The first was Henry J Bean's at Tower Street. I'd looked at 'places' on my phone, an app that shows restaurants, cinemas, cafes etc that are near you. I liked the idea of this one because it said it's an American diner (my favourite) BUT there were some pretty damning reviews on there. I was a bit put off though when we came upon it by chance the menu looked so nice (plus what we could see of other diners' food through the window - we were like the Bisto Kids!!) that we decided to try it. We were so happy we did.
Our server was Joanne (hello, if you're reading this!!) and she was very warm and attentive. She asked us whether we wanted to watch the football or not - when we said we didn't she showed us to a booth by the window, away from the TV. We started with nachos with chilli. It was really tasty though with hindsight maybe a mistake because it was soooo filling! We followed this up with a cheese and bacon burger each (mine with blue cheese) with salad, onion rings and chips. The burgers come served on a kind of hollowed-out slat of wood. The burgers were meaty and juicy; the baps were soft and the chips were light and crisp. The blue cheese was oozing off the top of my burger...nom nom nom. Sadly there was just too much for us to eat after the nachos (and a bottle of more-ish Rekorderlig Swedish cider!) and both of us had to leave a bit - a shame because it was just heavenly. Even worse, we were too full for pudding!
With the tip we paid around £40 and thought that was pretty reasonable for a great meal, excellent service and a lovely atmosphere. 9/10 from us!
The second restaurant we tried was an Indian buffet-style place, Jinnah on Cumberland Street. The cost here was £10.95 each for all you can eat. I've got to say Indian food isn't my most favourite, though I do like it - this was Big Man's choice of restaurant. It's a big, modern-looking place where the staff are again very attentive and the manager/maitre d' is totally charming. Firstly there is a plate of poppadoms with lots of different chutneys and dips (really delicious, especially the sweetish date one) then followed a sizzling dish of lamb kebabs, onion bhajees, tiny lamb cutlets and vegetable samosas. Also delicious! The next stage was the actual buffet - a long display of veggie and meat curry dishes of varying hotnesses (heats?) and a couple different types of rice. These were served with a giant piping-hot naan bread. But like Henry J Bean's the night before the starters were so filling I could only face one round of the buffet. I chose Chicken Tikka Masala and though it tasted okay the colour was so luminous it fair put me off....imagine one of Scarlett's flamingoes.....!
Since I only had a bit of the buffet I was able to force down a dessert and I had a gorgeous, palate-cleansing Lemoncello sorbet/ice cream. Yum! I give it 7/10 but Big Man gives it a thumping 10/10!!
So don't let anybody tell you we can't cook great food in the UK - I like to cook and I like to eat and these two places are as good as anywhere you'll find. I haven't been paid for these reviews, by the way. But if either Henry J Bean's or Jinnah wanna throw a free meal this way I'll not say no....;P
On another note, I am working tonight - the first time I've worked overnight since I did a shift, ooooh........18 years ago at the St Ivel factory. Anybody who thinks you can never get too much chocolate only has to spend 10 hours on the tiramisu conveyor belt. And that's just the smell...
I digress. It's a good job I'm out later because Big Man has upset, hurt and insulted me to such a degree that I'm sure the mother of all rows would ensue if I stayed here. I'm not sure whether he realises what he's done and is brazening it out by blaming me; whether I really HAVE done something as reprehensible as he's making out; or whether he truly is as lacking in self-awareness as he seems to be. Or whether I'm just a complete girly sap with nothing to complain about.
I'll tell you tomorrow and you can all set me straight.....