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).
Even Morrisons staff are allowed to abandon their green and white school uniforms for red and white patriotic clothing.
In John Mack Square/Piazza there was a fine band.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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]
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