Monday, 25 August 2008

New entry from the 18th to 25th August 2008

The new page of this week is a review of the restaurant Edward Moon in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Edward Moon

From this week we will go for a vacation in Greece for 2 weeks and, consequently, I won't be writing about Birmingham for this period and maybe a bit longer, as I should write about Greece somewhere else instead.

Before I go, I want to show you a dish I had in Malaysian Delight in Chinatown, Birmingham. Usually I order Malaysian dishes here, but on this occasion, I wanted to do something different and chose a dish called "Salad Pork" without having any idea what it should be. A food exploring adventure.

Here, this is salad pork:

'Salad Pork' was basically sliced, battered, and deep-fried pork served with salad cream mixed with chili paste. Ah, yes, and some "salad" consisting in shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumbers, and wedges of tomato.

I was not quite expecting to be served with that amount of salad cream in a Chinese cafe (Ok, Chinese-Malaysian Cafe). Chinese do adopt mayonnaise from time to time, as you experience in some deep-fried dim sum dishes, but this one looked far closer to "Western" dishes than to any Chinese dishes I have ever seen in Chinese places. Fusion dish? Maybe... The pork itself was very tender and flavoursome, though.

It is priced £6. And I noticed that they started to charge 50p for Chinese tea that used to be free here. Food price inflation everywhere. Mmmmmh.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Pakistani Milky Sweets

I bought a box of Pakistani sweets from a confectionery shop in Balti Triangle.

I asked a guy in the shop to mix a bit of everything for £5. Actually he put more than that (about £5.20). I was about to pay that sum, but the guy told me not to worry about it and charged me only £5. I remember this, not because I was happy to save 20p, but from the way he did it, I sensed that he was proud of the products, and genuinely wanted us to try them.

And in fact, they were so good that surpassed greatly my expectation for this kind of sweets. Most of them are milk, bean-flour, or semolina based, and soaked in syrup. But different from the norm (to me), the taste of sugar did not overwhelm the taste of the other ingredients.

I am so happy with my new discovery!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

New entry from the 11th the 17th August 2008

New entry of the week is another report about dim sum lunch at Golden Pond in Arcadian Centre, Birmingham Chinatown.

Birmingham Restaurant Guide

Golden Pond (the 9th visit)

I have written so much about the dim sum of Golden Pond. I hope this one is excused since the past entry was written some time ago.

I wish a good week to everyone.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

£10 sushi at Shogun Sushi Bar

The other day, passing through The Mailbox, I found this board.

Shogun Sushi and Noodle Bar in The Mailbox has always offered all-you-can-eat sushi buffet for £10, but it used to be only for lunch time. Evidently, now, it is extended to all day, from 12 noon to 11 in the evening everyday (except Sunday, finishing at 10 o'clock).

There is 10% obligatory service charge on the final bill (it is written in small letters at the bottom of the board). As the sushi here is virtually self-service, it is slightly odd, but this is not a buffet restaurant, so probably we can swallow that.

In the present air of economic uncertainity, to be able to eat out knowing how much we will be spending is a good thing, I guess.

Sunday, 10 August 2008


Yesterday I tried falooda for the first time. I have been wanting to try it for a long time, but never had the chance. Then, finally, I made up my mind.

(For those who doesn't have a clue about falooda, try wikipedia )

This is where I bought it: Yaardgar in Indoor Market. This is a sister outlet of the Yaardgar at the beginning of the Ladypool Road in Balti Triangle.

When I order one falooda, the guy at the counter put into a plastic cup a scoop of white noodles (in the container to the left), a couple of scoops of beige mass (to the right), and some basil seeds (not in the photo, but in the container to the right end) on top. Then some swirls of red colouring, maybe with some fruits flavour, and then mixed it with a spoon.

He closed the cup and put a thick straw through the cover. Then gave it to me.

I gave him £2, and he did not give me back 1p of rest. So the price is more £2 than £1.99 as is advertised.

I removed the cover and took this photo.

It is not appetising, is it?

Now the taste. The main component is the beige mass. It is something made of milk, but not exactly yogurt. It is creamier and heavier. More like sour cream, but it also has fresh cheese like quality. I think it contained also some cinnamon. It is quite sweet, but not more than Mac Shake. I did not like so much the texture of noodles; I would have preferred smoother stuff. Basil seeds did not contribute much, although they were visibly there.

I would have appreciated more if it were cold or chilled, but it was just lukewarm. Very sweet, fatty drink does not go a long way, if not chilled.

However, I managed to finish 90% of the content, and then I felt really fed up and threw the cup away.

Do you know some place where I can find better falooda? I would try again, if you know anything better.

New entry from the 3rd to 10th August 2008

New entry of the week is a review of Dragon BBQ in Five Ways

Dragon BBQ

We did not have BBQ, but only the lunch buffet for £5.50.

As you can see, I am still writing about the places we visited in July; and I still have to write 2 other pages. And in August, we are not eating out very often because we are under the credit crunch regime...

Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. It is not true. We are just saving for our holidays between the end of August and the beginning of September. But I will be finding something to write anyway.

Wish you a very good week from tomorrow!

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Beirut Has Gone

Yesterday, passing Bristol Street in the bus, I saw Beirut Lebanese restaurant closed with a piece of paper attached on the door. So, today, I went there to check what is written.

This is the announcement.

Probably it is difficult to read, so I summerise. It says the management has decided to replace the Lebanese restaurant by a fast food shop. The closure is dated the 3 August, so our last visit was just about 10 days before the closure. It explains the stale(-ish) food we were served.

So if you fancy Lebanese food in Birmingham, you need to go all the way to Syriana in Snowhill, which is not situated as convenient as Beirut for most of us.

And, by chance, we saw also this fast food shop was closed. This is just about 10 metres away from Beirut.

In this case, the closure was not peaceful and the announcement on the door says the place was reoccupied by the landload. Evidently it happened in April, but I have not noticed until now.

And yet another closure. The Duet Polish restaurant on Hurst Street is not there any more. I think it happened some time ago, and now there is an announcement of imminent opening of Torino cafeteria.

It will sell italian style sandwiches and pastas. I would guess it is an Italian style fast food shop.

Wokmania is still closed and there is no sign of refurbishment and convertion to a new venue. So, in general, there is no good news in this area for now.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Very Berry Swirl!

I don't like so much Starbuck's coffee, not to mention sugar-infested, artificially scented milky coffee-like drinks, but from time to time, we go to the brunch in Martineau Square, because we can enjoy coffee on the first floor terrace in the open air without being annoyed by street dust and noise.

The other day, we had also this sweet bread called Very Berry Swirl.

Starbuck's Very Berry Swirl

It, in fact, was pretty good! It was tangy because of the berry and sweet and rich because of the egg and butter (or whatever fat) in the bread.

Section. You see how yellow the bread is? Mmmmmmmh.

Starbuck's Verry Berry Swirl

I was supposed to share this with Husband, but I ate at least 3/4 of it. Try it out, if you like this kind of stuff!

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Broadway Plaza & Great British Eatery

Recently we moved from Bearwood to Five Ways. OK. Not exactly in Five Ways, but 15-20 min walk from there.

So, now, Broadway Plaza is just 15 min walk away from our flat.

Broadway Plaza
The building is pretty interesting. Red brick-y and imposing. And coming close, we realised it used to be Chilren's Hospital.

Children's Hospital

It is hard to see, but in the first line "Children's Hospital", in the second, "Broadway", and in the third, with red neon-light, "Casino". It does not often happen to see both "Children's Hospital" and "Casino" in the same context.

In Broadway Plaza, a slightly up-market fish and chips shop opened. I don't know exactly when, but should be in the past some weeks.

Great British Eastery

When we past there at 5:30 Sunday, it was closed. I don't know how are the opening hours, and it was not written there. Need to return.

According to the website, a cod/haddock costs £5, and chips £1.50. Is this expensive? I have no idea. It has been a long time since the last time I ate fish & chips. They sell pies as well.

The website boasts of the good sourcing, but there is no word about sustainability of the cod they use, which is worrying.

The location is somewhat hidden from the visitors of Broadway Plaza and I am not sure if they can expect great trade, if they don't start home-delivery as its immediate neighbour Domino Pizza does. I hope to try it in these weeks.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

New entry from the 18th July to 2nd August

It has been a long time since last time I uploaded an new item. This time I have an excuse! (but excuses are never something to proud of! ha ha). I have been moving to a new flat and I did not have time and, for some time, internet connection from home.

But last week, finally I managed to upload a page, which I am afraid isn't a good news.

Birmingham Restaurant Guide


Mezze platter

Unfortunately this time, it was not as good as the last time. The price increased and the quantity diminuished. Difficult age, I suppose.

Have a good week, everyone!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Persian Food in a Tin

When I visit Middle Eastern Grocers (there are many in Birmingham), I often buy tin food. Not the ingredients, but those ready-to-eat food that I can just open the tin to eat.

I have tried some sometimes with success and sometimes less of it. This one I bought from Pers on Hagley road was a successful attempt.

Gheymeh Bademjan

It is a rather large tin, and cost me £1.29 as you see in the photo. It is Gheymeh Bademjan - stewed aubergine and yellow split peas with tomato.

This is what I found in the tin.

Gheymeh Bademjan

When I opened the tin, I was taken aback by the amount of oil, but on tasting it, I was really impressed by the flavour.

The red stuff is a half of tomato, and dark grey ball is a dried lime, usual ingredient in Persian stew. The peas were cooked to leave some bite and aubergine, which you don't see here as are hidden below the peas, was sweet and meltingly smooth. It was tangy both in smell and in taste. Regardless of the amount of oil, I did not find any difficulty in eating it.

OK. If you go to Persian restaurants or you are invited to an Iranian family, you will get the better version, but A) it costs much more than £1.29 in restaurants, and B) I am not invited by any friendly Iranian, I can content myself with this tin.

Well worth a try.

Metro's Woktastic Review

Woktastic, a new restaurant in Paradise Forum, received a glowing review on Metro newspaper on the 30th July. It got 4 out of 5 points.

Evidently it is a "Japanese" (Woktastic website calles its food more appropriately "fusion Japanese") restaurant somewhere between Wagamama and YO!sushi, offering ramen noodles, kare (curry in Japanese), teppan-yaki as well as belt-conveyor sushi dishes. According the reviewer, Annette Rubery, food is fresh and high in quality.

Price range seems similar to Wagamama as well. Main dishes from £5.75 to £9.95, and sushi is between £1.70 and £4.99. Reading through the menu I detect more Thai influence than in Wagamama Japanese.

Let me know what do you think if you have already visited there!