Here you will find food ideas from restaurants, recipe ideas, festivals and daily restaurant deals worth buying

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Sosban Restaurant Discount Voucher Llanelli

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Travelzoo currently have a mammoth deal at the moment with a Sosban discount voucher. Based in Llanelli in grade II listed building dating back to 1872 when it was originally a pumping engine. We tried popping in for Sunday lunch a few months back when we were near by but it was closing 10 minutes before we arrived sadly but the building looked so cool as I love the industrial look.

In the restaurant voucher discount at Sosban you get a 6 course tasting menu for 2 people for £49 at lunch time Wednesday – Saturday or for an extra £20 you can get the amazing offer for dinner Wednesday – Friday, which also comes with a glass of fizz each too.

The 2 AA Rosette restaurant is owned by ex Welsh Rugby and Scarlets legends Stephen and Dwayne Peel and has scooped many accolades since it first opened including The Good Food Guide Readers Restaurant of The Year.

If you fancy making a night of it with friends you can also purchase the Sosban restaurant voucher for 4 people priced at £95 for lunch or £135 for dinner with an added 20% off the paired wine flight.
The 6 course taster menu would normally cost £55 per person making it £110 per couple so you’re getting over 50% off. Dishes on the menu consist of the following:

  • Potato Bread, potato foam, chive butter and Exmoor caviar.
  • Cod Five Ways, cabbage puree, salt and vinegar chips
  • Hay Baked Celeriac, smoked celeriac tea and celeriac textures
  • Yorkshire Mangalitsa Pork, smoked beetroot and black pudding purée
  • Chocolate Orange, caramelised orange and chocolate sorbet
  • Apple Rice Pudding, hay ice cream and caramelised milk skin

If you fancy grabbing the Sosban discount voucher before they are all snapped up head over to Travelzoo quick!

Burger Slider Afternoon Tea Review at The Celtic Manor, Newport

It was only a few weeks ago we got invited to the launch of the new Mulberry Cocktail bar at the Celtic Manor but it was there I noticed the upcoming Afternoon Tea’s with a twist taking place across the Celtic Manor Resort.

Being a favourite of mine for Afternoon tea and having tried three of the past variations such as the Standard Resort Afternoon Tea, Willy Wonka Afternoon Tea with my sister at Christmas and the Easter chocolate one back last year I was more than keen to try something a bit more meaty. My luck was just in as they’ve just launched the Rib Smokehouse Slider Afternoon Tea at the Coldra Court branch of The Celtic Manor, which is a short drive up the road from the Resort so I jumped at offer to test out the meatilicious offerings on this Afternoon Tea.

The Coldra Court spent it’s previous life as a Hilton Hotel but was acquired by Celtic Manor less than two years ago and they’ve slowly been upscaling it since then with the addition of the restaurant and recently refurbished health, fitness and spa facilities. The Rib Smokehouse has been open for nearly a year now and is quite a striking site from within the hotel lobby with it’s amber lighting ,wood and rose gold styling cutting through the white décor of the lobby and hotel reception.

Rib Smokehouse review at Celtic Manor

The Slider Afternoon Tea

We couldn’t of picked a better day to attend the Slider Afternoon Tea as we attended the Business Growth Awards the night before, got in just before 2am and had the delightful responsibility of working a Saturday shift at 9am for a few hours so I was in dire need of something to bring me back to life. This was definitely what the doctor ordered.

The slider afternoon tea was comprised of savouries with a selection of 5 mini burger sliders of varying fillings and tiny skin on fries followed by mini sweets to finish. You also have the option of any teas or coffees to help wash down the mini meat banquet.

The slider fillings we got to tuck into were:

  • Butcher’s cut bacon and Welsh extra mature Cheddar cheese slider, with plum and apple chutney
  • Smoked pulled chicken and The Rib’s homemade coleslaw slider
  • Thai fishcake and prawn slider
  • Brecon venison burger with redcurrant mayonnaise
  • Smoked bone marrow beef burger with BBQ sauce and crispy onions

sliders at Celtic Manor afternoon tea

If you’re not feeling hungry I don’t think this one’s for you but I was ravenous and unashamedly destroyed each slider in quick succession. Size wise they were quite generous considering you have 5 to get through and even though I rolled my eyes at the site of the tiny fries to start with, there was a reason and I have eyes bigger than my belly the majority of the time.

My pulled chicken slider was properly stacked and required extra attention not to cover my face in sauce, but I’ve had plenty of practice and a bit of a pro by now. My favourite of the 5 though was the Thai fishcake and prawn slider, which was wonderfully fragrant, had a slight crisp on the outside but soft and tender in the middle. I would of happily of attempted an adult sized portion of this. We were offered a chance to have any sauces to go with the platter and I just opted for ketchup but I would have loved a smudge of sriracha mayo to give a little kick of spice to the slider.

thai fishcake slider at Coldra Court, Celtic Manor

I had to take a minute or two after meticulously licking each finger of any meaty residue and composed myself before planning my attack on the wooden drawer of sweets that sat in front of me.

First up was the vanilla milkshake to rid my taste buds of any remnants of savoury flavours and prepare my mouth for an onslaught of rich, sweet and sticky sweets.

  • Mini peanut butter doughnut
  • Pecan pie
  • Mini custard slice with raspberry gel
  • Mini vanilla milkshake

warm pecan pie with Slider afternoon tea at Celtic Manor

I’d never tried a pecan pie before so that was next up. It was still warm, with a crunchy base almost caramelised pecan topping with rich buttery filling. To be fare this was a pretty big portion of pie seeing as we had a few to get through. Not that ever having a large portion of dessert is a bad thing, the other half did struggle to finish her one off. I on the other hand powered on through like a trooper.

peanut butter doughnut at Rib Smokehouse, Coldra Court

I obviously didn’t read the menu properly and assumed the doughnuts were submerged in salted caramel but it was a peanut butter sauce. A bit like a salted caramel, peanut butter hybrid although less sweet than salted caramel. I liked every last bit from the Mason jar although I would of liked the sauce a bit sweeter and more on the salted caramel end of the scale but still with a peanut butter punch.

The price of the Slider Afternoon Tea is £24.99 and only available on Saturdays for the month of March although we spoke to the waitress who said they are trialling it out for a month and if it proves popular it may make it onto the Afternoon Tea options regularly at The Celtic Manor.

The Verdict

Although the exterior of the Coldra Court doesn’t quite live up to the grandeur of the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel, the Rib Smokehouse definitely wouldn’t of looked out of place within the main resort and had been completely transformed from it’s former self. I for one really liked the décor and styling of the restaurant and would definitely see myself trying out the evening or Sunday lunch menu.

Inside Rib Smokehouse Celtic Manor

The £24.99 price point might sounds steep to some but most hotels usually up their price of their standard afternoon tea on the weekend to around £22 and I for one grudge paying that for a cress sandwich or laser cut ham. It was nice to have some actual meat content for the savoury selection and liked the variety of 5 different flavours.

Desserts were all on point and think matched the flavour profile of the sliders and would be something you would pair with them on a standard smoke house restaurant menu. One thing I would point out though, I’m not sure if it was just because we were booked in for the last sitting and the kitchen was on shutdown soon but we had the dessert drawer / wooden contraption come out near enough straight after our sliders arrived and before we’d even started on them.

I’m lucky as I’m a quick eater so the pecan pie was still warm but some people take their time so it would have been cold and we were really struggling for space on the table having had a table for two, it was a struggle manoeuvring everything around to eat, have a drink and have a conversation with the other half with the big drawer in the middle of the table.

Not that it detracted from the actual quality of the food and we both really enjoyed it but as a bit of feedback I would bring the sweets out after dinners have finished the sliders so there’s a bit more room to play with on the table as I was scared to move anything from fear of hitting the desserts over. Again this might of just been that we picked the latest possible time due to me having work in the morning and they wanted the pie’s coming out warm.

I’d recommend the Slider afternoon to anyone as a nice alternative to a standard sandwich fest. I know a lot of my friends wouldn’t be too keen on paying £22+ for a plate of sandwiches but would feel like they’ve had a bit more money’s worth with the slider afternoon tea.

It’s was due on till the end of March but just heard on the grapevine that it’s being extended due to popular demand. The other afternoon tea, which is coming onto the menu in the near future too is the Asian Afternoon Tea that I’m dying to book up that’s available between 2nd June and 1st July.

I love that The Celtic Manor like to keep things changing and always have a variety of different afternoon tea’s available so take a look on the website and see if there’s anything that might tempt you.

Park Plaza Cardiff and Laguna Restaurant Review

Seeing as I’ve now tried most of the menu’s at Park Plaza’s Laguna Restaurant in Cardiff, I thought it’s about time I wrote a review to let people know what they are missing out on if they’ve never been.
The Laguna Restaurant sits on the ground floor of the Park Plaza Cardiff Hotel on Greyfriar’s Road, a short walk from Cardiff Castle. Split into three areas there’s the dimly lit rectangular bar with booths seating 4-6 people for some cocktails or a spot of lunch, with the option of sitting out on the terrace weather permitting of course. The terrace is surrounded by trees and securing a bit of privacy from the hustle and bustle of town and has a tranquil feel from the slow flowing passage of the dock feeder canal right next to the outdoor seating.

Gin, cocktails and wine

All the drinks come from the same bar wherever you happen to be sitting in the Laguna. There is an extensive cocktail menu and we were invited to sample some of the ever growing list of Gin’s on the menu back last year, each expertly paired with a Fever Tree Tonic Water and garnish to compliment.

There’s a decent list of wine to choose from starting at a very reasonable £18 with the bar staff happy to help you choose with a little sample of a few on your hit list.

The only thing I was a little disappointed in with the bar was the selection of craft beers which I think could be improved by maybe showcasing one tap for local breweries on rotation so people staying that aren’t from the area get to sample a good local beer such as Pipes, Crafty Devils or Tiny Rebel. Wolf Rock was on tap, which was ok but a bit lower in Abv than I would normally go for.

Afternoon Tea and Restaurant

Then you have the restaurant area adjacent to the bar, which if you visit before 3pm is usually packed out from guests sampling one of the many sumptuous afternoon teas on offer. One of which being my favourite ever, the Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea.

Gentleman's afternoon tea at Park Plaza Cardiff

Being International Women’s day at the time of writing I wouldn’t declare it not for women quite as poignantly as that Yorkie chocolate bar marketing strategy year’s ago but it definitely appeals to the inner caveman in me with the meaty, carnivorous bites on the platter. From chorizo scotch egg with Bloody Mary mao, Yorkshire pudding with slithers of rare roast beef and horseradish cream and mini venison burger to name but a few. Priced at £19.95 or £22.95 on weekends
They’ve got the standard afternoon tea for the purists and one of the Gin lovers the Hendricks G & Tea Afternoon Tea, which includes a teapot pot of Hendricks Gin cocktail.

In the evening there’s a few different menu options to choose from at the restaurant such as Pre Theatre Menu seeing as it’s located next to the New Theatre, which is available 5.30pm to 7.00pm Monday to Friday and the A La Carte Menu with starters around £7 and mains averaging £17, which is pretty decent for a hotel restaurant in my opinion.

Sunday Lunch

My first experience of the lunch at the Laguna was the day after being impressed with my Gentleman’s afternoon tea, which made me wanting to go back down the day after to sample a full meal in the restaurant.

Priced at £19.95 for 3 courses I thought it was excellent value for money. With around 7 options for starters with a few British Favourites like soup, prawn cocktail and salmon along with my choice of Chicken liver parfait, onion marmalade and toasted brioche.

With an extensive choice of meats, fish dishes and a vegetarian options there is something for everyone on the mains, which is great as there’s always one fussy eater when going out in a group. I opted for the local loin of pork as the crackling caught my eye.

Sunday lunch at Laguna Restaurant Park Plaza in Cardiff

Not venturing out all that often for Sunday lunch due to the fact my grandmother would kill me this was an excellent replacement for Nanny Carole’s Sunday lunch. My fellow dinner went for the beef though, which was perfectly pink, succulent and tender with the richest gravy I’ve ever tasted and managed to top my pork option but both were very good Sunday lunches.

There were more puddings than you can shake a stick at from Crème Brulees, chocolate tortes, sticky toffee puddings and a delectable selection of ice creams and sorbets on the dessert menu to finish off.

Wine and nibbles

mixed starter platter at Park Plaza Cardiff

After a stressful day of shopping a few weeks back we decided to nip in to Park Plaza to quench our thirst with a glass of vino. Seeing a few other patrons having a nibble we decided to order a mixed starter to share too.

Heading into the other option in the hotel, the lounge. Just off from the hotel reception is room with sofas and high backed chairs facing a long line of fires. We perched up next to a fire, glass in hand and tucked into an array of salty, crunchy nibbles whilst being seductively entranced by the flames of the fire. If you’re ever in town and just want to take your mind off things, I can’t recommend a glass of Marlborough Sauv Blanc sat in front of a lit fire.

Lunch

Most recently we visited during the snow blitz on Wales last week when Cardiff came to a standstill and most other restaurants and bars closed to the public. Park Plaza were carrying on as normal so we thought what better option to take up a pew to thaw out next to the roaring fires with a glass of Red Wine and a 3 course lunch.

There were two menus to choose from, either the bar menu or the lunch menu. I was pleasantly surprised how cheap the bar menu was as I’d never had a look on previous visits with dishes around £8.
The lunch menu had a choice of A La Carte options or the 2 course express lunch for £12.95.

Goats cheese and mushroom bruschetta at Park Plaza Cardiff

I was feeling extra ravenous so I was worried how much the express lunch would fill me so opted for the A La Carte option with Goats cheese and mushroom bruschetta to start. Lightly grilled, the cheese became a gooey irresistible mess below the tender mushrooms and crusty bread. A light drizzle of balsamic gave a nice tang against the creaminess of the cheese.

Pork and mustard mash mains at Park Plaza Cardiff

I opted for pork again for mains this time pork belly, mustard mash, with meaty bacon nugget enriched gravy. The pork was tender, subtle mustard kick from the mash and married perfectly with the rich gloss of gravy.

cheese board at Park Plaza Cardiff by the fire

I went full boring and opted for a cheese board, but I had at least a glass of red left in the bottle so I thought it would pair well in front of the fire. A selection of around 5 cheeses of varying stengths, creaminess and ages, chutney and mix of crackers and grapes to tame the cheese. What more could you want.

The Verdict

I think my actions speak a million words and I’ve enjoyed every visit to Park Plaza Cardiff and The Laguna Restaurant and will continue to visit, whether it’s to give into my sweet and savoury lusting for afternoon tea, craving for meat sweats with the Gentleman’s afternoon tea or longing to curl up in front of the fire with a good wine, even better food and good company.

There’s plenty to choose from whether it’s a light nibble for lunch, treating the mother or grandmother to some cakes and fizz or celebrating a birthday or wedding at the restaurant and I would recommend it to anyone.

Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs recipe – a guilt free kebab

Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs ingredients

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 3 teaspoons Baharat spice mix
  • 3 cloves garlic finely grated
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 50g dried apricot chopped into small chunks

Instructions

  1. I prefer to have my onions and or shallots browned before adding to burgers or meatballs to add a slight sweetness and take the harshness out of them.
  2. Chop the shallot and add to a hot pan with some oil to brown for a few minutes. Add the grated garlic to the onions and cook for a further minute mixing into the onions.
  3. Take off the pan and add to a bowl with the lamb mince.
  4. Add the Baharat spice mix and the chopped apricots to the bowl of mince then use your hands to mix the ingredients to make sure everything is equally combined.
  5. I prefer little meatballs that cook quicker rather than big meatballs that take ages to cook and end up being too dry so tear little chunks of the mix and roll into small meatballs. I made around 20 meatballs with mine so aim for around the same.
  6. I sometimes fry meatballs but it means you have to keep turning them so they don’t burn. I cook most of my meat in an airfryer these days as it cooks through nicely, is a lot quicker than the oven and they still have a nice crisp to them.
  7. Mine took around 10-15 minutes in the air fryer on around 190C.

Baharat and apricot lamb meatballs recipe

To enjoy as a guilt free kebab

  1. Shred some red cabbage
  2. Julienne 1 carrot
  3. Chop 4 spring onions
  4. Slice 2 large tomatoes
  5. Add to a bowl and squeeze a whole lemon over the mixture, season with salt and pepper.
  6. Make a quick mint yogurt mixing a couple of spoons of greek or natural yogurt with two teaspoons mint sauce, salt and pepper.
  7. Add some of the salad mix, a couple of meatballs to a toasted pitta and spoon some of the mint yogurt and if you’re feeling a bit of heat a few drops of your favourite chilli sauce and or a smudge of hummous.

Italian sausage pasta recipe

Italian sausage pasta ingredients

  • 4 Italian sausages, skin removed and rolled into little meatballs (I got mine from Cardiff Indoor Market)
  • 3 cloves of garlic grated finely
  • 8 field mushrooms or 1 large cut finely
  • 1 large shallot cut finely
  • 8 leaves Cavolo Nero
  • ½ tub of Ricotta cheese
  • Enough spaghetti for 2 (I’ll leave that baffling science to you)
  • Grated Parmesan for seasoning at the end
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • White Truffle oil

Instructions

  1. Put a pan of salted water on to boil for the spaghetti.
  2. Cut the sausages and squeeze out the mixture from the skin and roll into little meatballs
  3. Chop the shallot and mushrooms finely.
  4. Grate the garlic
  5. Cut either side of the stalks of the Cavolo Nero just leaving the leaves then slice into small strips
  6. Add the Spagetti to the water and cook to packet instructions usually around 8 minutes depending on brand and whether you use fresh. Cook for a minute less to leave a bit of bit to the pasta. I used a hollow spaghetti, which was thicker than normal spaghetti.
  7. Add the mini Italian sausage meatballs to the pan with some olive oil to brown. After 4-5 minutes on medium to high heat, add the shallots and mushrooms and add a little butter or oil to the pan so they don’t stick.
  8. Cook for a further 2 minutes then add the Cavolo Nero to the pan whilst mixing to combine. Add the garlic to the pan stir it into the other ingredients making sure it doesn’t burn. Make sure the meatballs have cooked through but the Italian sausage does sometimes have a slight pink hue compared to your British banger. Just make sure it’s boiling in the middle.
  9. Reserve some of the starchy pasta cooking water then drain the pasta.
  10. Add the spaghetti to the pan and toss a little with the rest of the pan. Add the Ricotta cheese and a little of the pasta water to thin the cheese and help it coat the pasta. Keep tossing the mixture and stirring to make sure everything has a nice even coating of Ricotta but add a little more water if needed.
  11. Divide into two bowls. Grate some fresh Parmesan on top, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper to taste and if you like a little drizzle of white truffle oil. I got my little bottle hand sized bottle from M & S.

Tuck in!

Mac n Cheese Recipe

Mac n cheese ingredients

  • 400g elbow or macaroni pasta
  • 250g of mixed cheese (I used up leftovers from 5 different cheeses from xmas including smoked, brie, mature cheddar and parmesan)
  • 1 leek thinly sliced
  • 100g good quality bacon
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder or 2 teaspoons of ready mixed English or wholegrain depending on taste
  • 750ml whole milk
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • Plain Flour
  • Real butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional

Panko Breadcrumbs to give extra crunch in the oven.

Instructions

  1. Add the pasta to boiling salted water and cook for a minute or two less than the packet says. Drain and add a few nobs of butter to the pan of drained pasta to coat it and stop it absorbing too much of the cheese sauce and becoming bloated later on.
  2. Chop the bacon into chunks and cook in the oven for around 10 minutes to brown slightly along with the sliced leeks then remove to cool.
  3. Make a roux by adding a couple of nobs of butter to a warm pan with a about 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to mix. Cook for around a minute and start adding the milk gradually a bit at a time for it to thicken. Keep on a medium heat to warm the milk and for the roux to thicken for a few minutes.
  4. The mixture will go from light to really start thickening very fast so take it off the heat when it starts to thicken and keep stirring. Add the mustard and cheese to the mixture and keep stirring to combine. I added a teaspoon of mild chilli powder at this point too along with some salt and pepper.
  5. Taste the mixture and play around adding a bit more milk if it’s too thick, more cheese if not cheesy enough, or whatever else you want to give it a kick.
  6. Add the cooled pasta to the cheese sauce mix and stir to make sure it’s evenly coated. Empty into a casserole dish, level out and sprinkle with more cheese. Scatter bacon and spring onion and the breadcrumbs if using these.
  7. Either bake straight away in the oven on around 180C for around 20 mins or refrigerate and use later or the day after.

Healthy Pizza Recipe

Spicy tomato sauce

  • 1 tin plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic finely grated
  • 1 medium chilli finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Couple of stalks of fresh thyme (or dried if you haven’t got any fresh)
  • 1/4 jarred roasted pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

passata recipe

Pizza ingredients

This is totally up to you depending on whether you’re going out to buy or just want to use up what you have in the fridge but here is what I used as toppings on mine.

  • Your choice of flatbread or wrap. I used 7 seeded
  • 1 Courgette cut into ribbons
  • 100g salami
  • 8 mushrooms sliced
  • 200g chopped cooked beef leftover from a Sunday Roast
  • 3/4 jarred roasted pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 a small red onion sliced

Cheese

I finely grated parmesan on top but you could use standard cheddar or mozerella if you aren’t cutting calories.

You can also use dollops of cream cheese or ricotta as an alternative too

Instructions

  1. Fry 1/2 diced red onion in a few squirts of fry light for a minute or two on medium to high so they start to go transluscent but we don’t want to brown. Add the finely grated garlic and however much of the chilli you want depending how hot you want it for a minute and stiring into the onions. You could also skip on the seeds to make it a bit milder too.
  2. You can either pour the plum tomato into your hands and crush into the pan or give them a bash with a wooden spoon in the pan to break them up a bit. Slice the roasted pepper and add to the pan of onions, garlic, chilli and tomatoes.
  3. Turn down the heat a bit to low to medium. Add the dried oregano and tear the small leaves off the thyme stalks or use dried if you have that to hand and give a stir.
  4. Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
  5. Leave on a low heat for around 20 minutes, stiring occasionally so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.
  6. I cut ribbons of courgette with a potato peeler then added to a bowl with the chopped beef, drizzled with olive oil and grated a clove of garlic finely, added salt and pepper and mixed to combine but this is optional.
  7. Get a round flat pan such as a baking stone or pizza stone. If using a metal pan warm on the hob for a minute or two then spray with fry light so it doesn’t stick.
  8. Turn the grill up to high to warm.
  9. Place one wrap or flat bread onto the pan or pizza stone. Take a couple of spoons of the tomato and spread to make sure it goes to the ends but don’t put too much as the bread will get too soggy and break.
  10. Assembly with a mixture of your toppings, again not making it too overcrowded as they won’t cook or get soggy.
  11. Top with your preferred cheese and put the grill as close as possible for around 5 minutes making sure the wrap doesn’t burn and whatever toppings you have are cooked enough.
  12. Remove from the grill, slide onto a plate, leave to cool for a minute or two and i ate by folding in half and eating like a folded crispy taco.

Smoking Goat Restaurant Review Shoreditch London

I’d stumbled on Smoking Goat the week before in London when coming out of Dishoom for an afternoon beer and didn’t have chance to see what they did there.As we were in the neighbourhood walking back from training and with no prior plans we thought we would pop in and see what they had cooking for supper.

This was around 8pm on a Tuesday evening, which if it was Cardiff that’s all you would see was tumbleweed. This however was London and Tuesday or not it was packed out. We asked for a table but were told it would be 45 minute wait.

We put our name down and wandered around the corner to see if we would have anymore luck at Dishoom but that was even worse with them qeueuing to get in outside. Beer o’clock it was then till our table was ready so we nipped across the road for a swift pint at Shoreditch Box park.

kitchen smoking goat bar shoreditch

Time was up and we headed back to the restaurant and were swiftly seated. The restaurant was shrouded in darkness illuminated by beacons of light from the hot coal fired stoves along with dimly lit lights dotted around the venue. Not having had a chance to ponder over the menu, I ordered a Scooner of Beavertown Neck Oil to quence my thirst whilst giving the menu a once over.

The Food

The menu is a take on Thai Street Food with a drinking food section for snacking on with a you’re favourite hopped beverage.

The list included:

  • Chicken heart skewer
  • Barbecue Tamworth skewer
  • Cornish Octopus skewer
  • Northern Thai beef sausage
  • Steamed Menai Oyster
  • Roasted Chilli
  • Northern Thai Beef Sausage
  • Cornish Cockles Naam Jim
  • Chilli Fish Sauce Wings
  • Cured Monkfish, Young Ginger
  • Northern Duck Laab

I would of gone all out on at least half the items on the above menu but I was out with work so I pretended to be normal for the outing so we only went for the Northern Thai Beef Sausage and the Northern Duck Laab.

Having visited Thailand a few years back on the way home from Oz I was stupid enough to travel without my jabs so I was gutted I couldn’t make the most of the street food found on the side of the road out there although I did try one thing and that was a garlic sausage.

Bloody hell was it intense! I can still taste the overpowering roundhouse kick of garlic now but this Thai sausage cut into bitesized slices was a bit less punchy on the garlic side but god damn delicious none the less. We ordered two for the table of 4 where I’d wished I’d had one for myself.

northern duck laab smoking goat bar shoreditch

The Northern Duck Laab came with a health warning when ordering. Well not so much a health warning but I was made aware that it was the hottest thing on the menu and not for the faint hearted. A few of the other group seemed keen to try as they said they liked spicy food so we took a punt. I’d never heard of a Laab before but seemed to consist of ground meat with what i could only describe as half and half with sliced chillies, it was ferocious!

On the first bite you have a hit of fragrant meaty nuggets, crunchy texture and quite nutty flavour. I couldn’t work out if it was ground rice or chilli seeds I was chewing on but it didn’t take long for the powerful heat to tear through from my shoulders and up the back of my head and then came the sweats and sniffles. It came with a side bowl of spiced vinegar from what I could gather, so I gave a little dousing over the rice to try and tame it as best I could.

Everyone else bowed out after a spoonfull or two so I took one for the team and went at it alone putting on a brave face. Don’t get me wrong the dish was tasty as hell but it didn’t half pack a punch on the spice-o-meter.

Up next was the mains and not been here before we thought we would order one main each and share a couple of bowls of rice. How wrong were we. The waitress laughed when we read out the 5 mains between 4 of us. Fair play to her though she could of just taken the order but she assured us that the portions were very generous, which saved us a couple of quid.

barbeque goat massaman smoking goat shoreditch london

We went for one of the Barbecue Goat Turmeric Massaman as a couple of the group had never tried goat and seeing that it was in the name of the restaurant how could you not. We opted for 2 portions of the smoked brisket drunken noodles and some bowls of jasmine rice and lardo fried rice.

I grabbed the goat dish as soon as it hit the table, which gave absolutely no resistance to my fork when pulling at it. The flesh was so tender. Sadly in a rush I forgot to spoon some of the curry sauce it was steeped in and by the time the others had finished sharing it out there wasn’t any left. The curry flavoured with fermented shrimp paste, lemongrass, tamarind and a kick from thai spices. The goat was soft and gently spiced and on the other end of the spectrum compared to the lab in terms of heat but was very welcomed. Even though it had been cooked low and slow judging by the texture but it could of been a tad warmer when it was served as it was a little cold by the time it reached us.

smoked brisket drunken noodles smoking goat shoreditch

As it was pretty dark in the restaurant I couldn’t quite see what I was spooning onto my plate when it came to the brisket drunken noodles. I’d bagged myself a decent portion it seemed but I don’t think I managed to  get a single shred of the beef but what I did have was spot on with lingering flavours of holy basil and wild ginger.

I struggled on with the plate of Duck laab into the mains so sprinkled the remnants on my lardo fried rice not to waste it. The lardo rice was a healthy portion of fried rice with chunks of house cured back and belly of Tamworth pig fat nestled amongst the the fragrant rice with side of hot nam prik chilli dip. This was packed full of flavour and liked the dip so you could season to taste. The left over laab added an extra kick of heat too.

empty plates at smoking goat bar shoreditch

The Verdict

I really enjoyed my first visit to Smoking Goat as I love a bit of Thai but it was unlike anything you would or what i’ve found in and around Cardiff with more of a street food late night Thai canteen vibe to it. I couldn’t get over how cheap it was not only for London considering I’d had a takeaway in Cardiff for two for more than we spent per person here and I was still hungry with that. The portion sizes are very generous and mains only around £13 and more than enough for one person. We shared 3 mains and that was plenty with some rice.

I’d definitely have a stab at a few more starters or the drinking food if i went again.

Would I go again? Too right! It was a welcome change to what I’d been eating at the time and everything was fragrant, tender and a good kick of heat if you like that. With a drink each a couple of starters, 3 mains and rice it came to just £20 each for 4 of us. I’d spend more than that on a takeaway for myself at my local Indian or Thai takeaway let alone dine in and eat.

Address: 64 Shoreditch High St, London, E1 6JJ

Pork and Turkey Meatballs Thai Red Curry Recipe

Thai Pork and Turkey Meatballs Ingredients

  • 250g turkey mince
  • 250g pork mince
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (I used a Malaysian Curry mix)
  • 1 teaspoon ground lemongrass
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 thai chilli grated or chopped finely
  • 1 small shallot grated or chopped finely
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger grated finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander chopped finely

Optional

  • You can add a little almond flour or ground almonds to the mix to help bind or give extra nuttiness and protein.

thai turkey meatball ingredients

thai turkey meatballs

Instructions

  1. Drop everything into a large bowl and mix with your hands to combine fully. Tear small chunks of the seasoned meat and make little balls. I made them smaller than I normally would make with normal beef meatballs as the turkey is quite lean and tends to dry out if overcooked so this meant they cooked quicker.
  2. You can either fry in a pan or I cooked for around 12-15 minutes in an airfryer on 180C. You want a bit of browning but it’s ok if they aren’t cooked through fully as I added the meatballs to the pan for a few minutes at the end to add the juices to the sauce and for the meatballs to absorb some of the sauce.

Red Thai Curry Ingredients

  1. 1 large shallot sliced thinly
  2. 3 garlic cloves grated finely
  3. 1 thumb size piece of ginger grated finely
  4. Fish Sauce
  5. 1 Tin of coconut milk or if going healthy sub for Yogurt or mixture of fat free yogurt and 100ml vegetable stock
  6. Bag fresh beansprouts
  7. 1 carrot julienned or ribbons
  8. 100g green beans
  9. 1 red pepper sliced thinly
  10. Thai red curry paste. I used two shots of M & S Thai Red Curry Paste
  11. Bunch fresh coriander
  12. Juice of 1 lime

Optional

  • Extra chilli if you like it hotter
  • Peanuts
  • Bamboo shoots

thai red curry recipe

Instruction

  1. Add the sliced shallots to a hot pan and use either coconut oil or frylight so it doesn’t burn. Cook for a few minutes till the onion goes translucent.
  2. Add the grated garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the thai curry paste and stir and cook out for 30 seconds making sure not to burn.
  3. The you can add either the coconut milk, yogurt and or stock depending on whether you are counting calories and stir to combine.
  4. Add the beans, beansprouts and peppers and carrots to the pan of curry. I like to have my veg crunchy in a curry but if you prefer to cook them a little first in a pan, remove from pan then do the onions, garlic, ginger and return after the paste that’s up to you.
  5. Add a teaspoon of palm sugar, lime juice and a good shake of the fish sauce to season. You could sub for honey or brown sugar if you don’t have palm sugar.
  6. Cook away for 5-10 minutes on medium heat to cook the veg to desired crunch or mush depending on preference.
  7. Add the cooked or nearly cooked meatballs to the pan of sauce and vegetables a few minutes from the end so they are coated and absorb some of the sauce.
  8. Garnish with a handful of chopped fresh coriander.
  9. Serve with a bowl of noodles of choice or rice. I opted for wholegrain rice as I’m trying to be a bit healthier these days. Sprinkle with a little more coriander, maybe thinly sliced chilli if you’re feeling brave, a wedge of lime and maybe some peanuts if you like too.

This made about 30 little meatballs and was enough for 4 meals.

Korean Beef Short Rib and Asian Slaw

Korean Beef Short Rib Ingredients

  • 2 ribs of beef
  • 4 cloves of garlic squashed with palm of the hand
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger sliced
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • 1 chinese pear pureed or grated

These measurements below were rough and didn’t use any measuring devices

  • 60ml light soy sauce
  • 30ml water
  • 30ml rice wine / mirin
  • Drizzle sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang sauce
  • 1 teaspoon gochugarw red pepper flakes

Asian Slaw Ingredients

1 medium kolrabi, peeled and julienned
¼ cucumber cut into battons
2 carrots julienned
4 leaves of Chinese lettuce washed and sliced
2 spring onions sliced thinly
Bunch fresh coriander
1 lime
light soy sauce
toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients for the beef ribs marinade apart from the ribs in a casserole dish and mix.
  2. I browned the ribs on all sides in a hot pan to sear, then added to the casserole dish of marinade. Turn around or pour over the mixture so it’s coated.
  3. Either put the casserole lid on or wrap in foil to steam as it’s cooking. I cooked my two ribs on 150C for around 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile make the Asian slaw by chopping and julienning the veg and adding to a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lime, a glug of soy sauce and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil in a little jar. Stir and pour over the salad.
  5. I took out, turned the ribs over and cooked for an additional 30 minutes on 220C with the foil back on till it was soft and tender.
  6. Remove the ribs from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Take a pile of the slaw and place on a plate. Top with the rib of beef and spoon over a bit of the resting juices in the dish.
  8. Scatter with thinly sliced chilli, chopped fresh coriander and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.