Quick lunch using Brady Family pork and Maggi noodles

At the Belfast BBC Good Food Show I was very fortunate to taste lots of great local foods. I managed to pick up some traditional shredded ham (110g) from Brady Family Farm. So today I decided to cook up a quick lunch using the ham and Maggi noodles

After adding the contents of the noodles packs (sauce, vegetable and oil), I added a pack of the shredded ham. Them popped in microwave for 3 minutes. Then mixed and further 1 minute and hey presto!!

Give them a go!!!

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Day 2 of BBC Good Food Show Belfast

The second day of the second BBC Belfast Good Food Show at the Waterfront was very good.

There were a few tweaks to the layout which were all in all for the better. Once we (my two daughters and I) entered we checked out the map and timetable for the live shows. I wanted to see Michel Roux Jr, local Chef Steven Jeffers from Forestside Cookery School and John Torode.

There was a buzz about the place and plenty of people sampling the many delights, checking out new gadgets, tasting drinks of the alcoholic and non alcoholic types and nibbling on bakes and cakes and savouries. We sampled quite a few items (more in future blogs).

First up in the Live Kitchen was Michel Roux Jr who cooked up a chicken ‘coq au vin’. Must admit it looked superb as did the brioche and apple sweet dish.

After his set we saw local man Chef Jeffers cook up fresh pasta with mussels and chorizo. Again an amazing dish and Chef made it look so easy….I’ve been on one of his classes and he really does know how to cook, talk and teach all at the same time!!

My two daughters favourite was up next….the one and only Aussie Mr John Torode. I’ve sent him many times and tasted his food and it’s amazing. Today he cooked up Fish fingers, sautéed spuds with fresh tartare sauce (my girls now know that mayo is made from eggs, mustard, vinegar and oil!!) and jam doughnuts for dessert. I really wish I could have tasted it…guess am going to have to make it!! John explained a lot of what he did and why which was great.

We saw a number of household names like Tayto and Moy Park (who had a very small presence today?!?!) as well as newer artisan producers.

Kids loved the apple juice and ice cream well kids will be kids!!

I think I shall head down tomorrow and watch the Hairy Bikers!!

Dinner at the new Bull & Ram

Kelan McMichael has really struck Gold with the latest eatery in South Belfast. My wife, two daughters and I dined there last night and were thoroughly impressed!!

As we approached we saw the A board with some tantalising offers. On entry the place was busy and had a good vibe about it. We were warmly received and seated.

The menu was printed on a single large card (which I’m a fan of). There was also a small specials menu and a kids menu (Calf & Lamb – superbly titled!!).

I decided on three panko cooked oysters and my wife had the cured trout. Kids had the fish and chips and chicken and chips at the same time. We asked for regular fried chips and not the beef dripping ones, which was duly obliged.

The presentation of the two starters were superb and the oysters were soft and moist and the panko was crispy-all four of us loved them!! The sea trout salad was very tasty-although my two girls are smoked salmon fans!!

The kids meals were just right portion size and tasted great-girls plates were emptied!!

For my venison I asked for it medium, served with peppercorn sauce and mushrooms, my wife had the fish and chips. My venison was flawless, soft and ‘melt in your mouth’. It was well complimented by the peppercorn sauce and mushrooms. My wife really enjoyed her crispy fish and chips with real tangy tartare and peas.

We shared a delightful banoffee, which was eaten at great haste and rounded off an amazing meal. It was all washed down with sparkling and regular water. All for less than £70 as well.

A huge big thank you to Mars, Kelan and all the team, this will be a huge success!! The Belfast Bull & Ram is situated at 44 University Road (the old Beatrice Kennedy).

Gordon Ramsay Plane Food

Whilst waiting for our night flight we decided to dine in the restaurant. Decor looked great as did the menu……but beware the small print,because both my wife and I missed it, more later!! Again this was on BA for making us miss our original flights.

A reason we chose Ramsay Plane Food was that kids eat free if adults order mains. Before we were seated the kids received two Tilly’s Treat boxes to play with. We asked for water and this was duly delivered. Before we ordered we received two warm complimentary bread rolls and butter. Then my wife ordered the rigatoni and I the butter chicken and two sausage spaghetti kids meals. We ordered a side of mac cheese.

The kids meals came out in rapid time and looked bland and indeed tasted so. The spaghetti was cool and too al dente!!

This was the same with the rigatoni when it was served, which the waitress said would be creamy, but wasn’t. The Mac cheese,being a side dish, we expected it with our mains, but it was served before our mains!!! It was piping hot and delicious to be fair. My butter chicken was actually very tasty and pretty authentic!! So Gordon you got the bread, butter chicken and mac cheese spot on.

When we ordered the bill it came after some time and we were surprised to see cover charge of £3 and optional service charge of £4.50. We did query this and our waitress said it was for the bread and was written on the menu. When we checked the menu we discovered that it wasn’t for bread but a £1.50/head for using dining room!!!!! The ‘optional service charge’ printed on bill of £4.50 equates to a discretionary 12.5% on the menu. Now this is not very fair or clear and I would urge the management to clarify this and change policy. When the £3 was removed we still paid the service charge. This did make the whole experience very average!!

Hallowe’en at Souls

Last Friday evening my wife and two daughters deputised for me and attended the launch of the new and seasonal Hallowe’en Set Menu at Souls Restaurant .

The girls really got into the part and spent ages dressing up……and they looked scary!!!

The menu itself was a five course meal with or without paired wines. There were some mouth watering dishes in particular the lamb chops and goat biryani (my lovely wife brought me some back to sample!!).

At the end one lucky person won the best fancy dress…as a scarecrow!! Congrats to her on winning a meal for 4. My money was on my wife, but then I would say that,she should have won. The judge must have lost his specs or had a few too many Witches Brew!!

In all seriousness congrats to the winner who will Really enjoy her meal for 4. Great place and food!!