Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Liverpool Restaurants: Miyagi's

Image Mr Miyagi

Once again, it has taken me way too long to get around to visiting a "new" Liverpool restaurant, as life, work and a pre-schooler means that you don't get out as much as I used to. I have promised to make more of an effort this year to see more people instead of forever saying "we should meet up" and not seeing it through, but we will see how it goes! Anyway, I finally made it to Bold Street's Mr Miyagi, an Asian fusion restaurant and bar that has been getting rave reviews since it opened last summer. Apart from the odd few restaurants (Etsu and Yuet Ben come to mind),  Liverpool is a bit thin on the ground when it comes to good quality Oriental food, so I was looking forward to trying somewhere new.

First impressions were really good; cool decor, nice lighting, friendly staff and not too much hipster nonsense. On this particular occasion, I was not in a cocktail mood, but there were some pretty decent sounding drinks on the menu including The Bride in the Hood: fresh peach, vanilla, yuzu juice, palm sugar, grenadine, egg white sake and Beefeater gin. I think I will try a few cocktails next time I go as there will be a next time. Everything that we (me, Husband and our 4-year-old chopstick fanatic) ate was really good and there were lots more dishes on the menu that I NEED to try.

The menu is quite extensive and is split into a selection of starters/sharing dishes, 'big bowls' and Japanese classics sushi and yakitori. My meat loving little one wanted the beef teriyaki that was wonderfully tender and packed full of flavour although, in Sofia's words "it could have been a little pinker" and we also shared the black pig gyoza with plum chilli jam which was so good. The outside of the gyozas were light and crispy and the inside was jam packed full of meat which I was rather glad about, I hate it when you get a load of mush, but this was proper meat!


Image Mr Miyagi

The food is served as and when it is ready which meant that we could eat tapas style and pick from each others plates rather than a straightforward starter, main, dessert, which is the best way to eat in my opinion. Our other chosen dishes were the 'chicken for the soul' ramen, Togarashi confit duck with Hirata buns and samurai fries with (the best) kimchi mayonnaise. The ramen was nothing to write home about, but it was what you would expect and, to be fair, I only picked this dish to share with my daughter and I would have much preferred the delicious sounding Laksa. I tasted my husband's buns (oo err) and the were very good indeed, the wasabi celeriac slaw was crisp and not too overpowering so was a great match for the sweet duck.

I was truly stuffed by after eating all of the above but when I saw custard donuts on the menu I just couldn't resist. The donuts came in small balls, much like an African mandazi, with the homemade  cold custard on the side. The donuts were a little stodgy and the custard slightly too thick, but I still managed to polish them up, I love custard. After settling our very reasonable bill and finishing off our beers we went home feeling very satisfied and looking forward to visiting again soon. With such a great menu I am sure we will go back many times, as long as we can get a seat as there are no reservations and it is proving to be, very rightly, popular.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Easy Chicken Thigh and Barley One-Pot

Barley is a food that will be forever linked to my childhood as it brings back memories of Saturday afternoons spent at Nanna Kitty's house enjoying a big bowl of barley soup. My dad always makes a great bowl of chicken and barley soup, as can I but nothing quite beats my nan's recipe.

Barley is packed full of fibre, vitamins and minerals and has shown to help reduce cholesterol so it not only tastes great but is good for your health.



Image Sticky Goey, Creamy, Chewy

With winter now well and truly in swing there is nothing better than a hearty soup or a warm casserole to give your body a little hug. Over New Year, I made a one-pot ham and barley casserole and it went down really well with everyone who tasted it, so I thought I would try it with chicken this week. I love cooking with chicken thighs as they are so versatile and are packed with much more flavour than a boring chicken breast. I left the skin on mine, but if you want to reduce the fat content then you can remove the skin.

Ingredients

2 rashers of smokey bacon (cut into strips)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
Chicken Thighs ( I used 5)
Small bunch of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
125g of barley
250ml Chicken stock
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Seasoning

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 190°/gas mark 5
2. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the bacon until browned. Add the chicken thighs to brown
3. Add the carrot, celery and onion and cook until softened then add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes
4. Add the barley, white wine vinegar, rosemary and stock and bring to the boil
5. Season then transfer into a casserole dish and cook in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. You may need to add some water if the barley has soaked up the stock but it is still a bit too chewy. You may need to add further seasoning also.

I am really sorry that I have not got a picture, I asked my husband to take it out of the oven for me and he served it up before I could get a good picture. I will be making it again soon, I'm sure, so will post it then.