It’s safe to say that this past month sets the bar pretty high for the rest of this year in terms of food and restaurant experiences. I was lucky enough to spend the week of new year’s eve in Barcelona and probably ate more than my bodyweight in tapas. I also discovered a few neat places in Amsterdam and Enschede and even reached a new cooking milestone.. Read on to find out all about it!
For new year’s eve we got a table at Sensi tapas, supposedly a pretty good spot according to my food research. Good thing I was not disappointed! Sensi tapas has a wonderful menu of traditional tapas, chef’s specials and some oriental style tapas. Being Chinese and all, I could definitely not resist the oriental dishes. However, we mostly enjoyed the chef’s specials. Pictured above you can see a selection of all the different dishes! We started with a trio of different tomato textures with burratta, one was a lovely tomato jam, the other was a roasted tomato and the third was sundried tomato. I am literally obsessed with burratta so this was definitely a favorite! We then had a fresh truffle ravioli in parmesan cream scented with truffle oil, followed by octopus and baby eel with paprika vinaigrette. Two other wonderful fish dishes were the seared tuna with celery confit and vodka lime foam as well as the squid stuffed with iberic ham, eggs and potato mousseline. The tiny burgers were made of ox cheek and had a mushroom sauce. We also enjoyed a duck timbale with potatoes parmesan and a Pedro Ximénez reduction (I love anything with duck). Another (Asian) favorite where the roasted pork ribs with teriyaki sauce, honey and an apple-ginger purée. We finished it all off with a rich and delicious cheesecake with dulce de leche. It was a wonderful way to spend new year’s eve, but I’m pretty sure this restaurant is good any other day!
While in Barcelona, there were many other days that we enjoyed some tapas. I especially enjoyed it with a big glass of sangria on the side.. Pictured above is a rather traditional octopus with potatoes and paprika, a selection of Spanish cheeses and fried artichoke.
Another great meal in Barcelona was this incredible lobster rice. We had a wonderful dinner in a small but very authentic restaurant near our hotel. I had never heard about a lobster rice dish before but this was so yummy that I am still dreaming about it now..
After the foodfest in Barcelona I returned back to Amsterdam. Luckily, there are plenty of great places to eat here too – I still have lots to discover! Last week I enjoyed a super affordable meal at Thai Food Café. We started with the Thai platter which includes a lemongrass satay (my favorite), Thai meatballs, Chiang Mai sausage and Thai pork belly. A really nice way to start a meal, but would probably also be great alongside a couple of beers. I then had the ‘Nam Tok’ which was a spicy salad with shrimp. Although this dish was a bit underwhelming, overall I really liked the restaurant and think I will return to try something else.
If anyone reading this ever finds themselves in the city of Enschede, one place I can recommend is Eethuis Toros. This super cute Turkish restaurant serves an amazing breakfast – I had never before had a Turkish breakfast but it is so so good! However, a while back I also went there for dinner and we were served a couple of dishes I had never tried before. Amongst them were these super tiny and cute Turkish ravioli (manti) that is served with a yoghurt sauce. We also had these flatbreads with minced meat (a pide, I think?), köfte, stuffed grape leaves and some other warm dishes for really cheap. So good!
One of my cooking highlights this last month was this whole chicken I prepared for a couple of friends who were over for dinner. It was my first time preparing a whole bird but with some help I think it turned out pretty well! Unfortunately I was not able to blog this recipe but I had to share this milestone. The chicken was stuffed with small potatoes, lemon wedges, whole garlic cloves and thyme sprigs. I layered the whole bird with bacon for extra flavour as well as to keep it nice and moist. Then, I surrounded the chicken with the leftover potatoes, some parsley and cherry tomatoes. On the side we had some lovely lemon and feta pasta, the recipe of which will be on the blog this Monday so stay tuned!
Hope you enjoyed a little peek into my eats over the last month, I know I had some pretty good foodie experiences.. Barcelona was a huge highlight of course, but I also love discovering places closer to home. Can’t wait to report back again soon!