Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Crossing over to Kenilworth.

I started penning this post  as February began, but it’s now entering mid-March which really goes to show how intentions hardly mean anything when you don’t put in the work. With that bit of Motivational Monday over, let’s talk about January. 

Every year, January is an affair because of Baby J’s birthday. And when I say affair, I mean to a legitimate extent, it feels like a mini wedding. Coordinated outfits, fairly elaborate cake, photo set-ups.. yknow, the whole shebang (but without the actual marriage). :P

This year, we celebrated at The Cross, Kenilworth, a Michelin starred restaurant in Coventry. Surprisingly – for it was a Saturday – we got the whole place to ourselves for a good half hour, free to take loads of pictures and laugh inappropriately loudly. It’s worth noting here that it probably would’ve been alright to be boisterious with The Cross being a fairly casual restaurant; baby friendly and almost pub-like, the atmosphere wasn’t the typical Michelin environment (seen in their sub-par service – i.e. grumpy waitress, undusted tables)  but we were relaxed and had such a good time!


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Princess of the day! 


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We’ve prob ably taken so many pictures like these over the years, but it’s  no excuse to stop counting our blessings! Spending time together is such a rare opportunity that though it involved some haphazard cake transportation from London via train, we were happy to pay a visit to Coventry.

Cheapo tip of the month, by the way: If you’re interested in Hummingbird Bakery cupcakes, they have a Treat a Friend offer on Fridays that’s buy 1 free 1!


Extra cheapo tip of the month: If you want even more cupcakes than you have friends, asking strangers in the store to pretend to know you works like a charm! 

IMG_8547(Note there’s a surchage of 5 pounds per person if you want to have your cake in the restaurant)


When some time had passed, and other customers started flowing in, the servers got a bit pushy with the menu and we finally placed our orders. The rest chose from  the lunch menu (2 courses - £25; 3 courses - £30) whilst I got a starter and the main from the Vegetarian menu – mind you, you’ll have to ask for it separately!

For a while, I pledged vegetarianism one day of the week, sort of in part to reduce my meat-chomping footprint on the world, and partly to just cut down on the sheer amount of meat I eat (I was practically carnivorous). I haven’t been as consistent in this plan as I’d like to be, but will get to it again! 

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I got the Heritage Beetroot Salad (Goats cheese, celery, apple, English verjus - £9.5) which I loved! I’m a huge fan of beetroot and goats cheese, so I was always going to like this. The apple strips were perfectly sweet and crunchy, whilst there was such a marginal amount of celery I was happy to ignore it. Smile with tongue out An easy dish to like if you already like whatever it’s made of.

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For a main, I went with the Pumpkin Risotto (Roast chestnuts, pumpkin seeds and rocket - £12), a creamy heart-warming dish that was so delicious and flavourful, I wish my stomach had more room to finish it up. I especially enjoyed the chestnuts on the dish, that lent it a unique salty-savoury flavour I didn’t expect. Once again, another dish I was going to like anyway due to my fondness for anything and everything creamy and love for pumpkin!

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We had some desserts to share, starting with their Dark Chocolate Sphere (coconut sorbet, tropical fruits, passion fruit sauce - £9.5)which I was just plainly unimpressed by. Often with these sort of ‘thereatical desserts’, they’re Instragram worthy and you’d expected them to melt the sphere with some hot chocolate or sauce in some visually appealing manner. But here, the moment the dish arrived, the sauce was poured over so quickly after we hadly had time to look at the sphere itself, and the server left so quickly after we wished she’d had just allowed us to pour it ourselves.

Illusory aspects aside, the passion fruit sauce was so strong and syrupy that it hardly tasted natural, and the cold fruits were a strange mix to the dark chocolate. The flavours just did not go together and I wouldn’t recommend this at all.

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Their Praline Souffle on the other hand, served with chocolate sorbet (£9.5) fared much better. The souffle was flavourful and airy, whilst the chocolate sorbet, tasted nothing like a sorbet - thank God! - and was creamy and moreish. I think it would’ve gone better with a vanilla ice cream as there were strong flavours from them both, but it was still really enjoyable.

We wolfed down the dessert, rushed back to J’s house to pick up our things, and made a dash for the train back to London with huge slices of red velvet cake in tow, warm inside from all the hospitality we got at Jo’s house.

Did I mention her and her housemates treated us to crabs?! In the UK?!

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We had a wonderful feast the  night we arrived courtesy of Jo, ZY, and Abel, with chilli crabs, sambal squid, and even shaved ice with longan for dessert! Then Alvin came over and we had even more dessert, and we all gathered around the table for a good round of Dix It, laughing and philosophising well into the night.

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Nerve-wrecking to think these sort of student experiences are coming to an end, and in under 5 months, I’d be entering the working world..

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