Chelsea is an area of London which is abundant with independent restaurants, quaint cafes and friendly staff. The night before my graduation I headed to Gastrovino on Kings Road with my parents, an Italian which has been described by many as a “hidden gem”.

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The style of food is Italian tapas, but bigger main dishes are on the menu too. We started off with a sharing board, which always excites me as it takes me back to eating in Florence a year ago where the majority of the evening is dominated by foodie related conversation.

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The waiter was quick to recommend a red wine once we had said we fancied a syrah to go with the meal and he got it spot on. The arched walls and wine bottles littering the restaurant just screamed “wine bar”, which added a lovely feel to the evening.

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Generally, I’ve only eaten steak tartare in pricier restaurants, but Gastrovino offer a tapas plate to share for £7 which was such a bargain and so delicious.

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Aubergine Parmigiana

For three people we ordered one sharing board and six dishes to share, which was more than enough. The aubergine parmigiana was comfort food at its finest, a rich tomato sauce with a generous amount of melted parmesan.

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Sea bass carpaccio on the left and calamari and king prawns on the right

As a family, we are obsessed with seafood! I’ve never had sea bass carpaccio before, but it’s a really light and refreshing dish, especially with the mustard and watercress mayo. The sea bass was sliced very thinly and had a perfect texture. For any sashimi lovers out there, this is a different type of raw fish experience, so it’s worth trying out. I could have stayed here all evening and sampled all of the different but I was well and truly stuffed!

Gastrovino is one of those places that you know you’ll be coming back to very soon the moment you finish your meal. A meal for two with wine is around £80 and if my blog hasn’t fully convinced you yet, then the dazzling five-star reviews on Trip Advisor should put this on your London restaurant bucket list.

Take a peak at the website http://gastrovino.co.uk

Bali has always been a hot vacation spot in South-East Asia, but in recent years, websites such as “The Bali Bible” have highlighted some of the most alluring and charismatic places to visit.

With over half a milli0n followers on their Instagram account, they’ve gained themselves quite a reputation, so it’s no wonder that the iconic Ku De Ta made it to “best rated” for bars & restaurants in Bali.

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Kicking off our one-year anniversary celebrations, George and I headed to Ku De Ta for dinner just after sunset, George’s treat!

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We were overly-excited to discover that Ku De Ta served one of our favourite brand of wine back in the UK (Kaiken).

One of the most popular reasons for visiting Ku De Ta for many is to unwind with a cocktail as you admire the unrivalled ‘Bali sunset’, so try and incorporate sunset to make the evening as magical as possible.

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The mood lighting is set to low at Ku De Ta, so my flash will definitely take away some of the loveliness of the food, but it will have to do! This was just one Iberian cured meats pre-starter dish, we chose the chorizo and expected it to be on the modest side, but on the contrary, the portions were very generous (and delicious).

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The prawn & snapper ‘chao shou’ dumplings were the highlight of the evening for me. Dim-sum with spicy chilli sauce has always been my favourite style of the dish, so this had me satisfied from the first mouthful. When we visited, the accompaniment to the dumplings was baked ricotta (which didn’t work so well in my opinion), but just a week later they seemed to have changed this to tofu instead!

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George opted for the suckling pig ‘urutan’ (sounds slightly odd but urutan is a type of dry fermented Balinese sausage), once again the description for this item on the Ku De Ta menu has changed, but the most important thing to know is that the meat was incredibly delicious and I would thoroughly recommend if you’re a pulled pork lover.

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My main was the parmesan & sumac crusted pork roasted apple with potato puree and red cabbage. The pork was less tender and more about the flavour, and when it’s parmesan crusted you aren’t really going to complain. However, this dish didn’t wow me, but by this point I was slightly full and still reminiscing about the dim-sum (oops).

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George opted for a steak based main, my flash is not doing the dish any favours here but it was beautiful. I’m a big fan of establishments that actually serve steak “medium rare” or even “rare”, the way it should be (in my opinion), so Ku De Ta wins there! The service was friendly from start to finish and the restaurant is big enough that we weren’t cramped next to any other tables.

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No meal is ever complete without one last indulgent pudding that you’ve somehow made extra stomach space for. After our meal, we went for a wonder by the front of the restaurant which overlooks the beach – stopping here for an after-dinner cocktail is a great idea for anyone who has the stomach room 🙂

 

Thank-you, Ku De Ta, you lived up to your many accolades.