Fanoush

August 1, 2015 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Takeaway | Leave a comment
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Fanoush is one of those places I went to once, enjoyed, vowed to go back to soon…..and then just never got around to it.

Fast-forward two years (seriously, how did that happen?!) and I was browsing the World Wide Web for some takeaway inspiration when I noticed that at some point during the last few years, Fanoush has started doing home deliveries. Instantly, I vowed to forgo my usual greasy Chinese takeout in favour of a healthy Fanoush falafel wrap.

If you’re not familiar with Fanoush, then it’s a vegetarian falafel salad bar that you can find both on London Road and in the city center on Pinstone street. The menu is deceptively simple, offering a choice of salad boxes or a falafel, halloumi or feta wrap – and that’s it.

Okay, so this may sound like the most boring takeaway on the face of the Earth, but things get much more exciting once you’ve chosen your wrap, as you then get to choose exactly what combination of sauce, veggies, pickles and other assorted bits and pieces you want to add to said wrap. And to sweeten the deal, most of these extras won’t cost you a penny! Even if you do opt for one of the very few items with a price tag attached, these will only set you back 50p, or 75p at the most.

The one time I actually visited Fanoush in person, I loved the experience of working my way down their salad bar, pointing out exactly what I wanted adding to my wrap. Since I was ordering online, I was unsure whether I’d get the same level of choice, but Fanoush do a really good job of replicating their in-store experience.

When you place an order online, the first step is choosing what kind of wrap you want (I opted for falafel and houmous, £3.75), followed by the size of your wrap (I went for 10 inches, but if you’re feeling more restrained you can go with 6 inches), the type of houmous (Jalapeno houmous) and sauce (chilli sauce).

Then comes the fun part: choosing all the added extras!

After much deliberation I went with cucumber, gherkin pickle, mixed peppers, onions and tomato, with halloumi (75p) and aubergine (50p).

Ordering takeaway from somewhere new always feels like a bit of a gamble. Are they going to deliver on time? What if they get lost and can’t find my house?

Turns out the driver did get a bit lost, but even though I had to give him directions over the phone for the last leg of the journey, he still managed to deliver the food on time, so Fanoush are certainly prompt with their delivery!

When I took my falafel wrap out of the bag, first impressions were good as it felt pretty heavy, but only when I cut my wrap in half and took a peek inside did I realise just how much good stuff Fanoush had crammed into my sarnie.

fanoush falafel chilli

There’s lots going on here, but since Fanoush bills itself as a falafel bar, I’ll start with the falafel.

Falafel is one of those things that’s deceptively simple, but can actually go really wrong. There’s nothing worse than crunchy, over-cooked falafel – except perhaps wet falafel, or greasy falafel that’s been cooked in too much oil. Blergh! But I’m happy to report that this falafel bar got their falafel just right.

All the veggies I’d added to my wrap were fresh and crunchy and the halloumi had a nice texture, although I do prefer my halloumi on the stronger, saltier side. Fanoush’s milder halloumi ended up getting a bit lost amongst all the other flavours that were going on in my wrap.

And speaking of the other flavours – wow! The dual heat from the chilli sauce and jalapeno houmous was intense. I love spicy foods and have built up quite a tolerance over the years, but this combination of chilli sauce and jalapeno houmous had me breaking out in a sweat. The chilli sauce in particular had me reaching for a big gulp of water inbetween each bite – and I loved every minute of it.

If you love your spice, then give Fanoush’s chilli sauce and jalapeno houmous a whirl. It’s guaranteed to satisfy even the most hardened chilli enthusiast.

And the big bold flavours just kept on coming, as Fanouh’s pickled gherkin turned out to be incredibly, eye-wateringly sour. Who said healthy vegetarian takeaway had to be boring? My Fanoush creation was bursting with flavour, thanks to those super-sour pickles and punishing chilli sauce.

I wasn’t dining alone, as my friend had ordered Fanoush too. They’d opted for an equally super-sized 10 inch falafel wrap, with halloumi and coriander houmous (£5.00) plus tzatziki sauce and an assortment of veggies (onions, red cabbage and olives) and pickles (jalapeno and gherkin pickle).

fanoush falafel tzatziki

The houmous and falafel were every bit as good as in the first wrap, and all the veggies were fresh and crunchy. The only sticking point was that hardly any of the requested tzatziki sauce had found its way into the wrap, which meant the whole thing was a bit on the dry side.

The lack of sauce was really strange considering how the first wrap was practically dripping with chilli sauce. Maybe on this particular day Fanoush were just running low on tzatziki? This wrap was still very tasty and filling, I just wish they’d been a bit more generous with the sauce.

Since I’d waited so long before repeating my one and only Fanoush experience, I hadn’t been too sure what to expect. Would their falafel be as good as I remembered?

Fanoush didn’t disappoint. Although the menu is simple, the freedom to pick and choose every ingredient that goes into your wrap more than makes up for that initial lack of choice.

And there’s another major plus to getting your Friday night takeaway fix from Fanoush – it’s just so cheap! Fanoush’s wraps start at a very reasonable £3, which is less than you’d pay for some pre-packaged sarnies.

In the end a pair of 10 inch, freshly-made wraps with our choice of sauce, houmous, veggies and pickles came in at exactly £10 – and Fanoush didn’t even charge for delivery! I’ve ordered a fair few takeaways in my time, and Fanoush’s takeaway is incredible value for money.

If you want a takeout treat without the guilt, then I can highly recommend some Fanoush falafel action.

four-stars

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Sakushi Takeaway

March 17, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Posted in Takeaway | 1 Comment
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It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with sushi, to the point where I’m convinced I could eat it everyday and never get tired of it – although I’d probably go bankrupt in the process.

Sheffield has a couple of Japanese restaurants, but Sakushi is the one I eat at the most. I’ve already written about the dining-in experience at Sakushi’s Campo Lane restaurant, and I reviewed a truly epic Sakushi takeaway I had last year, courtesy of hungryhouse. But, whenever I order anything from Sakushi, it’s always so good that it seems a shame not to write about it. And, since my latest takeaway featured a few items I haven’t tried before, I thought a second review of Sakushi’s takeaway was in order.

I’ve ordered more Sakushi takeaways than I care to count, and the quality has always been every bit as good as the food they serve in their restaurant. Sakushi also put lots of added extras into their takeaway bags, including tonnes of pickled ginger, packets of soy sauce and chopsticks, which is a nice touch. The delivery is always prompt, even when I’ve ordered at peak times like Friday and Saturday nights.

My only complaint about Sakushi’s takeaway, is that occasionally they’ve got an item in my order wrong. This has happened on a couple of occasions (including this order – but more on that later!) and the strange thing is that I always place my takeaway orders online, so it’s not even like they could have misheard me down the phone!

On this particular night, me and a sushi-loving friend decided to order a few things to share. Sakushi’s delivery, as always, was speedy and the takeaway came with lots of added extras, including chopsticks that I can’t use – but it’s the thought that counts, right?

We kicked off our Japanese feast with a few different kinds of sushi that you can order separately from Sakushi’s menu. Our sushi ‘starter’ consisted of spicy tuna gunkan (2 pieces for £3.50) mixed nigiri (3 pieces, £4.00) and steak nigiri (2 pieces for £3.50), plus some surprise shitaki nigiri that neither of us had ordered (normally £2.50 for 2 pieces, according to the menu).

spicy tuna gunkan, steak nigiri, mixed nigir

After checking my email confirmation, it became clear that Sakushi had sent us this mushroom nigiri instead of the squid nigiri we’d ordered. This was annoying, as I’m not a big fan of vegetable-based sushi. To me, the best thing about sushi is the fish and the seafood, so although I do like mushrooms, this shitaki nigiri was never going to go down well.

The shitaki nigiri had a really strong, earthy flavour that I did enjoy, and the mushroom itself didn’t have that wet, slippery texture that cooked mushrooms sometimes have – but I’m still not sold on vegetable sushi. This just isn’t something I’d ever choose to order.

The steak nigiri got a big thumbs up from my friend. The pieces of steak were generous, tender and juicy – basically everything you want from a steak! The meat had also been seasoned well, and sprinkled with fresh spring onions that worked really well with the richness of the steak.

The mixed nigiri gives you the chance to taste three different kinds of nigiri: salmon, prawn and tuna. It’s perfect if you’re feeling indecisive, or if you enjoy trying a few different things.

Of the three, the tuna and salmon were my favourites. Not only were the pieces of fish far bigger and thicker than the prawn nigiri, but they’re also raw, so they have that really strong, distinctive sashimi taste that I love. Next to the raw salmon and tuna, the cooked prawn nigiri just seemed a bit bland and boring.

Still, I love the tuna and salmon nigiri, and I’m a big fan of getting to try a few different things – so for £4.00 I’d definitely order this again.

But, by far the best thing about our sushi ‘starter,’ was the spicy tuna gunkan. This gunkan is a seaweed roll packed with lots of diced raw tuna, and covered in a delicious and unique combination of spices. This is the kind of spice that catches in the back of your throat and makes you cough, but if you can take the heat then it makes for some seriously tasty sushi, and the spices work perfectly with the earthiness of the raw tuna.

I’ve had Sakushi’s spicy tuna gunkan a few times before and have always enjoyed it, so I’d decided to finally branch out and try the other kind of spicy gunkan on Sakushi’s menu – salmon gunkan.

Our second plate of sharing sushi was made up of the spicy sake gunkan (2 pieces, £3.50) that I couldn’t wait to try, plus another helping of spicy tuna gunkan (yep, I’m obsessed with this stuff) and crab gunkan with mayo (2 pieces, £3.50).

spicy tuna gunkan, spicy salmon gunkan, crab meat

The spicy salmon gunkan seemed to have exactly the same mixture of spices as the tuna gunkan. Whatever combination of spices Sakushi use, it’s really hot but also full of flavour. I’m hooked – I just want more of this stuff.

The diced salmon had a much lighter taste than the tuna gunkan. I can’t make up my mind which I prefer. Looks like I’ll just have to order both from now on!

The third and final gunkan was completely different. Sakushi’s crab gunkan has a nice amount of fresh crab meat, but it also has way too much mayo, to the point where it completely overwhelmed the crab. Sorry Sakushi, but this is one gunkan I won’t be ordering again!

Sushi dispatched, it was time for our mains. Since me and my friend are both obsessed with sashimi, we’d ordered two sashimi-based main courses to share.

First up, was a thing of beauty: a Fuji Sashimi platter.

Fuji sashimi platter

This is a whopping 21-piece platter of tuna, salmon, sea bass, ika (squid), tako (boiled octopus), hokkigai (surf clam) and fish roe (£23.85).

Everything on this platter is pretty special, but my personal favourites were the tuna and salmon. This isn’t just because I’m obsessed with the taste of raw salmon and tuna, but also because Sakushi are seriously generous when it comes to how much salmon and tuna they give you. Just look at those wedges!

Fuji sashimi platter 2

These are some seriously thick, juicy cuts of sashimi. I could have eaten 21 pieces of nothing but salmon and tuna sashimi and been perfectly happy.

The cuts of squid, surf clam and sea bass are on the thinner side, but they’re also really light and refreshing, which is a nice contrast to the stronger tastes of the tuna and salmon. My only gripe with this platter is that, next to so much delicious sashimi, the boiled octopus was a bit bland and boring – not unlike the cooked prawn in my mixed nigiri.

If you love sashimi, then Sakushi’s Fuji platter is food heaven. It’s big enough to share, or it makes a truly indulgent treat for one. If 21 pieces of sashimi sounds a bit insane, then it’s worth noting that Sakushi do offer a smaller version of this platter, which includes all the same fish and seafood, but in smaller quantities and without any fish roe (£16.95 for 15 pieces).

For our second main course, I’d ordered one of my all time favourite things from Sakushi: a Chirashi-Don (£13.45).

Chirashi-Don

Sakushi’s Chirashi-Don is a super-sized portion of sticky sushi rice topped with salmon, tuna and squid sashimi, plus lots of colourful fish roe.

The roe gives the Chirashi-Don a really intense, salty flavour and is particularly good mixed into the rice. You also get a good variety of sashimi, although the cuts are a bit on the thin side.

Sashimi on its own is delicious, but it’s not always particularly filling. This is why I love Sakushi’s Chirashi-Don so much – you get to sample some seriously tasty cuts of sashimi, but you also get to stuff your face with a super-sized portion of rice that’s guaranteed to fill you up. I also have a major soft spot for Sakushi’s rice, as it’s always lovely and sticky without being soggy, and it has a subtly vinegary flavour that I’m addicted to. Basically, Sakushi’s Chirashi-Don is pretty much my perfect meal.

While Sakushi’s Campo Lane restaurant is really nice and modern, and has a really fun conveyor belt of sushi, sometimes there’s nothing better than delicious food delivered direct to your door. I’ve always found Sakushi’s takeaway to be every bit as good as the food they serve in their restaurant, and this takeaway was no exception.

Apart from the crab gunkan and mushroom nigiri, everything was delicious and I wouldn’t hesitate to order it again. If you like sashimi, then you need to try the Fuji platter and Chirashi-Don. And, if you have a soft spot for spicy foods, then both the spicy salmon and spicy tuna gunkan should be right up your street.

In fact, the only truly disappointing thing was that Sakushi got one item of my order wrong. If I hadn’t ended up with that mushroom nigiri, this would have been the perfect takeaway.

3 and a half

China House Takeaway

February 18, 2015 at 7:53 pm | Posted in Takeaway | Leave a comment
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Who doesn’t love takeaway? Whether it’s Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Greek, chippy tea, or something equally delicious, takeaway is perfect when you’re craving great food without the fuss.

So, I was excited when hungryhouse got in touch and asked whether I wanted to celebrate Chinese New Year, by ordering some food from one of the many Chinese takeaways on their website.

Fast forward a couple of days, and I invited some friends around and placed an enormous order from China House on Abbeydale Road. The hungryhouse ordering process was quick and easy, and despite the fact that I was ordering a massive amount of food on a Saturday night, our order arrived on time and everything was piping hot. What’s not to love?

Before I start, just look at how much food £50 gets you at China House. Just look at it.

China House all the food

With so many bags and boxes to choose from, the only difficult part was deciding what to eat first!

We kicked off our feast with a true Chinese takeout classic – spring rolls. China House offers meat and veggie-friendly versions; we opted for spring rolls of the vegetarian variety. (£2.20).

china house spring rolls

These were everything you want from spring rolls – crunchy on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside. Delicious!

Since we’d agreed to share everything, this single portion of spring rolls disappeared in no time, which was annoying because I wanted more! Next time, I’m ordering my own spring rolls, and I’m not sharing them with anybody.

With so much food on offer, we decided to get creative and combine some of the dishes, which was how I ended up with spring rolls served on a bed of crispy seaweed (£2.50).

china house seaweed

In all honestly, it hadn’t been my idea to order crispy seaweed. When I hear the words “crispy seaweed,” I immediately think of fried, sugary cabbage. But China House’s crispy seaweed turned out to be light, and not in the least bit sugary or greasy. It’s always a nice surprise when you enjoy something you weren’t looking forward to!

Next up, was king prawn dumplings (£2.50), which we decided to serve in the crab meat and sweetcorn soup (£1.80).

china house dumplings and soup

I’m not really a fan of the slippery texture of Chinese-style dumplings, but in the interests of trying everything, I gave these dumplings a whirl. I’m still not sure about the exterior, but I loved the juicy king prawn filling.

The good thing about placing such a large order and sharing it amongst a group, is that it encourages you to try things you wouldn’t normally order. Case in point, the crab and sweetcorn soup.

Soup isn’t something I immediately think of when I think of Chinese takeout, but I like crab and I like sweetcorn, so I decided to add some soup to out order.

And I’m glad I did.

For £1.80, the crab and sweetcorn soup had a thick, almost stew-like consistency, and was packed with flavour. China House, you’ve made me rethink my stance on crispy seaweed and takeaway soup! My Friday night takeaway may never be the same again.

Next up was another Chinese takeaway classic – chow mein. For £2.50, China House’s chow mein is a super-sized portion of pure comfort food, that’s easily big enough to share.

I ate my chow mein with some mussels in garlic and sweet chilli sauce (£4.20).

china house chow mein

I had one issue with the sweet chilli mussels – and that was the sheer strength of the chilli! There’s nothing sweet about this sweet chilli sauce, and the heat only got stronger with each mouthful. I love spicy food and it’s rare that I complain about something being too hot – but this was way too hot!

Now, what Chinese feast would be complete without egg fried rice (£2.00)? China House’s egg fried rice didn’t disappoint! It was actually a bit lighter than your typical egg fried rice, which meant I could eat more of it – definitely a good thing.

The egg fried rice made the perfect base for some squid and green peppers in black bean sauce (£4.00).

china house rice and black bean sauce

The squid was tender and tasty, and the crunchy veggies had soaked up lots of fiery black bean flavour, so they were every bit as tasty as the squid.

Once again though, China House were heavy with the spice. My advice? If you see a ‘hot’ warning next to a meal on China House’s menu, take it seriously! These guys aren’t messing around when it comes to spice.

Thankfully, the next course was a chilli-free zone, as I tucked into a serving of king prawns and cashew nuts (£4.50).

china house king prawns and cashew nuts

The sauce was sweet and thick, with a honey-like consistency, and the cooking process had given the cashews a really strong, earthy flavour and a lovely crumbly texture. I’d definitely order this again. In fact, I’d order anything from China House that has cashews in it.

Next up was a double whammy of salt and pepper squid (£4.00) and salt and pepper king prawns (£4.00).

Of the two, my favourite was the squid. China House’s salt and pepper batter is like an extra-light, crumbly tempura, which I loved, but the prawns themselves didn’t have much taste.

china house salt and pepper prawns

The salt and pepper squid was much nicer, and it had that perfect salt and pepper taste, which had been missing from the prawns.

The next time I order from China House, I’ll just get the squid.

china house salt and pepper squid

Next up, was a Chinese takeaway staple: crispy duck pancakes (one quarter, £6.90).

PreviewScreenSnapz002

For £6.90, you get a good amount of duck and lots of spring onions, cucumber and a big pot of hoisin sauce. The hoisin sauce in particular got a big thumbs up, as it was thick and rich.

Pushing forward, it was time for some king prawns with bamboo shoots and water chestnuts (£4.50).

PreviewScreenSnapz003

To me, nothing screams Chinese takeout like water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. I can’t remember the last time I ordered these two ingredients from a Chinese restaurant, so I was really looking forward to this part of the meal.

China House didn’t disappoint, serving up lots of crispy water chestnuts, sweet bamboo shoots and juicy prawns, in a light sauce that didn’t overpower the other ingredients. I’ll definitely be ordering this one again!

By this point, I was feeling pretty disgusted with myself, but there was still pudding to go!

China House’s banana fritters (£2.50) are very soft and incredibly sweet. I don’t think I could have eaten more than one or two of these, but splitting a single portion was a nice way to end our super-sized Chinese feast.

This was the first time I’ve ordered from China House, and overall everyone was happy with the quality of the food. I would have preferred less chillies in my black bean and sweet chilli sauce, but I can highly recommend the crab and sweetcorn soup, spring rolls, egg fried rice, and king prawn with cashew nuts.

Thanks to Hungry House for arranging for us to sample so much lovely Chinese grub!

P.s If you’re planning your own Chinese New Year celebrations, hungryhouse have put together a guide with some food suggestions, plus a recipe for Lychee and Peppercorn Mojito. Here’s all the details:

To celebrate Chinese New Year hungryhouse has dived into the food and the traditions of the festival, to create an interactive guide to help you stage your own Chinese New Year takeaway feast in the comfort of your own living room. The guide includes information on New Year traditions, foods, a special Chinese do-it-yourself cocktail recipe, and it also features step-by-step instructions for people to make their own funky Chinese decorative lanterns to really get into the spirit of Chinese New Year!

To celebrate the launch of the guide, hungryhouse are asking people to make a lantern and then share a photo of it on twitter or instagram with the hashtag #hungrylantern. hungryhouse will then pick their 10 favourite pictures and award each winner a £25 hungryhouse voucher each. The competition is now open with winners being selected on the 19th!

So get your chopsticks out, dive into the guide, and get snapping for your chance to win some free Chinese food!

rating 3 star

Butlers Balti House

May 29, 2014 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Takeaway | 1 Comment
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If I could only eat one meal for the rest of my life, it would have to be curry. From kormas, through to rogan josh and madras, and even the occasional vindaloo, I can’t get enough of that spicy stuff.

Sheffield has some fantastic curry houses, but I do have a soft spot for Butlers Balti on Broad Lane. Luckily for me and my curry addition, Butlers is one of those places where the restaurant menu and the takeaway menu are exactly the same, so it’s easy for me to get my hands on the curry I crave. On this particularly grim and rainy Bank holiday weekend, the thought of stepping out of the house didn’t seem too appealing. Thankfully, my friends agreed – a takeaway night in it was!

We placed our order online, and by the time wine had been handed out, and we’d decided which movie to watch, the food was already here. I’ve ordered from Butlers more times than I care to remember, and I’ve yet to wait longer than 30 minutes for my delivery – one time the food actually arrived within 15 minutes! It usually takes me longer than 15 minutes just to drive into the city center, so I have no idea how Butlers managed to pull that one off. It’s gotten to the point where I just assume my curry will arrive way before the estimated delivery time, and plan accordingly.

Butlers Balti House takeaway

Before the main event, we tucked into a selection of Indian starters. First up was a Prawn Puri, which is Indian flatbread served with a small portion of prawn curry. When you order your prawn puri, Butlers gives you the choice of a “creamy” or a “Bhuna” prawn puri (both are £3.50). Bhuna is a dry dish that’s prepared a bit like a stir fry, so we opted for the creamy version – because, surely, the best thing about Indian food, is the thick sauces?

The creamy prawn puri lived up to its name, as those big, juicy prawns were covered in a thick sauce that tasted like super-strength coconut milk – I’ve had Thai curries and kormas that had less of a coconut flavour!

Butlers prawn puriPrawn puri with chilli pakora.

The puri was so rich that, although I savoured every silky, calorie-packed mouthful, I was also relieved that I’d ordered a spicy main meal, rather than a creamy one. Following up this indulgent puri with something rich like a korma, would have been too much of a good thing. The fried Indian bread was tasty and grease-free; perfect for mopping up every last bit of that rich sauce. The prawn puri is a truly indulgent starter that’s perfect for those who love heavy, rich flavours.

We’d also gone pakora-mad and ordered a duo of Chilli Pakora (£2.95) and Chicken Tikka Pakora (£3.50). The chilli pakora had a light, crunchy batter and packed a chilli punch, but the chicken tikka pakora was a completely different matter. The chicken was dry, and it was buried beneath a thick, hard batter. In future, we’ll stick to the chilli pakora!

Chicken tikka pakoraPrawn puri with chicken tikka pakora.

Starters dispatched, it was time for the main event. I’d opted for a Balti Mixed Veg Rogan Josh (£6.25) with a portion of boiled rice (£2.10). For me, rice is one of those infuriating foodstuffs that I love, but can never get quite right; it’s either undercooked, or I leave it boiling too long and it turns to mush. Butlers has clearly mastered the art of cooking rice – even their plain old boiled rice is tasty!

For me, the best thing about a mixed vegetable curry, is the variety. Every mouthful of Butlers’ vegetable balti is a different combination of potatoes, onions, green beans, peas, and carrots. All these veggies soak up that balti sauce, so they have a deep, satisfying heat. The big chunks of potatoes are particularly good, and taste not unlike Bombay potatoes.

Butlers mixed veg balti

Our Indian feast included another Balti Mixed Vegetable curry, but this time with added paneer (£6.95). The first time someone served me paneer in a curry, I wasn’t sure what to expect – a cheese curry? Really? Trust me, it’s delicious, even if it does sound a bit strange!

Butlers mixed veg balti with paneer

If you’ve never tried paneer, it’s a bit like a softer version of halloumi, and it soaks up the spices and herbs in curry sauce wonderfully. To say the mixed vegetable balti with paneer only cost 20p more than the regular vegetable balti, Butlers were generous with the paneer. My friend confirmed that these big chunks of paneer were delicious, and melted in the mouth. Next time, I’m definitely going to pay the extra 20p and get the paneer balti!

But it wasn’t all about the vegetables, as the final member of our trio wanted to join in on the Butlers fun, but wasn’t in the mood for curry. Instead, they created their own meat feast, by ordering a Chef’s Platter of tandoori lamb chops and tandoori chicken wings (£4.25), and a Mixed Starter of seekh kebab, chicken tikka, onion bhaji, and another portion of tandoori chicken wings (£4.50).

Butler's chefs platter & mixed starter

The tandoori chicken wings and lamb chops came in a vibrant sauce that packed a good amount of heat, without being too spicy. The only problem was that the sauce was so bright, it stained everything it touched, which meant my friend’s meal concluded with them running their fingers under the tap, over and over again. Even then, that stubborn staining refused to shift completely. They may have enjoyed the tandoori sauce, but the sheer amount of staining would put them off ordering this meal in public – for them, this is messy food that’s better eaten in the privacy of your own home. There wasn’t a massive amount of meat on the chops and wings, but considering the price and the lashings of strong sauce, the Chef’s Platter is reasonable value for money.

Onto the Mixed Starter, and the long, thin, dark seekh kebab may be the least visually appealing starter in history, but the meat tasted good quality (something you always worry about where kebabs are concerned!) and had a peppery heat to it. The mixed starter also included a very large onion bhaji, which looked more like a burger patty than your typical bhaji. This bhaji was packed with herbs and spices, and had a strong, onion tang.

All in all, the Chef’s Platter and Mixed Starter meat feast went down well, and both would make a tasty snack or a starter.

Whether I’m ordering in, or visiting Butlers in person, I’ve yet to have a bad meal. While we won’t be ordering the chicken pakora again, it’s impossible to pick fault with their curries. Butlers serve up sensible-sized curries that won’t have you groaning and clutching at your stomach, but won’t leave you feeling peckish, either. All the ingredients are fresh and tasty, and the curry sauces are delicious, rather than just spicy.

Butlers clearly put the same care into their takeaway, as they do the food that’s served in their restaurant. Whether you’re ordering in, or visiting their restaurant in person, you can look forward to a top notch curry.

four-stars

Greedy Greek Deli

May 16, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Posted in Deli, Takeaway | 1 Comment
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I’ve been meaning to tick the Greedy Greek Deli on Sharrow Vale Road off my ‘Must Try’ list for a while now, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Probably because said list is so long – and getting longer all the time!

I finally ended up trying the Greedy Greek Deli for the first time on a whim. I was surfing the World Wide Web for some takeout to accompany an afternoon of horror movies, and growing increasingly frustrated that so many places don’t offer delivery until after 5 pm, when I spotted the Greedy Greek Deli in the ‘open for deliveries’ category. It was the perfect excuse to try something new!

The Greedy Greek Deli’s menu is, well greek-themed (surprise, surprise), so expect lots of bread, dips, olives, and feta. The Greedy Greek is one of those places where the takeaway menu is the same as their eat-in menu, so at first glance the prices may seem high for takeout (£7.30 for two stuffed peppers?!) but rest assured, the quality of the food justifies the price. The olives are a perfect example of the thought the Greedy Greek Deli puts into their food, as you can get them stuffed with everything from chilli, to garlic, feta, sundried tomatoes, and even almonds.

My only criticism, is that much of the menu is very similar. If there’s a dish you like the sound of, you can look forward to lots of variations on this theme, but if you don’t spot something tempting within the first few paragraphs, then the rest of the menu probably won’t be to your taste, either. This similarity wasn’t an issue for us, as me and my movie buddy both quickly found something we wanted to try, and placed our order.

Our food arrived pretty sharpish, but I’m not sure whether this is normal for the Greedy Greek, or whether it was because we’d ordered our takeaway at such a random time. Whatever the reason, speedy delivery is always a plus!

I’d opted for the Vegetarian Mixed Plate Meal; a platter of falafel, halloumi, stuffed vine leaves, olive pate, hummus, salad, pitta bread, and chips. For £12.40, this sounded like a decent amount of grub, not to mention a chance to sample lots of different things that the Greedy Greek has to offer.

First up, was the salad. Not only did I get a decent portion of salad, but it came with olives and chunks of feta, neither of which I’d been expecting. A lot of restaurants use salad as a cheap way of filling up your plate, but this clearly isn’t the case with the Greedy Greek. In addition to the surprise olives and feta, my salad consisted of chopped peppers, tomatoes, and a variety of green leaves – no boring old iceberg lettuce here!

PreviewScreenSnapz014

I’d always thought I wasn’t a fan of salads – clearly, I’ve just been eating the wrong kind of salad.

When it came to the falafel, I’d been expecting a few pieces, but what I got was a huge portion of super-sized falafel. I’ve had falafel sandwiches with less falafel in them! At first glance, I was worried this was a case of quantity over quality, as the falafel looked slightly over-cooked and greasy. However, once I got past the crunchy exterior, the falafel inside was tasty, perfectly cooked, and completely free from grease.

Falafel

Just how filling was my falafel? Well, I actually set some aside, and had a falafel sarnie later in the afternoon. You know you’re getting your money’s worth, when you’re still eating your deli lunch at dinner time!

The pitta bread was also on the large side (do you see a theme emerging?) and arrived warm, with visible grill marks, which is always a good sign. This nicely-toasted pitta was the perfect accompaniment to the perfectly-seasoned chips, which were so plentiful, they actually took up half my plate!

Greedy Greek Deli chips

The chips were nicely-cooked, and had a crispy skin; after all the dodgy, soggy chip takeaways I’ve had over the years, this was something of a revelation. Greedy Greek Deli, you’ve restored my faith in takeaway chips!

Both the olive pate and the hummus were tasty dips; ideal for adding an extra dash of Greek flavour to my chips and pitta bread.

After so many extra-large servings of extra-nice food, I finally hit a snag. Annoyingly, my issue was with the part of the platter I’d been looking forward to the most: the stuffed vine leaves. The vine leaves themselves were slimy and tasted overwhelmingly of vinegar, and the filling of mushed-up rice had a really weird texture.

Greedy Greek Deli vine leaves

My DVD buddy’s order also included some stuffed vine leaves, and they too expressed dislike for the eye-watering vine leaves and squishy rice filling. Clearly, neither of us are cut out for the world of stuffed vine leaves!

Things improved for the final part of my epic Greek feast, as I tucked into my halloumi. This halloumi may have been a little tough on the outside, but once I chewed through the skin, the halloumi inside was deliciously soft and subtly salty. This was my favourite part of the platter and, luckily for me, there was plenty of halloumi for me to enjoy.

My Greedy Greek Deli platter was a saga of greek delights, where my only real complaint was that the portions were too large, for the type of food involved. The fried falafel, fried halloumi, mountain of chips, and extra-large pitta bread, had me wishing I could trade some of it in for extra salad. I’d order the Vegetarian Mixed Plate Meal again, but only as a sharer. This is a varied, eclectic Greek feast, and a great introduction to the Greedy Greek’s menu – but it’s a bit scary when consumed as a meal for one!

My partner in crime had shown a little more restraint and ordered a Mini Meze of stuffed peppers with feta cheese, olives, sundried tomatoes and stuffed vine leaves (£7.50).

Greedy Greek Deli stuffed peppers

The Greedy Greek seem to be on a mission to ply their customers with as much feta as possible, as not only were the peppers crammed full of feta (as advertised), but there were big chunks of feta on the side, too. That’s a serious amount of cheese!

The peppers themselves were incredibly tart. At first, this was a delicious shock to the tastebuds, but as my friend moved onto the second and third stuffed peppers, the taste of vinegar became overwhelming. With so many peppers to plough through, they’d have preferred a less-is-more approach with the vinegar. They thoroughly enjoyed the sun-dried tomatoes though, which were zingy, and packed an intense, sun-dried flavour, while still retaining a soft and chewy center.

All in all, we enjoyed our Greek Deli experience. The Greedy Greek Deli is all about quality, authentic ingredients, and super-sized portions. If you fancy a change from your usual lunchtime fodder, then the Greedy Greek Deli is well worth a go. I know where I’ll be heading, the next time I fancy a big helping of halloumi, falafel, or salad!

rating-3-star

Sakushi Takeaway

May 8, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Takeaway | 3 Comments
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Ok, confession time: I’m addicted to takeaway. Whether it’s a Friday night curry, or a cheeky lunchtime delivery when I’m feeling under the weather; whether it’s the celebratory takeaway, or the commiseratory takeaway, or even a social takeaway when I’m entertaining and don’t fancy cooking – any excuse to order in. So, I consider myself lucky that Sheffield is not only a fantastic place for dining out, but it’s also great for getting delicious food, delivered direct to your door.

Despite having a drawer full of takeaway menus in my kitchen, I can’t remember the last time I actually used them. Over the past couple of years, the way I indulge in my takeout habit has moved online. Gone are the days of running around the house, hunting for the right change to pay for my vindaloo. Now, I just boot up my laptop, hop online, order my takeway, and pay using my trusty credit card.

So, when hungryhouse got in touch and asked if I’d be interested in penning a few words about one of the many Sheffield takeaways that made it onto their ‘Top Takeaways’ list, I didn’t need to think twice. Stuff my face with yummy food, write some words of praise about a local restaurant, and I wouldn’t even have to leave my house? I was in, and I was in big.

hungryhouse base their top takeaways list on the number of people who ordered from each establishment, plus the average customer rating. A quick look at the list revealed what I already knew to be true: Sheffield is a great place to live if you love takeaway. Not only does Sheffield put in a good show when it comes to the sheer number of establishments who’ve made the cut, but also when it comes to the range of food on offer. All the takeout classics are present and accounted for (pizza, Chinese, burgers and Indian), but you’ll also find some more unusual takeout on this list, including one of my favourite Japanese restaurants, Sakushi.

If you’ve never visited Sakushi before, it’s a Campo Lane establishment with a revolving conveyor belt of sushi that makes it perfect for grabbing some quick, healthy food during the working week. I’ve eaten at Sakushi a couple of times before, and have even treated myself to the occasional sushi takeaway, so this review is definitely long overdue!

When you place an order through hungryhouse, you enter your postcode, and the website brings up a list of all the takeaways willing to deliver to your location (and usually a few places that are nearby, but are collection only). If you’ve got a particular craving, you can instantly narrow down these results, by selecting a type of cuisine from the side menu.

hungryhouse’s list of nearby takeaways also displays each establishment’s vital statistics, including the type of cuisine on offer, delivery charges, and the minimum you need to spend in order to qualify for delivery – ideal for quickly zeroing in on a restaurant. Once you find a place you like the look of, just click it to see their full menu. This is all good stuff, but I already had my heart set on Japanese food, so I cut to the chase and brought up Sakushi’s menu.

The great thing about Sakushi, is that their takeaway menu is exactly the same as their eat-in menu. This may not sound like a big deal, but Sakushi’s is a large, varied menu covering everything from sushi and sashimi, to curries, noodles, soups, and a wide range of hot and cold Japanese tapas. So, when you sit down to order a takeaway from Sakushi, you really are spoilt for choice. The size of their takeout menu also means that you shouldn’t discount Sakushi just because you’re squeamish about raw fish (or fish in general), as there’s a long list of other foodstuffs to choose from, including lots of cooked meat and vegetarian dishes.

Even though we were only ordering for two, Sakushi’s menu was far too tempting, and we ended up placing a super-sized order. A few minutes later, I received an email confirming an estimated delivery time. However, around 10 minutes after that, I received a follow-up email, informing us that our meal would be later than originally estimated. Presumably, 10 minutes was the time it took for the Sakushi staff to take a look at our massive order, and realise they’d never be able to prepare and ship so much food, in so little time.

This update was appreciated, as there’s nothing worse than sitting there twiddling your thumbs and jumping up everytime you hear a car approaching, until you eventually lose patience and call the restaurant, only to discover that, actually, your order is going to be a while yet. Email updates on your takeaway – it’s the future, people!

When our order did arrive, first impressions were good, as it came with lots of added extras, including packets of soya sauce, ginger, and wasabi, and lots of chopsticks. Clearly, Sakushi assumed we’d ordered enough food for a party, rather than dinner for two seriously hungry people. It’s okay, Sakushi, I don’t feel judged.

Sakushi Sheffield takeaway

We popped the cold food in the fridge, and kicked off our Japanese dining experience with the hot part of our order. First up was the Vegetable Tempura Udon (£9.95), which consisted of a big container of soup and noodles, and a box of tempura-coated veggies. While I suspect you’re supposed to add the fried veggies to the noodle soup, we both prefer our tempura on the side, so I was glad that Sakushi kept the two separate.

Despite being billed as a main meal for one, we cracked open the container of delicious-smelling soup, and divided it between two bowls.

Sakushi udon noodles

The plentiful udon noodles were perfectly cooked, and thick enough to make this a really filling soup, even when shared between two people. The broth reminded me of miso soup, as it was thin and dark, but had a really strong, salty flavour. Even better, when ordering the udon soup, you have the option to make your stock extra spicy. As a lover of hot foods, I’d leapt at the chance to crank up the heat, but when I saw all the chilli powder floating amongst the stock, I wondered whether I’d made a mistake. I love the taste of spicy food – what I don’t like is when restaurants dump a load of chilli powder into a dish, just because they can. One slurp of the soup, and I realised this wasn’t the case. Despite the lashings of chilli, the stock had the sort of heat that’s rich and tasty, rather than painful and tasteless.

The next time I’m suffering with a cold, I’m ordering a bucketload of this stuff! Sakushi’s udon is one of those meals that feels like it’s doing you good – kind of like chicken noodle soup with a Japanese twist.

As mentioned before, the soup came with a helping of vegetable tempura that I decided to eat on the side, rather than add to my soup.

Sakushi veg tempura

I usually find fried foods a bit bland and boring, but Sakushi’s generous wedges of courgette, pepper, red onion, and other assorted veggies, were lightly battered, so I could still taste the vegetables inside. I wish more restaurants took Sakushi’s light approach to batter!

We then moved onto the first of our warm Japanese tapas, and tucked into a portion of “Harumaki” spring rolls, which came with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. I’ve eaten Chinese spring rolls before, but this was the first time I’d sampled Harumaki, and it was not what I was expecting.

Sakushi spring rolls

Rather than a crunchy coating, our three Harumaki spring rolls (£3.45) had a doughy exterior, and a creamy, blended filling. After I’d wrapped my brain around the concept of a soft spring roll, I really enjoyed my Harumaki. It’s richer, heavier, and far tastier than the crunchy spring rolls I’ve had previously.

A side order of Harumaki may only consist of three spring rolls but be warned, their dense, chewy texture makes them extremely filling. Personally, I’d order this as a side dish to share.

Next up, was a portion of Takoyaki (£4.95) which is five octopus dough balls covered in lashings of thick takoyaki sauce and mayonnaise.

Sakushi Takoyaki

These dough balls have a similar consistency to the spring rolls, and contain a generous portion of octopus, to boot. The big pieces of octopus meant that the stodgy dough didn’t completely overwhelm the taste of octopus, which was what I’d been expecting.

The mayo and the takoyaki sauce were rich additions to an already belly-busting dish, so once again I was glad we’d ordered these tapas to share. I would avoid ordering the takoyaki for yourself, in addition to a main meal – unless you have a seriously raging hunger.

Hot side food dispatched, it was time to move onto the cold stuff, and really, no Japanese dining experience would be complete without sushi.

assorted sushi

Even if the thought of raw fish turns your stomach, that’s no reason to deprive yourself of the magic of sushi. What makes sushi, well, sushi, is the vinegared rice. You can top this rice with anything you want, from raw fish and seafood (known as sashimi), right through to cooked meats, tofu and veggies. Our portion of steak nigiri (£3.50) proves there doesn’t need to be anything fishy about sushi.

Steak Nigiri

The meat nigiri was my takeout buddy’s idea, and once they’d taken a bite, they were only too happy to scoff the lot. The steak was thinly-sliced and cooked a crowd-pleasing medium. Sakushi also put their own twist on steak, by adding sesame seeds and a sprinkling of green onion, both of which were very welcome additions. Our advice? Take this Japanese twist a step further and slap some wasabi on those juicy morsels of steak; you won’t regret it! This is sushi for people who think they don’t like sushi.

If you’re a fish fan, then prepare to be spoilt for choice. Sakushi offers a full range of fish and seafood (salmon, prawn, tuna, sea bass, eel, octopus, squid, surf clam, and crab) arranged on sushi rice, with lots of extras thrown into the mix, including tempura, seaweed, veggies, mayo, and even philadelphia cheese.

Our sushi feast continued with two Soft Shell Crab Uramaki Rolls, priced at £4.00 for the pair. This sushi consists of crab meat, cooked in light tempura batter, and bundled up in sushi rice. Sakushi spoil you by cramming lots of extras into each uramaki roll, including spring onion, avocado, cucumber, and flying fish roe.

Sakushi uranyaki roll

Fish roe tends to be unpleasantly salty on its own, but when used sparingly it can add a strong, salty edge to a dish, which was the case with our uramaki rolls.

Paying £4.00 for two pieces of sushi may sound excessive, but these are large rolls, jam-packed with quality ingredients. The presence of tempura batter also means that they’re more filling than your average sushi roll, so I didn’t feel short-changed.

Now, onto the raw stuff! We’d ordered four pieces of Tekka Maki (priced at £3.50), which is raw tuna, wrapped in sticky sushi rice.

Sakushi tekka maki

Maki is one of my favourite kinds of sushi, as it’s a perfect, bite-sized piece, and raw tuna is my favourite sashimi, because it has such a distinctive, earthy flavour, so I was really looking forward to this one. Sakushi didn’t disappoint, serving up big chunks of tasty tuna, bundled up in tangy sushi rice. A great dish for those who love strong flavours!

Since I’m such a fan of tuna sashimi, and love spicy food, I was excited to spot something called Spicy Tuna Gunkan on Sakushi’s menu. For £3.50, we got two portions of gunkan, which is diced raw tuna, heavily spiced, and wrapped in yummy nori seaweed.

Sakushi tuna gunkan

Sakushi sprinkled the gunkan with some refreshing spring onion, which nicely offset the earthy tuna and strong spices. It’s little touches like this, that makes Sakushi such a great place for foodies, regardless of whether you visit the restaurant, or order takeaway.

As someone who loves their spice, I can’t wait to order the spicy gunkan again. Highly recommended for hot food enthusiasts!

The final morsel of sushi, was Hokkigai Nigiri: two big pieces of colourful surf clam, served on blocks of sushi rice (£3.50).

hokkigai nigiri

After the strong flavours of the tuna gunkan and maki, the hokkigai nigiri tasted very light and refreshing. It may not have been the tastiest sushi, but it had that clean, simple flavour you crave midway through a heavy meal. The hokkigai nigiri definitely helped revive me for the final part of our epic Japanese feast; the Chirashi Don (£11.45).

Sakushi’s Chirashi Don is simple, but effective: a big bowl of sticky, vinegary sushi rice, topped with choice cuts of sashimi. Basically, if you love your starch and your carbs, love your fish, and are partial to strong flavours, then this is your dream meal. Sakushi’s Chirashi Don is pretty much responsible for getting me hooked on sashimi – it really is that good.

The thinly-sliced sashimi not only tastes fantastic, but it looks beautiful, too. In fact, it looks so good that it deserves its own close up.

Sakushi chirashi don

This particular Chirashi Don was layered with lots of tangy salmon sashimi, raw tuna, and sea bass sashimi. Sea bass isn’t something I’d normally order, but it has a fresh flavour that perfectly complements the stronger-tasting salmon and tuna.

The Chirashi Don was finished off with some flying fish roe. Personally, I’d avoid eating the roe with the slices of sashimi, as the combination of fish roe and raw fish is far too salty, but the roe does taste great mixed into the sushi rice.

All in all, the Chirashi Don is a dream combination of delicious sashimi, and filling rice. Cuts of sashimi are frequently served on their own, without any rice, which never really fills me up. Sashimi is usually the most expensive thing on a Japanese menu, so when you come away from the meal still hungry, you do tend to feel hard done by. Sakushi’s Chirashi Don strikes a happy medium between satisfying those hunger pangs, and treating you to the finest cuts of raw fish.

So, what’s my verdict on hungryhouse and Sakushi? Well, on the one hand I’m going to continue stuffing leaflets into my dedicated “takeaway menu drawer,” but on the other hand, I have absolutely no idea why. The sheer convenience of online ordering, means that my hoard of takeaway menus will continue to go unused.

As for sushi takeout, it may sound weird, but it works, and you don’t feel quite as guilty as you do after stuffing your face with Indian, Chinese, and most other forms of takeout. Sakushi’s takeaway food is also every bit as good as the stuff served in their restaurant, so you can expect first class nosh regardless of whether you’re eating in, or ordering online.

On a final note, it’s well worth checking out some of the other Sheffield takeaways that have made hungyhouse’s top takeaways list. Besides Sakushi, I can highly recommend Butlers Balti House for some of the best curries in the city, and Chan’s on Abbeydale Road for yummy Chinese grub.

5-stars

The Orchid

July 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Posted in Restaurants, Takeaway | Leave a comment
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If you fancy some exotic cuisine, then London Road has you covered: Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish – food from the four corners of the globe can be found on this humble Sheffield street. Tonight, we fancied a spot of Thai and, feeling adventurous, we opted for somewhere we haven’t been before: The Orchid.

Inside, The Orchid is all red and gold, with plastic orchids lined up in the window. The decor is more traditional (read : dated) than modern oriental eateries like Sakushi and WasabiSabi, but it’s also spacious, well-lit and clean, so we weren’t put off by the tired decor. Feeling authentic, we ordered a round of Singha beers while we perused the food menu. The waiter inquired whether we’d like large bottles – “why not!” we said. A word of caution: these gigantic bottles come with an eye-watering price tag of £5.50 a bottle, something we weren’t aware of at the time. Although you get plenty of beer for your buck, I personally resent paying over a fiver for anything that comes in a bottle, and isn’t champagne or wine.

Ravenous, we ordered a vegetarian mixed starter to share (£6.95) that consisted of mixed vegetable tempura, veg spring rolls and sweetcorn cakes. This battered platter arrived with a refreshing amount of greenery on the side, including some carved carrot, shredded cabbage, a mint leaf, and a crisp salad soaked in deliciously fiery ginger.

The salad in its hot dressing was soon polished off, and we both raved about the tempura batter, which wasn’t in the slightest bit greasy. The grease-free spring rolls were packed with veggies, and the sweetcorn cakes were an unusual combo of juicy sweetcorn and crunchy peanuts. With a trio of dips thrown into the mix – sweet chilli, minty vegetables, and a creamy coconut-based curry sauce – the sweetcorn cakes, salad and spring rolls disappeared in double quick time. However, the mixed vegetable tempura divided opinion. There was a good selection of battered veggies; whole florets of broccoli and cauliflower, as well as slices of carrot and entire button mushrooms, but I found them a bit tasteless for my liking, and had to ladle on the dipping sauce. Thankfully, there was more than enough sauce to add extra flavour to the veg tempura. At the other end of the table, it was a completely different story, as the tempura won rave reviews.

In the mood for something spicy, we ordered two red curries, one with tofu and vegetables and one with beef, which came in at a rather pricey £7.95 each. To complete our mains, we ordered a helping of delicious-sounding steamed thai fragrant rice (£2.10) and egg fried rice (£2.25). Our curries arrived nicely presented in bubbling pots on top of a candle, and I could already spot a good selection of vegetables – chilli, mushrooms, carrots and bamboo shoots. Finished off with a sprinkling of herbs, the curries looked, and smelt, wonderful.

Despite being advertised with a “two chilli” rating, the red curries didn’t pack any serious kick and had the creamy richness of a korma. While I would have prefered something hotter, the rich sauce went down well, and the vegetables were still a little firm which gave them that satisfying crunch, especially the beans and bamboo shoots.

The meat equivalent was bulked out with plenty of beef, and got a big thumbs up from our reviewer, as did the egg fried rice. Meanwhile, I was left wondering what made my thai fragrant rice so special, as it tasted exactly the same as plain old boiled rice. It also should be noted that at a tenner a pop, this curry and rice main is very expensive for the amount you get. Those expecting to come to The Orchid for a curry and be full, are going to be disappointed.

To cap off our thai feast, we ordered some ice cream, which was served in retro-tastic fashion, complete with colourful sprinkles and a slice of chewy waffle. It was just enough, and the oldschool presentation was very cute.

The grub at The Orchid comes in slightly stingy portions, but there’s no skimping on quality and taste. It’s the sort of place where the tempura isn’t a heaped plate of defrosted, deep-fried pureed veg, but a handful of carefully-selected fresh vegetables. A little on the pricey side and a little dated in terms of decor, but our three-course thai feast was consistently tasty, with quality, fresh ingredients used throughout. Just remember to bring plenty of cash with you, and book in advance because this place gets busy!

Sakushi

June 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Posted in Restaurants, Takeaway | 4 Comments
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There’s no denying it: sushi is THE lunchtime treat for when you’re having a tough day at the office. If you’re keeping an eye on the pennies, then the value-for-money Edo Sushi takeaway is the perfect place to grab a box of fishy goodness on the go. But, if you’re hankering after an hour away from the office, then Sakushi is worth a visit for those with a few notes in their back pocket.

Located conveniently on Campo Lane (slap bang across the road from The Wig and Pen, incidentally) Sakushi puts a trendy gloss on the traditional Japanese restaurant. The interior is all sleek, spotless monochrome, white leather booths and super-efficient staff. Sakushi even modernizes the old cliche of the sushi conveyor belt, with pods of sushi sweeping around a stylish steel ornament and past a reassuringly open kitchen. Even though you can grab your meal straight off a conveyor belt, there’s nothing tacky about Sakushi.

The menu is so exhaustive that newcomers to Japanese cuisine are advised to study it online in advance. Not only does Sakushi offer a wide choice of sushi and sashimi, but there’s an equally impressive range of cooked mains and Japanese tapas too. Our party decided to put every section of the menu to the test – sushi, tapas and cooked mains – to bring you the most comprehensive review possible. We’re selfless, like that.

We began our epic feast with sushi. At Sakushi, you have a choice: you can either reach across and yank whatever takes your fancy off the conveyor belt (the colour-coded plates are then stacked up on your table and the staff tot up the total at the end of the meal) or you can order plates of sushi from the menu. Since we’re an impatient lot, we got stuck in with the conveyor belt.

The sushi portion of our feast consisted of a couple of plates of the Mixed Nigiri (£3.80) which featured all our favourites: salmon, prawn and tuna sashimi. Also cherry-picked from the conveyor belt were Tuna Nigiri (£3.30) and Sake Nigiri (£2.30) both of which boasted a generous slab of raw fish, and the Hamachi Nigiri (£3.30.) Made with “yellow tail” the Hamachi Nigiri was a new one on us, but the tanginess of the pale fish won us over – a newfound favourite! The Tako Nigiri (£2.80) divided opinion; the chewy, raw octopus wasn’t to everyone’s palate – personally, I found the taste a little overpowering.

The big hits at our table were the Sakushi Roll (£3.80) which was laced with crunchy tempura batter, the creamy Salmon and Avocado Roll (£2.80), the Spicy Tuna Roll (£3.30) and the Fresh Crab Roll (£3.80) which was jam-packed with shredded crab.

Sushi fanatics, beware: it’s easy to lose track of what you’re spending, especially when you’re sat next to a revolving door of delicious-looking sushi. It’s a good idea to set a limit on how many plates you’re going to have in advance. Needless to say, we didn’t set a strict limit and got carried away…..

But, we’d solemnly sworn to sample the cooked mains and Japanese tapas as well as the sushi. So, loosening our belts we ordered a portion of the Shiitake No Kani (£4.95), shiitake mushrooms and crab in breadcrumbs served with a sprinkling of side salad.

Generously filled with shredded crab, these little balls of goodness had our reviewer raving. Who would have thought shiitake mushrooms and crab meat would be a match made in heaven? Rich and creamy, and highly recommended.

Also arriving at our groaning table, was a big plate of Seafood Yaki (£9.65.) This belly-buster can be ordered with a choice of sauces – traditional Yaki sauce or sweet Teriyaki sauce – and either soba or udon noodles. Our reviewer settled on traditional sauce and udon noodles. In addition to noodles and sauce, the dish contains tiger prawns, crab sticks, calamari, butter fish, mussels and seasonal greens.

The tangy sauce went down well, but we were disappointed by the amount of seafood and felt the £9.65 price tag was a little on the high side for what was essentially a posh stir fry.

Not content with the upteen plates of sushi and sashimi I’d already done away with, I ordered the Chirashi – Don (£11.14) from the main menu; slices of mixed sashimi on a large helping of sushi rice. When it arrived, my mouth dropped open – it looked absolutely amazing.

The sushi rice was sticky and morish, but the sashimi was the real star of the show. The bowl included generous chunks of my favourite sashimi, tuna and salmon, and new-favourite yellow fish, alongside love-it-or-hate-it slices of octopus, a curl of meaty eel and a prawn. All of the sashimi tasted just-pulled-out-of-the-sea fresh, and the dollop of fish roe gave the dish extra bite (although as a massive roe fan I’d have liked an extra few scoops!) The strips of fried tofu skin perfectly complimented the dish, delivering a welcome hit of sweetness whenever the saltiness of the sashimi became overpowering. For a side order, I plumped for a portion of edamame beans (£2.55), which were served lightly steamed and juicy.

The drinks menu was on the pricey side, so we ordered cokes that came in at £2 a pop. For a small glass bottle of the fizzy stuff (not even a full pint!) we still felt this was cheeky – although going out for sushi and sashimi is rarely a cheap experience!

If you’ve got the time to venture out of town, then Yama Sushi is a cheaper alternative and, if it’s just sushi you’re after, then Yama can’t be beaten for the freshness and sheer tastiness of their sushi. However, if it’s a quick, city centre lunchtime treat you’re after, then Sakushi is the place to go – just keep a mental running total of the bill, because Sakushi can quickly turn into a bank-busting lunchbreak.

Edo Sushi

May 27, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Posted in Takeaway | 1 Comment
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Tucked out of sight on High Court Chambers (just next to Pizza Hut on Sheffield High Street) Edo Sushi specializes in sushi, sashimi and assorted cooked Japanese dishes to take away. Although off the main road, it draws a devoted lunchtime crowd. If you’re planning to pick up their lunchtime special ‘Edo Sushi Box,’ make sure you’re there at the start of the lunch hour. The staff make up some boxes in advance, but they always sell out fast. Thankfully, if you’re slow off the mark the helpful staff are more than happy to put together your box as you wait – you can’t get any fresher than that! Usually priced at £5.50, nab one of these boxes during your lunch break and the staff not only knock £1 off, but they throw in either a miso soup or a green tea, to boot.

As you’ve probably already guessed, it was Edo Sushi Boxes that had us shooting out of the office at 12 noon on the dot this week. Getting there early meant we plucked our boxes straight off the shelf.

For a takeout meal, Edo Sushi Boxes are smartly presented and come with pickled ginger and soy sauce on the side. The specials change on a monthly basis, but there are some familiar faces that keep cropping up. Expect to see plenty of shinko maki, a veggie sushi roll made from tangy pickled radish, and kappa maki, the cucumber-filled equivalent. Creamy avocado and salmon-filled california rolls are also a staple. The Edo Sushi Box is finished off with one larger item, usually either inari zushi, or if you’re lucky one of their mouth-watering salmon nigiris.

The staff at Edo Sushi are friendly and efficient; even if they have to knock up your lunchtime sushi fix from scratch you’ll rarely be waiting longer than ten minutes. The takeaway itself is pokey; you’ll find yourself awkwardly squeezing around other customers during the lunchtime rush, but this is all part of Edo Sushi’s charm. There’s plenty of personal touches that’ll have you warming to the place in no time, including greeting cards hand-drawn by the staff and a cheerful note telling you to put your money in their lucky cat moneybox if you want to buy a card. The eagle-eyed will also notice a painting by Sheffield’s own Wildago hanging on the wall.

But ultimately, it’s all about the sushi! Our Edo Sushi Boxes were made up of shinko maki, kappa maki, california rolls and a wedge of inari zushi. Edo Sushi do have a tendency to skimp on the fish (5 pieces of our sushi were just cucumber and pickled radish rolls) but at £4.50, this is understandable.

The inari zushi will divide opinions. Personally, the combination of sweet tofu and savoury rice wasn’t to my liking, and I ended up peeling off the batter and just eating the plain rice. But other members of the Sheffield Eats team raved about it, and the tofu was certainly perfectly cooked, forming a light skin around the rice.

While you’ll either love or hate the inari zushi, sushi lovers are guaranteed to wolf down the california rolls. Our boxes contained six helpings of california rolls, which were crammed with melt-in-the-mouth avocado and fresh, raw salmon. It’s worth shelling out on the box just for these six mouthfuls of sharp sashimi and smooth avocado alone! Delicious, and surely some of the freshest sashimi you’ll ever pluck off a shelf during your lunch break.

The meal was topped off with a complimentary miso soup. Although it may look like a murky cup-a-soup in a polystyrene cup, it’s not to be missed.

This lip-smackingly salty soup has hidden layers of seaweed and crispy spring onion, and is the perfect accompaniment to sushi.

The next time you’re craving a lunchtime sushi fix, do yourself a favour and track down this takeout sushi haven. It’s cheaper, fresher and far, far tastier than any of the prepackaged stuff you’ll find in the big stores in town.

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