Monday, 25 April 2016

EATING OUT: Tattu Manchester

It was Saturday lunch and hubby decided to take me out to eat! He's a good one :) So we got in the car and I was whisked into town for a spot of dim sum at Tattu Restaurant in Manchester. This has been somewhere that we have both wanted to check out now for some time but just I guess never got round to it - plus the reviews have been very mixed and so maybe we were a bit wary too.


To be honest, the venue was beautiful. There was a lot of attention to detail and the environment was great. The staff were super friendly and you could see a lot of effort had gone into making the place really stunning. I can imagine this place is 'poppin' on a Saturday night and is probably a great alternative to some of the other bars and clubs out there.




We had a really nice seat with the view of the restaurant. I know these pics aren't too great but the lighting was a bit random in there so please accept my apologies for maybe not the best pics!

We decided to go for the dim sum lunch menu so we could try lots of different things. Although I'm not eating meat, there was plenty of vegetable options and also lots of seafood too so we could get a good idea of what the food was like.




We ordered around 6 dishes I think. We had a mix of gaus (chinese dumplings), baus (chinese buns) and some fried rolls. We had some Jasmine green tea to drink too...


Now, I wouldn't say that I was some kind of 'Chinese food connoisseur', but being Chinese and knowing good Chinese food gives me a good idea what I'm looking for. I'm sorry to say this place really didn't shape up. I was so so disappointed, we both were! The venue was really gorgeous and the Cherry tree inside the restaurant really does look lovely, but the food... sorry no. Just no :(


WILD MUSHROOM SPRING ROLLS


SWEET POTATO GAU


PRAWN & CHIVE GAU


SALT & PEPPER AUBERGINE


SINGAPORE CHILLI CRAB BAU


MUSHROOM BAU

Oh dear, I hate being critical and anybody who reads my blogs regular knows surely I'm a pretty positive person. All the food was either lacking in seasoning or just wasn't quite right. 
The spring rolls were ok, they just didn't taste of much. The sweet potato was far too sweet for my tastes. Don't get me started on the prawn dumplings! Super thick outer and a teeny tiny prawn inside (you would never have this in a traditional Chinese restaurant! Good Dim Sim restaurants can easily be judged on the quality of the prawn dumpling!). Aubergine - meh! Didn't taste of much. The aubergine wasn't seasoned properly and so just tasted a bit mushy and with the batter being quite thick we ended up leaving most of these. Then the two buns, the crab one was okay I guess, but the same as the other things - it just didn't taste of much. The best thing was the mushroom bun, but by this point, I had lost all interest. I hate to be a negative Nancy and I love reviewing restaurants for you all but this just wasn't great. £44 for the meal and to be honest, I could get food tasting 10 times better in Glamorous Restaurant or Ocean Treasure (the BEST prawn dumplings in Manchester!) for more than half the price.

Positives... we need positives! Okay, so the food was presented lovely. It did look so much prettier than what you would get in a traditional Chinese style restaurant. Not that the food doesn't look nice there, but you could see the plates of food looked like they had a designer or something. There was a lot of detail in the presentation and you could see the effort they go to.
The place was lovely, the staff were really friendly and it looks pretty damn cool - maybe a little pretentious but even so, it was cool! 

My favourite part...? I guess the cute little jasmine flower floating in my cup. Such a small thing but I love little details like that. It's something I've not had before and it looked cute. What can I say, I love a bit of kitch!


I also loved the tatooed ladies all over the show, quite cool images and gave the place some kind of 'meaning' - being called tattu and all!


Would I go again? Erm, maybe?? Not for food, but a drink with a friend perhaps? Somewhere different on a Saturday night? Yes definitely! I can imagine it's a nice bar to go to if you like a cocktail or two. There were a lot of people drinking cocktails whilst I was there and they cocktail menu was pretty big - I know I only had tea (I can only drink Chinese tea which Chinese food, just a weird thing - Has to be Po Nee Tea too!) but the drinks looked pretty nice so if you're into your cocktails maybe give it a try. Unfortunately what we expected was true though, beautiful place but very mediocre food.

Hopefully next time I can give you somewhere nicer to visit... watch this space!

Thanks so much for reading


Emmaline x



Share:

Thursday, 21 April 2016

RECIPE: Updated Green Smoothie

I LOVE my green smoothies! I totally adore that 'green' taste - I know you must think I'm crackers, but I do!
This is my new detox green smoothie recipe - I did have another one in the past which I still do on the regular, but this is my new favourite. I like it so much because it's really light and digests really easily. We don't always want our body to have to work too hard in the morning - especially our digestive system.

Why not try this new recipe, I tend to make it around 3 to 4 days a week. You can also make a big batch and put it in airtight jars, it should last up to 3 days from making it. Ideally use organic ingredients if possible as we are eating the whole fruit/vegetable.





Recipe:

  • 1 cup water (coconut water if you have been working out to aid with hydration)
  • 1 organic frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup organic frozen mango
  • 1/2 head of organic romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 organic cucumber
  • 1/2 organic lemon (peel removed)
  • 1 organic apple (green if possible)
  • Large handful of organic kale/spinach
Method:
Blitz everything together in your food processor. Ideally process the water and greens first, then add the cucumber, lemon and apple and then the remaining ingredients.
Process the smoothie until nice and smooth and then drink and enjoy!

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you enjoy your detox smoothie!


Emmaline x


Share:

Sunday, 17 April 2016

LITTLE GEMS: Smoothie Monday?

Wow! What a busy week I have had! I managed to finally launch my new website for the clinic! Wahoo! If you're interested, please click herewww.emmaline-tsui.com to check it out. I've been working really hard on in it so I hope you like it. 
I've also launched a new blog on the website too - all beauty and skincare related so maybe hop along and have a read - but not before you have read this one ;)

How has your week been? Schools are nearly back (if not already) and the roads are still semi-quiet which is nice. Did you go away anywhere nice?


Did a bit of naughty baking this week! Check this out - my lemon curd pavlova! Well, I say mine but really it's one of my 'Simply Nigella' recipes! Her food is amazing and I seem to just love her recipes. So, there is literally nothing healthy about this recipe its mostly made up of eggs, sugar and cream! Oh dear ha ha! Was super delicious though - I kinda scraped all the cream off mine as dairy doesn't suit my tummy. I guess the lemon curd (which I made myself) has maybe some vitamins in? The flaked almonds do too - does that make it good?? ha ha! Either way, it went down a treat! Yum!

 So, with all the 'guilt' from my slice of pavlova, I decided on Thursday morning to make some oat cookies. I kinda had a play with the recipe myself and made it up as I went along. These are dairy, sugar and gluten free cookies - also vegan too! Finally, the balance is restored! They were nearly as delicious as my pavlova actually and I could eat a couple without the guilt! Will post the recipe up soon for these :)


I know some bloggers all go on about 'Smoothie Sundays', but why not have a 'Smoothie Monday'? Start the week as you mean to go on and get some vitamins in your body after the weekend of indulgence. I know green smoothies are not to everybody's taste, but if you start simple and then add more greens gradually you shouldn't notice the difference. I personally can't taste a handful of spinach in my smoothie so why not try it for a change. One of the easiest ways to have a quick breakfast is to prep your smoothies in advance and make small sandwich bags up of your fruit and vegetables and stick them in the freezer. Then all you need to do is blend it up with a little almond milk or water and oats and you have got yourself a nice, quick and filling brekkie! - Plus you're only 2 mins away from an afternoon snack!

It certainly is!


Saturday lunch at The Garden in Hale. Sweetcorn and chickpea burger with parsnip fries! Yummy!


Delicious lunch at Victors in Hale with one of my besties for her birthday! Love a bit of a sushi lunch! 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend, I spent mine cooking, eating, working and seeing family and friends - pretty much all my favourite things in life!

Thanks so much for reading

I hope you have a great week!

Emmaline x

Share:

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

RECIPE: Super quick Mushroom and Rocket Pasta

This is my go to pasta dish! It's so quick and easy and you can change the recipe up to suit yourself. You can get the pasta cooking whilst the mushrooms are going and then voila! It's all done in less than 10 minutes!



Ingredients:

  • Large handful or so of Mushrooms sliced thinly - choose your favourite! I love chestnut mushrooms, but wild mushrooms are also really tasty too!
  • Large handful or so of wild rocket (but maybe you prefer watercress? salad leaves? The choice is yours!)
  • Gluten Free Pasta
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • Dried mixed herbs
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Oil for frying
  • Fresh basil
  • Black pepper

Method:
  • Begin by getting your pasta cooking (do this according to the packet, it usually takes between 7 and 10 minutes depending on the brand)
  • Add your oil to the cold fry pan and then mince in the garlic, then turn on the heat. (you need a pan big enough to hold the pasta too!)
  • Fry the garlic for a minute or so until it has softened and then add the mushrooms.
  • Continue to fry the mushrooms for a couple of minutes and then add around 1/4 tsp of mixed herbs and grind over some pepper
  • Fry the mushrooms until they are nice and golden and starting to caramelise, then set aside if your pasta is not quite ready
  • When your pasta is ready, drain it (reserving a few spoons of the pasta water)
  • Add the pasta to the mushrooms and put back on the heat for a minute (incase the mushrooms have cooled)
  • Stir everything together and add a table spoonful or so of the pasta water to give a little sauce
  • Add your rocket to a big pasta dish and put the pasta on top of the leaves
  • Drizzle with balsamic glaze, give a good grinding of salt and pepper and add your fresh basil leaves
  • Ta Dah! All done, enjoy!!
Share:

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

FIVE FAVOURITES: Recipe Books

Wow! This is really a difficult one for me. My collection of cookbooks is insanely large - like really really large! So, I stood in front of my library and tried to decide 5 of my favs - hmmm... challenging! I have finally narrowed it down to this selection, here goes...


1. Deliciously Ella | By Ella Woodward



This is the original! How I love this book. It gives me so much inspiration to cook more plant based. Also, as this is her first book, there are loads of fabulous recipes that are great 'copies' for basic ones such as her 'black bean chilli' and the 'raw chocolate brownies' and her 'brazil nut and avocado pesto'. Recipes like this make me feel like I'm not missing out too, I call still have my naughty treats - except they're not so naughty!


I love this black and kidney bean chilli recipe, it's super quick and easy to make.

2. Plant Based Cookbook | By Trish Sebben-Krupka


So this is a recent purchase and I am yet to cook anything from it. "So why does it make your favourites??" I hear you ask! It's such a great book, some of the best books I have I just love to read more than cook from. I love anything that excites me into getting in the kitchen and this book does just that! The best bit is throughout the book, it has sections which give you info about different vegetables, beans, grains etc. My fav bit is this...


It gives you healthy baking substitutions! OH MY GOD! This is a lifesaver! You can easily swap dairy products for plant based alternatives from other recipes - amazing!

3. Nourish - Mind, Body & Soul | By Amber Rose, Sadie Frost and Holly Davidson


So, out of all my books, this one I LOVE! It inspires me to be that person. The diet, the fitness and the mindset - all of it! I want it! ha ha! It's just a book I love to flip through and dip into a recipe now and again too. It's more than just a cook book - so much more! Definitely a book to add to your collection!


And come on... Kale crisps? Just scream zen and health to me ha ha! It's great! I talks through the 'whole lifestyle package' of health with food, exercise and also the mind. A great book to kick-start your motivation!

4. How to be a Domestic Goddess | Nigella Lawson


The last 2 books come from one of my all time favourite cooks - Nigella Lawson! She is a complete domestic goddess - and I might worship her slightly too! This book I adore - hands down - ADORE! I have read through this book so many times (as I've done with most of my Nigella collection - I have them all don't you know! ha ha!) I cook from this book a lot too, these are all pretty much indulgent recipes, but the food does taste epic! 


As I'm sure you can tell from the fact that these pages are practically stuck together, this is the BEST recipe! This madeira cake is the most delicious cake ever. Its crispy and crunchy on top and soft and lemony inside. I make it a lot too, I've tried to replace the flour with gluten free flour, I've tried replacing the sugar content with agarve or other sweeteners but it's just not the same. So, lesson learnt - if you want a piece of this cake, accept the amount of sugar in it can give you diabetes and the amount of butter can give you a heart attack and tuck in!

5. Nigella Christmas | Nigella Lawson


I know, I know... it's April and I'm dropping the 'C-Bomb' already but not really. This just has to be in this list. Every year on December the 1st I sit and read through this to get me feeling festive - ok I lie, maybe I sneak a peak in November (I mean October), but I just get too excited ha ha!


I love all the recipes in this book, really I do! Every Christmas morning I make the 'Christmas Morning Muffins' from this book and they fill the house with the most fantastic scent, but these... these are amazing! Nigella's 'Christmas Rocky Roads'. They are very rich, not in the slightest bit healthy (unless you count the nuts inside) but are so unctuous and delicious we can afford to be a bit naughty now and again.

I hope you enjoyed this post, maybe there is a book here that you've not seen before and you fancy trying!

Thanks so much for reading


Emmaline x
Share:

Sunday, 3 April 2016

LITTLE GEMS: Sunday Funday

Another week has gone by and oh my, its April already! Seriously how fast is this year going! I know we always say it every year, but it's true - this year is flying!

So, how has your week been? I've been super busy in the clinic this week which is good, got a couple of little gems that I saw this week too. I hope you all had a good week and have had a nice weekend. Especially with it being a short week too - I love a Monday off - but really... who doesn't!


Friday night was homemade veggie burger night and sweet potato fries. These were seriously yummy! I will put the recipe up soon. I made them using black beans so they actually looked like burgers too - no freaky brown or green colour ha ha (I made homemade guacamole too - that's what the green stuff is!)


So, I ended up making 6 burger patties and we could only eat 4, but Mr Squirrel seemed to enjoy them on Saturday morning!


Bit of bird watching ha ha!


Saturday morning breakfast! Can't beat a good omelette for hubby and I


Yummy omelette with a slice of sourdough - You have to add fresh coriander to it, the freshness just makes it!


I don't think I can do a Little Gems post without this little guy


Can't beat a good #SmoothieSunday - felt like I needed some extra nutrients so today I added banana, maca powder, frozen berries, spinach, frozen mango, oats, organic and vegan protein powder, nut butter and a date. Seriously gave me a good kick up the ass! I don't usually recommend a smoothie with so many sugary fruits, but sometimes you just need it!


Feeling a little under the weather today, sometimes only mash potato and gravy will do! ha ha! You know that feeling - this was so yum!

I hope you all had a good week and have enjoyed a bit of sunshine where ever you maybe. Have a lovely week people!


Emmaline x




Share:

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
© FOOD | LIFE | + em | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Crafted by pipdig