Posts Tagged ‘eating out’

The restaurant queen

Thursday, January 5th, 2017 | Family & Parenting

When my daughter arrived, I assumed that my days of eating in restaurants were over. Everyone told me it was just too difficult. We would not be living the high-life anymore. It turns out that such predicts were massively incorrect, at least initially.

In her first five weeks, Venla ate in nine different restaurants. Different restaurants. This does not even include the ones we visited multiple times.

  • Byron
  • Miller & Carter
  • McDonald’s
  • All Bar One
  • Ricci’s Tapas
  • Bossa
  • Weatherspoon’s
  • Turtle Bay
  • The Pour House

That equates to a new restaurant for every four days she had been alive.

Things have slowed down a little now, as we are getting back on top of our budgets and meal schedules. However, one thing is certainly clear: rumours of the demise of our restaurant dates have been greatly exaggerated.

Bannatyne Hotel, Darlington

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 | Food, Reviews

We recently had dinner at Bannatyne Hotel in Darlington. Thankfully, I do not write the Darlington Restaurant Guide, as they would not have scored too well in it.

The menu was tediously short and unimaginative. If you did not fancy a steak, then you had four options, one of which was also beef. There was one vegetarian option and that was risotto, so vegans may have been completely out of luck.

The terrine starter was tasty and came with an excellent chutney but the accompanying leaves were so bitter that found them inedible. My medium steak arrived medium-well and came with more of the same leaves. Elina described her beef as thin and over-cooked. Finally the cheesecake was so airy and flavourless you could have probably called it a meringue.

The meal was not without its redeeming features. The steak was good, despite being over-cooked and the terrine was good too. However, for the price you pay, which is substantial, it is not somewhere I would recommend dining at.

Restaurant closures

Thursday, April 24th, 2014 | Thoughts

Since August last year, we have lost 18 restaurants in Leeds. That would not be so bad if it was the rubbish restaurants that had closed. But it never is. Quality has basically nothing to do with the success of a restaurant and marketing has everything to do with it.

Recently we have lost Curry Leaf (my favourite Indian), La Grillade (my favourite French), Cafe Italia (my favourite Italian) as well as many other great kitchens including Saengarun and Norman’s.

Meanwhile so many low quality chain restaurants continue to churn out their mush. It makes me sad.

Lunching at Fazenda

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 | Life

Last Friday, we headed to Fazenda for lunch.

I’ve never had the lunch time menu before, though I knew to expect a very much cut down version of what they served in the evening. Overall, I thought it was quite disappointing though. Most of the options were not available on the lunch time – indeed, the only steak cut available seemed to be rump, although there might have been sirloin – but nothing beyond that. I was expecting the fancy stuff to be reserved for the evening session, but I was hoping there would at least be some good choice of standard steak cuts. Apparently not.

Christmas party

Saturday, January 19th, 2013 | Life

Last week, we went out for the Worfolk Limited Christmas party. It was a very small affair – even with all the directors and employees attending, and partners, that still only left myself and Elina. Given the small number, I had decided to hold off until January to avoid large roaming gangs of noisy office employees.

We went to Anthony’s Restaurant, not just because it was located just round the corner, or because it is one of the restaurants in Leeds city centre that I’ve never eaten at but also because of the intriguing possibility of their taster menu.

This was an eight course meal where you don’t know what you’re getting – apparently because the chef just makes it up as they go along – which is brilliant. We ate our way through four starters, two mains and two desserts, along with a home made loaf of bread – each!

It was rather quiet in there – indeed, we had the place to ourselves for the first hour, before two other couples turned up, and that was their entire business for the night. That is simply a cost issue though – it certainly wasn’t because of the food, which did not disappoint.

I have little idea of what I ate in most of the courses, despite an explanation from our waitress. But it was all delicious, if a little rich – by the sixth course, I was starting to think I was on sauce overload. At 10pm, we waddled out of the restaurant, stuffed. My kind of Christmas party.

House salad

Friday, January 4th, 2013 | Photos

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Recently, we noticed that there is a Frankie & Benny’s at Crown Point Retail Park, just round the corner from our house. This is yet another place where you can get a half decent rack of ribs that is a bit too close for my waistline not to suffer.

That said, what I was most impressed with when we went there was their house salad. Without stereotyping too much, it didn’t seem like the kind of restaurant that would do a good salad, but it turns out I was wrong.

Sarann’s birthday

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 | Friends, Life

A few weeks ago, we went to Hansa’s, to celebrate Sarann’s birthday.

It was a rather intimate affair, with most people away for the holidays, or possibly refusing to eat at a vegetarian restaurant, and indeed the restaurant itself was rather quiet, despite it being the last Saturday before Christmas. Though there is much debate to be had as to whether this causes people to eat out more or less (probably depends on what disposable income bracket you fall in to).

The restaurant serves “Gujrati Vegetarian Cuisine”, the result of which was that I didn’t really know what I was eating. So me and Elina both went for the thali, which is an entire meal on a plate (similar to a bento box) and at every option I took option A and Elina took option B – then we just swapped around based on what we figured our we liked.

Toastmasters Christmas

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012 | Events

With our most recent meeting being the last of the year, I had organised a meal at Miah’s Kitchen after the meeting, so we could celebrate the festival season at Leeds City.

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Winter Solstice Meal 2012

Friday, December 14th, 2012 | Humanism

It’s hard to believe that us non-believers have now been getting together for six years to celebrate the holiday season with a meal. This year saw us visit an old classic – Spice Quarter.

They were surprisingly quiet for the Christmas period – I thought it would be rammed but someone even got a walk up table while we were there.

There was also a chav-tastic moment when we spotted a young lady wearing what I can only describe as a “magician’s assistant” leotard, covered in a thin net skirt that didn’t cover anything.

Disaster at Veritas

Friday, December 7th, 2012 | Humanism

Last week, the Atheist Society organised a dinner at Veritas. We gave them fair warning, booking out their back room so we would have the place to ourselves.

We’ve eaten there before, and it’s been reasonable.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case on Tuesday. We arrived at 7pm, and after a bit of a delay in just taking the orders – the food didn’t turn up until 9:30pm! We got some snacks and a round of drinks to say sorry, but two and a half hours is just incredible.

Worse, when the food did turn up, a lot of it was burned and badly cooked – Elina’s pie seemingly the only meal that came out of the kitchen as intended. By the time our main courses had arrived and we had eaten, it was going on until 11pm, so we skipped dessert and gave it up as a bad job.