Saturday, 9 July 2011

Saturday afternoon - Restaurant review - Livebait Leeds

Ever the eagle-eyed deal spotter, Joe took me for a lunch time treat at Livebait in Leeds today. Livebait is a fish/seafood restaurant on The Calls, and until 14 July 2011 has 50% of all food (check the website for details).
The wine

Joe's favourite dish is crab and chips, and last weekend he had quite a disappointing experience with crab in Edinburgh.  This weekend I persuaded him to try it again (mainly because I really fancied crab and chips too!).  Livebait is an interesting restaurant.  It is stripped back, and pretty devoid of soft touches, but the food is ethically sourced (according to the blackboards inside) and cooked well. 
We started with bread and cockles, which was a first for both of us.  Joe worked out that cockles look weirdly like seagulls (or running goats) but they were vinegary and 
fun and the bread was nice too.
The main event was the crab, and Livebait do a whole brown crab from Whitby for £13.95, served either hot or cold.   It is well cooked, served with garlic butter, and involves lots of hands-on activity, which is my kind of thing.  For those who like getting involved with your food, I'd definitely recommend it (although you might want to avoid wearing white in case there are any claw cracking incidents). The crab was deceptively filling, but that didn't stop me scoffing down chips and a tomato salad too! 
If you can make it down to Livebait over the next 6 days, I'd give it a shot.  They are fully booked tonight, and have been fairly busy since the deal started, but it's worth a try. 
Word of warning - service was not perfect (slow, not clearing empty tables, just not observant enough) but the food made up for it.
Food 9/10, service 6/10. Total bill including tip was £41.20
Post eating shopping for Jo in Leeds market in her heels - good girl!
A special mention for my breakfast this morning - classic eggy bread like mum makes (not quite a good though!) Hi mum!!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Friday - Coq au Vin & home made bread

Its Friday night - woohoo!!! Whilst I was out on the pi$$ Jo Chef slaved in the kitchen making Coq au Vin with home made place for her (only kidding - the food had all come out of the freezer but still needed some TLC).
Coq au Vin

Bread close up - ahhhhh

The below is a special photo from a butchers in Otley - Me and work Mike are obsessed with quality pork pies......

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Thursday - Speedie Half an Hour Curry (&Levi Roots)

It was another late night home for both of us (me work and Jo booze) so it was a quick turkey curry knocked together by the Head Chef - just what I needed as I was starving! The last picture shows a bottle of reggae reggae sauce signed today by Mr Roots himself for Mr Mike Smith - where is mine!?

Where is mine Levi Roots!!!!!!!?

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Wednesday - the first salad since the blog started!!

But lovely it was too!! Salad with Bloody Mary Prawns - the continuation of the mainly fishy week with a healthy twist.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Tuesday - Vietnamese spring rolls with hot & sour soup

It was a later dinner than usual as I ran home from work, but had to stop half way and walk as I had eaten a pork pie at 4pm which sat heavy in the stomach! (the culprit is at the end of this post). I also stopped very close to where we live as there are a load of raspberry bushes so I did some light foraging. We will be going back for some at the weekend and I am not saying where they are!!

Hot and sour soup made with home made chicken stock
Vietnamese spring rolls filled with a thai salad and marinaded turkey
Soup in a bowl
The offending pork pies - I had the top one

Monday, 4 July 2011

Monday - Smoked haddock, baby new potatoes and salad (up to date at last!)

After the over-indulgence of the weekend, and the fact that I am in (loose) training for a half marathon we are aiming for a week of mainly fish....starting today!

Sunday - Poached egg and fruit pudding

This was a light dinner for me after a long drive home - just what I needed;

Jo's Edinburgh Birthday Weekend - Naked Wine tasting and curry!!

After a relaxing afternoon we all got ready for a wine tasting with Naked Wines (click here for link) which is a brilliant wine retailer that invests heavily into small wine producers and gives then access to 175,000 Naked Wines customers. Jo's parents are members and hence the invite to the event which had wines makers flown in from around the world and over 100 wines to sample! Here are some pictures;

These guys (click here) had the best wine for me and definitely the best branding - love it!
Jo with Stephen de Wet at the way from South Africa. Click here for info on him
The hosts/ future in-laws & parents!!
This is a photo of Joe O'Connell (click here) who moved to France from the USA with his folks on a wine adventure!
The venue at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh

Jo's dad and Joe's mum - both a little tipsy   
All the wine was then followed by a take away curry that was just what we needed.....

Chana Puree
Chicken dopiaza

Not sure what this was called but I remember we asked for vindaloo strength!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Jo's Edinburgh Birthday Weekend - Saturday Lunch Review - The Ship on the Shore

Leith, Edinburgh, once Trainspotting county, now gentrified and boasting a plethora of restaurants.

We (me, Joe, and all the in laws) sampled some lunch at the Ship on the Shore, one of many fish-focused restaurants on the same strip. The Ship is an old school, wood panelled, oars-on-the-ceiling and candles in wine bottles restaurant. It has got a great atmosphere and looks to cater for all tastes, from a reasonable lunch for a tenner to a full shellfish and Dom Perignon platter for £200.

We were there for lunch (will try the shellfish and champagne next time!) and had a range of seafood: fish and chips for papa (massive, great chips, but came with mushy peas which is never welcome in our household); moules and chips for both mothers-in-law (also very good, and the "small" portion is more than enough for lunch); seafood chowder for me (beautiful, full of mussels and prawns but again you see a trend here?) and brown crab and chips for Joe. Sadly, given this is Joe's favourite dish, the crab was the only let down of the meal. The dressed crab was lovely, but the claws hadn't been cooked properly and were a bit underdone, so were suffering from some water retention.

Nevertheless, the place was great. They do a mean bloody mary for £6, as spicy as you fancy, the wine list is vast, and the setting is lovely. I had a few niggles on the service, with no finger bowls and no checking back on the food, but they insisted on taking the crab off the bill despite our protestations which was very nice of them.
8/10 for the food, 7/10 for the service.
The crab kit
Fantastic bloody mary with floating sherry
Fish and chips
Moules that came with chips
Seafood chowder
Brilliant presentation - pity about the claws