Eating Out in my Living Room
During lockdown I have kept my love and passion for trying new food and eating out alive in a few ways. I have already described my cooking at home adventures with both Simon Wood and Adam Reid. Last weekend I sampled the cooking of one of last year’s Masterchef Professional finalists, Exose Grant, who went to Trafford College, very local to me. Next week I have a meal cooked by another Masterchef Professional finalist, Dean Banks. So I am definitely still eating well.
I’m also trying to support the restaurants in my local area as and when I can. Thanks to Deliveroo I am still able to enjoy some of my favourite places, one of which is Phanthong, a Thai restaurant. It has been open now for nearly 10 years and I list it as one of my 5 favourite places to eat at in Altrincham. Its delivery menu is exactly the same as its restaurant one and doesn’t dip in quality. They have certainly mastered how to package the food, especially ensuring that anything meant to be crispy remains so during transit. A simple task of breaking the corner off the container, allowing steam to escape does the job perfectly. It is a really enjoyable delivery experience and is almost as good as going there, possibly better as you can make a mess and not have to worry how you look.
Another restaurant delivery we have sampled is Sugo pasta kitchen. They only set up a delivery service during lockdown. I adore the food here, especially the House Sugo, pasta in a slow-cooked meat ragu sauce. The flavour is incredible, so rich and delicious. My slight issue is that the restaurant itself is only very small and always busy, so It can be noisy and rushed, not very relaxing. Thanks to them now doing a delivery service, I can now enjoy some of the tastiest Italian food in the comfort of my own home. I definitely prefer it to going to the restaurant. At least that’s something positive to come out of Covid-19.
Another food positive of lockdown, if a little dangerous, is the discovery of Cowtown Grill. This place does some of the best local, dirty food around. Based in Sale, it delivers North American classics such as burgers, milkshakes and my personal favourite, poutine. This is a Canadian speciality of chips, cheese curds and gravy, served on its own or topped with things like BBQ pork, more cheese, bacon or pepperoni and marinara sauce. Its your real “pig out” kind of food, perfect when you just need something comforting or a big feed as a reward for spending over 5 hours of the day on a turbo, riding your bike up virtual mountains. It was the thought of this treat that got me through a few tough rides. The one small problem is that delivery can take an age, so don’t wait until you are starving to order.
Another lockdown discovery has been Yogberries, A frozen yogurt place in Hale. Hale is a little further afield to us than Altrincham, so we don’t often go. However, we have, on a couple occasions gone in and liked it. Its like any frozen yogurt place really, choose your flavour and size, then select your toppings and sauces. Pre-lockdown we knew they were on Deliveroo but were sceptical how well it would travel and whether it would be melted by the time it arrived. During one particularly tough gym session in our back garden, close to the start of lockdown when it was quite warm, I felt like I really needed a pick-me-up and so decided to chance it as a reward for getting through the session. Fortunately, we need not have been concerned. Turns out it does travel fine and remains frozen. It has become an occasional post gym snack now, when either Neil or I are particularly struggling. Sometimes mentally, you just need an incentive and frozen yogurt seems to do the trick. There is some nutritional benefit to frozen yogurt, well it’s slightly better than ice cream at least, and you can add fruit and nuts to it, as well as chocolate, honeycomb, peanut butter cups and brownies, but then that makes it balanced.
Other lockdown highlights from Deliveroo have been our regular pizza place, Pix, a Moroccan called Sahara and sweet treats from Little Dessert shop. Having access to Deliveroo has not only helped us enjoy good meals “out” in our living room, but also allowed us to still support our local restaurants and cafes. Its definitely made me realise its possible to have a really good meal delivered to you and appreciate having it in the comfort of your own house. I wonder if I will end up making more of a shift towards this approach in the future, even when it is safe to go out again. I have now been in to my favourite Cafe in Sale, Amphora, for a coffee and a slice of cheesecake, and must admit, really enjoyed the change of scenery. I didn’t quite appreciate how mentally refreshing it would be, but I do still find the idea of going out for a socially distanced meal a bit daunting and stressful. I’m sure small steps will help to build my confidence up again and I will soon be back enjoying meals out, but until then. next week’s date night is a cook at home meal from Dean Banks. Lobster salad followed by rib eye steak, here goes. Let’s hope I can cook this one as successfully as the one from Adam Reid. I will be sure to keep you updated.
Thanks for reading and speak soon.