Ginko Sushi, Strassen, Luxembourg

Sundays’re calling sushi during summer time, so last Sunday, after a small walk in town and a drink at Go Ten, with a couple of friends we decided to book a table at Ginko Sushi in Strassen. We called the restaurant and, as the weather was really nice, we requested for a table on the terrace. The lady on the phone was very nice as she told us that the terrace at Ginko is directly on the street but they have a better terrace in the restaurant just next door – Le Zai – and she would have booked for us there.

Indeed Le Zai and Ginko are in the same parking lot and shared the same owner. As atmosphere, I have to say Le Zai looks definitely better but you can order Ginko menu as well there.

The terrace was lovely – with all these red lamps around – but the interior design was also impressive. We received all the menus – the one from Le Zai, the one for Ginko as well as the seasonal menu – and ordered a first round of drinks – Asahi beers and Diet Coke.

The decision concerning food takes quite long time, but we managed to get to a conclusion. All of us ordered three type of rolls (I had rolls with foie gras, rolls with lobster and dragon fruit and rolls with sea bass and avocado) and I ordered as well a miso soup (yes, soups are addictive for me, more or less like chips).

Our order was anticipated by a small starter of the house – two nems veggie rolls.

To conclude the dinner, M. ordered a sake while K. and I went for Chinese tea.

Pictures – Impressions are next.

What I liked about Ginko Sushi / Le Zai:

  • The atmosphere is lovely – the terrace is very nice as well as the interior design, perfect for a girls night out, family dinner, romantic date, even a business meeting. Details and decorations are just perfectly in place without being cheesy.
  • Service is great – but not formal: even if we took some time to order, the lady waited patiently for us. She was really available to reply to our questions and to explain dishes.
  • The figs / foie gras rolls were to die for and the lobster rolls were pretty good, would ordered both again. I also like the fact we had several “freebies”, like the tasty rolls at the beginning and the fried vegetables to accompany the sushi – bit melted but still good.
  • Price is fair: we did not drink much (only M. had beers, while me and K during the dinner had water and coke and tea) but still, having sushi, we spent “only” 34 eur each, not much in terms of Luxembourg standards.

What I liked a bit less about Ginko / Le Zai:

  • There is too much choice on the sushi menu for me. While this might be a nice thing for some, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed in terms of decision, above all as the mixed platter were very simple while out of the composed menus you have much more choice. Again, points of view.
  • I also did not like much my sea bass / avocado roll: the lady came saying they did not have more sea bass, so she proposed to change it with tuna (actually mine was half tuna and half salmon) and I did not think it was a good choice. Also M. pointed out he did not enjoy at all his California sushi as the tempura was icy cold – so feedbacks on the food were quite mixed.

In conclusion: the location and the service at Ginko / Le Zai are really nice and the final bill came out fair. The sushi menu is very extensive – too much for my taste – but still pretty good. Looking forward to come back and try as well the Chinese alternative.

 

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Restaurant Tibet, Gare, Luxembourg

Were you missing my Indian reviews? I am not over them yet – still looking for the perfect Indian restaurant in town! – but in the last months I have to say I confined my passion to take-away delivery – mostly because I am running out of friends who like Indian food – (sad face)

Anyway, last Sunday I came back to the roots and after analyzing the “open” options – you know, even when everything else is closed, there is always an Indian restaurant welcoming you somewhere in town – and decided to visited Tibet restaurant near the Zitha Clinik, Station area. I have been there couple of years ago and I have frankly good memories, so I said, why not to refresh them and see how it competes with other Indian I have tried recently?

We arrived there without reservation and were accommodated to a nice spacious table on the side of the room – near a plug, so I could charge my mobile to take the pictures as after a full day around my mobile was off 😛

One of the reasons to like this place is the simple but colorful main room.
We had Indian beers to start with and ordered a mixed Indian starter, anticipated by offered papadam. I have to say that I am a huge fan of papadams and their sauces and I appreciate here at Tibet because the pots were really small, so you are given the possibility to finish your own sauce. In other Indian restaurants the pots are huge, so you ask yourself if you are actually handled the sauce that was not finished by another table… (better not to think about it, really!).

The mixed starter dish was nice, contained chicken tandoori, sesame scampi, samosa, vegetarian rolls. Even if I like pretty much everything, I have to say next time I will come back to my usual soup starter – except samosa and their sauce that were very good, the rest was not memorable.

To continue we had Murgh Timuri (boneless chicken cooked in a special Himalayan spice timur), Gosht Gulkhar (diced lamb with green chili, mushrooms, curry leaves and madras hot curry sauce) and Tibet Special Vegetarian Curry. The dishes were lovely presented and the portions were fair but not huge (still I took back home in a doggy bag small remaining of lamb). We accompanied with some garlic naan – that was delicious!

We concluded with a round of pan liquor (my favorite) and a second one (not my fault this time, it was offered, hands down).

Total bill, including two further large beers, read 130 Eur.

Let’s go for the pictures before talking about my impressions.

What I liked about Tibet restaurant:

  • The place is really nice and you basically feel at home. It is informal, but cared in the details, the atmosphere is lovely and the service is very friendly – like in most of the Indian restaurants I have been honestly.
  • The food choice is various and includes also a Tibetan menu – but I had it delivered online and it is too much on the creamy/sweet side for me, so I am not a fan. Anyway, the best things I had were definitely the garlic naan and the chef vegetables. I would order them again.

What I liked a bit less about Tibet restaurant:

  • I am a fan of spicy food – you should have learned it by now – and even if I asked to have my chicken hot spicy as it was indicated in the menu, it was not at all. Indeed the person who was with me is not eating spicy food and I suggest him to try and he confirmed me it was fine even for him. Unfortunately for me this is a big delusional point and one of the factor to choose one Indian on the other. If a dish indicated as hot spicy is not spicy at all, this is not the place for me. But I perfectly understand for someone it might be a great positive side 🙂
  • We ordered quite a lot of stuff and it was good. Still I will not categorize the place among the “cheap” Indian in Luxembourg. Quality was good, but still, slightly overpaid. I appreciated anyway they offered us the second round of digestif.

 

In conclusion: if you are looking for a colorful Indian place with as well Tibetan options, Tibet near the station might be your place. It is perfect as well as for a date and you should not be afraid of chilli, as dishes are definitely not spicy hot. Not the best Indian in town anyway if you are on a budget, anyway.

 

Awada Japanese Restaurant, Clausen, Luxembourg

On Tuesday night I decided, together with Sunny, to tick off another restaurant out of the list of “new one” to try in the City and, in a certain Asian mood, we headed to Awada, a new Japanese traditional restaurant that opened recently in Clausen area – or at least, I spotted it just recently 🙂

The location is really nice, just off Rives de Clausen, and the interior design is cute: a small entrance floor with a typical counter and a (bit cheesy) fountain plus some tables. On the upstairs floor a bigger and calmer room, where we were accommodated. It was Tuesday evening and we got there at 7.30 pm, so it was not definitely crowded – even if we reserved just to be sure.

I got there a bit earlier, so I started to study the menu card and ordered a Japanese green tea. Together I was offered some (commercial) shrimps chips.

Once Sunny arrived, we were ready for our order: I had a Soup in a Tea Pot as starter (Dobin Mushi) while she had Veggie Gyoza. To continue I had Japanese Beef Curry while she went for Bibimbap, a Korean rice dish with veggie.

I concluded with a hot sake. Total bill for 2 persons read 69 Eur, including two bottles of water.

Enjoy the lovely shots from Sunny of our dinner and find my impressions about the restaurant after.


What I loved about Awada:

  • For me Awada was a super pleasant discovery and I honestly look forward to come back again. While the menu includes also a pretty wide selection of sushi, that I might try during next visits, the most interesting part for me is the traditional Japanese menu. Most of the “Japanese” restaurants in Luxembourg offers together with sushi only a selection of Chinese / Asian / Fusion dishes while I was really missing the real Japanese style food you have in Asia – one of the only nice thing I had memories of in Singapore – that to date I have found only at Kamakura – for a different price.
  • Indeed the price for the dinner was very fair as well as the one for the drinks (3,8 Euro for a big pot of lovely green tea I drank from the start to the end of the dinner, 8 Eur for the small hot sake that was around 6 shots, 18 Eur for the Japanese curry main dish with beef).
  • Bonus point: the service was one of the best I have ever had in Luxembourg (for real). The waiters were speaking perfectly English and French, they were checking on us from time to time to see if we were missing anything or if everything was going well, we had hot tissues at the end of the dinner and I really felt pampered. Well done, we need more places with such great service!

What I liked a bit less about Awada:

  • Honestly, for me the dinner was just great. I cannot find anything bad, not in the place neither in the food. If you want to be picky, hopefully the “coming soon” items on the menu will be available at my next visit and what about having edamame instead of those nice but cheap shrimps chips as welcome?

In conclusion: I loved Awada: the location is cozy, the service is amazing and the traditional Japanese food was a refreshing surprise. I look forward to come back and try other items on the menu, including sushi. Perfect for whatever occasion, from a romantic date to a girls’ night out.

 

 

Restaurant Atlantico, Howald, Luxembourg

I come from a beach village where, during summer, the usual festive dinner consist in those huge seafood grilled platters – these, together first with my family, are one of the things I miss most living abroad.
I tried several seafood restaurants in and out of Luxembourg but unfortunately the sophisticated (even if yummy) French approach when it comes to fish is pretty different from the one you can find in my hometown. Indeed, one of the only places where I find a very similar attitude, is Atlantico, a tiny, cozy Portuguese restaurant specialized in seafood, located at the edge of Bonnevoie, in Howald district.

After a business event, I decided to take there my partner in crime M., who is equally a seafood lover. We called a bit in advance to ensure there was place for us – the restaurant is quite small – and we arrived there around 9 pm. All the tables were occupied except ours and a pleasant smell was pervading the room.

We had a mix of fried seafood – anticipated by a small appetizer olives platter “pour la maison” – and continued with the mixed seafood grillade for two persons, including lobster, shrimps, octopus, salmon and much more and accompanied by chips and rice.

We had a Portuguese dry white wine – as “Esporao Reserva”, my favorite one, was not available, the waiter chose for us and the choice was perfect – and concluded – what’s new? – with Portuguese grappa and espresso.

Enjoy the pictures and find my comments about the restaurants after the break.


What I liked about Restaurant Atlantico
:

  • The food is delicious: if you are not into formalities and like the grillade style sea food this is the perfect place for you. The dish is huge, the fish is tasty. There are other options available on the menu, including simple gambas, codfish, as well as some meat dishes.
  • The price is incredible fair for the quality and the quantity of what you eat, as well as compared to similar places.
  • The atmosphere is informal and lively.

What I liked a bit less about Restaurant Atlantico:

  • There was unfortunately just one waiter for all the tables and it ended up in a service very fast and approximate. He did not have the time to stop by for our requests, wait was a bit long and sometimes we had to call him couple of time before being served. Not his fault, obviously.
  • Compared to similar places I have been, while the quality and the quantity of the seafood is better, in the grilled platter the side dishes are not exceptional – rice is plain white and chips were a bit soaked. No complementary sauces.
  • As you can clearly see from the pictures, it is not a posh place: presentation is quite hurried, location is old fashion and also the customers are generally pretty noisy. Still for me a lovely place to visit.

 

In conclusion: Restaurant Atlantico is included in my top choices in Luxembourg for seafood. While the location is not fancy and the service a bit superficial, the quality / price for grilled platters is fabulous and I would recommend it for seafood lovers in couple and among friends.

 

The best secret terrace, La Grappe D’Or, Luxembourg City

I waited so much to publish this post that it is almost a throw-back, but I got some serious ethic dilemmas regarding if to share one of my favorite summer places. Read more below…

On the first real day of spring, I could not miss the opportunity to book at my favorite terrace in town. Actually, I have to say, this is one of the times writing a review was really difficult for me and took ages to publish – I was trying to force myself doing it but I actually did’t want to do it!!! The reason is because this restaurant is my very “secret summer place” and it is not too much famous… I read on Facebook forums a lot of questions and articles about the “best terrace” in Luxembourg and I have never mentioned it – because I am too afraid that, if it became popular, I will have to book too much in advance – not to mention I don’t really like crowded places..

Anyway – I made an exception for my partner in crime and we headed to La Grappe D’Or, in Dommeldange, for a special celebration – my new job, the real one 😛

As said, the restaurant is located off the beaten tracks of the usual restaurants in Luxembourg, hidden in a residential area up the hill in Dommeldange. The “winter” indoor part is not fancy at all (at least, not for me..), just too similar to several Portuguese old fashion restaurants you might find in town. Indeed the very reason for coming here is the amazing terrace, that offers you a spectacular view of the sunset over Luxembourg.

We arrived there around 8.30ish, just in time to enjoy it, and start our dinner with a glass of cava. The menu is Portuguese, offers both meat and fish – and some veggie choices as well – but personally once here I always ended up on fish.

I had a tuna carpaccio with truffle while M. went for a codfish and shrimps mixed starter. To follow, I had marinated codfish with shrimps while he went for “gambas flambe'”. We dined drinking one of my favorite Portuguese wines, Esporao Reserva, and concluded with a glass – or maybe two, as usual – of Portuguese grappa.

Enjoy the pictures of our dinner – while imagining already the special person you want to take there ❤ – followed by my general impressions of La Grappe D’Or.

 

What I loved about La Grappe D’Or:

  • Ca va sans dire, the view is the main reason to visit La Grappe D’Or. Be sure to reserve a table like ours, on the balcony – those internally have a less incredible view -. This is definitely one of the most romantic view you can find in Luxembourg city for me.
  • The service is very smart and friendly – that South-European style all smile and laugh and small jokes.
  • Even if you allow yourself to indulge, the total bill will never be scary. We had aperitif, two starters, two mains, one of the best wines on the card, coffee, digestif and the total bill read slightly more than 100 euro in total. Exceptionally fair.

 

What I liked a bit less about La Grappe D’Or:

  • Let’s be honest: would I come here to eat if the restaurant had not this incredible view? No, I won’t. But while the food is not exceptional – average quality, informal presentation, pretty strong tastes tending to cover the main ingredients (like the oil on my carpaccio or the sauce on the codfish) at the same time it is not that bad. Fair. Portions are reasonable, tastes leave a good memories on your palate and the choice is quite good. At the end the combination between an amazing view, a decent menu and quite cheap prices (in terms of Luxembourg standards) is a win win.

 

In conclusion: if you want to have a romantic date in Luxembourg with a reasonable budget and your other half does not have a Michelin star background, there is no better place of the lovely La Grappe D’Or, the best view in Luxembourg. I regret already sharing it with you – but now it is too late 😛

La Biblioteca, Clausen, Luxembourg

Taking advantage of the visit of one of my best friend, on a relatively quiet Friday night – after a Thursday ended up at Saumur – we decided to try the new Mexican restaurant in the Rives de Clausen area, La Biblioteca. The restaurant opens its doors just the Tuesday before.
You can book your table online – thanks God, finally this is starting to be common as well in Luxembourg – and we got there ready and hungry at 8ish.

The place was still calm and we were allocated to a table indoor – unfortunately the terrace was already fully booked. The location is very cozy: forget Calavera and sombreros around, the place is all dark wood, books (La Biblioteca literally means The Library) and linear, minimal décor.

We started with a Corona beer and ordered a guacamole starter. The menu choice is limited: together with some entrée to share, you have a selection of main ingredients (chicken, beef, vegetables, etc.) to apply to the main course, in the shape of a burrito,  tacos or quesadilla. I went for a carne asada quesadilla, while M. went for a burrito.

We concluded with an espresso and a cognac and our final bill (starter to share, two beef mains, 3 beers, one bottle of water, one espresso and one cognac) read slight less than 90 Euro, 45 Eur per person.

As routine, pictures of our dinner are followed by my impressions on the restaurant.

What I liked about La Biblioteca:

  • I loved the mood of the place: finally an “exotic” restaurant with no cheesy decorations and music. The terrace is lovely, reminds me of some intimate places around Southbank in London. The service was friendly and all smiling, while kind of fast and a bit apprehensive, but the restaurant has been just opened for couple of days, so definitely understandable.
  • I loved the food: as it’s clear from my reviews, I definitely don’t appreciate much restaurants with an infinite menu choice. I prefer a shorter list, that maybe provides you with limited decisions, but definitely with fresher ingredients. Having been to Mexico, I was finding my quesadilla so similar to those I was eating in Cancun with my feet in the ocean (take me back please!) as much as I loved the guacamole with its nachos – forget processed food, this was truly delicious. I also loved the fact they did not provide you with French fries as side as basically everywhere around Luxembourg, but rice and a tasty, seasoned salad were in the dish.

What I liked a bit less about La Biblioteca:

  • For being a place that opens just in the same week, I feel things are almost all perfect. Definitely a bit of finishing here and there might be needed. The thing that might be less than impressive is how close tables are indoor. If you are booking on the week end for a romantic date, you might want to consider it. And a spicy sauce option with the main would have been highly appreciated on my side 🙂

 

In conclusion: I really liked La Biblioteca and I am looking forward to come back soon: it definitely has the ambience factor and the food is tasty and authentic. Remember to specify in your reservation if you want to dine on the terrace – I would do it next time – and definitely perfect if you are looking for a new, different informal place for a dinner with friends.

Rotisserie Ardennaise, Belair, Luxembourg City

On a quiet and sunny Monday evening, Kochi and I decided to start our week in style and spontaneously meet up for a drink in town immediately after work.
Following couple of rounds of wine in the very city center, we were exploring reasonable and nearby alternatives for dinner and decided to head to the Rotisserie Ardennaise, an old fashion Belair institution that is very close to where I live.
As said, the restaurant has been there for ages but has recently changed management and that looked a valid reason for us to try it.
Moreover, even if in my neighborhood, I was always a bit hesitant to try, as mostly attended by those formal and polished Luxembourgish families and aged couples. But wines overcame our shyness and after a quick call to ensure there was place available – yes, it was Monday, but in Luxembourg you never know! – we were welcomed at the restaurant.

The settings, as for above, are coming from another age, but personally speaking I find them quite sophisticated. The service on the other hand was smiling and quite informal – maybe because we were the youngest in the room 🙂 – and we were feeling immediately comfortable in the place.

Our order was anticipated by a carrots gazpacho and a small terrine. We went then both with bresaola carpaccio with truffle as starter. As for main, I decided then for a classic (beef filet with maître d’hôtel sauce, accompanied by crunchy vegetables and fries) while Kochi chose a ravioli dish with ham and truffle, again.

We drank a perfect bottle of Nuits Saint Georges during the dinner and concluded with a round (or maybe two as usual) of Grappa Le Diciotto Lune, a nice Italian grappa in barrique I have discovered already at La Briscola.

The final bill for food read 46 euro each, plus 98 Eur for the bottle of wine. Both rounds of digestif were offered.

Pictures of the dinner and then, comme d’ahbitude, impressions.

What I like about Rotisserie Ardenneise:

  • The food was unexpectedly bloody good: surely, the choices on the menu, the presentation as well as the dishes that were coming to the table were very “classic”, but in a good way. The quality of the materials is exceptional and the combination of tastes does not feel boring at all. My meat was butter, fries to die for (yes, I have a problem with French fries, I know) and the bresaola rich of flavors.
  • The service is nice: the restaurant manager used to work in a very well known Italian restaurant in town and inherited from there the radiant smile and the lovely manners.
  • The wine card proposes great choices for all your (wallet) mood, from “I will get my salary only next week” to “We need to celebrate in style”.

What I liked a bit less about Rotisserie Ardenneise:

  • We arrive at the restaurant 15 minutes before 9 pm and you can smell they were in a hurry to make us finishing “on time” as this is the kind of place where people go to eat at 7 pm. The order part and the last 30 minutes were a bit on a rush, that at list was my feeling: as soon as our main was over, we were immediately asked if we wanted a dessert, etc. Yes, we need to specify we are girls who love taking their time for dinner, having our break, ciggy pause, relax. Still, if you want to have dinner there, we suggest you to ago no later than 8.00 pm to enjoy it fully.

In conclusion: Dining at Rotisserie Ardenneise was pretty much a surprise. The food proposal is very classic, therefore it is suggested if you have to take out someone who needs an introduction to French cuisine, it is perfect for a family affair or a business dinner. Indeed we had pleasant time: the food is delicious and never boring, the service is lovely, for real, and the old fashion atmosphere is not much more than a pleasant surrounding.