Groupon lunch at Henry’s Cantonese 

Having lived on St Paul’s Square for about a year and a half, Henry’s Cantonese is one of those places the other half & I walk past, say “we still need to try there” and promptly forget about.

A couple of weeks ago, on spotting that they had a £16 Groupon deal for a two course lunch for two, we finally paid them a visit.

Henry’s is set slightly back from the square and from the outside is a very unassuming building. However once inside it’s warm and welcoming, with nice Oriental style decor. I was also a fan of their Christmas decorations which had been kept subtle and stylish.

For the Groupon deal, they have a small set menu that you can choose from – 5 starters, 5 mains and 4 sides (each course includes a vegetarian option).

My starter was a generous portion of tender barbecue spare ribs loaded with sweet moreish barbecue sauce. He went for the chilli & pepper chicken wings which were super crispy and flavourful, although slightly too salty for me.

The Groupon menu main courses offered a little less choice, especially as two of the options required a supplement. We went for the sweet and sour chicken & the beef with black pepper sauce.
Originally I wasn’t that excited by the sound of the black pepper beef. It’s appearance didn’t do much to convince me otherwise – it looked a bit like a school dinner version of a beef casserole. I actually couldn’t have been more wrong. The peppery sauce was rich and full of flavour, and the beef was moist and not at all chewy. It was lovely and I’d definitely order it again.

The sweet and sour was a solid rendition of a classic dish; miles away from the neon coloured, super sweet sauce you often get in takeaways. I’m a sucker for a good sweet and sour and I can see why they put this crowd pleaser on the Groupon menu.

The mains come with two sides (we chose egg fried rice & stir fried noodles with bean sprouts). Both again were generous portions which even a greedy couple like us couldn’t quite finish!

Although we had limited choice of dishes I was really impressed with the quality of the food (and the amount we got for £16). I’d definitely recommend Henry’s Cantonese; we want to go back and sample the full menu, and visit on an evening/weekend when it’s a bit more lively. If you’re looking for a good lunchtime deal then this Groupon is a winner as well – keep an eye out as I’m sure they’ll run it again! They also do an Express Business Lunch for a similar price which is definitely worth checking out!

You can find Henry’s Cantonese Restaurant at 27 St Paul’s Square, B3 1RBWEBSITE.

Simpsons x Sticky Walnut collaboration

A couple of weeks ago I turned 25. And as if I wasn’t already depressed about reaching my first quarter century, the birthday gods also decided to bless me with two accountancy exams on my birthday.

It would have been the worst birthday ever if my lovely boyfriend hadn’t booked us a table at the Simpsons x Sticky Walnut collaboration as a surprise (I say it was a surprise, but I accidentally ruined this one months ago by also booking us a table, forcing him to confess!).

Sticky Walnut is a neighbourhood bistro in Chester with a fistful of accolades & a brilliantly entertaining Twitter account (@stickywalnut). I have family in Cheshire so have wanted to eat there for a while, but Simpsons brought them to me – even better!

Simpsons is tucked away in a gorgeous building in Edgbaston. The décor is elegant and classy with beautiful design features -it’s the perfect setting to sit and enjoy a meal. Here’s me trying to look fancy and civilised..

For the evening, Sticky had put together a 5 course tasting menu. We started with some canapés; lamb tartare (with anchovies, linseed), salmon (squid ink, egg yolk) and calves brain (beef fat beetroot, walnut and verjus). They were all fantastic. The lamb and the salmon were perfect mouthfuls with amazing flavour and texture.

I have to admit I was a little bit terrified of the calves brain at first, especially because I’m not much of a beetroot fan either (probably due to bad school dinner flashbacks). But it turned out to be one of my favourite dishes of the night. It was full of flavour and I loved the crunchy exterior with the smooth, soft inside. It paired perfectly with the rich sweet beetroot  – I think Sticky have managed to convert me into a fan! I also enjoyed the fact that it kind of looks like a chicken nugget..

The second course was wood pigeon, apple, morcilla & savoury granola. I love morcilla (it’s basically the Spanish version of black pudding) but usually just have it on the BBQ in Spain so it was great to try it combined with the rest of the ingredients. It looked beautiful and tasted even better.

Next up was halibut with romesco & gem lettuce. Every part of this dish tasted good but the romesco was incredible. If I hadn’t been trying to behave myself in Simpsons I definitely would have licked my plate clean..

Course number four was lamb rump, scichimi togarashi (a Japanese spice mix – I had to google it as well..), carrot, goats curd and burnt onion. The sauce was super rich, so the goats curd brought a nice freshness to the dish. One of my favourites of the evening.

Dessert was toasted porter, treacle, caramel and chocolate. Nothing mind-blowing but a solid, tasty end to the meal. We went for the drinks flight with our meal & instead of wine, the dessert came with a chocolate & orange old fashioned. I’m not a big whiskey drinker but this was so good and I’d order it again in a heartbeat.

I had an amazing birthday evening & it more than made up for the fact that I am now officially closer to 30 than 20 (ugh). Big shout out to the boyfriend for treating me – sorry for ruining my surprise!

Sticky Walnut can usually be found at 11 Charles Street, Chester, CH2 3AZ (WEBSITEwhilst Simpsons is at 20 Highfield Road, B15 3DU (WEBSITE).