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Restaurant Lobster Shanty, Cocoa Beach Florida 2014

Outside

Winter holiday gave us possibility to see wonderful Florida! And of course to eat in it´s great restaurants. Jack Baker´s Lobster Shanty situated at Cocoa Beach, was one of the best restaurants we visited. Thanks for our dear friends who invited us for a dinner to this restaurant. Lobster Shanty is the restaurant for seafood lovers in a beautiful place next to the river. We got the table inside of the restaurant, but there is also great patio outside where you can see (if you are lucky) dolphins swimming in the river. The nice detail is the pool with the swimming fishes in the entrance of the restaurant.

EntranceRestaurant was crowded when we went there at 6:30 pm. Atmosphere at the restaurant was very good. It was so nice to see happy people enjoying Friday night and good food. Our waitress was nice and she took very good care of us. She seemed to enjoy her job and she was willing to tell us about the dishes and recommendations of the day. We heard in advance that we would not leave hungry because size of dishes, but still it was a surprise to see the amount of food that was brought to our table. In addition to coleslaw and white bread as a starter, we got recommended deep-fried appetizer which had powdered sugar on top of it.

entree

As a main courses we selected ‘Roasted Herb Infused Salmon’ (22$) and ‘Grouper’ (24$). Entrees were served with side dishes and we both selected House salad as a side dish.

side dish
Salmon was delicious with a light taste of garlic and rosemary. Asparagus with the salmon reminded me of the summer in Finland that we still need to wait for a couple of months. In Cocoa beach the feeling of summer is there all year around.

Salmon

Grouper was white fish served with fruit salsa. Mixed warm vegetables on the side brought up the taste of the fish.

Grouper

As a dessert there were different options of ice-cream and sorbet. Ooh, Perfect end to this night in Cocoa Beach.

Sorbe

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Restaurant Noodle House, Doha Qatar 2013

KSfood is a blog created by K&S. Usually we enjoy the restaurants together but this time only S was on the road.
In Doha there are many restaurants to choose from with anything between low-budget restaurants to fine dining places. Unfortunately business trip to Doha didn’t give much time to find experiences of real arabian cuisine. However I want to introduce a nice chain restaurant in Doha City Centre Mall. The Noodle House. This might be useful for a people who are staying at hotel in Doha City Center as well and want to find a nice and easy restaurant for a dinner.

LogoNoodle House has a a special concept. When you enter into a restaurant you get an iPad where you can see pictures of all the dishes. ( I have to say that all the pictures looked so good that I had difficulties to select only one of them.) Once you have chosen your favourite you mark it into a list which you give to a waiter.

DSC09141   Menu

Atmosphere in the restaurant was nice and relaxed. They had some tables inside but also an outside terrace in front of the City Mall main entrance. Service was friendly and waitress was able to tell about the dishes. She even double-checked from me if I like spicy food after she saw my choice on the list.

Inside

Singapore Noodles(54 riyals, which is about 11 euros) included chicken and prawns with noodles. Very good but spicy! Only a medium spicy according the menu but I have to admit that my mouth was on fire. But in a good way! I like spicy food. There was much to eat on the plate so it was actually a good thing that I didn’t take any starter.

Singapore noodles

To calm down the fire I had to order some ice-cream for dessert. Vanilla ice-cream with chocolad sauce. And of cource with espresso. So delicious!

dessert

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Restaurants in Barcelona, Spain 2013, Part 2

Restaurant Xaloc

Xaloc (Carrer de la Palla 13) in the Barri Gotic was closest to fine dining even though it was  a Tapas bar. It became our favorite dinnerplace in Barcelona. It  was situated in the middle of the beautiful old town and It looked very tempting from outside. There were big windows, so you could see all the Iberian hams hanging at the wall and a very nice wine bar area.

Outside

Because we had eaten Tapa´s in the afternoon, we were not so hungry so we skipped the entrees. Our main courses were Entrecote de Buey (13€) and Salmon Plancha (11€). Those portions were delicious!

Entrecotee

Entercotee was done very well. It didn´t look anything special but taste  and quality of the meat was excellent.

Salmon

The salmon with asparagus was delicious with a creme tasted with lime.

We were a bit sorry that we had eaten so big lunch that we didn´t get any desserts.  The main portions let us presume that desserts could have been very tasteful: ) But like always in Spain, the espressos were very good.

The atmosphere at the restaurant was very nice! Restaurant was fully booked almost every night. We recommend this restaurant if you are visiting Barcelona.

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Restaurant El Portalon

Outside

Restauran El Portalon we found next evening by accident but when we saw it, we really wanted to try it. It looked so nice with handwritten menus outside. Restaurant was  full of people enjoying their meals and having some wine with friends. The prices were very reasonable and they had this special offer for Paella. Once you are in Spain you have to have Paella at some point.

But first we wanted to enjoy the atmosphere! We ordered glasses of white wine and as a complimentary we got some excellent olives on the side.

Olives

We ordered Paella (2×15€) for two and some house white wine. Once we got our meals we were a bit surpised. It looked almost like risotto and consistency was like in risotto. But taste was good and lemon on the side gave the dish nice extra. A bit different experience of Paella this time.

Paella for two

For the dessert it was time for Crema Catalania. It looked so delicious! Taste was ok, but a bit disappointed because egg tasted too much and it wasn´t so sweet as we were hoping for.

Crema catalania

But overall it was very nice experience and we really enjoyed the atmosphere.

Wine barrels

Pinchos-“Tapas related small snacks”

For the final evening in Barcelona we wanted to try something traditional from the Catalonian kitchen. There were lots of small restaurants that served pinchos. There can be many kind of pinchos. It consists different kind of stuffings fastened with toothpick to the breadslice. It looks small but when you eat them it can be very filling.

Pinchos

Overall the Catalonian kitchen can serve you all kinds of treats. We recommend!

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Restaurants in Barcelona, Spain 2013, Part 1

We just came home from Barcelona. What a nice city and what a great variety of restaurants! We have propably gained some more weight during the week in Barcelona!

Food paradise

We want to introduce you briefly a few restaurants that we visited. There were so many restaurants that we divided postings in two parts. Here comes the first one.

Restaurant B Lounge

After we had arrived at Barcelona we found a nice restaurant near our hotel. Restaurant B Lounge is actually a restaurant of Hotel Barcelo Raval. It can be found from the address Rambla del Raval 17-21. We didn’t stay in that hotel but quite near.

Outside

First night in Barcelona required of course a Tapas selection with glasses of Sangria (9€ per glass).

  • Patatas Bravas (5,90€) were warm potatoes served nicely with a spicy sauce.
  • Alitas Crujiente (7,20€) included fried chicken wings. The sauce with the chicken was not as spicy as we thought it would be based on the menu. But in overall taste was good.
  • White bread with tomatoes and olive oil is always good. It was called Pan Tomate (3,80€).
  • Mixto Crujiente (4,80€) meant toast with ham and cheese. This was a bit dissapointment that it really was just toast.

We shared those four tapas and it was almost more than enough for two persons.

Dinner

Service was friendly and in overall we enjoyed the evening. It was so wonderful to sit outside at the terrace and enjoy the warm night.

TAVERNA del BISBE

Taverna del Bisbe is located in the old town of Barcelona, right next to a Cathedral Cótic. It seemed to be a popular restaurant even on a Monday evening. Terrace outside of the restaurant was reserved to customers who wanted to eat and people who wanted just to drink something were guided to have a seat inside of the restaurant.

Reastaurant from the terrace

As a starter we had just olives (3,54€) and tomato bread (1,98€). It was very basic, nothing special but tasted good with wine.

Starters

As a main course we had a Entrecotee (21,50€). On the side there were few fried potatoes and some green peppers. The entrecotee was good but all the other ingredients on the plate were lacking some taste.

Entrecotee

The other main course was Pasta Bolognese (10,20€). Taste was ok, but pasta was overcooked.

Pasta bolognese

Desserts were disappointment. We had high expectations for Crema Catalana (4,74€) and Tarte Tatin (5,40€). However Creama Catalana´s texture was grainy and it tasted more eggs than sweet. Tarte Tatin´s appearance showed that it surely came from freezer and microwave.

creme brulee tarte tatin

This was the most expensive restaurant where we visited during the week. Expectations were very high according the location and the menu of the restaurant. Unfortunately dining experience was letdown based on the food and service of the staff (that was kind of rough). That’s a pity because the interior was so nice and we enjoyed sitting outside at the terrace in the warm evening.

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Restaurant Flada13, Helsinki Finland 2013

Summer break in our blog is over and we are back in business!
Few feeks ago we found a nice bistro in Helsinki. Thanks to Groupon which promoted a special offer to Flada13. The restaurant is located in Helsinki city centre, Kalevankatu 13. It serves breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch and á la carte portions. We went there on Tuesday evening with table reservation and we were surprised how full the restaurant was at that time. People who came in without a table reservations had to turn back from the door. We enjoyed a glass of Cava while reading the menu.

Cava

menu

As a starter we both took a soup which was made of black salsify (8,50€). Very, very good choise. It was soup of the day and waiter ‘s recommendation. The output of the soup was beautiful and it was served warm enough.

Starter

As a main courses we had Sirloin steak (22€) and Arctic char (20€). They both were good. Sirloin steak was served with madeira sauce, potato fondant and sweet onions. Combination was smart and nicely served. There was nothing wrong with the portion.

Sirloin steak

The arctic char was well made. It had just right amount of salt! The portion looked nice and there were actually two good sized pieces of the fish on the plate. Served with fried potatoes, beetroot and special butter which was flavoured with nuts.

Arctic char

The evening ended with desserts and espressos. Rasberry-blueberry pie with vanilla sauce (7€) was simply delicious! Home-made pie with fresh berries. It was very simple but good.

dessert

Ice-cream was a basic vanilla ice-cream with berry sauce (6,80€). Just enough after good fulfilling meal.

dessert

The interior of the restaurant looked nice and cozy. We liked polite service and the overall flow of the evening. We didn’t have to wait for the meals too long but still we had enouhg time to enjoy the wine and atmosphere. The restaurant had also nice area for bigger groups.

interior               interior

Flada13 has a seasonal menu and they prefer fresh Finnish ingredients. We will come back some time to taste another menu. It can´t be bad based on this visit!

Outside

4-stars visit.

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Restaurant O Portao, Funchal Madeira 2013

Entrance

Guys, if you come to Funchal, don’t miss this restaurant. It has a Certificate of Excellence (2013) in TripAdvisor. For a good reason! There is everything in a right track, the food, the service and the atmosphere. O Portao is a small restaurant located in the end of old town. We got a nice table in the terrace but there would have been tables also inside the restaurant.

Interior

When we were thinking the wine, the waiter told us briefly about the local wines. We chose very dry red wine from Douro area. Waiter also asked if we would like to have some home made garlic bread as a starter. He showed us the price from the menu so that we would be aware that it was not complimentary. We had to taste the garlic bread because on TripAdvisor it was mentioned several times as a best in Funchal. In our mind it was good but not the best in Funchal. This one was drier than traditional garlic bread in Madeira.

  Red wine     Garlic bread

The food was very good! At this restaurant the meat skewer was medium as we asked it to be and it was served with a delicious sauce. Quality of the meat was excellent and wine suited very well with it. On the side there were polenta and vegetables.

Skewer            Portion            Sauce

Chicken with mushrooms was served with tasty cream sauce and rice, including some vegetables. It was a nice surprise that chicken was not traditional filet. The sauce was thick thus filling the stomach quickly, but it was so good that we ate it all!

Chicken

As a dessert we chose chocolate mousse which had to be home made! The dessert didn’t look as good as it tasted. It was rich and soft.

Dessert

We ordered bottle of red wine, water, garlic bread, main cources, dessert and espressos. Our bill was only 47,75€. Compared to the other restaurants in the neighbourhood this really was reasonable price. And we were happy to pay it because of the delicious food and nice service. At the end we got complimentary brandy and liqueur. Perfect end to our holiday in Funchal!

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3,5-stars visit.

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Restaurant O Celeiro, Funchal Madeira 2013

Restaurant O Celeiro near the Marina shopping centre is specialised in Portugese cuisine and Madeira Specialities.
We ended up to a restaurant by accident. We were not very hungry, we were looking for just something small and light to eat but on our way to Old Town we stopped by to discuss with the older gentleman outside of the restaurant. He convinced us that his restaurant is so good that people come there again. Secret of the food is that they don’t use any ready-made pieces. Instead they prepare food from the beginning at their kitchen.

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There weren’t any nice tables available in the terrace so we got a table inside of the restaurant. We got small glasses of Madeira wine as a complimentary. All the other customers seemed to be old couples. We have to admit that this was not our kind of restaurant. It was too quiet and too old fashioned. We were able to hear a clock ticking and we felt that we have to whisper to each other. But the other customers seemed to enjoy the atmosphere.

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The gentleman outside was right. Food was good. Tuna steak (14,75€) had lovely sauce including mushrooms and onions and Grilled sword fish (16,75€) had nice grilled taste. On the side they served cooked spinach and vegetables. Delicious with a glass of house white wine. The taste of the food was fresh and light. This was a nice change after a restaurants were we had got thick creamy sauces and french fries.

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We were not supposed to take any dessert but when the waiter told that they have home made Creme caramel pudding (3,50€) we couldn’t resist it! It was the best pudding we had got during our Madeira visit! So soft and creamy that it melted into mouth.

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Staff were nice and friendly but they were extremely busy. They took some runner’s steps on the way to the kitchen and everything they did, they did very fast.
After all this was most expensive restaurant were we have been eating here in Madeira during last two weeks. And one thing that happens at many restaurants here in Funchal happend also in this restaurant. They brought a bread to a table without asking would we like to have some bread. They made it to look like complimentary bread but when the bill came, there it was: “2 covert 3,40€”.

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Will we come back? -Well, this was not our kind of restaurant so maybe not. Even though food was good.

3-stars visit.

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