The tapa that deserves an entry of its own: pa amb tomàquet

Pa amb tomàquet (tomato bread) is one of those foods that you can’t believe you didn’t know about sooner. Incredibly simple to make, yet infinitely delicious, surely this is a food that somebody will make trendy over in the UK at some point. Maybe you’re even reading this now and thinking, that could be me. I say, go for it! I would totally stop by regularly for an affordable pan con tomate, as it is also called. Because affordable is definitely what it is in Spain, and in my opinion what it should be, given the relatively low cost to make (which also means you can try it at home – yay!).

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A fun-spooky Halloween afternoon tea at the Royal Lancaster London

We all do something special at Halloween, or most of us anyway. I can be a bit of a party pooper when it comes to the full dress-yourself-up charade, and may prefer a quiet night in with some friends rather than dancing the night away with more than a 100 strangers. However, I still buy into the whole extravaganza around it, and enjoy a spiced up, special occasion version of a very classic thing – in this case the British afternoon tea. (more…)

‘Napolitea’ – an Italian version of a classic British afternoon tea

As you may have already read about in previous posts, I’m a bit of a stickler for innovative afternoon teas with a playful twist, be this a Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-factory themed adventure, a retro-style afternoon tea indulgence, or a Spanish-tapas-infused tea time extravaganza. Much like the latter, the afternoon tea with an Italian twist offered at Il Pampero takes the virtues of another cuisine’s bite-sized foods and seamlessly integrates it into a British tradition. Fusion, if done right, can yield the best results. After all, traditions are nothing other than the best fusions celebrated and eternalized.

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Melt-in-your-mouth Spanish Carrillada

This summer, I was off to a mini-trip in Spain to revel in the sights and foods (mainly foods) of some of the country’s major cities. One of them was Sevilla, the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Andalucía and the province of Sevilla. I had heard from several friends that this was a beautiful place to visit, and finally I was able to get a sneak peek of it myself during our two-day stay.

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Beef Stroganoff: the recipe and the history

This originally Russian dish is typically made from thinly sliced beef, taken from a tender cut of meat such as fillet, since it needs to be the kind of lean meat that can be sautéed easily, which other cuts of beef make it hard or practically impossible to do. It is sautéed in butter with mushrooms and onions and in the final step combined with sour cream to be served over a starch such as potatoes, rice or noodles.

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Mariscos galore – seafood at its best at Kiosko Universal, La Boquería, Barcelona

The beauty of many Spanish dishes is how simple they are in both cooking methods and number of ingredients, and yet how they still manage to be incredibly delicious and versatile. It’s the same with seafood too: there are many regional varieties, but often all you’ll need for a delicious seafood dish is grilled, boiled or fried clam or mussel or shrimp, a little salt and a sprinkle of olive oil on top. Simple indeed, but such an indulgence.
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Semla, a Swedish dream of cream

In Sweden, there exists a popular pastry called semla.

Fact: On Fat Tuesday alone, bakeries sell over 6 million semlor (and that’s not including homemade or supermarket-sold ones!).

Fact: Sweden has a population of 9.9 million.

Fact: Traditionalists eat semla on Fat Tuesday only. But there are others who eat semla every Tuesday during semla season. And then there are those Swedes who fika with it to their heart’s content (read more about fika here).

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A conversation with co-owner and chef Myung Keun Lee at Jalasan, Valencia

#10 in the series – challenges & innovations for Korean restaurants abroad

“In Valencia, there are many people who eat a lot of rice, onions, and so on. That’s why it’s easier for them to like Korean food.”

When you start interviewing individuals with the same job description but in different settings, you will evidently come across a lot of similarities: that introducing Korean food to another culture comes with many challenges, but also many rewards. That the Korean settlers’ taste changes with more time spent in their new home country, whether or not reflected in the food cooked at their restaurant. But you come to discover many unique stories as well. It wasn’t any different when we met the lovely couple behind Jalasan, a Korean restaurant in the sprawling city of Valencia, which is known for its paellas.

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Juicy, moist tortilla at Bodega de la Ardosa, Madrid

If you think of Spanish cuisine, more often than not a few key foods will come to mind. Aside from tapas (read more about Spain’s tapas culture here), jamón and paella, tortilla will likely be one of the hot contenders. But how much do you really know about this Spanish food ambassador? And do you know where to go for a melt-in-your-mouth feast of tortilla deliciousness?

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Aqua Shard for a London-view afternoon tea

When my friend, who was in town for a week, asked me if I wanted to try out the Aqua Shard afternoon tea, of course I was in. The Shard, a now iconic 95-storey London skyscraper shaped like a shard of broken glass (hence the name), boasts no less than five different afternoon teas in four separate establishments. I haven’t yet tried the one at Oblix Restaurant (32nd floor), nor the one at GONG, Shangri-La Hotel (52nd floor). But I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying the highly recommendable afternoon teas offered at TING, Shangri-La Hotel (35th floor). Check out my review here to find out more about their English and Asian Inspired Afternoon Teas. Today, however, let the limelight shine on the contemporary British Afternoon Tea one can revel in at Aqua Shard.

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