Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Peachy Keens Birmingham Restaurant Review.

I used to be such a huge fan of "All You Can Eat" restaurants , if you asked me a few years ago what was my favourite restaurant, I would instantly respond with a couple of well-known Chinese restaurants in Wolverhampton "The Imperial" and "Wing Wah". These days, I tend to not visit all you can eats as often as I used to, due to a combination of other  types of restaurants are on my to visit list but I always welcome the opportunity to visit All You Can Eat restaurants, or as they are known today "World Buffet", so when Peachy Keens asked me to review their Birmingham branch , I happily accepted.
Peachy Keens

Location
Located 5 miles south of Birmingham City Centre, this restaurant is located off the A45 road and is visibly noticeable from the main road. The building is a former pub, this is instantly noticeable from the outer building and in parts, the inside decor. There is two large seating areas, which is perfect for hosting large groups of parties or work functions, on my visit there were several people celebrating birthday parties. I also observed a private function room, which would be perfect for birthday parties.

Food
The most important element of any restaurant is the food. Peachy Keens prides itself on having several Live Cooking Stations; I observed a Chinese, Italian and Pancake cooking station. There were also several types of starter and main courses from a variety of cuisines such as: Chinese, Indian, Thai, Japanese, Italian and Mexican. I also observed a section which serves English Cuisine, many a plates had roast beef, Yorkshire puddings and Shepherd pie, I was quite surprised but many people had yorkies on their plate! There was also a section which included a large amount of salad recipes and of course no World Buffet would be complete without a wide selection of desserts including the obligatory chocolate fountain.
Let's discuss the food further. I sampled a selection of Chinese and Indian Starters, including prawn crackers, crispy seaweed, salt and pepper squid, spring rolls and chicken wings. All the dishes I samples were piping hot (which is something that is not always the case at buffet restaurants), I particularly enjoyed the spingrolls and the seaweed, which was crispy and incredibly moreish.  
Starters - Peachy Keens. 

Starters Peachy Keens. 

Starters Peachy Keens. 

Starters Peachy Keens. 

Starters Peachy Keens. 

For the main event, I usually have a plan of action sticking to primarily Indian dishes, but for review purposes I felt it was necessary to sample a Live Cooking Station and what better dish to sample than a teppanyaki. I was incredibly impressed with the selection of items that you could chose to make your teppanyaki such as: chicken, beef, prawns, mushrooms, bean sprouts and egg noodles. There was a selection of sauces such as Black Bean, Sweet and Sour and Shanghai, which I chose and was gloriously hot.
Teppanyaki work station.

Teppanyaki Work Station. 

Teppanyaki. 
I loved how you could watch the chefs as they prepare your evening meal, the flames went up super high and the teppanyaki was made in minutes. Not content with having a healthy (ish) teppanyaki, I had to sample some of the classic Chinese dishes such as Sweet and Sour Chicken and Egg Fried Rice, I particularly enjoyed the sweet and sour chicken, not overly sweet which I liked.


I felt I could not leave this restaurant without sampling the large, incredibly large selection of desserts. Desserts such as Galab Jambu, Chocolate Brownies and Tiramisu, alongside a chocolate fountain and marshmallows.
Desserts.

Desserts. 



Service
There were numerous attentive staff which I feel is imperative with a busy restaurant serving a large amount of foods. The staff that served me were friendly and I was shown around the different work station as being new to the restaurant, this was incredibly helpful.

Value for money
Prices start from £6.99 for adult lunch and £12.99 for the evening meal.

Overall
A great restaurant for those who enjoy good value for money and trying a variety of cuisines under one roof. This is an ideal restaurant for families and small children will be impressed by the selection of desserts.  A family member who dined at the restaurant with me is looking forward to going back.

Positives
A large selection of Live Cooking Stations for those who fancy a healthier meal.

Negatives
I feel this restaurant is let down by the location and may be out the way for some.

This restaurant gets a 3.5 star rating by Food Glorious Food.

Food Glorious Food Restaurant rating index.
5 Star - Excellent: loved the food, loved the restaurant, loved the service, Already booked my next visit.
4 Star - Overall good: food was delicious will visit soon.
3 Star - Average: food was nice, but improvements can be made. No rush to return.
2 Star - Below average: nothing special, in no rush to visit again.
1 Star - Inadequate: Do not go, you have been warned.

Disclaimer: My meal at Peachy Keens were complimentary, as always all opinons are my own.
xxx

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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Dhaniya Spices, Recipe, Review and Giveaway.

I'm a firm believer that every meat dish should be seasoned well, ideally overnight, to ensure maximum flavour. I'm also a firm believer in using good quality spices, pastes and rubs to enhance  flavour so was pleased to discover Dhaniya , Authentic Indian cooking when at BBC Good Food Show.  I'm actually a big fan of the website and the recipes available online show the versatility of the pastes and rub, with my favourite recipes including Pomegranate Chicken and Curry Penne Carbonara. I've used many Indian pastes and seasoning in the past as these are fundamental when making a curry dish for example, however I was incredibly impressed by the range of pastes and rubs that Dhaniya sells such as: Pomegranate rub, Lamb Rub, Bombay Potato Rub and Classic Curry Paste. Each luxury paste is thoroughly described in terms of the spices, heating  and the flavour. With paste ranging from £2.99 to £3.69 these products are an affordable taste of luxury.
Dhaniya Paste
The lovely people at Dhaniya sent me a selection of their pastes and rubs: Pomegranate Rub, Fish Curry Paste and Spiced Korma Paste. I instantly decided to make my adaptation of Pomegranate Chicken  served with Bindi Bartha (Stuffed Okra). I also have plans to use the fish curry paste to make fish wraps and the korma paste to make a korma of course.

Here is how my Pomegranate Chicken and Bindi Bartha using Dhaniya rub turned out:
Pomegranate Chicken

Pomegranate Chicken.

The recipe for the Pomegrante Chicken can be found on Dhaniya's website. The recipe for Bindi Bartha is taken from The Three Sisters Quick And Easy Indian CookBook.

Ingredients
500g okra, washed and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
2-3 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon chili
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp mango powder (I omitted this)

Method
Pat dry the okra with kitchen paper to remove any remaining moisture (it must be dried well or the okra will be slimy).
Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds from the whole spices in a hot frying pan over low hear. Stir continuously for about 2 minutes until the cumin seeds begin to darken. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder. Remove to a bowl.
Ass all the ground spices and salt, to the bowl of roasted spices. Add 1 tbsp of the oil. Mix all the ingredients and spices well by stirring with a tsp or spatula.
Cut the tops off the okra and slit them neatly with a knife from about a thumb's length from the top to the bottom tip. Stuff the okra lengths on both sides with the spiced paste. Press together to close and place the okra on a plate.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry for 5-6 minutes, turning slowly to cook on all sides.
Remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper. Serve hot as a vegetable dish with dal and rice.

The lovely people at Dhaniya are offering one reader a selection of their products. To be in with a chance of winning these products:
    xxx
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