The year is flying by - it's already March, we've had Veganuary and January fad diets, Valentine's Day has come and gone, and now Easter is just around the corner. To take our minds off the year flying by we take a look at some of the restaurants and bars that we've been to over the past month - thefoodpeople loves... February. In no particular order:
Padella, Borough Market, London
As a big fan of Italian food and pasta in particular, Padella has been on my hit list for a while. And with the queues gradually dying down now, although still don't expect to waltz up and get a table straight away, I managed to slide in this month. Safe to say despite the wait I was not disappointed. Rich flavoursome dishes each offering something different left me wanting to try every dish. Favourite - Pappardelle with Dexter beef shin ragu.
Rattle Owl, York
Sarah W says:
It is a small restaurant sourcing local ingredients run by a super friendly team passionate and knowledgeable. To start I had the Devilled crab with korobi lime topped with curried granola. The crunchy texture against the sweetness of the crab was delicious! Cod followed with cauliflower puree, capers and mussel sauce, the double seafood hit was perfect. Dessert was a warm chocolate tarte with malted ice cream, and a spoon of my partner's peanut butter parfait. The team serving us couldn't have been more helpful, I had a glass of rose wine and because it was the second to last glass left they offered to reserve the last one for later. Amazing food and service, I'm looking forward to the next visit.
The delicious smoked aubergine on crisp, buttery roti is a perfect flavourful bite at Brigadiers (the latest hit restaurant from the JKS group in London)
Sporthotel Silvretta - Ischgl, Austria
While this restaurant was a part of our hotel, it didn't fail on bringing new concepts to dishes. Their take on a traditional fish and chips was met with an alternative Arctic char fish, lightly salted crisps for the chip element and the smoothest of pea purees, all set in the most warming alpine dining room"
Harry's Shack in Portstewart, Northern Ireland
To get here you drive along the beautiful coast road, and then park up on the sand right in front of the sea. The views from inside are stunning, and a great way to see the breaking waves without freezing to death… There is plenty of choice on the menu, including veggie options if you don't fancy the fish and chips. The food is delicious and comes in huge portions, but the main draw of Harry's is the location, a must visit!
Heritage Kitchen, Grand Cayman
A lucky holiday took me to Heritage Kitchen on the West Bay of Grand Cayman. The little hut eatery delivered on views as much as it did flavours. They offer whichever fish is freshly caught in your choice of - Caymanian, coconut, pineapple, curry. The fish is bbq'd in front of you and served with rice and peas, the best potato salad you've ever tasted and a fritter straight from the fryer.
El Riojano Salon de Té, Madrid
This is one for chocolate lovers. Situated near the tourist hub of Plaza Major in Madrid is this small, unassuming little café. There is a cake shop in the front, but in the back there is a bustling sit-down area. There is one thing to try when you are here, the hot chocolate. This is the cheapest and best chocolate hit you can find in the city (in my humble opinion). For under three euros you can enjoy a thick, not too sweet chocolate indulgence. If you want the full experience ask for a couple of biscuits to dunk (they serve these instead of the usual churros). The shop is over a hundred yeas old – just goes to show if it is good it will continue to keep trending!
Xi'an Biang Biang, London
A Chinese noodle restaurant in London, taking flavours and dishes from Northern regions of China. Their Biang Biang noodles are hand pulled in front of you in the restaurant and are super long and flat giving and amazing silky texture. The sauces on the noodles have a delicate spice or if you go for the "numbing" sauce it has the taste of burnt chillies and literally numbs your mouth with the heat.
Santa Gula, Barcelona
When I heard the people behind Santa Gula - a favourite on the Barcelona casual dining scene – had opened a new venue towards the end of last year, I hungrily waited for an opportunity to check it out. Gula Bar is a cosy little place that's always packed. The vibe is decidedly young, fun and trendy, but done well with industrial warehouse style décor, low lighting and beats that are loud but not blaring – naturally most of the wait staff have tattoos or fashion-forward hair but with refreshingly good and friendly service. Eating out in Spain, it's easy to get tapas fatigue, but this is no ordinary tapas. Think melt-in-your-mouth 60 day cured rubia gallega with chipotle Bernaise, leeks with kimchi and goat cheese, or stingray with fermented vegetables and fried capers. So many cuisine influences, so little time! The daring ingredients combinations and varied preparation techniques are reminiscent of fine dining, but nowhere even close to the price tag – will be going again.
Noodle Plus+, Cambridge
This is the place to go to eat Xaio Long Bao, cooked to order and utterly delicious. It is tiny so if you do find yourself Cambridge way get there early!