Category Archives: Food

Top 5 Prague Eats

2016-05-10-13-22-45If you love your meat like me, then a trip to Prague is best accomplished with a gastronomic adventure. A word of warning: traditional Bohemian plates may dawn as a nightmare of sorts to your average vegan, as Czechia cuisine is a carnivore’s dream.

With Czechia heavily relying on succulent slabs of pork, rabbit, duck, chicken and beef, it is no wonder they consume that much alcohol. I honestly cannot think of a better pairing for flavorful Czechia beer other than tender pieces of properly seasoned meat, usually slathered with a savory sauce. Meat consumption is so serious a business here that when I ordered a side of roasted vegetables (out of guilt from my three – day carnivorous spree), they actually served it on a separate plate. When I took a bite I think they basted it with meat drippings. Not that I am complaining. Vegetarians just might die of hunger here.

Aside from an obvious adoration for protein, Czechia food is usually served with some bread dumplings (houskové knedlíky) which I liked very much because I used them to shamelessly wipe the sauce off my plate. Horse radish, cabbage and potatoes are among the staple side dishes I found quite nice. Those with a sweet tooth shall not leave disappointed as Prague is also home to some cakes and treats that can be nominated as building blocks of comfort food.

Now, food from this part of the world is known to be filling and not exactly a prime example of a balanced diet. But who comes to Prague for a salad anyway? If after a meal you find yourself feeling like you are carrying a brick in your stomach, then rest assured you’ve had the proper Czechia food experience. It’s nothing a good walk around the town square cannot solve! Ultimately, you shall never walk away hungry from a meal while you’re here and you’ll always get your money’s worth. Good food, a cold beer and a post card view? Oh yes please. Here’s what made it to my top five Prague eats in ascending order of goodness!

Top 5: Medovnik / Honey Cake

2016-05-10-13-31-02To say that Medovnik falls under the most unique cakes I have devoured is an understatement. I think by far it is the most creative in terms of preparation and its element of deception makes me love it just a little bit more. Upon inspection I actually thought it was going to feel dry and crumbly in my mouth but I could not have been more wrong. However, this is not exactly a moist cake and is rather best described as somewhere in between. It is very light and has a characteristic sweetness that of course, comes from honey. Cafe Lippert’s rendition came with a dollop of cream but it was scrumptious enough on its own. You have to try this for yourself in order to understand why despite the simple exterior, Medovnik proves to be one of Prague’s most famous cakes.

Top 4: Trdelnik / Funnel Cake

2016-05-10-13-43-49It may be the Czechia people’s love for anything being roasted over an open fire that inspired the creation of Trdelnik. I don’t really know, this is merely an honest observation. But I must admit, it’s a stroke of genius and the Trdelnik – making process is mesmerizing as it is. Imagine cake on a stick, but instead of baking in an oven they have a rotisserie of golden brown pastries; twirling around until it is ready for your mouth. The real challenge though, is eating it without getting chocolate or crumbs all over your face.

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Top 3: Sausage / Grilovane Klobasy

2016-05-10-13-48-02Standing out from the things I have tried out in Prague were their Grilled Sausages. These lovely bolsters of tubed ground meat may be familiar to most but the Czechs have somehow made it their own. It has that distinct smokey flavour but not so much as to ruin the dish, with grill marks sealing in the juicy goodness. As a main course, it can be ordered with sides, of which the local waiter suggested I go for the Frites. All in all a very good meal!

Grilovane Klobasy is also a popular street food choice, packed with enough calories to set you afoot for an entire afternoon. A portion from one of the numerous stands will get you one giant Czech sausage and a piece of bread, condiments are usually on the side as usual to mix and match as you please.

Viajera Travel Tip: As a general rule, do not eat anywhere around Old Town Square as the prices are 3-4x more. If you are paying for more than 45 Czech Korunas for a beer, then rest assured that you are being ripped off. Lesser Town Prague is a better location to go for food trips, you’re welcome.

Top 2: Beef Goulash with Dumplings

2016-05-10-14-03-04A classic offering among Prague restaurants is Beef Goulash, although the books might tell you that the dish is more of Hungarian in origin. It comprises of tender chunks of beef braised in a mildly spicy sauce, served with a few dumplings of bread. Villa Richter’s version is traditional and appealing with portions that leave just enough room for cake and coffee.

Viajera Travel Tip: After taking the Prague Castle Tour, head over to Villa Richter Restaurant for lunch or afternoon coffee / tea. Located just outside the castle, be sure to book a table by the balcony and enjoy overlooking views of Prague with authentic local food.

Top 1: Czech Pork Knuckle

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Aaaand we’ve got a winner! Undeniably among Prague’s gastronomic pride is their rendition of Roasted Pork Knuckle. One can always spot this dish under the “house specials” and indeed rightfully so. This is not by any means a humble portion of pig knuckles cooked in an attempt to make use of an animal’s part that otherwise would have been thrown away. It is a more than generous serving of pork meat sliding off the bone marinated and seasoned with a sweet savoury sauce reminiscent of Pata Tim. It could have easily fed four people, but I almost finished it, apart from two more bites. Sweet, salty, sticky and oozing with fatty juices cascading down with every slice. You have to eat this before you die.

2016-05-10-13-56-06Viajera Travel Tip: We stumbled upon Restaurant U Malvaze along Karlova Street, a place that surprises its customers with spacious rustic interiors that come unexpected from its seemingly meek facade. The food items are priced reasonably and I found the staff to be very friendly. I ordered their version of Roasted Pork Knuckle and it sent me straight to pig heaven. Some things are not worthy of words – unutterable pleasures in life are simply too hard to describe.

Needless to say, hunger was a feeling that never came to me when I was in Prague. The food was delicious and almost every meal was heavy, even the snacks. The meat lover in me rejoiced in whimsy with the fact they considered a Pork Knuckle the size of a fat tissue roll “single serving”. But this is one aspect of travel I have always mused about. Perspective about spice or portion may vary from one place to another but the love for good food will almost always unite us. As for me, I’ll eat and enjoy every foreign morsel with as much gusto I have in my body. And I cannot wait to see what I’ll sink my teeth into next. Continue reading Top 5 Prague Eats

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Chinese Takeaway Nights Made Better By Wuli Wuli

PhotoGrid_1466931416823After a day’s worth of back-breaking hard work, what could Londoners want more than a tasty hassle – free meal? We all want to be met by a properly cooked meal at the end of the day but for those moments when cooking is simply incomprehensible, there is an easy, obvious solution: Takeaways.

It is no wonder that in a busy city like London, the premium takeaway business has bounced off successfully especially with the working class. (Deliveroo, Hungryhouse, Just Eat – only to name a few.) People are getting busier by the minute and millennials who cannot be bothered to cook somehow value themselves too much to thrive on packets of ramen or baked beans straight from the can. Hence the lovely booming business of takeaways, a perfect complement to the frantic life of the cranky Londoner. In this takeaway series, we’ll explore the options available to the starving city dweller one order at a time. Whether it’s fried chicken or chow mien you’re craving – rest assured that everything is one click away.

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I prefer cooking my own food for practical reasons: it’s cheaper and healthier. But somehow, there will always be that one day in a week where I am simply out of time (and energy). Some of my work weeks involve three twelve-hour shifts in a row and I applaud people who still manage to cook at the end of it all. Me, on the other hand, surrender to the fact that it will simply be one of those days where I’ll need to tap into my urban survival skills. Refusing to succumb to any form of hunger induced madness, I turn to the helping hand of the internet and order my heart’s desire.

Wuli Wuli Chinese Restaurant in Camberwell is fairly near where I live and it is as simple as can be. No extra shenanigans or boisterous attempts to create an ambiance – they just sell Chinese food, have wooden tables and chairs and maybe a Chinese lantern here and there. My first encounter with them involved a decent bowl of Beef Brisket La Mien Noodle Soup and I have kept a mental note of ordering from them in case of emergency cravings. I have since ordered takeaway twice and I have no regrets so far. They season their food well I have to say, and it is not just with tons of salt and MSG. In my experience, they deliver delicious, hot, reasonably priced meals in a matter of thirty minutes or less.

I use the app Just Eat to order online from Wuli Wuli and the process is straightforward and paying is a breeze. You can call them of course, but for that you might need a copy of their takeaway menu. In the app you simply add your items to the basket and in the end you are given the option of paying via debit card or cash.

Since I was not just ordering for myself, I opted for one of the three available set meals. Set B includes an attractive spread of Chicken Sweetcorn Soup, Crispy Aromatic Duck, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Beef with Green Peppers in Black Bean Sauce, Vegetable Stir Fry and Special Fried Rice. Ordering this set for two comes to a total bill of £27.98, but the portions are very generous and there is always some left to last until next meal time. You can also order for three persons priced at £41.97, something that might be ideal for a family of three to four.

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Set Meal B: Chicken Sweetcorn Soup, Crispy Aromatic Duck, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Beef with Green Peppers in Black Bean Sauce, Vegetable Stir Fry and Special Fried Rice

I love that the food arrives nice and hot, packed in spill proof microwave safe containers. So far, their estimated delivery time of 30 – 45 minutes is dependable and the rider is always knocking by the door on the half hour mark. They even provide chili upon request at no extra charge – and I am a fan of anything with a decent Scoville score.

The Chicken Sweetcorn Soup came in styrofoam bowls, steaming hot with small chunks of chicken breast and juicy corn kernels that burst when you bite down. Satisfying especially for those cold gloomy days.

My personal favorite and ultimate reason to reorder would be the Crispy Aromatic Duck. Delivered with small flat wraps, freshly sliced vegetables and a portion of hoisin sauce, the crispy duck wrap is a joy for me to assemble. I could tell they cut the vegetables fresh, because they were crisp and light – far from those pre-cut soggy ones usually lurking around supermarkets. The crispy duck skin was delicious, the meat underneath as tender as can be and the fat melting in  your mouth is just pure joy.

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Crispy Aromatic Duck

I like making every bite unique – a bit of vegetable here, bit more of that duck over there. Tucked into the soft flat wrap with a final dunk of hoisin, I pop the entire thing into my mouth.

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Crispy Duck Wrap

The Sweet and Sour Chicken is one of those Chinese takeaway staples, it’s indeed a familiar item to most of us. Wuli Wuli’s version comes in the usual vibrant tangy red sauce with pineapple pieces and sweet peppers. The Beef in Black Bean Sauce had a thick savory sauce with slivers of beef that are not chewy at all, just tender and almost felt like pillows in the mouth. The Vegetable Stir-fry may be an acquired taste to some due to the strong flavor of the bamboo shoots but is otherwise flavorful. They all go well with the fragrant Special Fried Rice, tinkered with vegetable and meat bits. All in all an above average meal that would satisfy any growling belly!

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For those in search of a convenient, delicious meal I would surely recommend Wuli Wuli. Unlike some Chinese takeaways that are just riddled with too much salt, I actually enjoy the flavors of their cooking and it gives you a good estimate of what proper Chinese Cuisine can be. On my next takeaway night, I would like to try try their famous Sichuan Dishes and order a portion or two of their soupy Siu Loon Bao Dumplings. Until next takeaway series!

Continue reading Chinese Takeaway Nights Made Better By Wuli Wuli

Photographs from Portugal: Picture Perfect Travel Tales

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It reminded me of home. If I had to confine how I felt about Portugal in five words, maybe that would be it. The cab we rode into had seen better days, and as it drove into the rough highway while attempting to illegally overtake another car I can’t help but half smile. To my right a familiar landscape of dilapidated buildings intertwined with what I presume were electric cables rose from the ground. From this side of town, Lisbon seemed more like the Philippines than a place somewhere in Europe. But five minutes into the journey and the similarities dissipated, and I began to see the unique beauty of the place.

Determined to explore the sights and wonders of Portugal, we set afoot on Lisbon on that not so warm November day. Getting around the city was not difficult and we walked around most of the time to maximize the chance of seeing everything, but we also took the bus and train fairly often to save time. It’s still hard for me to explain but somehow, Lisbon proved to be one of the most photographic places I have visited. Something about how it survived through the years made it standout from the other cities I’ve been. It was not even about how the city looked, it was the vibe it exuded. Portugal showed me that not all beautiful things are shiny and new and that to an extent, there is beauty in ruin.

I hope this post allows you to take a glance of Portugal through our photographs, from the food we ate to the many things we saw and discovered in no particular order. May it be a visual experience, a window from which we can share our happiness from this trip. Fragments of time frozen in a frame, a welcome reminder of how at times, this city had me at a loss for words.

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Fountain at Rossio Square. Photo by Kenneth Cerbo.
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A lovely close up. Photo by Kenneth Cerbo
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Padrao dos Descobrimentos, a memorial for the maritime explorers. All those lessons from my high school history class came rushing back to me  and the realization that I was standing in a place where all those travel expeditions came from was surreal.

 

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Portugal’s trams. Old and creaking, I was almost always sure it would fall apart mid – journey. It took extra skills to remain upright once inside but a good rule of thumb would be to hang on for dear life. But seriously, Lisbon would be incomplete without these ancient machines.
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Belem Tower
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A city embellished with tiles. Portugal made me look at tiles from a new perspective. Be sure to drop by the Tile Museum!
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When in Lisbon, don’t forget to look down at the patterned cobbled streets.
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Find yourself a miradouros and marvel at Lisboa.
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City lights

 

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They say real delicious food comes from humble places and not from those fancy overpriced Michelin restaurants serving bite sized meals. In a sense, that is true as the best food I’ve had so far were straightforward and simple, and in this case, served on a plain tin plate. We ordered two more of this Chili Garlic Shrimp from Ramiro’s-it was just that good. The shrimps were succulent and tasty and the garlic chili oil just got me hooked. Definitely worth the queue.
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No shortage of delicious food in Portugal. This crab roe made my heart skip a beat.
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To this day, I cannot believe that the best sandwich I’ve had came from Lisbon. They called it tostas, and at the time I though I was ordering two slices of bread warmed in a toaster. But this is no ordinary toast because it puts all other toasts and sandwiches to shame. My personal favorite was the Chicken Tostas topped with Chopped almonds. There’s your perfect excuse to go brunching in Portugal.
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Cabo Da Roca in Sintra had a shocking view of the Atlantic Ocean. The waves were crashing against the cliffs in almost a protest, with foams of white forming along the rocky shoreline. The enormous cliffs together with the vast ocean made me feel like I was along the final frontier of something. You stand there and you just feel small surrounded by all this beauty.
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Almost freezing to death was not in my itinerary while in Portugal but that was what happened anyway. The fairy tale palace was yellow on one side, pink on the other and dreamily located on top of a mountain. I don’t know if places like these required damsels in distress but I was in some sort of distress in my thin summery jumpsuit while cold mountain winds blasted me left and right in such high velocity. So for the record, DO NOT wear your lovely summer outfits to Portugal on the month of November even if the BBC weather app says it’s going to be 22 degrees. Especially if you’re looking at going around Sintra’s beautiful castles and palaces.

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The Cliffs and Lighthouse of Cabo Da Roca in Sintra, Portugal.
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Much of the travel experience would be about the person you are with. And Portugal was such a lovely experience with my friends around. Between, eating, laughing, getting lost and jaywalking in another country, you realize how blessed you are to have them to share this moment with. These people are not just friends – they are family you chose for yourself and in the end they chose you. Kristine is my flatmate and she has to be one of the kindest persons on Earth. At some point we just clicked, and we didn’t need to explain things to each other, we were just there for one another. Sometimes I like to think she adopted me as a sister – an older sister. Haha.
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If there was a person who taught me how annoying it can be to have a brother, it would be Kenneth. But he is adorable, and he always makes me laugh so in the end we always let him get away with all the teasing and name calling. He’s one of the few adopted family I have and I am proud of how we have each other’s backs while living overseas and all. Travels with him are always fun, and Portugal was so much more memorable because I had him around. If I had to name people who accepted me as I am, mood swings and all, Kenneth and Kristine would be among them for sure. Picture taken in Lourdes, Portugal.

I was born with a way with words. I knew from the beginning that I felt a certain ease in weaving words together and maybe creating something beautiful. Needless to say, I am not one to run out of adjectives. But I guess there are times when pictures tell a better story. And for those moments we were rendered speechless, for those times our words were simply not enough – we are lucky we have pictures to say it all for us. Looking at all these, nostalgia simply overtook me and I learned that there’s something else travel gives a person aside from gaining perspective. It gives you something to look back to – a pleasant memory to make you smile, a period in time you can always recall and happily “travel” back to.

Authentic French Bistro Experience Like No Other at Le Gai Moulin

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A couple of years ago, Paris would have been a distant dream to someone like me. It was a dream so impossible that if I had to categorize, it would probably fall alongside those aspirations that were destined to remain just that – just dreams. But life is funny like that and when I became a nurse in London, Paris was suddenly one of the easiest place I could go to. Just like that, the City of Lights was a mere train ride away – not to mention all those pastry, cheese and wine waiting for me to taste.

Aside from the usual sights that tourists flock incessantly, it is hard to miss the abundance of good food around Paris. Their passion for fine dining is clear with the bounty of bistros and ristorantes established in just about every corner of the city. For this reason, deciding where to eat could prove problematic at some level but I was determined to leave Paris with the remnants of a proper French meal. And thus my quest for an authentic french cuisine experience led me to Le Gai Moulin Bistro.

The city is well known in its own right, however I find that the only thing not mightily overrated about Paris is the flourishing culinary scene. The quality of the food reflected the fact that truly, good food not only nourishes the body but the soul as well. A random bistro across the train station served me one of the best french fries I have had – crisp on the outside, light and fluffy in the middle and without a glimmer of unnecessary grease.

Le Gai Moulin is one of those restaurants fairly centrally located but for some reason, hoards of tourists aren’t exactly throwing themselves at the door. This bistro seems to be one of the well – kept secrets of the locals – allowing only an occasional table or two to be occupied by lost tourists. And truly, finding it was one of the best things that happened to me in Paris. The first thing that drew me in is the fact that it was one of the first gay restaurants in the city; up and running with pride since 1981. They offer hearty, authentic French food with a homey feel from the heart of Le Marais which is an established gay district in Paris. Whether you are a tourist on the lookout for an authentic Parisian meal or plain and simple just after an unpretentiously satisfying dinner, look no further than Le Gai Moulin Bistro.

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We arrived in time for lunch and with growling stomachs. The butter croissant I ate that morning was not holding up anymore, luckily we came in with a reservation and were seated immediately. The rustic wooden exterior was surprisingly low profile that I almost missed the place when we reached Rue Saint – Merri. Needless to say, place was packed, the air filled with the enticing smell of food and aimless chatter of hungry diners. The interiors were simple and far from posh, a stone wall painted white and decorated with some paintings and artsy boards – some of them might have been from an era some twenty something years ago.

We ordered a three course menu available for lunch which was reasonably priced at €15.50.You also have the option of having only a main course (€11.50) or going for a starter and a main priced at €13.50. It was good value for money, considering other restaurants in Paris would easily charge €20 for a three course meal.

Most set menus make me feel like I’m being forced to order out from the cheapest items from the main menu. But this was not the case in Le Gai Moulin as there was a fair selection of items and the variety was well thought of as well. For starters, we ordered Baked Eggs and Foie Gras and Burgundy Snails (can’t miss out on Escargot!).

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Top view of that lovely Escargot.

The escargot arrived promptly with the tools to accomplish the task of wiggling them out of their shells. It was served in a vibrant green sauce that was savory but not overpowering. The snails were soft and had a clean fresh taste. To be honest they were gone too soon from our plates.

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Six Burgundy Snails

The Baked Eggs with Foie Gras was my personal favorite and I had a moment after my first bite. It was such a party to the tastebuds that I felt bad for all entire of human race eating anything else at that very second. The creamy, salty, tart taste of Foie Gras complemented the eggy goodness underneath. Polishing that combination over bread is now officially my favorite thing to do. This made me realise how humble ingredients like eggs can succumb to greatness when combined with the right stuff.

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My little chunk of heavenly Foie Gras.

The selection for the mains were just as good as the starters but the carnivores in us won that day so we decided to order Grilled Rump Steak with Bearnaise Sauce and Fries and Pork Wellington with Salad and Fries. The Grilled Rump Steak was cooked to a good medium rare and had a good charred exterior holding all the flavour in. The meat was tender, came with a strong smoked taste and was incredibly juicy.

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A juicy slab of Rump Steak with a side of French Fries and Bearnaise Sauce

The Pork Wellington comprised of a portion of pork tenderloin cloaked in a curry coconut milk sauce dusted off with some paprika. I started by slicing the medallion of pork in half – revealing how evenly it was cooked all throughout. I swept a piece of pork against the sauce before popping it in my mouth and I was just taken aback at how good the sauce was. It was so good and balanced that it made me wonder where I’ve been all my life. After that I pretty much dipped everything on it from my fries to the salad.

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Pork Wellington at Le Gai Moulin Bistro

As a sweet finish we ordered the Creme Caramel and Raspberry Puree on top of Fresh Yoghurt. The Creme Caramel was encased under crystallized sugar that you had to crack to get into. It was reminiscent of my childhood Leche Flan back home, although the ones I’ve had were richer in flavour and had slightly better texture. The Raspberry Yoghurt was good for cleansing the palate after a good meal if you did not fancy anything too sugary. All in all a pleasant way to end such a delicious meal!

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Creme Caramel
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Raspberry Puree topped over Fresh Greek Yoghurt

Chances are, you have once daydreamed of walking around Paris and said to yourself those were the dreams you saved for the impossible. Chances are, you have seen people take pictures with the Eiffel Tower as background and so you told yourself, well good for them. But if the odds swerve in your favor and in a turn of events, you find yourself in Paris standing beneath that rusty old tower for real – then good for you. Because now, you can head over to Rue Saint – Merri for your very own French gastronomic experience at Le Gai Moulin. Where chances are, you are going to love it as much as I did.

Exposing Cardiff’s Well Kept Secret, A Foodie Paradise in the Making

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Foodie. Food Porn.#yum. Sounds familiar? Of course, no smartphone owning human being can deny the guilty pleasure of posting that delicious medium rare rib-eye for dinner, that perfect cuppa at the new coffee shop near the office or that time they dined at that Michelin starred restaurant. The screen generation is always on the clamor for that perfect food porn picture worthy of Instagram glory. Foodies have emerged everywhere and this has changed the scene for the food industry immensely. Today, one click is all it takes.

Today’s trend of obsession with food did not come as a surprise to me as I came from a country that celebrated life events with massive amounts of food. Birthdays, graduations, Christmas and New Year – all these days would be incomplete without the Filipino handa. We may have not taken a picture of every dish back then but the essence is the same. Good food not only provides sustenance – it simply makes us happy. And I guess food induced happiness was indeed what I found during a recent visit to Cardiff – my accidentally discovered haven for foodies.

I was only planning a simple and relaxed couple of days away from city stress but I think I ended up biting more than I could chew – literally. Cardiff is budding with restaurants and unique dining experiences from the usual food business giants to those humble local start-ups. The irresistible culinary scene around this city has brought the foodie out of me and I have to say – I enjoyed every bite! The flourishing food scene in the heart of Wales is inspiring and could easily become an exciting foodie destination in the future.

The Potted Pig

27 High Street, Cardiff CF10 1PU

Care to dine in a restaurant nestled in a former bank vault beneath the city? Head over to The Potted Pig, owned by two self – made chefs and is a recent contender in the list of UK’s top 100 restaurants . Some say this place has helped massively in marking Cardiff as a culinary destination. The ambiance was unique and the interiors simple in a way yet surprisingly not claustrophobic despite the location. Fair warning: Brace yourself for cute figurine piglets scattered around!

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The menu changes daily as the team prides themselves with serving dishes from the best available local produce. They also have a wine selection and a bar for those who need more than a good meal. What makes it a great starting point to get to know Cardiff is  locals actually eat here – a promising sign of trust in the quality of the food they whip up in every plate.

There was an interesting selection of starters but we decided on Deviled Whitebait & Aioli, a dish comprised of fresh whitebait in a spiced coating then deep fried to a crunchy finish. The fish was light and crisp without too much oil and the aioli had a creamy citrus hint that I liked very much.

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Deviled Whitebait and Aioli

Next came my order of perfectly cooked Duck Leg Confit lying on a bed of well seasoned greens. We could not miss out on ordering the Pork Belly, which was not impressive in presentation but was surprisingly delicious and tender. It came with a side of cabbage in a delicate sauce and a pillow of vegetable mash. In the end I had to fight for that tasty pig’s head croquette!

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Duck Leg Confit
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Pork Belly

My only regret was they did not have the Crispy Pig Ears and Braised Ox Cheek when we arrived but they assured us it would be available next time. I am definitely coming back for that! For more information about The Potted Pig, click right here.

Science Cream

28 Castle Arcade, Cardiff, South Wales
CF10 1BW

The Castle Arcade is home to an array of homey coffee shops and restaurants but for the ultimate ice cream experience be amazed and indulge at Science Cream. What makes this place standout from the rest of Earth’s ice cream parlors? Every order of ice cream goodness is made in front of you using liquid nitrogen, ensuring freshness every time. It’s a sensory experience as you can see the electronic mixers billowing with white clouds while your dessert is churned into freezing point . The ambiance is enhanced by the use of beakers and cylinders as containers for sprinkles and other toppings. The lady preparing the treats was also sporting a lab coat and proper lab goggles. Talk about dedication! Buzzfeed declared this as the ice cream you have to try before you die – need I say more?

 

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The “lab” where it all happens.
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Moments into the churning magic.

I had the Ultimate Banana Split and a Malted Chocolate with toasted marshmallow topping. It was a decadent treat! The banana was caramelised to a warm piece of heaven on Earth and a perfect pairing to the silky ice cream. I couldn’t get enough of the toasted marshmallow and my Malted Chocolate ice cream was rich and lush. A dessert born from magic! It was just the right kind of sweet and even in the still nippy Spring breeze, it was a welcome comfort food.

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Mu Ultimate Banana Split
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Oh the messy goodness!

Madame Fromage

21 Castle Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1BW

Conveniently located in The Castle Arcade as well, Madame Fromage is a shop hard to miss. The aroma of melting cheese seems to lure you into this quaint and lovely place. I adored that the place was not in a hurry – it was the perfect spot for a slow hearty lunch in the midst of Cardiff. The menu had a LONG disclaimer at the bottom quickly warning people in a hurry that they were in the wrong place and even suggested a fast food place instead where they serve reheated microwave food. In that moment I fell in love with Madame Fromage. Haha.

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Aside from being a cheese specialist , Madame Fromage serves some good Welsh food. I had a taste of my first rarebit here – a Welsh delicacy, and I recommend you do the same. I love everything with a little spice so I ordered the Dragon Rarebit which was an open sandwich poured with a savoury cheese sauce, topped with spicy pepperoni and chunks of fiery chorizo. The side salad was fresh and complemented the dish so well in taste and texture alike. The dish, together with the vibe and pace of the place, made it so worth the visit.

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Dragon Rarebit
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Delicioso!

Be sure to make room for dessert because they serve a rocking chocolate milkshake too. Coffee lovers with a sense of adventure can order the Candy Cane Coffee – a green (yes, green!) caffeine concoction with hints of peppermint but still with that round coffee flavour. Happy days indeed! Click here for directions to your own cheesy afternoon moment at Madame Fromage.

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Happiness in a mug.

Cardiff Bakerstones

Cardiff Central Market, St. Mary Street, Cardiff
CF10 1AU

Satisfy your sweet cravings with homemade Welsh Cakes baked on site by Cardiff Bakerstones conveniently located in Cardiff Market. These small tasty sweets are perfect as snacks on the go or paired with your afternoon cuppa tea. I like that they’re not overwhelmingly sweet with a texture that’s half cookie and half cake. All cakes are baked on the shop with a clear window showing how the cakes make it from batter to boxes. They have an assortment of flavors such as classic, lemon curd, jam and cream and many more. There is even an innovative Diabetic and Vegan range. At 30p a piece it is an absolute cheap eat in Cardiff you cannot skip.

1516

All my friends will tell you that I am a diet freak but with Cardiff, I forgot to count calories simply because the gastronomic ride was a big part of the travel experience itself. Every taste, every smell and every bite a portal back in time to this city. And I am sure the next time I bite into a Welsh Cake or fancy myself a Rarebit from around London, I will always remember that time Cardiff gave me a firsthand experience of what it’s like to be in a food coma.