Review: White Swan Harborne

I walked past here yesterday and noticed they’re closed for refurbishment, perhaps they knew this review was coming in and decided to buck up their ideas.

DISCLAIMER: Before I go off on one (and then feel bad for being mean), I believe upwards of 70% of roasts served up in pubs and restaurants across this land are total shit. How can so many ‘chefs’ not be capable of making decent gravy?

It was the 1st October when we visited, and I’d just decided to sign up to not drink alcohol for a month like the attention seeking twat I am. For this reason I ordered a blackcurrant and soda rather than a delicious pint of booze.

Whoever made it must have filled the pint glass half full of cordial, it was diabetes diabetes in a glass (type two diabetes). I had a sip and sent it back, asking for more soda, it came back just as strong. They took it off the bill in the end.

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I can’t remember if that menu above is actually mucky as fuck or if it was a style decision by a drunk designer. I’m fairly certain it’s the former, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

I ordered the rib of beef with mustard seasoning and roasted onion and garlic. It was to be served with roast potatoes, braised red cabbage, honey roasted parsnips, buttered kale, yorkshire pudding and gravy.

Here it is.

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First things first – the beef was OK, the Yorkshire pudding was also OK. The potatoes were probably OK when they were hot.

The braised cabbage and, definitely not buttered, kale were very sad, but not as sad as the single, definitely not honey roasted, parSNIP (no SNIPS here).

As for the ‘coarse-grain mustard seasoning and roasted red onion and garlic’, well, to be honest I’m not sure. Was the beef supposed to be seasoned with mustard? Should there be some red onion and garlic on the plate? The only thing I knew was that there was a blob of horseradish. I contemplated asking someone to explain the mustard/onion/garlic situation to me but then I realised that life is short and we will all inevitably die.

Don’t even get me started on the gravy – flavourless, watery, brown piss.

And this is where I get pissed off with roasts, that cost £16. Imagine.

1 boy out of five

And yep, there we have it, I feel horribly guilty now.

 

Review: Eating food in Bordeaux

This is one of those posts I’m writing weeks after the event happened. Not because I’ve been especially busy, but because I couldn’t think of a title.

Here are some of the options and the reasons they were rejected.

“Brilliant Bordeaux”

It’s a type of Revlon lipstick. Last thing I need is a load of beauty vloggers ending up here and slagging me off on YouTube.

“Boring Bordeaux”

Only really works if I’d had a bad time. Last thing I need is people clicking through thinking, “Ooh, I wonder why he hated Bordeaux?” then discovering I didn’t and thinking I’m a lying, click baiting twat.

“Borderline Bordeaux”

Maybe if I’d gone to the town next to Bordeaux.

“Borated Bordeaux”

A result of Googling ‘Adjectives beginning with BO’. Borated 1. Definition: mixed or impregnated with borax. Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. Last thing I need is people thinking about what they want to impregnate with borax rather than reading the blog.

So, now you know how we ended up where we are.

Le Chien de Pavlov

“Bonjour, un table pour deux people, por favor.” I dazzled the Frenchman at the entrance of the restaurant.

“Do you have a reservation?” he replied.

“Sorry, could you say that in French.”

“Avez-vous une réservation?”

“No.”

 

Fortunately they could fit us in for lunch. The waiter brought over a chalkboard with the menu. I could decipher the odd word here and there, for example, Risotto and Mojito.

“Can I tell you anything about the menu?” the waiter asked.

“No thanks, boss. I’ll take the three from the middle.”

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The menu. How many French words do you know?

The starter was some sort of fish cake type affair. They were alright, bit of purple broccoli to go with them which really was a lot of fun!!!!!

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Fish cake type things

“Can you explain Pavlov’s dogs theory?” The woman I was dining with asked.

“Of course.” I responded.

“Go on then.” She challenged.

“You know, dogs…”

“Yeah…”

“Well, when they get hungry… they’ll ring a bell… OH LOOK OUR MAINS ARE ALMOST HERE.” I looked towards the kitchen, stopped talking, and pretended to not be able to hear her until they arrived.

I had pork fillet, which was pinker than I’d normally cook myself, but it was delicious and caused me no bowel problems. The pepper sauce accompanying it was also surprisingly good –  considering I don’t massively like peppers. See, ordering things from a menu you don’t understand can be a good thing.

For dessert we shared a fondant au chocolate which turned out to be a chocolate fondant!

4 boys out of five. Top lunching.

Miles

This was the meal I was most excited about. Having done my due diligence on the World Wide Web.

It was €48 euros for a five course meal and €22 for the wine pairing, or in British money £70.

We were sat at the counter so we could see the four (annoyingly young) chefs at work.

FULL DISCLAIMER. I can’t remember everything that was on every plate, and there was no menu, so I can’t check it. You’ll just have to believe me and my memory.

The first course was a tomato and caramel concoction and it was fantastic.

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Tomato and caramel

The second course was barbecued squid with a coconut milk foam and something like chopped up barbecued seaweed. This was the dish of the night it was tres, tres bon.

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Squid’s in!!!

The third course was the least memorable, a fish dish of some description so it doesn’t get a photo. The duck course and the fig dessert were both sublime.

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Duck me!!!

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Go FIGure!!!

This was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten quite a few meals. The only downside was the wine pairing, which was somewhat underwhelming, but it doesn’t matter because the food was parfait (parfait means perfect in French, there was no parfait that I can remember).

Five boys out of five.

L’Entrecote

I spotted a queue out the door of this place, which from my time in London can only mean one thing: TRENDY NEW POP-UP!!!!!

I rushed towards the masses, “coming through, food blogger!” I got to the front and was sat down just half an hour after arriving #influencer.

They only serve one thing here: steak frites with their ‘secret’ sauce. You get a walnut salad to start with, which is a waste of everyone’s time, then the beautifully cooked rib eye steak arrives. I don’t like talk of secret sauces as my imagination is too vivid for my own good, and although it looks pretty rank it was excellent.

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Steak

Enjoyed with their house Bordeaux and a mountain of fries you can’t really go wrong.

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“Congratulations on a successful pop-up,” I said to the waitress as I pad the bill.

She replied with something about 1962, but I didn’t understand her so just laughed until my card had been removed from the machine and I could leave.

Four boys out of five.

Review: Cafe Loetje (Amsterdam)

Picture the scene: I arrived in Amsterdam on Monday evening, dropped my bag at my weird AirBnB and headed out into the night in search of food.

Speaking no Dutch other than “hallo,” which means “hello,” I hoped to find a guiding light towards somewhere to dine.

I turned a corner, crossed a bridge and there it was – a road illuminated with red lights coming from doorways and windows.

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Red lights of the tourist information booths in the distance

*tap tap tap* went the lady knocking on the glass of the door to attract my attention. “Oh, terrific,” I thought, a tourist information booth.

“Hey, baby. What would you like?”

“Good evening, I’m looking for something to eat.”

“You can eat for 100 euros.”

“Wow, I presume that’s for two courses?”

“For two courses you pay 150 euros.”

“Mmm, I’d really want dessert and a bottle of wine for that amount. Sounds like a fancy place, although I suppose I would get some good photos for the blog.”

“NO PHOTOS!” she shouted as she slammed the door.

Disappointed that I’d clearly just blown my chance to attend an exclusive Dutch supper club, I continued to wander the streets.

What’s that I spy in the distance? It looks like a series of tables and chairs with people sat eating and drinking, my spidey senses began to tingle. “If that’s not a restaurant, then I’m not a food blogger!” I said to the elderly Dutch man who I’d just knocked off his bicycle.

I entered the courtyard of Café Loetje and a waiter approached me.

“For how many people? he asked.

“Hang on a second buddy! I need to make sure you’ve got over  4.0 rating on Google first. Sorry, two seconds my 3G is going really slow. OK, now we’re down to GPRS, this is really very embarrassing. Let me just click in and out of airplane mode, see if that does the trick. HAHA, my phone must think I’ve just been on the shortest flight ever. Aaaaaaaaaand… 4G! Now we’re cooking my friend. I mean obviously we’re not cooking just yet, but hopefully we will be soon. When I say ‘we’ I mean ‘you’, well, not ‘you’, the chef, unless of course you’re also the chef? 4.2! Bingo! A table for one please.”

I took a table outside as the temperature was a decent temperature for sitting outside. The waiter brought over a menu.

“Can I get you a drink?”

“A beer I think.”

“Heineken?”

“Is that a craft beer?”

“It’s a lager.”

“Perfect! I’ll take two!”

Despite the menu being in Dutch (I never ask for an English menu, I refuse to look stupid in these places and give them an advantage) it became clear to me (a seasoned foodie) that this place was very much known for its steak,

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The options that presented themselves were:

Biefstuk ossenhaas – house steak?

Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘Bali’ – house steak with an Australian accent?

Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘De Roode Waard’ – house steak that might swear at me?

I opted for the ‘De Roode Waard’ option. Next thing you know, this is put in front of me.

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Biefstuk ossenhaas ‘De Roode Waard’

“What the shitting hell is that?” I hear you cry, (strangely the exact words I shouted at the waiter).

“It’s steak, liver, onions and bacon.” The waiter replied.

Now, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high hopes for this, but I was incorrect.

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From red lights to red meat.

The fillet steak was cooked perfectly, as was the liver. To be honest, with this plate of food, a lager and some chips in front of me I’ve never felt more of a man – well, apart from the time I went into one of the tourist booths with blue lights.

Five boys out of five!

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Review: Meat Shack

Hi there, (put ‘National Burger Day’ somewhere near the top for SEO purposes) remember the B-52’s 1989 hit single Love Shack? Of course you do, you wild party animal. Well, see below, I’ve composed a new version.

I’m headin’ down the Smallbrook Queensway
Lookin’ for the meat getaway
Headed for the meat getaway

I got me a mouth, it’s as big as a whale
And we’re headin’ on down to the Meat Shack
I got me a gut, it seats about 20
So hurry up and bring your burger money

The meat shack is a little old place where we can get together
Meat Shack, baby
Meat Shack, baby, Meat Shack 

Repeat until bored

Good right? I’m willing to write jingles for any food / drink provider in the West Midlands in exchange for free booze, food and cash.

So, burgers is it? I like a burger, I’ve even spent three of the last four years running pickle eating competitions at Mr Hyde / Street Feast’s National Burger Day Parties. What I’m getting at is – yes, I’m a high flyer in the burger world.

Moving to Birmingham I was slightly concerned about not finding anywhere decent, having tried Buffalo and Rye a few months ago and being left VERY disappointed. I was excited to hear about Meat Shack and seeing everyone on social media saying it was like properly good.

So, I went, and for once, social media was right.

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Buffalo blue burger

I had the buffalo blue burger and some onion rings, despite onions doing funny things to my arse – a price I’m willing to pay to provide you with top blog content.

The burger was superb, the Franks sauce, blue cheese dressing and candied bacon crumb all worked so well together that it’s giving me the right horn just writing it down.

The onion rings were fantastic too, perfectly crisp and with onion salt added to give my bowel a real good going over.

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Onion rings

Congratulations to everyone involved, well done, ten on ten, in other words:

FoodieBoys_review_fullx 5 out of 5

Want proof that I’ve eaten burgers before? Weird, but OK, check it: here and here.

Review: One Week in Birmingham

“When a man is tired of London’s shit, he moves to Birmingham.” Jamelia.

I’m not going to start telling you the pros and cons of London and Birmingham, what would be the point in that? You’ve already decided exactly what you think of them and your mind will never sway, and fair play to you, stick to your guns, or knives, or acid – whatever floats your boat.

Long and short of it is I’ve moved from London to Birmingham, “but why would you do that? There are loads of restaurants in London, and in Birmingham there’s nothing but Big John’s and 45 Harry Ramsden’s,” (autocorrect really wanted to change ‘Ramsden’ to ‘Ramadan’ which has given me an idea for a pop-up, get in touch for investment opportunities or if you’re a chef called Harry who can work nights).

Well, it turns out there are loads of great places to eat in Birmingham, and it only seems to be getting better. When I last lived in the Midlands in 2007 you could probably count on one hand the number of decent places to dine (that might be a lie but I can’t be bothered to research), but here we are August 2017 and I’m back, and what you really want to hear about is where I’ve been eating this week. WELL, hang on a fucking second and I’ll get to it. Jesus.

Harborne Kitchen

“Oooh, would you look at that. I bet they do lunch.” I said to the woman who has moved here with me as we walked down Harborne High Street looking for somewhere to go for lunch.

And bugger me senseless, they did do lunch, two courses for £18! Imagine! In London that would have cost me £4,500.

To begin we had some Sourdough and some churned, whipped buttery goodness. The best bit about this was that I got to indulge in one of my favourite past times – licking stones (which is one of the reasons I’m not allowed round Ronnie Wood’s house).

Sourdough Harborne Kitchen

Sourdough Harborne Kitchen

Salmon, I never usually order salmon because it’s BORING but I didn’t fancy the veloute or the parfait. Good news, it was nice, with a lovely pickley-ness knocking about to maintain my interest.

Salmon Harborne Kitchen

Salmon Harborne Kitchen

The beef was goooood, and with the smoked mash, peas and crispy onions on top you’ve pretty much stuck all my favourite food items on one plate you bloody genius.

Featherblade of beef Harborne Kitchen

Featherblade of beef Harborne Kitchen

I had a lovely glass of Fleurie with my beef, the woman accepted the waiter’s recommendation for her two glasses of white wine, they cost £13 a glass so I’m not talking to her anymore.

Four boys out of five

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The Indian Brewery

On my first Friday night in Birmingham I met an old friend and decided to show off how ‘bang on trend with all the top cool shit going down’ I am these days by taking him to The Indian Brewery near Snow Hill.

This small venue does craft beer and Indian street food snacks, this gave me an excellent opportunity to pretend to know about beer and also talk about the time I lived in India.

We ordered a couple of pints or Birmingham Lager and a selection of food.

Indian Brewery Birmingham

Indian Brewery Birmingham

The stand outs were the fat naan with chicken tikka and red onions, and the Bombay Wings which had a batter round them that sort of tasted like onion bhaji. The masala fries were a bit of a non-event and could do with some more spice to them.

Four boys out of five

The Plough

I went here after work on Wednesday, and seeing as it’s at the end of the road and I imagine I’ll be going there all the time I’m almost certainly going to give them 4/5.

It was taco night on Wednesday, you get four for £12.50, so I ordered the slow cooked chorizo and chilli,  spiced pork belly with slow-cooked apple, chilli battered cod and buffalo chicken tacos. The other on offer was a veggie one which obviously I didn’t choose as I’m a man.

Tacos at the Plough Harborne

Tacos at the Plough Harborne

These were all pretty good, the cod was the best, followed by the chorizo. I always feel a bit disappointed with tacos, as I’m usually not entirely satisfied and I’ve got juices all over my hands – a bit like your dad in his shed.

Four boys out of five (told you)

I’ve booked to go to Adam’s next month which will hopefully bring about the first 5 boy review of this new and exciting era. My favourite review I’ve seen of it so far is by this guy who was clearly pissed off that a taller, better looking man was talking to some women.

8 months ago
Went there with my wife, food was bland very bland to be honest nothing special however am concerned about a waiter that is tall short back and sides first of all he smelt of cigarettes and chatting up with a group of girls I think it was a party rude attitude should take immediate action for a 5 star restaurant

Review: Dirty Bones

“Mucky penis, more like!”

“Bones, not boners.”

“That’s a shame. Do these people not know anything about viral marketing?”

This was the conversation I had while discussing where to go for lunch on Saturday. We had planned to go to the Rum Kitchen but a truly baffling conversation about trying to book a table for three people left me so exasperated that I’ve decided I can never eat jerk chicken ever again.

Dirty bones – when someone says let’s go and eat at ‘Dirty Bones’, the first thing that comes to mind is of course Richard III and his skeleton found having a nap in a council car park in Leicester.

Richard’s boozy brunches

Not a lot of people know, but one of the reasons Richard III was defeated, and killed, at the battle of Bosworth was because he was a bit pissed.

He and a few of the other House of York lads had gone for one of their infamous ‘Boozy Brunches’. Here they’d drink shit loads of Prosecco and eat hundreds of tubes of Pringles.

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Dickie suffering from Pringles hand

It is perhaps with this in mind that Dirty Bones offer their:

“BOOZY BRUNCH: Feel the weekend vibes at London’s best boozy brunch.

Our Boozy Brunch Flights get you up to four dirty drinks for £19pp, with options including the Lexy cocktail, Dirty Mary cocktail, Spiked Ice Coffee or prosecco by the glass. Mix n’ match, or pick your poison and stick to it.”

The Dirty Mary cocktail a clear nod to Richard and his exploits, with the rim of the glass adorned with with sour cream Pringles.

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Dirty Mary cocktail

I enjoyed the Dirty Mary and the Spiked Coffee had a decent amount of booze in it. Congratulations everyone.

Coffee cocktail Foodie Boys

Spiked coffee

FOOD

Now, as it was the weekend the restaurant were only offering their Weekend Brunch menu. I searched the menu for something with bones in it.

“Excuse me, waiter! I have a bone to pick with you. Does the chicken and waffles have any bones in it?”

“We hope not!” the waiter laughed.

“Oh, that’s a shame. The caramelised banana waffles?”

“Erm, I wouldn’t have thought so.

With no bones for me to chew on I decided on the short rib hash.

14 hour slow-cooked pulled short rib finished with caramelised shallots and mustard seeds. Served with potatoes and two eggs.

Maybe it’s because I was very hungry, maybe it’s because I’m a fat man, but there wasn’t enough rib for my liking, however, it was very tasty.

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Short rib hash

Fortunately, the others had ordered burgers and fries, so I ate their incredibly addictive skinny fries with onion and garlic salt like a man possessed.

I had a dessert ‘milk and cookie’ which was milk gelato and a soft baked cookie. The milk gelato was alright, and the cookie was hard. The fact a fat man who is desperate to be morbidly obese, and to achieve type two diabetes, didn’t finish it – speaks volumes.

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All in all, you’d have to say:

3.75 boys out of 5.

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Review: Yeah! Burger

After our incredibly successful review of We Serve Humans at the Jackdaw and Star (over  ****** potential impressions on Twitter achieved and a healthy ****** blog views reached – get in touch to find out the numbers behind the stars) it wasn’t a big surprise to hear from the marketing guys at the Star pubs again.

“Please,” they begged “will you come and review ‘Yeah Burger’ at the Star by Hackney Downs?”

“Hang on, let me get this straight – East London and burgers, right?”

“Correct.”

“We were hoping you’d say: ‘Yeah’.”

“Oh, yeah. So, are you up for it?”

There was only one answer to that: “Absolutely.”

Toby

I arrived twenty minutes before Tony, due to typically poor transport planning on his part.

“What shall I do?” I asked him.

“Go incognito,” urged Tony “pretend you’re just an ordinary schmuck from the street and see how they treat you.”

I ordered a pint and tried not to betray my celebrity status, but I fear the bar staff were all too aware that I had something special about me.

Tony

TFL fucked me, yet again, leaving Toby to try and initiate the blogger / vendor process.

Worried, I told him to get himself a pint, keep his mouth shut and not to do anything that could jeopardise us getting burgers.

I arrived to see Toby propping up the bar shouting about geese to a poor bartender.

Toby

“Fire me over a couple of GEESE please, barkeep!” I said to the bartender, wooing her with my wordplay.

There was a beer called ‘Goose IPA’ you see.

I had already bought a Camden Hells that I hadn’t finished, but I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to impress the young, possibly Australian woman behind the bar.

“GEESE, you see, is the plural of GOOSE!”

“TOBY! Leave that woman alone,” Tony shrieked as he ran towards the bar on entering the pub.

“What can I get you?” she calmly asked.

“Two goose, please.”

“GEESE!” Toby yelled again.

“Go and get us a table, Toby.”

Oooh political

As a pair of deeply political kinda guys we were pleased to see ‘Yeah Burgers’ getting on board with the General Election. 

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“Where the fuck is Sir Timothy Farron in all this?” Tony demanded to know.

“He thinks burgering is a sin.” Toby laughed to himself, “burgering – like buggering, like what gays do.”

“Yes, I got it.”

The food

We didn’t try those political items as we thought we may be swayed from a truly impartial review.

So, we settled for a Gladiator burger, and a beef Coney Island hot dog.

The Gladiator burger was very much a burger, but with confit garlic mayo, avocado and most importantly chicken skin. The chicken skin was a delicious addition and the salty hit instantly cured Tony’s hangover.

Yeah Burger Gladiator burger
Gladiator burger


“Surprised it’s not GOOSE SKIN,” shouted Toby, looking around the pub, desperate for a reaction.

The Coney Island hot dog was a beef frank with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.

Toby scraped away some of the tasty onions as they do his IBS riddled stomach a right mischief – life can be so cruel.

Coney Island hot dog

Coney Island hot dog

“The bread should be OK seeing as it’s sourdough,” he assured the barman, who had a Jeremy Corbyn T-Shirt on, “the onions perhaps not! Onions for the many! Not for the poo!”

“Shut up, Toby.”

The burger and hot dog were excellent, as were the fries and sweet potato fries.

The side order of pickles was a bit sad, and not very pickly.

“Is everything OK with your food?” asked the bartender as she cleared our empty glasses.

“It is, very good indeed. But could you help us with something, what genre is the music that’s playing in here currently?”

“Um, I’m not sure who it is.”

“Ah yes, but is it… Grime?”

“It could be Grime. Yes. I think it’s Grime.”

“YES!” We had never heard this music before and were thrilled to be part of Corbyn’s grime scene.

You do not have to say anything…

Before we left, Toby wanted to get to the bottom of the barkeep’s mysterious accent.

“Hello, I’m Detective Inspector Twang, and I’m making routine inquiries today.”

“I’m sorry?” she had now become wary of our conversations.

“I’m from the Dialect Squad. Anything you say will be taken as evidence.” He winked slowly.

“I really don’t understand what you’re on about.”

“Sorry about him,” apologised Tony.

“999, ACCENT EMERGENCY” shouted Toby as Tony dragged him away and with him, his last chance to woo this enigma of a lady.

YEAH OR NAH?

It’s a YES YEAH from us for Yeah Burger at The Star by Hackney Downs. It’s a fine way to spend your summer afternoon; go for the burgers, stay for the grime and leave before you meet Toby.

4 Boys out of five

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Review: Zindiya

Having lived in London for the past six years I was totally under the impression that the very concept of ‘street food’ had been invented here. It turns out people have actually been selling food items outside of restaurants and shops for  thousands of years! Who knew?!

With this newly acquired knowledge I decided to stick it to London and get a train to Birmingham.

Birmingham’s one of those places that feckless dullards say “it’s shit,” about whenever its name crops up in conversation. These people have never mustered an original thought of their own and tend to go through life parroting opinions they’ve heard that they think will be socially acceptable to their peers.

Not like me, I have loads of opinions of my own. Don’t believe me? Tweet and ask for one: @FoodieBoys This not going along with the crowd thing can probably be put down to the fact that I’m incredibly well travelled and interesting. Not only have I lived in Vietnam, but I also lived and worked in Delhi for a year. That’s right, Delhi, in India.

Indian food a short taxi ride from Birmingham city centre

You can only imagine my delight when I discovered there was a recently opened Indian street food establishment in Moseley, Birmingham. I booked a table for two and dusted off my Hindi dictionary.

“Bhains ke aage been bajana,” I said as I walked towards the bar.

“Sorry?” The waiter responded.

“Playing the flute to a buffalo is a waste of time.” I said, with my eyes closed, nodding slowly in a wise manner.

“Table for two is it?”

“Ek anaar, sau bimaar – one pomegranate is all there is, and a hundred men are sick trying to get it.”

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Lager and a From Oozy with love cocktail

After sitting down and looking at the menu we ordered some drinks, then some food. A tale as old as time – this is commonplace in restaurants.

Being a man, I ordered a pint of lager and my lady woman ordered  a rose cocktail that came in a plastic bag. A lovely touch. I attempted to come up with a suitable anecdote from my time spent in Delhi, India.

“Oh, that’s such a lovely touch. It actually reminds me of a time in Chandni Chowk when… a… when a… erm plastic bag… erm, fell… from the sky and it made me think… about… plastic bags.”

Fortunately the menu offered more opportunities to reminisce, for example with Pani Puri. I looked back fondly on the time in Delhi when this particular treat gave me a few days of watery diarrhoea.

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Aloo Tikki Chaat

To begin we ate Aloo Tikki Chaat – Potato cakes and spicy chickpeas, drizzled with tamarind chutney and yoghurt. LOVELY.

I ordered Lady Fingers as I wanted to do an Alan Partridge impression, it goes like this: “Oooh, lady fingers.” Pav bhaji is something I ate in India too, actually in Mumbai.

Sure, I’ve been to Mumbai. Where else have I been I hear you ask? Thanks for asking, I’ve also been to Jaipur, Kolkata, Amritsar, Varanasi and others. Incredible, India.

Chicken tikka – now, I like chicken tikka, chicken tikka is good and tasty. I am pleased, NAY, THRILLED to announce that this chicken tikka was delicious. The meat was perfectly moist, and the edges were slightly charred which gave it a lovely depth of flavour.

The seekh kebab was very good too, with a decent level of spice present.

I often think the best part of an Indian meal is the starters, Zindiya with its tapas style Indian street food was perfect and allowed me to talk about myself at length, wonderful.

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Four boys out of five.

 

Review: Little Social

I’ve seen Jason Atherton on Saturday Kitchen quite a few times, he wears tight t-shirts in that: “Yeah, I’m a middle aged man, sure, I look after myself. I like a couple of pints with the boys but I’m equally happy with a kale smoothie? Absolutely. What’s the big deal?” kind of way. And fair play to him.

Jason has 74,000 restaurants spread across the world. Many of them have the word ‘social’ attached to them.

City Social – you’re only allowed in if you had a part to play in the financial crash.

Social Eating House – the menu is inspired by bricks.

Pollen Street Social – the waiting staff all buzz constantly, only stopping once they’ve stabbed you and they perish.

And then there’s Little Social where the chef is a midget. It was here we went for a birthday lunch back in January! I know! So many questions, like: How has it taken me so long to write this up? Why didn’t I take a photo of the menu so I could remember what I ate? Aren’t professional kitchens potentially hazardous to midgets?

What I can tell you is that I had a cocktail, here’s a picture of it. It was very nice indeed.

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Here’s a photo of some butter, which I almost certainly had with some bread. If memory serves me correctly this was also perfectly pleasant.

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Here is my starter. Now, this was a beetroot based starter, and I do remember it as it was very nice.

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Here’s a mackerel. I think it was alright, I mean mackerel is always alright isn’t it really. Cheers mackerel.

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Here’s a bottle of wine we drunk. Notice the butter in the background, it’s been partly eaten. This lends weight to my earlier point about having consumed the butter with some bread.

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What can you say? A lunch time menu – 3 courses for £30 (I think, it was in that ball park) enjoyed in the knowledge that you’re helping a midget. Perfect.

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3.5 boys out of 5.

Review: Duke of Sussex

Before we begin discussing food we thought it might be useful to give you some interesting facts, meaning you come away from the blog with knowledge you didn’t have before. You might then share this newly acquired knowledge with your friends – helping to boost our reach.

DID YOU KNOW?: When Prince Harry gets married his Grandma is going to make him the Duke of Sussex? I know?!

DID YOU KNOW?: The first Duke of Sussex was Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son of King George III, back in 1801.

DID YOU KNOW?: The Duke of Sussex is also a pub by  Chiswick Park station / Acton Green.

“How will this help boost your reach?” you ask. Well, allow us to explain.

“You know that Prince Harry?” You say while sat in a pub / on the bus / having a smear test.

“Yes,” responds your friend / the driver / the nurse.

“He’ll become the Duke of Sussex when he gets married.”

“Oh really? Where did you hear that?”

“FoodieBoys.com.”

It really is that simple.

The Duke and tapas

Prince Augustus Frederick absolutely adored tapas and once famously said to his mate John, “John lad, there’s just something proper reassuring about paying £60 for 6 tiny plates of food rather than spending £15 on one actual meal.”

Augustus loved tapas so much that he actually used to spell his name ‘Prince Augustus Frederack’ just so he could say his name contained all the letters that make up the word ‘tapas’.

His dedication was SO great he actually grew giant croquetas in his garden.

The first Duke of Sussex showing off his massive croqueta.

With all this in mind it is of little surprise to find a pub named after the Duke serving up tapas to the eager mouths of West London.

The food

It was a…Tuesday afternoon I believe, possibly a Wednesday or even a Thursday, when we entered the pub (for full disclosure I can’t remember but it could have been any day of the week that wasn’t a Friday, Saturday or Sunday – I remember those days, it’s the others that are all just one long, sad, blurry march towards death).

We entered the pub and ordered various tapas items and a bottle of Rioja – I ordered Rioja as it is from Spain and I wanted to impress the barkeep. “I’ll have one of the SPANISH riojas,” I said, just loud enough for the rest of the pub to hear.

The wine was good, I also had a beer which was most pleasant. The food was, like so much tapas, total and utter ‘meh’ as people on the internet used to say back in the day.

Before we leave you with the all important score, there’s one last fact for you.

DID YOU KNOW?: The first Duke of Sussex invented aioli? 

The first Duke of Sussex discussing aioli with his mate John.

The score

2.5 boys out of 5.

As far as bog standard tapas goes this is well up there. The Duke would have been piiiiiiiiiiised.