London: Sunday Roast at the Hawksmoor

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Hawksmoor on Air Street

Koen and I can’t be in London on a Sunday without eating a roast. So we were happy when Chris and Hannah agreed to go to the Hawksmoor for their delicious Sunday Roast!

From their site:

Traditionally, large joints of meat were roasted on a spit over an open fire. To achieve a similar flavour we start ours on real charcoal and finish them in the oven. Served with beef dripping roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, greens, roasted shallots & garlic and lashings of bone marrow & onion gravy.

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London: Kanada-Ya

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Kanada-Ya

One of my favorite things about big, international cities like London is that you can find great food from almost any nationality. High on our list during this trip was ramen, so I researched some of the best restaurants and discovered Kanada-Ya. Originally found in Yukuhashi ont he southern island of Kyushu in Japan in 2009, a location was opened in London in 2014. For their famous tonkotsu, pork bones are simmered for 18 hours to create a delicious broth with homemade noodles that are made on site. Worth the 45 minute wait!

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London: V&A Videogames

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Arriving at the V&A for the Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt Exhibit

Koen and I always seem to be visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum for a fashion exhibit, but this time we went for something a bit different – Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt, a major exhibition that explores the design and culture of contemporary videogames. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I really loved it! So interesting to delve deeper into the creative process!

To quote the site:

This exhibition provides a unique insight into the design process behind a selection of groundbreaking contemporary videogames. Design work including concept art and prototypes featured alongside large-scale immersive installations and interactives.

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London: Rabbit

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Rabbit

I love visiting Chelsea whenever I’m in London – so many great restaurants as well as my favorite museum, the Victoria & Albert. This trip we made reservations at Rabbit. From their website:

“Our ever changing menu champion’s local and wild British seasonal produce. We use all things wild, foraged, and locally grown, including sustainable livestock from the Gladwin’s own family farm in West Sussex. Plus we have a range of English Wines from our own vineyard.

Dishes are presented as “small plates” designed for sharing or to enjoy individually. Our team will guide you through the menu to help you make a balanced selection of dishes.”

The food was really delicious and I loved that we were able to share all of the plates. Standouts were the smoked butter and the partridge nuggets.

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London: King’s Cross

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Granary Square ready for Christmas

I love visiting London and this time we planned a weekend trip with our friends Chris and Hannah! From Brussels to London, it’s only a 2 hour train ride – fast and easy!

St. Pancras Train Station is in Kings Cross, so my trips always begin here. I love visiting Granary Square and walking along the Regent’s Canal. Normally we always visit Dishoom or The Lighterman for lunch, but we decided to try somewhere new and more traditionally British – Piebury Corner for meat pies and scotch eggs.

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Imam Bayildi

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Imam Bayildi served with couscous

Continuing with vegetarian cooking, I decided to make the Turkish dish Imam Bayildi for dinner. Imam Bayildi contains my favorite veggies – oven roasted tomatoes and eggplant as well as caramelized onions. Yum!

The name Imam Bayildi literally translates into “the imam fainted”. There are a couple of stories behind the name:

1) A Turkish imam swooned with pleasure at the flavor when presented with this dish by his wife and he fainted upon hearing the cost of the ingredients or the amount of oil used to cook the dish.

2) An imam married the daughter of an olive oil merchant and her dowry consisted of twelve jars of the finest olive oil, with which she prepared each evening in an eggplant dish with tomatoes and onions. On the thirteenth day, there was no eggplant dish at the table. When informed that there was no more olive oil, the imam fainted.

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Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba

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Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba

After a long vacation I am always excited to get back in the kitchen! After so much meat and seafood I was ready for a few days of vegetarian dishes and headed to My New Roots in search of a delicious fall dish. The Pumpkin Miso Broth with Soba caught my eye and didn’t disappoint. So delicious! In her recipe she recommends dried seaweed, but in Belgium it’s so easy to find different types of fresh seaweed – including my favorite, samphire – so nice and juicy!

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Porto: Cantinho do Avillez

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Cantinho do Avillez

For our last dinner in Porto we decided to eat at Cantinho do Avillez, the more casual and relaxed restaurant of Chef José Avillez. Chef José Avillez is the most famous chef in Portugal and is most famous for his restaurant Belcanto, currently ranked #75 best restaurant in the world. Whereas Belcanto is pure Portuguese cooking, Cantinho do Avillez is Portuguese with inspiration from trips abroad. The cherry gazpacho and green bean tempura were the best!

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Porto: Walking through downtown

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Universidade do Porto on the right

On our last day in Porto we decided to take a walk through the historic downtown area. The city is not too big and perfect for strolling – given you don’t mind steps and inclines! It’s a shame we didn’t have better weather, but the clouds didn’t take away from the beauty and charm of the city.

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