Sunday, August 21, 2005


I generally do the cooking in our household. I enjoy cooking, and there's a few people in this town who reckon I'm pretty good at it. My specialities are the basic mainstays of British cuisine - bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie, rosbif and boudin du pays de York, fish and chips, spaghetti bolognaise and mutton korma.

But you get fed up of doing the same stuff all the time, so I was hoping to get some inspiration during my holiday. Dublin turned out to be a complete washout, food-wise. On my first night there we went out in search of dinner, and ended up in a pub that had an interesting-looking menu. However, they were not able to feed us because it was slightly after 9 pm and the kitchen was closed. That night we ate at a traditional Irish Balti House.

We fared somewhat better in Valencia and Barcelona. Tapas bars are everywhere, all offering a wide range of interesting stuff. Patatas bravas was our favourite. We didn't manage to get a genuine paella - the places we went to in these two cities all offered 'OK Paella' dishes. I think OK Paella is a manufacturer that sells ready-made paella dishes to restaurants - all the restaurant has to do is re-heat them. They looked exactly like the photos in the menu, and tasted like, well, nothing really.

On our first day in Valencia we found a leedle restaurant that obviously catered to tourists as it had menus in Spanish, English, French, German and Italian. Comparing the English and Spanish versions gave us some amusement. 'Patatas a la pobre' was 'Potatoes to the poor thing'. 'Revuelto di esparrago' was 'Mess of asparagus' and so on. Offspring and I had 'rice with meat'. This turned out to be a fairly disgusting plateful of rice with rabbit (on the bone), a bit of chicken and a hunk of black pudding.

Thereafter, we generally bought the makings of a picnic lunch, and had a bunch of tapas for our evening meal. One night we ventured into a very smart place that did an all-you-can-eat buffet thing for about 8 Euro.

So, since I got back, I've been a bit more enthused about the cooking. I've invented my own version of patatas bravas, and I've made tortilla a few times. And yesterday I was a bit bored, so I made a cheeseburger...


OK, it's made of clay and it's 4cm across, but it looks pretty good yes?

Labels: , , , ,