Food.

Mini review on Angelica – Leeds

Angelica – Leeds

Angelica is a plush roof top terrace bar that over looks Leeds city centre – perfect for the long summer days we’ve had recently.

On our visit back in April we enjoyed two refreshing mocktails and devoured a plate of beetroot and goats cheese salad. To accompany we got sweet potato fries. There wasn’t a single thing we didn’t like about the food and drinks in front of us. The salad was yum – the beetroot and goats cheese were slightly chilled and went along really well with the tangy purple dressing it was drizzled in. The sweet potato fries were crispy, slightly on the thin side but were still tasty. The view was great and the drinks were perfect.

Portion sizes are quite small for the price you’re paying. It’s more of a light snack or something to nibble on with your pre-drinks before you actually go for your meal. If you take into account the relaxing atmosphere, the very friendly quick service, the amazing views and the great tasting food I do think its worth it! Even if you do just go there once, it’s definitely an experience.

Best wishes Hafsah x

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Food.

Mini Review of If Coffee – Leeds

If Coffee – Leeds

If Coffee is based a few minutes away from the Corn Exchange. Me and my Foodbae dropped by this week and shared a lovely light lunch.

We got the American pancakes – with a lot of toppings to choose from it took us a while to choose. We eventually chose salted caramel and bananas. The salted caramel was very salty but I actually liked it. The pancakes itself were amazing! Really thick but light, and for £7 we thought it was a reasonable portion size.

Looks can be deceiving as from the outside the coffee bar looks really small but it’s actually really big. They’ve also got a seating area upstairs as well as outside.

If Coffee offer a wide selection of cakes and patisseries, however unfortunately for us when we came just before 3pm there wasn’t much left. Definitely means another trip back!

Best wishes, Hafsah x

Food.

Mamas Shack – Manchester

Mamas Shack – Manchester

Mamas Shack serves halal Caribbean food at the heart of the curry mile on Wilmslow Road. I was kindly invited to visit Mamas Shack and on my visit was very welcomed by all the staff. The team are originally from London and already have a well loved restaurant there. They claim to deliver soulful and authentic food at a reasonable price to Manchester.

For starters we shared a portion of Jerked Wings. The jerk flavoured wings were nice and were definitely a good portion size as each wing was quite large. The wings rested on a tasty sauce which added to the already flavoursome wings. I’m usually not a big fan chicken wings as chicken can sometimes be quite dry however these weren’t like that at all.

£4.95*

I was craving a burger and after seeing Mamas Shacks IG feed I wanted to try out their Jerk burger. The Jerk burger is a chargrilled beef patty, with an Adoba seasoned hash brown served with Mango Chutney. Adoba is a Caribbean season which has a mix of paprika, chilli flakes, oregano, garlic powder and onion powder. The burgers all come with mayo and American cheese and are sandwiched in a sweet brioche bun. The chef informed us the beef patty was completely fresh and homemade, he had got the meat himself from the butchers on that same morning. The patty didn’t have an ounce of fat on it and the burger didn’t have a greasy aftertaste that readymade patty’s do. It was a proper burger.

£9.00

To accompany my burger I got sweet potato chips. They were seasoned, crisp and thickly cut; just like our starter these were also a reasonable portion size. They were different to usual sweet potato chips and I believe were also homemade.

£3.00

For desserts we had Churros, the chef explained that their churros are completely different to others as theirs had a Caribbean twist. The churros at Mamas Shack was served with a creamy soft ice cream. It had a very similar texture to kulfi and went really well with churros. The churros itself were soft and sugary, and very lightly season with paprika which must’ve been the Caribbean twist. They were really light and tasty and went down perfectly after all the strong flavours we had had.

*

Their menu is filled with authentic Caribbean food such as Curry Goat, Chicken and Chickpea Stew with Jallof Rice and sides such as Calamari and Plantain. There’s definitely a lot to choose from especially if you already have a love for Caribbean cuisine.

Mamas Shack are definitely introducing something new to the market. If you’re willing to try new things I would definitely recommend this place. Everything was fresh, homemade and beautiful presented, it’s evident a lot of time and care has gone into making sure the food tastes and looks perfect.

Best wishes, Hafsah x

Disclaimer: everything marked with an * were very kindly given to us complimentary. Portion sizes may slightly differ as we were offered these to try. All my reviews are completely unbiased and are solely my opinion.

Food.

Bucket List

Taking it back to September 2016.

I’ve just graduated. Got myself my first full time job. Passed my driving and finally on the roads with my little car. Beaming with excitement I began noting down a list of all the places I wanted to try out.

Trip Advisor became my daily go-to; from cute little cafes to award winning restaurants, rooftop terrace bars to dessert parlours, Indian street food to British afternoon tea. I wanted to try it all!

Nearly two years later and my list is nowhere near complete. Every time I tick one place off I end up adding another few on.

Whilst I’m trying to post reviews as regularly as possible there’s no way I’m going to be able to catch up on the places from my pre-blogging days. I’m always getting asked where I’d recommend so I thought it’d be easier to post my list.

One day when I’m feeling extra OCD I’ll put them in some kind of order…

✓ Marco & carl Leicester

✓ Las iguanas Leeds

◦ Salt & pepper Manchester

✓ Scene Manchester

✓ Vermillion Manchester

◦ Iceberg Preston

✓ Manjaros Leeds

✓ Angelicas Leeds

✓ Tattu Manchester/Leeds

✓ Frangos Halifax

✓ Tipu sultan Birmingham

◦ Al feena Leicester

✓ Pizza in a Cone Bradford

◦ Heavenly desserts Birmingham/Leicester

✓ Gourmet Oldham

✓ Sizzling Palette Bolton

◦ Dessert republic Manchester

◦ Vapiano Manchester

◦ Managerie Manchester

◦ Neighbourhood Leeds

◦ Ziya Manchester

✓ Bison Leeds

✓ Cona Bradford

✓ Dejavooo Liverpool

◦ Kaspas Manchester/Liverpool/Leeds

◦ Rebus domes Leicester

✓ Mughals on the rocks Keighley

✓ 50s diner Keighley

✓ Chaiiwala Bolton/Leicester/Birmingham

✓ East z East Liverpool st Manchester

◦ Sa-ha Steak Rotherham

◦ Al cazar lounge London

◦ Terrace lounge London

◦ Tiger Bay Lounge London

✓ Yayas Steakhouse Manchester

◦ Evelyn’s cafe Manchester

✓ Molasses Manchester

✓ Rakkaposhi Bradford

◦ Sher akbar Manchester

✓ Zouk Manchester

✓ Sky lounge Leeds

✓ Cloud 23 Manchester

◦ Syon lounge London

✓ Cardamom Black Harrogate

✓ East z East Riverside Manchester

◦ Sky Gardens London

◦ STK London

◦ Hakkasan London

✓ Sweet Diner Manchester

✓ Akaash Cleckheaton

✓ Dhanak Deira Bolton

◦ Shajan Blackburn

✓ Argeela lounge Birmingham

◦ Manchester house Manchester

✓ Emperors lounge Birmingham

✓ Creams Leeds

◦ Kobe sizzlers Leicester

◦ Nivikov London

✓ The next desserts Birmingham

✓ The Alchemist

✓ Godfathers Batley

◦ Sky lounge Manchester

✓ Bibis italiannisimo Leeds

◦ Zoya Leeds

✓ The Indian Tiffin room Manchester/Leeds

◦ Fazenda Manchester

◦ Rosso Manchester

✓ Grand daddy’s Manchester

✓ Sweet diner Manchester

✓ Estabulo Leeds

◦ Huqqa lounge London

✓ Moose Coffee cafe Manchester

◦ Restaurant ours London

◦ Dessert republic Manchester

◦ Zaraks grill Oldham

✓ Azeems Keighley

✓ Handmade Burger Leeds

◦ Ibrahim’s steak house Birmingham

◦ Tru burger Birmingham

◦ Basrah lounge London

✓ Carluccios Leeds/Manchester/Liverpool

◦ Grillz steak house Birmingham

◦ Amigos Mexican Kitchen Sheffield

✓ Akbars Sheffield

◦ New Yorker American Manchester

◦ Mughli charcoal pit Manchester

◦ Brew and brownie York

✓ Temples Coffee Leeds

◦ Slattery Manchester

◦ Gingers comfort Manchester

✓ Dakota Deluxe Leeds

◦ Mowgli Birmingham

✓ Kabanas Huddersfield

✓ Eat Meat Manchester

✓ Bills Restaurant Leeds

✓ Pearls tearoom Bradford

◦ Patisserie Lidere Manchester

◦ Brunch and Grill Bolton

◦ LaGlacier Blackburn

◦ Ambience Blackburn

◦ Junction 51 Blackburn

◦ The Clove Blackburn

◦ Black Milk Manchester

◦ Fig and Olive Blackburn

◦ Grindsmith Coffee Manchester

✓ Frankies Batley

✓ Just vintage! Grand Tearoom Leeds

✓ Tawa House Dewsbury

◦ Fargos food factory Birmingham

◦ Gelato Amorino Leeds

◦ IfCoffee Bar Leeds

✓ Hepworths Deli Kitchen Leeds

◦ House of Koko Leeds

✓Laynes Espresso Leeds

✓ Chaophraya Leeds

✓ Tipu Sultan Birmingham

✓ Tinseltown Birmingham

◦ Sukhothai Leeds

◦ Santorini Bar and Grill Leeds

◦ Out of the Woods UK Leeds

◦ Heaney and Mill Leeds

◦ La Chalet French Tea Room Leeds

◦ East 59th Rooftop Bar & Grill Leeds

◦ Le Bab London

✓ Ezra and Gil Manchester

◦ Sweet and Salted Dewsbury

◦ Jamie Oliver’s kitchen Leeds

◦ Gusto Leeds

◦ Gino Di Campo Leeds

◦ Alberts Shed Manchester/Castlefield

✓ The Refinery Manchester

◦ Salvis Manchester

◦ Dukes 92 Manchester

◦ Chino Latino Leeds

◦ Victors Hale Manchester

◦ Thaikun Manchester

◦ Stories in Leeds

◦ Soft Serve Society Desserts London

◦ Bukhara Manchester

◦ La Vina Manchester

◦ The Locals Cafe London

◦ Mrs Athas Leeds

◦ XO – Sakana Manchester

◦ Maitre Choux London

◦ Fargos Food Factory Birmingham

◦ Fress Restaurant Manchester

✓ East Z East Liverpool

✓ The Refinery Spinningfields Manchester

◦ Sugar Junction Manchester

◦ Indique Fine Dining Manchester

◦ Kings Full Veg Birmingham

◦ Luna Rossa London

◦ Bubblewrap Waffle London

◦ Baker st Cakes Leicester

◦ Konak Leicester

◦ Bundobust Street food Leeds/Manchester

◦ Royal Piri Piri Oldham

◦ Dum Biryani London

◦ German Donner Kebab London

◦ Australasia Manchester

◦ Tamarind of Mayfair London

◦ Fillmore and Union Leeds/Harrogate

◦ Dhosa Xpress Manchester

◦ Chappati Cafe Manchester

◦ Nurooz Grill House Sheffield

◦ Sirkars Buffet Middlesbrough

◦ La Creme Desserts Sheffield

◦ Syhiba Halifax

◦ 3 Five 1 Coventry

◦ Bun and Steak Birmingham

◦ Heritage Deli and Kitchen Huddersfield

◦ The Wild Plum Breakfast Harrogate

◦ The York’s Birmingham

◦ Med One Lebanese Huddersfield

◦ Fargos Food Factory Birmingham

◦ Upshot Esresso Sheffield

◦ The Botanist Leeds/Manchester

◦ Try Thai Manchester

◦ Alabama’s All American Manchester

◦ The Sipping Room London

◦ The Edgbaston Boutique Birmingham

◦ Lemon Pepper steak hut Leicester

◦ Steak Out Leicester

◦ Wolf of Green Park Leeds

◦ The Cats Pjs Leeds

◦ Limeyard Leeds

◦ Four Seasons Tea Room Blackburn

◦ 20 Stories Manchester

◦ Lokkum bar and grill London

◦ Embassy Lounge Leicester

◦ The Food Box Manchester

◦ Haute Dolci Cheshire Oaks Outlet

◦ Tampopo Manchester

◦ Saints of Mokha Leicester

◦ L’eto Cafe London

◦ Bun and Steak Birmingham

✓ Snowcold Batley

✓ Comptoir Lebanai Leeds

◦ Malmaison Afternoon Tea Birmingham

◦ Taste Buds Leicester

◦ Barnis Desserts Huddersfield

Please note some of these places are sheesha lounges and do not do food but they’ve managed to find their way on to my list.

Comment below or message me on any of my social media platforms if there’s anywhere that you recommend I add to my list.

Kind regards, Hafsah x

Food.

Creams British Luxury

Creams British Luxury Tearoom

After my disappointing visit to Just Grand! Vintage Tea Room I decided to make another trip to Leeds for afternoon tea. Creams British Luxury is a franchise set up by two brothers Tayeb and Unzar Aleem from Huddersfield. Their goal was to create luxury tearooms that catered to everyone.

Creams isn’t just luxury by name! Every single detail exudes a luxurious feel! From the large chandeliers to the grand piano it was clear no expense was spared in creating an opulent atmosphere.

Instead of the traditional tearoom menu Creams go above and beyond – they have a diverse offering of afternoon teas such as Arabian, Italian and British. From pizzas to paninis, salmon salads to egg benedict, sundaes to freak shakes their menu offers so much more than your usual basic tearoom.

Even though I was spoilt for choice I was still determined to get a good afternoon tea experience and ordered the Creams British Afternoon Tea for one. The afternoon tea consists of brioche bun sandwiches comprising of chicken mayonnaise, cheese with spring onion and egg mayo. Accompanied by a sultana scone with strawberry preserve and clotted cream and a selection of cakes & patisserie. All served with a pot of the finest English breakfast tea.

£11.95 per person

The luxury element was instilled within the presentation of the food too. Unlike Just Grand! Our afternoon tea looked just as amazing as it tasted. Just by the presentation alone I knew I would definitely enjoy this afternoon tea a lot more.

The scone was perfect and by far the best I’ve had in ages! Baked to a beautiful golden brown, the scone was exactly how a scone should be. It didn’t crumble when cutting into it, the flavour wasn’t overpowering and had just the right amount of sultanas.

The sandwiches were equally as delicious. The sweet brioche bun went well with the traditional fillings as well as the chicken mayo. They were quite filling and I only managed one full sandwich and a few bites of the other two.

On to the patisseries – The macaroon even though it was tasty I would’ve preferred a different flavour. They gave us a coffee flavour macaroon which wasn’t to my taste at all. I found the flavour far too rich. I didn’t eat the lemon drizzle cupcake, but my friend that did said it was too strong. She said the actual cupcake was tasty but far too sweet. The orange cheesecake however was really nice. The cream, custard and jelly were of the right balance.

As well as sharing the afternoon tea we also got a panini melt. I had my doubts – I’ve always thought when at a tea room you should stick to what they know best; sandwiches, cakes etc. We chose the lemon pepper chicken melt and didn’t regret it. The panini was delicious! The toasted baguette bread was soft and tender and the chicken was bursting with flavour. I’ve never had lemon chicken before as I’ve always thought the acidity from the lemon would overpower the chicken. However this was the complete opposite; the chicken and lemon went really well together, the chicken had a really nice tangy taste to it. It was served with a large portion of steak cut chips, equally as delicious.

£6.95 with chips

As previously mentioned in my last post the afternoon tea at Just Vintage was priced the same as Creams however the quality couldn’t have been more different. At Just Vintage we ordered the afternoon tea for two, but yet we got so much more in Creams even though we only ordered for one.

Creams definitely carries a luxurious and extravagant concept without the high price tag. I actually can’t wait to revisit!

Let me know your thoughts below in the comments section!

Take care, lots of love

Hafsah x

Food.

Just Grand! Vintage Tea Room

Just Grand! Vintage Tea Room

Situated in Grand Arcade in the midst of busy Leeds city centre Just Grand is one of the prettiest tea rooms I’ve ever been to. With its plush cushions, cosy blankets and pretty white doilies the tea room oozes warmth and comfort!

However once seated inside our first impressions of comfort slowly simmered away. The small tea room uncomfortably fits around eight tables; the tables are all very closely compacted next to each other. On our weekend brunch date we were given a small rickety table by the wall.

The table was full of little retro ornaments, menus were neatly taped onto the sleeves of old vinyl record and each table was labelled with a photo of a musician instead of table numbers – all reflecting the tea rooms unique and quirky 50’s theme.

The waitresses were dressed in polka dot red and white skater dresses with matching hair accessories. Their welcoming bubbly personality and friendly faces were a quality in itself.

Before our visit I had already scoured through Trip Advisor and knew I wanted the Afternoon Tea. The Just Grand Vintage Afternoon Tea for one consists of a selection of 4 sandwiches, a freshly baked scone, a choice of cake and unlimited tea or coffee.

£11.95 per person

We were a little disappointed with the presentation of our afternoon tea. The stand was slightly broken and like the tower of Pisa our afternoon tea leaned to its side. After playing about with it for a while trying to twist and tighten it we gave up and each just took it in turn to hold it straight for our much needed Snapchats and Boomerangs.

Starting from the top – our homemade buttery baked scones. The scones came with a choice of either butter, cream or jam. I’ve always thought the point of an afternoon tea is the pleasure of variety. The fact that we had to choose one was disappointing.

Despite that the scone itself was faultless! It had the right consistency between textures, hard on the outside and soft on the inside – light, tasty and perfect with tea!

On to plate two – the cakes. The menu doesn’t specify what cakes to choose from as it’s just what’s available on the day. I can’t remember what the white cake was called. (I should have done this review as soon as I visited – lesson learnt!) however all their cakes that are available are neatly displayed with their names by the till. This cake was similar to a gooey rice crispy cake with smarties – tasty but very very sweet.

The second cake was a fruit cake; we actually didn’t ask for a fruit cake… again I can’t remember what we did ask for but it definitely wasn’t the fruit cake. As the cafe was quite busy we didn’t bother asking if it could be changed. The home made fruit cake had the usual qualities a good fruitcake should have, however it was just too rich for us.

Last but not least plate number three consisting of a selection of four sandwiches. We chose two cheese and pickle, tuna and cucumber and egg mayo. The tuna and cucumber sandwich and the egg mayo were as good as any regular sandwich. The cheese and pickle had no pickle or at least we couldn’t taste pickle.

Just Grand! Vintage Tea Room do have a great concept and I can see why it’s so popular however I don’t think it’s value for money. For just slightly under £24 we were very disappointed with our afternoon tea. At £11.95 for one the afternoon tea simply consists of one scone, one cake and one basic sandwich cut into four. The stand was broken and order wasn’t exactly what we had asked for.

There are many other tea rooms that are similarly priced but offer a lot more for example Creams British Luxury tea room. The below picture is the Creams afternoon tea for one; in comparison the Just Grand afternoon tea was for two but still the Creams stand offers so much more. I will God Willing do a review soon!

Nonetheless if you are passing through Leeds City Centre and do have a love for the 50s era then I would stop by for a good Yorkshire tea and admire the hidden vintage treasures inside Just Grande!

Happy Brunching!

Lots of love, Hafsah x

Food.

Ezra and Gil

Ezra and Gil

Happy Pancake Day!

Ezra and Gil is a trendy uptown cafe based in Manchester City Centre. It’s quite a large cafe and has a vast seating area. With its wooden floors and open stone walls the cafe carries a popular urban culture atmosphere. As soon as we stepped in we noticed the diversity of customers; friends chatting over hot drinks, families enjoying a late lunch, solo customers reading a book and students working on Mac books. It was clear to see the cafe had a very welcoming environment.

Another aspect we noticed was how clean the cafe was. Tables were cleared as soon as the customers had left. All tables were spaced out nicely creating an intimate atmosphere, making it easy to conduct deep, personal conversations for hours on end. Delicate pretty flowers were placed on each table, as well as cute large jars containing white and brown sugar cubes, a well replenished bucket of utensils and a small lit tea light.

However unlike other cafes I’ve been to recently Ezra & Gils menu is quite limited. A little note was attached to their wooden clipboard menu detailing their pancake day special – Crushed Oreo on a stack of pancakes served with whipped cream. Despite it being Pancake Day I would’ve expected more variety. I’m not the biggest Oreo fan and would’ve preferred a pancake with a chocolate spread and maybe strawberries or just lemon and maple syrup. Nonetheless we had no choice but to order two Crushed Oreo Pancakes.

To accompany our pancakes we also ordered two hot chocolates. On a cold day such as today a mug of rich hot chocolate is the best Winter warmer. Again there wasn’t much of a variety with the hot chocolate other than being about to request whipped cream for an additional 20p. We had to wait by the counter to collect our hot drinks to take them to our table. This meant the hot drinks were luke warm (nearly cold) by the time the waiter brought over the pancakes.

£2.90

However I can’t complain the hot chocolate was divine. The chocolate was not overly rich and carried a creamy character. The texture and the sweetness were of the right balance. I’m assuming I would’ve enjoyed it even more if I had had it piping hot with my meal.

First impression of the pancakes was where were the pancakes? The pancakes were covered in a large layer of whipped cream, whilst I can imagine some customers may enjoy a large amount of whipped cream – I didn’t. My pancakes weren’t piping hot and I’m assuming the large load of whipped cream didn’t help that either.

£7.50

The menu stated a stack of pancakes however there was only two. Initially I was slightly annoyed that at £7.50 there was only two pancakes. However as I began to get through my first pancake I soon realised two was more than enough. The pancakes were fluffy and light but were at least over an inch thick. After finishing my first pancake I couldn’t eat anymore.

It is reasonably priced coffee shop and the service and atmosphere is exceptional. We couldn’t help but notice the special little complimentary touches around the cafe. There’s a water fountain with little lemon slices as you walk in and a jar of dog treats beside it. It’s lovely to see establishments that actually do put their customers needs first and are pet friendly.

Their Instagram bio describes Ezra and Gil as being ‘an evolutionary concept in urban coffee, cafe culture and general provisions.’ Don’t let their food pictures on Instagram fool you it is definitely leaning more towards a coffee shop than an actual cafe. Whilst their menu is quite limited they did have a lot of fresh shortbreads, biscuits and cakes displayed by the front desk.

I do think I would visit again and would recommend the coffee shop to others. However next time I think Ill just get a hot drink with a fresh bun and just enjoy the atmosphere!

I hope you all enjoyed your pancake day! If you have any suggestions on where I should try out next please let me know in the comment section below.

Lots of Love, Hafsah x