Saturday 29 December 2018

Highlights of 2018

I started the new year by revisiting a local cafe that I hadn't returned to since 2010, Denmark Cafe in Norwich. Not much had changed in 8 years including the prices, the large breakfast had increased by just 55p in that time! I wrote a new review for this popular old school cafe and it scored a respectable 8/10.

I'd been a huge fan of Pye Baker cakes for a few years so was delighted to hear they were now serving a Full English breakfast in their shop on Dereham Road in Norwich. In February I went along to try it and was won over by the Swannington sausages and homemade hash brown served on their breakfast. With an overall score of 8.5/10 it earned a place in the recommended section.

March was probably my least interesting month of the year. My only review was at Park Britannia in Norwich where I enjoyed the stunning surroundings of Waterloo Park whilst eating a fairly average breakfast.

As the weather improved in April I got a real taste for street food and Norwich Market was the place to go to enjoy some really impressive street food dishes. I decided to document my findings by publishing my guide to Food on Norwich Market. My personal favourites are Jakey The Bakey, Bun Box and Cocina Mia.

My love for street food got stronger and in May I headed to London where I discovered some of the best street food I'd ever tasted. I'd always enjoyed a burger but having tried Burger & Beyond, Black Bear, Coqfighter, Bleecker and Nanny Bills I realised just how far burgers had come. I've never really been a dessert person but another incredible find in London was the sweet pies being made by A Pie Party, by far the best I'd ever tasted! I decided to write a London Street Food blog post to help others visiting the capital look up these places.

As the Summer arrived I went with my wife to Portugal where we checked out Lisbon. The entire trip was well documented in The Lisbon Adventure. We had hoped to also visit Porto  but confusion over a train strike meant we never made it there. 

Regular trips to London ensured I was able to find more great Street Food. I'd heard about a chicken sandwich being served by Disco Picnic Collective which I finally tried in July at their Clerkenwell pop up. Boneless chicken thigh brined in lemongrass and kaffir lime, lemongrass curd, pickled chillies, lime coriander buttermilk mayo and sriracha mayo in a bun. The best chicken sandwich I'd ever eaten! 

In August I flew over to Slovenia with my wife to Punk Rock Holiday. An amazing festival surrounded by a stunning mountainous backdrop. The entire trip was well documented over 10 blog post in Punk Rock Holiday Adventure which also featured our time in the Slovenian Capital, Ljubljana. 

As soon as I was back in the UK again I went along to Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich to check out their latest special, High Sea. Think high tea with that special Grosvenor twist, if like me you prefer savoury over sweet things then this you have to try!

It was time for another trip abroad, this time for the Amsterdam Food Adventure. We didn't have much time in Amsterdam but certainly made the most of our time in this wonderful city.

Another highlight in September was visiting Arlos in Balham to try their Full Arlos breakfast. The Full Arlos consisted of Bavette steak, Brindisa chorizo, roast portobello mushroom, cherry tomatoes, fried eggs and sourdough toast. This was the most delicious breakfast I'd ever had the pleasure of eating!!

On a trip to London in October I went with my wife to my favourite ever cafe, E. Pellicci in the East End of London. It was a real pleasure to be back here again and the friendly welcome always makes this place unforgettable. We enjoyed a full English followed by Mama's famous bread pudding, the best you'll ever likely to taste!

Having spent the summer focusing on street food I decided to catch up on the full English situation back in Norwich as a few new places had opened. One of these places was The Ber Street Kitchen where I enjoyed an excellent breakfast. My second recommended sticker of the year was awarded to them for their good efforts.

Later in October I ventured out to Spixworth on the outskirts of Norwich to try the Full English breakfast at The Longe Arms. Breakfast reviews were becoming a rare thing on my blog as I realised a picture speaks a thousand words. The breakfast served at The Longe Arms was really impressive and definitely worth venturing out to Spixworth for. 

With Christmas getting closer and Grosvenor Fish Bar starting their Christmas dinner special earlier this year, I wasted no time in going along to try it in early November. As always it was absolutely delicious and it kick started my obsession for Christmas food which I'd continue searching for over the next two months.

Sunday the 4th November was National Fry Up Day and the fry up event of the year The Great British Fry Up took place at MEATliquor in London. Organised by Tom from The Fry Up Police and featuring an impressive line up of suppliers including Fruit Pig, Cackle Bean and Powters this was certainly an impressive breakfast. The chefs for the day were Masterchef runner up Steve Kielty, Doctor Fry and Ben Smith. The day was a huge success and the event was sold out, roll on next year!

I spent the best part of December searching for the best Christmas street food I could find in Norwich and London. My findings were documented in my 2018 festive favourites in Norwich and London blog post. 

Huge thanks to all my blog readers and followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Also a special thanks to my wife and the following companies for their support in 2018...
Salubrious Sauce Co, The Street Cafe, Jakey the Bakey, Ciscoes, Huckleys, Oh My Dog, Black Milk, Vagabond, Intu, The Unthank Kitchen, House, Grosvenor Fish Bar, The Bucket List, Arlo's, Beef Steaks, Motherchip, Speyside Specialities, Nanny Bills, Longe Arms, The Fry Up Police, E. Pellicci, Above, Fat Maggis, Coral Bay, York Tavern, Which Dish, Meat Liquor, Minuteman Press, Chef Tony and everyone at Keep it Greasy.

Wednesday 12 December 2018

2018 Festive favourites in Norwich and London

I love Christmas food and have spent the past few weeks checking out some of the festive inspired food on offer in Norwich and London. Over the next week or so I'll be adding to this list but for now here's some of my festive favourites that are out there in Norwich and London at the moment.


Christmas Dinner at Grosvenor Fish Bar - £6.50
Turkey sausage, chips, battered stuffing balls, gravy and cranberry sauce. This chip shop meal with a festive twist returns again in 2018 and is a firm favourite of mine, the combination of items works so well! You can eat it in the bunker downstairs or why not do as I did and take it over to The Birdcage opposite and enjoy it with a pint.

Xmas Dinner at Urban Munch - £6.50
Freshly roasted turkey breast served over roast potatoes with homemade stuffing, chipolata sausages, braised onion, Yorkshire pudding, homemade cranberry sauce and rich gravy. This delicious takeaway version of Christmas dinner is not to be missed, you won't find any sprouts or carrots on this dinner but in many ways that just adds to it as you're getting all the best bits covered in a rich thick gravy. Don't forget to grab a few serviettes though, you'll definitely be needing them! They don't have a website but all you need to know is that you can find them at 1 Castle Meadow and they're open Monday to Friday from 9.45am till 3pm.

Nanna's Turkey Gobbler by Gonzo's Tea Room - £14.99
 Deep fried turkey burger, garlic and rosemary potato rosti, port infused winter slaw, burger cheese, Brie, cranberry and orange drizzle served in a brioche bun. It’s topped off with a pig in blanket and served with fries and a side of gravy. You're definitely going to need a stack of serviettes with this beast of a burger!

Christmas Dinner wings by Gonzo's Tea Room - £6.50
Stuffing coated chicken wings served with a rich gravy and cranberry dip, so delicious!

That Piggin' Christmas burger by The York Tavern - £13
Homemade beef and sausage patty, crispy bacon, blue cheese, crushed chestnuts, orange infused beetroot, mulled cabbage, blue cheese spinach and chestnut aioli served in a bun with parsnip crisps and gravy. A really well thought out combination of flavours that make up an unforgettable and delicious Christmas burger.

Battered sprouts (60p), mince pies (60p) and Christmas puddings (£1.50) from Lucy's Chips, Norwich Market
I'd already tried the battered mince pies and Christmas puddings served with brandy sauce last year but thankfully they're back at Lucy's Chips again this year. Joining them is battered Brussel sprouts at a mere 60p per portion. I love Brussel sprouts so if you do too then you've just gotta try some! There are two different Lucy's Chips stalls on Norwich Market so head to the bigger of the two stalls to find this trio of festive battered treats.

Mince pie cookie by And Eat It - £2.50
As soon as I spotted this mince pie cookie on instagram I wasted no time in trying it out for myself and I loved it! A huge cookie with chocolate and mince pie inside, an excellent combination of crunchy and gooey textures that work so well together. If you love cookies and mince pies then you definitely need to try one of these! Find And Eat It at on Row C of Norwich Market, stalls 51/61.

Christmas Menu at The Tipsy Vegan - £25 for 3 courses
In the past I've found some 3 course Christmas menus to be disappointing but that all changed when I went along with my wife to The Tipsy Vegan on St Benedicts Street. The price includes a cocktail (Bourbon, Cointreau, cider and ginger ale) and all 3 courses were exceptional with some amazing flavours in every course. The courses I chose were Chestnut mushroom and sherry pate on toasted bread, Mushroom wellington with all the trimmings and salted caramel chocolate tart. I'll definitely be returning here again next year, a very impressive Christmas menu and great service too!


Turkey and smoked bacon burger by Truffle - £8
The taste of Christmas captured in a bun beautifully by Truffle with their Turkey and smoked bacon burger. Turkey and bacon patty, cranberry jam, sage and onion stuffing, crispy shallots and truffle mayo. I loved this combination, so delicious! Find them on the South Bank until Christmas.

XXXmas Garbage Plate by MEATliquor - £10
MEATliquor are offering an impressive festive menu and it's one that's definitely worthy of your attention, see the full menu here. I visited the Kings X branch to try the XXXmas Garbage plate which takes loaded fries to a whole new festive level. Free range Herons Farm roast turkey, Piggies in blankets and crispy stuffing crumbles over fries. It's served with gravy and cranberry sauce on the side so pour it over and enjoy!

Christmas pudding brownie pie by A Pie Party - £5
Ever since I tried my first slice of pie by A Pie Party back in April I've been returning for more almost every time I visit London. Every month there's a new special and the December special is my favourite so far. Gooey Christmas pudding brownie in a shortcrust pastry, topped with a spiced brandy butter cream and a sprig of edible holly, pure bliss! During December it's available at Maltby Street Market on Saturdays and Victoria Park Market on Sundays. Be quick though as you only have until 23rd December and they do sell out quickly!