Dreamifood, London

A bit of Sun, a bit of Carbs and a bit of Culture

Somehow it looks like my Foodie Wednesdays have become my weekends’ food diary. I guess it’s normal though, as weekends are the days of the week when we treat ourselves to more special dishes, or even to some ‘cheat meals’.

Once again we had one of those amazing food weekends. Let me tell you all about it.
Friday night no biggie, we just stayed home and had leftover chicken. Leftovers are a blessing. Often on Fridays we don’t feel like cooking and sometimes we’re just too lazy to go out, so it’s either leftovers or takeaway. I do love leftovers though. Sometimes I swear it tastes even better the second time around.

Saturday it was lovely and sunny so we decided, for the first time since we moved in, to take full advantage of our balcony! We popped open the champagne we had in the fridge for ages and just celebrated the sunny day. We added some frozen berries – my idea – which keep the champagne chilled but also give it a slight ‘berry’ taste. It’s a wonderful combination.

Bubbles

Instead of cooking dinner we had an early meal of what we call in Portugal ‘Petiscos’, similar to Tapas. We had ‘Gambas à La Guilho’ (prawns in olive oil and garlic) and ‘Ameijoas à Bulhão Pato’ (clams in olive oil, garlic, coriander and white wine sauce). Both dishes are very typical Portuguese, and very easy to make. As it had been a while since we had seafood, and the champagne was open, plus the sun was out, we thought ‘why not?’ It was just lovely. Although we may have ended up slightly drunk and with a few sunburns from falling asleep/passing out in the sun.

ameijoas2 DSC04418 Gambas

On Sunday the weather wasn’t great; it was back to cold and grey. But that kind of worked out great for us. See there’s this Italian place in London called Spaghetti House – there’s quite a few actually – and we just love the food there, but you can’t really have pasta and hot meals when it’s boiling outside, right? As the weather matched our desire to eat Italian carbs, we took it as a sign.

Usually I am not a massive fan of ‘food chains’, I prefer the little quirky places, with its own ‘personalities’. But I realized when I came to London, that almost everything is a chain, franchise whatever. And it’s quite understandable, London is huge. If something is successful in North-East London, it’s great but it’s a fuss for South-West Londoners to get to and vice-versa. So it’s only natural if a business is successful that it tries to replicate it in other places. As long as they don’t lose quality I am fully on board.

We’re relatively central, but still getting anywhere in Central London always end up being about 30 to 45 min with the tube, plus the £2.90, so we would do more than just go to central London for carbs. We’d never been to the British Museum since we moved here – well I had actually never been before – and there’s a Spaghetti House on Goodge Street, just 7 minutes away, so the perfect plan twas plotted.

We had lunch first, of course. I am not a big ‘museum person’ but if I go I like to learn something, and in order to walk around and actually pay attention to stuff, I need to make sure I have enough food to keep me from any distractions, say like the Café that sells muffins (there’s always one!).

We got to Spaghetti House quite early, we were the first customers for lunch. I have to say everything about this meal and place was perfect. The staff was super friendly, but not to a creepy level. The food was divine – I mean divine! The wine was great, and wasn’t even that expensive (for London) and the desert was ‘yummylicious’! Overall it was a 5 star rating.

And let me add that most of the staff was Italian, which always helps increase credibility as to how ‘authentic’ the food is. Also when we were finishing our meal, and it was actually lunch time, the customers coming in were mostly Italian, which I always see as a good sign.

Ok here’s what we had:

Calamari fritti with aioli as a starter. It was very good, not too greasy, crispy, not chewy and it was a very generous amount of calamari, which really I appreciate, because we usually share our starters and I thoroughly dislike when we get only one calamari or one scallop to share (for an expensive price).

calamari

– My husband had Maccheroni & salsiccia (fresh egg pasta twirls, tomato, white wine, chilli, garlic & Italian fennel sausage). It was absolutely delicious (he says).

Pasta

– I had the Risotto asparagi (asparagus, goat’s cheese, grana padano, rocket, lemon zest & extra virgin olive oil). It was divine. I love risotto but always find it really hard to find places that can actually do a proper one. I don’t like it when you end up being served what looks like a cheese rice pudding of some sort. Nah. This one was just perfect – al dente, the asparagus weren’t over cooked, the seasoning was just on spot, the amount of cheese was just perfect, and the overall taste was amazing. Sometimes people can overcook the vegetables or the rice, or can be tempted to add more cheese than what it needs to have. Nope, this one was just perfect. Obviously I asked without black pepper, as I am allergic.

Risotto

– Finally we had the Tiramissu to share. It was really good. Again with Tiramissu is always a risk. Sometimes there’s too much cream, too little cookie. And let’s face it, the cookies are the best bit! Especially the ones embedded in coffee and Amaretto liqueur. This one was really good, it could be a little bit colder, but that’s just personal taste. In terms of consistency and cookie/cream relation it was just perfect. Case to say “Mamma mia!”

Tiramissu

Ok from there on we went to see the mummies. Word of advice, do not visit on a Sunday on summer holiday period. It was just crazy packed! I mean I know London museums are always packed – mostly because it’s free, but also because most are really good – but this was just pure insanity. I could barely see the mummies! Oh OK, I managed to see the mummies, and snap a few photos. But I did miss the ‘Rosetta Stone’ because there were so many people around it we just went passed without realizing. We went back though. All Egypt section, plus Europe and Middle East sections are checked. We’ll go again for the rest when winter comes.

british (1) british (2) british (3) british (4)

It’s really cool and interesting, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend. However I think at the end of each room there should be a movie with the summary of all that was there. Like ‘Alexander the Great’, ‘Cleopatra’, ‘The Mummy,’ etc… sure the references may be a bit off or not quite accurate at times, but it would still be cool.

british (5) british (6) british (7) British

After looking at all the stones, tools, bits of swords and shields (or so they say) and dead people we went home. We had to spend a bit of time studying the British law (will explain in another post someday) so overall it was a very erudite weekend I’d say.

For dinner we had delicious and perfectly cooked (meaning medium-rare) burgers prepared by my lovely hubby.

hamburguer

That’s eat (haha, couldn’t help it) for this week’s foodie Wednesday’s. More next week!

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