Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spain, Madrid: Casa Mingo - Spanish food throughout the years

It's quite obvious that HT couple is crazy about Spain.  And it's our favorite foodie place in Europe as of date!
This time, we visited Casa Mingo, the oldest cider house in Madrid.  I'll be honest that we're not really fans of ciders but this place has more to offer so it's worth a visit.
When we, HT couple and our indian friends, got to the place there was a long queue.  As foodies, any queue is worth waiting for.  Well, that was what we're hoping for but since this place started 1888 ( and is still up and running by now...we took the chance.
We waited for about 30 minutes and got a table for four.
Here's our recommendation on what you must get:
Pollo Asado (Roasted Chicken) - 10.50 euros (table) - they have lower price (~8 euros) if taken in the bar (standing) or take away - the difference in price is quite common in Spain and Italy among others.
Chorizo a la Sidra (Chorizo cooked in cider) - ~ 3 euros (mesa)
Sidra Avilesina - ~ 6 euros for a bottle.  We tried two ciders but we like this one better. 
We got some desserts - which were pre-packed so we're not sure if they got them from the supermarket. Nevertheless, they were good. I can't remember which is which but we got the arroz con leche and the flan (which is Philippines' national dessert - i would say - thanks to the Spanish influence) - ranges from ~3-5 euros
Our foodie friends did a good research and planned this food trip in Madrid really well.  On another day we went back to Casa Mingo but this time, we went to the upper part of the restaurant.  Take note that the only way to get there is to walk outside the restaurant and look on the left where you see stairs.  It's totally separated but if you get lost, feel free to ask the waiters - but make sure to learn the key words in Spanish so you'll be directed to the right way.
This place doesn't serve anything other than the Cocido Madrileño (Madrid Stew) ~15 euros (it was on the high side and we did ask if we can share, but we didn't know if they said no or they didn't understand us). 
 We didn't know what to expect and finally the first dish came. We got a bowl of soup with noodles (it was like watery misua) but it was tasty. I read that the soup is the broth of where the meat and chickpeas were boiled. And they're willing to give another serving if your tummy is asking for more.
We were waiting for the meat and veggies to arrive having the thought that it should be eaten at the same time with the soup.  After noticing the waiter was checking on us if we have finished our bowls, we assumed that it would be served thereafter.
 And yes, we got this plate consisting of chick peas, chorizo, pork fats, bone marrow, potatoes, carrots and a bed of stewed cabbage. Not your usual type of stew, but it in Madrid . We did ask for more chorizo and each of us got a small piece extra.


We got this dumpling on the side but I didn't figure out what it's made of. I've read online that after the soup this is usually served before the big plate. 
It was a nice food experience to have this type of lunch that Madrileños would have for a hearty lunch.  I'm not a fan but reading online recipes on how they do it at home, did give me a better impression.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Spain, Madrid: La Gabinoteca : Modern Tapas

Another trip to Madrid!  The last time HT couple was here, HT wife had a bad experience of pickpocketing.  But we still keep on coming back.  Why?  Because of their food!  Tapas are must- haves in Spain.  And you can get it practically in any corners of Spain (check out our other Spain posts).  
This time, we went somewhere with frills.  Yes, not your ordinary tapas place.
The moment we entered La Gabinoteca, we were just amazed on how homey yet modern the place is. 

the tables and chairs are simple but quirky

And with the food...their tapas ranges from 4-10 euros.  And just checked out how the small bites are served.  Innovative!

We got greedy and got these for starters.

Tortilla con brandada de Bacalao (~5 euros) -  tortilla comes usually flat - basically like an omelette.  But in La Gabinoteca, you get the tortilla in a glass with cod and a spoon!  Just love how each of the individual flavors of cream, egg, cod came together everytime you scoop a spoonful of the tortilla from this glass.

Alcachofas Fritas (~7 euros) - Fried artichokes with jamon served in a tin can or small trash can.  I love artichokes and...deep-fried, just delicious!

El Potito (Egg, Potatoes and Truffle) (~6 euros) - their specialty as i've seen this small bottle on every table.  This is somehow similar to the tortilla but in my opinion is more tasty.  It can be overwhelming so I suggest to get only this or the tortilla...not both.

Taco Pato (~6 euros) - one of my favorites.  Duck meat flakes - fried till crisp but still juicy and served in a taco. Smart isn't it?

Carrillera de ternera como las hace NINO (~7 euros) -  veal cheeks braised in red wine - how it's cooked by one of the owners named NINO.  It was tender and delicate in taste.

Mini Escalope 'ARMANDO' (~7 euros) - their version of schnitzel and it's not a mini.  I would say this was nothing special.  It was also served very oily.
Overall, we love the place, the food, the vibe.  The crowd is more young professionals therefore, it's not rowdy at all.  If you're in Madrid, make sure to visit this place for that dining experience that doesn't cost a fortune.
Our friends who were with us made reservation.  It was full and I remember kitchen only opens at 8 pm (not sure if it still is). 
La Gabinoteca
Calle Fernandez de la Hoz 53 Madrid 28003

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wageningen, Netherlands: Restaurant O Mundo, a Michelin-starred restaurant

HT couple is back!  We're still the same...foodies and still travel adventure seekers.  We've hibernated for a year and we miss sharing with you guys are food and travel oohlalala.

Logging into this blog after a year, I, HT wife, felt some excitement.  I'll be honest that I'm quite stressed out lately and I need a medium to relax myself and ta-dah, food blog it is!

This post was started from a year ago.  Just happy to be able to finish it up and share with you guys.  Enjoy!

HT couple were lucky to get a voucher from work (for job well done) for 5-course menu with wine arrangement for 2 at Hotel de Wereld - Restaurant O Mundo

Hotel de Wereld is a historical site where the capitulation of the German troops in NL and the end of German occupation during WWII (credits to wikipedia)

Restaurant O Mundo holds a star in Michelin guide and one of the best arrangements HT couple had.
we were welcomed by this amuse.

love their olive oil bottle

we never went hungry while waiting for our 5-course.

Soy-marinated Tuna with quinoa, avocado, piccalilly-ice, daikon cress, wasabi en spongecake van wakame.  Delicious and inventive.

Our favorite - langoustine wrapped in kataifideeg and shortly cooked.  Served with risotto, lime, vegetables, paramezan and capuccino from squid ink. (Kataifi- is a vermicelli-like pastry) 

lamb saddle - nicely cooked, flavorful and succulent

goose liver - poached in cloth with spiced cookie, fruit mustard and mango reduction.

Diverse sweets made of hazelnut

The wine arrangement was perfect and got me really drunk.  Each glass was so good and it complemented perfectly with every dish.

This is so far the most inventive, delicious, no misses arrangement we had in the Netherlands. (as of 2013) - we had better one this year 2014...just wait for the post :)

Highly recommended!  Money's worth and not expensive at all for Michelin-starred restaurant.

BUDGET: Menu O Mundo Deluxe (similar to above) 85 euros per person
                  3-course ~40 euros per person
                  4-course ~55 euros per person
                  *exclusive wijn arrangement

Restaurant O Mundo
5 Mei Plein
6703 CD Wageningen
The Netherlands