Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Tropeiro

Last I went to Tropeiro with my capoeira friends for our christmas meal.
The decor was very elegant and modern, lots of wood furnishings, a rotisserie grill and a massive window showing a great view of leopold square. It was pretty busy for a tuesday night and the crowd was very international and featured people of all ages.




We'd all pre-ordered which was probably for the best considering there was over 20 of us! I chose Lasagna de legumes e farofa (Roasted Veg lasagne with farofa topping) which was a very good lasagne! Still have no idea what farofa is though. My strawberry caipirinha was good, a little eye-wincing-ly sour.



You get these little cards on your table, one side is green and says sim por favour (yes please) the other is red and says nao obrigado (no thanks) in Portuguese. The idea is you flip over to the green side whenever you are ready for the staff to come over with their massive skewers of meat, hot from the rotisserie and slice you a chunk off. Although people still brought over meat even if your card was red. People ate a LOT of meat.



They also have a pretty spectacular unlimited "side and salad" bar where you can get fejouada, fish and coconut stew, rice, chips, bread and loads of different salads. I ended up getting two plates of rice with fish stew and salad! As well as my lasagne! Yep I know how to get my moneys worth.
They'd discounted the price for us considering there were so many so my veggie option and unlimited visits to the salad bar were just over 11 quid, the meat lovers paid a fiver more I think and had the choice of 10 different cuts of meat, including chicken heart.



The staff were so friendly and nice, they spoke portugese and chatted with us individually, lovely!
I finished my epic meal with a delicious brazilian egg flan and slices of hot cinnamon caramelized pineapple from the rotisserie.



Overall great place, even for a chain! I'll definitely come again with a group!

Food - 9/10
Value - 9/10
Service - 10/10

Saturday, 8 December 2012

My festive questions and answers as featured on Nibbly Pig!

I was asked a few questions recently by Ros - Nibbly Pig - She is doing a different foodie for the 24 days leading up to Christmas, such a great idea! Here's my answers anyway I thought I'd post them on here too, and she didn't mind so here you go! Thanks Ros!



Komal is a local chef well known for her cake creations at Fusion Organic Cafe on Arundel Street. Her baking often combines spices and delicious flavour combination, such as spiced banana cake and pear and marsala chai muffins. As well as being an accomplished chef, Komal writes a food blog called ‘The Girl Who Ate the World’.


What are your Christmas traditions?
On the lead up to Christmas I’m working hard as that’s the busiest time for chefs. On Christmas day I like to relax with my family, although I’m usually cooking the food but I don’t mind. It’s a lot more laid back than at work! I enjoy spending time with my loved ones and the exchanging of gifts, and watching the snowman on TV that always makes me feel happy and warm.
What food or food related gift would you like for Christmas?
I like big fat medjool dates, they make a great gift. Food related would be a cookbook. I’m a fan of Ottelenghi, Nigel Slater, Sam Clarke. Sally Butcher and Madhur Jaffrey.
What is your best tip for Christmas food shopping?
Go to small independent stores. I love Zeds, Beanies and In a Nutshell.
What are you planning to eat on Christmas Day this year?
My sisters loved my nut roast-stuffed portabellos last year so probably those again. I made a great chestnut chocolate torte sprinkled with pomegranate that went down pretty well. I love cooking as many different sides as I can fit in the oven/hob. Mashed potato & swede. Honey roast carrots and parsnips, herby Yorkshire puds, onion gravy and of course a lemon roast chicken for the family.
Tell us any cheats you have for calm Christmas cooking.
Prepare as much as possible in advance. Ask enough people to help but not too many so that you are squashed like sardines.
What’s your favourite Christmas tipple?
I don’t drink anymore but I was fond of mulled wine
How do you use Christmas leftovers?
My dad loves his chicken mayo sandwiches but there isn’t much left of the other food as we eat at about 1pm, and then nibble on whatever is left as the day goes on.
What do you cook on Boxing Day?
Usually a bit cooked-out by then. On New Year’s Day we go to my aunt’s house and she makes a big feast with traditional Pakistani food. Dhal, pilau rice, chicken curry, aloo gobi and parathas.
Have you ever had a bad Christmas dinner?
Not on the actual day but I’ve had some pretty poor Christmas dinners at pubs, etc.
What was your childhood Christmas dinner?
Veggie sausages with the same sides everyone else had, so mash, Yorkshire’s, fried mushrooms, parsnips, boiled broccoli & caulis all drowned in Bisto gravy. I still have a soft spot for Bisto.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Zerboni Taste Restaurant Review

I spent most of the morning wandering around the cemetary in the bitter cold, posing amongst frosted leaves and curly trees. Having a camera pointed at you for an hour whilst you try and get over your awkward shyness sure does increase your appetite..well probably just mine actually if models are anything to go by... but anyway, Taste on ecclesall road was where me and my friend and photographer Alan decided to stop for some post-photoshoot lunch.

I don't often eat out around hunters bar to be honest, I tend to stick with my trusted and safe London road. So trying somewhere totally new was exciting.
Taste is a small Italian restaurant next to everyone's favourite hangover sandwich shop Woody's. Upon entering you are presented with a very orange interior and lots of very tall and very tasty looking panettone and pandoro on display. The friendly staff are down to earth and the clientelle are your typical Ecclesall road folk - students mainly, plus some older rich types, the kind you'll see sitting outside nonna's on a Friday night.

We both ordered the "vegitalian" breakfast at £6.10 a pop, I chose caramel redbush teapigs tea to wash it down.
After a few moments looking over the photo's our food was brought to our table. My first thought was "that's a lot of runny stuff" but I had bread for mopping which had been drizzled with delicious olive oil. the spinach was perfectly cooked, garlicky and gorgeous. The mushrooms were lovely and the egg and beans were great. The star of the show was the Scarmoza!!! (mature smoked mozzarella)
Now that is what I'm talking about! Gooey, melted, smokey cheese that will give halloumi a run for its money for the prize of best cheese ever.
I am in love with this cheese.
I got Alan to take a picture of the meal in all it's delicious glory and he took this wonderful one.


Vegitalian at Taste- Photo credit

Hands down best breakfast I've had in Sheffield. Kind of pissed off I have only just discovered Scarmoza but there you go. Does anyone know if you can buy this anywhere?

Food - 10/10
Service - 10/10
Value - 9/10

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Budget Christmas Gifts For Foodies


Look at this lovely selection of goodies...




You would probably believe me if I told you they were from those wonderful, yet a tad overpriced continental Christmas markets that grace our city centre at this time of year.
However these bargain buys were from Lidl! The total cost of all five items came to just over a tenner, not bad at all for small gifts for friends, colleagues or as stocking fillers.
Why not make a hamper for someone special? Easy enough to do - just use a cardboard box, wrap it in festive paper and fill with goodies. Much kinder on the bank balance then splashing out on Waitrose finest organic hampers, plus you can personalise it according to your friends taste!


These gorgeous praline filled gold chocolate hearts would make a perfect stocking filler for your special someone. £2.49

  I love the packaging of this extra virgin olive oil from Portugal. When you've used all the oil, it would make a great piece of decor on your kitchen shelves. An absolute bargain at £2.49

These gingerbread rounds are so good! I've bought these from the Christmas markets in Sheffield and Manchester as I love them that much, and at 89p you could buy a pack just for yourself!

 Some lovely porcini terrine here. Always welcome in any larder or cupboard. I like it in an omelette, spread on toast or scooped up with crudites. They had an incredibly cheap selection of 6 different pates in a set for only £3.49....This single jar was £1.99



Lovely proper cherries soaked in Kirsch. Perfect sandwiched between chocolate cake and finished with lashings of cream and chocolate shavings for black forest gateaux. Or spooned onto ice cream or as a sneaky treat straight from the jar £2.49

Total cost of all items £10.38! Treat your food loving friends.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Veggie Peanut Butter Stew Recipe


Nice simple recipe for warming you up on a chilly autumn night. Very versatile, chuck anything you want/have in the pot for a tasty hug ready in 20 minutes!

I used these ingredients:
5 spring onions
3 cloves garlic
small piece ginger
1 aubergine
half pack chestnut mushrooms
half head broccoli
half head cauliflower
4 vine tomatoes
1 green  pepper
generous dollop crunchy peanut butter
1 veg stock cube
pinch chilli flakes
salt (ideally Maldon)
pinch dried thyme

Don't be put off by the long list. Use whatever you've got! The peanut butter really brings it all together and makes it more interesting than the usual vegetable soup.

  1. Chop all your vegetables - aubergine and mushrooms thinly sliced, ginger and garlic fine chopped, rest roughly chopped
  2. Fry off your spring onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil with the chilli and salt
  3. Add mushrooms and aubergine. Cook for 5 minutes
  4. Add the rest of your ingredients along with 2 cups of hot water.
  5. Simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes, til everything is tender
  6. Adjust seasoning and serve!
Hope you enjoy this simple meal, let me know of any variations you come up with as I cook this a lot and am always interested to find new combinations.


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Frozen Yoghurt and Bubble Tea!

I'm always keen to try new foods and although frozen yoghurt and bubble tea are not new to me personally, they are new to Sheffield.
So..they are kind of new foods then and that meant I had to try them for research purposes and to compare them to the masses of froyo and bubble tea I had in Toronto recently!

Natural flavour froyo from Flurt topped with #brownies and berries

 This was  delicious and almost healthy, a great pick me up on a rainy day. My one request would be to expand and get more seats! And open late!- Flurt - near the peace gardens


Taro milk tea with various jelly
I went for half sugar in my tea. This made me realise just how much sugar they must use in Canada! It was good but I'll go for 30% less sugar instead of half next time. I loved the texture of the jelly and all the different flavours and toppings that were available. - LOL, west one.


Hooray for new foods!
Other things I'd welcome are hong kong style egg waffle, gourmet food trucks, raclette, churros and an all night cafe!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Tassili North African Restaurant Review


London road has such an abundance of fantastic restaurants that it's getting more and more difficult to decide on somewhere to go for dinner!
Tassili has made this decision even harder.
I went with my father and little sister on a friday night and was glad we booked as it was full.

The decor is warm and welcoming with Arabian style rugs completely covering the walls, plus material draped from the ceiling and an open plan kitchen.
Laid upon our table was free bread and olives, which were very good.
Authentic pottery adds to the experience and makes you feel like you've stepped through the door straight into Africa.

I'll admit that I wasn't that excited about eating here as 90% of African cuisine that I've sampled hasn't exactly been my favourite. That includes food I had on my travels in Africa.


I was, however pleasantly surprised as I enjoyed it very much.
The Pineapple and mango punch was zingy and fresh with a kick from the ginger. They do not have an alcohol license and you can't bring your own but when you don't drink, like myself that's not a problem.


I had stuffed aubergines from the specials board alongside some potatoes with aioli and a side of hummus. The others had tagine and some very tender squid.
The hummus was garlicky, the potatoes had unfortunately lost their aioli but were still tasty and rich with olive oil.

The aubergine was silky, charred and gorgeous with a flavourful filling.
One thing that burst the Africa fantasy was the nasty black pepper - ground to grey dust, with an aroma of an old piano.



Overall the food was lovely. Just ignore the pepper and you'll be fine. Oh and the toilets are wonderful!

Food - 8
Service - 9
Value - 8


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Steel City Cakes







I've cycled past here every day and glanced inside to see how their progress was coming along. When I returned from Toronto, the place was finished!
My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to investigate further. The inside is spacious and they serve hot drinks as well as a wide variety of interesting and enticing cakes such as dandelion and burdock and caramelised pear. They also open til 8pm every day! Awesome news for those of us whose idea of a great night out doesn't revolve around booze.

After chatting with the owner a bit I found that he is hoping to open even later, like 11 and he's also interested in having an outdoors area too. He's so friendly and chatty, he even told me that they had an experimental full English breakfast cupcake complete with bacon and sausages! Next the only reasonable option would be of course, to try some cake (all in the name of research for the blog of course, the things I do for you guys..)
I went for a rather decadent looking caramelised pear layer cake. I got a massive wedge with a nice cup of earl grey to wash it down.
It was very delicious, moist, sweet with a slightly tangy frosting. I didn't need dinner after that generous portion either and at £1.90 a slice you'd be pushed to find better value elsewhere. Also they have an offer at the moment where you can buy any hot drink and cake for £3!

The following day I returned with my camera and my mum. this time I chose dandelion and burdock cupcake and she had the lemon layer cake. My cupcake did indeed taste like dandelion and burdock. A stolen taster of my mum's was sweet and creamy with a subtle tang.
The thing I love about this place is that although they make so many cakes, they still have that home made flavour and you can taste the love. The thing I don't love is that it's two minutes from my house!

I'm glad Sheffield is catching onto the late night opening scene. I've seen a few adverts of late opening milkshake and lounge bars, plus the rude shipyard opens late Thursdays as does tamper coffee occasionally.

Does anyone else know of any other late opening places that don't involve alcohol? Let me know!
Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Toronto adventures

Hiya folks, just to let you know I haven't forgotten about you.
I'm in Toronto having a nice long holiday and I'm already missing home.
I love Canada though, the people here are so much more upbeat and friendly than those back in England. Also the nightlife is incredible - highlight of the trip for sure.
The mix of different cultures is so vast. I've had the tastiest muttar paneer and mango lassi from little India, passion-fruit and lychee bubble tea from Chinatown, cassava cake, bagels and ice tea, various unique flavoured frozen yoghurt and lots of home style Pakistani food. 
I've smelt beautiful incense and seen incredible displays in gold and every single other colour in amazing Hindu shops.
Memories of China were brought back to me when I went through smelly Chinese supermarkets with unique ingredients, live fish for sale and pet cats inside to greet me.
I've met family I didn't even know.
People go nuts for my accent over here, they are so lovely and just have the biggest smile whenever I ask for anything.
I saw a beach on a massive lake which had waves and a lifeguard. I made seedy carrot cake for my family which they loved.
I saw one of my favourite books in movie form at Toronto International Film Festival, caught the subway and air train, saw a live hip hop performance in a shopping mall, met a beautiful cat, seen black squirrels and wild bunnies, witnessed crazy people on public transport, bought some funky glasses from hot topic, been amazed by the excitement that is down-town, ridden a tiny bicycle past corn fields and got lost, seen people sitting on their porches in rocking chairs.
I also visited an amazing coffee and board games cafe called Snakes and Latte's... so much and I've still got another 6 days of exploring to do!
Friday and Saturday are for my Niagara Falls and CN tower visits.

Here are some photo's from my trip so far, mostly food of course!

First fro-yo was matcha with mochi

Sushi!

Immense toffee apples

Mango lassi and muttar paneer at little India

Seeded carrot cake

Pakistani mango heaven

The resident cat

Bulk barn! Anything you could ever want in mass amounts

Fro-yo no.2 was peanut butter and jelly flavour with various chocolatey delights

With the most incredible masala corn at a festival

At a fast food joint, those scone like things are called biscuits here, the fries were good

More fro-yo. mine was dulce de leche, creme caramel, vanilla and chocolate with fruit, brownies, yoghurt pretzels, blueberry mochi and peanut butter sauce. Ooh and lucky charms mmm

Honk Kong style egg waffle - very moreish and tasty.

You getting sick of fro-yo yet? This was healthy ish - greek yoghurt with honey, fruit and lychee popping boba (think salmon roe texture but filled with sweet liquid)

At snakes and lattes - the best cafe I have ever been to bar none. The walls are filled with all the board games ever invented with amazingly friendly staff who you can see playing games with people and fantastic coffee and cake.

I had cheesecake brownie, which I then swapped with my cousin for a raspberry white chocolate cheesecake as it was too raspberry-ish for her. I also drank a nutella latte and had amazingly buttery biscuits

At vegetarian restaurant Fresh - I had a tofu peanut buddha bowl

Toronto skyline at night



I'm incredibly inspired. Watch this space for lots more recipe's when I return home including the promised chai latte.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A day trip to Bridlington

Bridlington promenade


My dad, my sister and me!

Me, my dad and sister all decided to go on a spontaneous trip to Bridlington.
We started with a walk along the promenade and me and my sister went on a couple of rides. I narrowly escaped my lung being crushed and exploded due to the rides violent and nauseating jumps and spins which resulted in my sister being continuously rammed into my side. Ouch.


After that torture I obviously needed comfort in some sort of fried sugar coated confectionery, but not yet!
First - a speedboat ride.

This was way more fun and not at all excruciatingly painful. The wing in my hair and the spray of the sea on my face, was very pleasant indeed.
Finally I enjoyed a couple of freshly made donuts. They were hot, sugary and stodgy. Just what you'd expect, perfect.

The fresh donuts being cooked

Sugar on my face and wind in my hair



After a bit more walking and sightseeing we stopped to get fish and chips from a place called Captain Scotts. I chose scampi and shared some of my dads plaice. The scampi was particularly flavoursome and the fish nice and moist. Didn't manage too many of the chips as I had those donuts not so long previously.


Plaice, Scampi and chips

Didn't purchase any but this ice cream parlour was very extravagant and reminded me of a tv show I once saw about an ice cream store in Las Vegas

We then walked just enough for me to find eating again reasonable and stopped off at The Rowan Tree. This was a beautiful little cafe and my sister agreed that it was not the kind of place you'd expect to find in Bridlington. Gorgeous home made cakes and organic local produce. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.



Loved the style of this place, the counter with various tempting tea and cake


Carrot cake and a chocolate orange gateau