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a taste of wanderlust

Until we meat again, Mostar.

A Bosnian once told me that if you’re a vegetarian in Bosnia, then good luck.
…. He wasn’t wrong.

Every where you go, you can tell the Bosnians love their meat. Two words. Meat Platter.

Literally on every menu you look at, they advertise a meat platter. Even though the menu says for one, or for two they actually mean double. So a platter for one person means for two, and for two people it means four.

Not a lot of people would think to travel to Bosnia. I had never really had an interest in the country until most of my friends travelled there. After seeing pictures and hearing stories, I couldn’t wait to make tracks to a small city called Mostar.
*For those unfamiliar with the Bosnian war and its history, I definitely recommend reading up on it or watching some documentaries! Lots of interesting facts and stories.

This city, especially the old town (which is where I recommend you stay), is full of friendly people, cheap and good food as well as a beautiful cave bar and some terrace bars overlooking the river.

Although a lot of restaurants are a tourist trap (just like most cities), head to a restaurant called Šadrvan. It’s located just off the old bridge and it is always busy – whether that be with locals or tourists, it’s hard to find a table.

The locals that recommend this place always say to go for the platters, whether that be the national platter, meat platter or fish platter – go for a platter.

Unknown to us how big this meat platter would be, we also ordered a starter each and some rice. Some wise words – do not order extra. The Bosnians are extremely generous with their portions and the meat platter is no exception.

The meat platter came out and we were shocked at the size. It was huge and could’ve easily fed 3 people but it was delicious.

For our entire meal, including a few bevvies it cost 50 Bosnian Mark – which is about 20 pound (unfortunately if you’re coming off the Australian Dollar it is about $40, which is a bit pricey for two people). Coming off the GBP though and you are laughing for the amount of food given. Well worth your money.

We told our guide the next day about our dinner and he told us that we should also try their fish platter, so instead of living in regret we went back for the fish platter. This time we were a bit smarter and did not order any sides or extras because the platter itself was enough.

The fish platter comes with trout (which is caught fresh in their clear rivers), which is cooked a few different ways. It is nothing like I’ve tasted before and was absolutely delicious. Only downside is that there are a few bones, so eat slowly!

We ordered a few more drinks with dinner this night which did set us back the same amount as the night before but we had told them we were there the night before and they were lovely enough to treat us to some free Bosnian desserts! Bonus.

I cannot recommend this place enough. So if you find yourself in Mostar, head on down and try out their specialities.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g295388-d1101001-Reviews-Sadrvan-Mostar_Herzegovina_Neretva_Canton.html

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Perfecto Riomaggiore!

This place is nothing short of perfect. Perfect town, perfect place, perfect restaurant and perfect food.

Cinque Terre means “five lands”, and out of all the five lands that I visited, Riomaggiore was my favourite. It was also the town where we stayed.
Riomaggiore is the first of five lands and although people say it’s full of tourists, it’s really not. You get that anywhere you visit.

If you’re lucky enough to stay here or are visiting for dinner, pop into La Grotta. It’s not on the sea front but it’s food is better than those by the sea.

Steering clear of the mussels for starters, for once, we opted for the stuffed anchovies. When people think of anchovies, they think of those slimy things on pizzas. Well these are far from them. Be sure to order them!

The whole menu makes your mouth water and it’s hard to chose a main, but the best one (and also the one to deviate from food envy) would be to choose the share plate seafood risotto. Bellissimo!

Unfortunately for me, there was no room for dessert – but from what I saw on other tables, it looked good.

So if you find yourself in Riomaggiore, head to La Grotta for some perfecto Italian seafood!

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restaurant_Review-g187821-d1577905-Reviews-La_Grotta_Bar_Trattoria-Riomaggiore_Cinque_Terre_Italian_Riviera_Liguria.html


An authentic polish kitchen

The name Chlopskie Jadlo translates to Peasant Food but don’t be fooled by the translation because the flavour of the food is far from peasant-like.

If you ever find yourself in Krakow, Poland be sure to stop by Chlopskie Jadlo. The food is cheap, the service is amazing and the food is authentically Polish. It’s just like being in Mama’s kitchen.

The restaurant itself isn’t too far from the main square, but it also means you’re not hit with the tourist prices and tourist food.

Poland itself is extremely cheap, so when ordering for a group of four the bill ended up being less than 20 pounds for all (alcohol included). Bargain!

When you go here order the Beetroot Soup. It’s Poland’s specialty and if you travel during the colder, winter months – it warms the soul. I could not get enough of this beetroot soup. It comes out as a dark red/purple liquid with a few dumplings in it but it is more than that. Instantly it warms your insides and I seriously could have just eaten this all night.

There’s so much to chose from on the menu that is authentic polish food, but when you come here the duck is definitely worth your money. It’s half a duck, served with all the polish trimmings and it is filling.

It’s a bit hard in amongst all the tourist restaurants to find somewhere with good food that is authentic, and if you’re looking for good and authentic polish food – stop by here.

I have never been to Krakow in the summer, but the winter was beautiful. It was also -13 degrees and New Years Eve but it certainly is a beautiful, historical city.

http://www.chlopskiejadlo.pl/pl/

Chlopskie Jadlo

Nice to Meat you, Prague.

It’s very hard to find a good steak in London (no offence London but I found it the quality of meat to be pretty bad and expensive). When we were recommended this steak joint in Prague, it was very hard to say no. Although we were a bit iffy, it was the best steak I’ve had since being in Australia.

Cestr is located in the new part of Prague and is an old butchery turned restaurant. The beauty of Prague is that you think you might pay an arm and leg for a meal but once you convert it into pounds, it’s chip money.

Carpaccio is actually a famous Italian dish, so it’s a bit awkward when in Prague to order that and expect it to be of the same quality, but Cestr do not disappoint. In fact, it is the best Beef Carpaccio I’ve ever had (even better than ones eaten in Italy). Don’t go past the Carpaccio for your starter – in fact just order that one to not share so you get it all to yourself.

Cestr make it easier in picking which steak you should order. They have a diagram of the cow and each cut of the cow is numbered. Underneath it then corresponds the number and tells you what cut it is as well as the fat, tenderness and flavour content. So depending on if you don’t like too much fat but what a full tenderness and flavour content, there is a cut that will match that.

Once you’ve chosen your cut, you have to order some sides. I cannot recommend enough the mash potato. It is creamy heaven and absolutely melts in your mouth.

When the food comes out, you think you’ll still be hungry but that is not the case at all.

Each time someone I know goes to Prague, I recommend this place. If they don’t go, they are missing out. So, if you find yourself in Prague one day, be sure to book a table at Cestr.

If you don’t really like eating steak, there are also a few fish options on the menu.

http://cestr.ambi.cz/en/

Cestr - Prague

Holy Schnitzel, you’ve outdone yourself Vienna.

Vienna is home to the best schnitzels and that’s because the schnitzel originated from Austria.

It is extremely beautiful in Vienna and it’s even more magical at Christmas time. Although we were hoping for snow, the locals said it hadn’t snowed there since 2006 – so our chances were dim.

Many places in Vienna will serve the schnitzel, but the best place to go is Figlmueller. We were lucky enough to get a dinner seat, but on most nights, a reservation is needed or it will be a long wait.

I absolutely love veal schnitzel, a lot more than chicken and lucky for me the size of the veal was a lot smaller than the others who had ordered the pork. The pork schnitzel was about the size of a dinner plate (with a little bit of a side hang off).

I actually don’t know how four human beings possibly ate that much, but we did.

There are a few sides that you can order like your salads, chips etc. but, the best side you can order is the potato salad. I don’t know what they put in their potato salad but it is that addictive.

For the days we were there, I would have been happy enough to live off veal schnitzel and potato salad.

Figlmueller isn’t the cheapest but it isn’t expensive either, you pay for the quality of food and to be honest you would probably pay the same amount somewhere more touristy and possibly not as tasty.

https://www.figlmueller.at/en/

Vienna Group Dinner

A tart like no other

Those that go to Lisbon in Portugal, must, and I cannot emphasize this more MUST go and try one of their world famous Portugese Tarts that are created from this pastry shop in Belem – Pasteis De Belem.

The tarts (and possibly other desserts) are to die for.

It doesn’t really matter what time of the day you go there, the lines go around the corner. During the summer months, when most flock to Lisbon you will probably be off put by the lines but there is a little trick.

We were lucky enough to have organised a walking through our hostel that included Belem and Belem’s world famous pastry shop.

The local guide knows a little trick of the local trade and I’m happy to share it with you.

A lot of the people that are lined up outside of the shop are actually just lining up to get the pastry as a takeaway treat. What they don’t know is that you can actually get your tart a lot faster if you just decide to dine in.

So once you arrive, confidently walk through the crowd and head toward the back of the café (it’s a pretty large café so you might get lost, but just ask somewhere where to find the sit down area).

You might have a to wait no longer than 15 minutes for a table, depending on how big your group is but it beats waiting in the hot sun only to realize that you’re getting a take away tart.

The obvious choice on the menu to order – the Portugese Tart. They’re cheap and from memory, you can order a take away one when you are sat down – just as a little treat for later.

So there you have it. The insider tip on getting your hands on that tart, faster than those in the line outside.

http://pasteisdebelem.pt/en/#_=_

Belem TartsBelem Tarts

La La La La Rambla

Barcelona is one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s full of beautiful architecture, people and most importantly good food.

I love Barcelona so much, that during my time in London I was lucky enough to go there twice.

Although it’s a tourist hot spot, you don’t actually feel like tourists surround you. Instead you just feel like one of the locals, getting lost through the little alley ways and finding yourself sat in a bar in the side of the wall.

The main strip of Barcelona is known as La Rambla. It’s full of Spanish life and you can easily get caught up in it. *Be wary of pickpockets around you.

Once you make your way down La Rambla, you’ll come across some pretty famous markets. These are the markets where you see those people photographed in amongst colourful fruit, lollies and smoothies – guilty, I’m one of those people.

This is probably my favourite place to eat. Around the outskirts are tapas restaurants. If I could recommend something, don’t eat at one of those places – they’ll probably rip you off and the food will actually be pretty shit.

Instead, grab a fruit drink at the start of the markets and make your way around, sampling all the good food.

Once you head toward the end there are a few places that sell fresh fried seafood, served in a paper cone. Get one of these. Depends on which seafood you like. And for the price, it’s well worth it.

My eyes are sometimes bigger than my stomach and after munching on about 8 crab claws and further wandering around, I wish I hadn’t eaten so much. Nestled away in the corner of the markets is a takeaway paella joint. I didn’t get to taste the paella here, but from the queue of people, the price and the smell – I could tell it would’ve been good.

Be sure to hit up the Boqueria Markets in Barcelona.

http://www.boqueria.info/index.php?lang=en

If you head to Barcelona, you need to go to a restaurant by the beach called El Rey De La Gamba. The people who work here are friendly, the price for what you pay is just a joke because it’s so cheap and the food is indescribable. I hadn’t had fresh seafood like this for a long time, so I was one happy girl.

There were three of us there and I almost wish it was just me, because I did not want to share.

Prepare yourself to get messy though – use your hands and don’t have a care in the world what you like when you eat.

We ordered the grilled prawns for a starter and then the seafood platter for our main to share.

I would definitely recommend getting this. It’s well worth your money and leaves everyone at the table happy.

When my bestfriend and her boyfriend were in Barcelona we recommended this place to them and they loved it so much that they were actually going to go back a second time.

You need to try it out if you’re a seafood lover like me.

http://www.elreydelagamba.com/

BBQs galore, Marrakech style

The Jemaa el Fna are the craziest markets I’ve ever encountered in my life. This is not a place for those who freak out in over crowded situations, especially in a foreign country. I think my biggest tip with this place is to either go in with a plan – otherwise you will be sucked in for hours or just to go in confidently and not let the hustle and bustle get to you.

Once the clothing, shoes, bags, Jewellery markets start to wind down, the food markets come alive.

I had actually done my research about the food markets before heading in and from everything that I had read the best food stall was to go to Number 1 – as rated number 1 by trip advisor.

These markets have guys that will come after you and try to persuade you to eat at their stalls. Don’t get sucked in and if you know which stall you want – go there. It is fun to get amongst it all though and the fun and banter, so play along.

But stall 1 is the one to go to.

The meat is paraded for you to see their selection and they cook it for you fresh as your order.

We ordered a few trays of the fried calamari, lamb chops, koftas, chips and salad. Everything comes on paper plates and the drinks you poor into plastic cups. All together, the meal costs 10 pounds. If you are coming over and converting from AUD it probably seems like a lot but for us from the pound it was a bargain.

I also can’t recommend enough asking for their chilli sauce. I wish I could’ve bottled it up and sent it back home.

My tip on the markets is to always trust trip advisor – if you research in advanced. A few nights later, we took our friends to the Jemaa el Fna and went to a different stall and it was not as good as the first one! I don’t normally like going to the same thing again on holidays but I definitely wish I did this time.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g293734-d1119628-r129356881-Jemaa_el_Fna-Marrakech_Marrakech_Tensift_El_Haouz_Region.html

Marrakesh 1Marrakesh Food Markets

Little Tokyo in Liverpool

When there is a bank holiday and you can’t either afford/be bothered to go out of the country, the next best thing is to get out of London.

Home to the Beatles is the little port side town of Liverpool. It’s just a short and cheap train ride of out London. The city itself isn’t that big and to be honest you could walk around within a day and see everything – unless you like museums and want to go in them then they take up most of your day.

I don’t feel bad about saying my favourite place to eat there was a Japanese restaurant because I’m not actually too sure what their food specialty is – it could be Fish and Chips like the rest of the UK but it doesn’t have that specialty dish, like Scotland has haggis.

Sushi in the UK, including London is everywhere. There’s sushi trains, sushi take away joints and the occasional all you can eat sushi bar, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always good.

I hadn’t had Japanese in a long time so it was good to head to this place because it did not disappoint.

It did take a while to find but eventually when we did it was worth it.

The sushi is made fresh to order but it also has an array of sushi selections on the menu.

We also ordered a bento box each (as it was the lunch time special) and this was authentic and delicious Japanese food.

Although we ordered some sushi to start with and ordered the bento, it was hard to avoid ordering just a little bit more sushi at the end.

If you find yourself in Liverpool and don’t want something from a food court or pub, look up Etsu. It won’t disappoint.

http://www.etsu-restaurant.co.uk/

Etsu Liverpool.jpg

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