These days, I am really lucky in that I get to go to (and eat) so many great things on a weekly basis, and whilst I do Tweet and Instagram pretty much everything that passes my lips (much to the annoyance of all of my friends), not all of it manages to make its way on to the blog. With that in mind, I thought it might be a good idea to start compiling a monthly round up of mini-reviews, detailing where and what I’ve been scoffing over the previous few weeks – and where possible, I will try to link off to any other relevant, full length reviews so you can read up in a bit more depth if you want to.
1. Lunch at Marco Polo Restaurant, Newcastle
At a hen do in Newscastle early in the month, we visited Marco Polo – a restaurant serving traditional Italian cuisine in exposed brick rooms with stripped floors and girder ceilings. The menu is extensive, but I went for the Trofie con pesto – basil & rocket pesto, with peas, pine nuts & lemon breadcrumbs (£9.50). The pasta was a little bit stodgy for my liking but overall, it was a good, filling meal that did the job before a big night on the Toon!
2. The new veggie pie, Saag Pie-neer at Pie Minister
This one did make it on to the blog as a full review, so to find out what I thought of Pie Minister’s collaboration with Meat Free Monday, see here.
3. Pete’s first Pastel de Nata from Nata & Co
Pete LOVES custard tarts, and yet, he had never eaten a proper Portuguese egg tart from Nata & Co bakery. Apparently, Pastéis de nata were created before the 18th century by Catholic monks at the Jerónimos Monastery in the civil parish of Santa Maria de Belém, in Lisbon – which incidentally, is where I am going for another hen-do in a few months. Bring on the pastries (and the elasticated pants)!
4. A boat trip to the Bay to visit The Dock
This was one of those really jammy blogger perks – a press trip involving cocktails on a boat down the river Taff, and then an extensive menu tasting at Brains Brewery’s The Dock bar and restaurant – previously Terra Nova. The refurb cost a cool £1.2m, but it was definitely worth it – for a full review, check out this post from locally based Fuud Blog.
5. An Indian Street Food Pop-Up in Roath
I never knew I could be so excited about a side dish, until I tried ‘Peanut Beer Bar salad’, a street-food from Mumbai that is as ubiquitous as our pork scratchings over in the Indian capital. It was bloody lovely, and I must’ve eaten half a plateful before I even moved on to the lamb kebabs, spinach pakoras, fried fish portions and the best biriyani I’ve ever tasted. All of this was the work of Zest Dining – a family-run catering company specialising in a variety of lesser-known dishes from across India. Their next pop-up will focus on kebabs from different regions of India, and will be held in Roath Church House on the 10th June – see Twitter for more details!
6. Fresh pizza in Dusty Knuckle’s new hipster Canton courtyard
I wrote about Dusty Knuckle’s announcement of a permanent premises here. Based out in the back of Crafty Devil’s Bottle Shop is their lovely covered courtyard – complete with tin can herb-planters, wooden picnic bench seating and exposed bulb lights. Take a seat and then watch as the freshly thrown pizza dough is topped with your choice of of locally produced toppings and cooked in front of you, whilst you sit back and enjoy a crafty brew or two. There are blankets and cushions aplenty for when the weather gets nippy, too. Seeing as I live less than 5 mins away, I have a feeling I’m going to be spending a lot of time here this summer 🙂