23 June 2024

Digbeth Day - Indian Street Food [@NLi10]

 There was a mini festival in Digbeth to encourage people to wander down from Birmingham town centre now that Birmingham council have moved most of the roadworks.  They haven't finished - but that's another story. 

As the shops down here were hit twice, by Covid and the traffic issues it's a great thing to see them being supported.  I went mostly to pop into Wayland's Forge and to see the street food.

I spotted this Indian street food place on the way past so knew I'd be fine, but was shocked to see there were 3 food stalls and one cocktail bar - and that they'd squeezed them in at the back of the carpark.  I know it's probably important to have an area for the vendors to park but it seemed a bit cramped and out of the way of the rest of the activities.

You do get a good view of the old custard factory from here, and as you can wander into Zellig and the Custard Factory courtyard I suspect most people won't have spotted this bit.  

The prices seemed a little on the high-side which didn't put me off, but then I'd just been given a free beer by the team at Bene Culture (t-shirt shop, art space, and general local arts venue) so was more than happy to pay £12 for Samosa Chaat and a sit in the sunshine.  The other stalls had similarly event pricing.

Both the beer and the crunchy Indian street food were amazing.   You got two fat samosa, lots of chickpeas, and the noodle and veg mix on top and the sauce beneath. The sauce had most of the heat, and the rest had the fragrant flavour - just how I like it.  And it was a good lunch-sized portion.  I've had food-festival portions before that left me wanting more - but this satisfied.  And the beer is one I'd want to have again - very light and summary.

Digbeth is still only half finished so I'm not surprised this was a smaller than expected thing. And Queens Heath Pride was the following day so a lot of people will have saved their cash and energy for that.

There were loads of stalls for people half my age to buy clothes, art and accessories and most seemed to be doing a good trade.  It's just a shame that the food area wasn't more of a focal point for the music and activities - especially as the weather was decent.

Opposite the event the buildings have gone, but nothing has come to replace them.  The delays to the road & tram here have removed all the interest until the new development between the two is finished.  Until then I guess Digbeth is it's own little village hiding just out of reach.

22 June 2024

Lilley’s Piña Colada Cider (Morrison’s) By @SpectreUK

Lilley’s Piña Colada Cider

It's a lovely sunny day outside and I have scampi and chips for dinner tonight. I used to joke with an ex-boss that whilst working at home during the lockdowns he was drinking Pina Colladas in the garden. This Lilley's Piña Colada Cider is a 3.4% in volume fusion of pineapple and coconut blended with Somerset cider. I'm hoping it's going to wash down my fishy dish a treat tonight.

I was given a Piña Colada in a restaurant once that was ordered by someone by mistake. I tasted it surreptitiously and realised that it had so much alcohol in it that if I had a second sip I'd be over the limit for driving. So, unfortunately, I gave it back. I think the waiter drank it surreptitiously after that, as he was a little bit wobbly for the rest of the meal.

On opening the bottle of this Lilley's Piña Colada Cider, there was a subtle fizz followed by a summer aroma of apple cider, pineapple and a little coconut in the background. This murky fresh lemonade coloured cider tasted funnily enough of pineapple and coconut and cider apple, there was an extra sweet hit of pineapple into the aftertaste.

Not as alcoholic as the one I was given in the restaurant, this ridiculously moreish flavoured cider was so good, I could quite drink it all night. Well, I am at home, and my car keys are resting this evening. I just need some more bottles.

21 June 2024

Friends Doughnuts (Krispy Kreme) By @Cinabar

Friends Doughnuts (Krispy Kreme)

I love the Friends series. I have watched every episode and am currently watching it a second time, enjoying seeing Spectre experience it for the first time. I don’t know how he hasn’t seen it before, but he has no idea where the whole Ross and Rachel thing is going, which is very entertaining. Somehow it is Friend’s thirtyth birthday, and to celebrate, Krispy Kreme has brought our celebration doughnuts. I picked up a box of three to try. They have cool names, too.

We Were On A Coffee Break

This is a very cool-looking doughnut, complete with a white chocolate disc with the Central Perk logo. It is a ring doughnut, but there is a dollop of vanilla frosting in the gap, and the main doughnut is coffee-glazed. The sponge was soft, and the icing was lightly crisp. The flavour is absolutely lovely and reminded me of coffee cream. Not too strong, but sweet and delightful. We need more coffee-flavoured doughnuts in the world. 

How you doin’?

The doughnut is very pretty purple with a yellow frame made of icing. It is made to look like Monica’s door and named after Joey’s favourite chat-up line. The doughnut is very fruity; the main icing is passion fruit, and the yellow is mango. This gives the doughnut a wonderful tropical feel, perfect for a nice, warm evening. 


Trifle gets a special mention in one of the Friends episodes when they try and make the classic British dessert, but thankfully, unlike the episode where the recipe got mixed up, there is no beef sautéed with peas and onions as a layer in this doughnut. There is, however, a lovely filling of strawberry custard and chocolate sprinkles. This one is a bit more of a classic flavour, but still a yummy addition to the set. 

20 June 2024

Bubbleology - Milk Tea Mixology Kit - Taro Flavour [@NLi10]

 I got this bubble tea kit for Christmas, but had been saving it til the weather was a bit warmer as it's nicer as a cold drink (the bubbles in warm drinks are a little too unnerving). 

It has everything you need - except the milk, and ice - in the box and is enough to make 4 decently sized drinks.

The instructions tell you how to mix all the bits together, but the QR code also links you to a video that says slightly different things.

It says you can use plant based things too so I used almond milk

It does worry me that they keep saying that it's science

Impressive little kit!

For the Taro version you pop the powder & milk in the blender and give it a zap, and then microwave the little tadpoles

Unfortunately I put it on for a few seconds too long and it popped.  Three seconds less and I'd have likely been fine.

I managed to get them all into the pepsi glass

I then added the blended milk mix (with a little blended ice too) and gave it a swirl.

And it worked surprisingly well!  The smells were those of the bubble tea shop, and the taro tasted pretty authentic too.  Using the non-dairy milk seemed to have not changed a thing and worked really well too.

My complaint with these has always been that it's more of a posh milkshake than a novelty tea - but behold - they say you can add 1/4 of pre-made tea to the mix for a more tea based drink - so for the next set I'll do that and see if it makes a difference.

I'll probably add another review for the tiger stripes one.

19 June 2024

Nestle Kit Kat Chunky with Lotus Biscoff White Chocolate (Morrison’s Local) By @SpectreUK

Nestle Kit Kat Chunky with Lotus Biscoff White Chocolate

I could do with a break. A chunky break, like a Nestle Kit Kat Chunky with Lotus Biscoff White Chocolate. I do love white chocolate. I do love Lotus Biscoff, especially with ice cream. They make great edible ice cream shovels. I usually love Kit Kat Chunkys. There's something about biting into them, whereas you can snap a regular Kit Kat, you still don't get so much extra flavour. A Kit Kat Chunky is all about the extra flavour.

I've previously tried the milk chocolate Bite Size and also the milk chocolate Chunky Lotus Biscoff before and loved them. This new Nestle Kit Kat Chunky with Lotus Biscoff White Chocolate bar will be an afternoon treat after my workout today. As you can see from the photograph on opening the wrapper the white chocolate bar had a Biscoff spread on top of two wafers inside.

Nestle Kit Kat Chunky with Lotus Biscoff White Chocolate

On taste the white chocolate had luscious creaminess, the Biscoff spread gave way adding mixed spice to the creamy white chocolate flavour, and the wafers gave a good crunch. I could quite honestly eat this Nestle Kit Kat Chunky with Lotus Biscoff White Chocolate bar for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and more for afters all day everyday. I think they should probably put a warning on it.

Information on the wrapper; The 42g bar had 224 calories, with 5.8g of fat, 19.5g of sugar, 0.13g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Nestle Kit Kat Chunky with Lotus Biscoff White Chocolate