Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Sushi Express Restaurant Review

I was flicking through the Sheffield magazine 'Toast' and at the back was a voucher for two free salmon nigiri at the new Japanese restaurant - Sushi Express.
I love sushi, and free stuff, so now all I had to do was find this place and claim my free food!
This was harder than I expected and the little map on the coupon wasn't much help but after nearly 30 minutes of searching I finally found it just down the round from DQ.

The first thing I saw when I entered was shelves containing strange Japanese snacks such as squid flavoured peanuts and various pocky.
Staff wearing too-big shirts covered in seashells greet me, and take me past the colourful snacks into the dining area.

I was pleased to see full colour photos of each dish on the menu - A bad sign in western style restaurants but good in places such as this.
I chose my favourite - Unagi Maki, some miso soup, tofu skin and my free roast salmon nigiri.

The miso soup wasn't hot which is a shame as it was pretty chilly outside but the hot green tea was, thankfully.
The sushi arrived shortly after and was well presented.
The salmon was still very rare, lightly roasted and very delicate. It was drizzled with a sweet yellow sauce.
The Unagi (eel) was great! Fresh with crunchy strips of cucumber.

I was surprised by the tofu skin. I wasn't sure what to expect but it was a sort of tofu skin pocket with rice inside. The skin itself was quite sweet and dough-nutty.
I ate the rice separately, dipping it in the wasabi.
Only suddenly I realize I was a bit over enthusiastic with the wasabi and I felt the burn all the way up into my brain it was very intense!

I finished my last salmon nigiri by dropping the rice from under it. Still clutching the salmon with my chopsticks I watched as the rice bounced off my table and onto the floor.
I turned around and the waitress was looking at me with the sort of polite smile that said "relax I have seen this many times before". I was rather embarrassed none the less.

I then ordered a Dragon roll. I was unsure about it but it did have a chef recommends star next to it so I decided to try something new.
Turns out to be a prawn maki with added tiny fish roe and a juicy tempura prawn that's shaped so it looks like a dragon - Very cute!
The prawns were slightly warm, whether that is a good thing or not I do not know.

The bill comes to £13. I like this place and I'll definitely go back when I'm in the mood for a sushi lunch.

Food - 7/10
Value - 7/10
Service - 10/10

I will be doing marks out of 10 for places now! If I remember that is..

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

African Style Groundnut Curry Recipe

So I haven't done a recipe post in a while and I cooked a nice meal for me and my friend and thought hey I should totally write this one up!

Its a very versatile and unusual curry and you can pretty much chuck whatever vegetables, beans, meat or whatever you want in there!
I used sweet potato, halloumi and butter beans.

I have to admit to a product that I use which is very lazy but amazing...
Frozen ginger and garlic!
It comes in little cubes and you can buy it from most asian / general foreign grocery shops, where you can find it in the frozen food section. I love them!

PS. Sorry for the awful photo it really did taste better than it looked!


  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 pack halloumi
  • 1/2 tin butter beans
  • 1 red onion
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tin coconut milk


  1. Slice the onion and add to a pan to soften in a little oil.
  2. Chop the ginger and garlic fine and add to the pan.
  3. Peel and thinly cube your sweet potato and add this to the pan.
  4. Fry these for five minutes - add a splash of water if it starts to stick.
  5. Add your coconut milk, beans and curry powder.
  6. Cube your halloumi and fry in a hot pan til golden then add that.
  7. Cook until the potato is tender, stir through the peanut butter and serve with plain rice!
This is also lovely with a squeeze of lime, coriander or a dollop of chilli sauce or all three combined!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Cocoa and Teabox

I'm a huge fan of chocolate so you can imagine my delight when my good friend Rosie asked if I'd like to come with her to interview the lovely ladies at cocoa! Plus I was in need of some good chocolate and cocoa is definitely my favourite chocolate shop in Sheffield. Some of you will remember me blogging about it a while back.

Rosie also mentioned another company - Teabox who make, you guessed it...tea! Tea is another of my favourite things so this day was turning out to be quite a treat and I was eagerly anticipating meeting the people behind both businesses.

Unfortunately for me on Sunday morning I had a bit of a hangover but that didn't stop us from walking (in the rain, I might add) the half hour walk up to hunters bar to meet the family behind Teabox.

We arrived at the house and Kirsty greeted us and invited us into her lovely home. We went through to the kitchen and I noticed her shelves were stacked with foil fresh pouches of tea. On the table were some blueberry muffins which she had baked herself.

She offered us some tea and, after discovering I had a hangover, recommended her 'Tummy Rub' blend of various things including liquorice, chamomile and fennel. After mixing it and letting it steep for the required time she poured us a cup and also one of the fresh muffins!

We asked various questions and all agreed there should be more places that supply good, proper tea. The tea looks incredible, most of them including tiny flowers and the Earl Grey spiked with bright blue petals.

She even gave us a couple of pouches of tea for us to take home with us! I have to say I will be ordering more of the 'Tummy Rub' definitely as it soothed my hangover and perked me up ready for out next visit which was just down the road!

Even the outside of cocoa is enticing and that's before you enter to smell the gorgeous sweet chocolate inside! We greet Kate and Anne and they kindly offer us some more tea and show us to their wonderful little tea room at the back of the shop. We sit down and they then offer us some and Rosie exchange glances with a huge grin on our faces and say "yes please!"

We are then presented with six praline chocolates and six fruity chocolates! These are seriously good.

They tell us about way back when they first bought the shop and also their trip to Granada to a see chocolate being made. Their stories were helped with the addition of photo albums and it was all very fascinating to hear.

After a relaxing hour or so I buy a few things - A couple of chocolate bars and a cute tea strainer for my new tea and then we head on our way back home.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The Orchid Thai Restaurant Review

Browsing the Internet a month ago, I came across an offer on groupon that I couldn't resist - "A Christmas journey" for two people at the orchid Thai restaurant. My mouth watered as I read the menu and after seeing that it was just £21.50 instead of the original £53.60, I bought my voucher straight away.

Last night, me and a friend braved the horrible, slushy snow and rain in search of this place.
We eventually found it, I was pleased once I realized its whereabouts as I had walked past many times, and always wanted to visit.

We step inside to see elegant, expensive decor, which surrounds a huge fish tank, which houses several large fish.
The waiter shows us to our table and hands us the Christmas journey menu. We are about to tell him what we would like when he informs us that we will be getting everything on the menu!
This makes our choice a little easier.

We help ourselves to the prawn and crab crackers. I say we, but I have only a small nibble of a crab cracker, as I'm not keen on them.

Our starters arrive almost immediately, but not before we giggle at the descriptions of the food - the "Penang Nuea" being particularly hilarious.

The food looks stunning. Well presented and with the addition of some beautifully sliced carrot in the shape of a butterfly and a flower - Very impressive.
I enjoy every piece of the starter especially the ribs with meat that fell effortlessly off the bone.

Our empty plates are taken and no more than five minutes later our mains start to arrive.
The "tradition beef slice" is served in a little pot over a candle and is thin, silky, melt in the mouth beef with a lovely peanut flavour and crunchy green beans.

The rice is fine as are the accomp
anying vegetables.

Salmon and aubergine is a combination I've never seen before but it works and is tasty.

The chicken has a moreish crunchy coating and a delicate sauce which is unlike the typical Chinese chicken and cashew nut I have tried and has a lighter, more delicate flavour.

My curiosities about the traditional Thai dessert are certainly not answered when it arrives. I fish about in the bowl with my spoon and find slices of banana, which I realise after placing in my mouth that they are very hot!

The sauce us light,sweet and coco-nutty and the toasted sesame seeds give a lovely crunchy texture and depth of flavour to the whole thing.

Overall I'm pretty happy - not only did I get a bargain but I got to sample great food that's a bit different from the standard Chinese meal out, and in lovely sophisticated surroundings!