Foodie Bucketlist

There’s been a lot of chat this week in the foodie world about bucketlists with the Herald’s article of 15 Scottish foodie adventures & fellow foodie blogger Foodie Quine discussing Scottish foodie adventures on this week’s the BBC’s Kitchen Cafe. Needless to say, it’s got me thinking about my foodie bucketlist & experiences that I would like to have.

I’ve been fortunate to experience some of my foodie dreams already such as:

  • Eating chinese street food with the locals in Hong Kong
  • Wolfing down some Pad Thai at a Bangkok market
  • Dining in an authentic Spanish restaurant with a mountain of paella for our main
  • Al dente pasta under the stars in Rome
  • An evening of bowling & food in a retro bowling alley in Brooklyn

Taking inspiration from blogger Glasgow Mummy, a few months ago I created a 30 by 30 bucketlist of items I wanted to achieve before I turn 30 in a few years time (no sharing of what’s on that list here I’m afraid!). There are some foodies items on there that I’ve included here but I’ve now ended up with a whole other bucketlist, both of which will definitely keep me busy (and poor) for the foreseeable!!

Fish & Chips in Anstruther

Sometimes there’s nothing more wonderful than walking along the seafront, with the sun shining down, gulls overhead munching a bags of chips! Ok, ok this may be a bit idealistic of me as the sun shining down often only happens on a cold winter’s day. The Anstruther Fish Bar has won several awards of the years for their produce & it’s a no brainer that if you’re looking for a decent portion of fish & chips, this is the place to go.

fish

Have a picnic

I remember during my childhood going on family days out to Millport or a park & we would take along some rolls & crisps for our lunch. However, I’ve never had a proper picnic, the type were you have little plates, plastic glasses & lots of wee nibbles. Probably another idealistic foodie dream of mine but it’s one I’m hoping to achieve this year on one of Scotland’s gorgeous beaches or country parks.

picnic

Dine in Duck & Waffle at a ridiculous hour of the day

I’m a big an of Saturday Kitchen & Daniely Doherty, executive chef of the Duck & Waffle was a guest, discussing the concept of the restaurant. The Duck & Waffle is located on the 40th floor of a skyscraper in London, focussing on serving local & seasonal produce in a sharing manner, they are open 24/7. Being open all day, every day, there are obviously a story or 2 to be had about the restaurant (so much so they’ve even released a book) & the whole concept just sounded so cool, I instantly wanted to go. Another bucketlist item I’m hoping to achieve this year!

duck

Dine & Stay Overnight in Gidleigh Park

Gidleigh Park in Devon is a country house that is the home to the wonderful Michael Caines. Being one of my favourite chefs, I would absolutely love to have an overnight stay here & experience the tasting menu on offer. As it’s a five star hotel, I better get saving!

gidleigh

Learn how to make consistently good bread

I’ve dabbled a bit in bread making but it’s always a bit hit & miss, especially why I tried a sourdough starter. It’s obvious that I need to attend a real bread making course such as Richard Bertinet’s to get the advice & experience I need to get bread just right.

bread

Take part in an eating challenge

As with a lot of people, when Man vs Food hit the UK screens, I was hooked! His journey of travelling around America eating ridiculously sized portions was fascinating. I am a big spice fan & have those days where I can just eat for Britain so I think I’d be able to tackle some form of challenge that combines both. With more & more eating challenges popping up, I’m sure I’ll be able to find the perfect one soon.

challenge

Drink a pint of Guinness at the Guinness factory

A pretty generic one I know but Guinness is one of the few beers/stouts that I like. Plus it’s an excuse to finally visit Ireland!

guinness

Eat Real Mexican food 

If you haven’t already seen from previous posts, Mexican food is in my top 3 & I honestly cannot eat enough of it. Add on the fact that I have several Mexican Dia De Los Muertos tattoos (including a sleeve in progress), a trip to Mexico is definitely on the cards. I’ve also heard a lot of people who have either been to Mexico or are from America state that the Mexican food on offer in the UK is not a patch on the real mccoy – another excuse to head over!

mexican

Go Foraging

I toyed with the idea of foraging last year as we were gifted a sloe gin kit for our wedding by friends but have not put it to use yet. However, I have no idea how to go about it or where to go. I mean, do people really just go for a wander & pick what they see?! It’s something I think would be worthwhile doing, especially for speciality foods like wild garlic & sloes when they are in season.

forage

Eat an insect

This might seem a bit of an absurd bucketlist item but insects are a massive deal with millions, if not billions, of people eating them as part of their daily diet. When we went to Thailand & Hong Kong, I thought I would be greeted with lots of street food stalls laden with insects. Sadly, that was not the case so my hunt for trying authentic insect dishes goes on!

insect

I’d be intrigued to find out what’s on your foodie wishlist?

Review: Five Guys

If you’ve been following me on social media you’ll know I have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Glasgow’s first Five Guys restaurant. My love affair with Five Guys started in 2010 when I was living in New York whilst working & it was hands down the best burger I’ve ever eaten in my life at that time. When they moved across the pond to London last year, it was only natural that we popped in when briefly visiting after our mini-moon.

Five Guys

Fast forward to December 2014 & I was eager to visit Five Guys despite the over-saturation of burger outlets in Glasgow. I mean 4 within a block of each other, is there really much need? Because of the time of year, we didn’t get a chance to pop in until the Christmas holidays. The first thing I did notice was the lack of queue, which was surprising given both times I’d been to the London branch, I’d had to queue before being served. I guess it’s more than likely in part to so many burger choices nearby.

Kitchen

If you haven’t been to Five Guys, the best way I can describe it is the best fast food burger you’ll ever have. They offer burgers & hot dogs (I’ve never tried the latter) & their selling point is that toppings are free. Yes, you heard right, FREE! This includes an array of sauces, onions (two ways), chillies & a few other salad choices. If you’re stuck for choice, you can opt for “All The Way” where you get all toppings in black on your burger.

Toppings

The restaurant itself is a typical fast food joint – tables dotted around, food served on a tray & clear your own table type affair. For soft drinks, Five Guys provide self-service Coca Cola company machines that provide 100s of different options for soft drinks such as coke, fanta & sprite in various flavours. Thanks to the array of choice, I had to queue for a soft drink for 10 minutes which I’d never done in any other branch.
When you order, you’re given a ticket & once your order is ready, you collect once your ticket is shouted.

Soft Drinks

I opted for a cheeseburger with hot sauce, mayo, mustard, jalapenos & grilled onions. Each burger comes wrapped in foil & has 2 patties as default. As soon as I sank my teeth into it, I was transported back to that first burger I’d had by Five Guys. It was as juicy & full of flavour as I had remembered, with more kudos that the jalapenos were fresh which gave it an added bite. I will admit, however, that it did taste very similar to the Cali Burger I’d had from Bread Meats Bread earlier in the year.

Burger

Fries

Another cherished memory I’d had of Five Guys was their cajun fries, which are fried in low fat peanut oil to give them a distinct flavour. Previously, the fries I’d had were served in a brown paper bag & had soaked through the bag, making them more tempting. On this occasion, I wasn’t overly impressed as the fries were a bit soggy & not as moreish as I’d had in previous branches (apologies for the rubbish pic above).

Burger

A final point to make about our experience was that, for 2 cheeseburgers, a regular fries (they come in 2 sizes – small, regular & large), a soft drink & a corona, it came to over £26. Some people have commented that you are paying restaurant prices for a fast food joint. I agree with this to some extent in that it does seems a bit more compared to other burger joints nearby but for me, the taste & quality of the burger reminds me why I’m happy to pay that bit more.

Sign

Plus Points – Tasty burger, no queue to get served, novelty soft drinks dispenser
Not so Plus Points – a tad expensive for fast food, queueing for soft drinks

Foodies Festival – Inverleith Park

I did mean to put this post up earlier this week but didn’t have the time! From my last post, you’ll have noticed I was pretty excited about finally getting to go along to the Foodies Festival this year. I decided to pop along on the Friday & Saturday with the aim of buying goodies on the Friday & enjoying the atmosphere on the Saturday.

Press Pass

I’d only been to one food festival previously, the BBC Good Food Show, last November so I had a rough idea what to expect. The one thing that struck me about Foodies was the emphasis on having a good day out! Instead of focussing on having lots of producers, often selling variations of the same items, they had less stalls of goods than the Good Food Show & a lot of areas for drinking & getting some good food to eat. There was also a bouncy castle & a kids theatre so the little ones could get involved. I particularly liked the pop-up restaurants at the festival, allowing you to get a taste of what local Edinburgh restaurants have to offer. Such a good idea!

On the Friday, we arrived around 2pm & the place was pretty busy. We immediately set off to the ticket stand to see what demos were still on offer & luckily managed to secure a ticket for Mark Greenaway. We grabbed a bite to eat first from British Sausages who had a selection of pork goodies including the posh hot dogs we opted for. Unfortunately my pork & jalapeno one was lacking in any real kick but it was still a tasty sausage. Then it was down to business & seeing what we could find to buy.

There was a decent amount of stalls with goodies ranging from gin (yay!) to cakes to fish, meat & BBQs (although I doubt you’d take it home that night!). As with most foodie festivals, there were freebies on offer, including Walker’s new Deli range of crisps, Lavazza coffee & of course, tasters of  beer, wine & gin. Over the 2 days I bought quite a few items including:

  • Dried chillies from Wiltshire Chilli Farm
  • Smoked salmon & trout from RK Spink & Sons
  • Red Pepper & Chilli dressing & garlic mayo (it is the most garlicky thing I’ve ever tasted, I had to buy it!) from Summer Harvest
  • Macarons from
  • A raspberry gin & a passionfruit fizzx marshmallow from Tipsy Mallows
  • And of course, elderflower gin from Edinburgh Gin

Salmon & Trout, Macarons, Marshmallows, salad dressing & garlic mayo

Over the course of the weekend, I managed to catch 2 demos: Mark Greenaway on Friday & Glenn Cosby on Saturday. Mark’s demo was a blackened mackerel salad with ….. He was accompanied on stage by “Big Sister” Jacqueline O’Donnell from Glasgow’s The Sisters restaurant. Glenn’s demo was a bit scattered as not all of the equipment was on stage but it made for an amusing demo & I was up on stage at one point to taste test the ginger scones that were made for answering a baking question correctly. I was fortunate enough to get some time with Glenn after the demo for an interview which will be on the blog shortly.

Foodies, Mark Greenaway, Pickerings & Glenn Cosby    .

On Saturday, we spent most of the day at the bar area enjoying the sunshine. There were lots of different drinks on offer from champagne to gin (I may have mentioned this!) to beers from all over Scotland & of course cocktails.The vibe on Saturday was really good, with everyone lounging in the sun & enjoying the festival atmosphere. A special shoutout to the guys at Stewart Brewery for making some amazing beer – Red Dragon. As you can see if the pick before, they had some grapefruit, hops & some other fruits mixed together & the pump slowly dispensed that mix to make beer. It was so fruity & I’m a bit gutted that it was a special for that day because it was so tasty! I was disappointed, however, that we were unable to secure any tickets for any other demos. This was due to the policy Foodies have that you cannot book any tickets. That is ok for the Chefs & Cakes&Bakes theatres as you can stand at the back or watch from the sides. If you want to go to one of the drinks theatre tastings, you really need to be there early to secure your ticket.

Chicken Tikka Wrap, Red Dragon beer, potato stack & posh dog

I did have a fun weekend at Foodies & will definitely be paying it a visit next year when it returns. Here’s hoping they return bigger & better!

Highlights

  • Lots of different demos available each day
  • Great festival atmosphere with the different bars available
  • Good variety of different stands to buy stuff from
  • Looooads of food to choose from for eating on the day

Lowlights

  • Not being able to book tickets for demos & afternoon demo tickets only being available from 1pm
  • Queues for the toilets – if there were some at the other side of the site, it would have reduced the queues a lot
  • Not quite a lowlight but there could be more Scottish producers available. I saw a stall selling “Yorkshire biscuits” – there are plenty of biscuits companies in Scotland that could have stepped in!!