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Restaurant Le Flambeau 27 bis rue Frédéric Mistral Cabris France
Sep 17th, 2009 by Olivier

Restaurant Le Flambeau
27 bis rue Frédéric Mistral
06530 Cabris, France

06530 Cabris, France

Le Flambeau

Le Flambeau

Inside

Inside

Le Flambeau is a restaurant in Cabris, which is a nice little village located 30 minutes drive from Antibes or 45 minutes from Nice airport. There is a superb panoramic view from the village and you can clearly see the iles de Lérins in front of Cannes. I did not take any photo of the view since it was already dark.

Complementary olives

Complementary olives

We ordered a pizza 4 seasons (9.50 euros) and a brochette of gambas (16 euros) as main courses, followed by a café liégeois (7 euros) and a coupe Bali (9 euros) as desserts. We also had a big bottle of sparkling water San Pellegrino (5.90 euros) and a pichet (pitcher) of red Merlot wine (6 euros) which was quite drinkable.

The two main courses

The two main courses

Another view of the two main courses

Another view of the two main courses

Pizza 4 seasons

Pizza 4 seasons

The pizza wasn’t bad. It was a thin and crispy base, at least. But it lacked flavour and the topping didn’t compensate adequately (low quality ham). So it became a bit difficult to finish.

Brochette de gambas

Brochette de gambas

The brochette de gambas (shrimps on a skewer) was nicely presented (see photo above) with the metal structure hosting the 4 pots of sauces (mayonnaise curry, tartare, sweet and sour…) and linked to the plate giving its balance. The shrimps were good, not overcooked, and the vegetables were good too. I would have prefered them in their shell since I am a shrimp specialist but it was fine this way :-)

Café liégeois

Café liégeois

The desserts were very impressive. They were simply giant. The café liégeois was quite good with its mix of coffee, coffee  ice cream and chantilly cream. I am not a fan of chantilly cream but this one was light and enjoyable.

Coupe Bali

Coupe Bali

The coupe Bali (mostly mango and pineapple ice cream) was good, not too sweet and nicely balanced with the chantilly. A bit too big to finish though!

Cost and conclusion: it was 53.40 euros. No 12.5% optional service charge automatically added to the bill etc, we are in France and all prices are net (all inclusive). It was a quite relaxing dinner compared to eating in London and it is nice to be on vacation. As for the food, it was average but the desserts were great.

Heathrow Terminal 5 British Airways lounges
Sep 17th, 2009 by Olivier

Heathrow Terminal 5
British Airways lounges
Hounslow, Middlesex TW6 2GD

Heathrow Terminal 5

Excellent view of the airport

Excellent view of the airport

Apparently 92% of British Airways flights at London Heathrow fly from or through Terminal 5, famous for its messy start where luggages failed to travel with their owners to the point they had to be sent to Milan to clear a backlog of 19,000 bags. At least this has been fixed.

The BA lounges at Heathrow Terminal 5 are quite good. Perhaps still a bit below the standard of some of their Asian counterparts, but definitely better than those in the other terminals at this airport. One nice feature is that they have a lot of glass and a good view of the airport. Travelling to Nice, on this occassion I went to the South club lounge (since it was nearer my gate).

My bacon rolls, pastry and a nice cup of tea

My bacon rolls, pastry and a nice cup of tea

In hot options (my choice for this day) they serve bacon rolls – which is to say, bacon in small bread rolls. These are quite good, especially if you’re fortunate enough to get them nice and fresh from the oven. There are also a selection of small pastries also served hot. Of course, there is also a selection of fruit and various cereals if you feel so inclined, but I didn’t take those.

It was about as good as it looks

It was about as good as it looks

During the flight (economy) the meal was not great. I drank the orange juice – very ordinary (as expected). Was brave enough to try one bite of the sandwich, and that was more than enough. It tasted of nothing, so I would have had to have been very very hungry or to know there was no chance of alternative food for hours to have been persuaded to eat more.

The Banana Leaf Canteen Clapham Junction London
Sep 17th, 2009 by Olivier

The Banana Leaf Canteen
75-79 Battersea Rise
London SW11 1HN

The Banana Leaf Canteen

Prawn crackers

Prawn crackers

It has been a long time since we ate Thai food so we decided to go back to the Banana Leaf Canteen near Clapham Junction. Usually it is less crowded than the Pepper Tree located in Clapham Common and it was the case again.

We ordered some crackers (£2.50), then we both had soup based noodles as main courses: the vegetarian Kau Chi Dumpling Noodles (dumplings with yellow wheat noodles with vegetable broth, served with pak shoy, shitake mushrooms, coriander and crispy shallot – £6.95) and the chicken Ying Yang Laksa Noodles (mixture of wheat and rice noodles topped with their house special mildly spiced coconut broth laced with grilled aubergine, tofu and bean sprouts. Garnished with lime wedge, coriander and crispy shallots and chicken – £7.85). As drinks we ordered a Tiger beer (£3.25) and an apple and orange juice (£2.85). The beer could have been colder. The juice was quite good.

The two main courses

The two main courses

Kau Chi Dumpling Noodles

Kau Chi Dumpling Noodles

The Kau Chi Dumpling Noodles were quite good. The soup arrived piping hot – that is, with risk of burning your mouth if you’re not careful! It was very tasty, with noodles still “al dente” in the soup. The dumplings were also pretty good, something that is quite variable in this sort of dish (i.e. I have had some pretty nasty dumplings in my time), and the vegetables fresh. The only thing I don’t care for here, but that seem to be added to most dishes at this restaurant, are the corn chips. Corn chips are one thing, but soggy corn chips in soup is quite another. That said, it’s perfectly easy to avoid eating them, so overall a good dish and very filling.

Ying Yang Laksa Noodles

Ying Yang Laksa Noodles

The Ying Yang Laksa noodles was quite good, creamy and spicy. Only one problem: it was just too hot! I managed to burn my tongue with this meal which kept its heat for a long time. The portion was huge, I had trouble finishing it and I am usually a “big” eater.

Cost and conclusion: it was £25.74 including the “optional service charge of 10%” (if it is optional, why to automatically add it to the bill?). If you are near Clapham Junction train station, the Banana Leaf Canteen is a decent place for a quick and cheap lunch. The value for money is good. The service, while friendly, could have been better: for example, the prawn crackers arrived only after the main courses. Somebody needs to train her memory 😉 You can read the previous review about this restaurant at http://www.trusted-gourmet.com/2009/07/thai-restaurant-banana-leaf-canteen-75-battersea-rise-cnr-northcote-road-clapham-junction-london. Other recommended restaurants in the area are the excellent Italian restaurant Pizza Metro (reviewed here and here) just across the road and the great authentic Japanese Sushi restaurant Tokiya (reviewed here and here). If you are into burgers, the Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Northcote Road is quite good (reviewed here and here).

Banana Leaf Canteen on Urbanspoon

Zizzi Italian Restaurant The Strand London
Sep 15th, 2009 by Olivier

Zizzi Italian Restaurant
73-75 The Strand
London WC2R 0DE

Zizzi

Nice cold Peroni beer

Nice cold Peroni beer

We go quite regularly to the Zizzi on the Strand, since it is close to the office but it has been over two months since the last review. I feel I had to post a new review since I saw a comment by someone complaining about the service for non-native English speakers, the food and the price (!). I too am a non-native English speaker but have not had a single problem at this restaurant. By the way, not many waiters at this Zizzi are native English speakers… They seem mostly to be from Poland or Italy according to their accent. As for the “rubbish food”, well it all depends on people’s taste but personally I find Zizzi quite decent and I have been in many restaurants. Still, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But what I find funny is when the whinger says “it could be, and should be much better taking into consideration the price” I almost choked on my can of coke laughing. First, a meal costs around £8-12 at Zizzi and this one is located in the Strand, which is not exactly the cheapest area in London. You pay the same price at any Zizzi so this one at least is offering a better value for money compared to the ones located in less desirable places. Second, even in absolute Zizzi is quite cheap: you eat well, the surrounding is not bad and air conditioning is nice when it is hot. Cheaper, is the McDonalds next door. Third, Zizzi offers discounts all the time! For example, the current offer allows you to buy any main meal and get another one for only £1! It is valid Sunday to Thursday until Sunday 11th October 2009. Just go to http://zizzi.co.uk to see the latest offers.

Pizzas cotto e funghi

Pizzas cotto e funghi

Well, back to the review now. We ordered 2 pizzas cotto e funghi (£8.50 + £1 for the second pizza with their current deal), a bottle of San Pellegrino 500ml (£2.15) and a bottle of Peroni beer (£3.20). We chose that kind of pizza since we quite liked it last time we reviewed the place. It was good this time too, with a nice thin crispy base. The toppings were good, and we especially like the mushrooms and the creamy mascarpone

Cost and conclusion: It was less than £15 for two people. All tips and gratuities are discretionary at Zizzi and they really are since they are not automatically added to the bill. Great pizzas, very reasonable prices, excellent location for us but also for all the tourists visiting Covent Garden or Trafalgar Square where tourist traps are the norm.

Zizzi on Urbanspoon

Ship Inn Mousehole, Penzance, Cornwall
Sep 14th, 2009 by Olivier

Ship Inn Bar and Restaurant
Mousehole – Penzance
Cornwall TR19 6QX

Ship Inn

Mousehole

Mousehole

Mousehole's harbour

Mousehole's harbour

The Ship Inn (in the centre)

The Ship Inn (in the centre)

The entrance

The entrance

Mousehole! I had to come here because of its funny name but actually it is a lot more than that. It is a lovely tiny fishing village really worth the trip.

The Ship Inn is a hotel and pub/restaurant superbly located right in front of the harbour. The old building in stone is quite nice and inside there is a rustic feeling with the wall in stones, the beamed ceilings and the heavy wooden tables. There are several model boats near the windows. There is a pub area and a separate restaurant area.

Inside the Ship Inn

Inside the Ship Inn

The choice in the menu is restricted compared to some gastro pubs: some sandwiches, some jacket potatoes, a rump steak, a double cheeseburger, mussels in white wine, home made fish pie, home made steak and ale pie, fish and chips and that’s about all.
We ordered the beer battered fish and chips and a home-made fish pie. As drink we had a beer and a lemonade.

The drinks

The drinks

Home-made fish pie

Home-made fish pie

The home-made fish pie was very tasty. It was mainly potato and cheese with not too much fish and seafood, but there was enough to make it worth eating and both taste and texture were very good. It came with a nice fresh salad and some crispy chunks of fresh farmhouse-style bread.

Fish and chips

Fish and chips

The beer battered fish and chips was good: well fried, and with a firm texture. The fries were not great but then I am not a fan of those thick fries. I prefer them when they are much thinner. The only thick fries I like are the ones cooked at Gourmet Burger Kitchen because they are crispy.

Cost and conclusion: It was just less than £25, not bad for decent food and for the excellent location. The Ship Inn is also a hotel so you can rest there and enjoy the view over the harbour from your bedroom.

Some other photos taken at Mousehole:

Another view of the harbour

Another view of the harbour

The Mousehole

The Mousehole

Funny!

Funny!


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