Sushi, oh such good sushi!

From top left going anticlockwise: Unagi Nigirizushi, Salmon and Tuna Nigirizushi, Temakizushi
From top left going clockwise: Unagi Nigirizushi, Salmon and Tuna Nigirizushi, Temakizushi

Edamame is an absolute jewel in the Oxford crown (the foodie crown that is). If you live in or near to Oxford- or are thinking of visiting anytime soon- I urge you to try it. This unique, independent restaurant serves Japanese food (albeit at slightly restricted times of day) and houses a brilliant sushi night every Thursday. As a restaurant, it is not pretentious, it is not expensive, it is rather, fairly basic to the naked eye, but it is superb: there tends to be a queue most nights! It is not really the place for an intimate meal with a loved one as you will probably sit around a table with fellow diners, but it is cosy, relaxed and fun.

When it comes to the food, no matter what you think you like, I would recommend tasting a little bit of as much as possible. Particular sushi highlights for me have to be the spicy tuna gunkanzushi (fresh tuna with chilli), the unagi nigirizushi (freshwater eel with a sweet soy and eel sauce), the makizushi rolls (salmon, avocado, cucumber and pickled radish) and the miso soup… so, pretty much all of it! I previously had it in my head that I didn’t like miso soup, but how wrong I was. The soup at Edamame is sweet and salty and delicious, all at the same time. It is home-made, and you can really tell- it tastes so good and is also really good for you… full of antioxidants!

From top left clockwise: Makizushi Rolls, Spicy Tuna Gunkanzushi, Miso Soup
From top left clockwise: Makizushi Rolls, Spicy Tuna Gunkanzushi, Miso Soup

The sushi is priced at about £2-£4 for 2 pieces so you can have as much or as little as you like. I don’t care what you get, but if you have the opportunity, please try it! Just check the slightly unconventional opening times before you go: http://www.edamame.co.uk/.

Good Pub Grub

It was my birthday this week and what better way to mark it than to share food with family and friends? Although I realise that not everyone gets quite as excited by eating as I do, finding a good restaurant in which to relax, eat and drink will certainly put everyone in a celebratory mood! This week I dined out twice, in two different parts of the country, so here’s what I thought…

Sunday 4th March- The Egypt Mill, Nailsworth

The Egypt Mill is a picturesque little hotel that sits on the edge of the River Frome in Gloucestershire. Its quirky decor compliments its history as an old corn mill and there are even two working water wheels to be seen.

To start, my family and I ordered the Mixed Platter to Share which comprised of a typical Mediterranean selection of olives, cured meats, various breads and baby sweet poponcini peppers. It was lovely and certainly got our taste buds ready for what was to come. For our main course, four out of six of us were tempted by the Piri Piri-Style Red Mullet with Chorizo Potatoes and Paprika Green Beans. This was just simply delicious! The mullet was full of tangy flavours that were superbly matched by a side of crushed potatoes and oily chorizo.  The beans in truth did not taste particularly of paprika but it worked really well altogether and the presentation was beautiful. The portions were not particularly big, which sometimes I can struggle to accept, but after tasting the fish, I couldn’t really complain.

We were all successfully enticed by the sweet menu for which the highlight seemed to be a generous helping of sticky toffee pudding and the selection of taster desserts which included a small portion of a dessert and a coffee. These were enjoyed by all and we went away feeling happy and well fed.

I would definitely recommend the restaurant. It provided us with a lovely environment to catch up and enjoy a birthday meal together.

Monday 5th March- The Broad Face, Abingdon

On Monday evening, I ate out again with some friends at The Broad Face in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. When we arrived it just happened to be Steak Night so you guessed it, we went for it!

Our steaks came from the Black Rock Grill menu meaning that they were served on a black rock, heated to 440ᵒc and sizzling. As they arrived in a flurry of smoke, my senses took over, my eyes widened and my mouth was watering. The meat did not disappoint. It was absolutely, mouth-wateringly succulent and I enjoyed every mouthful. I would not hesitate to go to The Broad Face again. The restaurant was a little quiet and the service was a bit slow but with the company and the food that was presented to us, I would not be deterred from returning.  If you are planning a trip to eat out in Abingdon, why not wait until a Monday night when you will find the steak menu discounted? My sirloin steak was priced at £13.

A Trip to Borough Market

Plans for Saturday morning? Why not get down to Borough Market and try something new this weekend!

Having been brought up in the fairly averagely sized town of Cheltenham, I am not really used to the variety of food on offer in big cities such as London. Recently I have been spending more and more time in the big smoke and last weekend I took the opportunity to sample the delights of Borough Market…

There is so much to try and buy and it is hard to resist the tantalising smells that sneak under your nose as you wander around. It is a vibrant centre for foodies and the curious alike and the perfect place for picking up new and exciting ingredients to cook and experiment with over the weekend.

Check out Gamston Wood Farm’s stall for exotic meats such as ostrich, kangaroo and springbok. We treated ourselves to a supper of ostrich steaks and crunchy cubed potatoes.

The diverse array of vegetables sold at Turnips are definitely work a look, I certainly couldn’t find some of this veg in my local supermarket:

There are also plenty of stalls selling hot and cold meals for lunch. Drawn by the cheesy aromas of the Kappacasein stall, we tucked into Swiss raclettes for lunch: a dish of potatoes, gerkins and pickled onions, coated in freshly grilled Ogleshield cheese… Mmmm!

So if you are in London over the weekend, take time out to visit the market and excite your taste buds!

Find Borough Market in South East London between The River Thames and Borough High St. It is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays but get down there early on a Saturday as it can get pretty busy if you don’t like being jostled around.

A Cornish Cream Tea on the Camel Trail

The Camel Trail is a route that runs along the Camel Estuary from Padstow to Wentfordbridge. It follows a disused railway line and is the perfect place to spend a day cycling and admiring some beautiful Cornish scenery. But with all that fresh air it is important to keep your energy levels up and the Camel Trail Tea Garden is the perfect, picturesque place to refresh and take a break from cycling. The garden is terraced and has a few rows of apple trees that makes the scene reminiscent of a small orchard, it is quite simply lovely.

On an August morning, after picking a seat at one of the picnic benches under the tree branches, my family and I sat down to browse the menu: sandwiches, baked potatoes and cold drinks were all there for a basic lunch, but we were more interested in the traditional Cornish cream teas on offer. At £4.55 each, we ordered 3 cream teas and an extra pot of tea between four and this was plenty for a morning break.

The scones arrived within no time along with jolly service and they really looked great (and to my delight, rather large!). Each portion came with two, fresh, homemade scones, clotted cream and jam. They were light and delicious and a perfect morning snack for a group of hungry cyclists. Homemade jam would have been an extra treat but nevertheless the scones were great and the surroundings beautiful.