Archive for the ‘Eating Out’ Category
I have never really been a fan of the “Fusion Food” movement, I suppose in a bit of a purist kind of way. Treating it with suspicion mostly. And, lets be honest, there have been some seriously horrible creations in the name of fusion food. I have though, found a few (very few) chef’s who can pull it off. Normally quite clever, subtle mixes of east and west, only achieved by the finest of palates.
Given that my attitude to fusion food combinations is that only these clever top of the range kind of cooks can get the flavour balance correct, I was very surprised to find myself excited by, and subsequently ordering a portion of Haggis Nachos on my latest visit to Scotland. I love haggis, and when I saw it in this fun combination, I first of all sniggered (in a bit of a snobby kind of way, I am ashamed to admit) and then I thought, you know, it might actually be quite nice, and yes, it was!
Apart from the Haggis nachos, “The Sheep’s Heid Inn” is definately worth a visit if you are heading to Edinburgh. It’s everything you would expect from a traditional pub. It’s location, the look from the outside, inside it is authentic, but modern, great menu!
Even the most organised of us needs a little help from time to time. I have relied on these producers for years to get the best out of my Christmas food. Actually, not only Christmas, all year round, but during the festive season, I know I can rely on their service and quality.
Sausages NL: A new one for me, but essential! For so many years, I’ve struggled on, trying to make stuffing and sausage rolls with all kinds of products that just weren’t what I was looking for. So I’m so glad to have found this company that deliveres great sausages (and bacon) straight to my door!
Marqt: You may have noticed that it can be quite a challenge to get a turkey here at Christmas time. Luckily, Marqt have them in stock, although its best to order.
Slagerij Yolanda en Fred de Leeuw: An Institution, and for a reason, absolute top of the range products, knowledge and service. They also have turkey which you can ask them to stuff for you.
Frank’s Smokehouse: Traditionally smoked fish (and meats) with knowledge, care and passion. They have lots of Scottish caught specialities, so I know that they are the real McCoy!
Patisserie Kuyt: When you just can’t manage to make your own desserts, or if you want to bring a show stopper to your host, this is the go to address.
Poelier Jonk: Haarlemmerdijk 53 : is great for poultry and game.
Alain Bernard: “The French Butcher”Albert Cuypstraat 133 : is my firm favourite for confit duck, patés and rilletes.
“Take-away” Christmas Menu at the Okura! : If you want some one else to take all the strain! Get some of the best chefs in town to wow your guests.
Now that you have all the secrets to getting the best out of your Christmas food, you may have time to enjoy some of the foodie fun in the city just before Christmas.
Zuidermarkt : Where you will find the pick of the bunch of food suppliers and producers, are having Christmas drinks on Saturday 22nd December.
Caulils Deli: Also on Saturday 22nd December from 11am until 2pm, you will find Johannes van Dam (THE Amsterdam Foodie) signing his book “De Dikke van Dam” (only in Dutch).
There are so many great ways to celebrate food this week, I thought I should make sure you don’t miss out!
Restaurant Week: This takes place throughout the Netherlands from 27th Aug. to 4th Sept. The idea is that restaurants offer a menu for a reduced price so that you can try them out. The really great thing is that some of the most expensive and exclusive restaurants get involved. So, if you have always wanted to try out “that” restaurant, this is the time. Just a little tip, as many of the famous restaurants can get booked up very quickly, try booking for lunch, this often gives more chance of getting in.
New Food Fair: On Saturday 1st September, the food businesses of the Haarlemmerstraat and the Haarlemmerdijk set up stall on the streets to showcase their products. You have probably heard me talking about this area before. It has become one of the foodie hotspots in Amsterdam over the last years, and is one of the main attractions on my Culinary Tours. Worth noting also that “Too Good To Waste” will be represented at the fair – a cause close to my heart, campaigning to reduce food waste.
Food Night: If thats not enough, you can visit Food Night on Sunday 2nd September at the Slooterplas, Amsterdam, Osdorp from 2pm. Promises tastes from all over the world!
Throughout the Summer months, practically every city, town and village in Scotland has its own Highland Games. These games are not as traditional as you may think, they were actually introduced during the reign of Queen Victoria when all things Scottish were becoming very fashionable down south. It is however, based in a longer tradition of the Highland Gathering, where clans would come together to socialize, do business and even to meet future spouses!
I, of course, think that the best Games, are those held in my home town of Rothesay on the Island of Bute (18th August 2012). For me it’s a great excuse to go home, and at a time when I know I will see lots of familiar faces. Those of friends and family who live on the island and lots of ex-pat islanders who just can’t seem to stay away.
Highland Games are great fun where ever you decide to attend, of course you can witness all the usual suspects, highland dancing, tossing the caber, and lots of more modern type running races and athletics too. There is something special about going to an island though, it just makes the experience even more exciting.
This year, when I visit the Games, I’ll be enjoying my usual foodie haunts:
A Burger Games: I know, another burger, but the beef is just soooo good. At the games head for the tent selling burgers where Simon and his team will set you up. Simon and his wife Maria have owned The Kingarth Hotel for several years now, very worthwhile for dinner or lunch serving great local meat dishes and of course that fabulous sea food!
Victoria Hotel: For a special meal in town, this is a must, also using some great local produce. When eating out on the island, ask for the local meat, my favourite is produced by a local character “Scooby” who rears his own highland cattle, not to be missed.
Craigmore Tearoom: This is a bit of a secret indulgence, yes, I do love a scone! Not just any scone though, a “good” scone, and they certainly do them here. Take a walk along the shore to blow the cobwebs off and stop here for a pot of tea and a scone!
Musiker: As well as my heritage of tea and a scone, sometimes (usually the day after the Highland Games), I just need a coffee. This is the best on the island.