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

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Food.

Chaophraya Leeds

Chaophraya.

From the moment we walked in the atmosphere was amazing. We were culturally greeted by the staff and there was a strong but nice smell of burning incense sticks to set the decorum. The Thai atmosphere was set from our first step in!

We reserved our table at 8.30pm but arrived early so we waited by the bar until it was ready. For drinks we ordered the Chaophraya Fruit Punch which contained Pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice, gomme & grenadine and we ordered the Mai Mao which had the Mango juice, lychee juice mixed with raspberries, blackberries & strawberries.

Both drinks were really nice; even with such strong flavours it was mixed very well so all the flavours really complimented each other. Whilst I love anything with grenadine my favourite was the Mai Mao. I very rarely see lychee on the menu, and this was balanced beautifully with mango, strawberries and a hint of berries.

£4.50 each

We were sat upstairs by the large glass floor-length windows. The decor was beautiful and had a persistent Thai feel throughout. It was a little noisier upstairs than downstairs, we had a large table next to us that were quite loud which often meant that waiters couldn’t hear us calling them and we couldn’t hear them.

For starters we ordered the Chaophraya Platter for two. The platter contained Chicken satay, Thai fish cakes, chicken spring rolls, prawn tempura and papaya salad bowl.

£10 pp

The spicy Thai Fish Cakes blended with green beans, lime leaves and red curry sauce had a very different texture that I couldn’t get used to. It was slightly rubbery but greasy. The lemongrass was slightly over powering and it just wasn’t to my liking. I think I might try it again elsewhere just to confirm my dislike before I completely rule it out though!

The Chicken Satay came on bamboo skewers. I’m not the biggest chicken fan but I loved these! The chicken was grilled but still remained soft, and was drizzled in a yoghurt chutney. My only complaint was that there wasn’t enough!

Another favourite was the Chicken Spring Rolls. The crispy spring rolls were beautifully filled with chicken, carrot, cabbage and vermicelli. Delicious! However the rolls could have been mistaken for vegetable spring rolls as there was only a minute amount of chicken inside.

Papaya Salad is something I’ve never tried before. It’s shredded papaya with peanuts, carrots seasoned with garlic, chilli and lime. Again I found the lime just slightly overpowering, whilst the flavours were nice I wouldn’t be in a hurry to order the papaya salad again.

Another that I haven’t tried previously is the Prawn Tempura. It’s simply prawns in a light crispy batter – similar to onion rings except trading the onion for prawns. It was nice and light, sometimes prawns can taste rubbery and slimy but this didn’t. Would definitely recommend!

The peanut sauce pictured at the top is served with the chicken satay. Quite a creamy sauce, wasn’t too thick and went well with most of the starters as well as the skewers. The second sauce was a sweet chilli dip, this sauce is usually served with most of the starters on the menu. Again it’s another sauce that really complimented all the food within the platter.

Priced at £10 per person, it is a little bit steep. Especially as the portions were quite small however I’ve never had Thai food before so we thought it’d be a good idea to try out everything. Now that I know what I like I would definitely order the chicken satay, chicken spring rolls and the prawn tempura again.

For our main meal we ordered Thai Green Chicken Curry, Massaman Lamb Curry and Chicken Pad Thai Noodles. For sides we ordered Sticky Rice and Coconut Rice.

The Thai Green Chicken Curry is chicken breast cooked in coconut milk with Thai aubergine and courgettes. Don’t let the coconut milk fool you, it’s quite a spicy curry especially when garnished with basil and fresh chillies. It had a sweet but spicy feel to it.

£12.50

Massaman Lamb Curry was my absolute favourite! I actually wished I hadn’t ordered anything else and just had this curry! Tender lamb skewed in yet again coconut milk, carrots, potatoes, baby onions, garnished with cashew nuts and chillies. It’s not as spicy as the Thai green but still had a subtle fire to it. The actual Massaman itself is tumeric, cardamom, cinnamon and chillies, all flavours that I’m used to and love!

£14

Lastly for our mains we ordered the Chicken Pad Thai Noodles. We couldn’t have eaten Thai food without ordering the National dish of Thailand. It contained such a mixture but the flavours were so complimenting! I’ve never had stir fried rice noodles with chicken, tofu, spring onion, carrots, egg, sweet turnip and bean sprouts. I’d never had thought chicken and tofu would mix as well as it did with so much veg but it did!

£10.50

To go with our mains we ordered the Sticky Rice and the Coconut Rice. Both side dishes were very nice and carried their own unique flavour. My favourite was the coconut rice, to say most of our mains contained coconut I thought the coconut rice would be too much but in reality it went really nicely with both curries.

Sticky Rice £3.50

Coconut Rice £3.80

Couldn’t fault the mains, everything was delicious. Portions are quite large and for a table of two I think one main and a side would have been enough for us. Overall it was a lovely experience, service could have been slightly better but it was a busy Friday night.

Lamb and chicken are halal, we requested halal when we booked but I don’t think it’d be an issue to request when placing your order.

There’s also a 2 for 1 offer on mains between Sunday to Thursday. We didn’t use this offer but we saw it advertised on our way in and it’s also on their website too.

Visited 26.01.18

With love

Hafsah x

P.s a special recognition to my foodbae Fizza. Literally made all my food dreams come true ♥️