Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: cocktails

To The Door- February

Jordan’s Cereal

Thanks to the kind people at Performics I have been sampling some Jordan’s Granola and Absolute Nut Bars.  I am already a fan of Jordan’s and often buy their granola but I had never tried this particular variety- Super Fruity.

It was packed full of raspberries, redcurrents and pomegranate and the tart flavours worked very well with the sweet taste of the honied oats. For me this is an excellent flavour combination.

I also enjoyed the Absolute Nut Bars. As a snack these were filling and packed full of nuts and soft oats. The best thing about them was the fact that they had whole almonds in them so you could really taste them and got a good crunch in contrast with the oats.

Jordans

Sweet Mandarin Sauce

I was sent three dipping sauces from Sweet Mandarin; Sweet and Sour, Sweet Chilli and Barbeque. Sweet Mandarin have recently launched in Sainsburys. All are very nice and are gluten free which appealed to me. I wanted to try them because I am often left wanting with gluten free products but these were very good and I wouldn’t have guessed they were gluten free.

I was sent some recipe cards with the sauces which I didn’t get around to trying, I prefer to make my own recipes but I did make a very nice salmon dish with the sweet chilli sauce (which is my favourite) and I used the barbeque sauce on ribs which worked very nicely.

I was also sent some cocktail recipes. If you like a Bloody Mary, you might be interested in the Bloody Barbeque Mary:

2 part vodka

2 part tomato juice

1 part Sweet Mandarin Barbeque Sauce.

Pour into a cocktail shaker with ice and serve.

If you try this I’d be interested to know what you think.

Sweet Mandarin

Rapeseed oil

After a Twitter conversation about rapeseed oil being used as a substitute for ghee, Mr Hughs were kind enough to send me some of their rapeseed oil to try. I am in fact already a convert. I love the nutty flavour of this oil and it really does work very nicely in place of ghee. I also use it in place of olive oil because I love the flavours in cooking and drizzled over a dish to finish it off.

Rapeseed Oil

Rachel’s Rhubarb and Strawberry yogurt

Fat free but not lacking in flavour, this Rachel’s Organic yogurt had plenty of chunks of fruit running through its usual creamy texture. Obviously it isn’t as thick and creamy as the full fat version but for a low fat yogurt, it was very good and one that I would buy in future. The flavours worked very well together with the strawberry taming the tartness of the rhubarb.

Rachel's yogurt

Love Pickle

Another Twitter conversation led to the arrival of a jar of Premium Chilli Tomato Pickle by Love Pickle. It is available in different variations of heat and I asked for extra hot. Aside from liking things spicy, I asked for extra hot because so often I am disappointed with products when they are described as ‘hot’ and in fact turn out to be relatively mild.

I’m pleased to say, this pickle was extra hot. It has a lovely bitter savoury taste reminiscent of the traditional lime pickle enjoyed as part of Indian food. The flavours were excellent with a fine texture. I enjoyed this with poppadoms and with some cheese and biscuits.

Love pickle

Thanks to everyone who sent me products this month. It is much appreciated.

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Henry’s Cafe Bar- Great cocktails but the food didn’t hit the mark

When I was asked to review Henry’s Cafe Bar recently I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have only eaten lunch there once but it was a long time ago but I am a regular when it comes to their wonderful cocktails.

We chose to go on a Friday so that we could experience it on a busy day but we also went early so that it wasn’t so busy that the staff were rushed off their feet. We actually unwittingly picked the time that lots of diners were enjoying a pre-theatre dinner so it was really busy when we arrived but we found a free table and despite the crowds, we were served immediately by a friendly waiter. The menu looked very promising. It was much more refined than we thought it would be and we became very enthusiastic about what was to come.

At 7.15, people started to leave but they left behind many tables full of dirty dishes and glasses. Half an hour later, the tableware was cleared away but there were still crumbs and unlaid tables and a washing up bowl left on one of the tables. I can understand that everyone left together which meant there was lots of work to do in a short time but I would have thought that this would have been anticipated as it happens whenever there is something on at the theatre and that more staff would have been on hand to help.

Nevertheless, the friendly efficient waiter continued to serve and promptly took our orders. Unfortunately, our top two starters were not available so I chose Avocado with Crispy Pancetta and Spinach. Mr V chose the Shallot Tarte Tatin but that wasn’t available either so the waiter offered him a beetroot (rather than shallot) option instead which he politely accepted.

The starters arrived promptly. Mr V’s tarte tatin was beautifully presented but it wasn’t cooked properly. In fact the pastry was raw and he couldn’t eat it.

My avocado with crispy pancetta and spinach was better but the ‘crispy’ pancetta was actually lardons and they were anything but crispy and the dish was quite oily and greasy.

We ordered another cocktail and hoped the mains would be better. Mr V chose Spatchcocked Poussin with Garlic, Thyme & Lemon and I chose the Chicken & Prawn Jambalaya. My Jambalaya was nice. It had a healthy kick to it and it was packed full of meat making it a fair price at £11.95.

Mr V’s main wasn’t quite as described. It was supposed to come with potatoes but the waiter explained it would be served with puy lentils instead. It arrived with puy lentils in a broth with over boiled celery and carrots. The Poussin was very well cooked and fell off the bone which was good but it meant that little pieces of cartilage and bone got lost in the broth making it slightly unpleasant to eat.

Feeling disappointed, we moved onto dessert. I soon cheered up when I noticed a Blueberry Cream and Mint Tart but unfortunately, they had run out of that one so I settled for an Apple and Blackberry Crumble and Mr V had a Chocolate Brownie.

Both were well presented again. Mr V’s brownie was ok but it was a little dry.

My crumble looked nice but it tasted very average and came with a jug of tepid custard that didn’t know whether it was supposed to be hot or cold.

All in all, the food was disappointing on this occasion. It’s a real shame because for drinks Henry’s is a real favourite of mine. I used to frequent it as a student for cocktails many years ago and now it is a favourite for after work drinks or on a night out. It’s the kind of place where there is a combination of people wearing suits, jeans or even fancy dress and everyone feels at ease, there is no discrimination.

I like the decor and the staff are always friendly. Our waiter on this visit was excellent but the food just didn’t hit the mark. Henry’s call themselves a Cafe Bar but I’m not sure that this fits with what they are offering. It seems to me that they are trying to do too much and as a result they are serving confit of duck with a bottle of ketchup which just doesn’t work.

For drinks, this is a great choice but with so many other options for dinner, I think I will go elsewhere in future.

My Last Mouthful was: Chicken & Prawn Jambalaya

Service –

Atmosphere and decor –

Quality of food- /

Diversity of menu- (would have been green had they had everything on the menu)

Value for money-

Overall rating

The Hilton- Afternoon Tea Christmas style!

Last week Mrs. J and I went along to the Hilton for the launch of their Christmas Cocktails and Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Metropole Lounge.

Our coats were taken and we were shown into the chilled out lounge area to a table displaying the various cocktails and afternoon teas on offer, including one for men complete with a mini burger and a whiskey!

After chatting to some of the accommodating Hilton staff, we took a seat and were brought a Christmas cocktail aptly named ‘A Partridge in a Pair Tree’ and a cake stand filled with Christmas themed delights! We dug into the Christmas shaped sandwiches and then worked our way down to the generous helping of cakes and sweets.

Hightlights were the Christmas tree iced biscuit, the snowman cupcake and the mini mince pies. There were also lots of cocktail samples doing the rounds which were a nice accompaniment to the cakes.

The Metropole Lounge is a very nice venue, made even better by the musician that was playing while we were there. Singing her own acoustic versions of well-known songs, she was outstanding! I would go back just to listen to her beautiful voice.

The Hilton have lots of themed afternoon teas including a recent Halloween one which is a very good idea. Priced at £19.95 with mulled wine or £14.95 without, I think it will appeal to lots of shoppers during the Christmas rush. I would be interested to go along on a normal day to sample the orignal Welsh version complete with tea as I’ve heard they have an impressive selection!

Christmas Afternoon Tea is available until 30th December so if the Christmas shopping madness all become too much, you know where to go!

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