Monday, 25 November 2013

The TapHouse, Ranelagh

I was blown away by my first visit to the TapHouse a few weeks ago. On the site of the former 18 year old's mecca, Russells, in Ranelagh Village, it is now a much more inviting space with a heavy emphasis on craft beers and a vastly improved menu. Had I put this review up then it would have been flawless but my second visit, just a few days later was an altogether different and very much substandard experience.

I wish I had comparison photos but I don't, only of the first visit which was really excellent. The menu is quite limited (but of course that's never an issue as long as what IS offered is good). The menu has several light bites at 6e a pop (hummus with various bits and bobs, prawns Pil Pil etc, a selection of sliders (mini burgers), a few sharing platters and a couple of desserts. And that's about it.

Service on the first day was brilliant.We were hungry (aren't we always) and chose 3 sliders each (one lamb flatbread, a bacon and quail egg version and another pulled pork effort.) We also went for 2 sides, chips and onion rings.

 The burgers on that first visit were incredible, two of them on a slightly sweet, buttered broiche bun. They came on a little wooden board which I am always slightly suspicious of hygiene-wise but were so nice I would have eaten them off almost anything! They were all uniquely sauced and flavored and each absolutely gorgeous.

The sides were also brilliant - crunchy onion rings and great chips with a very moreish malt vinegar flavoured mayonaisse - brill.We left full of the joys about this place and keen to return but what a difference a week made!

On what was bank holiday Monday the staff looked frazzled and overwhelmed. We were ignored for almost 20 minutes before we got the chance to beg for drinks, then menus and, later, cutlery). We were told they were 'out' of all of their speciality beers but 1(!) and also of onion rings (which would surely be very simple to batter up and fry?)We went for the chicken wings on this occasion which were the worst I've had -
 fatty non crispy skin dredged in salty seasoning (but after frying so there was a nasty powdered coating on them). Rank.

But the biggest disappointment of all was my beloved burgers! They had obviously ran out of the little broiche buns after the busy weekend and had instead sent someone into Lidl for a few packets of broiche finger rolls. The buns were cold and the whole thing slapdash and not a patch on the first time round.

I will return but cautiously so and really hope these are just teething problems and not complacency setting in so early.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Making a Wedding Cake

I know that my friends and family's hearts will sink to see this post appear on their social media feeds. I know they are sick to the back teeth of hearing about this cake. But I promise this is the end of the wedding cake talk, until the next one at least!

The Finished Product - slightly right of centre but standing!

I had originally been building up to making a wedding cake for my friend Anne for her NYE wedding but when the lovely Patrea asked me about 6 weeks ago to make hers for 1 November, I was certainly not going to refuse!I did have more than a few moments of panic as I remembered I had only made 1 stacked cake ever before (2 tier, this was to be 4), never mind a wedding cake. The bride was incredibly laid back which helped a lot but still, this was someone's WEDDING and I didn't want it to be a mess. So I began to do research - a lot of research!

Sugarveil Lace
One site I found to be invaluable was Cake Central, which, if you can get past the occasionally preachy tone of some contributors,  is an absolute goldmine for info;  how to dowel correctly, when to ice, what gumpaste is best, it was all there and I am honestly indebted to the community there for helping me ensure the cake wasn't a disaster!.

I knew I wanted to take this opportunity to learn as much as I could in the process and in fitting with the bride's preference so decided to make gumpaste roses, handmade pearls and also to use my great (but expensive at 100e a pop) Sugarveil kit.

Flower Detail
I had made roses before in a one day class but they certainly weren't at a standard I would have been happy to put on a cake. So I practiced - a lot. The pearls were a pretty tedious process but I discovered the best way to get them all the same size as to use marzipan spacers to make sure the paste was all the one thickness before cutting with round icing bag tips, rolling and dusting in lustre powder.

I have a loooong way to go in my cake journey and am certainly no expert but here are some things that might make a first-timer find the process that little bit more managable.

1) Let go of the search for perfection. If this is your first wedding cake, you are probably not a professional cake baker/decorator. Cut yourself some slack. That's not to say you shouldn't try your best but having a breakdown over a crack in a broken sugarflower or a crack in the icing (in my case!) won't help anyone. Remember, ribbon hides a lot.

2) Think about how early you need to start your decorations etc and start a week earlier.
Even though I did 'a bit (of varying lengths) pretty much each day for 3 weeks, I was still up against it as the date apprached (not to say I didn't enjoy it but it WILL take longer than you think, especially if making anything involving gumpaste decorations.

3) Do not be afraid to freeze ahead. This was one of the many tips I got on Cake Central with many of the (American) professionals in particular saying they freeze all their cakes as a matter of course,
 not to save time/get ahead but instead to lock in moisture. I baked mine 4 days ahead and froze them wrapped well in greaseproof paper and cling film and I think they were as moist as if id baked them that morning. You can also freeze your buttercream ahead.

4) Don't scrimp on the sugarpaste. There are a lot of cheaper sugarpastes on the market at the moment (from Aldi etc) and I have used them with varying degrees of success but I'd definitely recommend buying one of the professional brands for such an important cake and definitely one which you have practiced with before. You want to give it and yourself the best possible chance of not cracking under pressure or tearing as you life the big sheet from the table.I used Regalice.

5) Use tried and tested recipes. Now is not the time to experiment! It can be tempting to try out new things but its probably best to save that for a rainy Saturday afternoon when the stakes aren't so high!

The face of relief

6) If using, lay a sheet of kitchen roll over your dried gumpaste flowers. I freaked out about a week before the wedding when I saw the fruits of all my hard work start to droop slightly as a result of the high humidity!(damn you Irish weather). I am convinced doing the above helped minimise the damage (that and placing them in a breathable cardboard box).

7) Do it for the right reasons. I took on this challenge on the first hand to fulfill a request for a friend
but also looked on it as the chance to  improve/develop some of my skills. Don't take on a request to make a cake if your heart isn't in it because the stress that WILL follow just won't be worth it and you may start to resent the whole thing!

Wedding Cake talk is OVER my friends!(now on to Anne's for NYE!;)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Review - Punjabi By Nature, Ranelagh

I adore Indian food and had paid a visit to The Punjab Balti in Ranelagh an average of about once a month since moving here almost seven years ago. It closed for several months during the summer and has reopened with a new name, new menu (complete with newly increased pricing) and a new look.I had been apprehensive about returning as, for me, it was perfect as it was but finally went for it last Sunday.

My first impression was that the actual transformation inside doesn't really seem to have justified the long closure. The chairs appear to have been coloured in jewel - tones and there is some nice mosaic detailing around but, apart from new bar area and snazzy purple exterior, it felt very much the same. As before, we were given some poppadoms on arrival.

I was very disappointed to see that the menu in the new restaurant has been shortened dramatically and a number of the old classics (including my beloved Lamb Saag) taken off or replaced with more Western/Indian fusion dishes. I chose the Goan style scallops to start and they were pretty bland, five of them on a mild sweet 'jus' and with a mint and yogurt drizzle.

It became really obvious from my main that they must have shed their old kitchen team/ head chef. The Pilau Rice was not a patch on the old recipe and the curry sauce that came with this 'Rib Eye Steak'(read 'Tough Piece of Beef)distinctly lacked the old Punjab magic.(Noo!!!)This was like something I might make on a  good day and lacking the Xfactor of old.

We finished with some Gulab Jamun which were enjoyable but we both agreed (AGAIN) not as nice as before! . This Indian used to stand head and shoulders above others in Dublin. Now it's just 'meh'.

It wasn't broke but they decided to try to fix it anyway. And it failed. And I am more than a bit sad.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Dining on P&O's Azura

I recently returned from a 7 day cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on P&O's Azura. And it was utterly amazing even if the food wasn't always.

This was my first time on one of this company's ships and I hadn't been expecting a huge deal, it's title evoking images of crammed ferries and an altogether lower grade experience. I couldn't have been more wrong.

The cabin, for a start, was by far the most spacious and comfortable of any ship I've been on (which are to date RCI's Oasis of the Seas, MSC's Splendida and Celebrity's Constellation). It's difficult to get a sense of it from this picture but it was more like standard hotel room than a ship cabin, including as it did a large walk in wardrobe area and an abundance of storage.

We made the mistake of going to ship's premium restaurant Seventeen on the second night, a mistake as it was so good the perfectly adequate dining room seemed lacking in comparison. It really was was exquisite;  a proper old world dining experience and a real treat (at a cost of £28 per head but worth every penny). However its extremely dim lighting meant that I got no pictures worth posting.We actually went twice, enjoying chateaubriand, prawn and crayfish cocktail and other classics done very very well.

The Glasshouse is all about wine but they also serve British style tapas dishes and a few mains at an extra charge (for the lunch in the picture above we picked three little dishes each at the reasonable cost of £5 a head. They included mini scotch (quails)eggs, ham terrine with toasts and other lovely things.)

Michelin chef Atul Kochhar's Indian restaurant Sindhu was what we had been looking forward to the most but actually turned out to be the main let down of the week. There were never more than 9 tables occupied in this huge room any time we passed and it is clear why.

This was a spiced beef salad which was ok( if a bit fatty.)

My main was lobster with 'kedgeree' and a sauce that tasted strangely old and stale, like it had been made with out of date spices (perhaps not so unthinkable when you consider the incredibly slow trade they seem to do). This restaurant tries to deliver a British -Indian fusion. I say 'tries to' because curried mushy peas are not something that should ever be served anywhere!Awful! They were one of the sides we got together with some naan bread which seemed to be from a packet (strangely sweet and hard and definitely not authentic). Apparently the main man himself was due on board for the next cruise so perhaps he whipped them into shape....

In addition, the main dining room was way more hit than miss and the buffet was consistently good - so much so that I found it very hard to break my newly acquired four meal a day habit on my return home. P & O is now right up there with Celebrity as one of my favourite cruise companies. I loved it.

(And PS Norway, I had absolutely no idea how beautiful you really are!.)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Making Gumpaste Baby Shoes

I had never used a paper cake decorating template from the internet before but when I saw this one for life-sized little girls' Mary Jane style shoes on the brilliant Cake Central site I knew I had to try it out for a special Christening cake I was making.

 I already have the Jem bootees cutter which gives a pretty good result but I think these take cuteness to a new level. The template is available here

The base - this was cut out with a craft knife and left to harden slightly whilst the other pieces were cut. It is then flipped over to make the other shoe. 

The other segments must be kept covered though as I have discovered to my detriment that gum-paste hardens - fast!

The various pieces were fixed together with edible glue but most of the work went into ensuring there was a solid join and that the edges were tucked and curved under the sole and not too 'blunt'. 

I then used a stitching wheel to create a criss-cross effect.

A little white button finished them off.

 All in all I was really happy with the results and chose to use these on the cake over the Jem bootees I had also made. Here they are on the cake - daisies for a little Daisy.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Pre Theatre@ Chapter One

Photographing my food in restaurants these days is making me increasingly self conscious. Of course, I am not inconsiderate enough to use the flash but what seems to be the decreasing proximity between tables (or is that just me?) means that I'm often left with just one very hurried snap per course as was the case during my recent visit to the jewel in the crown of north-side dining, Chapter One.

I had been to Chapter one on two previous occasions but never for the Pre-Theatre and had really excellent experiences. And so,my friend Jenny and I looked forward to our visit on a recent Friday just after they reopened following their annual summer break. The Pre-Theatre menu is €36.50 for three courses and is thankfully free of the supplement charges on some of the more expensive dishes which can really push a bill out of 'bargain' territory (with the exception of what is now a pretty standard charge of €2.50 for the cheese plate).


After a very warm and theatrical welcome from the Maitre D, we were shown to our table, which was one of just a few occupied for the duration of our meal. For me, the bread basket is an integral part of a special meal out but I was disappointed with this particular selection which was very ordinary for a Michelin starred restaurant. They were stone-cold for a start and just not very exciting - a plain, slightly dry seeded loaf, a standard cob-style white and a regular wholemeal. I couldn't help but wonder if they had dropped their standards and that those visiting later would do better (that's not to say we didn't eat the lot - this is me and my Number One Partner in Eating we are talking about).

We both chose the same starter - Black Pudding with Braised Peas, Wilted Celery, Burnt Onions and a Duck Egg Cream and agreed it was easily the best course of the evening - a huge round of lightly spiced black pudding sitting on a chunky pea puree with a gorgeous light as air eggy cream. We cleared our plates in record time and looked forward to our main, Braised Shoulder of Spring Lamb with Roasted Summer Carrots and White Onion, Fried Sweetbreads and Pickled Garlic Sauce with Buttermilk Potato.

Unfortunately, we didn't enjoy this course to the same degree at all. It was just way too much - too caramelized, too buttery and too sweet and that is coming from someone who loves rich food. (In fact, I don't know if I have I have ever deemed something to be too rich before). It cried out for something fresh or sharp, maybe a green vegetable, to balance things out a bit. My piece of lamb was also very fatty, though Jenny fared much better with hers. Putting a sweetbread in my mouth is also something I will not be doing again any time soon.

Dessert was better. My Raspberries Compressed in Elderflower with Jasmine Tea Pannacotta and Lime Meringue, Créme Fraiche and Elderflower Bombe with Raspberry Sorbet (phew!) was refreshing and light but strangely bland and certainly not memorable. (In fact I had forgotten what I had until I uploaded my photos).  Jenny had a chocolate pot with some bells and whistles which was eaten but certainly not raved about. 

All in all, we had a nice visit to Chapter One but it seems to me that chance to enjoy the full experience of The Pride of Parnell Square for €36.50 might just be too good to be true. 

Friday, 23 August 2013

My Latest Cakes

So, the latest on the cake front...

I made this little cake for my friend Deirdre's hen party and miraculously got it to Killarney (almost) unscathed on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer. Being a prude, I was keen to stay away from 'willy' territory but wanted something suitably tacky so tried out this framed pink L Plate effect.

Since the advice is not to put sugarpaste in the fridge, by the time it was cut (2 days later) it was pretty warm and the chocolate orange buttercream inside had well and truly melted but the flavour was decent enough. I used that Hershey's Black Magic Cake recipe I am so fond of (but trying to get away from as it's just not sturdy enough for underneath heavy sugarpaste.)

The photo was printed in Decobake on Batchelor's Walk (the standard cost is €5 for any size up to A4). As you can see, I misjudged the border of the photo but it would have wrecked it if I pulled it off !I thought the little gumpaste roses were sweet though.

As the next cake I made was for a triple 30th birthday I wanted it to make a bit of an impact so used what is currently my biggest tin - 12 inches. I had considered making a 2 tiered cake but it just wasn't practical bringing more than one box on the train from Dublin.

Instead, I used the opportunity to practice the sugar peony I made as part of a recent Decobake class and it looked well against some gold and black. I don't particularly like these letter cutters as you just seem to see them on so many cakes nowadays but I have since bought some new ones :)

The cake itself was a carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I had never strayed far from Rachel Allen's Carrot Cake recipe before but, as I was keen to keep costs down a bit for this monster I consulted one of my cake decorating books which contained several 'basic' recipes(ie ones not containing a tonne of nuts and butter). This had ten large carrots grated into it (and lots of other things of course) was really lovely! In fact, I actually like it much more than Rachel's and intend to use it again (sorry Rachel).

I am now working on my first ever christening cake which involves lots of different elements and I am very excited about. Pics to follow next week!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Review: Cactus Jacks, Millennium Walkway, Dublin 1

It was the memory of the tortilla chips that brought me to Cactus Jacks for the second time a couple of Sundays ago. After being served some really bland ones in a friends house the previous night I decided that I just had to head back to the place which had set the bar for me in that department some months previously.

On that first visit they had been warm, flaky and unlike any I had before. In truth, they were really more like deep fried pastry and came with some beautiful chunky guacamole.  Perhaps it was the fact that my most recent visit was on a quieter Sunday afternoon and they had been sitting around but this batch was cold and tasted slightly of rancid oil. Not very pleasant,The guacamole was also different - this time pureed to a fine mush and strangely sweet. These were served as part of the special 3 courses for €20 menu.

For my main I went for the 'Burrito del Pollo' which disconcertingly appeared seconds after I the starter plates were cleared. This was just ok, a cold, very chewy wrap and a rich smokey filling some might like but I found that bit too sweet.It did, however, contain lots of chicken. (It was also much bigger than it appears in the photo.)

The lovely waitress was bemused when Keith told her he would pass on dessert (as it was included) and insisted he at least try something. He did, a Lime and Tequila cheesecake which he ended up finishing. I went for the brownie, or what was really a decent square of soft cake with a chilli chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream.

Cactas Jacks won't set the world alight is a good place to go if you want a super speedy three course meal(we were in and out in about 50 minutes). Just don't go on the strength of their tortilla chips.

The floor to ceiling windows here provide the perfect opportunity to people watch both passers-by and sitting outside Lemon Jelly. Another big plus is its exceptionally attentive and pleasant staff.So, all in all, that  €20 seems almost worth it.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Rise of the Mini Food Snob

The huge shift in recent years towards locally produced, fresh food and our ever-broadening desire for more exotic and exciting meals is, of course, to be welcomed. However, it has had one very unfortunate side effect, bringing with it the arrival of a new and insufferable breed of food snob feigning horror at the very thought of a ready meal.

It genuinely scares me how much rubbish food I ate when I was young. Despite my mother's best efforts to feed us as well as she could afford to and, like many other 80s babies, mine was a childhood dominated by Findus Crispy Pancakes and Stinger Bars. An apple was a punishment not a snack and vegetables, if present at all, were generally just a token spoonful overcooked almost to the point of collapse.*'IN MY DAY RANT ALERT* But whatever we ate, there was no choice involved and we (generally) ate what we were given.

Society's renewed focus on eating well and return, particularly in the past 10 years, to the more wholesome values of a pre-convenience food era is great and something I embrace but something I overheard in Superquinn recently has made me think that perhaps we have gone too far the other way.

Me, aged 4 and probably full of Penguin Bars

It was a little girl who couldn't have been more than six or seven who asked her mother to
put back the tub of green olives she was holding as " mom you know I only eat Kalamata". They were immediately swapped. If adult food snobs are an annoyance mini ones are incredibly so and this was just the latest in a catalogue of incidents I have observed that make me think we are in danger of ending up with a generation of pretentious food brats.

In fact, many parents bizzarely appear to wear their little darlings 'refined' palates as something of a badge of honour. Yes, little Cliona eats spoonfuls of horseradish sauce right from the jar and insists that you leave the head on her fish.... we get it. Strange that it's never bacon and cabbage they love, or a nice plate of stew?!

Like many of you I'm sure, thinking about my next meal takes up far too much of my day and I now spend a disgraceful amount of money on 'proper' food. However, though I hope that my adult love of vegetables is helping to compensate for my former Banshee Bone habit, for me, 'rubbish' most certainly still has its place.I defy anyone to find a better cure for booze induced starvation than half of a Pizza Hut Hot Dog Stuffed Crust pizza and nothing cures a hangover like a bag of Spar own brand Bacon Fries. Anyone who says otherwise is lying(or has never had a proper hangover).

It's fantastic that we are increasingly aware of the importance of healthy eating and that children these days are being exposed to a range of foods those just a generation or two back could only have dreamed of but I can't help feeling that the rise of a particular strain of 'foodie' and the associated snobbery is somehow facitating the growth of a generation of pampered, spoiled brats and that think they can have whatever the hell they like and not just in terms of what they eat.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

In Training For My First Wedding Cake

I have always loved cake. As a child at family weddings, I was always eager to run ahead for a look at them (though the frilly 80s wasn't the most exciting time in cake-history) and I looked forward excitedly to see what mam had chosen for my birthday each year (invariably a plain cream sponge but I lived in hope that she might get me one of the lurid, fondant-iced Bart Simpson head cakes from the window of The Upper Crust on Main Street. Alas it was never to be *cue violins). Cake means good times, happiness, celebration. What's not to like?

A three tiered fake cake with gumpaste peonies, orchid and rose I decorated in a recent class (dent down to Mr Taxi Driver).

Cakes and Sugarcraft are something I keep coming back to. I completed a pretty basic City and Guilds online course a few years back and have recently completed the PME Professional Diploma in Sugarcraft.  It is like an itch I have to scratch . And that is what I have decided to do over the next few months -  the time has come to see how well I can improve and where, if anywhere, it takes me.

A carrot cake from the PME Diploma, covering some basic techniques

I haven't been baking as much as I would like recently. That is mainly down to the issue of waste and my hatred of it. Keith isn't a big cake eater and I will and have ended up polishing off wedges of cake to save it going in the bin which is all noble enough until your jeans start to feel tight!

A cake I made for a colleague 

But I now have something very exciting to work towards. My good friend Anne is getting married on New Year's Eve and has decided to set me loose on her wedding cake.Cheers Annie! In preparation, I have decided to try to bake and decorate a cake for any occasion I can up to then.

30th Cake

A cake should taste as good as it looks. I (and I'm sure you) have sampled enough dry tasteless sponges over the years to know that. It also has to be quite solid to give the cake structure/take a bit of abuse. An am still very much in the process of finding the perfect recipes. For example, the (chocolate) ones above and below were yummy but very soft. So the search goes on.

Hen Party Cake

I am hoping to document my ongoing experiments here. I am sure some will be better than others but hopefully there will be an overall improvement and I will learn more and more techniques as the months progress. (no doubt spending a small fortune on tools in the process). Hopefully I will then be at least ready for my first wedding cake. Will it be my last? who knows!?

Because sugarcraft is basically playdough for adults -  And whats not to love about that?!

Sunday, 14 July 2013

I'm back (with Soft White Bread Rolls)

I've been a very bad blogger, having not posted here in almost a month!(*slap on wrist). This I will blame on the time I have been spending completing my PME Professional Diploma in sugarpaste and the beautiful weather we have been having (during which the call of the beer garden has proven too hard to resist.)

I promise to do better from now on.

I have had quite limited success with bread making to date which I blame in part on our rubbish climate preventing the yeast working properly. But today, with the sun high in the sky in D6, there were no excuses in that area and so I thought I'd give it another go with these soft white rolls.

After wrapping the bowl up very well in clingfilm to keep out the garden nasties, I felt suitably wholesome and old fashioned as I plonked the dough on the windowsill to prove in the hot sun. They are pictured above after their second prove (their flatness is down to me wrapping them too tightly).

A glaze of beaten egg gave them a pleasing golden gloss and I must say I was more than a little bit chuffed as they came out of the oven. I made sandwiches today but think they would also make a really good burger bun.

Summer means salad but my heart used to sink when my mam gave us that for our dinner, The plate always looked full but it was generally made up of little more than a couple of huge lettuce leaves,  some strategically placed scallions , a tomato, halved and perhaps a slice or two of ham laid flat across the plate (sorry mam)....all in all not nearly enough for a little porker like me. But it was always improved tenfold by being stuffed into a couple of rolls with a slick of salad cream - and that was just what I did this evening.

This is a lovely recipe, one I've had in an old binder for so long I don't remember where it came from. And the rolls were so nice I think my up to now substandard bread-making skills are yet another thing we can definitely blame on the Irish weather!

Soft Bread Rolls (yields 4 large rolls or 6 normal-sized)
240g strong flour
1tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
7g sachet yeast
170g warm water

Mix water with sugar and yeast.Leave aside to develop until a thick foam forms on top.

Add the flour, salt and olive oil, mixing well until bound together. Add a little more flour if necessary.

Knead for 5-6 minutes until a finger print bounces back.

Place in a bowl and oil lightly before covering with clingfilm. Leave to prove in a warm place (In the absence of a warm summer windowsill, a very low oven should suffice) until doubled in size.

Knock back down and knead slightly. Divide into required number of rolls and place on baking tray. Oil lightly and cover very loosely with clingfilm until doubled in size again.

Bake for approximately 20-25 in an oven preheated to 180 degrees celsius.

Enjoy (80s salad optional).

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Taste of Dublin 15.06.13

I had never been to Taste of Dublin before but was tempted to visit earlier today in what is now the festival's eighth year. It takes place each year in the really pretty Iveagh Gardens off Harcourt Street, a nice 15 minute stroll for me.

It's not a cheap day out with standard tickets on the gate costing €28.50 and VIP tickets a massive €52.50, the only advantages of which appear to be access to the VIP tent (including canapes), a free glass of fizz and a cocktail. 

I wasn't naive enough to think there would be freely available food but I was genuinely surprised how little was included in the ticket price. I saw some cubes of Dubliner Cheese, one tray of Pink Lady Apple slices and some Kehoe's crisps. That was it. Everything else had to be purchased with 'florians', the Taste currency (cash is not accepted). 

And, though the very nice lad on the gate told us that "most things" were about a fiver, in fact almost all the starter sized tasting plates were seven florians (or euros). From the Dylan Restaurant we tried this little lamb cutlet with approximately 1tablespoon of buttermilk mash which was fine.

We were much happier with our subsequent choices. This steak, chips and bernaise sauce from the Chophouse was beautiful and the portion size very decent. 

From Jaipur's stall I ordered this Goan Prawn Curry from who I assumed was the owner, one of the most unpleasant individuals I have encountered in a long time. The curry itself was faultless. I really must try to make it soon.

We spent our final few florians on some Movenpick ice-cream - Pannacotta and Pistachio for me and Chocolate and Vanilla for him. 

We left after an hour, well fed but strangely deflated.