Wednesday, September 18, 2013

El Diablo - Restaurant & Cocktail Bar

Bookatable has a special at El Diablo until around October... - 3 courses for 299KR (you get to pick from a choice of 2) so, we decided to give this place a go and made last Saturday a date night for us =)  I was told it's Latin American food, but to be honest, I'm not so sure it's Latin American as they do use seasonal Swedish ingredients in their food.

El Diablo

Norra Agnegatan 43, 
112 29 Stockholm

El Diablo is a restaurant as well as a cocktail bar and apparently they are well known for their 100% Agave Tequila.

El Diablo - The Devil!

The earliest booking we could find was at 8.30pm slot on a Saturday night.  We caught the bus and walked about 10 minutes before we reached our destination.  By then, I was feeling quite hungry. Unfortunately, the restaurant was packed and was still extremely busy.

The restaurant was dimly lit.  The service, like any typical Swedish restaurants was extremely slow.  It took them nearly 10 minutes to hand us our menu (they have both Swedish or English Menu) and of course another 10 - 15 minutes (with me frantically waving my hand to catch their attention) before they finally took our order.

A little candle to brighten up our food =)

Surprisingly, the food came out pretty quick after we have ordered.  Firstly, the bread..  Oh My! Definitely worth waiting for.  That's one thing that I love about bread and butter here in Sweden. Always tasty and butter is always so creamy!

2 of everything.  2 pieces of crispbread (yum!), 2 little loaf of bread (with nuts and so heavenly), 2 diff types of butter (normal and basil butter - utterly creamy and divine) and some prawn pickled salad thingie in little white cups)

After we have polished every crumb and licked our butter knife, the platter was removed and our entree arrived pretty soon after.  S and myself ordered different entrees.  He went for the fish while I went for the chanterelle and we both enjoyed our entrees! =)

Cheek of Monkfish - with saffron/chill-air and dill cucumber (S seemed to have really enjoyed this)

Hjort - Pickled chanterelle with goat cheese creme and chanterelle creme with cloudberries.  There's some other pickles on the plate as well

The chanterelle creme looks like little 'poop' hehe.. sorry =(  but they were delicious!  I promise!

Straight after our entree, it was cleared and a few minutes later, our main was presented to us.  I was quite happy as food were just flying out as we eat!

BBQ Pork - Porkside (they should have used pork belly ..) with BBQ sauce, bourbon glace with roasted corn creme and cob of corn and cabbage

The pork was ....  well..  I still can't make up my mind if I really enjoyed it.  It's a huge chunk of meat but the skin wasn't crispy unfortunately..  and the meat was too salty for my liking.  I enjoyed the corn creme more and ended up with still half a pork left.. =(

Then it was back to waiting and waiting for our dessert.  It was a choice between chocolate fondant or creme brulee and we both ordered the creme brulee!

Creme brulee with blackcurrant sorbet (there's blackcurrant chips sprinkled on top of the sorbet as well)

The verdict???

OMG!  So good.. I polished mine all up!  *burps*  So did S ;)

Love the food.  We got to sit in a little corner, so perfect for date night.  You should really try their tequila, but unfortunately I can't and don't drink =(  Would definitely return when they have more specials =)

Until then...  Have a lovely week!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Keens Steakhouse, New York

While we travel, we are always ready to sample new restaurants or frequent good ones.  One of S's friend took us to a steakhouse which he was 'keen' for us to try.  Good steak restaurants are expensive here in Stockholm, so, we were more than happy to oblige.

Keens Steakhouse
72 W 36th St 
New YorkNY10018

As we were staying in Times Square, we had to take the subway to the steakhouse and as we were early, we had a drink or two at the bar.  I heard their Bloody Mary was awesome but S didn't seem to enjoy it very much, apparently not enough spice and he also likes having a huge big celery stick in his drink to stir it!

Anyhow I digress..

A little history about Keens Steakhouse:

"Keens Steakhouse owns the largest collection of churchwarden pipes in the world. The tradition of checking one’s pipe at the inn had its origins in 17th century Merrie Old England where travelers kept their clay at their favorite inn – the thin stemmed pipe being too fragile to be carried in purse or saddlebag. Pipe smoking was known since Elizabethan times to be beneficial for dissipating “evil homourse of the brain.” Keens's pipe tradition began in the early 20th century. 

The hard clay churchwarden pipes were brought from the Netherlands and as many as 50,000 were ordered every three years. A pipe warden registered and stored the pipes, while pipe boys returned the pipes from storage to the patrons. 

The membership roster of the Pipe Club contained over ninety thousand names, including those of Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Will Rogers, Billy Rose, Grace Moore, Albert Einstein, George M. Cohan, J.P. Morgan, Stanford White, John Barrymore, David Belasco, Adlai Stevenson, General Douglas MacArthur and “Buffalo Bill” Cody. "

The dining area is quite cozy
The most interesting part of it are the ceiling.. Yep!  The ceiling...
They were covered with long skinny pipes 

When you are at a steakhouse, always always order their meat...

We ordered a dozen oysters to be shared among us 4.  Strange right? ;)  But the oysters came and they look pretty good...  Unfortunately as it's quite dim in the restaurant, my pictures came out pretty 'orangey'

A dozen fresh oysters to share.  I love eating fresh oysters with lots of lemon juice.  What about you?
 If you eat a lot of oysters, always judge your instinct.  S found one of the oysters oozing out discoloured water.  With me, I couldn't see a thing and just shovel the juicy bits into my mouth, although I did have a little whiff and thought it smelled more 'sewerage' than usual.

Anyhow, we had the oysters removed but apparently we were told later that the chef in the kitchen insisted the oysters were fresh and there were nothing wrong with them but they took S's word for it and promised us dessert....

Well, guess who ordered seafood in a steakhouse.. =P  Yep!  Me!  Steam whole... LOBSTER!
They also peel the lobster for you with fresh lemons and a little pot of melted butter.  I was happy with just lemon juice as the lobster was fresh and tasty

Medium rare prime porter house to be shared by two!

Scumptious!  Simply melts in your mouth... Be still my beating heart!

S ordered the T-Bone Steak...

So, we both shared!  Surf and Turf!  yum!

Mushroom sauce with fries..  Nothing beats that!
 There were so much food that we thought of foregoing dessert all together, but at the last minute we decided to order the Key Lime pie to share... but they brought us an extra dessert - Chocolate fudge Sundae!

Chocolate fudge sundae and key lime pie.  The key lime pie is definitely my favourite

Ray looked pretty happy
They were both really good!  Best of all the desserts were free!  Thanks Keens!  You have made us very happy customers and we'll definitely come back for the meat when we are next in town.  Not the oysters though.  Hope you'll understand

Keens Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer holiday in North & South America.. First stop, New York!

It's great to be back as it's been hectic for the last month or so.  We were on our summer vacation to North and South America for 3 weeks.  Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan, but heck.. You deal with it and move on.  So, if you are planning to travel, especially to undeveloped countries, please please please, don't forget to buy insurance.  It will help you a lot in the long run!  At least I took some great pictures from our trip =)

I've been back for the last few weeks, but with work starting, I've been busy running around, foregoing my SFI classes (I can't believe how much I have forgotten in around 1 month =(( )..

Our first stop was New York.  This is my second visit to New York.  Last I was here was back in 2009, and S and myself did a lot of touristy stuff, so, this time round, I was happy to just take things easy and relax.

We did lots of shopping (sorry, did I say we?  I mean... *I* did lots of shopping *blush*).  The obligatory Sephora visit to stock up presents for people and of course our main reason was for one of S's colleague's wedding (whom he knew from back in Australia).  We also managed to squeeze in a cupcake walking tour while we were there, visiting my cousin and her family whom I haven't seen in over 7 years or so, tasting out different restaurants and of course getting a new SLR camera, which was definitely the highlight of my trip =)

Our first hotel, Hilton was right bang in the middle of Times Square.. and this is the view from our windows 
One step out from our hotel, and this is the sight which greets us every night..
I love the bright lights from our windows.. but only for a moment or so as the lights never go off!!..  New York never sleeps!!

The wedding was at the botanical gardens at the Bronx.  Unfortunately, during the whole ceremony, they had a no video or camera policy, so, I didn't get to take any photos.  The reception... was a lot of food.  We had cocktail, which was 'All you can eat' buffet and drinks, before being led to the main dining room.

The centrepiece was pretty with fresh bouquet on each table
My table setting... hmm lots of cutleries!  Does that mean ... Lots of food?!

Entree - Ahi Tuna & Avocado Salad...  I thought the stack was too high..  Was a lot to digest =x

Gorgonzola Salad (One thing about the Americans, they eat a lot of salad! and they always come before the main, hence filling up my stomach!)

Lemon sorbet to wash the fishy taste out of your mouth!

Main was either - Hudson Valley Beef with mustard shallot sauce (S picked this.. and it was quite tasty)

or Sake Roasted Mahi Mahi with soy mirin mushroom broth  (I picked this as my main and was extremely disappointed).  The dumpling that came with it was frozen!  The fish was slightly dry.. for some reason I was expecting broth... or just slightly wetter than it was =(

Borrowing one of the groomsmen's props =)

Playing with the props for the guests

A variety of tea and I picked the green tea and it was really cute and was so fragrant =)

Dessert - Summer Dessert Sampler.  blueberry ice cream in little cones, cuppocino cup and some other frozen dessert which I can't remember
Best part was definitely the DIY photo booth!  Was quite fun =)

Only picture I took at my cousin's!!!  Saw her 3 times, and these were the only photos we took!  BBQ at their apartment in Brooklyn hehe =)

Our extremely morning cab ride to the airport for our flight to Miami..  That's the Brooklyn bridge =)