Tag Archives: Lamb

Oscars French Bistro Leamington Spa

oscars Leamington Spa

Last week I visited Oscars French bistro in Leamington Spa for the first time, I can’t actually believe it has taken me almost three years to pay the restaurant a visit.  Mr Gourmand has visited twice with work and has promised to take me on a few occasions but we can never seem to dine out together on an evening unless we have family visiting.

My date for the Oscars visit was one of Mr Gourmands work colleagues, Mr Gardener.  Mr Gardener had visited Oscars a few times before and had jumped at the chance to accompany me so last Wednesday we made our way there for Dinner.

Oscars leamington Spa

When you enter Oscars you can immediately see that this is a fine dining restaurant and a place to not only eat food but to enjoy it too.  The tables are beautifully set and the whole atmosphere seems intimate and inviting.

Champagne Oscars Leamington Spa

We were handed the menu and given a glass of champagne to drink, I can’t remember the last time I had champagne but it was definitely pre Baby Gourmand.  The champagne was fruity and very easy to drink unlike others I have tried, at least from what I can remember!

olives oscars Leamington

The complimentary olives were delicious, in fact I could have happily had a huge bowl full on my own, they were that good.  The French bread was also delicious however I had to limit myself to just one piece or I wouldn’t have been able to eat my meal.  It’s little things like the complementary extras that would make you visit time and time again.

After quite a long time debating what we were going to order we had finally made a decision, I’m a creature of habit and as soon as I saw that Chicken Liver pate (£6.50) was an option on the menu it was a no brainer that I was going to order it.  I consider myself to be a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to Chicken Liver pate so I was interested to see how Oscars compared to others I had eaten in the past.

Chicken Liver Pate, Oscars leamington Chicken Liver Pate, Oscars leamington

I’ve mentioned before that in my opinion an undressed salad is a huge no-no, this wasn’t a problem at Oscars.  The salad was not only dressed but seasoned, such a little thing that makes such a difference.  The bitterness of the endive lettuce worked so well with the sweet dressing and creamy pate.  It was a very generous portion size, so much so that I couldn’t finish it all for fear of not being able to eat my main course.  I have to say that this was one of the best Chicken Liver Pate I have eaten and I have eaten a lot.

Salmon, Dill and Caper fishcake.  Oscars Leamington Spa

Mr Gardener ordered the Salmon, Dill and Caper fishcake (£6.50) which was served on creamed spinach with a lemon butter sauce.  You would be forgiven for thinking this could have been a main course as it was a monster of a fishcake and served with some vegetables or a salad it would have made an excellent main course.  Mr Gardener thought the fishcake was excellent, he had eaten a similar starter at Oscars in the past which prompted him to order this one and he wasn’t disappointed.

Paredaux tradition pays doc 2013

I always struggle when it comes to ordering wine with my meal, I’m not a connoisseur and usually prefer to get a recommendation from the sommelier as they know their stuff when it comes to pairing so I did what I always do and asked the waitress to select a wine.  As we were both having red meat as our main course a bottle of the Paredaux tradition pays doc 2013 (£16.50) was recommended and what a good choice it was.

Mini Rack of lamb, oscars leamington spa Mini Rack of lamb, oscars leamington spa

I ordered the Mini rack of lamb (£17.50) for my main course and can I start by saying there was nothing ‘mini’ about this dish.  The lamb was cooked to perfection and I couldn’t stop talking about how amazing the lamb was.  Juicy, flavourful, meltingly tender and hands down delicious, for me the lamb stole the show.  The lamb was topped with persillade and served with my favourite bollangere potatoes and if I could only have one more meal for the rest of my life I have to say this would probably be a contender.  Mr Gardener got to sample one of my lamb chops as I was so full and he agreed that it was one perfectly cooked piece of lamb.

Sauteed duck breast, oscars leamington spa

Mr Gardener decided to go for something that he doesn’t cook at home, another perfectly cooked dish – the Sautéed duck breast (£17.50) which was served with a pineapple and ginger compote and fondant potato.  The picture above really doesn’t do this dish the justice it deserves, Mr Gardener cleared his plate which speaks for itself.

panacotta oscars leamington

Mr Gardener and I decided to share a dessert, to be perfectly honest I couldn’t have managed one on my own.  The dessert menu was rather amazing, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t like the sound of but one dish stood out for me which was the Panacotta with rhubarb compote (£6.00) the restaurant had run out of the compote but offered an alternative of a red berry compote instead, after explaining about my strawberry allergy I was told the chef would prepare something for me and what we received was so delicious it really needs to be on the menu!  The raspberries were plump and juicy, the liquor was sweet and worked so well with the slight tartness of the berries and the panacotta was just so delicious I don’t have the words to describe it.

I well and truly have the Oscars bug and I can’t wait for my next visit, preferably with Mr Gourmand so I don’t need to be so reserved when it comes to taking food off my fellow diners plate!


Disclaimer: I received a complementary meal for review purposes however all thought, words and opinions are my own.  All photographs taken with iPhone 6

Slow Cooker Doner Kebab



I originally found a recipe for a slow cooker doner kebab recipe on a slow cooker facebook page I’m a member of, I slightly tweaked the recipe that people were using to suit our tastes and although we thought it could in no way taste like a real kebab we were pleasantly surprised.

I’m sure this recipe will work well in the oven but I love the simplicity of the slow cooker so I used that to cook mine.  The recipe below served 2 (we’re greedy) but I’m sure if you pack your kebabs out with salad you could serve 3-4.

You will need

  • 500g of lean lamb mince
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian Season or mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp Salt.
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper.
  • 2 tsp Cumin.
  • 1 finely chopped Garlic clove
  • 1 tsp paprika

Add everything into a large bowl and mix with a hand blender or by hand until combined with no air pockets at all, I spent a good 10 minutes squashing and bashing mine with my hands until it was all combined and the meat had completely broken down.  I shaped the meat into a large patty and placed in the fridge overnight.

I cooked my meat on high for 2.5 hrs, timings will change depending on brand of slow cooker and the amount of meat used, if the meat is cooked for too long it could crumble so do check your timings.  I sliced my meat and placed in the oven for 5-10 minutes to brown.  I used a knife to slice my meat but a friend advised me to use a vegetable peeler in future as this gives a more authentic slice.

Homemade Doner Kebab



Lamb with Pappardelle


Osso Buco

This recipe is adapted from Nigel Slater’s Osso Buco Kitchen Diaries recipe, I needed to make it more baby friendly so have changed a few things to suit our tastes.

To cook this my way you will need:

2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil

700g Diced Lamb

1 Onion, chopped

2 sticks of Celery

2 Carrots

250ml Marsala

250g Pappardelle

4 Tablespoons Parsley

50g Butter (Unsalted)


Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the lamb in batches, remove to a plate.

Chop the onion, celery and carrots into cubes – I used my Tefal Fresh Express for this stage.  Add the chopped veg to the pan in which the meat was browned.  Cook for approx 15 mins until they start to soften.  Return the lamb to the pan, add the Marsala and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat of the pan and cook with a lid for approx 40 mins or until the lamb is tender.

Cook the pasta in water (don’t add salt if cooking for a baby)

Remove the lamb and vegetables from the pan and divide between plates.  Add the pasta and chopped parsley to the pan in which the lamb was cooked.  Add the butter and a grind of black pepper and warm the pasta through.

Serve with the lamb and vegetables.

This dish is suitable for Baby Led Weaning, if you need to add salt to taste, add after plating up rather than during cooking.

Sofra Culture Cafe

Regular readers may remember reading my Sofra culture Cafe breakfast post back in April, breakfast isn’t what I had on this occasion though, I took advantage of the huge charcoal grill instead.

While you peruse the menu a selection of pickled vegetables, bread and a yoghurt dip are provided (free of charge)  I think this is a lovely touch and is very welcome!

I decided to go for the grilled chicken cubes which is served with rice, salad and a flat bread.

The cubes of chicken were huge and delicately spiced, there was so much on my plate that I struggled to finish it all!

Mr Gourmand went for the Lamb Skewers which were massive and tasted delicious, he had no problem finishing his meal of course!

If you are in the Haymarket area and would like something really tasty to eat I suggest you give Sofra Culture cafe a try, they also have a great vegetarian selection.

The Sofra Culture Cafe is situated above the Get Stuffed takeaway at 10 St Marys Place, Newcastle which is walking distance from Haymarket Metro station.

The Northumbrian Piper

I’d never actually heard of The Northumbrian Piper until a chance meeting with them at the Living North spring fair, they claimed to have a tasty sunday lunch with the best homemade gravy, as soon as I got home I told Mr Gourmand about this claim and we decided to pay a visit to try it out for ourselves.

 Both Mr Gourmand and myself decided to try the Retro Prawn Cocktail (£4.50)

The Prawn Cocktail was served in a retro glass dish with mixed lettuce and a twist of lemon, I have to admit I like to have brown buttered bread with a prawn cocktail and there was a hint of a pet lip on my face when it didn’t appear!  An extra pot of cocktail sauce was provided which was a welcome addition.

Mr gourmand went for the Roast Lamb and I picked the Roast Beef, both dishes were served with a huge homemade yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, mashed potato and roast potatoes.  The vegetables all tasted fresh and were cooked perfectly, the mash was fluffy and soft and the roast potatoes were crispy on the outside and fluffy inside.

The huge jug of gravy was delicious, it tasted just like my grandfather used to make, you could taste the meat juices which is quite rare for gravy unless you cook it at home.

There was no room for dessert I’m afraid but we did manage a couple of glasses of guest ale.

We were very impressed with the Northumbrian Piper Sunday lunch and we will definitely be back to try the week day menu.

The Northumbrian Piper can be found at: 

Fawdon House, 1 Fawdon Close, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 2AH

Kebbabish Original (KO)

I thought I’d share with you a picture I took during a meal at Kebbabish Original (KO), I forgot to take pictures of the other meals we had ordered so will leave the review until the next visit!  I will leave you to bask in the glory of the Mixed grill.

K.O can be found at 35-39 West Road, Newcastle upon Tyne