Chocolate Girl

Posted on 8th March 2011

Easter is coming soon, and its a time when chocolate seems to feature heavily in advertisements and on supermarket shelves. However, not everyone can share the taste. It's not necessarily that they don't like chocolate, but they may have more personal reasons for not wanting to buy regular branded chocolate.

Now you have an alternative choice. The Chocolate Wendy House was created by a friend of ours, Wendy, who is a vegan. After becoming a vegan she missed the taste of chocolate. Several years ago she discovered she was able to buy vegan ingredients to make her own chocolate. She began by making her Vegan Cream Eggs for family and friends, and found them to be a big success.

Following this, Wendy expanded her range of chocolate products and built the website to sell her wares online. Now you can buy vegan chocolate cream eggs, hearts, rabbits and even orange segments.

Whether you're a vegan or not, if you like chocolate and would prefer something from a more ecologically friendly source, visit The Chocolate Wendy House for a change. You won't be disappointed :)

File Under: food / friends

New Sensation

Posted on 5th March 2009

In the UK, Walkers Crips are perhaps the strongest brand of crisps on the market. They're also the most inivitive too. Every so often they try a different flavour out, and while most rarely see the light of day again, some do stick around. A more recent one is the Marmite crisps, which having proved so successful are now made by Marmite themselves. Last year Walkers Crisps ran a competition to find some new flavours. Out of the hundreds of entries they picked 6 and have now mass produced them to let the public vote on their favourites.

Walkers have been quite clever about this as they packaged them into two 6-bag bundles, with three flavours in each. It means rather than trying to find the flavours individually in your local corner shop, you can grab a couple of extra 6-bag bundles and try them all out twice.

The six flavours are:

  • Fish & Chips
  • Crispy Duck & Hoisin
  • Cajun Squirrel
  • Builder's Breakfast
  • Onion Bhaji
  • Chilli & Chocolate

The mix could be seen as 2 traditional British dishes, 2 international dishes and 2 just plain weird. Now of the latter, Chilli & Chocolate isn't that unusual, as I've seen and eaten Chilli flavoured chocolate bars before, but Cajun Squirrel! Never having tried squirrel I can't comment on it's accuracy, but I can't really see it being a lasting flavour beyond it's novelty value.

I've now tried them all, and after some consideration I would have to rate them as:

  1. Onion Bhaji
  2. Crispy Duck & Hoisin
  3. Builder's Breakfast

Of the rest I wouldn't be particularly interested in trying again. Cajun Squirrel tastes like Roast Chicken, Fish & Chips tastes like Salt & Vinegar and while Chilli & Chocolate does taste exactly as it says, having first thought the chocolate bars were an interesting idea, I will most definitely not be voting for them.

It'll be interesting to see which flavour wins, and perhaps more importantly how long it lasts as a popular flavour. I think the 2 international dishes are likely to hold out longer than the others, as they both have a distinct flavour of their own, plus we Brits have a strong liking for Indian and Chinese cuisine. Still, whichever wins, I'm sure it'll be overshadowed by the next big Walkers Crisp marketing campaign :)

File Under: food / life

Garden Of Delight

Posted on 29th December 2008

Back in the Summer, we went on a family holiday to Torquay, as we had done the previous year. The year before we found a nice Indian restaurant, so had planned to revisit it again this year. Except this year I couldn't remember the name of the restaurant, and figuring there might be somewhere a bit closer to the hotel, reached for the internet. Sure enough there was somewhere closer, and certainly within walking distance, however it was a little odd to actually find only one review of all the Indian restaurants in and around Torquay. It was a glowing review mind, and even though it was for a Balti restaurant, we decided to give it a try.

Now for those unfamiliar with Indian restaurants, the Balti dish is very much associated with Birmingham, and despite several disputes as to its origins, most accept that you cannot get a decent Balti outside of Birmingham. Of course that isn't entirely true, but Birmingham has certain perfected the cuisine to such an extent that others don't seem to capture the flavours quite so well. Having said that, I do like a good balti, so was willing to give this restaurant a try.

The Balti Garden is just off the main high street heading away from Torquay harbour and the seafront, and within easy reach of carparks if necessary. It is in competition with a few other restaurants nearby, but the bright and welcoming frontage certainly draws attention to itself. The staff are also very welcoming and friendly, and seemed very used to accommodating children. The menu on offer covered a broad selection of curry dishes, including a healthy selection of Baltis.

I ordered a Lamb Tikka starter and Lamb Tikka Balti, Nicole chose her favourite of Garlic Mushrooms starter and a Sag Paneer & chips for her main. Dan and Ethne are used to curries and usually go for something a bit spicy, but the waiter recommended Chiken Tikka Pasander for them to share. The food was absolutely delicious and we all dug in, pretty much leaving a set of clean plates in front of us. For me the Lamb Tikka was cooked just right to the point of virtually melting in your mouth and the Balti sauce was full of flavour without any over-powering chilli powder added to it. Nicole was very complimentary of her Sag Paneer, although she did think the Birmingham restaurants cooked it slightly differently, as it did have a different texture to it. A very pleasant dish, just different. Dan and Ethne didn't complain, so can only assume the Pasander met with their approval.

I commented to the waiter that we should perhaps have mentioned that we were from Birmingham, as you only get a decent Balti in Brum, although I did add that the Lamb Tikka Balti was one of the best I've had. He laughed and told us that the chefs were originally from Birmingham, so it wasn't too surprising they got it just right. The staff made us feel very welcome thoughout the meal, having a run-in joke with the kids, and were happy to chat and let us take our time with the meal. The restaurant wasn't packed, although it was early evening so I expect their main business would have been later in the evening, but there was a constant stream of customers and it seemed a very popular choice for locals too, which is always a good sign.

We don't know where we will be going on holiday for 2009, but if we do head back to Torquay, I expect to be visiting The Balti Garden again. They even gave us a business card which allows us a 10% discount on our next visit, so it would be a shame to not take advantage of it ;)

Having eaten at The Balti Garden, I now understand why they were the only Indian restaurant in the Torquay area to get a review. It is one of the best Indian restaurants I've ever eaten in throughout the UK, never mind the Torquay area. So if you happen across this review while searching for Indian restaurants in the Torquay area, you would do well to head straight to The Balti Garden and give your taste buds the chance to experience some wonderful culinary delights.

File Under: food / review / torquay

Some Rights Reserved Unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Barbie and included in the Memories Of A Roadie website and any related pages, including the website's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons by Attribution Non-Commercial License. If you wish to use material for commercial puposes, please contact me for further assistance regarding commercial licensing.