• Invitations to Review
Saturday, 19 January 2019 11:52

Cosy Club

Without a doubt the service was a highlight at our #Veganuary outing to the Cosy Club in Ipswich on Thursday night. What a delight Roxana was. Romanian and hard working in the UK for the last three years, I hope we don't lose little gems like this to Brexit.  We weren't really sure what to expect, arriving at an eerily deserted Ipswich town centre and heading for the soulless Buttermaket shopping centre. But it's a bit of a surprise when you get inside. A slightly quirky mix of Colonial Gentlemans Club crossed with US laid back speakeasy, if that's possible.  Invited to sample the vegan menu which I was delighted to do, Mr SFoodie not so keen, but since converted to the idea that a meal of only plants is actually very good. We shared a Mediterranean Plate of hummus, carrot tapenade, pickled red cabbage and heirloom tomatoes and also Garlic Mushrooms on Sourdough, both very good although varying in size given that they are both £4.95 Tapas dishes. The hummus was nicely coarse which I like and the carrot tapenade well flavoured and seasoned with a hint of cumin. Thai Green Vegetable Curry was excellent declared Mr SF and kept him quiet while I ate my Thai Burger, made of quinoa and served with a fat slice of roasted red pepper in the sourdough bun and layered with vibrant green edamame and pak choi. Crispy fries and a nice chunky house slaw were on the side. I confess to ordering vegan bacon purely out of interest but think I can live without that again. There's wine suitable for vegans, I drank an Argentinian Malbec called Benjamin (fresh and fruity) and one dessert of Chocolate and Orange Torte served with a refreshing and light raspberry sauce.  You know what, with this current trend of veganism any fast casual dining restaurant not having a suitable menu is way out of touch. The Cosy Club is well worth a visit.

Published in Reviews
Wednesday, 02 January 2019 14:13

Eggslut

We told you eggs were trendy. Well here we have Eggslut, due to announce its first London location very soon. Signature dish is a coddled egg on top of smooth potato puree, poached in a glass jar, topped with gray salt and chives, served with slices of baguette. There's also scrambled eggs, chives, cheese and honey mustard aioli served in a warm brioche bun. Dunno what the vegans will eat ... weird name for a restaurant too.

Published in Eating Out
Saturday, 22 September 2018 16:01

Sardine London

Had to go and see why everybody's been wow-ing about the Southern French, wood fired cooking at Sardine. (Hoxton of course). There's was a taste of Italian and Spanish cuisine on the menu too, which at lunch time was a short and precise offering, with an excellent value 'prix fixe', £20 for three courses. The space is small with a large communal table in the middle and a few smaller tables for those less sociable. Food was as delicious as it sounded, slightly rustic but flavours punching above their weight. Not many places these days that settle for simple plating but that's just what we loved about it. Not a tweezer in sight.

Published in Restaurant foodie
Saturday, 01 September 2018 18:45

Drinks for Drivers

I drove last time darling ... it's simply not good enough to expect the designated driver to settle for a J2O or a can of coke, so I am beginning to rate my restaurants, pubs and cafes according to the drinks offered for drivers. Here are a few of the great drinks that I've been offered when driving this summer. Gigembre - ginger syrup, lime and soda. Ghost Ship (available from Adnams). Bee's Knee's Prosecco style fizz (available from Morrisons). Mint Sparkle- apple juice, elderflower cordial, soda water, mint leaves. Virgin Mary - tomato juice, Worcester sauce, tobasco. Shirley Temple - ginger ale, grenadine, orange juice. Homemade lemon barley water. Homemade ginger beer. Seedlip Garden - botanicals without the gin (available from Waitrose).  Damson Spritz made with a homemade damson cordial. Fresh Red - Rooibos espresso, apple juice and a squueze of lime. Strawberry Cooler- strawberry, mint and lime. More ideas here.

IMG 5955

Published in Trends
Thursday, 02 August 2018 17:02

The Wells Crab House

After working all day at Holkham I couldn't leave for home without a hunting out a tasty bit of fish for supper. The problem is everywhere gets booked up in the season and I didn't want fish and chips and hadn't got time for a full 3 course meal. Chancing it I stuck my head in the door at the nearby Wells Crab House and the lovely Maitre D' offered my daughter and I the bar seat (more of a shelf, but a perfectly good place to eat a snack). We ordered four starters: Potted Shrimps (pictured) A crab tart. Smoked Mackerel Fishcakes and Pan fried Scallops with a ham fritter. Perfectly hitting the spot and washed down with an alcohol free Adnams Ghost Ship. More about Drinks for Drivers in another blog.

Published in Restaurant foodie
Tuesday, 03 July 2018 15:41

Harry Kane's favourite place to eat.

Football's coming home! As long as Harry doesn't eat too much at his favourite restaurant, Sheesh in Chigwell. 'Once you arrive through the electric gates your sheesh experience will truly begin'. Note fellow restaurateurs, their booking policy. I wonder how many no shows they get?

We require a deposit of £10 per head for tables 5 or more

8 is the biggest table and it must be a mixed party of male and female

Friday and Saturday evenings, 6 is the biggest table and it must be a mixed party of male and female

You can have a party of 10 in the Sugar Suite, please go to the Sugar Suite page for details

Every table in this restaurant has a 2 hour sitting (except the Sugar Suite)

All confirmation is done on the morning of your booking via a phone call or a text, if you don’t confirm your booking you will lose your table

If bigger parties turn up with less people, the missing people will lose their deposits

No cakes, drinks, food, balloons or other decorations can be brought into the building from outside

Published in Gossip

No drizzles or blobs but gutsy, generous dishes; powerful yet simple flavours; a superbly written menu including offbeat ingredients and natural, biodynamic wines. That you won't find anywhere else in East Anglia. Pea Porridge -  It's tough to decide what to eat!

Published in Restaurant foodie
Thursday, 07 December 2017 12:41

#Fishmasdinner at Loch Fyne

It wasn’t hard to persuade me to swap a turkey meal for a delicious #fishmasdinner at Loch Fyne in Cambridge this week. I’m only sorry that I couldn’t try more of the menu. Trot on turkey, I'm eating more fish!

Published in Reviews
Saturday, 22 April 2017 12:25

Giggling kids

Grace

It's lovely to see a children's menu with mini portions from the main menu and not a breadcrumb, nugget or chip in sight. The Giggling Squid asked me to review their new children's menu which includes a selection of mild curries, finger food, noodles and rice dishes designed especially with "little people" in mind. I found a couple of little people (thank you Grace and Logan) and took them out for supper at the Bury St Edmunds branch. For £5.95 children get to choose two dishes each which come with free plain or sticky rice.  Logan, who declared fussy eater status on arrival went for the Grilled Pork Skewers and Chicken Fried Rice, having first tucked into a bowl of the spicy prawn crackers. Grace with a more adventurous and self assured palate chose Spring Rolls and a Pad Thai with Prawns, which she declared as yummy. Sadly the roti pancakes were not available for pudding (an extra £2.00) but the icecream was, and arrived with some colourful slices of fresh fruit on the side. Portions are very generous, in fact possibly too large for smaller children, but parents can always help out!

Published in Reviews
Thursday, 15 December 2016 18:28

The Northgate.. not my cup of tea.

What's this all about then? I took 8 friends to the new Northgate in Bury for dinner on Sunday night. We started the evening with excellent cocktails in the bar. The bar staff were great, friendly and charming. Then it all went a bit downhill. My starter was good, main course satisfactory and dessert awful. The dessert wine didn't arrive until after the pudding and the coffee and tea order was eventually taken just before midnight.  As for the faff to make the tea. Do I need to be told to warm the cup, wait for it to brew ( timer supplied for the countdown) in order to get two mouthfuls of English Breakfast brew? The most spectacular thing of the night was the bill.

Published in Eating Out
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