Lunch at Mia Italian

Hello all – welcome to my new website! I decided it was about time to create a proper blog as well as my Instagram page to let you see a few more photos and read slightly more in depth food reviews…

Lets kick things off with some wonderful Italian food: Yesterday I lunched at Mia Italian Kitchen on Dalry Road and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The menu was very extensive, with offerings of pizza, pasta, salad, risotto, steak and chicken and fish!

Mia Italian, established in 2013, is a family-run business with two restaurants: one in Dalry and one in Morningside. I’d been meaning to pay them a visit for a while, after walking by a few times, and stalking their Instagram account.

Eventually I decided to order the Linguine Gamberoni – a generous portion of linguine tossed with the biggest king prawns I’ve ever seen, tomatoes and courgettes. The pasta was perfectly cooked and so more-ish! I’m not usually a courgette fan, but it worked really well in this tasty dish and the prawns were huge and meaty. My Dad ordered the Insalata Di Pollo (grilled chicken salad with lettuce, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, parmesan shavings, olive oil and balsamic vinegar) which looked lovely too.

Linguine Gamberoni

Linguine Gamberoni

I was absolutely heartbroken not to have any room left for dessert, as the tiramisu and panna cotta looked fantastic…I’ll have to go back to Mia for something sweet another time. Overall, a totally delicious lunch made using fresh and authentic Italian ingredients, served by friendly staff. With so much to try on the menu, you’ll be spoilt for choice – I would certainly dine here again. Bellissimo!

http://mia-restaurant.co.uk/

Linguine Gamberoni

Linguine Gamberoni

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Dad enjoys some olives

The Durty Vegan Burger Club

The Durty Vegan Burger Club

I checked out Glasgow’s ever-growing vegan scene last week with a visit to the pop-up Durty Vegan Burger Club at the Cran in Finnieston.

The Cran

The space was relatively small but had a good vibe going on: the guys running the burger club were super friendly and clearly having a great time working on DJ sets together.

Low Jack Burger

I tried two burgers: my favourite was the Low Jack – slow cooked barbecue pulled jackfruit with hickory glaze, shredded cabbage, pickles and burger sauce on a vegan brioche bun. The second burger was the Ringer – a crispy coated “Daring Foods” plant-based patty with lettuce, pickles, slaw and burger relish, also served on the brioche.

The Ringer Burger

I was really impressed with how tasty the vegan chicken nuggets were – the texture was surprisingly very similar to regular chicken!

Vegan Golden Chicken Nuggets

The crispy fries with vegan “V Mac” cheese sauce, pickles, shredded cabbage and chives were good too but if I’m completely honest the sauce was more sour than cheesy and by this point I couldn’t take much more pickle!

V Mac Fries

However the folk running this pop-up clearly love what they do and the atmosphere they created with both the food and music was fantastic. Definitely one to keep an eye on and I’d certainly recommend the Durty Vegan Burgers to anyone looking to find some dirty plant-based scran in G-Town!

A Night at the Elphinstone Hotel

I was recently invited to stay a night at the Elphinstone Hotel in Biggar: unfamiliar with the small South Lanarkshire town, this felt like a great opportunity for my boyfriend and I to take some time out to relax and enjoy new surroundings. Admittedly I’m much more of a “city person” in general, but this humble coaching inn was not without its own unique charm.

The Elphinstone Hotel, Biggar

Our en-suite room was comfortable and cosy, if a tad retro.

The Elphinstone serves a wide variety of pub grub and I must say we were both impressed with how good the food was. I had the hot smoked salmon and prawn salad and Dhillon ordered the beef burger with haggis. We shared a side of some of the biggest, juiciest onion rings I’ve ever seen, and from having tried a mouthful of the burger, it was obviously made using proper quality locally sourced ingredients. Same goes for the generous flakes of smoked salmon atop my tasty salad – moist, full of flavour and all in all, truly excellent stuff!

Hot smoked salmon and prawn salad

Sadly we were too full for desserts but service was friendly and attentive and although the decor was perhaps not exactly the most modern or aesthetically pleasing, we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner.

Dinner at the Elphinstone

After a pleasant night’s sleep it was time to see what the Elphinstone had to offer in terms of breakfast! My one criticism of this B and B experience would be that breakfast was only served between 7.30-9am which felt – for us at least – a tad on the early side, especially for those on their holidays. (Check out was 10.30am for context).

However, in the end we just about managed to stumble, bleary-eyed, downstairs to a surprisingly deserted dining room…perhaps the typical holidaymakers visiting Biggar are rather more up-and-at-em than me?

Full Scottish Breakfast

A slightly cold reception from our seemingly peeved waiter didn’t stop us from ordering a couple of full Scottish breakfasts:

So often I find processed meat products rather unappealing, but once again the ingredients used here tasted like proper local produce and a far cry from the mass-produced, greasy, bland, barely-pork products lining supermarket shelves and clogged arteries of many Scots!

My fry-up included pork sausage, lorne sausage, bacon, black pudding, haggis, baked beans and fried egg, complete with a tattie scone. The works! Just right in terms of portion size too.

It’d been years since I last had a traditional meaty fry up and I’m pleased to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thanks to everyone at the Elphinstone for a lovely stay.

Full Scottish Breakfast

A Meal at Yamato

Long time no see!

I hope you’ve been enjoying my latest Instagram posts, but I thought I should start updating this blog more often as well for those who’d like to read up some more on my foodie adventures.

Let’s dive straight in…

Last month I was kindly invited to try out Yamato, an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant in Tollcross . I’d previously heard positive feedback from other bloggers, and having done some serious Insta-stalking of my own, was super excited to try out the menu full of mouth-watering dishes!

Yamato

Yamato

A classy little place tucked away down an unsuspecting city centre backstreet, Yamato truly is a hidden gem.

Buckwheat noodles

Buckwheat soba noodles

My friend and I ended up with a veritable feast to work our way though: we ordered a dragon roll (sushi roll with tempura prawn and avocado), chicken gyoza, spicy seared tuna, seaweed salad, miso soup, miso grilled aubergine, salmon sashimi, scallop sashimi, grilled scallop nigiri, fatty salmon belly nigiri and buckwheat soba noodles.

Yamato

What a spread!

The sushi was absolutely divine and some other personal favourites of mine were the seared tuna, scallop nigiri and chicken gyoza.

Miso aubergine

Miso aubergine

Perhaps not the place to go if you’re on a budget (our order totalled around £70) but Yamato certainly offers a wide variety of excellent quality, freshly prepared Japanese cuisine and I thoroughly enjoyed everything we had the chance to sample.

Best Ramen In Town?

I enjoyed some really fantastic ramen at Maki Maki on Nicolson Street last week. I’d heard good things about Maki and Ramen restaurants (and seen some wonderful looking snaps of their ramen on Instagram) and so couldn’t wait to try it out myself! Some people even say this place serves the best and most authentic ramen in Edinburgh…and I certainly wasn’t disappointed: I ordered the Miso Ramen: freshly made ramen noodles in miso broth with silky Japanese tofu, sweetcorn, seaweed, and greens. I also ordered a soft-boiled egg with my bowlful of soupy noodle-y goodness and on arrival, it was cooked to perfection with a runny, golden yolk. The miso broth was very flavourful and warming – and I’m not a veggie but this dish just goes to show that tofu doesn’t have to be bland! All the different flavours and textures came together so well in one big bowlful.

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Miso Ramen

I also had some beautiful freshly made salmon maki (and by freshly made I mean literally made behind the counter while I watched!) Gorgeous little mouthfuls of sushi heaven! My friend and I also shared some veggie gyoza which were lovely.

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salmon maki

From the outside, the restaurant looked semi-shabby and unassuming, however it had a sort of “hidden treasure” vibe to it and inside was clean and well-lit. I must admit I wasn’t brave enough to order certain things such as salmon belly fat sushi or eel, but there were plenty of other scrumptious-sounding ramen and sushi options on the menu. Definitely worth a visit, especially if you’re after some freshly prepared and handmade authentic Japanese food.

http://www.makimaki-restaurant.co.uk/