Anniversary dinner at Zizzi

My hubby and I went to Zizzi – an Italian restaurant – for our anniversary on the 18th October. This is where we had our first date; same restaurant, just different location.

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To drink, I ordered the blackberry and lemon cooler, with Sprite, fresh blueberries, mint and rosemary. It was lovely and sweet; the lemon gave it a tangy kick.

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I really wanted calamari for starters but, unfortunately, the fryer wasn’t working and so, no fried food could be ordered. I chose the butterflied king prawns instead and was very happy with my pick. It was served in a delicious garlic butter sauce with two pieces of bread that I used to soak up the sauce with. Thankfully, I didn’t really react to the sauce, as it contained butter. The prawns weren’t too soft, not too chewy, and served in their shells, which I ate happily. Nothing was left on my plate apart from the lemon – signs of a delicious starter.

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I had the Calzone Carne Piccante – spicy roasted chicken, bolognese, herby wild boar pork meatballs, mozzarella, mushrooms and red chillies, wrapped in pizza dough. However, due to my dairy intolerance, I ordered it without the cheese. I know that this option is available to me, but I am constantly reminded of how much of a difference cheese actually makes to bringing out the flavour in food.

For that reason, I found my meal to be unfortunately bland. The spice was just spice and the meat was just meat. It didn’t taste particularly seasoned so, I was a little disappointed. Not to mention that the calzone is actually quite big so, I only ate half of it. I ended up wishing I had ordered something else, which isn’t exactly how you want to feel when you go to a restaurant.

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Yes! This is what I came for! *cue Rianna song* Seriously. I’d told my husband that I wanted to go to a Thai restaurant called Yum Yum, for our anniversary, but changed my mind when I was nonchalantly checking Zizzi’s menu, and found that they had introduced few dairy-free options; one of them being this sticky chocolate and praline torte!

Pros: It was dairy-free, sweet. Cons: It was very overindulgent. I forced myself to eat it all, but I shouldn’t have haha. It was so sweet that it became all a bit too much. But I didn’t want to let that stop me. I was just happy that Zizzi had been considerate enough to introduce alternatives to their menu. I think I would actually get it all over again. Don’t fault me. Being intolerant to dairy makes life hard enough.

I will definitely continue to visit Zizzi in the future; I’ll just make sure to pick a different main.

Have you been to Zizzi? What did you think of it?

Have a great weekend!

Mich x

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Frankie & Benny’s

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This post is so out of date – 2 months to be exact. I’m currently doing bridesmaid duties for a wedding on Saturday so, my posts have been a little out of sync. I haven’t been able to blog twice a week, but once the wedding is over, I will be able to get back into the swing of things.

When in Bournemouth, I took the hubby to Frankie & Benny’s for his birthday meal. I secretly chose it because I’ve never been and had always wanted to try it.

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For starters, I had the calamari. Calamari is my favourite starter ever! Frankie & Benny’s dish was the perfect combination of crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside.

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For the main, I chose the spicy meat pasta. And boy, is this exactly what it says on the label: spicy and meaty! I’m usually not fazed by spice because it is a staple in my mother’s cooking, but they really overdid it with the heat. There were so many green chillies. They could have toned it down a little, but the fact that there was just so much meat in my meal, made up for my burning tongue. I feel like Vapiano’s should take a note out of Frankie & Benny’s book. Don’t tell them I said that.

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I chose the Amalfi Sunrise – orange, mango and lemon juice and grenadine. Deliciously sweet, but I probably should have gone for good ol’ government juice (water) to help with the fire in my mouth.

I enjoyed my birthday dinner as much as the hubby did. I will definitely be going back. Have you ever been to Frankie & Benny’s?

Mich x

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Burger and Lobster

Happy Monday everyone. No Motivational Monday post today, but instead a post for all of you food lovers. I finally got to go to Burger and Lobster for part two of my birthday celebration! I had wanted to go for the longest while. I dressed up a little (a post about my outfit will be up on Thursday), and set off with my hubby after work.

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I can’t remember the name of the drink I chose – the green one is mine. I picked it because it had matcha in it, which I know is good for you because it is packed with antioxidants. It didn’t taste too bad, but it wasn’t the sweetest.

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I opted for the grilled lobster, as opposed to steamed. Whether you choose a burger, lobster or both, every meal comes with chips and salad. I would have really loved to try the lobster with garlic butter, but being dairy-free, I just went for the sweet chilli.

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The food was delicious, but I wasn’t satisfied. I guess I should have known. How much meat can you really get out of a lobster?

My husband, on the other hand, got a burger and couldn’t finish it so, I had half of his, which was delicious. I should have chosen a burger and lobster. After all, isn’t that what the restaurant name suggests? 😉

I will definitely go back to get a burger or both.

Have you been to Burger and Lobster? What did you think of it?

P.S This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Mich x

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Brunch at The Terrace

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On the last Bank Holiday in May, the Joseph’s (me, my hubby and my brother and sister-in-law) went for brunch at a new cafe in Finsbury Park next to Starbucks, called The Terrace.

Inside, it has a kitsch vibe with an interesting mix of furniture: multicoloured crystal chandeliers, old vintage lamps, flowers in vases, velvet chairs, wooden benches and metal garden tables and chairs. I love anything that is out of the norm, and it was so odd and pretty.

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I ordered the Terrace’s Cafe Mix Juice, which consisted of celery, apple, ginger, orange and spinach. It caught my eye as soon as I saw it. Anything to do my body a favour…

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…Although, I most likely flushed out all of the goodness with the Full English Breakfast. No egg for me because of allergies, nor mushrooms because they are simply disgusting!

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I was in love! Everything was delicious, although you can’t really go wrong with english breakfast. Even my sister-in-law loved her Eggs Royale – sourdough bread topped with salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.

I am highly considering popping in just for the Cafe Mix Juice. I work close by and any way to get my five-a-day.

What do you think of The Terrace?

Mich x

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P.s This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Vapiano

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Vapiano is what I like to call the Italian fast food restaurant. You get a card on the way in, choose your seat and your meal, and take it to the chefs at the counters to fix it up fresh for you.

I had forgotten I had been here before a while ago. This time I came with my husband and brother and sister-in-law last week on Bank Holiday Monday. After my meal, it was clear why I couldn’t remember my first visit.

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I ordered the Ravioli Con Carne with chilli and garlic, in a tomato sauce. When the chef took the ravioli out of the freezer, the first thought that came into my head was: “Is that all?” I tried to play it down with the fact that I was seemingly satisfied afterwards, but truthfully, I wanted more.

It was, however, cooked in a delicious tomato sauce and the garlic added flavour.

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My husband chose the Pollo Piccante. What disappointed me was the ratio of chicken to pasta. The chef took a portion as small as three fingers and cut it up whilst frying it. Even I felt bad for my hubby because he loves his chicken.

Like my dish, his meal was very flavourful—so much so, that he couldn’t finish it because it became a bit sickening towards the end. That was a shame.

To be honest, I left the restaurant very unsatisfied. I had wanted a lemon sorbet to curb my appetite, but they were all out—at 1.30pm on a bank holiday!

I guess it’s okay if you’re popping in for lunch during working hours, but I was looking forward to having an enjoyable and hearty meal on a bank holiday with family. Wrong choice for the wrong day? Possibly, but I don’t think I’ll be going back.

Have you ever been to Vapiano? What did you think?

Mich x

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*P.S This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Hana

Hana

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Hana is a Japanese sushi restaurant based in Finsbury Park. It is easy to pass by, but don’t be fooled by its simple exterior. The limited space, dark ambience and small wooden tables give it an oriental feel that is hard to deny. But the food is all that really matters.

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For starters, I had the Prawn Gyoza—deep fried prawn dumplings served with a vinegary soy sauce. The Gyoza was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside—the perfect combination of textures. The sauce added a sour and tangy touch to a satisfying starter.

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First of all, kudos to Hana on bringing out my starters and main roughly at the same time. But this Chicken Ramen was one heck of a dish. Look at the size of it! I just about finished it all, and you can bet that I was duly gorged by the end of it. I just wanted to sleep afterwards.

Ramen is a Japanese specialty—the balanced mixture of noodles, vegetables, soup and chicken was more than enough. I even ate the seaweed!

The developing queue outside of the restaurant was a testament to its popularity. It is most likely the reason why our food arrived so quickly, because of how busy they get.

With very affordable prices, I would definitely make another trip to this little piece of oriental food heaven.

Hana has various opening times, so make sure to get there as soon as, or a little after they open to guarantee your seat. See their website for times.

Mich x

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P.S. This is not a sponsored post; I’m just a certified foodie.

72 hours in Portugal – part 1

As some of you may know, I spent three nights in Portugal at the end of March for a friend’s wedding. If it hadn’t been for the wedding, I wouldn’t have had the chance to discover such a beautiful place. I got to see so much in such a short space of time, so I was grateful for that.

I arrived on Thursday and as soon as I landed, my friends came to get me. After settling into my room at the hotel we were staying in, we set off to Setúbal. It’s a quiet city with pebbled streets and a port.

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For dinner, we went to a restaurant along the port called Tasca da Fatinha. You can choose whatever fish you want and they grill it for you. It’s all fresh produce. Some of us shared prawns for starters, which looked and tasted delicious. I ordered the salmon. It was my first time having it, and I loved it, especially with the grilled, smokey taste.

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Unfortunately, the chips were a bit dry, but the salmon made up for that.

We stayed out late, and found this beautiful building on the way back to the coach station — the Monastery of Jesus of Setúbal. I went to bed the latest I have done in a very long time, but I also had the most fun I’ve had in a long while, so it was all worth it.

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Look out for part two next Thursday, and thank you for reading.

Mich x

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