing view, it is hard to beat a meal at Mirador de Ulía, a fine dining restaurant which located on Monte Ulia and has a complete view overlooking the city. The restaurant is not just about the view, however, it is a holder of a Michelin star, offering modern Basque cuisine using some of the freshness ingredients you can find in the region, it offers a 10-course tasting menu that contains some of the best dishes from its standard a la carte menu. 

Bar Nestor

All about the txuleta

Txuleta steak

San Sebastian is known to be the foodie capital of Europe, blessed with fine ingredients such as seafood, Basque pigeon, and the txuleta steak. Located in the Old Town, Bar Nestor is a steak temple that loved by both the locals and the tourist alike. An extremely popular bar, the bar's signature dish is the well-aged txuleta steak. Besides steak, the bar is also famous for its tortilla, freshly prepared for each lunch and evening serving. For some reason, the chef only cook one try of tortilla so we are only talking about only 15 portions per service which make it extremely demanding!

Borda Berri

Pintxo at its best

Roasted hake, beetroot and pickled

When you visit San Sebastian, diving in pintxos with wines is a no-brainer. But with so many pintxos bars to pick up from, it is hard to identify which one to go to. For me, one of the important factors for me is knowing if a bar cook the food to order and Borda Berri is one of those pintxo bars that exactly does that. I am not a fan of some of the bars that made all the pintxos in advance and just place them out in the open, not a problem at a high season when the food is moving fast, but the freshness can be questionable when is less busy. 

La Cuchara de San Telmo

Pintxos heaven

Slow-roasted suckling pig

Located right next to the San Telmo museum in San Sebastian, La Cuchara de San Telmo is a tiny pintxo bar that has a big reputation, owned by the same people behind another successful pintxo bar Borda Berri. La Cuchara de San Telmo is all about dishing up simple pintxos that packed with impactful flavours and freshly cooked to order, using the amazing ingredients around the Basque Country. The bar has no seating and is always busy, so best come extra early, otherwise, you might risk be waiting a while as this is an extremely popular bar that loves by the locals as well.