Saturday, 30 January 2016

The Laundromat Cafe - Reykjavik, Iceland

The Laundromat Cafe appears on many tourist sites, books, apps and other massed produced tourist drivel. It's a laundret that is also a cafe. Kitsch. Quirky. Wacky. Off-the-wall.

To me, it screams TOURIST TRAP  ALERT. It's also situated on one of the main streets in down town Reykjavik sandwiched between Icelandic jumper and novelty magnet shops. It's not the sort of place that appeals to me... however the blogger within me was arguing with the food lover within me. These two persona's often clash, especially when you're a food blogger. Do I forfeit a night of good food for something that will potentially bring in more hits, that most people are bound to visit or want to visit and know more about? Is it really as bad as I think it will be... At the beginning of our trip I was adamant I wasn't going to go, then I kept saying to D "Maybe I should go, for you know, research purposes". All my witterings past D by as when I huffed and finally decided we should go he had no idea what the place was I was talking about despite us walking past it several times a day with me passing comment each and every time.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Ostabudin - Reykjavik, Iceland

On the celebration of the last year of my 20s... wait, should that be the mourning of my last year of my 20s?

It was my birthday.

After a manic few days driving around Iceland in our Dacia Duster I decided that I would like to spend my day of birth in the Blue Lagoon. Who wouldn't want to spend their birthday in a Geothermal spa? I wanted to go somewhere special for my birthday meal but dumbass over here didn't think to book any of the top restaurants before going to Iceland... even on a Sunday they are booked. I do this every time.

Apotek Restaurant - Reykjavik, Iceland

Literally the worst pictures of our Iceland adventure. I'd worn out the camera all day and so had to reluctantly leave at home with its battery on charge. To make things worse we had one of our best meals at Apotek and my pictures really can't do it justice.

We turned up bundled up in jumpers and jeans, with slightly windswept looks on our faces after a day of driving to the South Coast. As we walked through the doors it was clear this was a classy establishment and we were seriously under dressed, I started to threat that we would be turned away either for looking for so scruffy or because there were no tables available, it was a Saturday night after all. Luckily the Icelandic are friendly and seem to care little about what you rolling up wearing, a paying customer is a paying customer after all.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Vegamot Bistro - Reykjavik, Iceland

As with most major European cities you will find a lively and busy night life on a Friday night, Reykjavik is no different. Following two quiet(ish) nights in the city I was surprised to see the city come to life on a Friday evening, the locals had come out of hibernation and were filling up the bars and restaurants. This makes for a great atmosphere but not so great if you haven't predicted this and therefore haven't booked anywhere to eat...

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Noodle Station - Reykjavik, Iceland

Following an expensive day wandering the streets of Reykjavik enjoying coffees, hot dogs and penis museums (not all at the same time) we were in need of something cheap to eat for dinner. Knowing previously that Iceland would be expensive I had looked in to budget eats and the top place to sit in and eat (street food hot dogs being the most obvious choice but with no warm inside seating) was Noodle Station

Baejarins Betzu Pylsur - Reykjavik, Iceland

Declared the best hot dog street food van in Europe by the Guardian Baejarin's is never without a queue or crowd, even Bill Clinton has graced them with their presence and has his mouth wrapped around their sausage.

Hot dogs are the go to cheap food in Iceland, if you're on a budget you might see yourself eating quite a few so why not try the best too?

The sausage is lamb based with pork and beef, it is steamed and topped with ketchup, sweet mustard, remoulade (a mayo based sauce). Crispy onions are optional but I'd recommend them for a bit of extra to your bite.

Reykjavik Roasters - Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland has a great food scene and thanks to the guys at Reykjavik Roasters they have a great coffee scene. Not only do they roast their own beans on site but they also distribute those beans to other coffeehouses and restaurants in Reykjavik whilst providing a specialist coffee consultation service.

Reykjavik Roasters take great care in trying to provide a higher quality cup of coffee, they have their minds set on traceability and also Eco friendly innovations.

Kaffihus Vesturbajar - Reykjavik, Iceland

We had decided to spend our first full day in Iceland exploring the city we were to call home for the next few days, Reykjavik. Having arrived in the evening and shot off for food we hadn't bought anything in for breakfast. On my handy travel plan I had noted that Kaffihus Vesturbajar not only did great coffee but also served brunch. So off we trotted.

A little off the beaten track with not too much else around we found the Kaffihus whilst also navigating across all the blocks of solid ice! It'll take you 15-20 minutes or so to reach it on foot if you're heading in from town, most of the customers therefore are Icelandic setting up mini offices for the day.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The Pizza Place With No Name - Reykjavik, Iceland

On the first day of our Iceland adventure we arrived in Reykjavik around 6.30pm which gave us just enough time to unpack a little and assess our surroundings before needing to head out and find food. Thankfully I was more organised on this holiday and had written a list of places to eat, where they are, what they sell (not always obvious from the names) and on average the cost of a meal per person. 

Travelling takes it out of you somewhat so it was a given that we would be wanting beer too, this make The Pizza Place With No Name the ideal first nighter as it's housed with Mikkeller & Friends (a bar which sells local and craft ale - tick!). 

Monday, 25 January 2016

Cielo Blanco - Trinity Leeds, Leeds City Centre

There's nothing more exciting than catching up with your old school friends, reliving the past, gossiping about old school mates and sharing the latest scandals we've seen play out on Facebook.

The only thing that can sometimes be a challenge is finding somewhere that everyone will love (that isn't pizza. I love pizza but sometimes it's nice to have a change).

I've visited Cielo Blanco before but never blogged about it, it was around the time it opened but sometimes life gets too hectic to blog about everywhere I eat. For those who are not already accustomed to their ways Cielo Blanco is a Mexian restaurant situated in Trinity Leeds, it's owned by Leelex Ltd which own a host of other places in Leeds such as Neon Cactus, Jake's Bar and Oporto amongst others. The menu is more concentrated around their small plates, or Mexican style tapas, or in their words 'street food'. There are bigger plates too where you can order your typical burrito, enchilada or even a superfood salad.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Ambiente - Leeds

Admittedly I’ve visited Ambiente on a couple of occasions before, however due to greed (too hungry to take pictures) or early dating days (because I’d never get anywhere if I inflicted food blogger syndrome on someone from day one) I’ve never reviewed them on the blog. I’m often recommending Ambiente to friends so here I am recommending them to you, my loyal and beautiful readers.

Originally a warehouse beside the river, which became an Argentinian Steakhouse eventually (between those two times I'm not too sure)and then a few years ago Ambiente took over the spot. Ambiente has two other places in York and pride themselves on offer high quality classic tapas alongside some more adventurous plates. Their menu changes seasonally and they also offer a few deals including 3 tapas for £9.95 before 6pm and a tapas for two, veggie and meaty/fishy, for £27.95. There is also a range of paella to share for £19-23. I’ve taken advantage of a couple of these deals in the past and they are certainly worth the money.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Byron Burger - Leeds City Centre

These pictures look much better when fashion bloggers do them.

I know I'm late to the scene on this one but there are just so many damn burger places open that I can’t keep up. In actual fact I had place Byron Burger on a bit of a back burner once I found out that it was a chain restaurant. A chain restaurant really has to peak my interest for me to take an interest and make a concerted effort to visit, if it’s another American food place where they pile your food to ridiculous heights it’s never really going to make the top of the list.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Sausage Plait Recipe - Sausage, Fennel, Onion and Apple Plait

If you're a follower of my Twitter or Instagram account you may have noticed my recent infatuation with puff pastry (it's not all just waffles u'know!). It all started before Christmas when I was tagged in one of those recipe videos on Facebook, if you haven't seen them yet they consist of a timelapsed cooking process which demonstrate how to make seemingly simple dishes with no written recipe accompanying it. The video I was tagged in was a puff pastry Christmas tree with a twist.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Potting Shed - Bingley

For those of you who know me, or have possibly been following this blog for a while (which I guess in a way makes you know me a little better than some of my family members), you will know that I used to live out Shipley way. I rented an apartment sandwiched between the River Aire and the Leeds Liverpool Canal, it sat where an old mill used to be on the Shipley/Saltaire/Baildon border. I loved living here. The wildlife from the ducks in the car park to watching the house martins and swallows dashing over the Aire to the deer I happened to see on a walk down the river. Not so far from Leeds it sometimes feels like an entirely different part of the country, something that impacted me more when I travelled to Bingley last weekend having now lived in the city for just over 2 years.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Tamper Coffee - Sheffield

I bloody love Twitter (when I'm not being trolled or abused... okay it's a love hate relationship), if you're heading somewhere new and you need something Twitter almost always has the answer (unless it's Lincolnshire, no one in Lincolnshire appears to have Twitter). So when I needed to go to Sheffield for work and coffee was needed Twitter helped point me in the right direction, I have recommendations that will keep me caffeinated in Sheffield for many more visits too.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Christmas at The Alchemist (Greek Street) - Leeds City Centre

Following on the trend from last year I have decided to blog about our work Christmas Dinner again. Last year's abdominal failure at The Griffin led me to believe that Christmas Dinners couldn't get much worse. That was until we decided to book the Alchemist. 

A three course Christmas Dinner at The Alchemist was £26.95 per person for three courses and a £5 deposit was required for each head booked. Orders are not taken beforehand, which means they have a very heavily staffed kitchen with a ton of food they can dish up quickly or they precook it most of it and serve a half arsed meal to the masses. My bets are on the former. 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Lunch at The Alchemist (Greek Street) Leeds City Centre

The Alchemist, if you haven't heard, has opened a new place on Greek Street. A smart move considering a new boutique hotel is being built opposite. The whole street is undergoing a rejuvenation which to be honest is long overdue. When I first started drinking in Leeds city centre 10 years ago (okay maybe 12) Greek Street was where the older folk went out, there were a lot of divorcees hanging out there (or so it seemed) and a fair few young women latching on to older guys. Back to the present, in addition to Alchemist, Gusto has also opened up shop on Greek Street and The Living Room has been rebranded and refurbed in to The Liquorist and from the scaffolding it would appear that La Tasca are also having a face lift.