Saturday, 24 July 2010

Las Iguanas, Liverpool

An unlikely place to need Imodium or so I thought!

The final day of my holiday in Liverpool, I decided to have a 'last supper' before I got lumbered with a meal deal at Manchester airport and a Flybe cup a soup. The oh-so-chainy Liverpool One development seemed to be the most convenient option as I had a case to lug around and didn't fancy a long trek around the ever expanding Scouse restaurant scene. The first few restaurants were full and after much deliberation, chose Las Iguanas. Please,never suggest Nando's to me. I react to the name Nando's with the kind of horror most people reserve upon hearing such obscenities as the 'c' word. Well,N***o's is a profanity to people who appreciate good food and service.

Las Iguanas is also a chain but I'm afraid that's all one finds in Liverpool One. If you're looking for individuality, cosiness and home cooked grub, please avoid this area. We got a friendly welcome and the staff were ever so helpful, the seat they offered us was roomy and the decor was pleasing on the eye. Generally, you know what you are going to get with chains but this place impressed with its cool Latino summery surroundings.

We opted for the business lunch and I chose a spicy soup with butternut squash and nachos to start, and for the main course a vegetarian burrito. This deal was 7.95 plus any soft drink, beer or wine for £1. The courses were well-presented but looked rather sparse, no chips or rice with the main; no bread with the soup. However, it was a filling dinner. The soup was spicy and the addition of nachos to the soup was interesting but it tasted anything but homemade, it reminded me of Tesco's own brand's pitiful attempts at an authentic Mexican delicacy. The main course was a huge burrito, packed to the brim with various veg but as it was so thick and well packed, I wondered how well cooked it was as surely it would take a long time to heat it right through to the middle. It was tasty, don't get me wrong, but it didn't bowl me over as much as the Edinburgh Mexican restaurants from my previous reviews. I am astonished that this place is full but my ultimate favourite tex-mex in Liverpool, El Macho, is empty nowadays. Sadly, it boils down to location, location, location and the idleness of people not to walk around and search for something better,not leaving their comfort zone.

My favourite test when it comes to reviewing restaurants is the coffee- this place passed with full marks! However, my story does not end here. Later that night, I got the most awful stomach cramps and funnily enough, one of the people I was eating with did too- we both ate the same. Without going into too much detail, it got to the stage where Imodium was deployed.

On this note, I'll end the review and leave it up to you if you want to pay Iguanas a visit. All I'm saying is, you know what I think about chains. And Imodium moments.

Las Iguanas on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Tso's, Liverpool

The Jeremy Kyle of the restaurant world!

Readers, I understand if you are confused. This is a restaurant review site and so far, you have had no evidence of a dining experience in this review. One bizarre photo of a deformed strawberry and a reference to Jezza Kyle seems rather strange, I admit. However, I am just setting the scene for an atrocious dining experience. A chimps tea party if you like. Sorry to insult any chimps who may be reading this.

Liverpool, a scorching hot summer day. I was starving, craving Chinese food. The aim of the day was to try somewhere new to put on the blog. Mayflower was out of the question then. As was the disgusting Shangri La. I really wanted to go to the Phoenix but as it closed in 2007, that was a no go, unfortunately. Shame, that was one quality place. After getting lost en route to where I thought the Mandarin was, we ended up at Tso's buffet which bore the legend 'All you can eat £5.95'. Will it be as chavvy as it sounds? I was pleasantly surprised with the May Sum buffet.

I went up a staircase and thought it was derelict. My first view was that of a cloakroom cum storage cupboard. Is this place actually an abandoned social club? It looked like a relic from 1974, considering it was only opened in 2000. I pushed open the door and took in the surroundings. Large buffet looked decent. The walls were painted in that nasty paint reserved for council flat corridors. The carpet was well-worn, patchy, rotten and looked a bit like astroturf. We were met by a grimacing trio of staff.
'Sit here!' she barked, reminiscent of Hitler in a low budget war film. Frau Hitler pointed us to a table under the coffee machine. One for health and safety to watch! Forget that. The customer is always right, I am paying so I will sit where I want. Hitler moved me quickly from my chosen table 'no no' she barked. I chose another one. (She barked at all the other guests wanting to sit there too, what was it, a trap door?)
Anyway, time to eat.

STARTER: two vegetarian soups, sweetcorn or hot and sour. The soups were freezing. Also on offer were pancakes, spring rolls, samosas (completely devoid of filling, cash n carry rubbish), and for the meat eaters ribs, chicken wings and that authentic Chinese delicacy Chicken Nuggets.

Oh I forgot to mention the state of the plates and bowls. They were all plastic, dirty, cracked, chipped and with the ground in remnants of other peoples grub. Takes recycling to a whole new level, doesn't it?

MAIN: the only rice was Egg Fried which tasted neither eggy nor fried. Also, there were chips (oh my god, you are really spoiling us! What with the chicken nuggets and all) a large selection of meaty dishes. As this is a veggie blog, I will bypass them and head for the veggie stuff. Vegetable vermicelli was delicious, as were the braised aubergines. The curry was like gravy, the broccoli reminded me that I needed to go to Iceland on the way home and stock up on frozen veg.

DESSERT: yeah yeah, I know that's what you've been waiting for after seeing that strawberry pic, it's really whet your appetite, hasn't it? Let us commence.
Ice cream was vanilla, choc and strawberry. All rather tasty, but I needed a chain saw or an aircraft de-icer to actually get some out of the rock solid containers. I made my way to the fruit. At first, I was pleasantly surprised as there was no cheat's option of tinned Netto fruit, but real, live fruit pieces! Watermelon and honeydew made a delicious change, a few bruised peaches were not so hot. Apples, strawberries and other fruit were in abundance. But then the cracks started to show. A few tinned peaches made an appearance, as did a few tinned lychees (I find they taste better tinned though). Then the mutants appeared. Like an incestuous produce of a strawberry and a raspberry, I spotted a bowl of deformities. At first, they looked like normal strawbs, but then I noticed some of them had two stalks. Some of them looked like Siamese twins. Some of them had six other strawbs growing out of them! One of them looked as if it had warts. Anyway, I snapped the freakiest one for you readers!

If I thought I was queasy then, nothing prepared me for my further discoveries. I spied a weird take on a prawn cocktail. Untouched, a bed of prawns lay there, mixed with more (mutant) strawbs, fruit cocktail and mayonnaise. This looked like hell on earth. Was it one of those fake vomits they use in Hollyoaks and Holby City? My train of thought was interrupted by a loud sneeze. Over the buffet. By the waitress (Hitler's Mum). She wiped her nose with her hand and proceeded to tidy up the plates. Ooh tasty!

Time to visit the bogs. The smell hit me, a smell I haven't experienced since a three hour delay in a Turkish airport. Exposed bins displaying used (how can I put this?) monthly items that a lady may use and even nappies;surely that's a potential health risk? The best was that when I flushed, the whole building shook and vibrated.

Before I left, I took in the decor one more time. Post-it notes and signs littered the room. TAP WATER IS UNAVAILABLE. DO NOT WASTE FOOD AS YOU WILL BE CHARGED. WHEN BUSY, PLEASE LEAVE AFTER 90 MIN. OPEN ON XMAS DAY. KIDS UNDER 4 FT EAT HALF PRICE. FREE WINE ON BIRTHDAY. OAPS AND STUDENTS 10% OFF. PLEASE USE CORRECT CUTLERY FOR CORRECT COURSE. If the toilets were a Turkish airport, then the dining area was Soviet Russia.

As for the Jeremy Kyle like clientele? Well, these were the people who were happy slurping away, not batting an eyelid to all I have mentioned. One young lad I spotted was even bending down and drinking his soup out the bowl! And his mother was using her hands. You'll never meet a nice young lady with those table manners, young man.

I managed to escape before someone got offended at the amount of photos I was taking, they probably thought I worked for environmental health or in the investigation department of benefit thieves. This place is a haven for people on long-term sick with a bad back and for rats with a healthy appetite.

Tso's oriental buffet on Urbanspoon

Monday, 19 July 2010

Tabac, Liverpool

A great selection of veggie delights!

Tabac has been a Liverpool icon and hangout of hipsters since the 1970s. With its cool, retro feel and interesting artwork, Tabac is the perfect place to relax with a coffee and a paper, meet friends before a big night out and to chill to some retro beats. But what I wanted to know is; is the food any good? More importantly, are the prices also retro? I took my hungry dad along to investigate further.

People who know me know I detest pretentious places. When I see 'trendy', I read 'overpriced and small undercooked portions'. Not naming any names, a lot of the new Liverpudlian bars fall in this category. Tabac, however, is more of a trusted classic. Cool yet unpretentious, chilled and classy. You won't find any WAG types in here but a comfortable mix of students, professionals, young and old. The odd luvvie type is known to stray in though, and it does attract boho babes. I visited on a Sunday and it was rather empty, a menu outside listing various dishes from around the world, plus a world cup special of beer and a burger for a fiver. So far, the prices seemed great, considering it is slap bang in the city centre.
Veggies, you will be in heaven. They offer a selection of soups and sandwiches including feta cheese and brie, the soup on this particular day being carrot and coriander. I decided to go for the tapas option, £4 each, 2 for £7.50 or 3 for a tenner; we made it 5 for £17.50. After much deliberation, I settled on halloumi kebabs, a feta cheese bake and that holiday favourite, patatas bravas. Strict veggies look away complete the tapas, my dad chose mussels and huge Albondigas.

The tapas hit the spot! I would say they were better quality than fake Luton based Spaniards La Tasca. These tasted home made. The halloumi kebabs may be Cypriot, but variety is the spice of life; after all, there aren't many traditional veggie tapas in Spain. Juicy cheese with cherry tomatoes on a bed of rocket was heaven. The feta cheese bake was a type of fondue; a melting pot of tomato casserole and feta hunks served with a right doorstopper of bread to dunk in. Finally, the Bravas. Oh my God, these were heaven! Never had I had such piquant sauce meeting perfectly roasted potatoes since I went to Almeria in 1998. Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearics failed to provide me with such tasty bravas, little did I know the perfect Bravas were on my doorstep in Liverpool!The sauce was exquisitely spicy, the potatoes lightly roasted with a dash of rosemary. Portion size was impressive too.

To finish, I opted for an Americano which passed my rigorous coffee quality control. Potent beans! The tapas were surprisingly filling, I had to pass on the beautifully squidgy fudge cake but there's always a next time.

TIP: if you're just coming for drinks, lounge about in the 'hidden' area at the back with the cushions. Dim lighting, comfy furniture and 60s sounds make for a perfect chillout. If you're eating, grab a front table and peoplewatch and believe me, Bold St is a paradise for peoplewatching enthusiasts!

I thoroughly enjoyed my Mediterranean experience in 1970s Liverpool, but if I were to do it again, I would alternate one of the cheese dishes for one of the other options; maybe pittas with tzatziki and hummus. It was foolish of me to have such a cheese overload; after all, it ain't easy being cheesy!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bombay Palace, Sliema, Malta

Please stay away- for your sphincter's sake!

A self-confessed Vindaloo Queen, I cannot go on holiday without visiting an Indian restaurant. Halfway through my Maltese jaunt, the craving for the hot stuff was kicking in. Plus, I also wanted to compare curries. In the beautiful hotspot of Sliema, Bombay Palace seemed promising- fresh, airy with modern decor. But as I already know, appearances can be deceptive. There is no nicer way to put it, this place was a s**t hole.

We were in and out in 30 min so I will just summarise the experience quickly- come to your own conclusions.

- this place also serves Chinese food in the same kitchen
- the Naan is actually Chapatti but sold as Naan
- the bombay potato is potato wedges doused in curry powder
- the pilau rice was out of a huge bag with a few frozen peas scattered on
- the chicken is multicoloured. Thank God I'm a veggie.

What was that? Multicoloured chicken?

Yes. The chicken came in funny shaped pieces, some of them with a black coating on, some with green spots inside. This place needs to be reported to environmental health ASAP. When we asked the chef, his lame excuse (after much stammering and blushing) was 'we are trialling a new spice.' Whatever.

Sorry this review isn't too exciting. The restaurant was so dire I was left speechless for once. The staff all looked as if they had been slapped across their sour faces with a wet fish too.

UPDATE: This hellhole has now gone bust and in its former location stands a pretty decent coffee shop instead. Maltese tastebuds have been saved.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Blue Room, St Julian's, Malta

Chic, minimalist yet cosy

At first, I thought it was a trendy lounge bar or nightclub. No red lanterns, no flashy 'open' sign in the window currently en vogue with Chinese restaurants in the UK, nobody touting for business. I wasn't sure if this was a good sign or a bad sign- as you know, I am into bargain cuisine and the name of the game with this blog is to visit affordable places. There is nothing I hate more than pretentious 'lounge-bistro- boutique-bars' where the portions are minimal and the atmosphere is like a doctors' waiting room.

On close inspection of the menu, this was not the case. 'Normal' dishes like sweet and sour, satay and noodle soups peppered the menu, plus a few more experimental ones. The restaurant was on the second floor with beautiful views of St Julian's, the cool blue lighting and mood music creating a luxurious yet chilled ambience. I selected a Vegetable Soup to start; sounds unimaginative but this veggie soup was an artwork unlike the oily, salty slop what they serve up back home. The tableware was a sight to behold too, my soup was served in a black hexagonal bowl- trendy!
For my main course, I opted for a braised tofu hotpot (see pic) served on a bed of Egg Fried Rice. We waited what seemed like an eternity for the food, but the quality and careful presentation made it worth the wait. The tofu came in an ornate lidded pot; a melt in your mouth texture fusing with zingy chilli. Even the EFR was perfection; it tasted lighter and fluffier compared to its UK counterparts, no remnants of burnt fat on this baby!

I would like to give the waitress a special mention too as her service was impeccable. She was working alone and managing the bar, food and cash all by herself, keeping a cool head and remaining smiley at all times. Beautifully dressed and with perfect make-up, her manners were outstanding and put most restaurants to shame.

Would I go back? In a heartbeat. Blue Room offered a romantic setting without being cheesy; a slick, sophisticated location.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

L'escargot, Mellieha, Malta

Names can be deceptive!

Last year, I discovered such a friendly and bargainous restaurant in Mellieha and this year, I simply had to go back en route to the beach! I was a bit apprehensive when I saw the name, but fear not veggies and fussy eaters, there are NO SNAILS here, just good old 'normal' food. By normal, I mean an extensive collection of sandwiches at a purse- friendly 2-3.50 Euro, burgers, pasta and desserts. All the sandwiches are served with a splendid salad; none of your boring British-style salad but featuring butterbeans and kidney beans to add some substance.

TIP: ask for 'ftira' instead of a normal baguette. This is traditional Maltese bread and is beautiful! I wish they sold it in the UK, it would be heavenly with cheese 'n' pickle.

I have also sampled the Penne Arrabiata here and that met my rigorous standards for spiciness. The coffee is both potent and good value!

My only complaint about the restaurant is that they only have 1 toilet and that is situated very close to the bar- no good if there's a queue! However, the friendly staff, good atmosphere and tasty snacks more than make up for this little quibble.

Yuu Chinese, Malta

A restaurant review with no actual food!

Being obsessed with Chinese food back home, I was curious to see what their Maltese counterparts were like. I was craving succulent aubergine, chunky tofu and full bodied Szechuan- I wasn't being too hasty and getting my hot 'n' sour hopes up though! I spotted Yuu in St Julian's and thought I would give it a whirl. However, this turned out to be a complete disaster.

On the entrance stairs, a young Chinese girl was scrubbing the steps like a little slavegirl, creating a very bad first impression. My rumbling tum foolishly ignored the warning signs. Upon seeing us, she shouted something in her native tongue, sounding quite panicked and on entering the restaurant, it was empty apart from three shady-looking Oriental guys in suits, not eating but just drinking tea. The manageress/owner was sitting with the men, dressed up to the nines but with a calculating glint in her eye. Dare I say it, she reminded me of a 'madam'. She was extremely rude to us and barked 'what do you want?' (I thought it was a restaurant, not a private function!). She barked at her son in their language to find us a table, he looked equally shifty yet scared of Mum, ensuring we were sat as far away from the dodgy dudes as possible.

'The special is duck', he growled. 'Get the duck'. Sounds ominous, I thought, thinking of the ducks in the local Botanic Garden and fearing for their lives.

The menu was a poorly constructed folder of scribble, cheap printouts, hastily bound together like a much-hated school project. I chose a 'vegetarian soup' (no elaborate description) and 'Braised Aubergines in Piquant Sauce' (sounded similar to a dish in my beloved Edinburgh Wing Sing Inn.

15 minutes passed and the young boy came over full of apologies. Here is the shocking conversation that ensued.

Him: I'm sorry, I have just looked at the aubergine we have and the chef doesn't think it looks very nice to serve. It's a bit...old. We can do you an alternative, we have found some cabbage that we can fry with oyster sauce.

Me: What? No aubergine. I don't eat oyster sauce. Are there no other veg you have apart from cabbage as that is not really a meal?

Him: What would you like? We can try and make it. Cabbage? Lettuce?

Me: How about mixed veg in a spicy sauce as the aubergines were meant to come in a spicy sauce anyway? Or black bean? szechuan? sweet n sour?

Him: we only have oyster or we can give you a plain sauce and a pot of chilli on the table to season your own. And cabbage and lettuce. I can fry cabbage and lettuce in plain sauce.

Me: no thanks, that's not a meal, I'll pay for the drinks and go. Thanks.

(the bill gets paid)

Her the 'madam' : (barking) WHAT'S WRONG? HAVE YOU GOT A PROBLEM?

Me: Yes, there's no food

Her and Him: (a lot of Chinese swearing and no goodbye)

I fled Malta's answer to the set of Pulp Fiction and made my way down the street, not looking back.

People, please be warned. Environmental health, please take note of the rotting vegetables.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Ice cream in St Julian's, Malta

After complaining about Edinburgh's lack of ice cream, I was positively overwhelmed in Malta. Every ice cream parlour come up with the goods and on one occasion, I spotted 30 flavours! However, this cutie in St Julian's went the extra mile by taking their love of ice cream to the max with these fab tables and chairs:

Melita, Malta

45 minutes? For a STARTER?

After an exhausting journey from Edinburgh via Manchester, I wasn't in the mood for a trek into deepest Malta for a meal. I dragged myself out of bed and headed to a restaurant over the road from my hotel called Melita. It gave the impression that it was opulent and sophisticated like my beautiful hotel the Corinthia Palace, but upon stepping in, it was more a case of fur coat and no knickers.

From the outside, it looked like a Bedouin cave mixed with a villa. The decor was actually quite impressive, consisting of a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, set in gardens of cacti and (cue minus points) FERAL CATS round the diners' ankles, spraying their scent. Talking of bad smells, the staff looked as if they'd been recruited on a council estate. They had the communication skills of Kevin and Perry and one young man had a black eye! What a classy joint. Shrugging their shoulders as they worked, they did not utter 'please', 'thank you' or 'is there anything I can get you'. The young lady who showed us to our seat wanted to plonk us in the aisle and refused to give us an outdoor seat.

The menu looked promising and was in fact a vegetarian delight. It consisted of Italian staples plus a few Maltese delicacies. I opted for the Maltese take on Foccaccia (pictured) and Penne Arrabiata for my chilli kick.

Tick tock, tick tock....where is my starter?

After 45 min, my starter finally arrived and it was absolutely beautiful, it would have done two. The foccaccia was cut into triangles and it was heaped with Maltese salad. If you like Greek salad, Maltese salad will take you to heaven. A mix of capers, Gozo cheese (similar to feta), olives, onion, tomato, served with a rich, Mediterranean dressing. This was the only good point of the restaurant so far.

Immediately after the starter, I was presented with my main. Oh my God. Did a student make this? Did Wetherspoons cast this aside? This was the most dire pasta I have seen! The chef is definitely not Italian, or maybe he isn't even a chef! The pasta quills were bobbing up and down in the watery pasta sauce like bloated goldfish, drowning in the slop what was supposed to be Arrabiata. And why was this Arrabiata as weak as dishwater? I tried to eat this monstrosity but decided to give up. I didn't want to be suffering from heartburn or holiday tummy in the night.

After complaining to the staff, I managed to get the main course knocked off the bill. Only one member of staff apologised and acknowledged the fact that there was something wrong with the meal, the rest of them avoided eye contact with the diners and let them go hungry and thirsty out of pure laziness.

All I can say is that no wonder the feral cats were so thin. Even they have the common sense not to eat at this hellhole.

Air Malta's Aeroplane Food!

I've just come back from my hols in Malta and I am OBSESSED with the place- great food, fab weather, trendy shops and cute old buses- I want to live there! As I previously mentioned, veggies don't fare bad here- food is exciting (see above pic of Stuffed Marrows) and you don't get served cheese sandwiches like in Spain and Portugal. Sure, the locals are fond of rabbit but it's not rammed down your throat. Maltese salads are substantial and with bite; a beautiful contrast of Gozo Cheese (similar to feta) and tangy capers. I went to some beautiful eateries on the island and being the Vindaloo Queen, I simply had to squeeze in an Indian visit which was a disaster of Tippoo Sahib proportions. And don't mention the Chinese. Or the aeroplane breakfast with an Imodium chaser. Armed with my camera and my equally photographic memory, I am about to provide you with a barrage of hoilday reviews.

I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to travel- I believe in dressing nice to fly and flying with a 'proper' airline; getting a nice meal, watching a bit of telly and having enough room to stretch out! I cringe when I see scruffy chavs at the airport in their tracksuits- helloooo! It's an airport, not a bus station. And goodness knows why some of the budget airlines decided to fly to Turkey and Cyprus and other destinations slightly further afield and think it's acceptable to fob their passengers off with a tube of Pringles. I'd be dropping down with hunger!

I flew with Air Malta, a good 'proper' airline and with much anticipation, I was looking forward to my meal. You see, in my previous life I was an air hostess so I have a strong,professional interest in such important matters. Although my airline wasn't 'proper', it was of the Pringles variety, one of the benefits of my job was to get fed a proper meal each day! Sometimes even twice...Maybe that's where my love of restaurants comes from, the fact that I ate a chemical explosion of plane cuisine for 5 and a half years.

The first meal was an evening meal, a beautiful rich pasta served in a plummy tomato sauce with aubergines, olives and onion. The quality was fantastic and I was impressed to see my fave veg- the aubergine- make its airline debut. Unfortunately, the bread roll was stale and not warmed like other airlines, so I fed it to a cute family of duckies next to the hotel. It also came with a yummy muffin!

On the way back however, the meal posed the threat of gastroenteritis. It was breakfast but looked more like the bins at the back of my local greasy spoon. Even my local rough Greasy in Edinburgh looked more appetising. It consisted of beans, mushrooms, tomato and an omelette/poached egg hybrid. The beans were more sauce than actual beans, the tomato looked dehydrated, the mushrooms were floating round in water (the whole breakfast tray had an inch of water in the bottom) and the egg looked beautiful but was cold in the middle. This smorgasbord came with a stale roll but to compensate, a beautiful fruit salad balanced it out. The fruit salad consisted of melon and pineapple, not the budget fruit salad of apple n orange.

To wash it all down, I opted for coffee (weak) and water, plus the Maltese soft drink called 'Kinnie'. This is an acquired taste- it looks like Dr Pepper but is in fact a bitter orange drink and ever so refreshing. I recommend it for fans of bitter lemon, Campari and Cranberry juice.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Viva Mexico, Edinburgh

Keeping the holiday-food vibe alive!

Before I went on holiday, I needed that little extra kick to put me in the holiday mood. As I was raving about the importance of holiday food the other week, I immediately bypassed Subway, Baguette To Go and Baguette Express and trekked up historic Cockburn Street. Pooh-poohing the Italians (I was to be bombarded with Penne Arrabiata in Malta soon enough), Viva Mexico leapt out at me like a ray of sunshine and its contrast of old building/sunny atmosphere was reminiscent of The Unbeatable Mexican. The Unbeatable is Liverpool's 'holiday destination' El Macho, the Mexican that has kept me sunny since 2000 and hence my nickname for it, I haven't managed to find anything to beat it.

Little did I know that Viva Mexico was to be a stiff competitor for El Macho's crown...

The staff are bubbly and sunny, my kind of people, and I felt instantly welcomed. In general, I find that restaurant staff have a bit of an attitude in this part of tourist trappy town but these people were lovely. The decor is imaginative and original and appearances can be deceptive here- from the street, it looks like a small bistro. It was only when I went to the toilet that I discovered a cavernous network of tables, fantastic artwork and ornaments and a whole lotta atmosphere. Cosy yet not overbearing, this restaurant is my new hidden paradise. I have to give the toilets a special mention too- the sinks are beautiful and remind me of summery tiles in Andalucia! They have a floral pattern- what more could a girl want?

I'm doing it again, aren't I? I'm reviewing a restaurant and have not mentioned the food yet! It was a Friday lunchtime and chose the lunch menu. At £5.50, a selection of delectables were at my disposal and us veggies are well catered for. (By the way, you can 'upgrade' to two-course for £7.50 and get a yummy soup- I had a big breakfast though so didn't take the offer up). I chose a burrito stuffed with potato and chickpea which was absolute heaven. It came with a beautifully prepared rice interspersed with veg and a fresh,crisp salad. Wow. Viva Mexico, you have secured a place in my heart and on my roster of restaurants. And yes, I did sample the coffee which was so good, it knocked points off its rival in Liverpool.

This restaurant has something to offer for everyone- privacy for lone diners, romantic ambience, party mood, good for groups. Now that I am working weekends again (yippee) I will definitely be dedicating more time to midweek lunch specials.

Viva Mexico on Urbanspoon