Disclaimer: You may experience extreme hunger pains after reading this post.
One of the most popular questions that people have been asking me about my trip is, “How was the food?! Was it amazing?” Well, yes and no. I feel a little silly admitting this, but I think I actually ate more Italian and Asian food during my trip, rather than French and British food; all of the Italian/Asian food I ate was pretty phenomenal though, even more so than than the French/British. Here’s a look at what I ate (be careful not to drool all over your keyboard):
Like I mentioned in my last post, the first thing I ate while in Paris was a crepe; mine was filled with potatoes, onions, and bacon (yes, I was a bad vegetarian). However, the “bacon” didn’t really look or taste like bacon: It tasted like ham. And I don’t even like ham! Talk about a letdown. Serves me right for cheating.
For dessert, we had a dessert crepe filled with apples and topped with vanilla ice cream. I was hoping that this would make up for my disappointing main dish, but sadly, it didn’t. There was just something about the apples in the crepe that didn’t click well with my taste buds, but I really can’t put my finger on it.
After lunch, we wandered around Montmartre and came across a little sweet shop where my impression of French food was redeemed after eating a delicious raspberry macaron.
My second French meal consisted of toast with goat cheese and egg with frites (FRENCH fries). Considering the odd combination of goat cheese and egg, this meal was actually really good! I might even try to recreate it in my own kitchen someday.
Now, on to the Asian food and more randomness. On Friday night, we decided to try a vegetarian Asian fusion restaurant; we were a little skeptical going into it, but once our food came, we were pleasantly surprised to find that it all tasted amazing: veggies and soy chicken, lemon grass soy chicken, curry, rice, etc. The feast didn’t stop there, though: After dinner, we had fried bananas and chocolate ice cream for dessert. De. Lish.
The Asian deliciousness didn’t stop there; a couple nights later, we dined at a cute, cozy little Thai restaurant where I had the best Thai food I’ve ever had in my life. We started out with some vegetarian spring rolls* for an appetizer, followed by pad thai with vegetables. I will be having sweet dreams about that dish for years to come.
The first thing I ate when I got to London was fish and chips, since that’s what London is known for. I can’t say that the fish and chips I ate were amazing since the place we bought them from was like the equivalent of a fast food restaurant (we were starving at the time and didn’t have the patience for a sit-down restaurant), but they got the job done: a full stomach.
On Tuesday morning, I wandered around by myself for a little bit and came across an adorable little bakery called Cocomaya. As soon as I stepped inside, I was immediately overwhelmed by the sights, smells, and tastes (yes, they gave free samples) of every baked good one can imagine. I couldn’t leave without buying something, so I purchased a Chocolate Morning Cake and Tomato and Goat Cheese Brioche.
For lunch, we went to the most adorable little Italian restaurant near Portobello Road. I ended up ordering Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina: gnocchi with marinara sauce, parmesan, and basil. Pretty basic, but still awesome in every way. One really can’t go wrong with tomato-cheese-basil-anything. Before our entrees came out, our server brought out fried pizza dough, “compliments of the chef.” I wasn’t a huge fan of this dish because it tasted like something one would eat at the State Fair. Basically, I could feel my arteries clogging with every bite.
Later on that evening, we met up with our friend Sam for dinner. She told us she wanted to take us to a place called Pizza Express, which made me think of a place like Panda Express: cheap, crappy Chinese joint, only with pizza. Turns out I was wrong to make such an assumption. Apparently in London, all of the pizza places are really fancy, so this Pizza Express place turned out to be a really nice, relatively pretentious, sit-down-restaurant with dim lighting and wine glasses on the tables. And of course, fantastic pizza. I went with Sam’s suggestion of pizza topped with spinach, olives, and egg (again with the randomly placed egg!), and I’m glad I did, because it was pretty damn good. Pizza on egg. Who knew?
Pizza Express not only proved to have phenomenal pizza, but phenomenal desserts as well. Sam insisted that we order two desserts: Banoffee Pie (a traditional English pastry) and Toffee Fudge Glory. And yes, they were both glorious.
And that’s pretty much everything. I hope I haven’t left your mouths salivating too much.
*I can’t remember the exact name of this dish. They tasted like spring rolls, but weren’t actually in the shape of a “roll.” Obviously.