Thursday, 31 December 2009

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Edinburgh

Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a restaurant chain that started in London 2001 when three kiwi's wanted to create a new type of burger restaurant, they now have restaurants all over UK and few in Europe
We went for a lunch in the Gourmet Burger Kitchen on Edinburgh's George street, this being a place we have wanted to try for quite a while, just for the love of burgers.
Their menu offers something for everyone, 100% Aberdeen Angus beef, chicken, lamb, vegetarian, even buffalo and wild boar burgers as well as salads and the usual selection of side orders.
I ordered a kiwi burger that had beetroot, egg, pineapple, salad, cheese and relish, while Mr Lovable went for Mexican burger that had sour cream, avocado, spicy kidney bean salsa and salad. We then shared our burgers and both liked the kiwi burger better, but were a bit disappointed how little beef there was. For me, a burger is all about the beef and always feel that there should be lots of it.
"You could get a burger just as nice or even better in a random pub", said Mr Lovable as we stepped out and I agree. The food was nothing spectacular and the service was a bit so-so. Also, seeing the waiting staff's knickers is not perhaps what one want's to be looking at when having lunch?

towers of onion rings that everybody seemed to be ordering

menu that has got something for everyone 

open kitchen 

137 George st, Edinburgh, EH24JY - 0131 260 9896
Gourmet Burger Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The Townhouse, Melrose

This was our second visit to the Townhouse Hotel, a small hotel in an attractive town called Melrose, in the Scottish Borders.
Last time we visited it was summertime so this time it was nice to see the town all dressed up for winter, Christmas lights lighting up the high street and all the mountains covered in white snow.
I had goats cheese to start with as did Mr Lovable and it sitting on a bed of red onion marmalade, drizzled with balsamic dressing it was a perfect start for Sunday lunch.
My main course was pork fillet stuffed with chili and mozzarella, served with fettuccine. The pork was full of flavour but sauce had something missing, like the chef had just opened a tin of tomatoes and chucked it on a plate.
To finish off I couldn't decide from the very tempting dessert menu so I chose the 'Townhouse Assiette', combination of three small desserts, panna cotta, parfait and something lovely in a tall glass, all delicious and very beautifully presented. 
superb presentation

no fuss, friendly service

homemade, yummy bread rolls
Market square, Melrose, Scottish Borders, TD6 9PQ

Thursday, 17 December 2009

La Cremaillere 1900, Paris

La Cremaillere 1900 is a busy, busy restaurant in bohemian and arty part of Paris, Montmartre. It is located in a square that is packed with at least a hundred artists selling their paintings and offering to paint your portrait.
 On a freezing cold Sunday we climbed too many steps and admired the view from the top of the Montmartre hill and then sat down in this lovely, warm restaurant and enjoyed the best meal we had in Paris.
Lightly grilled goats cheese on toast with salad started off this lunch, 'can't go wrong with goats cheese' is our motto and it didn't let us down this time either. Yummy, no nonsense dish.
And then, to my horror, it was duck with potato gratin for main course. Duck. But, oh my, what a tasty duck it was, melt-in-the-mouth, tasty meat that just fell off the bone, lots of dark gravy and creamy potato. Match made in heaven, I say.
 Dessert was iced nougat with almonds, served with red fruit compote, delicious dish but a portion so big that there was no way for me to finish it.
yummy champagne

real french restaurant 

made me change my opinion about duck as food

15 Place du Tertre, Montmartre, 75018 Paris, France

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Bateaux Mouches, Paris

On our weekend in Paris we had dinner on a boat on Saturday night.  Compagnie des Bateaux-Mouches is a company that has been operating on the river Seine for over 50 years. They have nine boats in total and five of them have got restaurants in them.
Smoked scallops on toast with olive oil was the starter and it was quite nice, maybe just a tad too oily and I think it would have been miles better served warm.
Roast lamb loin served with pan-fried winter vegetables tasted like lamb always tastes to me, like an old sock. I think it was beyond overcooked and chewy, the raw courgettes and couple of slices of carrot were not much better. And yes, that is a raw cherry tomato on top of it all.
The dessert, chocolate truffle with light coffee custard, was nicest dish of the bunch but so rich that I could not finish it. 
It was such a good night overall, food was not the most amazing but the whole experience with spectacular views of Paris gliding by when having dinner will be a nice memory to have.
friendly, extremely helpful staff that nothing 
seemed to be too much trouble

offers a gorgeous view to the city

a night to remember

Port de la Conférence, Pont de L’alma, the Rive Droit, Paris, France

Chez Clement, Paris

Chez Clement is a restaurant chain with restaurants all over Paris. On a Saturday we had lunch in their charming and very French branch in Champs Elysees, right opposite the Lido Cabaret.
We stuffed ourselves with a three course meal, the starter being mini crab raviolis in seafood and marjoram sauce. I really liked it but I was lucky to have it served warm, the rest of our table had it cold and were not too happy about it...
Next was assorted roasted meats for mains: duck breast, pork spare ribs and chicken served with mashed potato and oops, there were random bits of meat missing from everyone's plate... mine had no spare ribs but the mash was lovely as was the sauce that was packed with flavour.
To finish off the meal we had caramelized crepes that looked very promising until our waitress came and poured rum all over them. She was being more than generous when it came to my plate and I was left with my poor pancake literally swimming in rum!
 Chez Clement is for sure worth a visit, we were just unlucky with wee errors happening during our meal. The interior of the restaurant is just too cute and it's fairly big with different style sections so there is a table for everybody's taste. 
really cosy and relaxed atmosphere 

fast service, even though they were busy

decorations made out of forks

123 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris, France

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Lido, Paris

Lido is "the world's most famous cabaret" located in Champs Elysees, Paris. It is an amazing show that has been going on since 1946, with 70 different artists and 23 different sets, real ice rink, dancers, acrobatics, amazing costumes put together into an amazing show that lasts for almost two hours.
Our starter was shredded skate and vegetables in a light cream sauce, served with steamed girolles and I have to say that it was a very strange dish. It was like the chef had just opened a tin of fish in oil and emptied that into small glass bowl, not nice.
Main course was chicken fillet glazed in lemon and bay leaves with caramelized chicory tatin, again not the nicest plate of food. The chicken was quite dry and had no taste whatsoever and whatever was on the plate next to it just had a random biscuit on top of it. Eek.
Dessert was all right,' home-style paris-brest' said the menu and it appeared to be baked almond-topped choux pastry filled with praline-flavoured butter cream.
Food in the Lido was nothing spectacular, quite the opposite than what I expected, but I suppose the main focus would be on the show. And for the show I wish I had bigger and better words to describe it, all I can say is that it was just breathtaking.
bare boobs and a real horse on stage

once in a lifetime experience

great service

116 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris, France