Review – Bomboloni

I finally made it in! Not through lack of trying, however, since opening only a few weeks ago Andrew, Molly and their team have been enjoying a packed restaurant both in and out.

The boyfriend and I headed over for an early, midweek supper and were greeted by a very empty restaurant. “Don’t worry” laughed Andrew, “we’re booked up for the night”. He wasn’t joking either as we must have watched four or five attempts to get in by walk ins, some of which braved the less than stellar weather outside, surely a mark of a good reputation?

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We started with a beautiful garlic and rosemary flatbread, too hot to touch it was that fresh from the oven. The bread was charred and springy with generous lashings of butter, garlic and rosemary. A lovely, carby start to what ended up being a bit of a feast!

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For main my fruits of the sea loving dining partner chose the seafood stew whilst I went traditional with beef shin ragu with pappardelle. The portion sizes were incredibly generous, my partner’s bowl was heaped with clams, prawns, mussels, fish and a light tomato broth. All of it was topped with a pungent and beautifully whipped garlic aioli which I couldn’t resist dunking my fork in to.

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My ragu was piled on top of perfectly cooked, ribbons of pasta, the beef itself was full of flavour and not too heavy despite the amount I had on the plate.  The parmesan and fresh parsley helped lift it all to star quality!

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I couldn’t leave without actually eating a bomboloni so pudding was ordered! Five, freshly cooked little doughnuts appeared with two dipping sauces, jaw smacking lemon curd and sweet raspberry coulee. The bomboloni smelled utterly divine,  who doesn’t adore the smell of hot, sugary doughnuts?

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I am so pleased to have Bomboloni open so close to home, I feel with the recent closings of Zazus, Bagel Boy and the cake shop, the little strip on Pigsty Hill had become sad and it desolate. Despite having an array of options to eat on Gloucester Road, what we lacked was a good, family run restaurant (that isn’t an old fashioned Italian) and we have that now. I recommend you book yourself in as soon as possible.

Find Bomboloni here 

Carols Crab Kitchen @ The Old Butchers 

CRAB PEOPLE, CRAB PEOPLE

I have been screaming out for a New Orleans style seafood boil restaurant after the disappearance of Party in my Pans (I left hungry that night) and finally, the crab shack Gods have answered.

Carols Crab Kitchen have landed at The Old Butchers from the 15th June and promises a seafood fusion from The Deep South and Vietnam. With offerings of soft shell crab burgers, gumbo, Carol’s crab cakes, wings and sharing trays. Complimented with sides of triple cooked corn on the cob, prawn cocktail or sweetcorn chowder fries, pickled popcorn shrimp, and deep fried pickled shitake mushrooms. Phew!

 

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Carol and Ben – The Old Butchers

 

Every Thursday night at The Old Butcher’s will be The Weekly Seafood Boil – served on a sharing tray at the centre of the table, you’ll be poured a steaming hot pot of clams, mussels, smoked sausage and langoustines and veg – expect things to get messy!

If that wasn’t enough, Carol (of Doreen Doreen fame) will be getting her own piece of the crab action by popping into The Old Butcher’s and hosting Carol’s Supreme Monthly Boil along with the band. It promises to be an extra special crab extravaganza (hint* there’s a band in the house that night), so look out on social media for further details. Carol’s Crab Kitchen will be open Tuesday – Saturday. There’s also a brunch menu of crab or veggie grilled cheese toasties, popcorn shrimp or chicken sandwiches, and a selection of evening dishes. Brunch will be served 12noon-3pm Tuesday-Saturday and then the evening menu 5pm-10pm Tuesday-Saturday.

Carol’s Crab Kitchen will be open Tuesday – Saturday. There’s also a brunch menu of crab or veggie grilled cheese toasties, popcorn shrimp or chicken sandwiches, and a selection of evening dishes. Brunch will be served 12noon-3pm Tuesday-Saturday and then the evening menu 5pm-10pm Tuesday-Saturday.

 

Mackerel pate – Ultimate fish paste.

Growing up in a large family, sandwiches for school lunch were usually full of exciting various types of “paste”. Those tiny jars of non descriptive pink spread were a regular occurrence between two slices of bread and you would think i would now regard any reminder of the taste to be a real turn off for me.

“Paste” doesn’t fill me full of confidence that there is actually any meat in this

However, just like tinned tomato soup, turkey burgers and pop tarts there is a tiny little space in my heart for paste (they really didn’t think about the name did they?) and when i come across something that tastes similar i am all over it…the exception to this is course meat pate, i think paste ruined me for pate at an early age.

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Step forward the humble smoked mackerel pate, a Christmas favourite as a starter or something i like to chow down on in front of the telly with an entire loaf of bread on a Saturday night. Its relatively healthy if you watch what you are putting in (i am on a weight loss kick at the moment so this sort of thing is suddenly important) but still tastes rich and indulgent so you don’t have to worry too much if the idea of “low fat” makes you shake with fear.

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There are thousands of recipes for mackerel pate but this is my favourite.

You will need:

  • 4 smoked mackerel fillets
  • Tablespoon of horseradish sauce or fresh horseradish if you can find it
  • Sweet pickles to taste (i used about six, could have taken more, i make my own sweet pickles see here how you can too)
  • Fresh dill to taste(or dried if you have it lying around)
  • Tablespoon of crème fraiche (i used half fat and you can’t tell the difference)
  • Tablespoon of sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Melted butter – enough to cover the pate a couple of mls

Put all the ingredients into a blender (bar the butter) and pulse until smooth. Put the mixture into ramekins and pour over the melted butter. Place in the fridge to set and serve with toasted sourdough bread and salad.

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I had mine with a wedge of home-made pork pie and apple butter. That night my dinner was better than everyone elses…fact.