The Great Gatsby

August 11, 2015 at 3:51 pm | Posted in Restaurants | 2 Comments
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The Great Gatsby may not be the first place that springs to mind when you have a street food craving, but this is exactly the kind of food the Gatsby serve at their ‘Shy Boy cantina.’

If you haven’t visited the Great Gatsby in a while, you may have missed their recent makeover. This Division Street venue is now all shiny copper surfaces and contrasting blue walls. It’s a quirky look, and one that suits the Gatsby down to a T.

Great Gatsby

When it comes to food, the Great Gatsby keep things simple with a concise menu that’s split into four sections: burritos, tacos, large plates, and small plates, which are perfect for a snack or as a side to have alongside your main. And, if you have room for dessert the Great Gatsby also serve several flavours of Yee Kwan ice cream.

The Great Gatsby’s menu is on the smaller side (particularly compared to the mammoth menu on offer at fellow Sheffield cantina Revolucion De Cuba), but all the Mexican street food classics are present and accounted for, and there’s a good variety of vegetarian food too.

Case in point, my veggie chilli burrito (£7.50).

Great Gatsby veg burrito

This massive burrito is stuffed with so much good stuff, that it’s actually a challenge to try and eat it without the sauce and veggie filling dripping onto your plate. After a few awkward bites I had to resort to cutting my burrito into more manageable chunks, just to make it less messy to eat.

This is a mammoth portion of food that’s well worth the £7.50 price tag.

Great Gatsby stuff all their burritos with red rice, black beans, cheese, guacamole and sour cream, plus your choice of veggies or chicken, beef or pork. My veggie filling consisted of tomatoes, onions and peppers, which added a refreshing edge to the stodgy, comfort food flavours of the cheese, rice and thick sour cream.

My only niggle is that the Great Gatsby’s burritos aren’t particularly spicy. My veg burrito did come with a green chilli dip that had a hum of heat to it (not to mention a really unique sour note) but even after dunking my burrito into this sauce I still didn’t get that fiery kick I’d been craving.

Thankfully, if you’re like me and prefer your spicy food to verge on the side of painful, then Gatsby do provide a good selection of additional condiments that you can use to give your burrito that extra kick.

Despite the spice being on the milder side, the Gatsby’s veg burrito is a jumbo portion of pure comfort food that left me completely stuffed and very, very happy.  

Also arriving at our table was something a little bit different; courgette and quinoa fritters (£5) from the ‘Small plates’ section of Great Gatsby’s menu.

Great Gatsby courgette and quinoa fritters

These fritters reminded me of the black bean bombers that cropped up on a previous incarnation of the Gatsby’s menu, and they’re every bit as good.

Beneath their crispy coating, these fritters have a light and crumbly texture that’s clearly quinoa-based. Their unusual texture makes these tasty, savoury bites well worth trying – particularly if you have a soft spot for quinoa.

The final meal arriving at our table was a plate of wild mushroom quesadillas (£7.50).

Great Gatsby wild mushroom quesadillas

These quesadillas looked incredible to start with, but when my friend cut into them they somehow managed to look even better.

Great Gatsby close up quesadillas

The tortillas themselves were light and fluffy, and the filling was a delicious mix of wilted spinach and perfectly seasoned mushrooms, with just enough melted cheese to give this light filling a feel of creaminess and indulgence.

If you’re not feeling hungry enough for one of Gatsby’s super-sized burritos, then these quesadillas deliver all those quintessential Mexican street food flavours without making you feel like you need to have a lie down after you’ve finished eating.

I loved everything about our Mexican street food lunch, and if you have a soft spot for this sort of cuisine then the Great Gatsby should be high on your list of places to check out.

Even though the venue may not scream Mexican street food, don’t let that fool you – the Great Gatsby really do make a mean burrito!

3 and a half

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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

Revolucion De Cuba

July 21, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Posted in Cocktail Bar, Restaurants | 1 Comment
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Revolucion De Cuba is one of those places I used to be obsessed with, to the point where I discovered that you really can have too much of a good thing. Consequently, I had to take a bit of a break from the Mappin Street venue formerly known as Buddha Bar/Bai Hoi.

But after stuffing my face with a tonne of tacos courtesy of Revolucion De Cuba’s all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesday, I’ve rediscovered why I liked Revolucion De Cuba so much in the first place. So I was really excited to attend the launch of their new menu, together with some other Sheffield bloggers and newsy types.

Right off the bat, I’ve got to say that Revolucion De Cuba know how to make a special occasion fun, as we arrived to find our table decked out with funky pineapple glasses and straw hats. Cheesy it may be, but I love this kind of stuff.

Revolucion de Cuba hats and glasses

Glasses donned and selfies snapped, it was time to kick things off with a cocktail from Revolucion De Cuba’s ginormous drinks menu. Even though I had every intention of branching out and trying something new, after reading the menu from front to back I still couldn’t resist ordering the exact same thing I always go for.

Revolucion de Cuba pornstar rumtini

I just love the tartness of this Pornstar Rumtini, as it’s fruity without being too sweet, plus it comes with a shot of sparkling wine on the side, which can only be a good thing.

Since we’re smack bang in the middle of a heatwave, my dining companion opted for a frozen Banana Daiquiri (£7.25). This cocktail comes with a chocolate flake, and the daiquiri itself is so thick and icy that it can support said flake without any issues.

Revolucion De Cuba Banana Daiquiri

This banana daiquiri is pretty much a dream for anyone with a sweet tooth, and it’d make the perfect, refreshing pudding after you’ve finished stuffing yourself with spicy Cuban grub.

As we sipped our cocktails, we were treated to a trio of moreish nibbles: banana chips (£1.50), pork crackling, (£1.50) and spicy mixed nuts (£1.50).

Revolucion De Cuba nibbles

These nibbles are great if you fancy something to crunch on while you peruse the main menu, particularly the pork crackling which is something a bit different from your bog-standard bar snacks.

Onto the hot food, and Revolucion De Cuba brought out lots of tapas, sides and mains for the whole table to share, so brace yourselves because we have lots to cover.

First up was a plate of Smoky Aubergine Quesadillas (£5.00). These quesadillas were packed with lots of yummy melted cheese, and came with a very fresh and homemade-looking tomato and onion salsa.

Revolucion de Cuba quesadillas

For £5.00 this is a filling tapas dish that I can imagine eating on its own as a snack or even as a starter when I’m feeling particularly hungry.

For the meat eaters, there was a main course of Havana Chicken Salad (£9.50). The chicken was tender, juicy and nicely-seasoned but what really caught my eye was the colourful side salad.

Revolucion de Cuba havana chicken salad

This vibrant salad consisted of quinoa, green lentils, peppers, carrots, tomato, cucumber, black beans, edamame beans, yellow beetroot and leaves, finished off with a homemade spinach and kale dressing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a salad that looks quite this good!

Sometimes I feel like restaurants use side salads just to fill up the plate. Not so with Revolucion De Cuba! They’ve clearly gone all out to create a side salad you’ll actually be excited to eat.

This side salad appears in several other main courses and you can even order a ‘Cuban Salad’ on its own, which might just be one of the few occasions I’d actually consider ordering a salad in a restaurant.

This Cuban salad made a repeat appearance at our table, as part of a Baked Halloumi (£11) main course.

Revolucion de Cuba baked halloumi

This main is essentially a super-sized portion of halloumi, marinated in soy and ginger, and then served in a banana leaf with a helping of that awesome Cuban salad.

I’m mad about halloumi anyway, so I was always going to enjoy a main that’s mostly just a massive piece of halloumi, but the soy and ginger marinade gave this particular piece of halloumi a powerful, salty and very distinctive taste. This is easily the best halloumi I’ve ever had.

If you’ve got a soft spot for halloumi or you just love strong, salty flavours, then you need to try Revolucion De Cuba’s baked halloumi. You won’t be disappointed!

Next up was everyone’s favourite Tex-Mex snack: nachos. These Nachos Del Sol (£5.50) take crunchy tortilla chips and cover them in black beans, guacamole, homemade Roquito and Manchego cheese sauce, and chunks of mango.

Revolucion de Cuba nachos

I can’t remember ever having fruit on nachos before, but the mango added a welcome sweetness to this otherwise very savoury snack. I might just have to try sprinkling some mango on top of my own nachos in the future.

The nachos were followed by yet more tapas, in the form of some Iberico Ham Croquettes (£5.50).

Revolucion de Cuba Iberico Ham Croquettes

Apparently Iberico is a special kind of Spanish ham that’s salted and air dried for 12 months (thanks, Google) which explains why these croquettes had such a strong, salty flavour. The Iberico croquettes are particularly nice with a dollop of the accompanying garlic aioli dip.

I was already feeling pretty stuffed, but it turned out there was even more food for us to sample. An entire platter of it, in fact.

Revolucion de Cuba mojo chicken

This was roughly the point where I started to wish I’d been more restrained around that baked halloumi.

The first plate on our platter was sticky glazed Chorizo in a rich red wine and honey sauce (£6.00). This is hearty, comforting tapas with a slight kick to it, and I can imagine this really hitting the spot during the colder months.

Also on our super-sized platter was a side of sweet potato fries (£3.00). Like the halloumi, sweet potato fries are something I love anyway, so I knew I was going to enjoy these – but they were even better than I was expecting!

These sweet potato fries were perfectly cooked: crispy and nicely-salted on the outside, but fluffy and sweet on the inside. They also went really well with Revolucion De Cuba’s homemade rum sauce, which has a nice kick to it, not to mention the kind of freshness you simply can’t get from a supermarket-bought bottle.

Revolucion De Cuba rum sauce

The final side on our mega-platter was House Rice (£2.50). This is something I loved the last time I visited Revolucion De Cuba and it was every bit as good as I remembered, particularly the topping of finely-chopped, crispy fried onions, which were incredibly moreish.

At £2.50 this is another fantastic side dish. Revolucion De Cuba are really getting their sides spot on at the moment.

But the main event was an enormous Half Chicken in Mojo Sauce (£11, with two side dishes). This is a massive portion of nicely-cooked chicken, but if you’re seriously hungry then apparently you can go one step further and order an entire chicken!

This was when the lovely Revolucion De Cuba staff broke the news that there was even more food to come. In fact, we hadn’t even had our main course yet (!) as everyone would be getting the chance to prepare their own burrito.

But what’s the perfect thing to do before trying your hand at a new culinary skill?

Shots, of course!

Revolucion de Cuba rum tasting

Okay so this isn’t as heinous as it looks. This was actually a quick rum tasting session where we got to sample three different rums from Revolucion De Cuba’s extensive collection.

Despite the fact that I’m not a massive fan of drinking anything neat, this turned out to be lots of fun. This is the second rum tasting I’ve attended, and both times I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the range of rum that’s out there, from the painful-to-drink, to the dangerously easy drinking.

Speaking of painful, the first rum (Matusalem Platino) was so harsh that finishing a single measure felt like a major accomplishment. Thankfully it was all uphill from here as the second rum (Ron de Jeremy) was smoother, and the third rum (Gosling’s Black Seal) had a faintly butterscotch aftertaste that I enjoyed so much, I could actually see myself drinking this again!

If you’re interested in checking out what rums Revolucion De Cuba have to offer, you’ll find a complete list at the end of their drinks menu.

Okay, so three measures of rum dispatched and obviously the time was right to try and roll the perfect burrito. This went predictably…..wrong, but at least all the ingredients that went into my sloppily-rolled burrito were good!

Revolucion de Cuba burrito ingredients

In the end, my burrito consisted of refried beans, garlic mushrooms, fried veggies and spring onions, plus generous helpings of sour cream, grated cheese and house rice, so it wasn’t a million miles away from Revolucion De Cuba’s own Mushroom, Bean and Spinach Burrito (£9).

When it came to wrapping my concoction, I discovered that it’s much harder to roll the perfect burrito than you might think, which is why I’m not going to show you a photo of my handiwork. Instead, here’s a photo of my dining companion’s chicken burrito, for the simple reason that they did a much better job than me.

Revolucion De Cuba burrito

And thus concluded our Revolucion De Cuba feast. I left feeling like I’d eaten Revolucion De Cuba’s entire menu, but after consulting their website I realise that I’d barely even scratched the surface.

Revolucion De Cuba’s mammoth menu features tapas, sides, burritos, half and full chickens cooked in a variety of spices, hamburgers, a “fast and fresh” Rapido Lunch menu, a Fiesta Cubana three-course set menu, all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesday, plus a tonne of other main courses that don’t fit neatly into any of the above categories.

With so much choice, you might think that this is a case of quantity over quality, but everything I sampled from Revolucion De Cuba’s new menu was delicious, and there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t order again.

Revolucion De Cuba serve great food and great cocktails, in a lovely venue with some amazing special offers – if you love a bargain then you’ve got to visit them on a Sunday, when it’s 2-4-1 on all tapas and the majority of cocktails.

I can’t think of anything negative to say about this place, so if you have a soft spot for this kind of Cuban-inspired food, or you just love great cocktails, then you should make a point of paying Revolucion De Cuba a visit!

four-stars

The Wick at Both Ends: Spring/Summer 2015

May 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Posted in Pub Grub, Restaurants | Leave a comment
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This review is long overdue, due to my phone going whappy and losing all my photos – including those I took at the Wick at Both Ends’ new menu launch.

Thankfully my phone is now back up and running, so I can (finally) share my thoughts on the Wick’s new spring/summer menu!

The new menu has the same rustic, gastro pub feel of previous Wick menus, although there does seem to be more meat and fish this time around. The Wick at Both Ends haven’t completely forgotten about vegetarians, though – there are a couple of veggie-friendly mains inbetween all the ox tail and kidney pies, sausage and mash, and butter roasted plaice. There’s also a selection of meat-free sandwiches, plus the Wick’s trusty flat field mushroom and goat’s cheese burger, which has been my favourite thing to order there for years. If the Wick ever get rid of their mushroom burger, I’ll be very sad.

One thing I’ve noticed about the Wick’s menus, is that the starters tend to be more adventurous than the mains. The spring/summer menu is no exception, featuring unusual starters such as pan fried calves liver, pickled mackerel, and pistachio and prune terrine.

One starter that really caught my eye was the warm potted crab (£5.50). I love potted shrimp but I’ve never tried potted crab before, so I knew I had to give this a go.

This is a big starter!

the wick at both ends potted crab

My ramekin was jam-packed with lots of fresh and tasty crab meat that had a lovely, velvety texture. If you’re not a fan of strong seafood then you should probably give this one a miss, as the crab is seriously strong.

My only issue with the potted crab is that it’s just so filling! After I’d used the accompanying slices of bread and butter to scrape up every last morsel of delicious crab, I was left wondering how I was going to find room for my main course.

This is such a generous portion that I think the potted crab would work really well as a stand alone snack – possibly after one too many Wick cocktails have given you a case of the beer munchies!

For a seafood fanatic like myself, this potted crab starter felt like the ultimate treat. In fact, I have a few seafood-loving friends who I’m going to drag to the Wick at the earliest opportunity, because I know they’ll love this starter every bit as much as I did.

For my main course, I continued the fish and seafood theme with some Smoked Haddock Kedgeree (£8.95).

This wasn’t just the first time I’d had kedgeree at the Wick, it was the first time I’d had kedgeree ever, so I was really looking forward to trying something completely new.

The Wick’s vibrant yellow kedgeree is certainly nice to look at.

wick at both ends kedgeree

I’d found the potted crab a bit heavy going, but this kedgeree was even richer. This is another massive portion, and the rice is really rich and creamy. Like the potted crab, this is food strictly for those who enjoy strong, fishy flavours.

Even though I was getting uncomfortably full, I just couldn’t stop eating this. The Wick’s kedgeree really is too good to waste.

Meanwhile, my friend had opted for the 8oz Onglet Steak (£11.50), which was another new addition to the Wick’s menu.

After some Googling it became clear that onglet steak is the same as hanger steak, which they’ve also just started serving at the Wick’s sister venue, Anchorage (if you’re interested, Anchorage’s hanger steak is amazing and you can read about it here).

The Wick’s onglet steak has a really intense, rich flavour. If you like your steak, then you need to try this onglet/hanger cut, as it’s stronger and tastier than your average steak.

wick at both ends onglet

The onglet steak came with a stack of chubby, perfectly-seasoned chips, a super-sized serving of parsley butter, and a token bit of greenery in the form of some grilled baby gem lettuce. These are all pretty standard sides when you order a steak, but then the Wick throw a curveball by adding a single battered oyster to the plate.

The oyster was nicely cooked and had a really intense flavour (this seems to be a theme with the Wick’s new menu!) but there’s no getting around the fact that this is more batter than oyster.

Now, I know that for £11.50 you can’t expect such a fantastic steak, fat chips and a pile of oysters, and yes oysters are always going to look smaller with the shell removed – but this single battered oyster did look a bit odd on its own.

wick at both ends battered oyster

Despite mixed feelings about the battered oyster, the onglet steak was well received, and for the price you do get a big plateful of grub and a superb cut of meat.

The Wick’s latest menu continues the tradition of big portions of quality food at reasonable prices, with a few quirky ingredients thrown into the mix. The starters are on the pricier side, but my potted crab starter was worth every penny.

The Wick is one of my favourite places to grab a bite to eat in the city centre, and judging by how much I loved their kedgeree and potted crab starter, this isn’t about to change anytime soon.

If you haven’t already, you can check out the Wick’s new menu online.

four stars

Anchorage: Spring/Summer Menu

April 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Restaurants | 1 Comment
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I’ve pretty much fallen in love with Anchorage over the last couple of weeks following a string of amazing meals there.

On my last visit, I had one of the best vegetarian Sunday lunches I’ve ever eaten, and my friend had a hanger steak they’re still talking about weeks later. So when I heard Anchorage were releasing a new spring/summer menu, I had high hopes.

Anchorage’s menu is “East Coast” inspired, so the food has an American feel. They also offer a “build it yourself” meat and cheese platter, where you get to choose exactly which cured meats and cheeses you want. Doesn’t a bottle of wine and a build your own cheese platter sound like the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon? Yet another reason to look forward to summer!

But today wasn’t the day to eat cheese and drink wine, I was here to sample Anchorage’s new menu – and drink wine.

anchorage wine

Since it was early on a Wednesday afternoon, I was sensible and resisted Anchorage’s cocktail menu, but if you’re in the mood for a cocktail then I highly recommend their dirty martini (£8).

I’m not usually a fan of martinis as I always feel like they’re burning my taste buds off, but Anchorage’s martinis are smooth and dangerously easy drinking. Plus each dirty martini comes with a side of strong blue cheese, so it’s a drink and a snack!

anchorage martini

After taking a look through Anchorage’s new menu, I opted for the 6oz Tuna Nicoise steak, which came with green beans, egg, olive, anchovy and tomatoes (£15).

anchorage tuna steak

The 6oz tuna steak looked incredible – and it tasted every bit as good as it looked. The tuna was delicately cooked, so it was still juicy and pink on the inside, and it was heavily seasoned with lots of salt, so every bite was packed with flavour.

Just how good was the tuna steak? Well, since my visit to Anchorage I’ve found myself craving tuna and cooking it at home at least a couple of times a week. Anchorage has single-handedly got me hooked on tuna steaks!

The tuna came with a long list of added extras, including sun dried tomatoes and a breadcrumb-covered egg. Beneath the light breadcrumb coating, the egg yolk had just the right amount of runniness. I wish I could cook eggs this perfectly!

My tuna also came with a salad of lettuce, green apple, and pear. The pear slices were melt-in-the-mouth ripe, and were a nice contrast to the crispness of the green apple. This isn’t your typical boring salad of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes! Why can’t all salads be this good?

The tuna also came with a handful of walnuts, which turned out to be the most unusual and interesting part of the meal. Some of the walnuts had a tart, vinegary flavour, as though they’d been pickled, while others were crunchy and sweet. Whenever I picked up a walnut, I had no idea whether I was going to get sweet or sour.

The whole thing was finished off with fancy swirls and dollops of different purees and mousses, which brought even more flavours into the mix.

If you have a passion for new and interesting flavours, then Anchorage’s tuna steak is your perfect meal. After wolfing down the delicious steak, I thought the best part was over – but then I moved onto the different accompaniments, and every forkful was something new and interesting.

At £15, this tuna steak is at the top end of Anchorage’s menu, but it’s worth every penny. I can’t think of one negative thing to say about my meal – it was perfect.

Also arriving at our table was the Amish Chicken (£13) which promised half a chicken served with cream sauce, whipped potatoes and green beans.

When Anchorage say half a chicken, they mean half a chicken.

amish chicken

Even the photo doesn’t do justice to just how much chicken was on the plate. This is one of those mountains of food where no matter how much you eat, you never really seem to make a dent in it.

As if half of the world’s biggest chicken wasn’t enough, this meal comes with a super-sized portion of rich and creamy mashed potato.

Only order Anchorage’s Amish chicken if you’re seriously hungry – you’ve been warned!

After our massive main meals, we didn’t have room for pudding, so we wrapped up our Anchorage experience with a round of lattes.

anchorage coffee

Anchorage’s coffees are beautifully presented, with a few sugar cubes and a bourbon biscuit on the side. If you don’t have room for pudding, then this is the perfect way to end your meal.

I’ve never had a bad meal at Anchorage, and their new menu continues this tradition. The tuna steak is perfect for an adventurous eater, and the Amish chicken is guaranteed to leave you stuffed.

While looking through the new menu, I spotted a few more things I’m eager to try, so I’ll definitely be returning to Anchorage again soon. And of course, as soon as the sun comes out I’ll be treating myself to that long-awaited Anchorage cheese platter and glass (bottle…) of wine!

5-stars

Revolucion De Cuba

April 16, 2015 at 5:14 pm | Posted in Cocktail Bar, Restaurants | 1 Comment
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When I first moved to Sheffield, I got a bit obsessed with Revolucion De Cuba’s Sunday offers. 2 for 1 on cocktails and tapas all day, every Sunday? What better way to stave off those back-to-work-in-the-morning blues!

But if you do something too much it no longer feels special – and that’s exactly what happened with me and Revolucion De Cuba. Turns out it actually is possible to get bored of Sunday afternoons spent sipping mojitos and eating tapas (who’d have thought it?)

So apart from the odd cocktail I hadn’t spent that much time in Revolucion De Cuba lately. This meant I was completely unaware of their ‘Taco Tuesday’ deal, where you get to eat as many tacos as you want for £10. So when the nice folk at Revolucion De Cuba got in touch and asked if I’d like to come along and eat tacos, I was looking forward to my first Taco Tuesday experience.

Revolucion De Cuba occupies the Mappin Street building that used to be Bai Hoi back in the day. It’s a massive venue that’s all super-glossy wood, shiny tiles, colourful artwork and the kind of super-sized ceiling fans that make you think of hotels in places sunnier than Sheffield. In fact, everything about Revolucion De Cuba makes me feel like I should be wearing flip flops, with a rolled-up beach towel in one hand and an all inclusive cocktail in the other (if only….)

When me and a friend arrived early on Tuesday evening, there was already a few large parties happily tucking into rounds of cocktails and tacos, and a live band in full swing. The band were fun and certainly added to the party atmosphere, but the music was so loud that me and my friend spent most of the evening shouting at one another across the table.

If you’re after a chat and a chilled out Tuesday evening, then Taco Tuesday isn’t for you.

The idea behind Taco Tuesday is that you can order as many platters of chicken, pork or vegetarian tacos as you want, so I went for the veggie option while my partner in crime opted for the pork. The deal also includes a soft drink or a can of Pistonhead lager. No prizes for guessing that I went with the boozy option!

Revolucion De Cuba Pistonhead

As well as the usual beers, wines and spirits, Revolucion De Cuba has a massive cocktail menu full of quirky and unique concoctions. If you’re a cocktail fan, then it’s worth making a trip to Revolucion De Cuba for the drinks menu alone.

As soon as I polished off my Pistonhead, I got stuck into the cocktail menu and ordered a Pornstar Rumtini (£7.95). While I’m not a fan of the name, I loved the tangy, fruity taste of this cocktail – not to mention the shot of prosecco that’s served on the side.

revolucion de cuba rumtini

My friend opted for Revolucion De Cuba’s take on the Bloody Mary – the Bloody Pirate (£6.95). This cocktail has just the right amount of spice, and the tomato juice is really light and refreshing.

This is one of those drinks that feels as though it’s doing you good, rather than just getting you tipsy. If you’re into the whole hair of the dog thing, this would be an amazing hangover-buster.

revolucion de cuba bloody pirate

Our first round of tacos arrived pretty sharpish.

revolucion de cuba veg taco

Both sets of tacos came with a surprise side of rice, which I hadn’t spotted on the Taco Tuesday menu. The rice is rich and delicious, but it’s also really filling so I had to stop myself from eating too much of it.

If you want to get your money’s worth, then go easy on the stodgy rice – at least until you’ve polished off a few rounds of tacos!

Speaking of tacos, the main part of my vegetarian taco filling was seasoned mushrooms, instead of a veggie mince or bean chilli filling. Also making an appearance in my soft-shell tacos, was a diced tomato and onion relish, and tangy red onions that had an unexpected, almost pickled taste. I hadn’t been expecting this burst of sourness, but it gave my tacos a delicious added bite.

Revolucion De Cuba were a bit stingy with the filling, but this wasn’t a major problem as I knew I could always order more if I was still hungry (and I was!)

The pork tacos didn’t have this problem; these tacos was generously filled with pork, and topped with those unique, sour onions.

revolucion de cuba pork taco

Since Taco Tuesday is all you can eat, it would have been rude not to have a second helping!

revolucion de cuba second round

The filling in our second round of tacos was much warmer, and we also got a much bigger helping of onions. Both me and my friend agreed this second round of tacos was nicer than the first.

When anything is “all you can eat,” you’re always going to get a different kind of food than your typical restaurant fare, but to say this was all-you-can-eat-for-£10 with a drink thrown in too, I was really impressed with the quality of the food.

Inbetween stuffing my face with tacos, I had a look at Revolucion De Cuba’s main menu, and they’ve definitely given their food a revamp since the last time I visited. The menu now promises treats such as sea bass cured with lime and chilli, blue cheese burgers, and sweet potato and feta enchiladas – all of which sound amazing.

If you’re in the mood for a fun and filling night out that won’t break the bank, then Taco Tuesday is value for money, and the quality of the food is good considering you can eat as much as you want.

With a great cocktail menu and a tempting main menu, I know it won’t be long before I pay Revolucion De Cuba a repeat visit for some non-all-you-can-eat food action.

rating-3-star

Anchorage: Sunday Lunch

March 21, 2015 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Pub Grub, Restaurants | 3 Comments
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I’ve eaten at Anchorage in West One Plaza a few times before and have always enjoyed it, so when I realised they did Sunday dinners too, I knew I had to give them a bash.

Sunday lunch is something I always enjoy, but rarely cook for myself (far too much washing up for my liking) so a city center venue offering Sunday lunch is always something worth getting excited about. I was particularly intrigued by Anchorage’s menu, as it hinted at an American twist on the traditional Sunday roast.

Unfortunately, I had a bit of a mental block and wandered into Anchorage without a reservation on mother’s day. (Just in case you’re wondering, I took my mother out for lunch a few days prior to this, so I didn’t forget about mother’s day completely). Thankfully, I’d been looking forward to my Sunday lunch so much that I’d insisted on getting to Anchorage at 12 o’clock sharp, so we were pretty much the first people there and managed to snag one of the very few tables that weren’t reserved. Phew!

I’ve written about Anchorage before, so I won’t go into detail about the venue here (if you want to read about that, I talk about it my previous Anchorage post). Safe to say it’s a nice place that has some of the Wick at Both Ends‘ quirkiness but with a more polished finish. I feel like you could treat someone to a special meal at Anchorage and it’d go down well  – and judging by all the people celebrating mother’s day there, I’m not the only person who thinks this!

I’d been looking forward to my Sunday lunch all morning, so I didn’t even need to look at the menu – I already knew I’d be ordering the vegetarian Sunday roast. However, my dining companion fancied a starter first, so before I could get my hands on that longed-for Sunday roast, it was time for a glass of white wine and a starter of crispy squid with chipotle mayo (£5.50).

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The batter was light enough that it didn’t overwhelm the squid – always a good thing! The squid was tender and juicy, and the chipotle dip had a tanginess that complimented the squid perfectly. However, the batter did have an unusual, faint flavour that I couldn’t quite put my finger on – and I couldn’t make up my mind whether it was something I liked or not. The jury’s still out on this one!

Then, it was finally time for the Sunday roast I’d been craving.

The menu promised a plateful of nut roast, taters, green beans, squash, lima beans, popovers and veggie gravy (£9.00).

veg Sunday lunch

After some Googling, it became clear that popovers are basically Yorkshire puddings (you learn something everyday). This solved one mystery, but I still wasn’t sure why there were carrots on my plate, when carrots weren’t mentioned on the menu; and the lima beans that had been on the menu, were nowhere to be found.

This wasn’t a big deal for me personally, as given the choice I’d opt for carrots over lima beans anyway, but it would have been nice for the staff to mention this swap when I was placing my order. Who knows, I could have really been looking forward to those lima beans!

Missing lima beans aside, I was really pleased with the size of my roast dinner. For £9.00 this is a big plate of food!

The roast potatoes were fluffy on the inside with a delicious crispy skin, and the Yorkshire pud (or popover, if you prefer) was massive and misshapen – just like all good homemade puds should be.

When it came to the nut roast, I didn’t have high hopes. I love my Sunday dinners, and if you order a vegetarian Sunday dinner then 99% of the time you’re going to end up with a nut roast. It’s just that most of the time, you end up with a dried-out piece of nut roast that tastes like it’s been hanging around the back of the freezer for ages, waiting for the day when someone finally orders a vegetarian roast. Even at its best, to me nut roast just tastes like stuffing – give me an extra helping of roast potatoes or some mash any day!

So I was pleased to discover that Anchorage’s nut roast is actually really good.

This nut roast was far tastier than any stuffing I’ve ever had, and it was perfectly cooked – moist on the inside, with a nicely-roasted exterior. Anchorage were also really generous when it came to portioning out their nut roast, as I got three big patties of the stuff.

I can’t remember ever enjoying a nut roast so much. I even let my meat-loving friend try a forkful of nut roast and they loved the taste, too. Now that’s when you know a nut roast is good!

Anchorage once again nailed the whole vegetarian thing, with their veggie gravy. This kind of gravy can sometimes be a bit thin and anemic-looking, but Anchorage’s was thick and packed with flavour. Good gravy can make everything on a Sunday roast even better, and this gravy certainly did that! The bottom of the Yorkshire pudding/popover was particularly good, as it had been sat soaking in the gravy.

Although we’d originally planned to come to Anchorage for Sunday lunch, my friend opted out of ordering a roast at the last minute, when they spotted a 10oz hanger steak (£14.00) on the menu.

hanger steak

According to the menu, a hanger steak is an unusual cut that butchers traditionally keep for their own table – clearly, butchers have been saving the best for themselves!

hanger steak close up

Anchorage’s hanger steak is an intense and rich cut of meat that’s stronger and far tastier than your average steak. The words “best steak I’ve ever had” were even uttered!

The steak came with a few accompaniments – fries, a rustic slaw that tasted like it was made from celeriac, and a second helping of chipotle mayo. But really, this meal is all about the steak – and Anchorage’s hanger steak was perfection. If you’re the carnivorous sort with a fondness for steak, then you owe it to yourself to try this!

When it comes to Sunday roasts, I really can’t recommend Anchorage enough. They serve big platefuls of pure comfort food that’s seriously filling, and I can see many more Anchorage Sunday dinners in my future. After all, why bother to cook myself a Sunday lunch, when I can just pop to Anchorage and get something this good for £9.00? (And no washing up, either!)

This is easily the best Sunday roast I’ve had in a long time, and the hanger steak looked incredible. I can’t fault Anchorage – and I can’t wait to return!

5-stars

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).

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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).

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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

Napoleons Foodie Preview

October 19, 2014 at 1:34 pm | Posted in Restaurants | 1 Comment
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Recently, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to sample the new menu at the Owlerton branch of Napoleons casino and restaurant on Livesey Sreet. But, this wasn’t just the launch of a new menu; the venue has also just had a £2 million refurbishment and extension. The invite promised a brand new, 60 seater restaurant, a new bar and lounge area, an extended gaming floor, plus the first outdoor gaming terrace outside of London. Pretty exciting stuff!

When we arrived at Napoleons, we were greeted by Marketing Manager Rachel, who’d very kindly organised this ‘Foodie Preview’ evening for Sheffield-based bloggers and Tweet-ers. She fixed us up with some drinks, and then took us on a quick tour of the venue so we could see what’s new.

The new bar and lounge area is now larger and more open than before. Previously, this area did feel a bit small and tucked away in the corner of the building, so this is definitely a big improvement.

To be honest, the restaurant area looks pretty much the same as before, just with more seating. It still has the dramatic red and blank colour scheme, the same low lighting, and what looks like the exact same fixtures and furnishings. This isn’t a criticism, as I thought the restaurant area looked great before, so why fix something that isn’t broken? 

Napoleons Casino

The tour concluded with a look at the outdoor gaming terrace, and Napoleons have done a fantastic job with this area. It’s completely sheltered and has a good selection of seating and gaming machines, so it doesn’t feel like you’re outside at all.

I’m a non-smoker, but I do have friends who smoke, so I can appreciate the benefit of having a space where people can smoke outdoors without being exposed to the elements. Rachel also raised a good point that the outdoor gaming terrace means smokers can pick a machine and play on it all night if they wish, without having to risk losing their machine everytime they pop outside for a cigarette.

Tour complete, it was time to take our seats and find out what Napoleons had in store for us this evening. I was excited to learn that, although we’d be choosing our main meal, we’d also each receive platters of different starters and desserts, so we could sample as much of the new menu as possible. This is a great way to get a feel for a menu – and really, who wants one pudding, when you can have three?

First up, was a platter of mini starters.

Napoleons Casino

My favourite thing on this platter was definitely the parsnip cappuccino. This unique starter is served in a coffee mug, and even has a coffee-coloured, foamy top just like you’d find on a real cappuccino.

Napoleons Casino

The soup itself is creamy, satisfying, and slightly spicy – in other words, it’s the perfect soup for winter. The parsnip cappuccino was served with a crispy, miniature onion bhaji on the side, which was perfect for dunking into the soup.

Also on the platter was that old classic, the prawn cocktail. A prawn cocktail isn’t something I’d normally order from a menu, but this particular prawn cocktail was full of fresh and tasty prawns, and was very nicely presented. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really like prawn cocktails!

The mini goat’s cheese and roasted fig bruschetta was much more my style.

Napoleons casino tartlet

The tanginess of the goat’s cheese and the sweetness of the roasted fig was a winning combination. When I pay my next visit to Napoleons, I’m going to be torn between ordering this bruschetta, or ordering the parsnip cappuccino.

The final starter on my platter, was a black pudding wonton. Since I don’t eat meat, I did a quick food exchange with my dining companion, in return for their goat’s cheese bruschetta (score!) They confirmed the wonton was just as tasty as the other starters and, even though they’re not usually a massive fan of black pudding, they wolfed down both wontons.

Onto the mains, and this was the only course we got to pick ourselves. Well, I suppose a platter of main courses would have been a bit excessive!

All the main courses on Napoleons’ new menu sound delicious, but it’s a very meat heavy menu. If you fancy fish, there’s two fish-based dishes to choose from, plus there’s a vegetarian main course of cherry tomato, pimento and basil linguini.

In the end, I opted for the grilled swordfish steak, confit of tomatoes and Mediterranean vegetables with salsa verde. When my meal arrived, I knew I’d made the right choice, because look at the size of that swordfish steak!

Napoleons Casino swordfish

My super-sized swordfish was tender, juicy, and full of flavour. This is the nicest piece of fish I’ve had in quite a while.

Meanwhile, my dining companion had gone for the chargrilled sirloin steak, which came with beef dripping potato wedges, Yorkshire pudding and horseradish jus. 

Napoleons casino steak

The steak was cooked exactly as requested (medium rare) and the potato wedges tasted of real beef dripping.

At Napoleons, all main courses come with a selection of veggies, plus a side order of super-cheesy potatoes. If you book a table at Napoleons, there’s no way you’re going home hungry!

Napoleons Casino potatoes

I’d already eaten a whole swordfish steak, plus portions of parsnip soup, onion bhaji, prawn cocktail, and two pieces of goat’s cheese bruschetta, and there was still a whole platter left to go! I was on the verge of slipping into a food coma at the table, but there was no going back now – it was pudding time. 

Napoleons Casino pudding

First up was a small pot of gingered apple and plum crumble with vanilla custard. The crumble and custard were light, and the fruit filling was a nice mix of tart and sweet, although I couldn’t really taste the ginger. 

The second mini pudding was a portion of dense chocolate brownie. The brownie had a very rich, strong chocolate flavour without being overly sweet. My only grumble is that the brownie was a bit dry on its own; a drizzle of chocolate sauce would have been appreciated.

I’d saved the best until last, because the final pudding was a warm ginger cake, complete with a drizzle of sweet and spicy ginger sauce. The cake itself was lovely and moist, and tasted really strongly of ginger, which I love. This is a very satisfying pud that’s perfect for the colder months. I’m looking forward to paying a repeat visit to Napoleons just so I can order a full-sized piece of this cake!

Food dispatched, there was just enough time for a complimentary £5 spin on the roulette wheel (which I didn’t win) and then it was time to head home.

I was really impressed by Napoleons’ new menu. When you’re in the mood for a slap up meal, this casino may not be the first place that springs to mind, but they serve quality food with plenty of restaurant flourishes – case in point, that quirky parsnip cappuccino. You also can’t complain about the prices, as you can get a three course meal for either £19 or £21, depending on whether you dine on a weekday or a weekend. For the quality of food Napoleons serves, this is a bargain!

If you’re planning a visit to Napoleons Owlerton, I can highly recommend you eat there too. In fact, even if you’re not planning on visiting the casino, it’s worth taking a look at the menu anyway – you may just surprise yourself and pay Napoleons a visit for the food alone!

four-stars

Anchorage Bar

October 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Restaurants | 2 Comments
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When I heard that Anchorage, a new ‘East Coast’ restaurant, had opened in West One Plaza, I was looking forward to trying somewhere new – and that’s before I even realised this venue is part of the Harley and Wick at Both Ends family. The Harley and the Wick are two of my favourite places to eat in Sheffield, so when I realised Anchorage was related to these two, I couldn’t wait to give it a go!

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First impressions of Anchorage Bar were positive. It’s a bright and airy venue, with the same quirky touches and indie charm I love so much about the Wick at Both Ends.

If you’re a fan of the Wick, like I am, the cocktail menu will feel instantly familiar, as a couple of Wick cocktails have made the transition to Anchorage Bar. This doesn’t mean the drinks menu is a carbon copy, as Anchorage also offers a large and unique selection of imported beers, plus a very special prosecco sharer that’s actually served in a lobster cage!

This ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ is described as “the ultimate sharer” and, since it apparently consists of a whole bottle of prosecco, 6 shots, plus the aforementioned lobster cage, it sounds like it lives up to that description! I was dying to see what this beast actually looks like but sadly, at £40 it’s not exactly the sort of thing you order on a whim!

Despite this being my very first visit to a brand-new venue, I have to admit I ended up ordering a cocktail I’ve already had many times at the Wick at Both Ends – a Corpse Reviver (£7).

This deceptively-dainty looking drink is a potent blend of Buffalo Trace, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and Absinthe. Sadly, my Corpse Reviver was nothing like the “guaranteed to raise the dead” cocktail I remembered from the Wick. It tasted overpoweringly of lemon, and didn’t pack half the punch I’d been expecting. I haven’t ordered a Corpse Reviver in a while, so it’s possible the Wick have changed their recipe, or maybe Anchorage’s barman was simply having a bad day. Either way, I switched to wine for the rest of the evening rather than risk ordering another cocktail.

Since this was my first visit to Anchorage, I took my time scrutinising the food menu. In addition to the usual Starters, Mains, and Desserts sections, the menu also includes an enormous deli section made up of 6 inch subs, deli sandwiches, and a “build your own” board of cheeses and meats. For me, the meat and cheese board is the most exciting thing on the deli menu, as it comes with pickles, focaccia and squid ink bread. When summer rolls around, I can’t think of anything better than sharing a board of cheese and squid ink bread, with a cheeky bottle of wine on the side.

Sadly, summer isn’t about to roll around anytime soon – in fact, by the time I’d read through the deli menu and polished off my sour Corpse Reviver, it had already grown dark outside.

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It was high time we got serious and actually ordered some food! I opted for some comfort food, in the form of a Mac and Cheese burger (£8).

Anchorage Bar mac and cheese burger

I’ll admit the first time I saw a Mac and Cheese burger on a menu, I thought it sounded hideous. But then curiosity got the better of me and I ordered my first ever mac and cheese burger. I loved it, and have been ordering them ever since.

Anchorage’s version of a mac and cheese burger is incredibly strong. Whatever cheese they use in these burgers, it’s strong and salty, and has a tanginess that reminded me of blue cheese. If you like your cheese mild, then you should avoid this burger! For me, when it comes to cheese it’s a case of the stronger the better, so I loved the taste of this burger. The patty had been cooked just right too, which was a relief – no one wants soggy pasta or overcooked, rubbery cheese in their burger.

Anchorage’s mac and cheese burger is a filling and stodgy carb-fest. Just a few bites in, I knew there was no way I’d be able to eat it all. This is comfort food at its best, but I’d only order this again if I was seriously hungry, because this is one heavy burger!

My dining companion had also ordered a burger, but instead of pasta and cheese, their burger patty was made from 35 day, dry-aged beef, topped with a wedge of melted cheese (£8.50). Clearly, the Anchorage chefs aren’t worried about your waistline!

Anchorage Bar beef burger

This burger got a big thumbs up for the generous helping of cheese, and the thickly-glazed brioche bun.

We left Anchorage absolutely stuffed and, apart from that dodgy Corpse Reviver, feeling like we’d got good value for money. I’m already planning a second visit so I can sample that delicious-sounding deli menu!

Suffice to say, Anchorage is already well on its way to joining the Wick and the Harley as one of my favourite places to dine and drink in Sheffield.

four-stars

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