Thursday, 8 October 2015

September in Food

A round up of bits and bobs I didn't blog about in September!

Take away

Edd's birthday fell on a school night this year so we stayed in and had a take away from Deliveroo. He picked Handmade Burger for their super burgers and chips. I went for a cheese and bacon burger with chunky chips.

A couple of weeks later we had another takeaway from Taj Mahal- still our favourite Brum take away!

We're incredibly boring and always order the same old thing. I always have tandoori king prawns with peshwari naan and Edd has lamb tikka with keema naan.

Peshwari naan is filled with coconut and drizzled with honey. Keema naan is filled with lamb.

The prawns are a good size and the flavours are incredible. I love the chilli sauce and raiti which come with it too.

Brunch at The Victoria

When we spotted free Bloody Marys with brunch at The Victoria, we had to go and give it a go.

I've not tried a Bloody Mary before and I'll be honest- it wasn't for me. I hate celery and felt like I could taste it the whole time. If you don't try, you'll never know!

Luckily the food was great. I had asparagus wrapped in parma ham with boiled eggs and garlic pizza dough.

Edd had a breakfast bap, with bacon, tomato, sausages and egg.

We popped back to The Victoria the day after to try out their burgers again.

My review of the new menu at The Victoria.


For Edd's birthday, I made his favourite sticky toffee cupcakes. If you've never tried these I really recommend them! Recipe at Good to Know.


I do a lot of cooking from scratch or from recipe boxes such as Simply Cook or Hello Fresh. For some reason or another I didn't get many photos in September. However I did make this splendid Bokkeumbap using a Simply Cook kit. Got to love a fried egg.

I've been off work with nausea and a tummy bug since Tuesday and I'm just about getting back into proper meals. Fingers crossed I'm completely recovered for Saturday as I'm off for Afternoon Tea at The Edgbaston!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Review: Grappolo d'Oro, Rome

Things I love: THE INTERNET.
I sat on my balcony (ooh) in Birmingham, the day before Edd and I headed to Rome, had a look on Yelp, booked a restaurant and the next evening was sat in said restaurant in Rome. 

I wanted something very Italian for my first night. Pasta. Cheese. Panzanella. Wine. Limoncello. Red table cloths. A charming hosteria but not too touristy! Somewhere the locals go!

I thought a lot about this sort of thing while I was in Italy. The places I went to that felt most authentic or local didn't really match up with what is peddled as being so. 

Anyway, Grappolo d'Oro was about the closest thing I found to that imaginary place. There were certainly tourists there but also Italians. It had a cosy, warm feeling with wine bottles lining one wall, but also the Slow Food logo, showing a business that cares about sustainable and local produce. A very current idea indeed.

I've always been a fan of a menu of the day type thing, with a set menu for a reasonable price. There was a lot of this in Italy. 

At Grappolo d'Oro I had four courses for 28 euroes, including bread and water, a glass of prosecco and some limoncello at the end. 

The starter was a selection of starters from the menu including panzanella, a kind of meatball and a cheese and anchovy mille feuille. My favourite part was the panzanella. Anything tomato-based tasted ten times better in Italy.

We then moved onto pasta. I had Tonnarelli cacio e pepe, which was simple, fresh and delightful. Simply pasta with cheese and black pepper. Edd went for Rigatoni alla Matriciana. The sauce was tomato, bacon and peccorino. It was delicious but a little too rich.

Neither of us finished our pasta dishes as we were too full and were starting to panic a little about getting through the main course!

I had Salt Cod for my main. It lived up to its name and again it was a little too rich to finish. Edd had the same trouble with his lamb.

Happily, the pudding was lovely and cheered us back up again- ricotta cheese mixed with orange and chocolate and topped with a little sweet biscuit. It was a perfect ending to a large, rich meal, especially with the Limoncello which was presented to us at the end!

I really wish I'd gone for something a little lighter on my first night and gone to Grappolo d'Oro on another night as I may have made more of my pasta and enjoyed my fish more. As it was, I probably would have been satisfied with just the starter and pudding. The mains really were extremely salty. Hopefully this is just a blip on an other wise crowd pleasing menu.

Staff were delightful throughout and the free glasses of prosecco and limoncello were great little welcomes to Rome! I'd definitely head back for the Panzanella and the

Grappolo d'Oro, Piazza della Cancelleria, Rome

Photos by Edd.

We paid for our meal in full.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Review: The Mockingbird

Opening night at The Mockingbird

After being impressed by the refurbished bar at The Mockingbird theatre, I was very keen to try the food. They are serving brunch and dinner daily, with Mondays being catered by Vegan Grindhouse. The food is influenced by American Soul Food but there are nods to countries closer to home with pasta on the menu too.

Edd and I went along on a Saturday evening for cocktails and massive portions of delicious food.

I had a Mojito and Edd had a Caipirinha which is a Brazilian cacha├ža based drink. Both were tasty and with a good alcohol kick.

Onto the food. I went for Jambalaya. I wasn't starving hungry and thought 'oh Jambalaya, a nice bowl of spicy rice, that can't be huge!'

Hahaha. I had the most humongous bowl of spicy rice, chorizo, beans and onion, topped with masses of cheese. This was such a warming, comforting dish. I've made jambalaya myself at home but it wasn't like this. Giant chunks of meat, oozing cheese, and best of all, a lovely fresh salsa on top. I've not had salsa with jambalaya before and it worked perfectly.

I feel sad to admit that I didn't finish the whole bowl as it was so big! So, if you're going to The Mockingbird- go hungry. This was a delicious bowl of food and I just wish I could have eaten more.

Edd went for the Mockingbird burger made with (wait for it) avocado, duck egg, blue cheese and bacon. I can confirm that he loved it. He particularly liked the blue cheese.

After another round of cocktails, it was time to head on. We visited at 8pm on a Saturday evening and there was a great, buzzing atmosphere. The food was plentiful, and a bargain too at less than £30 for two mains and two rounds of cocktails. The brunch menu sounds excellent too with options such as chicken and waffles, French toast and bacon baps of course.

As well as food and drinks they have special events in the bar and the cinema area. Check out the website for more info. Don't forget to use your Food Birmingham card for 10% off food.

The Mockingbird, Custard Factory, Birmingham

Photos by Edd
We paid for our meal in full.