Category: steak

lucha libre, manchester

so, it’s 2014 and i’ve hardly been out for any food!

no diets involved – simply time and getting my arse off the sofa at the weekend or after work.

to get ourselves back into the swing of eating out, the boyfriend treated me to a meal at lucha libre. opened in liverpool then extending to manchester, i had high hopes and they were (mostly) met.

lucha libre manchester menuinside, it’s nicely set up; a large bar area with plenty of drinking tables, eating tables towards the back, and a large dj booth upstairs. we were seated quickly and handed our menus, which is when we got very excited.

the idea is, as with many places this year, ‘family dining’ or ‘tapas’ (the buzzwords for a foodie 2014, perhaps?)

i personally think it’s a well priced menu, with some burritos and quesadilla only coming in at the £5 mark – a great mark for anyone wanting a quick, cheap and little bit naughty lunch.

we, naturally, wanted to try everything, so went for:

chicken empanada

jalapeno poppers

black beans

spicy fries

pork pil bil quesadilla

cali steak burrito

lucha libre feastto round up our thoughts rather than boring you all by going through the individual dishes, it was good – not great, but good!

there’s was just a little bit of something lacking, with the fries being the spiciest item on the table.

however, i did really enjoy my burrito, but only with a few drops of hot sauce; the steak was super moist, with plenty of guac, and i loved having the sweet potato fries inside the wrap, something i have been known to do at home.

chicken empanada lucha librethe chicken empanada, the perfect hand held item, was probably second on my list, providing a surprisingly light combination between chicken & chorizo.

i’m assured the pork was delicious, if a bit juicy! napkins on laps folks.

the thing to let it down? when wanting another drink it was a long wait before anyone noticed us – we had actually finished our meal by the time my wine came.

saying that, i’d go again, simply because i felt very content with both the price and fullness of my stomach. i’d simply be less thirsty.


happy new year!

happy 2014 everyone!

before saying goodbye to 2013 completely, here is a brief (but mouthwatering) look over the food i recently tucked in to during my christmas visit to sydney, australia!

IMG_0285beef & the trimmings on the plane from manchester – dubai

IMG_0290pasta with parmesan & avocado on the plane from dubai – sydney

IMG_0318steak sandwich & amazing fries at the lord nelson brewery pub

2013-12-25 11.29.26christmas day brunch!

2013-12-25 21.01.45

2013-12-25 21.32.43scallops to start & chicken roulade main at the oxford social for christmas dinner

2013-12-27 11.55.26

2013-12-27 11.55.31zucchini, shallot & sweetcorn fritters with bacon and tomato, and pancakes with pistachio cream at jelly fish on manly beach

2013-12-28 13.46.19chicken tikka wrap from wine odyssey at the rocks market

2013-12-28 20.09.192013-12-28 20.09.282013-12-28 20.09.37green chicken curry, chicken & coconut soup, and chicken satay at home thai restaurant

it really was a whirlwind trip (i was only there for a week!) but, as you can see, i managed to fit plenty of food adventures in.

here’s to a new year, filled with many more culinary delights and food-fuelled weekends. keep eating!

the general burgoyne, ulverston

over the last gloriously sunny weekend we had up north, we took a trip to the lake district.

visiting the practically-in-laws for a celebration, they took us to the general burgoyne – a short distance from the small town of ulverston, it’s had great reviews and i was looking forward to trying something traditional with roots in fine dining.

we were greeted by a small bar area, with a formal dining area on one side and more casual, gentleman’s lounge style area on the other. we ordered some drinks and then were taken through to our table; seated in an almost conservatory style room, this place gets warm, so don’t feel the need to take a jacket.

if you visit on a wednesday, you can sample their delicious sounding pies.

2013-09-28 19.50.20however, if you’re like us and you visit at the weekend (or any other day, for that matter) you can choose from a small but nicely formed a la carte menu. sadly, the lamb was off the menu on the saturday we visited, which did cause some disappointment amongst the table, but the other options kept them reasonably happy.

for starter, i went for the goats cheese bon bons, which seem to be cropping up on a few menus at the moment. they were perfectly creamy and well balanced by both the crispy exterior and pine nut & olive accompaniment.

WP_20130928_006 the other stand out starter was the chicken and sweetcorn ‘soup’ – chicken and sweet chilli wontons served in a broth, surrounded by cylinders of chicken. in terms of presentation and creativity, this received much admiration.

WP_20130928_007for main, i played relatively safe and went for the rump steak, medium rare, with the traditional grill side. in hindsight, i wish i had gone for the mediterranean vegetables, but you win some – you lose some! the steak was the perfect colour for me, if a bit chewy towards the end, and the onion rings were sadly a real disappointment. luckily, the twice cooked chips and peppercorn sauce made up for the batter-based failings!

WP_20130928_008when dessert rolled around, we were all (almost) full to bursting but we just had to try the award winning ‘peanuts and a pint’.

WP_20130928_010the presentation was beautiful; a ‘pint’ of chocolate tom ale jelly, topped with vanilla pannacotta, peanut brittle and a caramel and peanut ice cream. sadly, the flavour was just a bit too unusual for me – i enjoy the brittle and the pannacotta, but the salty-sweet ice cream just didn’t sit right. i’m not an ale drinker in the first place, so the jelly was a bit of a no-go, though i completely appreciate the thought behind it.

well worth a visit if you’re in the area. i expect i will be visiting for pie night in the near future.

3twentyone, manchester

it’s not often that i come to blows with the other half about food. we tend to see eye to eye on lots of things – i trust his judgement, as he does mine.

well, i thought this was the case until we went to 3twentyone manchester and had probably one of the biggest bust ups of our relationship!

bbq food literally has the power to make or break us. (it didn’t, fair readers, but the drama is great right?)

3twentyone is based above the deansgate pub, an unassuming location near to the plush hilton hotel and around the corner from the somewhat seedy and usually frowned upon deansgate locks. there was the promise of a ‘smokehouse & liquor’ experience, so we were sold.

presented with our food and drinks menus, i instantly noticed a lack of anything liquor based – was it too much of me to expect at least a few cocktails? i was happy to drink my wine down, but this irked me already.

when it came to ordering, our starter options were the half rack of starter ribs and nachos.


WP_20130913_003the nachos were completely underwhelming, though it has been pointed out to me that y’know, there’s only so much you can do.  the ribs turned out to be the highlight of the entire meal – great spice, falling off the bone, and with that surprise pot of chips.

mains, however, were a different story. i chose the chicken stack, mr. thg the beef brisket handful/sandwich. after the waiter walked away, he came back to inform us they had neither. oh.

so then began the deliberation; the menu is full of tasty treats, but i was after something a bit ‘different’ i.e. not pulled pork (as much as i love it.)

we eventually went for a hanger steak and merchant of venice burger. a few moments after ordering, we heard the chef declare to the waiters that beef brisket was back on the menu. amazing, we thought, and asked to change the burger, which was fine – until one of the chefs in the back kitchen came out to complain to the ‘show’ chef in the open kitchen about the change in order. all within ear shot. sigh.


WP_20130913_008well, this is what we ended up with.  my hanger steak was tasty, but nowhere near the best i’ve had. it was left on the pass (open to public view) for at least 10 minutes, so arrived fairly cold, and i’d rather cut my own steak up. at least if it came in one there’d be less chance of it being cold!

the beef brisket handful was worth the daggers it came with; as soft as the bun it came on, with a nice sweetcorn relish, and more chips.

WP_20130913_007our sides consisted of corn on the cob and onion rings, firms favourites, and these were tasty. plus, thank god for whoever invented corn on the cob holders.

however, by this point in the meal i was feeling pretty dissapointed.

staff seemed lacking in that oomph, more concentrated on behind the scenes action than what was happening with our meal, and the food didn’t provide that bbq gluttony the menu promised.

perhaps i’m being a bit mean, or perhaps i’m just bitter that mr. thg’s meal was obviously better than mine, but i think 3twentyone will have to up its game to fight for its place in the manchester meat market.