Monday, 25 February 2013

21st Restaurant Round Up. Rhodes at the Dome.

Last night my boyfriend and I went to Rhodes at the Dome, it is a new restaurant in Plymouth by Gary Rhodes.



It is in a beautiful location by the lighthouse over looking the sea.

You walk into the bar area which is a great space with a fantastic dome ceiling. The bar area then leads to the restaurant.
At this point I will say one thing, the flooring is very slippy! I wore heels and felt like Bambi on ice taking very small steps to avoid embarrassment. However over the course of the evening I saw some women who were not so lucky. As the restaurant is new I'm sure this issue will be sorted as I saw most women have varying degrees of issue with the floor.

We were taken to our table by a really lovely lady who made us feel very welcome. The restaurant is nice and open and really uses it's location well.

While looking over the menu we had some bread and butter. I opted for a raspberry Bellini and Max had a beer, which he said made it into his top three favorite beers, so a good start!

To start with I chose The monkfish sliders. I thought it sounded really different and when they arrived I was not disappointed! They were so tasty and really well presented. Max had the risotto with scallops, which again tasted great and was well presented.



For mains I went for the Parma ham wrapped haddock and Max had the pork belly. These come with vegetables and potatoes to share, a really nice touch for a high end restaurant, as so often portions can be on the smaller side. The haddock was good, but Max's pork belly was amazing!
However we were in the mood of 'go big or go home.' So also got an iceberg lecture wedge with bacon and blue cheese and triple cooked chips. Both delicious.



For dessert I had tiramisu bockerglory, a nice twist on a traditional tiramisu. Max had lemon tart that was perfectly cooked. 



We then went back through to the bar while we waited for our taxi. I had a pretty women, a mix of grand mariner, cranberry juice, topped up with processo. Max had another beer.

Overall it was a really fab evening, one of my favorite restaurants in Plymouth.

Creme Egg Cupcake.

As Easter is approaching I thought it would be a nice idea to make some creme egg cupcakes for the weekend with my boyfriend, however this turned more into me making them and him telling me to hurry up so he could have one. These are very filling and very high calorie so make at your waistline's peril! 

To make these decadent beauties you will need:
Chocolate cupcake mix, or your favorite recipe to make six cakes. Plus the extras you need for the mix, in this case one medium egg and some milk. 
Six creme eggs,

For the icing: 
140g Butter.
280g Icing Sugar
Yellow food colouring (optional).  


First empty the mix into a mixing bowl. And pre heat the oven to 200. 


Add the milk and the egg to the dry mix. 



Mix with a fork until a lumpy mixture is formed. 


Place the cup cake cases in the muffin try and add two tea spoons of mixture, or enough to cover the bottom of the muffin case. 



Open the creme eggs, unwrap and place one creme egg up right in the muffin cases. 



 Surround the creme eggs with the remainder of the mixture 




Place the cakes in the centre of the pre heated oven for 18 minutes. 
For the icing measure out the 140g of butter and soften it in the microwave for around 20 seconds. 


Add half the measured out icing sugar, 140g. 


Mix with a fork, it is more work than using an electric whisk but less messy and you need to burn some of those calories off!


Once mixed add the other half of the sugar and mix furiously again. Add a tablespoon of milk if you need to, it will make the icing more workable. 


Section off a small amount of the icing and add a couple of drops of yellow food colouring and mix. 



Take the cupcakes out of the oven and leave to cool. 



Roughly spread the white icing onto the cupcake. 


Put a dab of yellow icing in the middle making a splat kind of shape...


And that is that, put the kettle on make some tea you'll need it with these! 


Saturday, 23 February 2013

21st Restaurant Round Up. Duck and Waffle.

Duck and Waffle was the venue for my actually birthday on the Monday. It was the perfect choice!

When you arrive you go through a separate door to the lifts that go up to Duck and Waffle as Duck and Waffle is on the 40th floor in the Heron Tower the lift itself is an experience! Made of glass you rush up the forty floors giddy with excitement and ears a popping. 


Once out of the lift I have only one negative comment about the evening. That is that there is no signage or waitress telling you where to go and you walk past the toilets, it just doesn't feel quite right after the magical experience of the lift. But once you have made your way through the corridor you enter the bar area where you immediately see the view of The Swiss Re and all is forgiven from the strange corridor experience. 



Across from the bar is the restaurant. We got a perfect table in the corner by the window so had a great view. 




The waiters were all really helpful when we arrived and gave us time to wander round and admire the view.  



The waiter explained that the idea of the menu is that everything is designed to share which wasn't what I had expected. He was really helpful in telling us how much to order and how the restaurant worked as everything just arrives when it is ready ensuring freshness. 

The three of us, mum, dad and me started with, BBQ spicy crispy pig ears. They come in a bag which i think is fun and they do not look like pig ears which is a good thing! it is just strips of BBQ crispiness delicious as long as the thought of it being a pig ear doesn't pop into your head. We also had cherry tomato and goats cheese bread which was lovely and warm.  


Pig Ears.
Next to arrive was charred sprouting broccoli which mum had read good things online about and it lived up to the recommendations. it sounds simple but it is just done so well. 
Along with this we also had from the small plates menu, Jerusalem artichoke tortellini again something that was done really well. 

Last to arrive was the ox cheek doughnut with apricot jam. I'll be honest I wasn't expecting to like this but went on a recommendation and I think this ended up being my favorite starter. When it arrives it looks like a scotch egg, the outside of the doughnut instead of sugar is a paprika spice mix, the doughnut dough is the same as normal but instead of jam in the centre there is shreds of ox cheek. It really is super tasty and I liked how different the idea is. 


Ox Cheek Doughnut.
For mains mum and I had duck and waffle; crispy skin, moist duck, fried duck egg, waffle and to top it off a sweet mustard syrup. I am a massive fan of sweet with savory at the moment however, this was not mum's cup of tea!  

Duck and Waffle.

Dad had fish stew, if anything they should change the name, it does the dish no justice and at £32 I think it could be described a little better for your money. The dish complies of about 5-6 fillets of beautifully cooked fish stacked up in a fish and veggie broth. 


Dessert wise we could not make up our minds from the choice of four so did the right thing and got all four to share.  We had maple caramel hot apples (mum and dad's fave), rhubarb and rice pudding (nice but not wow), crispy fried mars bar; this was got mainly for novelty factor but the hot melty mars bars over the malted ice cream was so scrummy! Lastly the warm chocolate brownie with peanut butter sauce and peanut butter ice cream. It had me at peanut butter and it did not disappoint. 

Peanut Butter Brownie. 
Maple Apple.
After this we had seen during dinner this amazing lit up tree outside on the 38th floor, home of SushiSamba so, we waddled out to have a look and it was magical. After oohhhing and ahhhhing at the tree we got back in the lift and whizzed back down to earth. There was a queue outside which really does show how great the restaurant is because I'm not sure how many restaurants can command a queue outside in February so defiantly book before you go!


Pretty Tree.
The Lift.
Coat: Karen Millen, Dress: Biba, Bag: Mulberry.

21st Restaurant Round Up. Oxo Tower.

The next restaurant that I went to was on the Sunday and it was the Oxo Tower Brasserie. It is located on the south-bank in the Oxo Tower on the 8th floor. I had booked which I recommend to do so because we went on a Sunday and there was never a free table while we were there. 

We were lucky and got a table next to the window which again when booking I would ask for if I were to go again. We had a cocktail while we ordered I had a champagne and rhubarb one which was delicious and Bryony had a grapefruit based one. 

To start I had fried soft shell crab, I have never had soft shell crab and to be honest when it arrived I didn't know what to do with it. The idea of eating the whole thing is a little alien! Since the trip I have looked it up and the reason the whole crab is edible is because the crab is harvested when they are molting their shells. Despite not knowing I tucked in and hope for the best. The coating was really crispy, the crab was moist and the spicy mayonnaise it was served with gave it a good spicy kick all in all a success for soft shell crab. 



For main I had fillet of sea bass, with leek fondue, crayfish and spring greens. This was exceptional, for one the sea bass fillet was huge! As usually when having sea bass out, I prepare myself to be greeted by a measly    fillet. The leek fondue was also really great and went well with the fish. We also got a side of rosemary salted triple cooked chips, just because. They again were delicious. 



Dessert I decided to go a bit different as I would usually have whatever contained the most chocolate but, after having the eight textures of chocolate at Tanners I had had my fill of chocolate. I went for the pistachio panna cotta with pomegranate and baklava. the panna cotta was done brilliantly and the baklava were little squares of sticky goodness! a great alternative to my usual chocolate fix.



Full to the brim we left and went outside to the river to have a look at the view and take a few pics before hoping in a cab home. The Oxo tower really is a great spot and I will be back for sure.

Jacket: Zara, Dress: French Connection, Bag: Longchamp.

21st Restaurant Round up. Tanners.

For my 21st I went to quite a few restaurants over that week and still have one very exciting one to go to next Sunday but, I thought I would tell you about the ones I have been to this week.

It all started with Tanners last Wednesday. I went with four of my friends from university and it was really great! I made some cocktails to start from a previous post. We then jumped in a cab and arrived at Tanners. It is a lovely old building tucked out the way in the centre of  town. When we arrived we were greeted and taken to our table.
Image from tannersrestaurant.com

I really liked the styling of the restaurant with its big wooden tables exposed brickwork. I felt that the place exudes quality without being stuffy. This is the same with the staff professional and informative but in no way stuffy, which I feel can sometime be a challenge when it comes to more high end restaurants.

We started with some bread and a glass of processo while we looked over the menu. To start I had crab while the others had a goats cheese and beetroot salad or parsnip soup.


Crab Starter.

Goats Cheese and Beetroot Salad Starter. 

For mains, two of the girls had steak and two of the girls had a smoked potato raviolo with a duck egg in the middle which they said was amazing and a great vegetarian option. I had haddock with spring greens which was great. (didn't take any photos just tucked in!).

For pudding we all apart from one had the eight textures of chocolate which was amazing. My friend that didn't have the chocolate had the creme brulee which again looked fabulous. When the chocolate dessert came there was an added element of theatre as the waitress poured a hot chocolate sauce onto the middle of the dessert and the middle started to melt!


Eight Textures of Chocolate. 
Overall it was a great evening I would really recommend it to anyone who is in the South West and looking for somewhere special to go. It was a great start to the week!



My Dress: French Connection, Blazer: H&M, Bag: Longchamp.

Monday, 18 February 2013

21st Birthday Brunch.


For my birthday brunch I decided on smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on an toasted English muffin. It's a perfect in-between meal for when you have a bit more time in the mornings or a special occasion... say a 21st birthday ;) and of course is best served with champagne or bucks fizz depending on how alcoholic you like you mornings to get.

To make brunch you will need:
Half an English muffin per person,
2 slices of smoked salmon per person,
1 egg person,
A splash of milk,
A knob of butter.

The only thing that requires any cooking is the scrambled eggs, to start this off you will need a jug, a fork, a pan and a wooden spoon.
Slice the English muffins and place into the toaster ready for toasting and open your packet of smoked salmon ready for the eggs.



Put the pan on a medium heat to warm and crack your eggs into the jug. then add a splash of milk and a knob of butter, technically terms I know.



Then beat the living day lights out of it to ensure light fluffy eggs.



Pour the mix into the pan and stir continuously. This will take some time but don't be impatient as this is what will lead to good eggs.





Just before the eggs look ready pop your muffins on. As soon as the eggs look done take the eggs off the heat as they will continue to cook slightly from the heat of the pan.



Take a muffin half and butter it place two slices of salmon on top and a large spoonful of scramble goodness.













Pop your champagne and indulge.