For those of us who live and work in CB4, the opening of a good cafe in the area is hugely exciting. Even more so when it happens to be a pop-up featuring some of the best coffee in Cambridge and all manner of local indies collaborating to stock it with goodies. With Mill Road and the city centre ruling where independents are concerned, it makes a nice change to find some of our foodie favourites North of the River Cam.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Wednesday, 2 July 2014
This week, I was lucky enough (read: organised) to get a first peek at newly opened BBQ restaurant SmokeWorks on its opening night. The third Cambs Cuisine restaurant to make a mark in the city centre, SmokeWorks is an incredibly different concept from the well-known Chop Houses. The SmokeWorks tagline - Slow Cooked, Fast - sums it up perfectly. Simple, well-selected and prepared food is delivered quickly to fuss-free tables. There's an American diner-cum-BBQ shack feel to the place and a meat-heavy menu that will definitely keep us coming back for more. Big thumbs up from me, in particular in the direction of the smoked beef short ribs and sublime salted caramel shake I tucked into for dessert. Yum.
Monday, 23 June 2014
Exciting times! I've recently set up a street food collective in Cambridge called foodPark and it's about time foodPark's weekly street food markets made it onto the Blog. Find out more at www.foodparkcam.com, track us down every Friday at Brookgate's CB1 development on Station Road, and feast your eyes on these delicious little street food pics in the meantime!
Monday, 16 June 2014
It's been far too long, readers, but we're finally back on the Blog! We're getting back into the swing of things with a guest restaurant review from by Kelly Molson (@TheChiefCheese), self-labelled Food Pig, Cheese Lover, Wine Mistress, and owner of Rubber Cheese, a design agency working with the food, drink and hospitality sectors. Kelly took her healthy appetite and excellent eye for detail for dinner at one of our favourites, the Pint Shop in Cambridge...
I remember following Pint Shop on Twitter before it opened and thinking that this place was going to be special. Having popped in not long after it opened for a quick lunchtime snack, and been blown away by the unbelievable scotch eggs, I have been desperate to get back for the full blown dinner experience. This has taken a while though, mainly as I leave booking too late and this place is really popular. The decor is, in a word, elegant. Beautiful wooden tables and muted Farrow and Ball tones give the place a calm feeling. I’ll be honest, I have toilet envy in this place, I now need tin dishes with handmade soaps. Apologies in advance for the photography, it really does not do the food justice and I blame the later mentioned Malbec for the lack of interior shots.
I hardly ever order chicken when dining out. I always have a little niggle that it won't be that special and worse, might be dry. I could not have been more wrong. The Popcorn Chicken was melt in the mouth good. A lovely light batter without a hint of grease, topped off with a tangy spiced tomato sauce. If there’s a prawn cocktail on the menu, Lee’s ordering it. This was presented in a large glass, with a huge heap of small prawns, the larger ones entwined on top. Almost too good to dig into (almost). My friend's comment on the Smoked Pork Belly Terrine “if this is anything to go by then I’ll be stealing Sarah’s main”. There’s always one diner with food envy.
Our waiter that evening was fairly new and although he wasn’t totally up to speed with every menu item, he could not have been more helpful. My partner Lee, not being a huge fan of ales and stronger lagers, was finding the beautiful blackboard chart of choice a bit bewildering. He was delivered a few samples to sip and a suitable light choice was found.
While we’re on the subject of drinks, I have never seen such a huge selection of gins in one place, 44 on the last count. It was great to see Beefeater 24 on the list (them being our client and all!) along with the very delightful Warners Elderflower. I opted for a lovely Malbec to go with the Lamb Shoulder. Lamb is my favorite meat; presenting a huge leg of spicy coated or garlic and rosemary roasted lamb to a dinner guest gives me a huge buzz. When eating out, with a name like Lamb Shoulder, Jansson’s Temptation, this kind of dish is pretty hard to resist. Served with quite possibly the best dauphinoise potatoes I’ve ever tasted, with a lovely hint of anchovy and tiny crunchy edge, it was just sinful and delicious. Lee opted for the same so he wouldn't risk being jealous of my plate.
Our friends' Spiced Lamb Pie with Spring Greens and Overnight Pork Belly, Roasted Apple with Spring Greens both looked and tasted amazing. The pork belly was thick, juicy and succulent. A perfect sized lamb pie had a generous portion of filling and not a soggy bottom to be found.
I peaked too early and couldn’t manage a pudding, but that only gives me a good excuse to go back again, soon. For me, eating out with friends should be a relaxed and lengthy experience. It should evoke the same feelings as a Christmas dinner meal - everyone in a good mood, great food, laughter, drinks and no need to rush off anywhere. Dining in the upstairs of Pint Shop was just like being in a friend’s dining room. Comfortable, relaxed and nothing a problem. I adored it.
Editor's Note: Top marks from Kelly, a blogger after my own heart... it's all about the savoury, hearty plates of meat at Pint Shop!
Monday, 12 May 2014
Nanna Mexico has already put in the hard work building up a great reputation in Cambridge for quality, authentic Mexican food prepared and cooked from scratch, and the same is evident in every aspect of their newly opened second restaurant on Petty Cury. Some gorgeous rebranding, to incorporate the restaurant's street food roots, and the most inspiring attention to detail I've ever seen bodes well for Nanna Mexico's city-wide domination! We caught up with owner Luis on opening night over a delicious slow-cooked pork belly city taco and big ass burrito and soaked up the friendly, welcoming and downright awesome atmosphere he's created in the heart of the city centre. Here are a few pics to whet your appetite...