Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 - A year of good eating!

I hope this year has been most excellent for you. For me, I've gained experience working in no less than five different eateries. Each one has taught me something new and with that knowledge, I hope to start a very big and exciting adventure. I'm still planning it at the moment but don't worry, you'll be first to know any information!

Here are some of my favourite dishes from 2013!

Mid January I decided to go to Reykjavik, a truly beautiful city full of rich food and stunning scenery.

First choice has to be this pecan pie in Reykjavik - it was delicious gooey.

I had an unforgettable tomato soup at a massive greenhouse. Simply heated blended fresh tomatoes it was delicious.

I did eat well, including the freshest fish sushi

Just look at this incredible crepe at Cafe Babalu Rekjavik

Still in Iceland - Very much enjoyed this gourmet lunch of cured herring and plokkfiskur on rye with rye bread ice cream on the side.
Back in the UK I celebrated my birthday in February with this flour-less chocolate almond cake. It was huge!

I can't forget this delicious vegan breakfast I had in London.  The colours and flavours were so exciting and fresh.

Back in Sheffield for Nosh night market number 2. Enjoyed some horchata...
And a espresso martini from Tamper and Ohara's
These tasty handmade Easter eggs were from Birds Yard Sheffield

Holiday number two was in Madrid! How could I say no to churros?

Plentiful tapas were available too..

Back in UK and off to Leeds where I enjoyed a perfect poached egg

Another poached egg - this time in Manchester
Diddycool was introduced to us late spring. Just in time for one of the hottest summers I can remember!
An unforgettable summer dish was this bream dish from Chef Rico at The Rutland

Suddenly amazing parties were happening every weekend. I was fortunate to try these brigadeiro at one of them.

One of my summer garden parties..
And another.
Drinking champagne in the sun with Jade at Sharrow festival.

Picking fresh raspberries from the garden.

Then I discovered the wonders of raw food at Pure on Raw with this unbelievable mocha pie with clementine gelato
Loved it so much I went back and had the white chocolate pie -still vegan!

This watermelon thai red curry was made for me at a Fancie tasting evening. It was sweet, refreshing and spicy!

Another jaunt to London and more raw food. This time at Inspiral with this pumpkin pie.
Sheffield Markets opened November and I treated myself to some exquisite lychee sorbet with sprinkles at YeeKwan

Some Christmas treats included goodies from Zeds and Steel City Cakes.

 Next year will bring more adventures. Happy new year everyone!

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Happy Cook - restaurant review

I had been slightly put off from visiting Happy Cook for a couple of reasons: Firstly, I had a bad experience in the restaurant it previously was (Yuan Shen) and wasn't sure if it was run by the same people or not. Secondly it being right next door to one of my favourite restaurants, Saigon 68 (formerly Pho 68), means that I usually played it safe and went there instead.
Last night however, I was persuaded to give them a go.
The outside is plastered with pictures of their dishes, a wide-screen tv and a large smiley face on the banner. I didn't really know what to expect. Once inside I notice all the other diners are of south east Asian heritage, a good sign. Our slightly bemused waitress shows us to our table and explains to us, in broken English how the system works. There is an offer where you can eat as much as you like for 2 hours for £15 or another where you get a plate of meat/fish weighing 200g and the same of veg plus unlimited condiments and fresh fruit for dessert. We both went for the second option. I chose hotpot and Andy chose bbq.
We shuffled along to the food selecting area. There were various meats including chicken gizzards, pig maw, tofu fish and chicken heart plus some more familiar items such as squid, prawns, chicken and beef. The other side had choi sum, lotus root, tofu skin, daikon radish and more.
I weighed out my food on a little scale and walked back to the table. My hotpot was waiting, as was the grill and a large mound of boiled rice.
In went a few of my chosen ingredients. Some squid, miscellaneous fish fillet which I'm guessing was tilapia, lots of veggies and tofu. I also placed a couple of these skinny, whole sprat type fish onto the grill.

After a few minutes my food is ready and I pile it all up onto my rice. There is a lot here for £7.95! I topped it with some chopped peanuts, fresh coriander, satay sauce, ginger and chilli all from the condiment bar.
I was surprised to open one of the little fish and notice it was 100% tiny little eggs inside! This also made me a little squeamish and also excited as I had no idea what was going on with this crazy fish.
It tasted good however.

The whole meal was just divine. I can honestly say that I felt as though I'd stepped into China when I entered there. It's a great experience on it's own and add to that, the food was really good. I washed my meal down with an iced tea in honeydew flavour. It came with a thick straw and in the bottom was candied orange zest which was a lovely surprise. It was refreshing and moreish.

For my last bit of rice, I added some more peanuts, korean chilli sauce and honey. A great combination. A couple of pieces of white melon ended the meal perfectly. I can't wait to go back to this restaurant. A meal that good, with that refreshing drink and the welcoming staff for less than a tenner can't be bad.

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