recent rumblings: a round up

It’s been a while since I rolled up the latest stuff I’ve been up to, so here goes!

Weird Ingredients

12 Weird Things Heston Ble

I couldn’t resist rounding up 12 weird things Heston has cooked with and listed them over at Buzzfeed here. Includes Devil’s Penis. Go check it out!

Five Guys UK

five guys UK bacon cheeeseburger all the way

Oh lordy. This was a burger. Five Guys invited me to their first UK restaurant outside of London, based in Essex Mecca Lakeside. Their menu is purposefully simple, offering not a lot beyond burger, hot dog and fries, but by simplifying things they can really focus on what they’re doing.

I opted for a bacon cheeseburger ‘all the way’ which is as you can see a burger with lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms and a bunch of sauces I can’t remember. And it was good. It smelled of grilled beef and tasted juicy and satisfying, packed with meaty goodness. By the way, you don’t ask for a double patty; it just comes like that. Also when you ask for a portion of fries it serves two. They like to make sure you get fed. The burger costs £8.25 but we compared it to a recent Frankie and Benny’s burger which costs c. £11 with fries and was decidedly frozen, limp and tasteless. This was night and day. You watch the guy grab a ball of meat over the counter, squish it then grill it.

Mrs. Spud and I were also really taken with the drinks machine, which boasts over 100 drinks from a single vending machine. I giggled like a child using it.

Chatting with the manager they’re looking to introduce milkshakes to the UK soon, which for me would set it off perfectly. If you like a burger, go find a Five Guys near you and try one.

Chinatown Walking Tour with Meemalee

oodles of noodles

I’m a noodle numpty so was keen to have an expert show me round Chinatown. Step forward noodle cookbook author MiMi Aye. It was a lot of fun! Read more about it here.

Kavey Meets the Bloggers

Speaking of other awesome bloggers, for some reason Kavey interviewed me about my blog. Find out a bit more about me here.

Peafs

peafs farm shop rayleigh essex

I want to give a shout out to my local farm shop, Peafs. It’s exactly what I want; a knowledegable butcher (who told me he was out of ham because it needs another week to cure yet), great pies, fresh local veg and preserves by the bucket. I can’t believe I hadn’t seen it before, but I love it. It’s handy located next door to my daughter’s ballet class so I have a weekly excuse to browse there.

If you’re in the mid-Essex area, check out Peafs on Hullbridge Road, Rayleigh.

Curriza

currizza

I was asked to try some curry pizzas the other day – Currizzas, if you will. Combining two takeaway favourites, pizza and curry, what could go wrong?

I tried each of the varieties: Chicken Madras, Chicken Korma, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Spinach & Sweet Potato (pictured above). My son loves spicy food – he has a far higher tolerance of it than I do – and woofed down the Madras which I found outrageously hot. I was much happier with the Korma and Tikka Masala pizzas, which were gentle and enjoyable. These really do taste exactly as they sound so if you want a compromise between ordering Italian (!) or Indian, this would be a good one.  I will say that the £3 per pizza price tag puts them at the pricier end of the supermarket fresh pizza range.

Read an alternative review of Currizzas here. Find out more about Curry Dave and his Currizas here.

Pizza Express Christmas

Melanzane Pizza Express Pizza

Yes, more pizza. I went to Pizza Express’s unveiling of their Autumn and Winter menus. The Christmas fare included things like ‘Anatra’ (Peking duck) pizza which did taste like a duck pancake and ‘Festiva’ pizza which was a play on brie and cranberry.

But what stole the show for me and my fellow diner was the Mare Rossa.

Mare Rossa PIzza Express Pizza

Chunks of smoked salmon, prawn and tenderstem broccoli on a perfectly crisp base. The fish flavours on the tomato sauce was completely perfect. Loved it.

We were offered festive desserts such as mince pie cheesecake and chocolate tartufo but happily we were too stuffed on mare rossa pizza.

Check out the new Autumn menu at Pizza Express from 7th October, with the Christmas menu following on 11th November.

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Many thanks to Pizza Express, Curry Dave and Five Guys UK for their invites and samples. No-one asked for favourable reviews and I definitely don’t give them out lightly.

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