Showing posts from 2013

Japanese Food in Southsea

A few years ago, a little Japanese restaurant opened on Albert Road called Sakura. It has really taken off and a lot of people really enjoy eating there. It's no surprise that soon after, a sister restaurant, Nara, opened further up the road. 

It was really with excitement today for me to find out that there is another Japanese place on Osborne Road called Asia Japan Cuisine. 

The Gunwharf Quays establishment meanwhile brought in Wagamama, a Japanese fusion restaurant, as well as Yo Sushi! with its conveyor belt selection of coloured dishes.

So if you are visiting Portsmouth and fancy some Japanese food, there are a few to choose from. Let me know what you think.

O shokuji o o tanoshimi kudasai

Is summer here?

With the sun and the heat last weekend, summer is beginning to feel like it's about to stay.

The bandstand was heaving with people enjoying the music and having a family picnic. Children were climbing the tanks outside the D-Day Museum, cafes were open with people spilling over on to the pavement, cool drinks in hand.

Every weekend there is always something to do at the seafront. Castle Field will have a fair of one kind or another and Southsea Castle will be busy with families coming in and out and the flower display will be a riot of colours.

In fact, Southsea Show is coming soon too!

Yes, Southsea comes alive in the summer. Come on down and have a good time at the seaside!

A trek on the seafront

I took the opportunity to go for a walk this morning. Lovely to see the seafront so full of people walking with their families. My friend, Clare Acklam, was organising a Tiddlers Trek event for Wessex Cancer Trust. What a lovely day for it!

Clare runs her own events company, LinkedUp Fundraising, which helps charities raise funds through events. She brings together people, events and corporate sponsorship to help local charities. A great business model.

So we hope her future events will be a string of successes. In the mean time, check out her website for more events coming up this summer and help Wessex Cancer Trust gain some profile in Portsmouth.

Pizza and Pizetta

I like to be spontaneous about cooking sometimes and tonight was just one such time. 

The plan for dinner was to make a pizza. We love our home-made pizza. We make the dough in the bread maker, so we can make a pizza for after-work dinner.

Here's the Pizza ...

While the dough is forming, which takes about 45 minutes, I make the tomato sauce. 

Tomato Sauce

4-5 medium tomatoes
1 medium onion chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp paprika

Put the tomatoes in boiling water. Fry the chopped onion in a tablespoon of olive oil.

Bash a couple of cloves of garlic, chop them up and add this to the onion. Add the herbs to the mixture. Then add 1 tablespoon Paprika powder, or as much as you dare add. 

Now peel the skin off the tomatoes, chop them up and add to the pan. Simmer on low heat until it gets to a thick sauce consistency. Usually this would just about happen when the bread maker beep to tell you that the dough is ready.

I pick up the dough and for…

May is European Month of the Brain

I've been helping a colleague organise some events to mark the European Month of the Brain.

Amy Drahota manages the University of Portsmouth Ageing Network (UPAN) and this is a support system, bringing together a broad scope of knowledge and expertise to address the ‘Active Ageing’ agenda.

Check out the programme:

Ageing Network
We are hosting a series of free events throughout the month of May, as part of the European Month of the Brain. We will be exploring brain research from many different perspectives. Find out what is going on at the University of Portsmouth and beyond, through our short talks, lab tour, panel debate, art exhibition,and information displays. We will be keeping your minds fuelled throughout with plenty of refreshments (including cream teas!), and we welcome you to get involved in the discussion! Find out about projects in progress and see the brain in ways you have never seen it before! Spaces are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment! Timetable of ev…

Cupboard Curry

I love my cupboard curry, which often comes out after seeing a lot of leftover potatoes or wilting spinach that needs eating.

1 medium onions chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin, ground
1 tsp coriander seed, ground
Potatoes, cubed
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 can of chickpeas

Fry the onion with the cumin and coriander for 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the potatoes and chickpeas, garlic and curry powder, mix. Add the spinach and let it all wilt. If the mixture is too dry, add half a glass of water, or 150ml. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Season to taste and serve with fluffly white rice.

A Pinch of Spice

A new curry house, A Pinch of Spice, proves to be an exciting new restaurant to try. My friends, Karen and Dom, introduced me to the place.

Last Friday night I had the most delicious Mumbai Mango King Prawn. The mango sauce was so divine!

Another dish I like there is the Handi Gosht made with the most tender lamb.

It's not a cheap curry place, my dish and lemon rice, plus a couple of beers cost me about £20. But it's a nice change from the usual.

Next Friday night, try it.

Putting Portsmouth on the UK Culture Map

So on 30th April, next week, Portsmouth will submit a bid to be the UK City of Culture 2017. This is a joint bid with Southampton. The writers of the bid, poet Sam Cox and writer Sarah Cheverton, have been busy asking various people about what they think culture is and how we can make 2017 a fantastic 'year of the culture' in Portsmouth.

I think in the last couple of years Portsmouth has been gaining momentum in asserting itself to be a big player in the UK when it comes to tourism. Portsmouth, and with this I do mean Southsea and its wider surrounding area, has been slowly putting itself on the map of culture.

For a number of years Portsmouth has hosted the hugely successful Portsmouth Festivities and Music in the Round, an international chamber music series. Portsmouth people have also been busy celebrating our literary heritage. From Dickens to Conan-Doyle, Kippling and countless others.

We have a lively literary community in Portsmouth and last World Book Night saw a group…

Spinach and Parmesan Soup


After a long sojourn, I'm back with some new recipes which I have tried and tested on a few people. The Easter holidays offered a respite after a very busy few months after Christmas. So lunch was relaxed and one afternoon I made this soup because we have been eating a lot of spinach lately and there is a pack languishing in the fridge.

I happened to read an article in the Telegraph Magazine about the production of Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese and this recipe was on it. I made some modification to make it for 2 people instead of 6 on the recipe and here's my version:

Spinach and Parmesan Soup for 2 people:

5g butter
half an onion thinly sliced
300 grams spinach
50 grams grated Parmiggiano Reggiano
a pinch of salt
1 medium potato thinly sliced
200 ml water
Parmesan shavings to garnish
balsamic vinegar

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and sweat the onion until translucent (about 3 minutes) then add the spinach and stir until it's wilted. Then add the Parmesan and a …