Tag Archives: Salmon

Yuzu, Manchester

16 Sep

As a Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2013 ‘Restaurant of the Year’ nominee, Yuzu will be pitting itself against five other Manchester restaurants (63 Degrees, Michael Caines Restaurant, Cicchetti, Damson, The French at The Midland); the winner being revealed at a Gala Dinner on the 7th of October. As the vote is up to us – the public – all of those involved should be ‘upping the ante’ in terms of quality and service in the attempt to secure themselves that winning spot.

So, my thoughts…? I like Yuzu. I like it a lot. (Saying this, I have yet to find a Japanese restaurant that I don’t like.) It is clean and elegant in its simplicity. Yuzu was brought about because, according to the owners, there were no ‘real’ Japanese eateries to be found in Manchester; so with Yuzu now being an established restaurant in Chinatown, we went in the hope of finding some authenticity…

Unfortunately it took us a while to find. We managed, somehow, to walk around twice without seeing a thing (and of course, Google Maps was once again of zero help). What finally pulled my eye to the large ‘YUZU’ sign had something to do with the tattoo parlour to the left… Inside, the walls are all pleasant shades of paneled beige – caramel, tan, oatmeal – with a darkly tiled floor on which stand the tables and Yuzu’s characteristically low benches.

Yuzu, Manchester

Yuzu, Manchester

I felt slightly bitter that, in a Japanese restaurant, there were no sushi options on the menu. However, I found out this was because (in the words of Yuzu themselves), “We do not sell sushi, as sushi has to be made by a properly trained sushi master, which we are not.” Fine with me. I’ve recently gained a seriously deep amount of respect for sushi masters after watching Jiro Dreams Of Sushi; stunning – find it and be in awe.

The drinks we ordered were simple; it was a wee too early for sake drinking (Yuzu’s selection is extensive) so I chose the refillable Barley Tea. I had this over the Green Tea, as it was new to me – I chose well! My friend had the Kirin Ichiban, and guzzled it down with relish (I’m assuming this was positive…).

Yuzu, Manchester

Yuzu, Manchester

I’ll be frank – when it comes to food, I truly am a glutton. I wasn’t fully enlightened to this fact until I began to realise that normal people are able to choose their meals delicately, deliberately, precisely; I instead just order all that firmly takes my fancy, in case I miss out the ‘star of the show’. This method of attack does often work out well for me; instead of sticking to known favourites, I am able to branch out into the world of the unknown. A prime example being the daikon and wakame salad. I’d heard it was delicious (holy cow)  but would I have chosen it over the chicken kara-age if I’d been forced to side with one? I dare not answer. Don’t miss this one out guys, here uncomplicated does not equate to mundane. It was quite possibly the highlight of my meal.

Daikon and Wakame Salad; Yuzu, Manchester

Daikon and Wakame Salad; Yuzu, Manchester

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Chicken Kara-age; Yuzu, Manchester

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Chicken Kara-age & Agedashi Tofu; Yuzu, Manchester

After the light salad came out starters: Jay Rayner said that Yuzu’s chicken kara-age “makes all other fried chicken look like a first draft”. I can, hands down and without guilt, admit to being an all-round fried chicken enthusiast, but this… I probably did let out an audible squeal of delight to the surrounding diners as I popped the kara-age into my mouth. The sweet and citrusy ponzu dipping sauce helped keep the dish from becoming too much of a savoury overload. I enjoyed the agedashi tofu very much; tofu is the creamy carrier for many strong flavours, and it held up against the ginger-infused broth. Yum!

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House Prawn Gyoza; Yuzu, Manchester

The house prawn gyoza came served with a bowl of rice and miso (with lots of spring onion, wakame and tofu…). The gyoza themselves were impeccable – soft yet crisp, with large pieces of chopped prawn. The ravings from other reviews lived up in this one.

Scallop, tuna, organic salmon sashimi; Yuzu, Manchester

Scallop, tuna, organic salmon sashimi; Yuzu, Manchester

Lastly, we shared a platter of the sashimi. Sadly, the sweet prawns were missing off of the dish but we assumed that, because all of the fish was so fresh, the prawns simply could not be obtained that day. Never shy with silky and sumptuous raw fish, it was devoured in seconds of lip-smacking triumph.

What a fantastic evening!  Will be looking forwards to seeing how they fare in the Manchester Food and Drink Festival…

Yours,

Joss

P.S. Having been to Yuzu (and tried my best to peer over those sake bottles into the kitchen –  alas, I am a shorty and cannot stretch high enough), I found this youtube video of behind that sake-wall very interesting… if a tad slow. It also made me giggle a bit.

Yuzu on Urbanspoon

Beckworth Emporium, Northamptonshire

4 Aug

We travelled to Beckworth Emporium, in the heart of Northamptonshire, on an exceptionally hot day (in an exceptionally hot car). Gasping for air, we entered the Food Hall on a Tuesday afternoon to find the place teeming with excited shoppers – all, like me, soaking in the array of wonderful, original and fresh products.

As we were told the queue for a table would be around half an hour (a norm), my friend steeled herself within the waiting line so that I could have a wander around… Talk about a child in a sweet shop! I discovered some fantastic cheese, wasabi mayonnaise, locally produced gin and hibiscus flowers in syrup, just waiting to be dropped into a glass of bubbly.

I had to be dragged away.

We were seated in the Glasshouse; a gigantic sun-catcher of a room, and we basked in its heat. Friendly and efficient waiting staff took our order and drinks (thankfully as, with the sun, dehydration was kicking in!) arrived. Both my friend and I chose Luscombe drinks – a Raspberry Crush and a Strawberry Lemonade. Refreshing and delicious!Image

Together, we ploughed our way through the starter of a selection of breads and oils. In particular, the black olive bread (smeared with the sun-dried tomato and lemon fusion) was my favourite, ‘though dipping pitta into olive oil and balsamic will always be (in this case, yummy-) fun for me – I’ve not quite grown out of loving to play with food. And the olives! Thinking about them may lead me to begin another expedition out to this haven in the sticks…

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Bread & Oils; Beckworth Emporium, Nothamptonshire

Our first main was the Smoked Salmon and Crayfish Salad – a parcel of Scottish smoked salmon which, when pierced, out cascaded a plethora of crayfish tails. Hidden underneath this was a potato salad, with poppy seeds, carrot and a light, zingy, dill crème fraiche. The colours were magnificent!

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Smoked salmon and crayfish salad; Beckworth Emporium, Northamptonshire

My own main was the Deli Platter for One, which was perfect as, when confronted with a mass of delectable edibles, I am forever indecisive. A platter, with all of its ‘bits and bobs’, solves this problem… Diving into the smoked mackerel pâté, I knew my choice had pulled off – the platter, ‘though for one, was enormous and packed with morsels of scrumptious-ness. Blue cheese and I are best friends, so with my first little bite of it, I danced along in bliss through the rest (Milano salami, chutney, gherkins, more of that fabulous homemade bread… mmmm).

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Deli Platter; Beckworth Emporium, Northamptonshire

Just to tempt our bodies even more into exploding, we undid our belts and – between us – devoured the sweet (though not too sweet!) and gooey Maple and Pecan Slice.

With cream.

Clotted cream. (Which is, to me, the highest of all heavenly things.)

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Maple and Pecan Slice; Beckworth Emporium, Northamptonshire

Someone take me back.

Yours,

Joss

Tried and Tested – Salmon Burgers

15 Jan

In a panic after the inescapable Christmas weight gain, ‘healthy’ is the new tag word for my diet; or it should be, I am ever-tempted… So, last night we decided to try our hand at Good Food’s Superhealthy Salmon Burgers – salmon, thai red curry paste, ginger, loadsa chilli and garlic (we threw these in, ignoring the recipe – DON’T, the curry paste has more than enough as we found out) and a whole bunch of coriander.

Whizzing it all together with a hand blender, it was a peach coloured, sticky mess. I ummed and arred about this strange mix and began to wonder if it would be best to abandon ship, rather than to endure what was fast turning into a culinary disaster. When moulded into their prospective ‘burger shapes’ our salmon burgers seemed even more peach-like. I was concerned.

Into the pan! Finally a ray of hope as the strong Thai flavours hit the heat and began to smell amazing. Four minutes on either side – they really do need to be cooked through – and these little beauties (ugly duckling story, I tell you) were complete. Wrapped in a sheet of nori instead of a burger bun, a squeeze of wasabi  and a grilled, spiced salmon slice on Imagethe side. Definite success.

Yours,

Joss.

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