Thursday, January 30, 2014

Recipe: Cauliflower, Leek and Broccoli Gratin

A delicious cheesy scrummy side dish, or a nice vegetarian main course, served with hunks of buttered bread. Been starting to make my own bread actually, because it's really cheap and not as difficult or time consuming as people think. This is a nice change from the usual cauliflower cheese, with a nice variety of textures. For caterers, this can be made in large quantities, and work as a fantastic side dish to roast dinners.

Cauliflower, leek and broccoli gratin (side dish for 4)

1 Large head cauliflower, florets cut off
1 large head broccoli, florets cut off
3 leeks, sliced diagonally into thick rings
60g butter
60g flour
550ml skimmed milk
225g grated Leerdammer
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika to garnish

1. Steam the leeks for 5 minutes in a large steamer. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and steam for a further 12 minutes, or until soft.
2. Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter, stir in the flour, and gradually add the milk. Once thick, add 175g of the Leerdammer (leaving 50g to sprinkle on top!) and stir until melted. Season to taste.
3. Mix together the steamed vegetables and cheese sauce, and pour into a large baking dish. Top with the rest of the Leerdamer and put under a hot grill for about 5 minutes, or until golden  and bubbling.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Recipe: Black bean and Chesnut Chilli

First time I tried making this it was an utter disaster. I tried making the recipe with dried black beans, which to be fair I had soaked overnight, but cooked the chilli mixture for like 2 hours and the beans were still well hard! After plating up, and having a few forkfuls, the boyfriend apologised for not liking the texture and went and got a kebab! Oh dear! So yes, I tried this recipe again using tinned black beans and it was lovely. Sometimes recipes need a little tweaking, just because it isn't perfect the first time doesn't mean you should give up on it. Very healthy this one, and a vegan recipe if you use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock

Black Bean and Chestnut Chilli (serves 3)
3 tins black beans, drained and rinsed
Large handful fresh coriander, chopped
1 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp z’atar
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 bay leaves
½ tsp mixed herbs
¼ tsp hot chilli powder
400ml chicken stock
200g cooked peeled chestnuts (whole)
1 rounded tsp flour, mixed with a little water
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

2 large ripe tomatoes
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
½ tsp lemon juice
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

1. Put all the chilli ingredients in a saucepan (except the flour mixture) and cook on a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes. Combine the salsa ingredients together in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Add the flour mixture to the chilli and cook for a further 2/3 minutes, stirring often, until mixture is thickened. Season to taste and serve the chilli with the tomato salsa, and brown rice if desired.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Competition: Puma Hotels "Game On!" Winter Recipe Competition

Hi everyone, lovely win here! Puma Hotels ran a recipe competition on their Facebook page, looking for the perfect Winter Warmer recipe. Well, there were quite a few scrummy entries, but in the end my Puoy Lentil and Mushroom Shepherds Pie (recipe on the blog) won, winning me dinner, a night's stay, and breakfast at one of their lovely hotels! I have decided on Combe Grove Manor in Bath, and will probably go early March, will blog all about it later!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review: University Dissertation- Healthy Ready Meals

Hi everyone. So as many of you know, I am currently studying for an honours degree in nutrition. I am in my final year now, and at the moment I am collecting research for my dissertation. My dissertation is on healthy ready meals- sensory qualities of said items, and consumer opinion.

I have completed a survey to ascertain people's opinions regarding healthy ready meals, and still need a fair few more respondents!  If any of you could please spend 2 minutes (it's only 9 questions) and fill in my survey, that'd be fantastic, thank you!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Recipe: Healthy Chicken and Cauliflower Curry

My diet has been going on since literally the day after boxing day, (had leftover Christmas cheese and terrine and things to eat but I didn't pig out on it- was sensible with leftovers) and it's been going really well! I've lost 7.5 pounds since then, and more importantly 3 inches off my waist! I've been exercising every day with my exercise step (nice Xmas pressie from my brother) and been cutting out white carbs, processed meats and all sorts of other things. This is a really healthy dinner, which I have served with brown rice for an even bigger health boost! The "Just Cook" Sainsbury's chicken is really nice actually, it's always moist and tasty, but as I've mentioned in the recipe, I would cook it 40 minutes rather than 50 as it suggests. Also it says on the packet "ideal size for 3 people".....yeah right, what, 3 midgets??

Healthy Chicken and Cauliflower Curry (serves 2/3)
Just Cook Butter basted chicken breast joint (from Sainsbury's)
1 tsp vegetable oil
300g ripe tomatoes, diced
1 green chilli, finely diced
¼ tsp asafoetida
¼ tsp hot chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp lemon juice
Handful fresh coriander, chopped (plus a little extra for garnish)
1 tbsp medium curry powder
400ml chicken stock
320g frozen cauliflower
2 tsp flour, mixed with a little water
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

1. Cook the chicken joint according to packet instructions (although I reckon it only needs 40 minutes in the oven, not 50 like it recommends). Remove from the oven, dice and set aside.
2. Fry the tomatoes, chilli, fresh coriander and all the spices for 8 minutes, stirring often. Add the cooked chicken and chicken stock, and cook on a high heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the cauliflower, lower to a medium heat, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
3. Add the flour/water mixture, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until thickened. Season to taste, and serve with some extra fresh coriander on top.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Recipe: Roast Shoulder of Pork with Jus Roti

Delicious moist roast pork, with perfect crunchy crackling? Look no further, I've got it sorted! This is actually the first time I have cooked this cut of meat (when I was at River cottage when we did roast pork we roasted whole sides of pork belly, with the nipples on and everything! Slightly off-putting!), but I found that the shoulder cut is really tasty and cheap (1/2 price at the Co-op at the moment too- got the 2.25kg joint for £7!) . "Jus roti" is just the French way of saying "sauce made from the juices left in the roasting tin" basically. I served this with sweet potato mash, lovely!

Roast Shoulder of Pork, with Jus roti (serves 4)
2.25kg half shoulder joint of pork (no bone in it, tied up, and scored)
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Plenty of salt and pepper
500ml chicken stock
500ml apple juice (from concentrate)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp corn flour, mixed with a little water

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the joint of pork in a roasting tray, pat dry with kitchen towel, and cover evenly with the fennel seeds and salt and pepper. Pour the stock and apple juice into the roasting pan, and chuck the bay leaves in too.
2. Roast in the oven for 2 hours 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the joint from the roasting pan, set aside and allow to rest for 25 minutes before carving. Pour the cooking juices through a sieve into a small saucepan.
3. Boil the pan juices, add the corn flour mixture, and cook on a high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until mixture has thickened into a sauce. Carve the pork and serve with the sauce.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Recipe: Boursin Champ

Champ is a traditional Irish potato dish, made with mashed potato, butter, milk, spring onions and parsley. In this version I have swapped the milk and butter with the creamy boursin, and that works very well. This is such a delicious side dish- in Ireland they would normally serve champ with roast pork/ baked gammon or thick-cut bacon.

Boursin Champ (serves 2 as a side dish)
1kg potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
12 spring onions, sliced
130g Boursin Cuisine Garlic and Herb
3 tbsp chopped parsley (plus an extra pinch for garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil the potatoes for about 25 minutes, until soft enough to mash. Meanwhile, fry the spring onions in the vegetable oil for a few minutes until soft, and set aside.
2. Drain the potatoes, and mash together with the cooked spring onions, boursin and parsley. Season to taste, spoon into a serving dish, and garnish with fresh parsley.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Recipe: Boursin Chicken Stroganoff

Traditionally stroganoff is supposed to be made with veal, and cooked with white wine, but traditional schmitional, this is yummy so who cares! This is delicious, garlicky, creamy and sumptuous- a good Winter warmer. I have used two different types of mushrooms, because it looks like and it's good to have different textures in a dish I think- try adding Portobello and button mushrooms as well if you fancy it.

Boursin Chicken Stroganoff (serves 3)
1 tbsp butter
1 white onion, diced
3 chicken breasts, sliced
1 tsp smoked paprika
230g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
230g white mushrooms, sliced
100ml cider
200g Boursin Cuisine garlic and herb
100ml water
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

1. Fry the onions in the butter for 5 minutes. Increase to a high heat, add the chicken and smoked paprika, and fry for a further 5 minutes.
2. Add the mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Add the cider and cook for 3 minutes. Add the boursin and water, and cook on a medium heat, stirring often, for 20 minutes.
3. Season to taste, and serve garnished with fresh parsley.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Recipe: Challah

Finally got around to doing this, me and my friend Emily had been chatting about this for ages! Emily Rose is a Jewish Comedian, who's  going to be touring America soon (also I have seen her shows and she's absolutely side-splittingly hilarious!). She also has a blog, "Belle of the Bimahs", which you can visit here:
Challah is a type of traditional Jewish plaited bread, often eaten on the Sabbath or on religious holidays. It is also utterly delicious, and once you've got the hang of it, really easy to make. Suppose it's easier when you have a proper Hebrew by your side to teach you! This is originally a recipe from "Norene Gellitz.". When it says "cup" in this recipe, it means a mug really, like a small coffee mug.
Challah (makes 2 braided loaves)
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 pkg. yeast
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3 1/2 to 4 cups plain flour (plus extra for kneading/ rolling)
Poppy, sesame seeds or whichever seeds you fancy! (garnish)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

1. Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl which has first been rinsed with hot water. Sprinkle yeast on top and let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Stir to dissolve. Combine with the oil, warm water, ¼ cup of sugar, salt, eggs and half of the flour, and beat this mixture well. Stir in the remaining flour- the dough should be fairly sticky. Cover the dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
3. Turn out onto a floured board/surface, and knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as needed. Round up into a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1 ½- 2 hours).
4. Knead dough a little bit more, cover, and let rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes. Separate sections of dough into 8 pieces, roll into long “strands”, and braid each 4 strands into a challah. You connect them at the top, bring over the one from the left across sharply to the right, and then bring the far right strand to the other side, then cross the middle ones, and then repeat this process.
5. Preheat oven to 200C. Cover challahs with a damp cloth and let rise for about 30 minutes. Brush with the beaten egg/water mixture, and top with seeds. Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Recipe: Leerdammer, Chicken and Potato Croquettes

I've never made croquettes before, they are actually quite easy to make! The trick is to make the mashed potato the night before, and have it in the fridge ready for the next day. I used Maris Piper potatoes in this recipe, because they are a lovely fluffy potato variety. Croquettes are great because they can be made of all sort of things, from leftovers of the night before. These are also quite nice as a side dish.

Leerdammer and Chicken Potato Croquettes (makes 21 croquettes- serves 3 as a main, 6 as a side)
800g mashed potato
300g finely diced roast chicken (breast meat preferably)
100g finely diced Leerdammer
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp celery salt
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
175g golden breadcrumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Mix together all of the ingredients and season to taste. Shape mix into croquettes, about 50-60g each- this should make about 21 croquettes.
2. Break the eggs into a bowl, and whisk well, pour the breadcrumbs onto a plate, and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Dip each croquette into the beaten egg, and then into the breadcrumbs, coating all over, and placing on the lined baking trays. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve with salad and chutney if desired.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Cheap Food Fact-File: Mushrooms

Cheap Foodie Fact-files

Basics white mushrooms (£2.25 per kilo)

A mushroom is classified as the fleshy fruit of a fungus. The standard word “mushroom” is the proper name for the white cultivated button mushroom, although the term is used for other fungi also. Mushrooms grow in moist environments, and spread via spores. The term “mushroom” is from the French word “mousseron”, meaning “moss”. It is believed that the first mushrooms used in cooking were in Asia (particularly China), however, by 2000BC the ancient Egyptians mention the consumption of mushrooms in hieroglyphics, belieiving them to be a plant of immortality. It is rumoured the first person to properly cultivate mushrooms for consumption was Louis XIV, and France was the first country to cultivate mushrooms on a large scale. Mushrooms became a very popular crop in Europe and Asia, due to it being a very easy crop to grow, involved little labour, and would grow where many other crops wouldn’t.

In terms of edible mushrooms, there are numerous types, widely used over the globe- particularly though in Asia, where the mushroom is deemed the “meat of the vegetable world”. The button mushroom, also known as the “white mushroom” or “closed cup mushroom” is the most popular species for consumption.

In Asia, popular varieties of mushroom include the shitake mushroom (a dark, fibrous and woody mushroom, strongly flavoured) , maitake, oyster (a light small fleshy mushroom) and enoki mushrooms (very small thin stemmed mushrooms sold in bunches).

Mushrooms are very popular in France, and wild varieties such as Cep, Girolle and morel are extremely popular, often added to rich fricassees/ creamy dishes. These are delicate, expensive varieties, that have a strong flavour, and that are often sold dried.

Portabello mushrooms, and porcini mushrooms are also very popular in Italy. Portobello mushrooms are also very popular in the uk, and are often baked or stuffed. Porcini mushrooms, often sold dried, are a common addition to classic Italian risottos.

Another variety which is very popular in the UK and America is the “chestnut mushroom” (known as the “crimini” mushroom in the US), which is essentially a darker closed cup mushroom, with a slightly richer flavour/ firmer texture.

Health Benefits
Mushrooms are a very low calorie, low fat source of vitamins and minerals. There are a very good source of riboflavin, Niacin, pantothenic acid, and copper. 80g counts towards one of your “5 a day”. Studies have shown that mushroom consumption aids in weight management, and promotes good immune function.

Nutritional Information (per 100g)
Calories- 22kcal
Fat- 0.1g
Carbohydrates- 3.3g
Protein- 3.1g
Riboflavin- 0.4mg (24% RDA)
Niacin- 3.6mg (18%RDA)
Pantothenic Acid- 1.5mg (15% RDA)
Copper- 0.3mg (16% RDA)
Selenium- 9.3 mcg (13% RDA)

China is the largest edible mushroom producer, providing over half of the world’s cultivated mushrooms. India and the Netherlands follow China. They are also amongst the largest mushroom consumers- with each person in china consuming 2.7kg on average of mushrooms per year.

Interesting Mushroom Facts
The proper term for those who study and collect mushrooms are “mycophagists”.

Consuming mushrooms can actually cause asthmatic reactions in particularly succeptable people.

Certain varieties of mushrooms can be turned into dyes for clothing, and some are very dry and are therefore known as “firestarter” or “kindling” mushrooms, as they are very good for the beginning of a fire.

Shitake mushrooms contain the flavour of “umami”, described as being an addictive savoury taste, and are therefore added to dishes as a flavour enhancer. It is also found in “Umami paste” which is a popular cooking ingredient sold in major supermarkets in the UK.

Ways we like them
Mushrooms are so popular worldwide, it’s almost difficult to highlight some of the favourites, but here are some of the most famous ones perhaps:

In England, we make lovely cream of mushroom soups, and also we tend to add them to our fried breakfasts! Chicken and mushroom pies are also very popular. Mushrooms are battered and deep-fried and commonly served in chip shops.

In France, there is a dish called “mushrooms bordelaise”, which is just simply mushrooms fried in butter, garlic and parsley. Mushrooms can be made into a pate, to make a vegetarian alternative to the traditional French meaty foie gras and chicken liver pates. Creamy mushroom mixetures are stuffed into vole au vents and served as a starter/ canap├ęs. Also, Cep, Girolle and morel are extremely popular, often added to rich fricassees/ creamy dishes.

In Germany there is a dish called “Geschnetzeltes”, which literally translates as “Sliced Meat”,and is a sauce made with veal, mushrooms , cream  and paprika, and served over “spatzle”, which is a type of egg noodle.

In Italy, dried mushrooms are often added to stews, casseroles and risottos. Creamy pasta/fettucini dishes also have mushrooms added. Mushrooms (particularly Portobello) stuffed with cheese are popular as a starter or side dish. 

In China, Japan and Korea, mushrooms are added to all sorts of dishes, such as curries, stir frys, soups and rice dishes but are popularly served fried with oyster sauce, stir fried with beef and chilli, chucked into chow meins. Popular varieties are enoki, jew’s ears, pine, oyster, shiitake and straw mushrooms- with most of these varieties found in major supermarkets these days.

Mushrooms are popular in India, but a large percentage of mushrooms grown in India are imported to the USA.  Mushrooms are common in curries, and are usually added to biryani dishes. Particularly mushroom Kadai (a tangy green pepper and mushroom tomato-based curry), mushroom palak (mushroom and spinach bhaji/curry) and mushroom Manchurian (an Indo-Chinese fusion dish, with deep fried spicy mushrooms fried with peppers and chillies) are very popular.

Mushrooms are very popular in America, “crimini” (known as chestnut in this country) mushrooms being the favourite, and they are cooked in soups, stews, casseroles, served alongside steak, and often added to meat gravies.

In South America, mushrooms tend to be used in starter dishes, like as a filling for empanadas, or in a creamy mushroom soup popular in Brazil.

In Russia, Beef or Chicken Stroganoff (a creamy stewed dish, usually served with rice) always includes a large quantity of fried mushrooms.

Mushrooms can be pickled, and they can also be chargrilled and then stored in olive oil (popular in Italy as an Antipasti).

Mushroom ketchup is an English condiment made from powdered mushrooms, vinegar and salt.

Personally, I absolutely love mushrooms, I agree with it being called “the meat of the vegetable world”, because there is a beautiful savoury chunky quality to them! As many of you know, I tend to remember almost everything I have ever tasted. The nicest plate of food I have ever had, in my life, was a wild mushroom risotto I had in a little restaurant in Venice, the taste was indescribable.

I often have them at breakfast- sounds simple but mushrooms fried in butter, garlic, parsley and a pinch of celery salt, on buttered toast, makes me very happy in the morning. My mum makes the most amazing mushroom dish, called “mushroom a la Grecque”, which is mushrooms fried with loads of garlic, parsley, white wine, and fresh tomatoes.  I must put that up on the blog sometime, it is fantastic. I love mushroom soup, but only made from fresh, that tinned mushroom soup you get that’s all gelatinous and stuff is so gross it literally makes me shiver. Bleughhh. My favourite Portobello mushroom recipe is stuffing it with wild garlic, spinach and walnuts- the recipes on the blog somewhere, very very nice.

I LOVE Asian mushrooms, and will always order food in Chinese/Japanese restaurants with mushrooms, but since Asian mushrooms seem to be so expensive in supermarkets still, I don’t tend to buy them and cook with them myself. I love a nice mushroom and red pepper curry, easy to make and very tasty. Chicken and mushroom stroganoff is fantastic actually, I make this quite often, and will be making it this week actually- will chuck that recipe on here as soon as. With mushrooms being such a low calorie, tasty and healthy product, and a good cheap bulking product, you ought to go out and buy more of them!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Competition: Freedom Food's Compassionate Cook Recipe Competition

Hey everyone! Another lovely recipe video from moi! This is for Freedom Food's Compassionate Cook Recipe competition- where you have to make a recipe video less than 5 minutes in length, demonstrating a recipe containing Freedom Foods. Freedom Foods is a labelling directive sponsored by the RSPCA, to make sure that the animal products being used in supermarkets are coming from well looked after, free range, healthy animals! The competition is also connected with Co-Op, who are a big supporter of the Freedom Food organisation. The grand prize is £4000 to spend at the Co-Op, whilst there are 2 runners up prizes of £500.

If you guys could vote for my entry at this link,  Going onto "Entries", clicking on my "Compassionate Chicken Rogan Josh" recipe, and "vote for this entry" on that page , that would be great! Voting is open until midnight Sunday 5th. Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Review: Thai Balcony Restaurant, Bath

Review Thai Balcony
Happy new year everyone! The blog got over 500 hits yesterday, which has never happened before, so that’s a nice finale for 2013! On Christmas Eve, me and my parents visited the “Thai Balcony” restaurant, for a cosy pre-Christmas meal. I have been here before, a long time ago now, about 6 years ago? I didn’t leave with the most positive opinion of it to be honest, I went there with my first boyfriend and we got a set meal which turned out to be more expensive than advertised and ended up being a complete rip-off. However, I am of the opinion that every place deserves a second chance, especially because I know how much catering staff move around, and within 6 years the whole waiting/kitchen staff could be completely new, and the place much better.

We got into the restaurant and it wasn’t too busy, we were placed at a table in the middle of the restaurant. Also in the middle of the restaurant is a giant water feature, which I find a little odd in such a small restaurant, and (maybe others don’t) but I found the noisy trickling fairly irritating. Anyway, we waited a fairly long while for our drinks order to be taken, but it arrived fairly quickly so this was fine. When we ordered our food, the waitress that was writing down our order was incredibly surly and rude. She kept looking away to other parts of the restaurants and ignoring us whilst we were ordering, and then snatched our menus from us- very rude! Me and mum had the vegetarian spring rolls for starter, and my dad had the vegetarian hot and sour soup. My spring rolls with plum sauce were delicate and delicious, typical of good Thai restaurant food, and my dad’s soup (although I did not taste this being a chilli wimp!) was apparently very hot and very tasty.
Our mains arrived fairly promptly, but the waiter pretty much ran away before I could ask for anything. I had to go up to the counter to ask for water and to ask for soy sauce. I ordered the Chicken Thai Green Curry, which I found particularly disappointing. The sauce did not have the delicate lemongrass/ thai basil/ splash of fish sauce flavour to it, and I thought the sauce just tasted spicy and a little “dull” I suppose. The amount of chicken in this dish was also very skimpy portion-wise, and the little amount of veg in the curry included a few fine strips of red pepper, and some bitter undercooked pea aubergines. I had some plain fried noodles with beansprouts on the side of this, which were acceptable but not mind-blowing, and shared egg fried rice with dad. The egg fried rice was under seasoned, and I tried some of dad’s spicy tofu dish (described as “bean curd stir fried with chillies, fresh garlic and basil leaves” on the menu) and this was also severely under seasoned- Dad practically had to pour a bottle of soy sauce over it to make it taste of anything. Mum had a tofu pad thai which I tried- and again, it just lacked “oomph”! The tofu was flavourless (“ But tofu is always flavourless!!” I hear people cry, but this isn’t true, if tofu is in a strong dish and cooked properly then it should soak up the flavours) and the pad thai noodles did not have the sweet and sour flavour that they should have.

I don’t normally order desserts, but as it was the festive period, me and dad decided to share one. I was impressed by their dessert selection actually- they had the usual pre-made frozen desserts that you get in Asian restaurants, but they also had a scrummy sounding selection of about 10 odd sounding ice creams/sorbets, like green tea ice cream and black sesame sorbet and things like that. Dad and I shared a lychee sorbet (which we ordered through that rude surly waitress again, and even though we made it really obvious we were sharing- we actually asked for two spoons, she came back with it with one spoon, and gave us a weird look when we asked for another one. Basically the waitress was not listening to us at all throughout the whole meal. Also mum and dad ordered cappuccinos with our desserts and they both said they were very weak.

I can’t remember the exact bill, but basically it came to over £30 per person, which is more expensive than other Thai restaurants in Bath, where you would have two courses, and side dishes, and loads of tiger beers for £25 or less. So unfortunately, similar to my visit 6 years ago, I left Thai Balcony underwhelmed and overcharged. The place isn’t the worst Thai restaurant in the world, don’t get me wrong , but if you give skimpy (yet expensive portions), your food is under seasoned, and you can’t make flavoursome thai green curries/pad thai (I believe essential dishes and a good test for Thai places), then you need to get your act together. I would give it a 4 for the food (it would be less, but as mentioned previously, the starter and the puddings were acceptable) and 5 for the service, which was brought down by a rude waitress.