Argentine steaks at Gaucho

My favourite steaks are Argentine ones, and Gaucho in Swallow Street serves some very fine ones. I began with the empanadas, looking like small Cornish pasties, choosing ham and cheese filling. Completely delicious. A couple of my companions tried the grilled palmetto and shrimp salad, and one of us had the yerba smoked beef, described […]

More people, more wine

A slightly larger group of us than usual went out for dinner, so we had two bottles instead of one. The first, which we mostly ate with fish-type courses, was a Cabernet rosé, from Aimery and 2006. It was crisp and dry, retaining its fruitiness, which included lots of redcurrants. The finish was quick and […]

Food for free

Sunday – a bright crisp morning – not a cloud in the sky! Wonderful for picking quinces! In Cambridge, quince tress abound in unusual locations … on forgotten allotments & doctors’ surgeries and in local gardens. I had been invited to pick some ripe quinces – so I called my best friend, Steve, who was […]


The Portuguese are reported to be fighting back in the battle of the wine stoppers. There was a massive switch to screw caps about two years ago, so it’s near universal for New World wines now. It does cut out the problem of ‘corked’ wine which has been tainted by a bad cork. But the […]

Charmed, I’m sure

This was a very dark-fruity wine, with plenty of alcohol, particularly noticeable on the nose. It was 14%, from 2006 and Australian. The name: Horseshoe Row. The grape: Shiraz. The nose had the usual peppery notes, but this time with a bit of cigar smoke. There was a hint of butter to the body, along […]

Custard and rice pudding surprise

What caused the damage to this lorry? Custard, ma’am. Exploding custard plus some rice pudding, it’s reported. The truck was carrying 60,000 cans of custard and rice pudding when passers by warned the driver it was on fire. He leapt out of the cab just before the custard and rice pudding started exploding “like gunshots […]

Auerbachs Keller, Leipzig

I was in Leipzig with work last week. My schedule was very light as we only have one client there, which left plenty of free time for sightseeing and enjoying the hotel’s pool and sauna. My colleague had done some research on restaurants and suggested “Auerbachs Keller” in the Mädlerpassage, the second oldest (but best known) restaurant in the city. I […]

Goodies from Asia

We are all still exploring the menu at recently opened Asia in Cambridge’s Regent Street. Part of its appeal is the division between Indian sub-continent dishes and those from Southeast Asia and the Orient. This time I mixed the two, beginning with spinach and onion dumpling with tomato and cashew nut sauce from the sub-continent […]

Thanh Binh Vietnamese

Back to the Thanh Binh near Magdalene College for Vietnamese food. You have to take your own wine, so we took a Limited Release tempranillo/shiraz rosé at 12.5 percent, reckoning it should go with most Vietnamese dishes. To start with we had deep fried soft shell crab with tamarind sauce (yes, I know), and deep […]

Communism in a glass

The Elm Tree is a lovely little pub in the centre of Cambridge, near Parker’s Piece, in a little cluster of pubs including The Cricketers and The Free Press. The beer was Stalin, and interestingly enough, slightly red when held up to the candle. Otherwise, it was a very dark colour at a distance, similar […]

Benja on Beak Street

Heading for Apitivo on Beak Street for Italian tapas, what a shock to see it had healed up. “For a refit” said the notice. Phew! Don’t want to lose that one. However, where to go instead? We’d passed a likely-looking fairly up-market Thai place called Benja at no. 11, so backtracked to try it out. […]

Slight fizz

I bought this at Marks and Spencer, as it was on offer, at £3.99. I’ve never heard of something only slightly fizzy before, so it was quite the novelty. It’s a rosé and 11.5%, but apparently made from Chardonnay, which I can’t understand due to the colour. It comes from Italy, where they use the […]