Nestled on Kingsland Road, Dalston is a delightful little Italian restaurant, The Bite. We stumbled on it, late Saturday evening, tired and hungry for pizza; it didn’t disappoint.
The Bite has a casual, cosy feel, with friendly staff and a typical Italian menu: pizza, pasta, calzone.
Their pizzas are Neopoliatan style, with a thin base and lots of sauce.I went for the Capricciosa and to be honest, it was absolutely just as good as the ones I’ve had in Rome and Venice.
A lovely thin but doughy base, with a very generous helping of mozzarella, plus cooked ham, mushrooms, artichokes and green olives. For all those crazy pizza combinations out there, is there anything better than this classic?!
The Bite is a no frills kind of place, but cute and welcoming, with lots of delicious Italian comfort food.
The Bite, 533 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8 4AR
Turn off the busy parade of Gloucester Road, and you find a handful of cute, independent restaurants along Zetland Road. One of my favourites for a special occasion is Greens; serving a small menu of traditional British dishes with influences from international cuisines, using high quality, local ingredients.
Greens is a ‘neighbourhood’ restaurant, taken over by Head Chef Martin Laurentowicz, and front of house Nick Wallace, in 2012, whose partnership began in fine dining restaurants in Scotland.
From the outside, Greens looks cute and cosy; very enticing when you walk past at night. And inside it’s decorated very simply, with a cool, intimate atmosphere. It’s the kind of place you can dress up for on date night, or pop in on the spur of the moment if there’s a spare table.
Last time we went was over the weekend between Christmas and New Year, the time when you have no real clue what day it is. There were a handful of other tables, a mix of families, friends and dates.
To start I had the wild mushroom and buffalo mozzarella arancini with aioli and truffle oil (£8.50). Mushroom and mozzarella are always a perfect combination, so these were fried delights.
This was followed traditional Cullen skink with smoked haddock, braised leeks and cripsy potatoes (£16.50). Cullen is a thick Scottish soup – the smoked haddock flavour was almost overwhelming, but the braised leeks added a little taste of sweetness. Overall, it was a little too salty for my taste, but I did enjoy it.
Finally we shared a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream and cream. It was rich, decadent and amazing.
Greens is a lovely little place for an evening meal, especially if you catch their evening set menu of two courses for £17.95 or three courses for £23.95, Monday to Thursday.
If you’re looking for a new brunch, lunch, dinner, all day dining spot in Bristol city centre, Quay St. Diner is the place to go. The California inspired restaurant is located in the former premises of Roll for the Soul, and has hit the spot with it’s laidback atmosphere, colourful interior and delicious menu.
Pride of place in their open kitchen is their custom charcoal grill, which has enabled them to build the menu around cooking over an open fire; ‘live fire cooking’.
We ventured in there on a rainy Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, for breakfast (maybe brunch is more accurate, it was nearly midday!) and were absolutely delighted with it.
First off, the coffee – I ordered a latte (£2.80), while Tom had a flat white. I’m not really much of a coffee expert, but I loved the giant teal coffee cup, and thoroughly enjoyed the coffee!
The brunch menu, served 9am-12pm Mon-Fri and 9am-2pm on the weekend, is full of tasty, California influenced choices, from Pancakes and Fruit to Brunch Tacos topped with grilled tomato and ancho chilli salsa, smashed avocado, pumpkin seeds, fruit salsa and pomegranate!
We both went for the Huevos Rancheros (£7) – baked Mexican eggs in a tomato salsa with crumbled feta on top and sourdough dippers, and added bacon (£2). It was incredible. The salsa was a little on the hot and spicy side, but full of flavour, and the contrast with the feta was just right. Oh, and the thick chunks of bacon were amazing.
The all day menu also looks exciting; small plates, tacos, and a selection of burgers, steak, salad etc. We’ll definitely be back to try it out.
Quay St. Diner is a great, friendly and welcoming place, with full flavour, smokey, delicious food – go now!
Inspired by street vendors and food trucks, Got Beef initially started out as a mobile catering business for gourmet burgers, and then took up residence as a pop up kitchen at The Canadian in Adamstown, Cardiff. In 2014, Got Beef fully joined Cardiff’s growing burger scene with its own restaurant on Whitchurch Road.
Got Beef burgers
Offering a creative burger menu, and some very indulgent sides – it’s best to go there hungry. There’s a lot of mouth watering choices, and a special mention definitely has to go to the Donald Trump burger – ‘Mexican cheese, American cheese, Russian dressing, topped with a tiny pickle’!
I went ‘dirty’ with my food choices. I order the Dirty South burger (£8): a tender beef patty, with cajun onions, a homemade bbq sauce, jalapenos, cajun mayo and American cheese all served in a brioche bun. The burger itself was great, and the jalapenos gave it a real kick – I would say that the bun was a little oversized compared to the burger though, but overall it’s up there with the best burgers!
On the side I went for the dirty fries (£3.55) – perfectly cooked fries topped with American cheese, bacon sprinkles, jalepenos and chipotle sauce. It was a perfect portion size for one person; indulgent, delicious but not too excessive.
The true highlight of the meal was the halloumi fries (£3.60) – big chunky pieces of cheese fried and smothered in hoisin sauce, peanut crumble and sesame seeds.
We went on a Monday evening, and the place was buzzing – it’s probably worth booking a table. We were slightly disappointed with how long we had to wait after we ordered the food, and a long gap between burgers and sides arriving – but it was very busy and the staff were all lovely.
If you’re after a burger in Cardiff, Got Beef should definitely be on your shortlist!
Award winning restaurant, Wallfish Bistro is quietly tucked away on Princess Victoria Street in Clifton. It’s a small place, with a handful of tables upstairs and a few more in the basement, simple decor, and a laid back atmosphere. The menu offers contemporary British dishes, with an emphasis on fish and seafood.
As it was a special occasion (my mum’s birthday), we may have gone a little overboard with our food order, but once we’d read the menu it was hard to maintain self control – we wanted to try it all.
For the first round of food, between us we ordered an assortment of appetisers: Green Sicilian olives (£4.00), Radishes with mayonnaise and celery salt (£3.50), a Porlock oyster (£2.90) and the Scrumpy-fried oyster with jalapeno mayonnaise and pickled vegetables (£3.00). I’m not the biggest fan of oysters, but I had a little try of the fried oyster, and I’d definitely recommend it.
Then for a starter I had the Portland crab on toast with pickled cucumber, lemon and watercress (£9): big juicy flakes of crab, which contrasted perfectly with the tangy pickled cucumber.
For my main course I had the Smoked haddock (£18); a sizeable piece of fish, served up with braised leeks, saffron and a few mussels scattered around the edge. The combination of the sweet leeks, and the intensely fishy taste of smoked haddock was spot on.
Tom had the Rack of Cinderford Lamb (£22) which came with peas, girolles, shallots and green sauce. I don’t eat lamb, but he was adamant that it was the best lamb he’d ever had.
Finally, we made it to dessert, with a few simple offerings on the menu – I went for the Chocolate mousse cake with raspberries and creme fraiche (£6.50).
Wallfish Bistro is a perfect little place, however, the restaurant is currently up for sale, so if you’re tempted by all this insanely delicious food then call up and book a table ASAP!
Wallfish Bistro – 112 Princess Victoria Street, Clifton, Bristol, BS84DB
Last week, on an after work trip over to Cardiff, we decided to pop down to Cardiff Bay and soak up the last of the evening sun.
I haven’t been down to Cardiff Bay in at least a couple of years, but it’s still just as buzzing as ever, with a lots of new exciting restaurants and bars around the waterfront.
Chai Street, Cardiff Bay
This is my second visit to a branch of the Cardiff local gem, Chai Street Indian Street Kitchen. It’s a really laid back restaurant, with the best, bright and dazzling decor; ideal for just dropping in on a whim, or for a special meal.
I went for the Traditional Chicken Thali (£11.95) – a spicy chicken curry, a potato curry, dal, raita, pickle, mini poppadums, rice and a naan bread. I love to try a bit of lots of different things, so thalis are ideal for that, plus the Chai Street thali is slightly different every time. Despite the heat, the chicken curry was definitely the highlight for me though.
Tom, meanwhile, went all out and ordered the non-vegetarian Chai Special Thali (£13.25). This was a meal and a half, it included: a starter (baji), a chicken curry, a lamb curry, and some of the potato vegetable curry, as well as dal, raita, pickle, poppadums, rice and a naan bread.
It was a really delicious thali (almost as good as Thali in Bristol), but I think next time I’m going to try out some of their ‘Street Delights’. The chicken lollypops (marinated with spices, ginger, garlic and then fried!), Prawn Chatpata and the samosas all sounded, smelled and looked incredible!
If you find yourself down at Cardiff Bay, hungry and fancy some authentic Indian street food, then definitely check out Chai Street. They also have restaurants in Canton and on the High Street in Cardiff – so there’s no excuse not to visit.
One of Cheltenham Road’s newest offerings, Edit, is a unusual blend of classy tapas restaurant and cosy music bar. Labelling itself as an ‘audiophile restaurant’, the concept is inspired by Tokyo’s food and drink scene; offering Asian-inspired tapas style small plates, with an impressive Klipsch heritage sound system playing a range of ambient, soul, funk, electronica and world music. The idea is to delight all of your senses, and it achieves this, for the most part.
It’s very much a ‘drop-in’ place, with long high tables and bar chairs – making it feel casual yet a little sophisticated at the same time. The drinks menu is extensive and impressive, prepare yourself to be dazzled by a wide range of spirits, sake, beers and wine.
We decided to order and share a variety of their small plates and snacks; mushroom and miso bao, kimchi, fried squid with mango chilli sauce, chicken dumplings and prawn dumplings. For five dishes and two drinks it came to £32.
While the food arrived in seemingly random dribs and drabs (including one of our plates being delivered to the couple sat next to us), it was all incredibly delicious.
The slightly spiced, fried chicken dumplings in gyoza style parcels, were the standout dish for us. But the fried squid was a close second; it would be a perfect dish to pick at while having a few drinks. I would advise ordering quite a few dishes if you’re hungry, they’re little and delightful and definitely leave you wanting more.
Despite the slightly disorganised service, and a missing dish, we will definitely be returning.
As a concept, Edit is unique and quirky, just right for the Cheltenham Road/Gloucester Road junction that it finds itself on. However, it’s definitely more of a drinks,snacks and music venue, than somewhere you want to come for ‘dinner’ and leave completely filled up.
Over the last couple of months it seems like everyone has been talking about OOWEE diner in Montpelier, so last night I finally got to see what the hype is all about. Having made no dinner plans, but desperate for a decent burger this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Tucked away in a corner of Picton Street, OOWEE diner is a tiny little place filled with the most incredible smell of burgers, fries and all things greasy and super unhealthy.
It was pretty hard to narrow down what we wanted to just one meals worth of food – it all sounds, and smells, so so good. I went for the The Pimento: a beef patty with spicy pimento cheese, pickles and relish, with added bacon. (£6.50 + £1)
The patty itself was well done on the outside but perfectly juicy on the inside; falling apart in your mouth kind of thing. The bacon was crispy and delicious, and the pickles were big – which always earns bonus points from me. The spicy cheese gave it that little extra kick to round off the flavour.
I also went for some of their dirty fries – Bacon Jalapeno fries (£4.50), and a side of Buffalo Shrimp (£5). The fries didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but they were still wonderfuly decadent in their excessiveness. The overwhelming highlight though was the huge, juicy Buffalo Shrimp, while there was only five in the serving they were absolutely amazing, so next time I’m definitely going to give the Shrimp fries a try.
OOWEE Diner is up there with some of the best burgers in Bristol. It’s simple, no fuss, dirty fried food that will fulfill all unhealthy food cravings. It’s also pretty good value!
I’m excited to write about Ljubljana because I had no idea what to expect from the city and it was completely amazing. Despite being the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana has a small-town friendly feel, especially in the old part of the city.
We found some great places to eat in Ljubljana, although I did struggle a little as there was a lot of venison, veal and lamb on the menu, which I don’t eat.
Eating fresh, homecooked food is a big part of Slovenian culture – they have a market every day in Ljubljana selling all kinds of produce and you can really tell that Slovenian’s pride themselves on the quality of their food.
If you’re planning a trip to Ljubljana then make sure you are there for a Friday. They have an incredible food market where restaurants from all over Slovenia come to the city and set up a stall. It’s the best place to eat amazing, and cheap, food in Ljublana – your dining choices are almost overwhelming.
We went there for lunch after we had done the free Ljubljana tour, and then in the evening we walked around looking at restaurants and eventually ended up back at the food market having shrimp noodles and chicken from two different stands.
We had heard that Hood Burgers were the best burgers in Ljubljana – but they were based a little further out from the city than we want to walk. So when we stumbled across the Open Kitchen we were even more excited to discover there was a Hood Burger stall.
For just €5 I had one of the most delicious burgers I have ever had – I went for a cheeseburger while Chris had one with bacon. If you don’t make it to their Open Kitchen stall on a Friday I would definitely recommend making the trip out to Yams Road 105, Ljubljana.
On one of the main streets in the old town, look out for the giant sausage hanging in the air. Here you can sit outside in the street enjoying the sunshine and eat delicious, traditional Slovenian sausage.
We both had half a sausage with mustard, horseradish and bread for just €3.50. Klobasarna is the ideal place for a quick lunch in Ljubljana.
The riverside in Ljubljana is lined with restaurants and bars, and it’s a beautiful setting for an evening meal. All of the restaurants had great menus and we had a hard time choosing where to eat. Eventually we decided on Most, which is just next to Butchers Bridge. They have plenty of tables outside where you can enjoy the buzzing atmosphere along the riverside, but if it’s cold they also have a huge inside seating area.
We both had the Beef Broth with Noodles to start, as we had seen it on almost all the restaurants’ menus. When it arrived it looked watery, but the flavour was strong and delicious.
For the mains I had a really difficult time choosing between the Home-made Buckwheat Ravioli filled with porcini mushrooms and truffles in a leek and shrimp sauce, or the Spelt Spaghetti with Smoked Trout with champignons and semi-dried cherry tomatoes. I settled on the spaghetti (despite having sworn off pasta and pizza when we left Italy), and Chris went for the Tagliatelle Most with chicken breast, green peppers, home-made basil pesto, plum tomatoes, and roasted pine nuts.
The pictures don’t do them justice, but both dishes were delicious, and you could taste the freshness of the ingredients. The combination of trout and curry flavours with the pasta made it a completely different dish to the pasta that we over indulged in in Italy. If I ever make it back to Ljubljana, I will definitely be going back to Most to try the ravioli.
Not strictly somewhere to eat, but we loved Ljubljana’s cat cafe so much that we went twice in the two days we were in the city! It’s a little way out of the main area in the old town, but it’s worth the walk.
The cat cafe is a great place to sit down and relax with a glass of local Slovenian wine, in the company of five lovely cats – perfect if you’re having feline withdrawal.
Travel Tips and Recommendations
I can’t recommend enough the Free Map for Young Travellers for Ljubljana – pick up a copy as soon as you arrive! We had no guidebook and very few recommendations, so this map with useful tips and places to see, eat and drink was indespensable.
Do the Free Ljubljana Walking Tour – they run every day at 11am, starting in front of the pink church in Preseren Square and take about two and a half hours.
The Lazy Dog 112, Ashley Down Rd, Ashley Down, Bristol BS7 9JR 0117 9244 809
A modern, cosy pub in Ashley Down, The Lazy Dog is a great place to end the week with a Sunday Roast.
We turned up at about 1.30pm, without booking and it was pretty busy but we found a little table in a corner. The beef was perfect, the yorkshire was huge and just the right combination of fluffy and crispy, and there was plenty of roast potatoes and vegetable.
Right next to Temple Meads is Yurt Lush, is the one permanent home of Eat Drink Bristol Fashion. Inside is pretty warm in the summer so we sat on one of the benches outside. We didn’t book a table even though you can, but at 2pm on a Sunday there were two or three empty tables. The Yurt Lush roast is a little more than some others at £13, but the setting and the food make it worthwhile.
The appetisers were delicious, and an added bonus to a great roast dinner.
There was a fairly long wait for the food, and intially I was a little disappointed with the amount of vegetables, but there was a generous helping of meat and a huge yorkshire pudding.
The Social 130, Cheltenham Road, Bristol
Stepping inside The Social feels a bit like going into a Tardis, a brief look in the window made us think it was quite small and very busy but when you go in it’s suprisingly big – we easily found a table towards the back at about 1pm for our roast dinner.
The atmosphere is laidback and cosy, perfect for recoperating after a heavy night or meeting up with friends.
However, the wait for the Sunday Roast was well over 45 minutes, and by the time they arrived we were desperately hungry!
The size of the roast dinner made up for the wait though, plenty of tender beef as well as a generous amount of perfectly cooked vegetables. It might not look fancy, but it was just want a Sunday roast should be – delicious, fresh comfort food.
I’d heard really good things about roasts at The Volunteer Tavern, so I was pretty excited to try it out. We tried to book in advance, but apparently you can only book if you’re a party of 8 or more. When we arrived at 1pm all the empty tables inside were reserved, so we ended up sitting outside at the back.
We both went for the beef, and the food came out within about 5 minutes of ordering. Unfortunately, this was the only really impressive thing about the roast.
For me some of the meat was a little fatty and chewy, so much that I couldn’t cut some bits with a knife. However, there was plenty of meat that was tender and delicious.
The vegetables were a little on the stingey side – one brocolli floret, boiled carrots and cabbage – all well cooked but nothing special. And the yorkshire pudding was minimal. The roast potatoes were the highlight, crusty but fluffy on the inside.
Overall, for the price I wasn’t impressed with The Volunteer Tavern, there was nothing wrong with it, but I’ve definitely had better roast dinners in Bristol.