Thursday, 8 October 2015

Ginsters - Limited Edition Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (by @NLi10)

Lunches at work have been salad and fruit for a good few weeks, but sometimes time means I have to slum it and have a sandwich.  In those occasions I pop to the charity shop and get the meal deal where having the water and bad crisps subsidises the passable sandwiches (£3.25 on their own, £3.75 with both the drink and crisps!)

Yesterday I spotted this new Buffalo Chicken variety. I am familiar with this flavour sauce, even though I don't like eating Buffalo wings or other meat off the bone, but others seem less so. I was asked in the break room what a buffalo chicken was, and I jokingly explained it was the variety of chicken that buffalo wings come from. I think it was taken seriously and caused much confusion amongst the ladies. In reality the sauce is somewhere between hot sauce and BBQ and I quite enjoy it.

The chicken and salad are both fresh and tasty and the bread is interesting enough that I don't mind bulking up on it. The sauce is what makes this though and I want to have it on other things like hotdogs and burgers too - mmmmmm.

I actually had this again today, and still enjoyed it. There are other sandwiches in the limited range like chorizo but I think this Is my current favourite and worth the walk and steep asking price.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Golden Fish Cracker Hot & Spicy (Pinoy Foods) [By @SpectreUK]

I bought these Golden Fish Cracker Hot & Spicy flavour from one of my favourite import food haunts in Birmingham. Produced by the Narita Snack Food Corporation in Manila, which is the capital city of the Philippines, these crackers have a two chilli rating on the 200g bag. I usually ignore serving size suggestions, and at 40g it did seem reasonable, and even though I’m a bit of a gym freak at the moment, I still didn’t figure I could or should eat all 200g in one sitting. I’m not much of a sharer either, selfish I know, but hey… A guy’s gotta eat! However, if I don’t like something the greedy and pride sides of my bad nature are generally quickly overridden and I will readily pass them around (I know, what a generous soul!). Besides, if I don’t like these Golden Fish Cracker Hot & Spicy at least I’ve had an educational reminder that the capital city of the Philippines is Manila for when I’m playing Pointless on the TV from my armchair!

On opening the packet these reddish oddly shaped crackers emitted a decent fishy smell. They are very crunchy indeed, so if you buy these get your best gnashers ready. There is a fishy flavour throughout the crunchiness with a mild spice and saltiness. I wouldn’t say these crackers were Hot & Spicy though, but they are strangely moreish. After delving deeper into the packet I found a few crackers that were fish shaped, which made me feel better about the really bent and broken ones. I also noticed that the more I ate of these Golden Fish Crackers the gentle spice crept up on me leaving a pleasing chilli burn in my mouth and made my nose run a little. Maybe these are Hot & Spicy? You just have to dig a little deeper. I don’t think you’d go far wrong sharing these out at a party though, well, if you’re that way inclined!

Information on the packet;

Ingredients included; wheat flour, cassava flour, baking soda, salt, monosodium glutamate, fish flavour, hot &  spicy seasoning, natural spices, citric acid, natural flavours and colours.
By Spectre

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Mr Kipling Elf Slices (Waitrose) [By @Cinabar]

I'm sorry if this is early, but the Christmas themed goodies have already started to appear… eek! Disappointingly a lot of what I have seen are the same limited edition products from last year, which is a bit disappointing. There were one or two new things. I haven’t seen these new cake slices from Mr Kipling before so I picked them up. The Elf Slices are red and green in colour, mentioning drummers drumming on the box and are elf themed, they are undoubtedly christmassy. I purchased them with the intention of writing about them in early November. I can’t quite concentrate on Christmas until after Halloween.

As I was popping them onto the shelf at home the Best Before date caught my eye; “16 Oct”.
This date is significantly before Christmas, so I’ve kind of been forced into reviewing my first xmas cakes early. Inside the box are three sealed packs of two slices, which is a very good way to keep the uneaten cakes fresh until you want them.

The cake slices are very similar to all the Mr Kipling cake slices, soft sponge with a soft icing, that melts in the mouth. I mentioned earlier that they are green and red, but I think I should point out they are VERY green and red. I love colour, but these were bright by even my standards!
The flavour was sweet with plenty of apple, they had a very pleasant flavour, and were easy to eat. There wasn’t much in the way of seasonal cinnamon spice, but the apple taste was pleasantly fruity. These will make an excellent christmas treat, perfect to share with a coffee when friends come round. Just be aware of the ‘Best Before’ dates if you purchase them early.
By Cinabar

A Dark Rose ‘Choctail’ at The Trading House, London [By Fey]

Introducing Fey, who has been taste testing a cocktail for the upcoming London Cocktail Week /
National Chocolate Week at The Trading House, 89-91 Gresham Street, London…

When I heard the name of the new cocktail being launched by xxx was 'A Dark Rose Choctail' I was expecting it to be sickly sweet- even from someone with a relentless sweet tooth.

I'm happy to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. The cocktail had the perfect amount of sweetness without being overwhelming. It was milky, which made it a great comfort cocktail but the taste of rose was prominent enough to give it an edge. Overall it's a great alternative for Bailey's lovers.

I'd definitely recommend heading to the Trading House for cocktail week. It's in the heart of the City of London and whilst it definitely had a Tuesday nigh buzz it was still spacious and the staff were friendly and attentive throughout. I think the cocktail would be great after one of dishes from the home comforts menu for a cosy evening.
By Fey

Monday, 5 October 2015

White Maltesers Hot Chocolate (Tesco) [By @cinabar]

This is the new flavour hot chocolate from Mars in the pouch bag range. I'm incredibly fussy when it comes to hot chocolate, not many get my seal of approval, but I have found all the ones in these pouches from Mars have been really good, the Milky Way Stars and M&Ms being staples on my shopping list. I do think it is a shame they come in the smaller pouches though, they are resealable which is very useful but you don't get that many mugs worth from them which always seems a bit disappointing.

As with all the Mars pouch hot chocolates inside is the powder to make the drink but also actual pieces of chocolate to dissolve. The White Maltesers Hot Chocolate can be made with either hot milk or water, but to give it a fair taste test I went for milk as that is always the best.
There was a bit of stirring to ensure all the chocolatey goodness dissolved, but it wasn't hard to mix up. I went for the microwave option, because I like things simple.
In terms of taste the flavour was very sweet and very creamy, with had lots of malt. More malt than you get with Maltesers, more like a white Horlics, the ratio of maltiness to chocolate is just at a slightly different ratio. Having said that I enjoyed the drink, and found the flavour to be easy going and tasty.
In conclusion it was nice to try, and tasted as it aught to, lots of malt and creamy sweet white chocolate flavour, but I just prefer the soothing taste of the milk chocolate Milky Way Stars version. This is nice for a change, for when you need a sweet toothed treat, but I can't see it becoming a regular on my grocery shop.
By Cinabar

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Hobgoblin (Burts) - Spit Roast Steak Crisps [by @NLi10]

While visiting McTunny's Sweet Emporium in the Custard Factory, Birmingham UK I noticed that they had a range of crisps that I hadn't sampled yet.  As I keep forgetting to write up all the little bits of chocolate I pick up this seemed a good excuse for more lunch time snack reviews.

First up I tried the Hobgoblin Spit Roast Steak Crisps.  These look like perfect Pub Crisps being not only an interesting talking point, but linked to real ale.  I'm not sure about the spit roast part - does that mean it tastes of out door cooking?

The back of the pack confirms it - smokey BBQ and Hobgoblin Beer.  

Some of the tasters in the games shop I ate them in remarked on the similarity to Burts Guinness crisps, but it's likely that the same crisps are used with different flavours added.  All beers taste very similar to me, but I think side by side I'd be able to tell a stout from an ale! In isolation though these could be any meaty beery crisp.

As they are Burts they are decent quality, and people having one out the bag felt like they'd had too much as they are a lovely big size.  Very manly, very good for sharing. They are crisp and fresh as you'd expect, and the flavour while not massively distinct is meaty enough that veggies best stay away, and interesting enough that it doesn't feel like a typical supermarket lunch time crisp.

If you own a pub, or just like being in them then I can recommend these, they will go down well.  I could happily justify Kettle Chips size sharing bags of these for gatherings and not have to worry about wondering what to do with the last few.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

CloudWater Beer (@Beer52HQ) [By @SpectreUK]

Produced by Cloudwater Brewing Company in Manchester and very kindly supplied to me amongst seven other beers by Beer52, this 3.5% volume Cloudwater beer is part of their Summer range so catch it quick! Cloudwater is an interpretation of Saison or a French style of Pale Ale. The label on the bottle was a mine of information. Perle hops have been used for bitterness, whilst Eldorado, Willamette and Galaxy hops were used for aroma. Malts used were Best Ale, Wheat and Flaked Oat, whilst the yeast used was Belle Saison. The beer had a light floral smell with a wholesome wheatiness at the back of the aroma. This murky blonde beer was certainly big on flavour. All the hops seemed to have been pressing hard against a locked door. Each mouthful unlocked and let the door swing open as the hops piled on top of each other. The bitter hop fell in to start with, then the floral hops tripping over each other in a big pile with a crash bang wallop! There was a wheaty flavour at the end of the taste that stepped over the bustling hops and cheekily into the aftertaste. I hope Summer is not over for you folks, but if this is the starter I can't wait to try the other seven beers from Beer52.
By Spectre
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