mumu steakhouse preston

 

Travelling all the way to Preston on a weeknight is not really my idea of a fun evening, however I had been hankering for a good steak for some time and if I had to go all the way to Preston to get it than so be it. Worth the risk I thought. Not only that, but it had been some time since my dad and I had indulged in an FD day (Father-daughter) and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to spend an evening together, seeing as I’ve been so busy over the last few months.

The minute the clock ticked 5, I was off straight onto the motorway and within the hour I was back amongst the familiar landscapes of Lancashire, ready to tackle an evening at Mumu steakhouse.

We walked in, earlier than our booking, but luckily the restaurant was empty so we were shown straight to our table. Table of choice as it happens, as there was no one else to compete with. It’s always a bit unnerving to enter a restaurant and be the only ones there, but I knew it wasn’t quite dinner time yet and it wasn’t long before the crowds started piling in.

The first thing you’ll notice is although there is good looking bar to the right as you enter, not a drop of booze is visible. Everything here is non alcoholic, juices, milkshakes and a selection of mocktails for those wanting something a tad more interesting. All the meat here is halal and it’s good to know that it’s also locally sourced too.

The menu has a great selection – but not too much. A lot of similar restaurants tend to go OTT with their menu and it really dilutes the quality of the dishes. The menu clearly explained the different steak cuts, a big help for anyone unsure (my dad still felt the need to explain it to me anyway).

 

 

After giving our drinks order, I asked our waiter, Mani, for his recommendations. The burger, rib-eye steak and chicken wings were his top tips. Funnily enough, that was pretty much what I had in mind anyway, I tweaked my order ever so slightly to correspond with the sauces he recommended.

Our starter, chicken wings in buffalo sauce landed, I immediately gasped at the portion size. Wow there were six wings on our tray, all a pretty decent size. Best plan of action was going to be to taste a few and take the rest home. We had both ordered a big main to get through so we had to be sensible.

Turns out, it just wasn’t possible. The moment I sunk my teeth into that first piece of chicken, I was hooked. That buffalo slightly spicy sauce was delicious. Both of us just didn’t stop. My dad’s not one for a large appetite and he’s not usually a big fan of chicken either, but this starter really went down a treat. It was only a starter, but I would certainly return just for this, bring the rest of the family too.

 

 

Needless to say, we finished the lot. As much as I love Mo, there was no way any of that chicken was making it home that night. Mani popped up almost on cue with a warm bowl of lemon water as we obviously hadn’t even bothered with the niceties of cutlery, we’d decided to go traditional and picked our wings apart by hand. the cleansing bowl meant we could simply remain where we were and await our next dish without having to get up and wash our hands.

Our energy levels lifted a notch, as we excitedly waited for our mains. The starter was impressive and we hoped it bode well for the what was to follow. Pretty soon we were lost in our usual weird and wonderful conversations, my dad educating me on the importance of good quality socks (bizarre I know, but my dad assures me it is an important topic).

Another great thing about this restaurant, the open plan kitchen, visible as soon as you walk in. It was so clean! When you’re dealing with meat, grills, sticky sauces… it was nice to see such a clear kitchen workspace. and there were no issues with intense smells or smoke (very unlike how it would have been had I been cooking in my own kitchen). The standard of the whole restaurant was very impressive. The music wasn’t blaring, allowing us to have this very serious ‘socks’ conversation without having to shout over background noise.

Just as my dad was getting into the nitty gritty details of how he had scoped out the appointed sock-maker for the Queen in his quest for perfect pair of socks, I was saved by the arrival of our hefty mains.

I had chosen the famous homemade 6oz burger with smoked cheese and shoe string fried onions and portion of sweet potato fries. My dad, the 11oz rib-eye with secret Mumu sauce and hand cut fries.

 

 

Ultimate test, was it how we requested? Yes it was! Both were medium rare, perfect. You know what, when it comes to halal steak restaurants, getting the meat exactly how you ask is pretty much most of the battle. It was refreshing to finally have somewhere that got it just right first time.

With the burger, a handmade patty is always going to win my heart, this one was beautifully topped with caramelised string onions and the salsa was a fab addition. There was a special offer that month, free milkshake with every burger meal and it made for a great accompaniment.

Alas we were faced once again with the dilemma that finishing our mains would result in us being full to the brim and wouldn’t allow any room for dessert. It was a risk we decided to take. There was no way we were about to waste any of this quality meat. Dessert would simply have to wait for our next visit.

I’ve never been very complimentary to halal steak houses, everything is usually quite samey-samey. Mumu have done a fantastic job, choosing a few dishes and putting their efforts into doing them well. I’ve read further reviews since then which actually compliment the fish dishes as well as the meat ones, which is good to know.

I’ll be honest, there was a chance this experience could have gone terribly wrong as my dad is probably one of the fussiest eaters I know (not an exaggeration, dad you know its true!) but it was such a relief to see we both left behind empty plates. My dads only criticism, he could’ve done with some more mushrooms.

Mumu steakhouse was definitely the perfect venue for an overdue FD day, met all dads criteria: clean, well cooked meat and we had no other distractions.

Definitely worth the 60 mile round trip.

 

 

*** Big thanks to Mumu Steakhouse for inviting us down that evening, and to Mani and Matthew for providing us great service that night. Thanks to my dad for joining me after work and for providing me with some thought-provoking conversation 😉 As always all opinions and photographs on here are my own. The only editing once again has been brightness (it was quite dark in the restaurant). My dad and I very much look forward to returning with the rest of the family!! ***

 

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Enzo Manchester review header image

 

New pizza place in Manchester?

Oh yes please, let me just call up my pizza-loving sister and we’ll be there, don’t you worry.

Enzo has had a successful run from its base in Nantwich and there was a lot of hype online when the news spread that they were looking into opening a city centre restaurant. Sure enough they followed through with their plan and last week we called in for the launch evening.

Traffic had been an absolute nightmare, so the minute I flung my car into a space, I ran to secure my seat at the new Fountain Street pizzeria. Walking in a bit flustered from my run, I was greeted with smiles and was offered a nice cool drink as I chose a perfect, people-watching window spot.

A few moments later, a wonderful waitress came round with a plate of marathon peanut butter bars, cut into bitesize pieces ready for tasting. Not a great lover of chocolate, but hungry and with still no sign of my guest, I decided to try one as a tummy teaser. So much nicer than I was expecting! In fact so nice I needed another when she passed by again. I had my eye on that plate for an apres-pizza treat.

 

 

It wasn’t long before my sister showed up and we were ready to try a selection of the menu and see how Enzo had managed to establish itself in the competitive world of pizza making.

When I ran past earlier, I thought it was quite strange that they were so close to Pizza Hut, setting themselves not just on the same street but literally a few feet away from an established brand selling the same product, very strange no?

As the pizzas started to be brought round I realised that they may both be selling pizza, but that’s about the only similarity. There’s no deep pan here at Enzo, all the dough is prepared fresh on site daily and it’s very much all about the authentic crispy, Italian-style pizzas, offering a variety of unusual – well thought out – toppings.

As the meat wasn’t halal, they made sure to pass round a selection of vegetarian options for us, including some that were vegan friendly. Vegan cheese isn’t one of my favourite things on earth, but it wasn’t bad, and my un-enthusiasm is linked more to personal preference rather than taste.

 

 

The pesto pizza with feta was a real treat, as well as the buffalo mozzarella. With all these delicious varieties being showcased, I grabbed at the menu wandering where they planned on fitting themselves in price wise. Nice surprise, the prices of even the fanciest sounding pizzas were very reasonable.

Before heading off we were also treated to a couple of pasta dishes to try out, just like the dough all pasta is homemade, fresh on site! Now thats impressive.

 

 

The energy at Enzo was really refreshing. They look like an established franchise-style restaurant, but the service and grounding of the company is very much that of a family-run independent, where the focus is on keeping things fresh, wholesome, ensuring there is real taste and passion in everything they do and serve. Nice to see such a place in the middle of the big City.

It’s a feat making the journey into a high profile city centre location, for anyone, but more so for restaurants. The food scene in Manchester has definitely taken off over the last few years, with seriously stiff competition. Hopefully Enzo will continue doing what they do best, focusing on keeping the food ‘real’ and the atmosphere positive. I look forward to seeing them stay on for the long haul!!

Can’t wait to take the boys with us next time, see if the coffee is as good as the pizza…

 

 

*** Many thanks to Enzo Manchester for inviting us to the launch evening. As usual all opinions, thoughts and images are my own. In keeping with my last article on going ‘real’ with my photos, all images here have not been adjusted in any way! ***

 

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Grand Pacific Manchester Review

 

When I first received the email for the Grand Pacific launch, I didn’t even look at it, I just said yes. I was away at the time and all I had received was an invite stating it’s location, the date and there was a cool graphic image of a pineapple. Honestly – that pineapple was the only reason I agreed, I simply thought pineapple accessories are Mo’s favourite so if that was the theme of this place, I was all for it.

 

The Venue

If you’re familiar with Manchester City Centre, Grand Pacific is situated where Room used to be, Spring Gardens – a great location. We arrived on the cold launch night starving and ready to eat. The first thing I noticed before walking in were the beautiful door handles on the glass doors at the entrance. A beautiful brass pineapple split into 2, one half for each door – the pineapple being the logo of Grand Pacific. The hostesses were very cheery on arrival, they politely took our coats and asked us whether we wanted drinks at the (busy) bar, or if we wanted to be taken straight to our table. Bellies rumbling, we chose the latter option.

 

 

Interiors start to step up the minute you hit the stairs, as I looked up towards the sweeping staircase and it was a real masterpiece. A truly majestic entrance for what we discovered, is a truly majestic place.

As we got to the top of the stairs, the house beats were pumping, not too loud so we couldn’t hear ourselves, but loud enough to let us know Grand Pacific is here and it is here to stay. This place is serious interior design porn and for design junkies like Mo and I, we literally couldn’t get enough of how spectacular this place looked by night. The gorgeous lights, the beautiful bar area, the old fireplace thankfully still intact, my eyes darted across the space simply trying to take everything in.

 

 

The hostess took us to our table, which (to our surprise) was the best table in the house, with views of the entire restaurant and bar, raised slightly higher than the rest of the restaurant seating and with views of King Street just through the window. It is the far corner table, by huge windows, crowned with a beautiful, crystal chandelier. We couldn’t believe our luck. Other bloggers were due to join me but ended up sitting elsewhere so we had eventually had the table to ourselves. Happy hubby!

 

 

It’s funny because as we sat there soaking it all in, a feeling of deja vu started to creep up on us… we realised the last time we had visited Room was seven years ago where I had met up with some of my old school friends to introduce them to the man that I had just got engaged to. It was so bizarre to be in the same place and near enough the same month at such a different point in our life and to then revisit many moons later. Very surreal and really put into perspective how much had changed not just at this venue, but in our lives too.

Ok moment over back to the night…

The table was dressed impeccably. The glassware and cutlery glinting away like jewels under the subtle lighting. As a typography lover, the lettered embroidery on the napkins was driving me nuts – I loved it! I know, that’s a really weird thing to point out, but if you too had a love for lettering you would totally understand where I’m coming from!!

Seated and comfortable, the staff came to collect our drinks and then food orders. We literally didn’t know where to begin. Our waiter for the night was Marcus, who knew this menu inside out. He was able to advise on dishes, portion sizes and recommended his own particular favourites. And the best bit, he spoke about the menu with such passion, it was literally a breath of fresh air. He was also very patient with me constantly asking him questions and struggling to make a decision.

 

The Food

Grand Pacific is designed to evoke old school sophistication, with a menu inspired by the tropical lands of the old empire. To that end and to our luck, there was plenty of fish on the menu, which was perfect as the meat is not halal.

For starters, we had the tuna and salmon lomi and chirashi sushi bowl. The sushi was a large portion and could quite easily have been a main, but both dishes were incredible and the fish tasted so fresh, I felt they could quite literally have been caught that morning. The fish from my chirashi bowl was amongst some of the best sashimi I’ve tried, the fish had no smell and pretty much melted on my tongue – it was exactly what I had been craving.  Pickled mackerel, avocado slices, sushi rice… it was an artistic creation for the eyes and the taste buds.

 

 

For mains, Mo ordered the tempura Szechuan sea bass with crispy noodles, pineapple and cucumber and I had the tea smoked salmon with cucumber salad.

Again, absolutely impeccable both in taste and presentation. The Szechuan sea bass was the overriding winner though. Two large fillets of fluffy white fish, lightly battered in a chili tempura batter and served with a bed of crispy noodles drizzled in the most beautiful sauce. Although my salmon had been smoked, it was delicately infused with additional flavour, a more conservative portion in comparison to the gargantuan sea bass, but no less satisfying.

Mo says that there is always a separate belly for dessert and tonight was no exception. I ordered the creme brûlée with jasmine tea bread and rose petal jelly, Mo had the chocolate fondant with ice cream and honeycomb. The fondant was delicate and soft and the molten lava chocolate inside erupted beautifully as soon as Mo put his spoon through. Even as a non-chocolate lover, I can attest to the fact that it was DELICIOUS. The salted caramel sauce, honeycomb and peanuts were a nice textural touch and of course cleverly complimented the rest of it.

 

 

Overall, our experience of Grand Pacific was excellent. The location, the interiors, the staff and most importantly the nosh, are all nothing short of superb.

Prices are on the higher side and although they are justified given the quality of what you getting and the ambiance of this sensational building and space, this may be one you want to reserve for special occasions.

We almost certainly will be back.

 

 

*** Thank you to Grand Pacific for inviting us to the launch of their restaurant. As always my opinions are not influenced and Mo and I look forward to visiting again some time in the near future ***

 

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heart & parcel

 

Have you ever had the pleasure of enjoying a meal out you know has been cooked straight from the heart?

No?

Well I feel extremely privileged to say that I have.

My mum is a fantastic cook and I know that every dish she gifts me with is one that she has cooked with no other thought than to make me happy, and yes this is the premise that every chef should have but when you go to a restaurant you can’t expect them to have that same personal connection with you.

However…

Should you be invited to a supper club… well the rules of the game begin to change.

The menu is pre-set. The tables are pre-booked. The setting is generally more homely, much more intimate.

Throw in two of the loveliest hosts you’ll ever meet and you are in for a heart-warming night.

Last Monday I visited the Heart and Parcel supper club for the first time. Despite endless nagging and lectures from my sister to book in and trial out one of their events, I’ve just never had the chance. It was a place I had been genuinely dying to check out, yet I was not really sure what to expect.

I think I’ll start with giving you just a little bit of background on this project…

Heart and Parcel was founded by two friends who simply share an interest in dumplings and social work. They set up this project as they realised there was a need for greater support within their community to help migrant women support and respect each other, all the while teaching valuable English skills which will in turn, help them realise their full potential.

“Making dumplings involves many hands, communication and teamwork. We use this process as a method to engage with women using English as the medium.”

Simple idea right? Simple, effective and you can tell both Karolina and Clare work their socks off for this.

As well as running courses and getting these women together, the ladies also sell dumplings at markets, offer private workshops and of course… host supper clubs to raise funds to put back into this amazing project.

Which brings me back to our evening.

So off we went to meet friends and family at the Inspire centre in Levenshulme. We were greeted at the door by Karolina and Clare, both dressed beautifully in traditional Asian attire, a really cute touch (and they both looked fab). We were shown to our table and offered drinks until the room had been filled ready for us to start.

 

Images taken from www.heartparcel.wordpress.com

 

Last week was the largest supper club event they had ever run in a single sitting, 50 covers I believe, yet it didn’t feel rushed, overly busy or noisy. In fact, I’m pretty sure we must’ve been the noisiest!!

Once all the tables were filled the starters arrived… quite a decent portion too. Bal bora, Sodji pakora with eastern slaw, apple chutney and mint sauce. DELICIOUS. Devoured mine at super speed, completely forgetting that we had many more dishes to come so I probably should have paced myself. I don’t think there was a single element left on anyone’s plate actually, it was a real hit.

 

 

And so too were the other dishes, one by one they filtered out of the kitchen, just the right portion sizes, neatly presented no element from the menu forgotten (I ate a few too many seriously spicy chilli’s that set my mouth on fire but that was totally my fault – I didn’t learn after the first one I ate!). We were treated to a traditional Bengali fish curry, Okra & tomato, stir fried cabbage and mushroom served with roti bread and rice. The sweet semolina pancake at the end was something I thought I wouldn’t enjoy much, I’m quite fussy about my desserts, but I ended up inhaling it within seconds, leaving only the glazed cherry.

In between our courses Karolina and Clare asked for our attention for a few minutes where they brought out the three chefs, Monira, Bibi and Sweety and they each held the floor to introduce themselves and pass on their thanks in their newly learnt English.

It was magic.

These women had been attending the ESOL classes and had been learning to speak a language that wasn’t native to them and here they were standing up in front of a crowd of people trying their best to show us their skills. I know I would have struggled to do such a thing.

I was so impressed by their bravery. One of the ladies got a bit emotional, all because she was so happy that we had made the effort to come out and support them by enjoying food that represented… well it represented them. It was their national cuisine, food that they know and love.

Everyone has a food that reminds them of ‘home’ and this was theirs. That’s a special kind of meal right there and all fifty of us were privileged enough to share it with them.

All three returned to the supper club floor later on, to check everything was ok and to practice a bit more of their English speaking skills one on one. It was a lovely touch and really made the whole evening quite memorable.

Each month the Heart and Parcel club try to go one step further, they share something different, but they never forget the reason they are doing it and you can tell that they do everything to show that these ladies who work hard in the kitchen for us, are definitely the stars of the show.

I can’t think of a bad thing to say about this experience.

Ok thats a little lie – the cumin tea wasn’t really my thing! But I’m always up for experimenting, thats another thing I love about this concept, I got to try things I never would have normally picked out. If the tea at the end was the only thing that didn’t catch my fancy, I’d say that’s pretty good going. (My not taking to the tea could also have been a consequence of me eating way too much food).

I’m going to end by saying Heart and Parcel supper club only release a certain allocation of seats each month and I believe they sell out each time.

Bearing that in mind I do believe the next batch will be due out pretty soon and you know what? Now that I’ve had a taste of this experience…

I’ll bloody fight you for those tickets.

 

 

P.s. if you get some time please visit their website and read more about it, you’ll be impressed trust me!

-> https://heartparcel.wordpress.com – this is not a request from them, this is a request from me 🙂

 

*** Thank you to hafs and G for treating Mo and I to dinner as part of his birthday treat, and thank you once again to Heart and Parcel and all of the ladies who make these supper clubs a great success. I hope you realise how amazing you are and how inspiring your project is. Keep up the good work and see you next month! ***

 

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I’ve mentioned many times, breakfast is my hubby Mos favourite meal of the day. Back when we first got together, weekends would entail a lavish spread to kick off the morning, I even created an omelette which became famous amongst family and friends (aka the heart-attack omelette).

But alas, my breakfast making skills have majorly slacked over the years. Weekends are now so busy, I wake up just as early as I do on a weekday in order to grab a large mug of tea and settle down on my desk to catch up on work. By the time poor Mo gets up I am completely engrossed in my own world and not hungry, so he ends up having breakie all by himself.

Not last weekend though. Last weekend I decided I would surprise him with a breakfast treat. Not only would he be able to enjoy a continental hotel breakfast (his favourite) but he would receive my undivided attention and company throughout the meal (not sure if he reckons that’s a good or bad thing).

So off we went, a mere ten minutes down the road, to the Worsley Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club. Considering it’s the closest spa hotel to us, I couldn’t quite believe that this was our first time visiting, especially since we’ve driven by many times in the past.

 

image taken from Worsley Park Marriott

 

The grounds are beautiful, the golf course is quite well known, perfectly manicured. We walked into the hotel to an oasis of calm, and subtle floral smells. I instantly turned to Mo and said ‘we need to spa here’ – but that wasn’t what we there for that day, so back to the matter at hand…

The polite reception staff directed us to the The Grill, where we were taken to our seats in what was already quite a busy restaurant floor. Lots of varied lighting levels, comfy seating and booths and lovely views out the window.

Tea and coffee ordered we set off to explore the buffet and it wasn’t long before I found the infamous waffle maker, and even though the portion looked like it was enough for two, I ordered one just for me. As the waffle was being made, I had four minutes to whizz around and decide what I would have to accompany it.

What followed was a ginormous plate of EVERYTHING. I saw that waffle and raised it by a topping of beans. A dash of barbecue sauce (gives the beans a kick), a couple of hash browns, poached eggs and two freshly prepared vegetarian sausages.

 

 

After feeling completely satisfied I had piled on as much as I could, I took my seat to gaze at my creation. I named it the ultimate waffle tower. And it was glorious. On arriving, I had every intention of creating a beautiful-instagrammable-display of deliciousness, but of course that’s really not me. I am all about the food, and this ultimate waffle tower in front of me, was like a Chick vs food challenge that I had set up all for myself.

Mo came back with his respectably laid out plate, omelette, toast, pastries… all the sensible stuff. He took one look at mine, raised one curious eyebrow and with a bemused smile pointed out the obvious… ‘aren’t you meant to put syrup on that?’

Quick roll of my eyes and I tucked in. Wow this was good. The waffle on its own – the batter was slightly sweet, not too sweet, just ever so slightly sweet. delicious! Poached eggs, I wasn’t quite sure if they looked like they had been poached properly (they looked hard boiled from the outside) but one swift pop and oh no that yolk was oozing out just the way it should be. Vegetarian sausage, was really tasty on its own accord and definitely on par with our all time favourite from Giraffe, so that right there puts this breakie in a very good position.

Despite the ginormous portion I had created, I did in fact finish the whole thing. Every last bite and boy did I enjoy it. Mo also enjoyed his, the omelette was definitely a stand out favourite for him, but even after polishing off his own plate – he did end up going back up to order a waffle. Which he also thoroughly enjoyed – with syrup.

It was nice to bump into another fellow blogger too, the lovely Claire from Good egg Foodie (blog full of food fun!). She mentioned her and her other half used to come to the Marriott regularly for Sunday lunch, something they would like to start up again and something that Mo and I might look to try too – although we’d probably prefer to come back for the continental in all honesty, it was such a great start to our Saturday.

Mo and I could easily have sat around for hours, but unfortunately we had a busy day ahead. We did make time to quickly pop in at the spa – for a quick nosey, brief chat and to pick up a  price leaflet, the staff were extremely friendly and helpful, and of course the actual spa section smelt even more amazing than the lobby! (I wanted to book in right then).

All in all I definitely racked up some brownie points with the husband which was of course the aim of the day after abandoning him for two weeks whilst I enjoyed exploring Myanmar. He got to enjoy a full continental breakfast and my undivided attention all in one morning sitting.

Great location, great food and some pretty fab company. Perhaps we should make this a regular thing?

( It sure beats me having to do it 😉 )

 

 

Thinking of visiting? Here’s what I can tell you:
Breakfast starts at 6:30am – 11am on weekdays, 7am – 11am on weekends
Residents can add for £10 upon check in and for those not staying overnight, Breakfast is £16 for the buffet and £12 for continental.

Click here to check out the Worsley Park Marriott’s website.

 

Do you enjoy going out for breakfast? Do you do it regularly? If you’ve visited the spa here at Worsley Park Marriott I’d love to know what you thought for future reference! 🙂

 

***Thank you to the Worsley Park Marriott for inviting us for breakfast, look forward to returning the next time we’re home for the weekend***

The Dining Rooms - Worsley Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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