Tuesday 23 May 2017

EmmaEats on Tour: Dundee Part 3

So hopefully you have read the first and second part of my trip to Dundee. The first part of the blog told you about about my lunch at Jute Cafe Bar and my stay in the Malmaison and can be viewed here. The second part was all about my amazing dinner at Bridgeview Station which can be viewed here and this part tells you all about my lovely lunch at Castlehill. I was only in Dundee for a little over 24 hours so I didn't manage to get to a lot of restaurants but I did my best. It is somewhere that I definitely want to go back to.

I woke up with a bit of quandary on Saturday morning - brunch is my favourite meal of the week, I just love the whole concept of a long lazy brunch, however there were so many restaurants that I wanted to try out and none of them were doing brunch so I had to suck it up and miss my Saturday brunch. Don’t feel too sorry for me though … I managed to have a lovely lunch at Castlehill. So after I checked out of the Malmaison Dundee I didn't feel like I was ready for a full lunch so I decided to do some more wandering around Dundee before going for food. It was a lovely dry morning so it was great just to stroll around and take in all the sights and atmosphere. 

Once I had worked up a bit of an appetite I decided to head towards the restaurant, I hadn't booked Castlehill so I was a little concerned that I wouldn't get in but thankfully they were able to take me. The restaurant is really pretty, everything is lovely and fresh. I was seated down the back of the restaurant and given the menu's. I could choose from either the tasting menu or the general lunch menu. 

As I wasn't overly hungry I decided to order off the lunch menu. The lunch menu caters to everyone's taste with meat, fish and vegetable offerings. I didn't have any starter and went straight to my main course of roasted beetroot - fig, goats curd & truffle honey. I am a big fan of beetroot and goats curd at the best of times but oh my god this dish was sensational. It was just an explosion of flavours. It was also such a pretty dish. Everything about it was just prefect and it was the right size. It thankfully even left me with a bit of room to have a dessert (yes I know in the previous paragraph I was just saying that I wasn't overly hungry). 

There are three desserts on the menu and to be honest I liked the look of them all so I asked the waitress for her recommendation and then it was settled, I was having the Chocolate - coffee, rapessed & jelly dessert. This was again a great dish - everything worked really well together. However, I must admit I found the texture of the jelly a little funny - but I am odd with textures (I can't eat mushrooms because of the way they feel). To finish my meal I had a lovely coffee. 

The food, service and atmosphere here is great. The staff were so friendly and helpful and nothing was any trouble for them. I definitely want to come back here for dinner the next time I find myself up this way. 

So once again with a full belly I took another stroll around Dundee before starting the trek back to Troon on the train. I really enjoyed my trip to Dundee and having the opportunity to sample the food offerings was great. It would appear that Dundee has a great food scene - one that is growing and being recognised as a place to visit for food.

Don't forget to check out parts 1 & 2.

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma mai xx

To keep up to date with all my foodie adventures and to never miss a new post follow me on my social media accounts by clicking on the following links:- Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

To find out more about Castlehill visit there restaurant by clicking here

Date visited: Saturday, 18 March 2017

EmmaEats on Tour: Dundee Part 2

So hopefully you have read the first part of my post on my recent trip to Dundee which tells you about about my lunch at Jute Cafe Bar and my stay in the Malmaison, you can see that by clicking here. This part is all about my amazing dinner at Bridgeview Station and the final part tells you all about my lovely lunch at Castlehill, which can be viewed by clicking here. I was only in Dundee for a little over 24 hours so I didn't manage to get to a lot of restaurants but I did my best. It is somewhere that I definitely want to go back to.

So for dinner I had decided to go to Bridgeview Station - this is a restaurant I had come across previously and loved the look of the menu so I knew when I finally got around to going to Dundee it was were I was going to have my dinner. The chef there is Rory Lovie - you may have caught him at one of his pop ups in Glasgow. As I’ve said in part one already - it was a miserable day so I was delighted when I arrived into the warm and welcoming Bridgeview Station and was shown to my table by the window. 

Photo Credit: Bridgeview Station

Whilst I was sitting there all I could think of was that on a summers day the view must be amazing here … but on the night I was there it was so dark and yes, miserable, I couldn’t see a thing. I was given three menu’s - the March menu, the classic menu and the all important drinks menu. There is loads to choose from on these menus with each dish sounding amazing - but I finally made my decision and went for the almond milk pannacotta, broccoli, toasted almonds for starter, poached blairgowrie chicken, wild leeks & garlic, mushrooms, chicken consommé with a side of greens for mains and dark chocolate bavarois, sea buckthorn sorbet and crystallised chocolate. Each dish was just delicious.

Photo Credit: Bridgeview Station
Photo Credit: Bridgeview Station

My starter was so tasty - everything worked really well together. I loved the broccoli aspect of the dish - it was so full of flavour - I will admit I nearly licked my bowl clean it was that good. 

For mains my chicken was just cooked to perfection - I had my doubts about the chicken consommé when I ordered the dish but again the taste from this was just great. 

Finally my dessert was, can you guess, delicious. Everything on the plate was just so full of flavour and tasted amazing. 

This is a gem of a place with really good food at really good prices, you can get two courses for £18 or 3 for £23 pounds - for the quality of the food this is an amazing price.

As it was dark and wet (yes I had to mentioned it again) when I arrived i didn’t get any nice photos of the restaurant itself - however I managed to get some directly from the restaurant just so you could see how pretty the place is.

Photo Credit: Bridgeview Station

The food, service and atmosphere here are great, I really loved everything about it and I will definitely visit again. 

So after all that delicious food I headed back to the hotel and straight to my room. I had hoped to maybe sample a cocktail or two but I was just way too full, so I just had a early night instead. 

Don't forget to check out parts 2 & 3.

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma mai xx

To keep up to date with all my foodie adventures and to never miss a new post follow me on my social media accounts by clicking on the following links:- Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

To check out Bridgeview Station's website click here

Date visited: Friday, 17 March 2017

EmmaEats on Tour: Dundee Part 1

Ever since I went traveling to Australia when I was in my early 20’s I have endeavoured to see as much of the country that I live in. So last year I crossed a few spots in Scotland off my list and hope to do the same this year and Dundee was my first port of call. One of the main reasons that Dundee was no 1 this year was that I had come across some restaurants that I wanted to visit. There seemed to be such a thriving food scene there that I wanted to go and try it out myself. The food scene in Dundee seemed to have a lot of high end offerings which just intrigued me. I have decided this split my trip to Dundee into three parts, this is the first part and you read the second part here and third part here

The first part of the blog tells you about about my lunch at Jute Cafe Bar and my stay in the Malmaison. The next part is all about my amazing dinner at Bridgeview Station and the final part tells you all about my lovely lunch at Castlehill. I was only in Dundee for a little over 24 hours so I didn't manage to get to a lot of restaurants but I did my best. It is somewhere that I definitely want to go back to. 

So I booked the train and my hotel - I decided to stay in the Malmaison Dundee for two reasons, firstly because it looked nice and secondly it was fairly central. I arrived into Dundee at lunch time and headed straight to Jute Cafe Bar in the Dundee Contemporary Building. I actually really loved this place and it reminded me of an independent cinema in Dublin that I used to go to. I really felt comfortable here - it’s hard to explain but it felt like I was home. The menu looked great and there was a lot of choice on it - I just decided to go for a sandwich as I had dinner plans for the evening - so I went for the brie, sun blushed tomato and avocado ciabatta with crispy red onions - this came with the option of soup or fries - and clearly because I was on my holidays I went for the fries 😎 I also had a glass of bubbles with my lunch. I enjoyed my lunch but I felt that the ciabatta itself was lacking something - I feel the sandwich would have tasted better if the ciabatta had been properly toasted. To honest though, I generally don’t eat bread so maybe that’s just what ciabatta tastes like. 

After my lunch I took a stroll around Dundee - it was a miserable day so I just ended up going to the shopping centre …. the rain is my excuse for buying new clothes 😂. I then checked into the hotel in time to get ready for dinner. The hotel looked as good as it did in the photo’s. Check in was seamless. My room was small but really nicely decorated and the bed was so comfy. I had two issues with the room though - the first being that the floor boards creaked every time I walked on them - even though there was carpet down - I know I’ve eaten a lot lately but I don’t think that should make the situation worse. The other complaint was that my room overlooked a really busy street and it was very noisy during the day but in fairness it didn’t really affect my sleep.

Don't forget to check out parts 2 & 3 to see what else I got up to in Dundee.

Thanks a mil for reading.

Emma mai xx

To keep up to date with all my foodie adventures and to never miss a new post follow me on my social media accounts by clicking on the following links:- Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.

For Jute Cafe Bar's website click here
For Malmaison Dundee's website click here

Date visited: Friday, 17 March 2017

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Darnley's Gin Blogger Event at The Spiritualist, Glasgow

WHAT WHERE WHO HOW WHEN .... yes you are still on EmmaEats blog. As well as eating I do like to have the odd drink or two (well I am Irish after all 😂). So when I got an invite to head along to a blogger event hosted by Darnley's Gin at the Spiritualist, I jump at the opportunity. I had never been to the Spiritualist either so I was looking forward to seeing what it had to offer.

On arrival we were given a welcome cocktail called 'A view of the Port' - this cocktail was created by the Spiritualist and contained the following - Darnley's Spiced Gin, Ruby Port, fresh lemon juice, homemade cinnamon syrup and cranberry and orange relish. Served over crushed ice and garnished with fresh berries, orange peel & mint. This drink was delicious and way too easy to drink. It was so light and refreshing.

After our welcome drink we were seated at a table where Emma from Darnley's Gin & Dale from the Spiritualist spoke a bit about the gin and the food pairings. The reason for this event is the fact that Darnley's Gin is launching a new chapter - the gin has been rebranded from Darnley's View and loads of new and exciting things are either taking place or are going to happen soon. But where did it all begin? - it began as a Wemyss family adventure in 2010 with the original gin, and now has expanded with 2 additional gins - the spiced gin & the navy strength. Darnely's Gin are also building a new distillery in Fife - the gin is currently being distilled in London so this is such an exciting move. I believe the distillery in Fife is due to open during the summer.

It was finally time to have a taste of the gin ... up first was Darnley’s Original Gin which is inspired by the elderflower growing wild in the grounds of the Wemyss family castle in Fife, this elegant gin uses a distinctive blend of six botanicals including elderflower, coriander and lemon peel, creating a classic juniperled gin which is fresh, floral and vibrant. Bottled at 40%. I really enjoyed the taste of this gin - it had a little hint of spice which I liked. The dish that was paired with this was cured Scottish smoked salmon with elderflower and lemon cream cheese roulade. This was really tasty and the elderflower really complimented the dish. 

Up nest was the Darnley’s Spiced Gin, now this intrigued me as I'm a big fan of spiced rum so I was looking forward to seeing how they made this work with a gin. The Darnley's Spiced Gin was sparked by the Wemyss family’s spirit of adventure, this gin uses a distinctive blend of ten botanicals including cloves, ginger and grains of paradise. Contemporary in style, it is full and rounded with warm spice notes from cinnamon and nutmeg, followed by a lingering peppery finish. Bottled at 42.7%. Oh I loved this gin - it had such a warm feeling to it. I felt it had a lovely soft taste of orange to it. The dish that was paired with this gin was Darnley's Spiced Gin and bramble jellies with cinnamon madeleine. For me - this was my favourite dish of the night. It was just so flavoursome. 

Ok so when I heard the next gin was navy strength I will admit I was unsure as to whether or not I'd taste it as I reckoned it would be way too strong for me. However, I decided to just have a little sip of it and to my surprise it wasn't as strong as I thought it would be. Darnley’s Spiced Gin ‘Navy Strength’: During their time at sea, ships’ officers used to enjoy a daily ration of gin which had to pass a gunpowder test to prove it was over 57% alcohol and therefore ‘Navy Strength’. This gin uses the same botanicals as Darnley’s Spiced Gin, with a touch more juniper and an increased proof for a bold gin with intense warming spice flavours. Bottled at 57.1%. This gin was paired with pan seared saddle of highland venison with Darnley's Navy Strength Gin & juniper sauce. Garnished with pomegranate seeds. Again this dish was very tasty. 

So I think I'm converted to spiced gin ... 

I had such a lovely night and I would like to say thank you to all at Darnley's Gin, The Spiritualist and Burt Greener Communications. 

Date of Event: Monday, 8 May 2017

To never miss a post and to keep up to date with all my foodie (& drink) adventures follow me on my social media accounts by clicking on the links:- Twitter, Facebook & Instagram

Thanks a mil for reading. 

Emma mai xx

Tuesday 2 May 2017

Spring Menu - Blogger Event at Iberica Glasgow

For those of you who follow my blog you know that I eat tapas fairly regularly - I love all types of tapas but Spanish tapas were the first kind of ‘small plates’ that I had and it took a number of years for others to get to grips with the ‘small plate’. Anyway, one of the newer tapas restaurants in Glasgow, Ibérica, has introduced a selection of new seasonal dishes to its menu for spring and they invited me along to sample them. I’ve been to Iberica a number of times, you can read about my last visit here.

For the new seasonal dishes Iberica have added a number of lighter dishes and some additional seasonal tapas to sit alongside the long-time classics, such as their Ibérico Hams, Croquetas de Jamón or Traditional Paellas.

Some of the newer vegetarian dishes added to the menu are:- Baby Carrot Tempura; Crispy Cauliflower and Pak Choi and a Strawberry and Beetroot Salad. For the meat eaters, the new dishes are:- Chicken Wings with Canarian Mojo Sauce; Chickpea Puree and Ensaladilla Rusa and the much celebrated Twice Cooked Lamb makes a welcome return, alongside 28 days dry aged Ribeye Steak.

So to start, when we arrived we had the opportunity to sample a trio de Jamones & toasted bread with tomato, cheese selection board & bread and olives. Ana, one of our hosts for the night, kindly described to us the different types of Jamones. You can also see this from the picture below - this was also a napkin which I thought was cool. The Jamones and cheese selection were absolutely delicious. Before we went on to the main course we were given the opportunity to learn to drink from a Porron, which was great fun. Cristina kindly showed us how to do this, some of the group were brave enough to give it ago and they did very well. I wasn’t brave enough to do it though.

So next up we were taken to the private dining room for dinner. I had decided to give the vegetarian menu a try as I often get questions about good veggie spots. The dishes that I sampled were as follows: baby carrot tempura; crispy cauliflower and pak choi; patatas bravas; strawberry & beetroot salad; tortilla; sauteed peas with poached egg; tocinillo de cielo and churros con chocolate. I must admit each and every dish was very tasty. My favourite were the baby carrot tempura, crispy cauliflower and pak choi and of course the churros con chocolate. My least favourite was the tortilla - there was nothing wrong with this, I’m just not fond of tortilla in general.

During the meal we were provided with a lovely red and white wine as follows:-

White Wine: Perro Verde. Verdejo. DO Rueda (2015) Classic, fresh peach and cut grass.
Red Wine: Comenge Crianza. Tinto Fino. DO Ribera del Duero (2014) Elegant with an earthy minerality. Medium bodied with a long and fruity finish.

Ana, our host provided some additional info on the wines selected by Iberica:- Iberica source wines from different regions with the aim of representing the rick diversity of Spanish wines. As part of this effort, Iberica bring wines from small boutique wineries that are not available anywhere else in the UK - these are makred with an * in their wine list. Sourcing directly from the producers allows Iberica to give us, the customer, a better price for the quality of these wines.

Ibérica is the perfect place to share tapas and a drink with friends, enjoy a light bite, or to sit at the bar and indulge in an unrivalled wine list, that include over 50 wines – as stated above some are not available anywhere else in the UK -  G&Ts or original sangrías. In addition, from April onwards, children under the age of 10 will be able to eat for free every Sunday.

Iberica is definitely worth a visit, the food, service and atmosphere are really good. I love the interior of this place, it is just so pretty and somewhere that I could imagine spending hours with the girls grazing over the tapas and enjoying some great wine.

I would like to say a big thank you to our hosts on the night Ana & Natalie. It was lovely to get to chat to you both and find out so much about Iberica in general and specifically the food and wine. Also a big thank you to Cristina our waitress for the night.

To keep up to date of where I’ve visited and to never miss a post follow me on my social media accounts, just click on the following links Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Date Visited: Tuesday, 26 April 2017

Restaurant Details:
Iberica Glasgow,
140 St Vincent Street,
G2 5LA

Telephone: 0141 5307985
Website: click here

Disclaimer:- I was invited by Iberica to sample their new spring menu and did not pay for my meal. The above is an accurate account of my experience on the night.

Here are some photos of other dishes on the night that I may or may not have sampled as they had meat in them.