Archive for the ‘restaurants’ Category

EB: Concrete Bar in Cable Car Lane

April 23, 2012

We go to the pub quiz at the Green Man on Monday evenings. We meet others from the Wellington Wonders meetup group and the meetup officially starts at 6.30pm, for the quiz that starts at 7pm. This means eating out (or taking a packed dinner as well as a packed lunch) as it leaves no time to go home first. The food at the Green Man is variable in quality and overpriced so, if we remember, we try to eat somewhere else. It occurred to me that we should have been using the Entertainment Book (EB) for this.This week (16th April) we did. I chose ‘ Concrete Bar on Cable car Lane, about halfway between my office and the Green Man. The offer for 2011/2012 is ‘one complimentary main course when another main course of equal or greater value is purchased’ Maximum value $30 (BOGOF).

I took a look at the menu and found that mains were only served at lunchtime, that the evening menu was tapas, so I called them. A very friendly and helpful girl took my call. She explained that on Mondays and Tuesdays we could order from the lunch menu. She took a reservation and said she would tell the chef we would want to order from the lunch menu. The 2012/2013 offer is for 25% off the total bill.

Two of us arrived and were seated by the window where we could look down and see if the third was on his way. We were given menus, cold water and asked if we wanted to order drinks (we didn’t – I try not to drink during the week). Joe and I ordered the rosemary roasted New Zealand lamb cutlets served on a rocket, cucumber and parmesan cheese salad. The cutlets were topped with a mint, pea and parmesan pesto and a balsamic reduction. The full price was $22.50 (so we paid $11.25 each). It was lovely. The salad very fresh and the cutlets so delicious I wanted to eat the bone. The portion was a lunch size, or a dinner size if a side of carbs were added.

Rik had the chicken quesadilla – also delicious was a very tasty filling. His chips were great too. His choice cost $16.50 and we didn’t get a discount ont hat as we’d used it on the more expensive lamb dishes.


Venue: Concrete Bar on Level 1 of Cable Car Lane (just off Lambton Quay)
Offer: buy one main course get another free
Visited: Monday, 16th April 2012 at 5.30.
Verdict: Great food, good service.


Day 00: October 15th: From London to New York

October 31, 2009

What I ate today:
An airline meal (Delta – Milan to JFK): Chicken with risotto and almost raw brocolli. I also ate the cheese and crackers that came with it but not the salad (I made the mistake of putting the rather nasty dressing on it), nor the roll. Are cattle class airline rolls ever edible?

An airline egg and tomato roll: this was given to me as breakfast on the first (BA) flight from London Heathrow to Milan. I didn’t eat it at the time – it did not look nice and I just couldn’t face it. Rik kept it for me and gave it to me later. Despite being a textureless bap type piece of bread and some egg and tomato chopped so finley you could safely feed it to a small baby, it didn’t taste too bad. I wouldn’t want one again though!

After getting to our hostel, too tired and jetlagged to to any further, we went into the second eatery we stumbled across. This was the Palacio Azteca at 1374 York Ave (between 73rd St & 74th St) New York, NY 10021 (212) 249-7313 (no web address found).
Day 00: Chips & salsa Palacio Azteca Day 00: Dinner at Palacio Azteca
I had a rather nice piece of steak, some shrimp (prawns) a tasty salad, served wtih green salad, Mexican rice (as far as I can tell it just means it has some tomato in it) some guacamole and a bean thing that was far nicer than it looked. It was a lovely meal in a small cafe-type establishment. No drink licence but you can BYO and we were directed to a beer shop a few doors down. They were also happy to bring us tap water and we got complimentary chips’n’dip while we waited.
Rik’s meal was similar bbut with spicy prawns and no beef.

The travel blog for the day can be found at

The Photo-Dieter Eats Out

July 13, 2007

At The Spice Lounge in Milton Keynes

chicken suganda

For three weeks I have been photographing everything I eat and learning to eat healthily-sized portions. I’ve logged the food in WLR to keep track of the calories, the fat and the fibre.

On Wednesday my partner and had ticket for the theatre and went out for dinner first. We went to The Spice Lounge in the Theatre District. That description tickles me. It’s technically correct, I guess, as it is the district where the theatre is located. To my mind, ‘the theatre disctict’ should be where there are theatres (plural) not one theatre and several bars and restaurants. Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner and used to having lots of theatres to choose from. That’s also probably why it seems so strange to me to be able to stand by the theatre bar and look out over miles of fields. But I digress.

We’d almost walked into the Spice Lounge before but had decided that it must be closed, despite the unlocked door, as it was so dark and nobody was around. Friends had been before and loved it but they had gone there for a Saturday night out. It’s a bar with a dance floor, they have live music and the restaurant area is on a mezzanine.

This time there was a notice outside advertising their early-bird special – 50% off your food bill if you eat between 5.30 and 7.30. We figured this meant they were open. Ignoring the lift, we walked up the couple of flights of stairs and into the to the dance floor/bar level which was very dimly lit. Someone must have heard us talking because, before we had a chance to decide that it was too dark and too empty we were approached by a member of staff with a friendly, welcoming smile. I explained that we wanted to eat before going to the theatre and had seen their offer. He asked what time the show was and, hearing that it wasn’t till 7.30, assured us there was plenty of time for us to enjoy a full meal and showed us to a table for two overlooking the dance floor on which only coloured lights were dancing.

We had poppadums with the traditional accompaniments of red onion, yoghurt and mango chutney while we looked at the menus which were rather difficult to read by the dim overhead lighting and the candle on the table.

I can see now that it was a mistake to order a starter and a main course with side orders of rice, naan bread and saag aloo, as wells as poppadoms and a pint of lager. However, we did restrict ourselves to one of each to share.


Indian fud

The food was excellent and the service was very good. Our starters were cleared and the main course brought just as we’d finished – no impatient hovering waiters and no frustrating wait between courses as the seconds tick toward show time. We weren’t asked too often ‘is everything all right’ either. We were both impressed.

Because I’m photo-dieting I only put on my plate as much as I thought I might eat. I figured that if I wanted more, that is really wanted more, I could serve up some more and take another photograph. I am pleased to report that I left some of the food on my plate.

I didn’t even glance at the dessert menu. Next time (and we will go back soon) I might have a starter and dessert, no main course.

I always feel a little self-concious when photographing food in a restaurant. I’m concerned that they may think I’m reporting on them or something. Perhaps, though, they might think that I’m doing a foodie review – they have become popular in food magazines and on television. I guess that’s not a bad thing. But I might have a photo-dieter badge made up, or some cards.