Venice: A foodie haven

The romantics that we are, Andrew and I decided to go to Venice over Valentines weekend for a foodie feast. From the finest handmade gnocci, to the creamiest panacotta ever, this weekend was a delight from start(er) to  finish. 

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Favourite Cut: Pork Shank

Who else knew there was such a thing as pork shank?! This amazing (huge) cut of meat is one of the best pieces of pork I’ve ever eaten. I’m definitely going to hunt out a butcher that serves pork shanks, as this makes a perfect Sunday afternoon dish.

Pork shank with apple and cider sauce and dauphinoise potatoes, at The Rat Trap Inn, Usk, Wales

Pork shank with apple and cider sauce and dauphinoise potatoes, at The Rat Trap Inn, Usk, Wales

 

Korean BBQ, Las Vegas

Last month while on a business trip to Las Vegas (lucky I know!) my boss and I stumbled upon a Korean BBQ downtown, from the outside the restaurant didn’t promise much – but looking through window we saw that the tables were full of Korean ex-pats digging in to delicious looking food – so we took this as a good omen and gave it a go, and I can say we didn’t leave disappointed!

Having never been to a Korean BBQ before, or actually ever trying Korean cuisine, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought that the concept would be similar to Japanese teppanyaki, where you pick your ingredients and a chef cooks the food up in front of you on an open grill, but in fact it was quite the opposite. The servers bring platters of fresh raw meat, fish and vegetables to your table for you to cook yourself. I assumed our waitress was to bring us over a portable grill, when all of a sudden our table’s decorative centre piece revealed itself to be a cover up for an internal iron griddle. In fact the whole restaurant was artfully designed to blend in the necessary equipment to host an indoor BBQ, such as the overhead extractor fans, into the decor – in fact I didn’t notice the one above our table until half way through the meal!

Our chosen platter came with wafer thin beef, cubed pork belly, sliced steak, zucchini, mushroom and peppers, as well as a variety of ready-made sides, salads and sauces (the most intriguing seeming to be salt in a sugar syrup, which tasted fantastic with the pork.) The servers were so helpful and would advise on which dish to eat with what, as well as cooking times. There was something very satisfying about cooking the food ourselves, partly as we could fry it to our liking, and also because it means that there is no waiting – you can take as little or as long over your meal as you like – which is lucky because the mouth watering BBQ fumes definitely get your appetite going!

I look forward to trying more Korean food now i’m back in the UK, and hope I can find a BBQ that can compare to my Vegas find. I only wish this concept would lend itself to other cuisines, how amazing would an indoor Caribbean BBQ be?!

West Beach, Bournemouth

Andrew and I stumbled upon West Beach whilst looking for a cafe to have a quick lunch at – we weren’t expecting to end up in a 4* restaurant!

West Beach seaside restaurant Bournemouth

Never the less, after fixing our wind swept hair and collecting ourselves, we were really impressed to have found West Beach.

The decor is gorgeous, very modern-beachy, the atmosphere is great, so relaxed and it is wonderful to see the fresh food being prepared by the chefs.

Unfortunately I still don’t like fish or seafood, so I admit that I didn’t make the most of West Beach’s specialities, but Andrew’s Whole Cracked Crab looked fantastic.

I had a Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto, Goats Cheese and Crispy Sage which was beautiful – just what you need after a heavy night and no breakfast!

west-beach.co.uk