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?

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Gandolfi Fish

Last week we celebrated our first wedding anniversary & decided to go somewhere a bit higher end to celebrate. Picking a restaurant was hard, Glasgow just has so many options! We whittled it down to a couple of options, from which I picked Gandolfi Fish since I’d heard nothing but good reviews from people who had dined there. Even my wee gran who is the hardest woman to please with food said they did the best fish & chips so it must be good!

Cava

We booked a table for 7pm & I was quite surprised at how quite it was. It seemed like we were caught between pre-theatre/post shopping diners & dinner service. The menu is what you would expect of a fish restaurant, a decent variety of different fish with some regulars like calamari, fish & chips & prawn cocktail. They also have a specials menu which contains seasonal starters & mains along with matching wines. I got the impression that Gandolfi have a big emphasis on wine & aim to provide matching wines for each dish, along with an extensive wine list!

Lobster Pic

I opted for a special of thai spiced crab cakes in what was a hard decision between them & squid braised in red wine. When my starter arrived, after a couple of bites, I regretted my choice as the crab cakes were regular crab cakes with a bit of seasoning & spices, nothing really to shout home about. A’s starter, however, was fantastic. He’d opted for the salt & chilli squid, which was in a calamari style. The flavouring was subtle but still with the kick you’d expect from salt & chilli but the main talking point, for me, was the freshness of the squid. Instead of a rubbery, chewy texture you often get with calamari, this was soft & tender & almost melted in the mouth.

Salt & Chilli Calamari

Crab Cakes

I’d known what I was having for my main before the night – salmon wellington & it did not disappoint! The pastry was thin enough that it didn’t detract from the salmon, which was, well probably the best salmon I’ve ever tasted. It was cooked perfectly, flaking with any tough & was accompanied by a perfect hollandaise sauce. My only complaint was that there wasn’t enough sauce! The other main, peat smoked haddock, was also melt in the mouth, full of flavour, amazingness (I don’t know if that’s a word).  Honestly, I need to get my hands on some because it was so moreish!

Salmon Wellington

Peat Smoked Haddock

The side of chippy chips I’d ordered were a big let down. Given that there is a chippy adjoined to the restaurant, I’d expected them to be amazing. Instead, they were just greasy chips with no flavour to them whatsoever. Additionally, with the haddock, the menu stated crushed potatoes with spring onions but it was spring onion mash. It wouldn’t have been an issue for me but given A doesn’t like mash, it wasn’t what he’d wanted.

Chips

I think we will visit Gandolfi Fish again but go with my gut decision with menu choices to prevent from being disappointed again!

Fish Pic

 

 

The Pelican Cafe

I did not realise that I haven’t posted for over a month until I sat down to write this. Apologies for the silence, things have been busy in the world of Get Stuffed with a new baking venture (more details once I get the blog updated – check out my facebook page for more details).

Anyway, back to The Pelican Cafe. We visited the restaurant recently as we had a 2 course with prosecco deal that was due to run out. The Pelican Cafe is in a strange location, directly across from Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum yet in-between the bustling restaurant & bar areas of Finnieston & Byres Rd. Definitely one of those “you wouldn’t know it was there unless you were looking for it” venues.

I was surprised to see the restaurant quite busy at 6pm on a Sunday given that is usually a quiet time between services on a Sunday. We were given a choice of tables & decided to sit next to the open kitchen as I quite like being able to see what the chefs are up to. The only stipulation of our deal was that we could not choose any of the fish main courses. I had had a peek of the menu before we went & had my heart set on a beef stew that contained brisket, ox cheek & a few other cuts. I was quite disappointed to see that was not on the menu. In this day & age, it does not take long to update a menu on the site so there’s no excuse really.

Goat's cheese tartinPotted salmon

Our starters arrived – I opted for the goat’s cheese tartin with caramelised onion marmalade & Al went for the potted smoked salmon. The presentation of both dishes was lovely. The goats cheese was very fresh & there was a lot of it. Unfortunately, despite being advertised as having caramelised onion marmalade, there was literally a teaspoon of it on top of the tart. This made the dish slightly dry as it was mainly cheese & pastry. I was reluctant to try the potted salmon as I’d had potted shrimps years ago & it tasted of butter only. However, there was only a thin layer of butter on this portion & it was more like a salmon mousse underneath. Perfect on the large bits of bread provided.

Potted salmon

We had around a 10-15 minute wait for our mains & during that time, the turnaround of tables was constant. Surprising for such a small restaurant in an unusual location – I estimate it holds around 30-50 covers. There were only 3 waiting staff who were constantly rushing around yet were attentive, noticing if you needed a drink before you had a chance to ask.

After the disappointment of the stew not being available, I opted for their “award winning” salsiccia & tomato cream lasagne. Now I absolutely love lasagne (no-one can touch my dad’s though!) but this was not a lasagne. What I received instead was basically lasagne sheets with some Italian sausage & bathed in what tasted like a jar of pasta sauce. There was no layering of cheese sauce, meat & pasta. But saying that, it was not unedible, just not what I & most people who like a good lasagne would expect. I would have advertised it more as a pasta bake. The large pieces of garlic sour dough bread that accompanied it were fantastic & I struggled to finish it.

Salsiccia & Tomato cream lasagne

The other main was The Pelican Cafe’s take on fish n chips which compromised of coley, sea bass & king prawns in a real ale batter. I tried one of the prawns & the batter was awful. It was so thick it was reminiscent of chicken balls you get at the chinese. Not the light, crispy beer batter you would associate with fish & chips. The one part about this I did like was the giant hand cut chips that accompanied it. They were very fresh & tasty but you literally needed 3 or 4 on the plate, they are that big!

Fish & Chips

I’d say The Pelican Cafe was a bit of a miss on this occasion due to the choices we made. Given the extensive menu, I’d not rule out returning & trying other dishes given the reasonable pricing of the menu.