Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Trobador

Trobador
Rambla Catalunya 2
Barcelona
Spain

Phone 93 318 40 41

Website www.restaurantetrobador.com

Overview

On our first evening in Barcelona, Eva and I were wandering around acclimatising ourselves and looking for somewhere to eat. It was late, around 11:00pm, so we were quite peckish by this stage.

We chanced upon a very lively venue called Trobador.

Trobador is a bar and restaurant that serves a variety of Spanish dishes, grills and Tapas in an informal atmosphere.

Ambience

Trobador was very lively and packed bar/restaurant; well lit, bright, cheerful and bustling. We didn't think that we would be able to find a table. However, we were assured that if we waited for ten minutes, at the bar, a table would be found.

I am delighted to say that they kept their word, and a table was found for us within five minutes.

Menu

The menu offered a good selection of Spanish dishes ranging from Tapas to main courses of meat, fish and paella.

Service

The service was very efficient and courteous. However, I would suggest that maybe our waitress could learn to smile a little more readily.

Food

This being Spain, I started with the egg and chips...don't laugh, I was hungry and wondered how they would present them.

I have to say I was rather impressed, two large eggs sprinkled with chili powder were presented atop a pile of fries.

I rather enjoyed this dish, despite Eva castigating me for being so "British":)

I chose the Catalan sausage and beans for my main course. This consisted of a most excellent, large and porky herbed sausage served with cannellini beans. An ideal meal for the weary traveller.

Eva started with the Iberian ham, which was a generous portion of local smoked ham.

She then had a selection of sausages and sauteed potatoes. The sausages were first class, one being spicy the others being variations on the version of mine.

An absolutely splendid introduction to our holiday.

The meal included a bottle of Chablis, unfortunately I have lost the bill. However, I can assure you it was less than 60Euros.

Overall Opinion

A great place, good fun and good food; give it a go!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

El Cafe D'en Victor

Restaurant El Cafe D'en Victor
Tapineria 12
Barcelona
Spain

Phone 93 310 2872

Overview

One particularly fine and warm evening in Barcelona Eva and I decided to dine alfresco, and descended upon El Cafe D'en Victor.

El Cafe D'en Victor is a restaurant with outside terrace, near the old town.

El Cafe D'en Victor serves a mixture of traditional Spanish dishes and Tapas, using local ingredients.

Ambience

El Cafe D'en Victor is a pleasant lively restaurant near the old town. The outside area, where we sat, was busy but we were able to find a table that afforded us a decent view without being "plonked" in the middle of the passing tourists or wandering musicians.

Menu

The menu provided a good selection of Spanish dishes ranging from Tapas to main courses of meat, fish and paella.

Service

The service was very friendly, good humoured, efficient and courteous.

Food

I started with the Gazpacho soup. This was a most excellent dish, chilled to perfection, it was generous in portion and in body. The taste of tomatoes was stimulating but not overbearing.

Eva started with a tortilla potatas (potato omelet), which was firm and well stuffed with potato. The taste and texture was just right.

We accompanied our starters with bread rubbed with tomatoes, garlic and drizzled in olive oil.

We both chose paella for our main courses. I had the chicken paella and Eva the fish.

My paella was absolutely first class, a very generous portion served in an iron paella pan. There was a more than ample portion of tender chicken pieces in the rice, which itself was cooked in chicken stock and was unctuous and delightfully claggy.

I was thoroughly delighted with my choice.

Eva's seafood paella was equally good, again served in an iron paella pan. The rice had been cooked in a seafood stock that was flavoursome, but not overpowering. The paella itself contained a variety of fish; prawns, squid, mussels etc.

An excellent meal!

The meal, which included a bottle of local wine, came to 68Euros.

Overall Opinion

A very pleasant meal and restaurant, it is ideal for lunch or dinner alfresco.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Restaurant Ria De Vigo

Restaurant Ria De Vigo
Sevilla 84
Barcelona
Spain

Phone 932 215 131

Overview

Eva and I were recently in Barcelona on a well deserved holiday. We decided to pop into Rio De Vigo, one of the numerous restaurants/cafes that are by the sea at Platja de Sant Miquel, for lunch.

It was a glorious sunny day, and we decided to sit at a table outside under one of the sun umbrellas.

Rio De Vigo serves a mixture of seafood and meat dishes, using local ingredients.

Ambience

Rio de Vigo is a pleasant restaurant near the seafront. The outside area, where we sat, was clean fresh and well shaded by the umbrellas. Although it was busy, the tables were not packed together too closely to make it feel unpleasant.

Menu

The menu provided an excellent selection of seafood and meat dishes including; the obligatory paella (in various guises), locally caught fish, steaks and pasta.

Service

The service was very friendly, efficient and courteous.

Food

I started with green peppers fried in olive oil and generously salted with sea salt. A most excellent dish, piquant and flavoursome.

I chose a sirloin steak for my main course, garnished with peppers and fires. The meat was of good quality, tender and had a decent layer of fat.

I have no complaints at all.

Eva started with fried prawns. This was a most excellent starter, consisting of a generous plateful of prawns in their shells that had been dipped in flour then fried in olive oil. The taste was piquant and fresh.

Eva then chose the veal escalope for her main course. This was covered in bread crumbs and fried, and garnished with fries and a salad. It was a reasonable effort, not the best that I have seen (as the meat was a little darker and drier than I would prefer); however, it was perfectly adequate.

The meal, which included a jug of Cava Sangria, a beer and two Irish coffees (well, it was our last day!), came to 88Euros.

Overall Opinion

A perfectly decent and fun seaside restaurant, worth visiting on a hot day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Barcelona

Barcelona

Eva and I have just returned from a most excellent and enjoyable holiday in Barcelona, where we tried out some more superb local restaurants.

We also had time to pop into a couple of old haunts, and are happy to say that they were as good as before.

el Yantar de la ribera, which specialises in oven roast baby lamb, was again absolutely superb; we had a sumptuous meal of peppers, sausages and lamb (wine, food and liqueurs came to 105Euros).

Mi Burrito y Yo (My Donkey and I), a charming and lively steak house, was also a pleasure to revisit. We had a lovely meal of tortilla, soup, succulent barbecued chicken and barbecued pork; including wine, this came to 78Euros.

I will update the site with details of the other restaurants that we visited over the coming days.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Food Safe For Olympics

Food Safe For Olympics

China has reassured prospective visitors and athletes to next year's Olympics, that the food is safe and that they should not be concerned by recent Chinese food scandals; as many safety measures are being put in place for the Games.

China's food inspectors announced last week that a six-month crackdown had uncovered industrial oils, acid, cancer-causing chemicals and other dangerous ingredients in thousands of everyday foods sold domestically.

Beijing State Administration for Industry and Commerce said that dangers do exist, but it is taking extensive measures to ensure quality and safety in 2008.

Round-the-clock guards will be on duty in Olympic kitchens, food storage areas will be under video surveillance and food transport vehicles will be fitted with global positioning systems.

White mice will also be used to test food to be consumed by the athletes.