Food.

Eat Meat – Manchester

Eat Meat – Manchester

Thick steaks, amazing service and a pretty atmosphere – sounds too good to be true right? But that’s exactly what you get at Eat Meat. Eat Meat have been on the block for a while now but over a week ago moved to a new bigger and better branch. I visited their old branch over a year ago and really enjoyed my visit. It was pre blogging days so I didn’t really take clear pictures but Eat Meat has always been at the top of my list for great steaks and my most recent visit didn’t disappoint!

The new branch is still located on Wilmslow road and no more than a 10minute drive from their old branch however it couldn’t be anymore different. The new branch is a lot bigger and beautifully decorated with cherry blossoms and floral walls. Whilst the branch may be different the menu is completely the same as before which is great – if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

To begin with we got two strawberry daiquiris which were nice however it was served in small tall glasses with very large pieces of ice. For the size of the glass I think crushed ice would’ve been perfect or maybe even larger glasses? A few sips and it’s just large rocks of ice left.

For our starters we got the hummus served with pitta bread and chicken wings. On my previous visit we got the mezze platter and lamb ribs. The mezze platter was nice but the lamb ribs were exceptional. Full of flavour and decorated with pomegranate, beautifully presented and really tender! Each stack was full of meat unlike some places that often just serve a rack of fat. The meat broke off the bone effortlessly and the sauce just made everything 10/10.

*above picture taken in my pre blogging days*

I did originally order the lamb ribs on this occasion too but the waitress advised it’d be an hour wait so we opted for the chicken wings instead. Unbelievably the chicken wings were just as good as the lamb ribs! Again beautifully presented; full of flavour! I’ve never known wings to slip off the bone so easily before. Literally at the slightest touch of the bone and the meat just slid off. Both portions were a generous size too and very filling!

For our mains we got the chicken steak with steak cut chips and a medium rare sirloin lamb steak served on a hot platter with mash and peppercorn sauce. The steak was perfect! So thick but still so juicy, usually steaks of that thickness become dry and chewy but this was the opposite. I was too fascinated by my lamb steak to try the chicken steak but my +1 said “it was nice” he’s a man of a few words but if he says it’s nice then it must be! Our side orders were pretty standard but again a generous portion so can’t complain there either.

*2nd picture taken by the +1*

I would fully recommend Eat Meat as I did over a year ago. There’s so many halal steakhouses but Eat Meat is completely killing the steak game and are in a league of their own. The quality of the meat is something else! The service was second to none and I can’t find anything to critic other than the drinks. There wasn’t a dish that we didn’t like and all the flavours really complimented each other. Everything was perfect!

Let me know what you think in the comments section.

Best wishes,

Hafsah

x

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Food.

House of Kai – Manchester

House of Kai – Deansgate, Manchester

It’s been a while since I’ve written up a food review – call it laziness but I just haven’t been anywhere that’s been worth writing about however Kai is a different story. I took the plunge and visited Kai a day after their official opening which may have been my biggest foodie mistake to date.

First impressions – the decor is beautiful! Modern and chic with a vast amount of booths, tall chairs and tables as well as smaller intimate tables for two. A beautiful moss wall as you walk in and the prettiest floral ceiling ever. For any instagrammer the interior decor is a dream!

We were sat down at 8.45pm and thanks to @TheGrubfellas_ on IG (check them out!) we knew exactly what we wanted and told the waiter we were ready to order however our order wasn’t taken until at least an hour later! By this point we were starving and already unhappy with the service. Granted they were quite busy but we had to remind the waiters we were still waiting to order on at least three separate occasions.

Once we had finally managed to order we got the Hot Mezze (£18) and Hummus (£8) for our starter and the Mixed Grill (£30) for our mains. For drinks we ordered the Watermelon Crush and the Passion fruit and Orange Mojito (£3.95 each).

Unfortunately we couldn’t get the Hot Mezze as listed on the menu – we were advised to choose 5 hot starters for our Mezze to which we chose Borek, Suzuk, Halloumi, Kofte and Falefal. In addition to this Kai (for some unexplained reason) couldn’t serve the Passion Fruit and Orange mojito so we replaced it with another Watermelon Crush.

The Watermelon Crush was definitely a good choice. One of the best drinks I’ve had in a very long time. Not only did it taste beautiful but it looked it too. Refreshing, light and sweet, nice enough to drink with a meal without giving you brain freeze.

Our starters followed not long after however the Kofte and Suzuk was missing. We were also served hummus but without bread to eat it with. The waitress took back the Mezze to rectify and explained the bread was on its way. 10.20pm and out comes our hot Mezze with the initial missing Kofte firmly on top but still without the Suzuk by this point we were too hungry to complain again.

Beautifully presented and piping hot we decided to tuck in but woefully for us the Kofte was completely pink on the inside – Actual butcher shop mince pink! So for the second time we gave it back. Thankfully as we gave it back we got our bread – stone cold but at least we got it. (Just so you know I ain’t exaggerating about the kofte I will post a unfiltered picture below).

Everything else was perfect though. The borek was my fav – so cheesy just how I like it, the falafel was tasty, halloumi was perfectly cooked which is something places often get wrong. 10.45pm our thoroughly cooked Kofte was served again, which was also tasty too now that it was cooked properly.

11.20pm – starters finished and mains were served. Again beautifully presented; we had a portion of large Chicken pieces, one Adana Kebab, two Lamb Chops with a side serving of Bulger.

By this point though neither of us were interested. Our hunger had gone, we had taken enough selfies till our arms hurt and had had enough of constantly having to send food back and forth. I must state though the lamb chops were really soft and tender, slid of the bone with ease. Whilst we were only served two they were quite large. The chicken pieces were too dry for my liking though. We nibbled on a few pieces and left to take pictures and check out the rest of the decor.

Overall I think Kai needs a lot of work. The concept is great and the food was spot on (once rectified!) however with so much competition in Manchester at the moment they really need to up their game.

At most we saw 4 waiters working on the floor at a time, it was evident they were rushed off their feet and needed an extra hand or two. For a Friday night they needed a lot more staff on the floor and the iPads the waiters used to take the orders weren’t working properly causing even longer delays. Furthermore we didn’t get the drinks we wanted, we shouldn’t have had to wait so long to order our food and neither should the food have been sent back and forth. The pink kofte could have made us very ill to be honest. Silly mistakes like this need looking into immediately.

In addition to this we didn’t think the price tag matched the quality of food or standard of service we got. Our bill came to £70.18 which included a 10% service charge (?!)… what service? Usually I wouldn’t hesitate to pay but with all the problems we had and lack of service I don’t think the high end price matched what we received at all. Manchester is filled with Turkish spots serving similar tasty skewers packed with the same food for 10% of the price we paid at Kai. The reason why we as customers choose to eat at restaurants such as Kai is down to the service and the atmosphere but if that isn’t present what is the point?

We also overheard a few other tables complaining and we hope Kai take that feedback on board. At the moment unfortunately I would not recommend Kai to anyone. I do however have full faith that in the future this will be a great spot to dine at if they rectify a lot of their teething problems.

I hope you enjoyed my review, I’m hoping to get back into the routine of posting more frequently (IA) but for now take care and see you on my next post.

Hafsah x

P.s If you do visit Kai do not park at the NCP around the corner. We were in Kai for so long we ended up spending £20 on just parking alone – it was definitely a very expensive night.

Food.

Appetite Junction – Manchester

I initially wanted to visit Appetite junction when the branch first opened in Ramadan. Instead I ended up at Bukhara which was a blessing in disguise. When I eventually did visit Appetite Junction a few weeks ago we had soo many issues, granted the manager did resolve a few. Nonetheless I really wouldn’t recommend a visit.

We ordered the Chicken Manchurian, described as round marinated chicken balls with a coated batter on the menu. What we actually got was dry strips of chicken doused in soya sauce with no actual marinade on the chicken. It was more like chicken tikka botis, it definitely wasn’t Chicken Manchurian. We managed to get it sent back – we didn’t bother with a replacement dish.

The lamb chops were also very dry and chewy with little marinade. After realising how bad our starters were we decided to stick with one main and cancelled the other. Our mixed stir fry was another disaster but not as bad as the starters. The rice was brittle with no flavour but the noodles, chicken and meat pieces were fine.

On to the positives, the drinks were cool to watch. The list of positives ends right there. The mango drink I had was simply Rubicon Mango with dry ice, I wouldn’t describe it as a mocktail and don’t think I should have been charged for one.

We did raise our issues throughout the evening and the staff did apologise and try to rectify our complaints. I don’t really enjoy writing negative reviews however I really wouldn’t want anyone to waste their time or money at this place.

Best wishes,

Hafsah

P.s Bukhara is amazing! Definitely worth a visit.

Food.

Cat Cafe Manchester +vlog

If you know me personally you’ll know my happiness lies within two factors; food and cats so you can only imagine how happy I was to know we were visiting the Cat Cafe in Manchester.

Upon entering the cafe we were met with the receptionist that guided us through the rules of our visit. No flash photography, no running after or picking up the cats, do not wake the cats up or feed them anything. Shoes were to be taken off or covered with liners. Pretty understandable as essentially this was the cats home that we were coming into.

The cafe was immaculately clean, I genuinely didn’t expect it to be considering it was home to at least 7 cats. I expected cat fur everywhere, scratches around the furniture and strong cat food odour but instead it was pristine.

The offer we chose allowed us an hour at the cafe with unlimited drinks and a choice of patisserie for £21 for two. We decided on two English breakfast teas, a lemon drizzle cake and a scone with clotted cream and jam. The food was great and I’m pretty sure the cakes were homemade. I would’ve however preferred my scone warm but instead it was stone cold.

For anyone intending on visiting the cafe it’s important that you realise cats sleep A LOT and these cats are no different. As we’re not allowed to wake up or approach the cats the hour that you pay for is majority spent on waiting for the cats to come near you. The cats are used to customers coming and going so they are completely oblivious to new visitors.

We were lucky enough to visit during feeding time which woke all the cats up. We just about managed to get around 15minutes of play time with the cats before they all disappeared off to sleep again. Before my visit I watched and read a few vlog/blogs stating they were really disappointed with their visit to the Cat Cafe. The cats slept in high places so they were away from the customers and didn’t come down throughout the hour. Cats have a mind of their own, some days they will want to be left alone and other days they won’t. Its definitely something to keep in mind when booking.

However I would definitely recommend this to all feline lovers. The cats are well behaved and well looked after, the staff are attentive and the cafe itself is immaculate. It’s definitely an experience thats worth the price even if the cats do completely ignore you!

Best wishes, Hafsah x

P.s My first time creating a vlog, let me know your thoughts 🐾

“Time spent with cats is never wasted” – Sigmund Freud

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

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.