Tag Archives: Eats

A Global Food Lover’s Fantasy – The Rocking World of Red Hot World Buffet

By Lakshmi:

Have you ever had disagreements in your family in terms of where to go out to eat?  Ever get each person saying they want to eat a particular type of cuisine or want to go somewhere specific which no one else is in a mood for?  It certainly happens to us.  So, on a recent trip to Cardiff, when friends recommended we MUST (it was pretty emphatic) eat at Red Hot World Buffet, we made a point of seeking it out.

Located smack in the city center, the restaurant’s claim to fame is that for one price (9.99 pounds per person on a Saturday for lunch), you can eat a buffet filled to your heart’s content.  Now a lot of restaurants advertise that, but what is promised here is a buffet encompassing Indian, Thai, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Mediterranean food.

As soon as we entered, we noticed the restaurant was packed and bustling with activity.  We got seated within a few minutes and then came a journey that I have to say has not been commonplace.  Walking slowly towards the appetizers area, I knew their claim of serving an assortment of cuisine was absolutely spot on.  This was not some token, obligatory check the box with one dish dedicated to each cuisine but dishes upon dishes and stations dedicated to each specialty.

For a foodie, this was a fantasy come true….but it was also tremendously stress inducing.  “Oh I wish I had not eaten breakfast” , “Wait, how can I try everything here?” “I’ve always wanted to try this…” my mind was a smorgasbord of questions.

Each dish we ate tasted fresh and authentic.  From the freshly piped hummus served in dainty cups with an olive slice at the top to the fiery hot Thai green curry, from the potatoes with mustard to the pizza with jalapenos, from the mango souffle to the chocolate cake, the list of dishes was totally satiating.  We ate our way through multiple rounds and left incredibly content and happy.  Our only complaint on a cold day was that there was no place close by that we could retire for a nap!

If you think we are exaggerating about the choices, simply take a look at their menu in Cardiff that we partook.

http://www.redhot-worldbuffet.com/restaurants/cardiff/buffet-menu/

We have subsequently discovered that the restaurant has multiple locations throughout the UK.  To get more information on their locations, click here:

http://www.redhot-worldbuffet.com/

If you’ve had a similar dining experience, we’d absolutely love to hear from you.

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Could The Humble Banana Bread Generate This Much Interest?

By Lakshmi:

As a recent subscriber to Bon Appetit magazine, I’m loving the armchair journeys that I get to take to kitchens, dishes and places around the world.  I was thumbing halfway through the March issue when I glanced at a title that said, “A Slice of Paradise.”  The byline was “Twelve hours in coach for a loaf of banana bread.”  It took me seconds to be transported to Maui from the comfort of my home.  Once there, I discovered the magic created in so many places across the island by that humble combination of locally abundant bananas, sugar, eggs and oil.

Andrew McCarthy’s prose made me want to sample every kind available.  Why were you so late writing this Andrew?  We were in Maui twice and missed this local treasure.  On a day long trip on the Road to Hana, Julia’s banana bread would have added that perfect start to our day.

Julia’s roadside stand sells some of the best banana bread on the island.  Given that an actual meeting with Julia’s concoction may not happen for some time, I decided to pay her a virtual reality visit – I baked a loaf of her famous banana bread from the recipe provided in the article.

The bread was scrumptious.  Crisp on the outside, soft flecks of banana creating a mosaic like landscape on the interior.  A bread that was more indulgent and rich than the many dozens I had baked in the past.

I was not alone in my reaction to the article.  A quick web search revealed a legion of travelers and bakers opining on the merits and demerits of the bread….I discovered an entire discussion thread on Tripadvisor talking about the taste differences between various types of bananas.

If you’d like to escape to McCarthy’s Maui, you can read his article here:

http://bonapp.it/U9VdLE

Julia’s Banana Best Bread recipe can be found here:

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/julias-best-banana-bread

PS:  The picture featured in this article is my output of Julia’s recipe:)

Can A Simple Combination Of Pasta And Veggies Create Something This Divine?

By Lakshmi:

Anyone who has ever stepped into a Cheesecake Factory will vouch for the fact that indecision over what to order from appetizers to entres to desserts is tour de rigueur.  For us vegetarians, it is a bit of a blessing that the choices are more restrictive.  It is from this  more limited menu option that we decided to order Evelyn’s Favorite Pasta.  The description was mouth-watering.

“Penne Tossed with Broccoli, Oven-Dried Tomato, Roasted Eggplant, Peppers, Artichoke, Kalamata Olives, Garlic and Pine Nuts.”

After a non stop eating expedition visiting family and friends in DC, none of us was particularly hungry.  So a single dish of Evelyn’s Favorite Pasta was scooped up by five of us, leaving not a single morsel on the plate.  What was it about the dish that made it so delicious?  The richness of olive oil infused with sautéed garlic, the crunchiness of the pine nuts, the rich flavors of the oven roasted veggies blending in with the saltiness of the olives all melded to create a sensory experience which lingered long after the meal was over.

A few weeks later, sitting in my kitchen in New Jersey on a cold, wintry day, I craved for this pasta.  I did not want to drive, I did not want to wait in line, I wanted it now.

So, out came the ingredients from the pantry.  I had no penne, but my beautiful batch of bow tie pasta seemed to be the perfect substitute.  I heated up some extra virgin olive oil and on a lark decided to throw in some red pepper flakes to perk up the dish.  In went some crushed garlic and roasted pine nuts and the kitchen was already smelling heavenly.  I picked up some previously roasted eggplant bits, pulled out some sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, a small can of chopped black olives, some sliced orange peppers and a few quickly blanched broccoli flowerets.  A swish here, a turn there and behold……what emerged in the pan was this absolutely beautiful pasta dish that tasted like a million bucks.  And that’s the picture at the top of this post.

Since then, the dish has become a staple in our household and Evelyn has been relegated to the back room while Lakshmi has taken over:)

If you’ve experienced the joy of recreating a restaurant favorite in your own home, we would love to hear about your agony and ecstasy in getting there.