Eating out in 2016

I try not to be too obvious on this blog but what is the point of having a blog if you can’t make slightly hubristic end of year lists? Every food blogger does it, I like reading them so let’s not beat around the bush, read and marvel at what I’ve eaten this year. You might like the look of it, and decide that you’d like to eat there too (see it’s actually informative and not showy-off at all).

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Takeda AS Gyutou, 10 Year Review

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Pre thinning

Ever read a proper kitchen knife review? They’re usually found on specialist discussion forums, places that regular people with an interest in food rarely visit. Those forums are subsets of knife-as-weapon forums and crossover with gun forums. And in them lie a whole world of crazy. I’m not into all that, I’m only really interested in kitchen knives and have been for a long time. This Takeda knife was bought over 10 years ago. So it’s probably time to review it. I think this timescale is a reasonable user testing period. Continue reading

The Other Side of Brum Chinatown

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Suckling piglet and rice £8.60

Chinese food, you’re probably getting bored of it by now. Takeaway sweet and sour pork comes way down the fast food list after curry, Nandos, KFC and new wave “streetfood”. Going out for a meal? Sesame prawn toast, chow mein, lemon chicken, shredded crispy duck and all the other Anglicised Chinese food is seen as the safe option for a crowd with fussy eaters. But it doesn’t have to be like this. The Chinese food that I know has never been like that anyway. With more and more mainland Chinese folk living in the city, the options are expanding beyond the watered down Cantonese fare we all grew up eating in the UK. Fiery mouth numbing dishes from Sichuan, mutton skewers from the North, hotpots and hand-pulled noodles. Never let them show you the English menu ever again. I’ve written guides about the great mainstream food you can get in Birmingham Chinatown but now here’s a guide to get really under the crispy crackling skin of Chinatown. Continue reading

Rossopomodoro, a non-review

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Arrivederci we hope

I don’t do restaurant reviews on this blog because, well, you don’t need me to tell you all those Michelin starred restaurants in town are really good. Or that restaurant with the overwrought plating and pretentious mission statement is all style over substance. Or that balti place is just another balti place. If you’re into food then you know what you like and you don’t need a score out of ten from me*. So you don’t need me to tell you that Rossopomodoro in Selfridges is the only good pizza joint in Brum. That could be the shortest restaurant review ever, if this was an actual review, but it’s not because Rossopomodoro closed today and you don’t review restaurants that don’t exist. That would be nonsense.  Continue reading

Tacos, from masa to mouth

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Grilled cheese tacos with BBQ wagyu brisket and pico de gallo

Brits get Mexican food wrong all the time. It’s often confounded with Tex-Mex. Anybody proclaiming nachos or burritos as their favourite Mexican food needs to check their chicken fajitas at the door. Tacos is Mexico’s favourite food. So it’s great that the UK is finally catching on and you can find tacos on every other streetfood slingers repertoire. Tacos are infinitely customisable, pork, beef, chicken, cheese, salsa, heck even kimchi. Anything goes! It’s a blank canvas for cooks to express themselves. So why then have I never eaten a good taco in this country? Continue reading