Sunday, 28 June 2015

Restaurant review: Wagamama

I recently visited Cardiff's Wagamama restaurant for my friend's 30th birthday night out and had the most amazing and blog-worthy meal.

I usually choose noodles when I go out for Japanese food so I decided to try something different. The Yasai Katsu Curry sounded delicious so I thought it would be a good dish to try. It's a combination of sweet potato, butternut squash and aubergine coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, covered in curry sauce and served with sticky white rice and a side salad. Although I'm not a vegetarian, I love a good veggie meal from time to time so I eagerly awaited the arrival of my curry.

Yes, it definitely tasted as good as it looked. The curry sauce was beautifully rich and aromatic... not too spicy but very tasty. The sweet potato and butternut squash were especially mouth watering, and who knew aubergine could taste so good? The rice was lovely and sticky (even their rice is worthy of comment!), and the salad was drizzled with a really flavoursome dressing. I never usually bother to eat my side salad because I don't want it to take up valuable space in my stomach, but I ate every bit of this one as the dressing was so good. 

Wagamama is very reasonable priced, particularly when you consider the huge portion sizes, and your food is always brought out to the table really quickly. I've been to the Wagamama restaurant in Cardiff Bay as well as the restaurant in the city centre and both have excellent levels of service. It's not somewhere I go very often, but it's always a treat when I do go! 

What's your favourite Wagamama meal? 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

My new favourite drink... Limoncello Fever!

I discovered a new drink on our recent visit to Amalfi... the amazing Limoncello Fever.

I've been a big fan of Limoncello since our honeymoon last year, so I was intrigued when I spotted the Limoncello Fever on the bar menu of our favourite drinking haunt in Piazza Duomo. It was made up of Limoncello, Prosecco and papaya syrup which sounded pretty tasty. I was torn between ordering something new and ordering something I knew I loved such as a Bellini, but I decided to go for the new option just to try it out. I was hooked at once and drank several more before our holiday came to an end.

The lovely staff at our hotel kindly gave us a bottle of Limoncello when we left Amalfi which meant I had a third of the ingredients I needed to recreate my new favourite drink.

Possibly as a result of my enthusiastic raving about my new favourite drink, I had a bottle of Prosecco and another bottle of Limoncello for my birthday as I mentioned in my last blog post. I also eventually managed to track down some papaya juice in Asda's foreign food aisle so I was all set. I was determined to have a few Limoncello Fevers to celebrate my birthday weekend as it seemed like the perfect occasion to indulge in a few homemade cocktails.

We set up our new garden chairs on the Sunday afternoon of my birthday weekend and I eagerly made myself a Limoncello Fever in one of our fancy cocktail glasses. It might not have been quite the same as the ones I had in Amalfi (probably because I had to use papaya juice instead of syrup), but it was still pretty good.

I sat in the garden for an hour or two on that Sunday afternoon, reading my Kindle and drinking two Limoncello Fevers. Our cocktail glasses are huge, but it's a drink that goes down very nicely and is dangerously easy to drink. It was a perfect afternoon and I haven't felt that relaxed for a very long time. I think it was probably the combination of being outside, reading a good book and being considerably mellowed by my potent cocktails! 

Do you like Limoncello? Or Prosecco? Or papaya juice? Or possibly all three? If so, I urge you to try a Limoncello Fever one day. I promise you won't regret it!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

My birthday haul

I haven't done a 'What I had for my birthday/Christmas' post for a few years... probably not since the crushing stress of planning a wedding. Yes, it really is that bad, but the end result is totally worth it. I thought it was time to rectify this delay as I received so many lovely presents for my 29th birthday a few days ago.

I asked my parents for money for my birthday this year so that I could spend it on a Pandora bracelet which I've been coveting for a long time. I specifically booked a day off work last Friday so that I could go into town to buy my new bracelet. I love it! I bought the bracelet and the 'B' charm with my birthday money from my parents and my grandmother, then Neil bought me another charm over the weekend as a late birthday present. I think the Pandora shop might become an expensive habit over the next few months!

As well as my Pandora bracelet, I also had more jewellery for my birthday... a Jon Richard necklace and bracelet from Neil and a beautiful homemade bracelet from Sarah, my lovely colleague. I've already worn all these unique pieces in the last few days and they'll definitely be coming on holiday with me in September. 

A girl can never have enough toiletries (just ask my overflowing bathroom toiletry rack), and I had more than my fair share for my birthday from my in laws, Sian and Amy. I'm very excited about using the Body Shop bath jelly as I'm currently using the Frosted Cranberry shower gel which I had from Sian for Christmas, and it smells amazing. The Ted Baker goodies from Sian also smell really lovely... everything made by Ted Baker seems to smell divine. Last but not least, I can't wait to try out my in-shower gradual tanning lotion from my in laws. I'm ridiculously pale/transparent at the moment so it's a very welcome solution! 

No birthday would be complete without a few entertainment presents. I have a well populated Amazon wishlist which influenced certain purchases from Neil and my sister... Big Hero 6 and The Theory of Everything are two of the best films I've seen in the cinema this year. I also loved Delivery Man last year, and who doesn't (secretly) love Taylor Swift? Shake it off! 

I've never ever bought a pair of sunglasses worth more than £5, so I was very excited when Neil's parents bought me this lovely pair for my birthday. They definitely look more classy than my Primark specials! Another definite item for my holiday list. 

It definitely wouldn't be a real birthday without some new Disney pyjamas. Neil is well aware of this as he started the Disney pyjamas tradition so he now has to continue with it until the end of time. This resulted in some lovely new summer pyjamas with Eeyore emblazoned all over them... how cute are these?! 

Neil also bought a lovely Animal hoodie for my birthday as he knows I'm partial to that kind of thing. He's a good one! 

I've been banging on about discovering the amazing Limoncello Fever since our recent holiday to Amalfi so it's no surprise that I received the two key ingredients for my birthday from Edwina and my in laws. I've had two Limoncello Fevers today and I can confirm that they're delicious (and quite potent) in this country too. 

Neil's parents' pets are also very generous when it comes to my birthday and they bought me some lovely candles this year. They're very clever!

Although I managed to wait until my birthday to open most of my presents, I actually opened Sarah's presents two days early this year. I had a very stressful day on Tuesday and I'd arranged to meet Sarah at the cinema in the evening. She had my birthday presents with her, and I'm sure you'd agree that it would have been very rude not to open them in front of her. I'll be honest with you here... the Tangfastics are nearly all gone already. However, I haven't tried the hot chocolate sachets, marshmallows or the mug yet so I'm looking forward to those! I really love the inscription on the mug: 'Friends are like stars, you don't always see them  but you know they are there.'

As well as my bottle of Prosecco, Edwina bought some lovely flowers for my birthday which brightened up the office on Thursday. They're also doing a great job of brightening up my kitchen windowsill with their yellows, pinks, purples and greens. 

Another purchase from my Amazon wish list... my sister and my nephews bought me a heat guard for my precious GHD straighteners which will be very useful when I go on holiday. I also had some pretty Cath Kidston earrings from Amy which I can't wait to try out. 

Nicola bought me a New Look gift card for my birthday so I merrily spent it in town the following day. Here's what I spent it on... look at these beautiful colours! 

Last but not least, who doesn't love having chocolate for their birthday? If you don't love having chocolate for your birthday, I don't think we can be friends. Thanks, Neil :) 

So there's my birthday haul for this year... I've been very lucky! Have you written any haul posts lately? I'd love to read them if so, I'm very nosey when it comes to other people's gifts!