Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Rude Shipyard

If you were to ask me for three qualities that make a perfect cafe I would say amazing cake, lovely staff and the observer newspaper with a proper home made breakfast on a Sunday. Oh and a unique charm,  and tranquil atmosphere...and new and interesting music every time you visit...and hundreds and hundreds of books! OK, I got slightly carried away there, the reason being is that The Rude Shipyard possess all of the above in abundance!

There is nothing as special as an independent local bookshop. The selection of books there is vast and varied with each one deserving an appreciative home. For me, its a 'home away from home' as I'm there almost every other day. No other place in Sheffield has such a relaxed ambiance with the most genuinely lovely staff. They make every visitor whether young, old, strange or curious feel like a valued friend. 

This oasis of bookish tranquillity also hosts regular live music gigs (including the incredibly popular cupids in nooses anti valentines festival), free wifi, a book club, whiskey and drinking songs nights and Thursday supper to name a few exciting happenings.

Back to the food...not only do they serve self proclaimed hugs made of cakes, they also do a amazing breakfast on a Sunday with local sausages and bacon and home made soda bread. In the week you can find varying delights always including unusual sandwiches, soups and salads, plus the greenest hummus and more substantial meals such as burritos, curries and tortillas. Vegan and gluten free options are available.

If that wasn't enough they also have a delicatessen where you can purchase home made dukkah or hot chocolate with mahlep, as well as aubergine pickle, hazelnut oil, smoked salt and paprika and much more.

The Rude Shipyard feels like one of those undiscovered gems that doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves. I want to keep it to myself and yet I feel it is only fair to share it with you. It never fails to intrigue, inform and refresh me with every visit so I'm sure you'll love it just as much as I do. Go check them out!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Noodle Inn Review

I feel as though I haven't written an actual review of a restaurant for ages. Don't get me wrong, I've eaten out a fair few times, but I've just been visiting the same places I always go, and have reviewed many times.

Sheffield is currently experiencing an amazingly beautiful heatwave. The last time I was able to go outdoors in just a vest and yet still remain warm, I was in China. It's probably due to this reason that I've been craving Chinese food, particularly black bean aubergine...I can't remember the name of this dish so I quickly searched google. This result is a variation but I'm mainly sharing it as the English translation made me giggle. "people should not eat the weak stomach cold old eggplant".

Yes, I have a childish sense of humour, forgive me. After some procrastinating I still don't know the name of the dish.
Anyway, I met with my family in Noodle Inn on London road and, after not seeing it on the menu, asked if they would make it for me. Much to my enjoyment they agreed! 

Inside the restaurant they have a huge pillar aquarium complete with large fish and a wide screen TV which was showing you've been framed complete with subtitles. They also have a section with descriptions and history of different types of noodles. Other clientèle include mainly families. One of which is Indian with a curious toddler. There are also few young couples and an older sunburnt and dazed couple.

I also chose salt and pepper tofu as a starter. My family went for a set menu. I washed this down with a refreshing lemon iced tea.
The tofu was, without doubt the best tofu I have ever eaten. It was crunchy, spongy, salty and spicy. Everything you'd want from a lump of bean curd. My family has crispy duck with pancakes. I stole a pancake and filled it with a couple of chunks of tofu and garnished with the leek, cucumber and plum sauce. It was a nice combination! 

Soon a wave of massive plates of food arrived on our table: Crispy sweet and sour chicken, beef in sizzling sauce, king prawns, egg fried rice, cooked lettuce with a dark sauce and my black bean aubergine on a bed of fluffy white rice.

I was already salivating, even though the tofu was rather filling. I greedily scooped mine into my small bowl and plucked out a strip of shiny aubergine with my chopsticks. It was silky and tender and exactly like how I remembered it from China. This pleased me very much, clearly as I  filled up my bowl twice more and happily munched my way through the perfectly cooked rice and rich savoury sauce. A lot of Chinese restaurants overcook their plain rice, then usually get away with it as it's sticky and people assume that's what it should be like. The rice was tender the grains had just the right amount of clingy-ness.
My family made various comments in regards to how fantastic their food was too.

They end their meal with complimentary ice cream. I buy two scoops of Yeekwan's mango sorbet. If you read my last post you'll understand my immense love of this fruit and this sorbet does not disappoint.
The menu for all four of us was £57, with drinks. If I ate this in China, the bill wouldn't be more than £15 worth of Yuan. But then I probably would eat all my meals there and be vastly overweight so it's probably best saved for the occasional treat!

To sum it all up, check this establishment out for some delicious and authentic Chinese food! 

Food - 10/10
Service - 9/10
Value - 8/10

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Vegan peanut butter brownies recipe

Woohoo! This recipe was recently published in Now Then magazine!
This makes me happy. These brownies are seriously good, no one will know they are vegan.
Cook them and put them all in your mouth....mmm, nice.

If you can't quite read the text in the photo, here is the recipe

250g dark chocolate
250g soya margerine
100g flour
350g sugar
3 tbsp gram flour
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
200g peanut butter
1 cup (give or take) of soya or other alternative to milk

  1. Melt the chocolate and margerine together in a bain marie.
  2. Beat together sugar and peanut butter
  3. Gradually add rest of ingredients, adding the milk last.
  4. You may need more milk, it should be easy to stir.
  5. Bake at 180 for 20 minutes, so its still gooey and delicious!