Restaurante ConTenedor – Seville, Spain

While in Seville over my Christmas break with my family we went to  Restaurante ConTenedor (Facebook link here). The restaurant came highly recommended from the lady running reception where we were staying while in Seville. We arrived ‘early’ by Spanish standards to an empty restaurant, by the time we left a few hours later after 9pm the place was packed and it was quite clearly a favourite with the locals.

We started with a mixed meat, cheese and bread platter along with a local wine while we decided what to order from the daily menu. The wine we selected came at the recommendation of the waitress. We ordered a Spanish red, it was a light to medium bodied red that was a little young but still held it’s own. It paired well across all of our dishes being just rich enough to pair with my ragu while not too heavy for the other lighter dishes.

I ended up selecting the fresh pasta with beef ragu, which was a very rich and tasty dish that I struggled to finish but did so in the end as I did not want to waste a single bite. My sister the Lamb with peaches and a pumpkin puree, by the end of the meal the plate was almost clean and receiving rave reviews of how the flavours worked perfectly together given the interesting combination. Mum ordered the Duck dish and enjoyed it, initially the duck was a little too rare for her liking but the kitchen was happy to cook it for a little longer to bring it to medium-well for her and with that sorted she had no complaints. Dad order the Calimari and black rice dish, he too enjoyed it but preferred some of our dishes more having ordered this dish out of curiosity and intrigue rather than a great love of the ingredients and combination of them.

For desert I bowed out feeling quite full from the starter and the very rich pasta dish. My sister ordered the apple cheesecake, which I sampled a bite and wished I had enough space to order myself a slice as it was heavenly! Mum had the chocolate fondant which was recommended to us by the lady at reception, and with good reason as the bite of it that I had made me even more envious that I had filled up so much with the previous course. Dad went for a light yoghurt to end the meal as he was feeling quite full himself. The restaurant was also lovely in that they comp all tea and coffee ordered with desert, a nice touch that we appreciated as this can often lead to an expensive final course if you order a few with desert and chatting after the meal.

Further reviews of Restaurante ConTenedor can be found on trip advisor here.

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Viet Hoa, Northbridge

Hi everyone,

I was introduced to Viet Hoa by my friend S for her 21st a few weeks ago. We went on a Monday night and were told we could not book a table as there was only two of us, but that there would be plenty of tables. By the time we arrived for dinner around 7:30pm the entire restaurant was full and we ended up forming the start of a line of people waiting for a table to open up. This was not a problem as it helped for me to build up a healthy appetite and to eye off the different dishes around the restaurant.

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We were seated within 10-15 minutes of arriving, and by that point we were pretty certain on what we were going to order. Our orders were quickly taken and sent to the kitchen and our spring rolls entree were out within minutes it seemed from ordering. I opted for the free Chinese Tea my my drink with dinner. I am an absolute sucker for ordering Chinese Tea whenever it is on the menu. The flavours of the tea developed over the course of the meal but did not reach the point of becoming overpowering. It was a very refreshing drink.

Chinese Tea.

Chinese Tea.

The spring rolls were a great start to the meal and were polished off very quickly as our mains arrived within 5 minutes of the spring rolls coming out of the kitchen. The turn around of this restaurant was great and the quality of food was not suffering from the speed in the kitchen.

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Entree – Spring Rolls.

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Stir Fried Beef with Broccoli, Mushrooms and Cashew Nuts.

Stir Fried Beef with Broccoli, Mushrooms and Cashew Nuts.

Another weakness of mine is broccoli, and when I saw this dish on the menu I was set on trying it. I did contemplate ordering another dish to try more of the menu but S discouraged me and I’m glad she did. The portion sizes are generous – both the meat and rice dishes – and will be plenty for one, even two if you’re not starving. I quite enjoyed this dis, my one complaint regarding this dish however there was personally not enough broccoli in it compared with the large amount of onion and mushrooms – however I do love my broccoli so there could have possibly never been enough broccoli for my liking… still overall the dish was nice and mildly seasoned.

Single serving of rice.

Single serving of rice.

S ordered a favourite dish of hers, Chicken Hofan (pictured below). S heartily dug into this dish as she had been getting excited about all day. I didn’t hear much from her about the dish but a nearly finished plate and a content look on her face said everything – the Hofan had been as good as S had been expecting.

Shanee

Chicken Hofan Soup

After filling up at Viet Hoa we decided to walk down the street to Icey Ice for desert. When we arrived S was all set with her regular order of a Milk Icey in a crepe while I opted for a Peach Bubble Tea as the walk has not built up enough my appetite for desert. The staff at the counter were quick and efficient. The only let down was that the female toilets at this Icey Ice were in need of a bit more staff attention, especially on a quiet Monday night.

Peach Bubble Tea and Milk Crepe Icey.

Peach Bubble Tea and Milk Crepe Icey.

Overall it was a wonderful meal in Northbridge with S and hopefully we will resume our japanese lunches in the near future as I am in need of chopstick practice to maintain my half decent ability to use them.

Until next time!

Viet Hoa on Urbanspoon

 Icey Ice on Urbanspoon

The Quarter on Hay, Perth

Hi everyone,

When I went to Unwined WA earlier this year I won a meal voucher and some wines for purchasing my tickets before the day. The meal voucher was for The Quarter on Hay in the city. With the end of the year approaching BF and I decided we really should use it and celebrate the end of the year before the Christmas and New Years period completely began. We decided to be extravagant and go all out in the meal resulting in us leaving very satisfied after three courses, a bottle of wine and a French desert wine each.

We began the night after placing our orders with an Amuse Bouche (Duck Pate, something else with Sweet Capsicum sauce – free). It was slightly hard to hear what the waiter was saying as they were a little softly spoken and the speakers in the restaurant were a little too loud for us to hear them, this meant that I missed what the Amuse Bouche consisted of as well as the three cheeses on our cheese board. The sauce that accompanied the Amuse Bouche was delicious and BF and I were both big fans of it.

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Starter – Shared 3 Cheese Board with spiced apple chutney, and house made five seed bread. ($21)

The cheese board consisted of a hard cheese on the left, a soft cheese with a very sharp rind in the middle (BF said it reminded him of a barnyard smell and he was quite right) and on the right was a soft rind cheese which for me had just the faintest hint of blue cheese in it (BF couldn’t taste the blue cheese and declared the last one his favourite). I quite enjoyed all three cheeses so I polished off what BF left of the other two while he finished off his favourite. The bread that they provided was delightful and I so wish there had of been more of it! The bread was fresh, flavoursome and lightly toasted – I think overall this bread may have been my favourite single element of all the dishes I had on the night. The spiced apple chutney was served in a pastry box and really worked well with the cheeses.

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After the starter BF and I moved onto our mains. I had chosen the Salmon while BF chose the Beef. We had googled the restaurant prior to booking so we had an idea of the menu. BF was slightly horrified at the thought of a snail filled sauce, however when he asked if he pass on the sauce the waiter was quick to assure him that the sauce was parsley only and the snails were placed on top of the meat whole and could be pushed to the side. Obviously this is a common question and one which could be excluded by better wording on the menu?

Pan fried salmon, roast fennel & shallots, potato gallette, pernod & tarragon beurre blanc ($39)

Salmon.

Salmon.

Roast fillet of beef, dauphinoise potato, glazed vegetables, snail & parsley sauce ($44)

Beef.

Beef.

We shared a tiny portion of our meals with each other and declared both to be delicious. However we felt that the potato dishes that we had received worked better with the opposite dish as the potato with the salmon were very crispy while the potato dish with the beef was very creamy.

I did also attempt to try an escargot seeing as I had the opportunity, from the sneaky shot BF took of me as I was eyeing it off it’s clear I was unsure of it. In the end the texture was definitely not what I was expecting and it was quietly returned to the plate.

Escargot.

Escargot.

Deserts:

With our deserts we chose to have a glass of desert wine each and with a selection of an Australian and French wine we both opted to try the French one. With the deserts they all looked  very tantalising so we decided to pick two and switch plates half way through.

Chateau d’Yquem “Les Tertre Du Lys D’or” , Sauternes, France ($14 a glass).

This wine was a slightly impulsive decision and one i did not regret! The wine had oak present on the nose and palate, with the wine being sweet and syrupy on the palate with a refreshing aftertaste that cleansed the palate quite well. A good wine to finish the meal off.

Vanilla and honey crème brulee, confit rhubarb, vanilla shortbread, rhubarb crisp ($16)

Creme Brûlée.

Creme Brûlée.

I selected the Creme Brûlée and on first tasting the individual flavours thought there were quite a few strong flavours and wondered if it would pair together. When I had a little portion of everything at once however the dish was a success and I loved it.

Lemon & mascarpone tart, lime & marscapone sorbet, candied citrus fruits ($16)

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Lemon & mascarpone tart

BF selected the tart as he he seems to love anything with citrus in it. His selection however was such a refreshing dish and quite possibly won me over more than the Creme Brûlée which is a tough call for me to make. The filling of the tart melted off the tip of your tongue literally the moment it entered your mouth and it really helped cleanse my mouth from the creamy and quite sweet Creme Brûlée dish I had ordered.

Overall the meal was delicious and the service that our waiter William provided was fantastic it was professional but still friendly making us feel very welcomed. BF and I were quite keen to head back to try more of their deserts, cheeses and their earlier dinner menu which looked quite tantalising.

The only downside to the meal was the fact that I ended up with food poisoning that night and am quite sure it was the Salmon main dish that I had. I do not regret the meal or my experience at The Quarter on Hay and like I said before would love to head back for another meal there. I have notified The Quarter on Hay about the food poisoning however they were closed for the Christmas and New Year Period and yet to reopen and find my email.

Until next time!

The Quarter on Hay on Urbanspoon

Outback Jacks, Northbridge

Hi everyone,

A few weeks ago I met up with a friend who was leaving the country for a few months for China to see a theatre show in Northbridge. We decided to grab dinner before the show and as it was one of her last nights in Perth I let he decide where and she choose somewhere to have her last western steak, leading us to grab a table at Outback Jacks.

I had the Beef Salad which consisted of medium rare beef strips over a salad of greens, carrot, green peppers, cucumber, tomato, noodles and finished with an asian styled sauce. I ordered this dish a little on a whim as it sounded a little hit-or-miss for me. Overall this dish was a hit with just the right amount of sauce, delicious beef strips and the noodles ended up tying the meal together. Personally more greens would have made it even better as the meat to salad ratio felt a somewhat biased to the meat, especially for a salad. I paired the salad with a glass of a Sauvignon Blanc off their wine list. The wine was nothing flash nor a name I recognised, it was an alright wine but nothing to rave about, hence leading to me having no recollection of it’s name.

Beef Salad.

Beef Salad.

My friend true to her word had a steak with chips and salad. It was thoroughly enjoyed and I hope it was enough to last her through until she returns back to Perth next year!

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While I am not usually a fan of big chunks of meat, I am more drawn to salads and carb-based meals I was impressed by my meal and would happily return if I ever was in the mood for a steak or even that salad again.

Until next time!

Outback Jacks on Urbanspoon

Wino 101: Christmas Lunch/Dinner Wines (Australian Summer Edition).

Hi everyone,

While the northern hemisphere is rugging up for a cold winter in Australia we will be getting our barbecues and bathers out in expectation of a hot and sunny Christmas Day. This post will hopefully be a good guide for you, whether you are supplying a lunch or dinner at your place of even just bringing a bottle of wine to wherever you end up on the festive occasion. I have broken the wine’s down into different categories of food that is often served in Australia on Christmas Day, along with some personal favourites.

Appetisers:

A nice glass of bubbly is a good way to start off your Christmas Day of feasting.

BBQ:

Consider lighter to medium bodied red wine or an acidic and aromatic white wine or dry Rose will pair across the range of foods you can barbecue. When pairing wine with barbecue you want to keep the wine simple and uncomplicated to match the simple flavouring and styling of food that you would barbecue.

Seafood:

When it comes to seafood you want to pair it with a light wine which has a nice degree of acidity behind it so that you really get the best flavours out of pairing it with the seafood. Look for a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity and crisp Pinot Grigio/Gris or a dry Rose.

Roast Lamb/Beef:

Lamb and Beef being  darker and more dense meats will need a wine with more structure and depth in it so that both the wine and the food will compliment each other rather than one overpowering the other. You will also need to take the sauce(s) you will be using into account as their richness will also impact upon which wine is your best option.

For the meat: a red wine like a Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon that has seen some age in the bottle as well as having had the chance to breath either in a decanter or by opening the bottle before serving. Also if it is a very hot day think about popping your bottle of red into the fridge for about 15 minutes before serving so that thee wine will be at it’s optimum serving temperature while you eat your meal (15-20C). The wine will also develop over the course of the meal as it warms and you will see it’s aroma’s and taste evolve along with your meal.

Roast Chicken:

A roast chicken being a lighter meat allows you to pair a white or red wine with it, depending upon what seasoning and sauces you. For a roast with a light lemon seasoning look for a Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Chenin Blanc or continue with the bubbles.

Roast Pork:

Less tannic reds are preferred when pairing with roast pork as it is a lighter meat than Beef and Lamb and due to that needs to be paired with a more softer wine that still has enough body to pair with the meat. Look for a red blend that contains Merlot or Viognier to soften the wine.

Cheese/Fruit:

Soft cheese = eg. Camembert and Brie

Consider white or sparkling wines, so as to not overpower the softer textures and flavours of the wine, however if you are daring a full bodied dry red is said to also pair nicely due to it’s contrasting texture and flavour.

Hard cheese = eg. Cheddar and Parmesan.

Consider red wines for a stronger tasting cheese otherwise if the cheese is milder in flavour and medium-to-hard texture you can then look into pairing it with a fortified, sparkling or a full bodied white wine.

Eye cheese = ed. Edam, Gouda, Havarti and Swiss-styled cheese.

Consider a full bodied white wine, medium bodied red wine or a sweeter desert or fortified wine to play best with the softer textures of the wine and the stronger flavours found in some of these cheeses.

Blue cheese = eg. Gorgonzola and Danish Blue.

generally sweeter and fortified wines do better with blue cheese, however if it is a mild blue cheese you can possibly pair it with a softer red wine. Look for a wine which is aromatic but sweet to give you the best contrast with the blue cheese.

Fruit: consider aromatic and/or sweeter wines.

Desert:

Fortified, sweet still and sweet sparkling wines would go amazing with desert.

Until next time!