Yo dudes. Happy Saturday.
Hope you are well and looking forward to the long weekend. WOO HOO. Shame that the weather doesn’t sound like it will be up to much but still, I won’t let this dampen my spirits. Glass half full and all that.
As we all have 3 weekend nights to play with, I thought today would be the perfect opportunity to offer up my first restaurant review and recipe. Perhaps you could give one (or both a go this week end).
Now obviously, if you are a parent, nothing is as simple as it once was. You can’t just decide to go out on a whim, so I have helpfully drawn up a list of pros and cons on why you may or may not want to go out: (you are very welcome to add your own suggestions in).
The case for:
1) You have a reason to dress in something other than jeggings, trackies or a onesie and put some make up on.
2) You will be able to spend the evening with your partner/loved ones without having to use a high pitched voice or talk about absolutely ridiculous topics just to respond to your baby’s pointing and babble (I have been reduced to describing the differences between fences, walls and bushes on our little walk to nursery just to keep the chatter going! I feel so sad for the girls that they have to listen to me!! But I have basically fallen into the realms of Roy Walker whereby I ‘Say what I see’ Catchphrase style).
3) You don’t need to cook
4) You don’t need to wash up
5) You don’t need to see how much you drank the next morning.
The case against:
1) You have to dress up. This means sniffing your clothes until you find something suitably clean and posh to be seen out in.
2) You will have to scour the remnants of your mind for appropriate conversations to have with grown ups. That means no talking about Iggle Piggle, Ben and Holly, weaning and other parenting woes because, and lets be brutally honest here. That is some boring shit to talk about 24/7.
3) You need to find and book: a restaurant, a taxi, a babysitter
4) You will have to pay for the above
5) You can not fall asleep directly after the meal (possibly dribbling). Point to note- I have done this in an amazing restaurant in Harrogate. I later fell out of the restaurant. 😦 (second point to note- this was before children and an even lower alcohol tolerance level. Awkward).
6) You will need to retain the air of responsible parent on return home (it is difficult to pull this off with aplomb if you fall and sprain your ankle when removing your stupidly high-I’m still young and cool- shoes…yep, still me btw)
It is a tough call!
If you are not a parent but are hoping to become one- you are currently in the most deluded part of your life. I know what you are thinking- bless her, she seems to be making quite hard work of this old parenting malarkey. I can’t see that our lives will need to change too much at all- can you Jasper? (this is the name of your imaginary husband. You’d better hope that he earns an imaginary million too otherwise your life WILL be changing, quite significantly. FACT)
Anywho, on to the review….
Last Friday night my sister and I went to the relaunch of a local restaurant called EGO.
Ego is a Mediterranean style restaurant which opened in Heswall in 1997 (from memory!) and there are now several dotted around the North West. Click here to see if there is one near you.
Sooo- Our local Ego closed for a total refurb/over haul and reopened to much fan fare last Friday night.
There were fire eaters, people on stilts and free fizz so that was a good start but what of the food…
You might think that, as I have all the culinary ability of a frog, (see my snap of the cucumber I disposed of this morning whilst clearing out my fridge; the eagle eyed of you will have spied that it went out of date on 18/04/13…need I say more?) that I would be grateful for whatever is offered to me.
Not so my friends, not so. I am a proper picky individual and am constantly tutting at average food, poor customer service and a can’t do attitude. (If you have a bacon sandwich and chicken and avocado salad on your menu, you have the ingredients to make me a bacon and avocado sandwich you idiot. I am not asking for the moon on a stick).
I had the following:
Tuna carpaccio to start with.
I will gloss over the fact that a girl on the table next to me complained that it was too rare. Don’t embarrass yourself love, next time just go straight for somewhere that serves chips and egg. You are out of your depth (and probably still would be in a Wimpy).
It was really excellent. Crisp rocket salad, yum yum.
Lamb with a herb crust for main. Served pink on a bed of risotto.
The old me would have asked for the risotto to be in a dish on the side but I am now a fully fledged grown up and don’t want to encourage weirdness in my children so I have it as is. Fabulous. Big portion and, I didn’t have any need for side dishes but if you are a big rugby playing type (or a bloke) you might feel differently.
If I was going to make a teeny tiny point, I might mention that we waited for quite awhile between starters and main. I didn’t think this was an issue because the atmosphere was brilliant, very buzzy, busy and friendly. If you are going to eat out without children, enjoy the experience rather than timing it.
Finished off with a sticky toffee pudding which is yet another reason why I should just shut the hell up about my blancmange like belly. I didn’t need it but it was lush.
In short then;
Service: 4/5 – I don’t think I will ever give 5- if you do, what do people have to work towards!
Value for money: 5/5- Particularly good value for me as I didn’t pick up the bill ha ha. But- Ego always has a wide variety of offers on including the brilliant steak night on a Tuesday. Check the website for more info.
Family Friendly- 3.5/5 – Perfect for lunch times and early evening meals and the relaxed atmosphere means that you shouldn’t feel too stressed if your kids aren’t the seen and not heard types.
Baby changing facilities downstairs and colouring pencils etc provided. Great value, healthy childrens food. Click here for full children’s menu.
There isn’t a massive amount of room for prams etc when the restaurant is busy but the staff are really accommodating and made a fuss of our girls when we went in.
Clearly, if I was a professional restaurant reviewer I would remember what my lovely sister had but, as I was more focused on the wine menu I don’t want to make something up. Oops. Will do better next time.
Alternatively, if you are trying to wow people with your housewifery skills here is a brilliant, easy recipe taken from the brilliant Nigella Lawson. It is ideal if cooking for quite a few or if you are in the mood to get a bit organised and cook and freeze ahead.
I have made some subtle changes to her methods- namely I cooked mine, not in a neglige with soft lighting and big hair, but in a dressing gown dotted with baby sick and a sleeve covered in snot! (Yummy. Enjoy).
Additionally, because I have a mind like a sieve, I have missed out at least one ingredient every time I’ve cooked it.
I imagine that if you put everything in it would taste even better.
Best thing about this recipe is that it is best cooked in advance so allows you to look like an organised, serene domestic goddess because all of your stressy, sweary nastiness will have been completed 48 hrs before the arrival of any guests. Perfect.
Have a wicked weekend peeps.
***HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEAUTIFUL, COMPETENT COOK OF A COUSIN, BECKY.*** XXXxxxXXX*** next week, I’ll try making your cake!
***HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GORGEOUS ARTHUR… You were cooking during the whole embarrassing Harrogate affair! Have a brilliant 2nd Birthday. *** (ps, if it is actually you reading this Arthur, you ARE very advanced!)***