One great thing about Australian dining is the multi-cultural smorgasbord of cuisines that can both be found and influence our own food development. Naturally, we are not alone and the one great thing about being in a city like London is the plethora of choices when it comes to dining out. Pick your favourite international flavours, choose your budget and off you go.
My day back in London started with a great meal in Chinatown. Amongst the market-lined streets and store-fronts adorned with barbecued duck or some sort of vivid red octopus were many Asian restaurants. Fortunately for us we were with my cousin, Aussie born but now a Londoner of 16 years, with his local knowledge of the area and good sense of geography.
We ended up in a nice little Chinese restaurant called ‘Plum Valley’. Their menu listed countless dim sum, rice and noodle dishes …decisions decisions!!!
Our final menu comprised of: Wasabi Prawn Dumplings, Pork & Scallop Dumpling, Pork & Shrimp Shumai, Whisker Black Cod Rolls, Garlic Prawn Spring Rolls, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Deep Fried Calamari, Roast Garlic Duck with Vegetable Fried Rice, Chicken and Black Bean Sauce Noodle with some steamed rice and prawn crackers for good measure.
I gave them all a go, despite not being a fan of wasabi, no surprises it was the only dish I didn’t care too much for. I could easily find myself settling in for a long evening with friends snacking away on even more of what they had to offer.
For dinner we moved across the continents to Italy with a family get-together at ‘Pizza Express’. A chain restaurant, they cater for take-away or dine-in pizza and pasta. With dishes a little more up-market than ‘Dominos’ they had a varied menu to choose from including a kids menu.
One simple little dish we liked were ‘Dough Balls’. Made from a simple pizza dough, these were used for both savoury and sweet dishes including with garlic butter or Nutella.
One dish I decided to give a go was ‘Banoffee Pie’. It’s name is a ‘portmanteau’ made from the words ‘banana’ and ‘toffee’. Whilst not Italian, I had seen it on many a menu in the UK but had not yet tried. Banoffee Pie is an English dessert made from banans, cream and toffee made from boiled condensed milk (note, they usually tell you on the can that you shouldn’t boil it ….be careful!). It usually has a base similar to a cheesecake made from either pastry or crumbled biscuits and is also sometimes flavoured with coffee or chocolate.
According to our hosts this wasn’t quite as good as ‘home-made’. Hubby actually ordered the pie which left me open to choose something else to share …. “Banoffee Glory”. Comprised of Vanilla Gelato, chunks of banoffee pie, chocolate sauce, and served with a chocolate straw I’ll let you be the judge. Yes, it did taste as good as it looks!
With vouchers for discounted pizzas it definitely was an enjoyable meal for a reasonable cost. Definitely keeping them in mind for our final days in England.