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nerdgirl72's Profile

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Fish and Chips - the best?

Just back from a trip to North Yorkshire and had great fish and chips at Capplemans in Pickering - amazingly crisp and light batter surrounding fresh fish, great chips and mushy peas, all with a pot of tea and bread and butter for £7.50. We also had a takeaway from the Magpie in Whitby, which I enjoyed less (but it was hot and we were in a rush) - still very good, especially the haddock, but I guess the weight of expectation made Cappleman's the surprise winner.

Aug 06, 2011
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

[Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester] Sanmini

Haven't checked this board for ages, but this looks v. interesting and is within range of the in-laws. Thanks for the heads up Harters.

Aug 06, 2011
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Decent Food in Loughborough

You could try The Basin (by the canal) for Chinese (with a bit of Thai and Japanese on the menu too IIRC). I had a decent/reasonable meal there in April with work colleagues but it seems to have mixed reviews on Tripadviser etc. Good cocktails too, which might help the 5 days in Loughborough pass more enjoyably!

If you had the time/inclination to get the train to Leicester, Kayal is close to the train station there and does very good South Indian food.

Jul 28, 2009
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

british pudding rice?

Yes, pudding rice is short grain rice similar to rissotto rice - but I have never tried substituting one for the other. There will be instructions on the packet, but basically put the rice in an ovenproof bowl, pour over hot milk infused with vanilla, add sugar, grate over some nutmeg and bake in the oven for an hour. If the oven baked skin puts you off, you can make a quicker version in a pan which is really nice - scroll down on the link for Nigel Slater's version.

Jan 13, 2009
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

[Manchester/Lancs] Asian/Chinese markets/shops

Sorry don't know about the market, but there are plenty of Chinese supermarkets in Manchester - W H Lung on Upper Brook St and Wing Yip in Ancoats are both massive and there will be others in Chinatown.

Jan 10, 2009
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

[London] What to order at Indian/Bagaladeshi/Pakistani places?

I was interested that you rate The Tiffin so highly - I have only been once a few years ago and was a bit underwhelmed to be honest. I will have to make a return visit.

Jan 09, 2009
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Beard Papa, Oxford Street, London

One of these has recently opened in Leicester so I will have to check it out.

Jan 03, 2009
nerdgirl72 in Chains

[London] Wine tasting classes / experiences?

Berry Bros & Rudd also do tastings - have not had personal experience of them, but it is another possibilty

Dec 30, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Tea @ Brumus, Haymarket Hotel, Piccadilly, London

Wow you have certainly been busy! I'm really glad you enjoyed tea at the Haymarket - I completely agree with your spa treatment analogy. We actually had our tea in the conservatory area of the hotel which was lovely, and didn't even manage to eat all the cakes!

Dec 30, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Afternoon teas, central/south London

A hotel afternoon tea that is not fusty can be had at the Haymarket and Charlotte St Hotels (and others in the Firmdale group). We had traditional sandwiches with scones, cake and cupcakes at the Haymarket and would be able to accommodate other drinks.

Dec 10, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Vegan dinner for 6

This winter veg couscous is absolutely delicious. It is really filling because of all the root veg so you would need quite a light starter.

Dec 04, 2008
nerdgirl72 in Home Cooking


I'm not American so can't comment how this would compare to the stock/broth you are used to, but can recommend Marks and Spencers jars of stock concentrate. The chicken one has a very slight tomato tang to it, so I tend to make up stock using half this and half Marigold powder mentioned above.

Dec 01, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Launceston Place, London

Thanks howler! It was a lovely area and I would have loved to have explored more, but we spent most of the afternoon in the restaurant!

Nov 26, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Launceston Place, London

Went here for the £18 set price lunch, which is excellent value. However with wine (ok, 2 bottles), water, veg and coffee, plus service we spent well over double that. Very tasteful room, leisurely atmosphere and good service, if a bit keen to push the extras.

Amuse bouche - A shot glass of what we were told was an almond cream soup, and it did have toasted almond flakes on top, but tasted overwhelmingly of celeriac to me, so maybe I misheard. Very nice though.

Starter - spider crab risotto. A spiny crab shell is lifted to reveal a beautiful coral-coloured risotto doused in a vibrant green, punguent garlic butter. Really rich, bisque-y flavour of crab, lots of garlic, but on the cusp of being oversalted. Lots of gutsy flavours here and the texture of the rice was perfect. Could have been improved only by some actual chunks of crab meat.

Other choices were chestnut soup, which looked very good and others on our table certainly enjoyed it. I can't actually remember the third option. Must be the wine.

Main - venison casserole with mashed parsnip. Served in a very 1970s mum-style Pyrex dish, which was a bit too deep to make actually eating the stuff easy with a knife and fork. Thankfully a spoon was provided to get to all the good stuff. The venison was amazingly tender, falling off the bone and butter soft. It looked like a shank. Served with the gravy and game chips, with a very liquid parsnip puree. The puree was silkily smooth, but verged on the slimy. But pure essence of parsnip, it has to be said. Others had trout, but I was too involved with my deer to take much notice of that I'm afraid.

Pre-dessert - An egg filled with a custard topped with smashed up caramel/praline. Better that the proper dessert in retrospect. Could have left it there and been very happy.

Pudding - apple tart tartin with cinnamon ice-cream. This was my least favourite course. Pastry was light and buttery, apples apply, but it just lacked wow factor upon tasting it. The ice cream I found quite aerated and not creamy or sweet enough for my taste. The cheese looked very tempting, so maybe next time.

Nov 26, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Oxford - dining alone

I liked Jamie's Italian - good bread and ingredients and a relaxed vibe. It would be perfect for dining alone as it has an open kitchen (at least downstairs) so their is plenty going on to look at. Gets really busy so you may have to queue or get there early.

Nov 20, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

supermarket picks

M&S beef stock concentrate is also good - it has a bit of body to it. I also like their balsamic vinegar.
Taverna Hummus from Netto is really nice.

Oct 20, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

Two nights in Nottingham?

Kayal does really good South Indian food in the city centre (run by the same people as Halli in Leicester but this one is not vegetarian). It was very busy when we went a few weeks ago so you should probably book. It has a website with menus etc Service was pretty slow as a result of them being busy but it was a pleasant, buzzy atmosphere.

One place I have not been to but would like to try is Iberico World Tapas on High Pavement in Lace Market. The same people own World Service which could be worth trying for your posher dinner, but have not tried that either (I don't live in Nottingham!)

Oct 01, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland


Hi lippo,

I am in the East Midlands but occassionally venture west! If I do so I will endeavor to post here.

The most recent place I have been to and would recommend was Fat Cat in Solihull which is quite a nice little restaurant on the main shopping street. Very good Sunday lunch and a nice menu of salads, modern British/gastropub type fare.

I hope you get a few more Midlands based posters interested.

Oct 01, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

City of Leicester, England

Hi Anne,

Thanks for coming back to let us know how he got on. Halli is really good and it would allow him to see a bit more of the city too. You'll have to insist on coming along next time!

Sep 23, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

City of Leicester, England

Hi Anne,

As zuriga1 says, if your husband crosses the road from the Holiday Inn (it is surrounded by ring road!) over to High Street, this will lead him into the city centre. On High Street itself there is a Chinese restaurant called Shanghai Moon which is fairly good. I haven't been for about a year, but they do dim sum in the daytime (at weekends at least) and have a fairly standard UK/chinese menu in the evenings. I am fairly sure they have a Chinese language menu too as everything the Chinese customers has seems to look more interesting!

For Indian food he has lots of choice. I would explore a couple of these rather than going for Chinese personally. These would be my recommendations- either get a cab to Belgrave Road as suggested and go to The Khyber restaurant (they have a website with menus you can google for), or Sayonara Thali restaurant. Sayonara is vegetarian (as is Bobby's mentioned above). Alternatively, in the city centre on Granby Street, quite close to Leicester railway station is Halli - another vegetarian, South Indian restaurant (this has a website with menus). This would be about a 10 minute walk across the city centre. Halli also have a new branch on Belgrave Road but I have not been there yet.

Or if he could walk10 mins away from the city centre and onto Narborough Road. There is a Indian bar/restaurant called R Code. Service can be slow but the food is good - I recommend the chicken or lamb saag and the keema samosas are divine. There are also a couple of Punjabi vegetarian places on Narborough Road, called Sardaar and Star Vashnu Dharba. Both are very basic and canteen like, no alcohol allowed, but tasty and incredibly cheap food. Also there is the Tamarind on Hinckley Road (A47) which is a typical Anglo-Indian restaurant.
I have eaten at all of these and they are all good. Khyber and Halli are probably best in terms of surroundings and service.
For pastries, I am struggling to think of somewhere. There is a small bakery I like for pasties/sausage rolls towards the end of Market Street in the city centre, opposite Fenwicks, but it is nothing fancy. There is also a nice new cafe just off High Street called Cafe Mbriki - have not been there yet but it looks good for coffee/pastries.

Hope that helps!

Sep 04, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland

leicester top recs for saturday night , two veggies two none !

Ooh I was excited to see a Leicester thread but I can't get the link posted above to work.

Anyway, Sayonara is always good, but Halli on Granby St is too, if not so much of a bargain. It is South Indian and have a website if you Google Halli Leicester.

If you like Japanese food, Little Tokyo on Braunstone Gate is good. It is tiny and always busy so may be worth booking.

Barceloneta on Queen's Road is good tapas and should be fine for veggies or not. Agaon would need to book.

Let us know where you end up.

Jul 17, 2008
nerdgirl72 in U.K./Ireland