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Friday, 29 May 2015

Spicy Lunch at Chilli Daddy

I have a confession to make. Forgive me Father for I have sinned, I have become obsessed with something to the point it consumes all my lunchtime thoughts.  Yes readers, I have finally tried Chilli Daddy and I adore it, in the past month I have been 4 times. What started as a street food stall has quickly grown into having two central shops one just off Park Row and one on Baldwin Street.  I was a bit slow in becoming a convert to the Szechuan dishes that Chilli Daddy provides, mainly because I wasn't sure how customisable they are. One of my only real dislikes is coriander and I knew the noodles came with quite a bit, but once finding out that you can order without I headed to the Baldwin Street branch as soon as I was able. Accompanied by Mr Popple on my first visit he was able to give a little advice on the heat levels and additions you can make.

The menu at Chilli Daddy is fairly simple choose chicken, beef or tofu in either noodle salad, rice box or hotpot. The heat ranges from 1-5 with 5 being the spiciest. I decided to go for the chicken dan dan hotpot, level 3 spicy with no coriander. Tim was brave opting for the same dish but at level 4. Note that there are potato noodles for those of you looking for gluten free options. Another point to mention is it is cash only so remember to plan ahead when you go there.

chicken dan dan hotpot
chicken dan dan hotpot with added tea egg (2nd visit)
takeaway beef hotpot (3rd visit)
Oh my word. Chilli Daddy know how to do a hugely tasty and addictive lunch. Level 3 was just right for me a good spicy kick  but not over powering. I have sampled level 4 and I could eat it but whether I would want a whole bowl of it is uncertain. Although the next time I have a cold could well be the best time to try. If you haven't already tried Chilli Daddy do check them out the food is simply amazing. Prices range from £4.50-6 and the portions are huge and very filling. I am lucky to be surrounded by such temptation every day. To find out more and hear where Chilli Daddy got his inspiration from check out their website.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Lunching at Edna's Kitchen

My first trip to Edna's was one that was long overdue. I have no excuse at all. Edna's is two minutes from my office. Anyway after all the good things I'd heard, especially from my desk mate at work I decided to meet my friend Abi there, it was a sunny day after all. Abi is vegetarian so my choice for lunch was perfect. Edna's Kitchen is the little hexagonal hut at the top of Castle Park, they do pittas, wraps and salad boxes all vegetarian and some vegan.  I decided to go for a salad box which is £5 and comes with cous cous, crunchy salad, a stuffed vine leaf, falafel, houmous and optional chilli sauce. 
Edna's Kitchen Bristol

Edna's Kitchen Bristol

Oh Edna you minx. Why had I been resisting your charms all this time? Best houmous I've had from a falafel joint and the chilli sauce has quite a kick. I personally prefer my stuffed vine leaves to be warm but that is personal preference. The falafels were the stars of the show crunchy but soft in the middle, not dry, and full of flavour. Short and sweet but if you want a falafel salad box or a pitta stuffed with falafelly goodness, look no further than Edna's Kitchen, does the best falafels in town. Great choices for veggies and vegans alike so get on down there. For £5 I was stuffed so it's a good feed for sure. To find out more about Edna's Kitchen check out the website.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Anniversary at Allium Brasserie

Last month we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Some of you know this has been a particularly difficult first year of marriage for us. Fighting off the big C for Rich has been more draining than we could imagine, but with hopefully the worst over we are starting to look forward to the years to come.  Postponing our honeymoon is one of the first things we did so in the next 12-24 months we hope to be able to see Italy as planned and eat many of the delicious foods it has to offer. For our first anniversary we booked a meal at Allium Brasserie, run by head chef Chris Staines, in Bath because I'd heard such great things.

Sure enough the weather was really sunny when we arrived and we were a touch early so we headed to the Artbar for a drink. The bar is really beautifully decorated and feels pretty cosy. They have a fairly large cocktail menu as well as the usual stuff. I decided on the gingerbread mule whilst Rich went for a bourbon. Please go and try the gingerbread mule if you find yourself in Bath and passing Allium, they have a nice outdoor seating area and everything, it's the best cocktail I've had in a long time. Hugely refreshing and light, full of gingery goodness you will not regret it.

Once our table was ready we were led into the dining area and handed some menus. The dining room is quite eclectically decorated, part modern part abandoned chateau, I'm not entirely sold on the salmon pink walls but they sort of go with all the gold curtains. Allium do set menu deals for lunch and from 5.30 - 7pm, two courses for £17.50 or three for £23. As we were booked in after 7 we went straight to the ala carte menu. Sipping our glasses of fizz we decided to share some olives and some crab and prawn croquettes with aioli plus we each ordered a 28 day aged black Angus rib eye steak for our main which came with triple cooked chips and beer battered onion rings.
Crab and prawn croquettes
prawn and crab croquettes with aioli
Allium Brasserie Bath

Allium Brasserie Bath

Those crab and prawn croquettes melted in the mouth and went splendidly with the creamy aioli. A perfect little appetiser before our mains.  The steaks arrived along with a glass of red wine each. It was a healthy portion that sat before us. The meat was perfectly cooked and melted in the mouth, right up there with some of the best steaks I've had. The chips were crunchy yet fluffy and well salted, basically what you want from a triple cooked chip. The onion marmalade went very well with the meat.

Personally I found the raw onion in the salad a bit much with onion rings and onion marmalade, but that is just my taste. The onion rings were golden brown and had the crispness longed for in a good onion ring. It was a very tasty and indulgent meal. We didn't have quite enough room for a full dessert so we decided to order a selection of sweet things to go with our after dinner coffee and tea.
Allium Brasserie Bath

In addition, because it was our anniversary, they brought us out a wonderful chocolate mini cake to take home, which was so light and delicious it had to be chiffon or genoise sponge, a touchingly sweet end to a fantastic meal. We will definitely be back to try more of the menu. to find out more about what Allium has to offer visit their website. Allium is a great contribution to the Bath food scene so definitely check it out, if not just for that gingerbread mule cocktail.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Lunching at Fuego

Fuego is looking to fire up your soul by bringing their Latin/Caribbean spirit and food to Bristol. I have lunched at Fuego, what used to be My Burrito until two months or so ago, twice. Each time having different items off the menu. The first time Jo and I had burritos one steak and one pork, although suspending the idea that burritos are not Latin American but tex-mex. However they do a handy burrito and a drink for £5.55 at lunch time which is a great deal.  I like the newly revamped seating area it makes it look a lot tidier and inviting as restaurants go.  My second visit, with Sarah, I branched out and tried the chicken Mofongo, at £9.99. Mofongo is a dish from Puerto Rico made from smashed fried plantain, spices, stock and crackling. This is then shaped to contain pretty much anything, vegetables, meat or fish, the description grabbed my attention as something a bit different. 

Fuego Bristol

Fuego Bristol

Firstly the burritos. They were tasty enough, but did not set my world alight, but I did enjoy the range of hot sauces that are on the table to spice up your lunch, the chipotle one was rather delicious in particular. My other main gripe is that the whole shebang was just not wrapped tight enough so it fell apart more than it should, which is not the point really. It sounds harsh but I have strong feelings about compact burritos.
Mofongo Bristol
the whole meal
Fuego Bristol
pinto beans and chorizo
The Mofongo however was a real surprise. A huge plate of food was brought to me and it smelled intoxicating. It tasted even better. It is a little hard to describe but it's a bit like having a bowl lined with stuffing and the stuffing tastes out of this world but then the bowl is filled with a hearty chicken and tomato stew which is smoky. The black beans didn't do a lot for me but the pinto beans and the rice were really nice. I couldn't quite finish my plate, which considering my healthy appetite was quite a feat. Basically the burritos are fine but if you want to taste something extra delicious go for the Mofongo. To find out more about Fuego visit their website or follow them on Twitter.