Health warning – do not read this if you are hungry

Gibraltar has started to become a sea of red and white, if one can have a sea of red and white.

Gone is the red, white and blue bunting to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, and in its place is the red and white to symbolise Gibraltar in advance of National Day celebrations on Monday (September 10).

Red and white down Main Street, approaching The Convent
Quattro Stagioni and Gib flags

Even Morrisons staff are allowed to abandon their green and white school uniforms for red and white patriotic clothing.

Morries supports Gib – it would do, given the prices they charge

In John Mack Square/Piazza there was a fine band.

Jazz band in the Piazza

I asked Partner to record it with the iPhone. He didn’t. When I started, they, er, stopped playing.

Pix of National Day to follow on Monday. Maybe vids too. Maybe not.

In the meantime, last night, we celebrated redundancy with a take-away pizza from Quattro Stagioni on Jumpers Bastion.

Many years ago when we were affluent, we had a phase of eating there. As did Pippa, because we sat outside in the evening sun. Here is his review and some photos.

Since the opening of Mamma Mia, Quattro Stagioni must have taken a real drop in takings. Mamma Mia is in Boyd Street, opposite the Queen’s Hotel, and basically in the bottom corner of the car park by the cable car, ie nearer to town.

These two Italian restaurants are within five minutes walk of each other. Mamma Mia is invariably busier than Quattro. It is also cheaper, and if they are aiming at tourists, they are far more likely to be visiting the cable car than wandering along Jumper’s Bastion, so not a bad location.

I’ve never eaten at Mamma Mia so I can’t compare a sit down meal at both places. I’m not planning to eat there either as I think Quattro is a much nicer location and the menu is better.

Let’s compare take-away pizzas though. A nice simple like with like.

It is my job to ring up and order a pizza. Naturally this leads to a marital dispute. For some reason my partner thinks I should order in English. I have no idea why, as I can speak and understand Spanish better on the ‘phone than he can. I doubt he could get the order right in English, let alone Spanish.

Anyway, as he set off for Quattro before I ordered I had the flat to myself and happily ordered in Spanish.

Readers will not be surprised to hear that I ordered a pizza vegetariana. Grande, grandissimo, I added. Con aceitunas. Negra? she asked. Sí.

Pizza before my additions

So we have the biggest veg pizza with black olives. I have learned it is not cheap a good idea to ask for extra toppings that I can put on myself, but I had no black olives in, (note to self – buy some) but at least Quattro does chuck a fair handful on. Once back home, I chopped up some hot green finger chillies, some garlic, and chucked on the last of the capers. (Note to self, buy more capers).

I like this pizza. I like the courgette and the aubergine, as it gives it a really fresh veg taste. Plus there is no gloopy tomato sauce sogging the dough, and very little cheese. The dough is extremely thin and crisp.

Added to, warmed up and looking good

Onto a Mamma Mia pizza. Same thing, another vegetarian one, but with no extra toppings. I added green olives, and capers, chillies, garlic again.

This is a totally different pizza, onion, sweetcorn and peppers are the main toppings, before I add my extras.

Mamma Mia pizza – with extras!

Despite how full this pizza looks, it wasn’t as big as the other one. I should have either ordered a grandissimo one from Mamma Mia, or two of this size as we ganneted it all and still felt hungry. No complaints about the pizza, good dough, and enough veg.

OK. Bottom line.

Large pizza from Quattro with extra olives (£1) – £13.50

Pizza of indeterminate size from Mamma Mia – £7.50 (no extra toppings)

Big price difference. But, we had two pieces left from last night’s Quattro one that served for brunch today, and the other one from Mamma Mia just wasn’t big enough for a decent meal for two people. Two would have been better, which makes the price difference insignificant.

I like the ingredients on the Quattro one better, but the Mamma Mia one is OK for a change.

What about Indian take-aways?

Well, we used to eat at the Maharajah on Queensway Quay, which according to the staff at their Tuckey’s Lane restaurant (off Main St, by Barclays), is currently closed.

Part of the recent take-away flurry was because I was feeling a bit off colour the other week and totally incapable of cooking, so poor old Partner came in from work and then traipsed out to pick up some food.

From the Maharajah, I ordered garlic nan, peas pilau, bhuna veg curry and sag aloo. I think the only thing on the take-away menu was the garlic nan (we didn’t have a menu at home at the time, but Partner brought one back). I do like flexible restaurants where you can order what you want, and they just say yes and get on with it.

The Maharajah meal was slightly under £15. This was for two people, and one greedy Partner had seconds. He then took the rest of it to work for his meal the next day (much to my annoyance when I fancied some reheated curry).

Maharajah meal

Needless to state, Pippa has reviewed the Maharajah restaurant on Queensway Marina more than once.. And when Partner was chatting while collecting his food the other evening, the waiter reminded him that we could always take the dog into the town restaurant too! OK, so they want our money, but that is a good way to go about it.

There are other take-aways in Gib, we have used the Mumtaz and the Mumbai, but Maharajah is still our fave. It doesn’t have that same sauce dished up with everything that only varies by a couple of spices. Or if it does, they do it more cleverly. I like the flavour of spices to come through, and not some claggy sauce with some hotness added.

So, once that flurry of take-aways was over, it was back to making more of my own Indian food. Moving on from fruit chutneys to tomato. It was OK, but I prefer the fruit ones. Oddly, they are actually sharper. [recipes may appear or may not at some point]

Mustard seed tomato chutney

I have plenty of other news but Gibraltar is chilling out this weekend. Celebrating being Gibraltarian, British, and definitely not Spanish.

Wishing everyone in Gibraltar a great National Day on Monday. And apparently the British Foreign Office in Whitehall will be flying the Gib flag for us on Monday. Good one. Just make sure you keep those naughty Spanish fisherpeople and their Guardia Civil escort out of Gib and British territorial waters.

Foreign Office ministers David Lidington and Mark Simmonds, respectively the ministers for Europe and the Overseas Territories, have said they welcome the raising of the Gibraltar Flag over the FCO in Whitehall to mark Gibraltar Day. 

“From now on, the flags of each UK Overseas Territory will be flown over the FCO one day every year, to mark a significant day in each of their respective histories,” said an F&CO spokesman. 

“I send my greetings and best wishes to all Gibraltarians ahead of Gibraltar National Day. It is a day to celebrate the people of Gibraltar, their community and identity.

“It is fitting that Gibraltar’s flag should be flown annually in London to mark this occasion,” said Mr Lidington, who has responsibility for the EU and Gibraltar.

Source: Gib Chron

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68 comments on “Health warning – do not read this if you are hungry

    • It was a bit of a food indulgent post, seemed easier to put them all together :)

      I like reading blogs with food on (not foody blogs – difference), and the truth is, while my regular readers may be ambivalent about food, food is the main search topic for hits on my blog!


  1. Gib looked extremely well decked out with flags.

    Sorry, I LOL’d when I saw you vid, the times that has happened to me too, listening to something good, switch the camera on to capture it, and end up with the final few chords.
    Looking forward to some longer ones from Monday celebrations now :-)

    Oh that food, OK, I am hungry so I shouldn’t have looked ;-)
    But Italian and Indian are my two favourite foods…..nicely washed down with a chilled Peroni.

    Enjoy your celebrations and get plenty of pics


    • Gib will be even more decked out on Monday! We did consider buying a flag today but the Yorkshire pockets were too deep and the arms too short :(

      I think there was a bit of a marital communication breakdown somewhere along the line. What part of ‘you take the video’ is difficult to understand?

      I ended up including it for the laugh, and the noise, because it was quite good actually:D

      Quattro has stopped selling Peroni – which is a good thing when A goes to wait for the pizza!

      Got another day to practise for our celebs tomorrow :)


  2. Enjoy Monday. love Aubergine and capers on pizza. First looks way better to me than the second. Curry takes the cake though, every time in our corner of the world, sounds like you guys don’t miind it too much either.


    • Thanks. I do think sometimes commercial pizza firms are a bit unimaginative. When I make them at home they tend to be very green, ie courgettes, aubergine (ok not green), spinarch/chard, fresh tomato, onion – and I leave off the cheese.

      Chucking half a tin of sweetcorn on doesn’t really do it for me, as I say, depends on personal taste. To be fair, the red onions and peppers were good. Interesting how different chefs interpret the same meal huh?

      I was brought up in a family that considered curry to be ‘wog’ food (I repeat the racism deliberately). Although there were always jars of mango chutney around and my mother would occasionally cook an Anglo-Asian curry. But I never ate Indian food until I went there.

      Somehow it just seeped under my skin. If I feel sick or don’t know what to eat – Indian. There is always something interesting or tasty to cook – makes a pile of dishes to wash sadly though. It probably is my favourite food for the sheer sublime blend of flavours and spices.

      So-called western food relies on expensive ingredients with adjuncts. Curried food relies on familiarity with spices, herbs, flavours and an all round appreciation of the combination of what eat. Oh dear, bit philosophical there.


        • Thanks. Food, the expense of some of it, the amount that is thrown away, the amount of store bought convenience food compared with people who make great meals out of nothing tends to get me on a soapbox. When see fillet steak for £44 a kilo and think about people starving it sticks in the craw somewhat. I’m the first to say I used to enjoy it. I guess it’s a progression over the years, but good food does not need to be expensive. Nor should it exploit people or animals. See, I told you it was a soapbox issue!


  3. Have a good National day, is this like Bank holiday… I will have a pizza of your choice..I can deal with what ever with your experience and then the band, could be a good day….Just as well that i just had my tea…;)


    • It is a serious day off here. Morrisons shuts three times a year, Christmas, Easter and National Day. I am picky about pizza, but Quattro is always good.

      Now the music, there will be lots on Monday. Mostly free. There is a club just near us called Rock on the Rock (of course), and I think they have a concert on too. We saw the guy who runs it today – on his Harley with his long hair. Natch :D But as it is a few meters away from us we can lie in the flat and listen to it for free :)


    • It’s not stuffed paratha, just made with potato in the dough. It is seriously good though. The other one I like to make is with corn, ie sweetcorn, very good too.
      I love making Indian breads, it just means I make an awful lot of mess too :D

      I tend to do Roti types, no pooris (can’t do them to not taste greasy). I don’t think I have quite got the technique off yet of slapping them thin enough, but I don’t use a rolling pin :D I’m not good enough to venture on my own with these so I tend to follow my guru Julie Sahni’s recipes.

      Any tips will be more than welcome.

      PS My bread was better than the one from the restaurant, partly why I decided to make some ….


  4. Have a great National Day. Thanks for the great food pics. Everything looks soo delicious. The pizzas are mouthwatering. Our food choices are rather limited in our little hamlet. Did have a BBQ shop open recently. Attempting to post about it. Hope it is up soon. And love to see the red and white colors. Close to the colors of my uni school, Nebraska. Their official colors are scarlet and cream. Today we play our second gridiron game of the season at UCLA (Uni of California Los Angeles). Will be a tough game. As we say, GO BIG RED!


    • Thanks Iquitoz. Good to hear from you.

      We think our choices are limited in our small place too !

      Yeah, scarlet and cream is pretty close to red and white. Partner wanted to buy some shorts for national day but refused to buy dark pink :D It had to be deep red. Or scarlet.

      I don’t understand American sport. At all. Are you from Nebraska? *runs off to look at the map* or did you just go there a bit like we do in the UK?


      • Much of our cuisine here is left over from the 50s and 60s. Good flavors but bad for your health. Spent the first 13 years of my mortal presence in the Cornhusker state. Returned four years later for uni. Miss the atmosphere of gridiron game day in the autumn. Sea of red and white, no dark pink, cheers, yelling and hopefully a win. Now I am relegated to listening on the internet wireless and an occasional viewing on the magic box, as Suzy would bark. Luckily a game will be on telly this evening. :-)


        • Not sure it is the atmosphere or the game that is missed. When October comes around, I still think that it is a new term (it was September for school) and a new start. University leaves a deep impression on us all. Summer hols are over and time to go back to work. Or something like that.


  5. I just finished dinner and am ridiculously full, but I could dive into that curry right now. (Read Pippa’s restaurant reviews — he is terrific. Could give our local newspaper reviewer a run for his money.)


    • I love curry because it is always so tasty. The problem with making it at home is that I do make a mess :( By the time I have done a few different dishes there are far too many pans, and that’s before I have even started throwing flour around for bread – so a take-away is a nice treat ie no washing up!

      Pippa was quite enjoying his new career until we stopped going out after the novelty wore off. But as he’s a few years older now he’s not bothered about too many walks so maybe he’ll start doing take-away reviews. If I give him the key back to his blog :D


    • I do like looking at food pix. It’s a bit like snooping on peoples’ lives – seeing what they eat. Of course I may be alone in my nosiness. I’m not keen on recipe blogs (even though I write them from time to time) but I do like looking at finished dishes.


        • I used to watch a couple of programmes in Spain, but they were both on at a similar time, so I had to find out what they were both making and then make my choice of which to watch!

          I actually learned some good tips, as both the method and the style were quite different to English/French/Indian/Italian cooking which is what I previously knew best.


          • It opens up new worlds, doesn’t it? My sister is quite the gourmet, and she has really opened my eyes to new methods, new ingredients, new ideas. I shop differently. I grow different things in my garden, too. I like the process of experiencing life in new ways, and food seems to be an easy ‘in’!


          • I used to be quite up on food and ingredients but there is ever more and newer produce in the supermarket that I have no idea what it is. I shall have to take a dictionary with me one day. They have introduced blue mushrooms (!!) which are outrageously expensive so no, I haven’t tried them.

            In the (Spanish) garden I just grow basic salad greens, herbs and spinach. Easy to grow and we eat them all the time anyway.


          • I grew a salad mix this year for the first time – it was dainty and pretty, some ruffled and edged with PINK! and so yummy I will grow it from now on! In my rural area there isn’t a lot of fancy selection – but I am becoming more adventurous, and trying new things.


  6. I love how Gib gets dressed up, and it does it well :) Pippa does a great restaurant review. If he’s missing that calling, maybe he can review some of your home restaurant cuisine, adnd I’m sure he’d oblige with some takeaway reviews. The pizzas with your additons looked lovely, as do all your food photos, ditto for the tomato chutney which I’m very fond of, on toast, preferably with cheese. Friday night is our pizza night but we eat it as it comes in the door (just getting decent home delivery pizza on time is a feat, believe it or not). We order a large ($21 – approx the same as your Quattro, and free delivery), the G.O.’s half is supreme with anchovies & no pineapple. I don’t like all that meat, and like a change from time to time but my standby is gourmet ham & pineapple which comes with not too much but good ham, brie, fresh tomato & basil but I get them to leave off the pineapple & tomato, and add olives and mushrooms… odd I know, but much cheaper than building my half from scratch as they don’t charge extra for the vege extras… found this out the expensive way. Depending on how hungry we are it’s enough but if we get a garlic ciabatta ($5) there’s always at least 2 pieces of pizza left over for the next day which is what I was eating for Sunday breakfast when I read this post – nice :) As for Indian, I tend to cook Asian style curries that I can incorporate tofu and common ground veges into, and occasionally noodles as the G.O. doesn’t eat rice or selected veges. We had a great Indian home delivery but as with so many, it went off so we’ve given up for the time being… but some busy Saturdays the G.O. would look hungry and say “butter chicken?”, so I’d order that & garlic naan for him, and biryani rice & daal with sides for me – about $40 but enough leftovers for 2 lunches (with salad added) for me. I have cooked butter chicken from time to time at the G.O.’s request but takeaway is obviously much easier… I must give Indian bread with potato in the dough a try- your’s looks delicious.


    • Yes, Gib does do party and dressing up well. And it is so nice on National Day to see everyone sporting national colours so that the streets are just a mass of red and white.

      Thank you, Pippa enjoyed his brief spell as a rest crit. Take-aways aren’t quite the same in his book for some reason.

      You knew I would ask about the prices if you didn’t add them! We’ve just been arguing about the currency rate and I was right based on your pizza price :D We don’t get free delivery :( – Pizza Hut delivers free but I don’t really like their pizzas. As for swapping one thing for another and not getting charged – I wish. I used to hate the ham and pineapple combo even when I wasn’t vegetarian (says she who put pineapple on veg kebabs last night). In fact I can’t remember what I used to eat before I was veg, probably either ham or pepperoni – from a pizza place in MacLeod Street, Potts Point. It was very good, nice and thin and he would whirl the dough around.

      I can’t bear buying dal, it is just too easy to chuck lentils in pan, and make a spice perfumed butter to finish it off. I try and buy things I don’t make, so then it is a real change.

      I think I might sort out the recipes page on here, and split it into sections, so I’ll add the potato bread recipe.


  7. Hot news here from the pen. I ignored the health warning, didn’t have time for breakfast and don’t have lunch with me, I am now hungry enough to eat my own shoes. Lovely looking food and Gib looks lovely in its bunting. I thought, before reading that the band might have been the Gib Regt, but obviously not.


    • The sheep pen or the pigpen? Hungry myself having faffed around with recipe pages on blog for the best part of the morning (why? I ask myself).

      Hope your shoes are veg ;)

      I thought it was Gib Reg actually as most of the band music is – did you read something else from their motto thing?


      • You bother to inform and entertain and do it very nicely thank you.

        I don’t use veg shoes the ones I have seen derive from the petro chemical industry which is evil.

        I didn’t see any thing, but you said Jazz wasn’t sure if the regiment was hip enough!


        • While this is not a recipe blog per se, I do think people, like me, enjoy reading a little about food (not 52 steps about how to make some stupid complicated recipe), and if there is something easy that maybe others haven’t tried I’d like to share. I’m not writing about rosti (boring) or whatever else is trendy, just what I like to eat that uses fresh ingredients and takes minimal preparation. Sometimes.

          I’ve actually got a load of food posts that I haven’t added to the recipe section so want to build it up over time. Plus it is handy reference for me. The one I haven’t yet added is a veg bolognaise sauce, that I really like and always need to look up on my blog when I want to cook it :D

          I wasn’t talking evils of petrochem v evils of animal slaughter re your shoes, merely that if you ate them you would not be eating vegetarian shoes ; I have replied about pc (petrochem) on yours.

          Band had changed on the return trip. All the jazz had disappeared and there was one of those electronic organ things, a couple of others, and a singer. I was whisked off before I could record ‘From Russia with Love’ :(


  8. I’m glad I read this post after dinner, not before. :-) I’m much more into Italian food than Indian (we had ravioli tonight) and have started making my own pizzas as we’re so far from a takeaway, let alone a home delivery service. The first of those pizzas looked fantastic!

    Happy National Day tomorrow.


    • I think eating out at Indian restaurants/take-aways tends to be a bit samey, which is why I like to make my own. Curries tend to be a lot drier and you can vary the spices so much more. We were gong to have pasta last night – but I fell asleep!
      I do make pizza from time to time, but I need to make sure I have the right veg in. It’s also a heck of a lot cheaper :)

      Thank you. We shall dress up, wander round, and then come home and chill out in all probability.


  9. Happy National Day to you and everyone else in Gib.

    I like to make curries, but I’m not that well up on spices I have to admit. I like my curries though, which I guess is all that matters really. My close neighbour is from Malaysia and she cooks for me from time to time and tells me what is in it. Maybe I might take some pics if I remember next time. Had a really spicy chicken soup the other day, which she made without chilli, just cumin, corriander, tumeric and something else I’ve forgotten already. They also made me a beef rendang which was excellent as well.


    • Thanks Blu.

      Fresh ginger can make things quite spicy, unlike powdered ginger, which just tastes gingery (like ginger biscuits). I’m not up on Malaysian food at all, although I do dabble with Indonesian and sometimes Thai. I prob cook more Indian because my Indian cookery book is huge :D


  10. Still full from Sunday lunch! We have a Mamma Mia’s in Tavira- same chain I expect. The thinner the better for me when it comes to pizza, and I much prefer a really good cheesy garlic bread with pasta. But that’s just me.
    Enjoy National Day!


    • I never thought of it being a chain/franchise which is silly considering we have pizza express and pizza hut here. We tended to spend most of our Portuguese time in Olhao, rather than Tavira and the only Italians back then were just private ones. Probably all changed now.

      Thank you. I’m sure we will, there is always a nice atmosphere.


    • Thanks alessandro. We are getting ready to go out and party on sedately walk around as befits our age. People are already partying, my Partner told me one of the local pubs is absolutely full!

      Of course, you will know that gib does have Italian ancestry and heritage here, particularly from Genoa.


  11. Happy Gib. National Day! It’s nice to see so much national pride. The pizza ordering paragraph is hilarious –
    There’s a great hole-in-the-wall family Chinese restaurant who had the best take out ever where we used to live – but ordering it was an adventure…which elderly relative with little actual English would be taking orders today? Both parties always ended up cheerfully yelling into the phone as if it helped. Even with menu numbers it was always exhausting – ah, but the food! We still order when visiting friends – hasn’t works, so why bother!
    Can’t believe you have pizza hut – (we don’t use that one…try to support local independents)
    Party some for us!


    • yeah, quattro although dearer is also independent – and better IMO

      chinese here is limited and there is only one thai one that I know of, although also rather yum

      national day post up, but I will add some more piccies later on a slideshow or a later post, depends what happens tonight, but good day so far, thanks for your good wishes :)


  12. I didn’t heed your warning after clicking over to see how you were this September, and now it’s the middle of the night and my mouth is watering. The celebration sounds wonderful. The photos of the food look so delicious. I’m vegetarian, so I’m especially drawn in by them.

    I’ve been awfully busy and tired this month, so I’m far behind in my reading, but I’m glad to finally see this post, even if I am leaving it hungry. :)


    • HaHa! I think I read you were vegetarian on your info page. I don’t like pretentious recipe blogs, so the food gets dropped on here as and when. But, I’ve always liked to read menus, enjoy seeing pix of people’s food when they eat out/in, I just can’t bear, ‘drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar’ sort of posts. Have people no more imagination than something that has been going on for more than 20 years? (I drizzle with vinagre de Jerez of course).

      Be over to comment on yours. One of the first ones I read but too sleepy to say anything sensible.


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