"After years of continuous eating,'A Girl has to Eat', a self-confessed food lover and eat-aholic, has been spurred on to create her own food guide & blog. Read about her fabulous (and sometimes not so fabulous) culinary adventures in her restaurant reviews. This and more!"

Marquess Tavern

Posted on Monday, 30th December 2013

Marquess Tavern is a cozy local pub located on Canonbury Street in Islington. The main focal point of the pub is the central bar, and circling the bar are tables where customers can sit and enjoy a drink or have a bite to eat. Marquess Tavern won the Time Out Gastro Pub of the Year award in 2006, however the current layout of the pub (where there is no dedicated separate dining area) suggests that Marquess Tavern’s focus has shifted from gastropub to boozer.

We tried the quail wrapped in smoked bacon (£7.25) with beetroot and orange. It was a pleasant dish with the quail being tasty and moist. But there was no caramelisation on the quail and it needed more browning on the skin for greater flavour and a more superior finish.

Marquess Tavern - Quail wrapped in bacon

Quail wrapped in bacon

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The Thomas Cubitt

Posted on Sunday, 22nd December 2013

The Thomas Cubitt, named after London’s legendary master builder, is a gorgeous and inviting pub located in the heart of Belgravia. On the ground floor is the pub itself with the dining room located on the first floor. The Thomas Cubitt is owned by the same group who also own The Grazing Goat, and they do a fine job of providing rustic British gastropub food in an inviting setting.

In the upstairs dining room we sat down to a chicken liver and port parfait (£8.50) which was well made, flavoursome and wonderfully creamy. It was paired with a pumpkin, thyme and blood orange compote that was fruity and aromatic, and boasted a good amount of acidity to cut through the richness of the parfait.

The Thomas Cubitt - Chicken liver parfait

Chicken liver parfait

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Bill’s Christmas Hampers

Posted on Sunday, 22nd December 2013

Bill’s Produce Store & Café is probably known for its good quality seasonal dishes. The food is tasty and really reasonably priced, and it’s hard to fault the super cozy setting that serves all the restaurants within the Bill’s chain. But Bill’s is more than just about serving hot food. They also offer a range of Bill’s own label products that are available for purchase throughout their restaurants.

With this, Bill’s has launched a range of hampers to celebrate the holiday season. So if you’re looking for some gift ideas to help spread the festive cheer then it might be worth taking a peak at Bill’s range of gift hampers.

The hampers start in price from £55.95 (the classic hamper) and include a variety of Bill’s spreads, sweets, baked goods and a bottle of wine. The top priced giant hamper is £110 and includes similar items to the classic hamper. But not only that, it features Bill’s own beer and a bottle of Jean Pernet Champagne as well. For something smaller, Bill’s also have a range of gift boxes.

Bill's Giant Hamper

Bill’s Giant Hamper

I adored the Bill’s lemon curd in the giant hamper as it was deliciously zingy. The oatie biscuits were crunchy and super yummy as well. A big thank you to Bill’s for playing Santa and sending me a hamper as a Christmas surprise.

Website: http://bills-website.co.uk/

Quisine by Guy Savoy Doha

Posted on Saturday, 21st December 2013

Quisine by Guy Savoy Doha is the first restaurant in the Middle East by the famous three Michelin starred French chef, Guy Savoy. Quisine embraces the same philosophy of Restaurant Guy Savoy in Paris and therefore bears many striking similarities including a menu that adopts many of the dishes available in Paris, albeit with some local twists thrown in.

Chef Guy Savoy believes that the environment in which you eat in is as important as the food itself, and accordingly the interior of Quisine also embraces Guy Savoy’s deep passion for style and beauty. Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the Interior Designer responsible for many of Guy Savoy’s other restaurants, also took charge of designing the Doha outlet. With Quisine by Guy Savoy he has created a spectacular space with a monochromatic colour scheme that creates both a sense of harmony and indelible comfort. A mesmerising wall of flickering flames also greets diners as they enter the restaurant.

Quisine by Guy Savoy

Quisine by Guy Savoy

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Private Cabanas at The St Regis Doha

Posted on Thursday, 19th December 2013

After my last visit to the St Regis Doha, the nice folk at the hotel kindly invited me back to try out one of private cabanas at St Regis Doha should I ever come through Doha again. I had a magical stay at The St Regis Doha when I was last in Doha earlier this year. The hotel’s sumptuous décor and fantastic service made for an incredible experience, not to mention our wonderful Friday brunch at the restaurant, Opal by Gordon Ramsay.

Well the opportunity for me to try the private cabana presented itself a few weeks ago when I popped through Doha again. There are ten cabanas at the hotel, each of which cater up to eight guests and are available for daily hire.

We were placed in cabana No.7 which has pride of place right on the beachfront. Note that not all the cabanas have beach views so be sure to ask for one if booking. The views from cabana No.7 were glorious. What a great spot for a bit of sunbaking!

St Regis Doha - Views of the beach from cabana 7

Views of the beach from cabana 7

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Spice Market By Jean-Georges at The W Hotel Doha

Posted on Tuesday, 17th December 2013

Spice Market by Jean-Georges is one of two restaurants at the W Hotel Doha by celebrity Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten (the other is Market by Jean-Georges). Best known for his three-Michelin starred flagship restaurant Jean-Georges in New York, his global restaurant empire spans across several continents and includes more than 30 restaurants. From his initial roots where he trained under Chef Paul Haeberlin at Auberge de l’Ill and Paul Bocuse, Jean-Georges went on to travel and work extensively in Asia. These experiences have provided the Asian influences that permeate much of his food and inspiration for Spice Market Doha.

The décor at Spice Market Doha is gorgeous and fuses South East Asian exoticism with European elegance to create an atmosphere that is casual, warm and sexy. This is a place where the beautiful people go and was heavy with an expatriate crowd on the Thursday night (start of the weekend in Qatar) of our visit.

We kicked off with some lentil poppadoms with a chilli tomato salsa which came out in place of bread. These were fabulous with the poppadoms being thin, crispy and nicely seasoned. The salsa was also wonderfully tasty with the right amount of kick.

Spice Market - Lentil poppadoms

Lentil poppadoms

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Ritz-Carlton Hotel Doha & La Mer Restaurant

Posted on Sunday, 15th December 2013

After Dubai I headed back to Doha where I spent one night at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Doha. It’s located right on the water’s edge in the prestigious West Bay area, north of the Pearl (Doha’s version of Dubai’s Palm) and downtown Doha, and its strategic position means that the hotel offers expansive views of the City of Doha.

The décor is a blend of classic European and Arabic design, and would appeal to those who favour a hotel with a more classical, traditional feel. Particularly impressive was the lobby with its high ceilings where the opulent Grand Lobby Lounge is situated. It’s a great social meeting point where you might meet up with friends or grab a cup of tea. My deluxe room was similarly decorated in a classical style and was incredibly comfortable. The bed was kitted out with the loveliest of Egyptian cotton sheets to make for a heavenly night’s sleep.

Ritz-Carlton Doha Deluxe room

Deluxe room

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Tomo Japanese Restaurant at Raffles Dubai

Posted on Friday, 13th December 2013

Tomo Japanese Restaurant is a stylishly elegant restaurant located on the 17th floor of the sumptuous Raffles Hotel Dubai. It has an outdoor terrace that offers wonderful views of downtown Dubai which is perfect for pre-dinner drinks. Tomo only opened earlier in 2013 and in that time it has managed to sweep Time Out Dubai’s Best Newcomer of The Year Award.

But while Tomo may be less than a year old, Executive Chef Chitoshi Takahashi has long been recognised as one of the best Japanese chefs in the Middle East having worked in the region for about 30 years. He has an established following, and was recently flown to Qatar to cook for the Prime Minister of Japan when he was there on a state visit. Recognition indeed.

We started with a summer roll salad with tuna and avocado (AED70 – about £11.70) which was fresh and tasty. The combination of the avocado and the tuna was a great match and the tuna was excellent. To complete the plate was a mixture of miso sauce and a balsamic vinegar dressing, both of which were nicely done. However less sauce was needed on the plate.

Tomo - tuna & avocado roll

Tuna & avocado roll

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