Sunday, 18 June 2017

LITTLE GEMS: Birthday Weekend and Trying New Restaurants | Review of El Gato Negro, Grub Mcr, plus Fox HB, The Greenhouse, Red Chilli Mcr, The Village Cafe

Hi all!

Welcome back to this weeks blog... guess what... It's my birthday, well it was on Friday anyways so I have had a weekend of being spoilt rotten :)

I hope you had a good week, I'm feeling awfully positive at the moment which is super exciting. I'm so looking forwards to getting back to work next week and carrying on with something I've been working on. Ok, sorry I can't give too much away but it's pretty cool!

Anyway, less about that and more about this week. Here are my foodie adventures for the week, it's been a bit of a random one food wise, but I've loved every minute of it.


GRILLED HARISSA SEA BASS WITH A SALAD OF OLIVES, ARTICHOKES, PEPPERS AND HOMEGROWN BABY GEM

I fancied some fish and this is so thin it cooks within 5 minutes. Really tasty light meal after work on a Monday.


CHOCOLATE PROTEIN BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

Made with my fav protein powder of the moment, The Super Elixir Protein Powder. This is the chocolate flavoured one


MY FORREST STYLE BROWN RICE PASTA

I adore this pasta. It's a bit of a treat as I don't tend to have parmesan (as it is not veggie), but it goes so well with this dish I can't help myself. I made it with peas, fine beans, black olives, chestnut and shitake mushrooms. Plus I drizzled over some truffle oil too which makes the mushrooms just taste more 'mushroomy' ha ha! As Nigella Lawson would say, "it's like they respond to a call from the wild!" The parmesan just adds a salty note that I can't seem to find elsewhere, will have to keep searching!


MIXED BERRY PROTEIN BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE


VEGGIE BURGER WITH CHARRED PEPPERS, TERIYAKI MUSHROOMS AND BROCCOLI PLUS SALAD.


ACAI BOWL OF THE WEEK


BIRTHDAY DINNER AT FOX WITH MAMMA

I had a lovely meal out with my Mamma on Friday for my Birthday. I went for the seafood skewers and Mum had the teriyaki salmon. Plus a side of chilli and garlic spinach. Yum!


MIXED SKEWERS - PRAWN, MONKFISH AND SCALLOP WITH A QUINOA AND VEGGIE SALAD


STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING FOR DESSERT

Well, it was my birthday! he he!


BRUNCH OUT AT THE VILLAGE CAFE IN HALE

Above is scrambled eggs on toast, eggs florentine and a full veggie breakfast


EGGS FLORENTINE

I love my eggs this way, but they are so calorific with the hollandaise sauce. In fact, it's usually poured all over the eggs which can be so so rich. I always ask for the sauce on the side so I'm more in control of how much I eat, otherwise it can be quite easy to get carried away!



THE GREENHOUSE LUNCH 

My usual fav things... plate of taster salads (here we had coleslaw, kale and vermicelli salad, beetroot and mushrooms) plus the oat pancakes. Comfort food heaven! If you have not tried these oat pancakes, YOU MUST!


Dinner on Saturday was at El Gato Negro on King Street in Manchester. I was so so excited to try this place out as there is such a waiting list. It's a Spanish style tapas restaurant but in a fine dining style. What did I think?? It was okay, I couldn't understand what all the hype was about though. I guess everybody is different and what I like is going to vary to what you like for example. It was a very cool venue though with a lovely rooftop bar. 


We sat on the top floor where the roof terrace is. Sorry, I forgot to take pics... I got a bit distracted as I was starving! This above though is the downstairs bar area. 


My 'mocktail', I love how the top is clear and then it's orange underneath - can you see??


Sexy artwork on display nest to me whilst I ate ha ha!


PADRON PEPPERS


THE SPECIAL - POTTED CRAB


TIGER PRAWNS WITH CHILLI, GARLIC, LEMON AND PAPRIKA


PATATAS BRAVAS


SPICED AUBERGINE WITH ONION CONFIT, FRITARDA SAUCE AND LAVOSH BREAD


CHARGRILLED SWEET POTATO WITH MANGO, CHILLI AND YOGHURT DRESSING


SYRIAN LENTILS


CHARGRILLED HERITAGE CARROTS, AUBERGINE PUREE, MISO AND WALNUT PESTO AND MANCHEGO

Ok, so here's the deal... The venue is super cool and fancy. The decor I love and has so much attention to detail it was incredible. What let us down was the service was pretty poor (as in the staff were quite rude, the host didn't even look at us when we arrived! She kept her head down, checked the name and pointed to the bar. Yeh, thank you for that!). Then when the food came, it was in 'dribs and drabs'. I don't mind eating this way normally, but when there is one dish and then a 10 minute wait, 2 dishes and 15 min break, 1 dish and a 5 min break... you get the idea. I felt like I couldn't eat lots of dishes together which is what I thought tapas was all about. So, by the time the lentils had come, there was nothing to eat them with, so we just ate lentils... by themselves... with a spoon...
The food was okay, nothing took my breath away (in my opinion of course!) and to be honest, I much prefer Porta in Altrincham. I know I'm not Spanish and probably don't know good Spanish food, but for me, although it was nice, the whole experience overall just didn't move me. Service in a restaurant is such a big part of it for me. Unless the food is amazing (then I don't mind) and then I think, ok they have something to be arrogant for. I dunno, it's meant to be one of the best places to eat in Manchester so you check it out and let me know what you think :)


Saturday was a scorcher and so was today. The house was so warm, we had these lovely smoothies bowls for brekkie which were super cooling - oh and delish too!


GRUB STREET FOOD | MANCHESTER

We went for a really chilled lunch today at Grub Street Food in Manchester. They have a new location now so we wanted to check it out. Plus today and yesterday were Vegan specials so all the food was plant based! Awesome!


CUCUMBER & LIME TONIC AND A LEMONGRASS TONIC


FALAFEL WRAP AND MIXED VEGGIE MEZZE FROM THE OTTOMEN


ICE CREAM SELECTION FROM GINGER'S COMFORT EMPORIUM

We went for the coconut milk and the strawberry. Both were delicious and sorry, I forgot to take a pic!


LOVELY WALK AT BRUNTOOD PARK IN CHEADLE


DUCKIES!


AFTERNOON SNACK - CUCUMBER AND CARROT STICKS, HOMEGROWN PEAS, GRILLED ARTICHOKES, PADRON PEPPERS AND HOUMOUS

I do love this hummus but it does have some 'E' numbers in so as much as it tastes great, it's not that good really.


RED CHILLI MANCHESTER - TUNG CHOI MALAYSIAN STYLE, SWEET CHILLI AUBERGINE AND TOFU WITH SALTY EGG

I wanted to finish this week off with a big hearty meal, hence Red Chilli. We went for the usual and it was great! Hot though, I thought I was going to pass out from the heat!

I hope you've all had a good week and have enjoyed the sunshine. I think it's going to last hopefully another few days so let's enjoy it whilst we can!

Have a fab week next week,

Thanks so much for reading,

Big love,



Em x
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