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Ondine, Edinburgh – Stunning Scottish Seafood

Ondine, Edinburgh – Stunning Scottish Seafood

When I asked a friend for the best seafood in Edinburgh, he replied emphatically, ‘Ondine’. Their website promised ‘Proper Seafood‘ in giant type. They weren’t joking! Situated above a Pizza Express just off Edinburgh’s high street, The Royal Mile. It’s not much to look at from the outside. The hanging lobster is actually quite tacky, reminiscent of cheap seafront shacks. ... Read More »

Byron: Proper Hamburgers, Now With Proper Craft Beers

Byron: Proper Hamburgers, Now With Proper Craft Beers

I love pairing food with beer and there are few better combinations than burgers and beer. Byron have always had a reasonable craft beer lineup, particularly compared to most of their competitors but they’ve really upped their game recently. They’ve worked alongside award winning beer blogger & writer Mark Dredge (of whom I’m a big fan) to create a small but well judged ... Read More »

Christmas Eve At Hispi, Didsbury

Christmas Eve At Hispi, Didsbury

I love Christmas Eve, I’d go so far as to say it’s by far my favourite day of the year. So naturally I put a lot of effort into choosing where to eat. It wasn’t easy coming up with somewhere that could match the Parkers Arms the previous year. But I had such fond memories of Sticky Walnut that I ... Read More »

Festive Fun @ The Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland

Festive Fun @ The Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland

It’s hard to write about the Parkers Arms these days. Hard not to write stuff that’s already been said a million times anyway. Pound for pound, taking everything into account it has been my favourite place to eat for almost four years now. I just love everything about the place, from the location to the service and of course the ... Read More »

January Detox: ‘Namas-Tea’ At Cottonopolis, Manchester

January Detox: ‘Namas-Tea’ At Cottonopolis, Manchester

I wasn’t planning on eating out in January. I know, I know, bear with me. I’m not really one of those types. I mean, I don’t do full on detox or ‘Dryanuary’ or anything. But after a very indulgent Christmas December I definitely needed to take it easy for a few weeks. I assumed that meant not eating out for a while. ... Read More »

The Food Geek Awards – 2016

The Food Geek Awards – 2016

Welcome to the fifth annual Food Geek Awards! (previous years are here) As I say every year, these awards are intended to be a bit of fun. Just something a bit different from the ‘Top 10’ lists that most people seem to do. They’re based purely on my dining experiences in 2016, nothing more. Best Restaurant Awards Best Dish Awards ... Read More »

The Solita Christmas Burger 2016

The Solita Christmas Burger 2016

I’m a bit of a sucker for tradition, especially at Christmas. Only good ones though, usually involving food, not rubbish stuff like the John Lewis ad. After having the Solita Christmas burger for the past four years I definitely consider it one of them. After deciding to eat at Solita the next job is picking which one. With four to choose from it’s not ... Read More »

Shoryu – Finally Bring Top Ramen To Manchester

Shoryu – Finally Bring Top Ramen To Manchester

I love Japanese food. We’re lucky to have great places like Yuzu and Umezushi in Manchester but until recently there was nowhere to go for ramen. Well, good, authentic ramen anyway. Sure there are a few restaurants with a token ramen dish on their random menus, it’s been the ‘in’ thing for a few years now. But we were definitely ... Read More »

Beer and Curry Experience Taste Box from Kelham Farm Shop

Beer and Curry Experience Taste Box from Kelham Farm Shop

I have a simple policy when it comes to accepting products for review. I simply ask: ‘would I actually pay for it myself’. Usually, the answer is a resounding NO. But occasionally I get offered something that piques my interest. Like a box of goodies from Yorkshire’s highly regarded Kelham Farm Shop. There are 24 Taste Boxes in Keelham’s range. Available ... Read More »

Yatai Izakaya, Aberdeen

Yatai Izakaya, Aberdeen

The first few times I visited Aberdeen I mainly ate meat, cheese and burgers (usually because beer was involved). Last time I wanted something a little more cultural. I found it by way of Yatai. An informal but authentic Japanese Izakaya style restaurant/bar. The equivalent of our gastropubs. Owner and Executive head chef John Jones isn’t Japanese but has dedicated ... Read More »

Smokehouse & Cellar, Manchester

Smokehouse & Cellar, Manchester

If there’s one thing that Manchester’s missing, it’s good barbeque food. Sure there’s Red’s; I was a fan from the start but they seem more concerned with getting sauces into supermarkets and brewing their own (mediocre) beer these days. Then came ‘Smokehouse’ or ‘Manchester Smokehouse’ as it’s officially known. Headed up by Jason Latham, a chef who not only knows his way around ... Read More »

Back To The Hinds Head, Bray

Back To The Hinds Head, Bray

Almost four years had passed since I last visited Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred pub The Hind’s Head. I could probably count the number of weeks I’ve not thought about their scotch eggs on one hand. The 15th-century pub is located in the UK’s culinary hotspot, the tiny and very pretty village of Bray. Home to half of the country’s four 3 Michelin starred ... Read More »

Solita Preston – ‘Dirty Food’ Arrives In Lancashire

Solita Preston – ‘Dirty Food’ Arrives In Lancashire

It’s been over three months since I intended to get this ‘First Look’ of Solita Preston published. They’re pretty fast movers so there’s every chance a new Solita has popped up to join it since. (As it happens, there haven’t been any more openings but they have announced a couple of new ventures. More on that later). Solita Preston is ... Read More »

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