Vapiano

menu

Vapiano is what I like to call the Italian fast food restaurant. You get a card on the way in, choose your seat and your meal, and take it to the chefs at the counters to fix it up fresh for you.

I had forgotten I had been here before a while ago. This time I came with my husband and brother and sister-in-law last week on Bank Holiday Monday. After my meal, it was clear why I couldn’t remember my first visit.

ravioli con carne

I ordered the Ravioli Con Carne with chilli and garlic, in a tomato sauce. When the chef took the ravioli out of the freezer, the first thought that came into my head was: “Is that all?” I tried to play it down with the fact that I was seemingly satisfied afterwards, but truthfully, I wanted more.

It was, however, cooked in a delicious tomato sauce and the garlic added flavour.

pollo piccante

My husband chose the Pollo Piccante. What disappointed me was the ratio of chicken to pasta. The chef took a portion as small as three fingers and cut it up whilst frying it. Even I felt bad for my hubby because he loves his chicken.

Like my dish, his meal was very flavourful—so much so, that he couldn’t finish it because it became a bit sickening towards the end. That was a shame.

To be honest, I left the restaurant very unsatisfied. I had wanted a lemon sorbet to curb my appetite, but they were all out—at 1.30pm on a bank holiday!

I guess it’s okay if you’re popping in for lunch during working hours, but I was looking forward to having an enjoyable and hearty meal on a bank holiday with family. Wrong choice for the wrong day? Possibly, but I don’t think I’ll be going back.

Have you ever been to Vapiano? What did you think?

Mich x

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*P.S This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Hana

Hana

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Hana is a Japanese sushi restaurant based in Finsbury Park. It is easy to pass by, but don’t be fooled by its simple exterior. The limited space, dark ambience and small wooden tables give it an oriental feel that is hard to deny. But the food is all that really matters.

Gyoza 1

For starters, I had the Prawn Gyoza—deep fried prawn dumplings served with a vinegary soy sauce. The Gyoza was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside—the perfect combination of textures. The sauce added a sour and tangy touch to a satisfying starter.

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First of all, kudos to Hana on bringing out my starters and main roughly at the same time. But this Chicken Ramen was one heck of a dish. Look at the size of it! I just about finished it all, and you can bet that I was duly gorged by the end of it. I just wanted to sleep afterwards.

Ramen is a Japanese specialty—the balanced mixture of noodles, vegetables, soup and chicken was more than enough. I even ate the seaweed!

The developing queue outside of the restaurant was a testament to its popularity. It is most likely the reason why our food arrived so quickly, because of how busy they get.

With very affordable prices, I would definitely make another trip to this little piece of oriental food heaven.

Hana has various opening times, so make sure to get there as soon as, or a little after they open to guarantee your seat. See their website for times.

Mich x

BLOGLOVIN’ | INSTAGRAMTWITTER

P.S. This is not a sponsored post; I’m just a certified foodie.

72 hours in Portugal – part 1

As some of you may know, I spent three nights in Portugal at the end of March for a friend’s wedding. If it hadn’t been for the wedding, I wouldn’t have had the chance to discover such a beautiful place. I got to see so much in such a short space of time, so I was grateful for that.

I arrived on Thursday and as soon as I landed, my friends came to get me. After settling into my room at the hotel we were staying in, we set off to Setúbal. It’s a quiet city with pebbled streets and a port.

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For dinner, we went to a restaurant along the port called Tasca da Fatinha. You can choose whatever fish you want and they grill it for you. It’s all fresh produce. Some of us shared prawns for starters, which looked and tasted delicious. I ordered the salmon. It was my first time having it, and I loved it, especially with the grilled, smokey taste.

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Unfortunately, the chips were a bit dry, but the salmon made up for that.

We stayed out late, and found this beautiful building on the way back to the coach station — the Monastery of Jesus of Setúbal. I went to bed the latest I have done in a very long time, but I also had the most fun I’ve had in a long while, so it was all worth it.

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Look out for part two next Thursday, and thank you for reading.

Mich x

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A taste of Tayyabs

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Tayyabs is a restaurant in Whitechapel that specialises in Punjabi cuisine. I went there last month for a birthday celebration. Indian food was not the first choice; the original plan had been to go to Yum Yum in Stoke Newington for Thai food, which I had really been looking forward to, but things didn’t work out. So Tayyabs was suggested instead.

Although I was disappointed about Yum Yum, I am a food lover and love to eat all types of cuisine, so did not mind the change too much.

When we entered the restaurant, it was packed right up to the doorway. This was definitely an indication of its popularity, but still frustrating. There were plenty of big groups like ours waiting to be seated. It took more than an hour for a table to be cleared for us, so when we were finally given a place, we pounced on the poppadoms, dips and salad that were set between us.

As suggested, some of us decided to share our starters and mains, because the food would be too much to handle on one’s own. We ordered shami kebabs, lamb chops, garlic naan and peshwari naan (this was deliciously sweet, as it was filled with buttery desiccated coconut) to share.

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The shami kebabs were spicy, but I loved it.

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The lamb chops were so good, despite a slight chewiness.

The main dishes consisted of curries, which is Indian specialty. We had the curried chicken and gosht (lamb) with shared pilau rice.

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I preferred the gosht over the curried chicken.

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We did not need to fill up our plates. I even began to feel my trousers getting a little tight around the waistline after the starters alone, but the meal was just so tasty.

Apart from the rowdy eaters and delayed service, I thoroughly enjoyed the food. It most probably will not come to mind when choosing somewhere to eat in the future, but I have to say that Tayyabs mastered their own very well.

Have you ever been to Tayyabs?

Mich x

BLOGLOVIN’ | INSTAGRAMTWITTER


 *This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Bella Italia

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Bella Italia provides you with a wonderful taste of Italian food. I was treated to a meal there by a woman who is like a mother to me. We were due a date, so the last day of work before the holidays was the perfect opportunity. We paid a visit to the branch in Angel, Islington.

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For starters, I had the Mini Ciabatta Bites baked in hot garlic butter. It seemed to be an interesting take on the familiar garlic bread. The ciabatta bites were soft and doughy, and the garlic butter did not have an overpowering taste as garlic bread usually does. Although there were seven bites, they were quite light so that I was not full before having my main.

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Pizza – what a typical choice for an Italian restaurant, right? I normally try not to go for the options that you could either buy as a takeout, or what you would make at home for dinner, like pasta. But I am surely realising that restaurants with speciality dishes, like Italians and their pasta/pizzas or Indians and their curries, tend to make those meals better than you would at home. The Pepperoni Piccante was no exception.

All it had were two toppings – Italian pepperoni and green chillies, but the simpler, the better. The dough was deliciously soft making it easy to slice through, and it was all served with a colourful side salad. I enjoyed the spicy kick that the green chillies gave to the meal.

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Lastly, dessert was Vanilla Cheesecake – vanilla and mascarpone cheesecake, topped with chocolate tagliatelle and served with a pot of fresh cream. It was just right – not too sweet, and the cream was a pleasant addition. It was light and a lovely finish to a wonderful afternoon.

Afterwards, I went home and had a nap, my belly content with the taste of Bella Italia.

Mich x

 BLOGLOVIN’ | INSTAGRAMTWITTER

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

The Breakfast Club and Bill’s in Angel

Yesterday, I had a day off work to prepare for my sister-in-law’s wedding tomorrow, as one of her bridesmaids (I have today off too).

I decided to make the most of the day (all I had planned to do was collect my Lancôme foundation that I’d ordered from Debenhams, and get a few needed bits and pieces from Oxford Circus), and invited my good outing-buddy to come with me. She also had a day off work. What a wonderful coincidence.

It was the perfect opportunity for her to take me to The Breakfast Club in Angel. I live only 10 minutes away from it, and she is not too far from Angel either. We had wanted to go before, but if you try to go on a weekend, you will meet an extra long queue. I believed that is because it is so popular, so this quiet weekday was the ideal chance to go.

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I was so excited! To drink, I had The Slow Boy – an apple, carrot, orange and ginger juice, and I ordered The All American, which consisted of pancakes, eggs, sausage, home-style potatoes, streaky bacon and maple syrup. This was a new phenomenon for me. Sweet pancakes with bacon on top? With potatoes? But it was delicious. All. Of. It. I poured the maple syrup on top of my pancakes, before eating them with the bacon. And the potatoes were flawlessly fluffy inside. The sausage was unlike any I had ever tasted before, and my eggs were done to how I like them – fried, well done. As you can see from the picture above, my plate is the furthest away. I could rave about the breakfast meal all day, but you really do have to try it for yourself if you have never been.

If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen my pictures before this post, and a video of me pouring the maple syrup all over my pancakes. Yum!

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After a full day of shopping, we were craving dessert – apple pie and ice cream to be exact. We decided we would see what Bill’s in Angel had to offer and were met with apple, salted caramel and walnut crumble with vanilla ice cream and pouring cream. I have been to Bill’s once before for breakfast, but have never had dessert there, so it was still a new experience.

The crumble itself wasn’t so sweet, which I liked, because the vanilla ice cream was and complimented it nicely. I don’t think that the pouring cream made too much of a difference to the taste, although it did help to soften the crumble enough to break into. I also thought that the dessert could definitely have done without the walnuts, and I could barely taste any salted caramel flavour. I’m not going to knock the dessert too much, because despite all of that, I did enjoy it. It was just what I needed to end the day.

jams

decor

As I previously mentioned, I have been to Bill’s before and love the rustic decor that creates a homely, relaxed atmosphere. They even have shelves of treats and condiments available for sale, which is a nice touch.

Have you been to The Breakfast Club and/or Bill’s, both in Angel? What did you think?

Thank you all for reading and have a great weekend.

Mich x

BLOGLOVIN’ | INSTAGRAMTWITTER

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Food review: Sensations

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Sensations is an ice cream parlour located in Holloway, North London. It is fairly new, having only opened in September 2014. The first time that I visited it, I had the gelato in a chocolate-dipped cone to go, which was delicious. But on this particular visit, I was treated to their waffles.

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I picked the Ferrero Rocher waffle, which was doused in melted chocolate, chopped nuts and ferrero rochers, accompanied with a side of vanilla ice cream. You can choose between ice cream or whipped cream.

I started off well, but wasn’t able to finish my dessert. It ended up tasting quite sickly. I think I realise now that I can’t stomach a lot of chocolate as well as I used to. I’m just getting older I suppose. I have to be honest and say that my favourite part of the dessert was the ice cream. And between you and me, I think I may be developing an allergy to hazelnuts. My lips were tingling. Uh oh.

On the plus side, the waffles are made fresh and I can commend it for being light and fluffy, yet filling.

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Since my last visit, stack pancakes and churros have been introduced to the menu. My friend picked the churros with the choice of a white chocolate dip, and one scoop of lemon sorbet. I had a taste and I preferred her dessert to my own. Even whilst being covered in sugar, the churros weren’t too sweet and were warm with a fluffy consistency.

Although I didn’t have a good experience with my chosen dessert—purely through fault of my own—, Sensations will always be my favourite ice cream parlour compared to others I have tried.

If you have a sweet tooth and a weak spot for dessert, I do suggest you give Sensations a try. It is located on 298-300 Holloway Road, London, N7 6NJ.

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Mich x