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: 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: The Yeatman

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View of the beautiful dining room before all of the tables filled up

Koen and I love gastronomic tourism – you really are able to get a sense of the city and culture by eating the food. While in Porto, we couldn’t pass up the chance to eat at The Yeatman, one of only two 2 star Michelin restaurants in Portugal (the other being Belcanto in Lisbon). Most notable is the wine cellar at The Yeatman. Maybe the name sounds familiar if you’ve been reading my posts – it comes from the port house Taylor, Fladgate, & Yeatman, more commonly just called Taylor’s Port.

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Porto: Majestic Café

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Majestic Café

The Majestic Café dates back to 1921 and still exudes a Belle Epoque-era ornate interior featuring carved wood, mirrors & chandeliers. The Majestic was a recommendation by someone we know from Porto, an old, beautiful café with a lot of history. I particulary liked the idea that JK Rowling spent a lot of time here writing the first Harry Potter book!

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Porto: Francesinha Sandwich

The famous francesinha sandwich from Porto. There’s a saying that to be a good resident of Porto, you must eat two francesinhas a day. Francesinha, or Little Frenchie, is a crazy meat-heavy sandwich made with bread, wet-cured ham, linguiça (Portuguese smoke cured sausage), fresh sausage like chipolata, steak, and then covered with melted cheese, topped with a fried egg surrounded by a thick tomato and beer sauce. Daniel da Silva invented the sandwich after having lived in France and Belgium. When he returned to Porto, da Silva adapted the croque-monsieur to the Portuguese taste.

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