In Review: Trinity Kitchen, April 2014

trinity kitchen april 2014
Trinity Leeds’ Trinity Kitchen is, truth be told, one of the first places that made me fall in love with Leeds. It’s about time I gave it some blog love.

Though Trinity Kitchen has some long-term restaurant spaces secured (PizzaLuxe, Pho, other good noms beginning with the letter P, etc), the area I tend to make a beeline for is the open ‘food court’ right at the back – an space filled with a monthly rotation of street food vans.

At the start of April, I headed down to check out the newbies: Rola Wala, Happy Maki, The Cake Doctor, Fresh Rootz, and Bangwok. Spoilt for choice, much?

After spending far too much time staring at Cake Doctor’s 1979 Ford Transit Mark 2 ambulance and circling around Bangwok’s giant woks, oil drums, and Tuk-Tuk, I sent The Manfriend off to Rola Wala while I ordered Happy Maki’s Hoisin Duck futomaki (translation: wrap). Filled with crispy shredded duck, hoisin sauce, spring onion, roasted sesame seeds, avocado, cucumber, and green pepper, this carefully balanced – and ocean conscious – meal is a treat and a half. (You can sub the duck for tofu, but you’d have to be nuts. Instead, add some wasabi and ginger and get your Happy on.)

Having rather ‘meh’ feelings about Indian curries, I didn’t expect to be as eager to taste Rola Wala’s Coriander Chicken Tikka wrap as I was. Simply, the ‘I could marry this’ look on The Manfriend’s face said it all. When offered a bite, I practically cut it out of his hands.

There is something magical going on in Rola Wala’s wraps. As co-founder Adam explained while spreading all of the toppings across the wrap, the chicken (which is halal) is marinated for 48 hours before being nipped and tucked inside their fresh naan. Even the naan was more than a vehicle for the flavour (which was phenomenally, moreishly spicy). In itself, it was rather tasty.

Balancing sips of Happy Maki’s Berry Smoothie (blueberries, blackberries, banana and almond milk) between tongue-zapping bites of the wrap, I was in street food heaven.

I only wished I had enough stomach space to get through one of the super-stacked veggie plates (from Fresh Rootz) that so many fellow Trinity patrons were gushing over around me.

Completely stuffed to the brim and swearing to return to trial the rest of the Kitchen’s April offerings, we stopped by Rola Wala to give our praise…only to be tempted by Adam’s introduction of ‘The Hottest Ice In The World’. In partnership with Indie Ices, Rola Wala have developed a small pot of mango kulfi with added coconut, lime juice and a pinch of Moruga Scorpion Chilli (the Worlds hottest chilli). It was – obviously – divine.

You won’t spend a better £10 (or less!) anywhere in Leeds.

trinity kitchen april 2014
trinity kitchen april 2014
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What I Wore – Spring Awakening

spring awakening
I am no stranger to florals, but I always find them trickier to style than other prints. While the safe styling go-to is always nudes or pastels, when F&F challenged me to style this open back dress, I thought I’d aim for something a little more edgy. Florals and lots of black? It put a smile on my face!

What I Wore:
Floral print open back dress from F&F
Slash neck 3/4 sleeve top
Past season suede heels from Duo (similar here)
Past season gem belt (similar here)
Laser-cut Evelina clutch bag from Lagom

spring awakening
spring awakening
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Recipe: The Calories Don’t Count Healthy Cocoa Cake

healthy cocoa cake
I adore the ‘Mug Cake‘ philosophy because I love cake. Especially when it’s secretly healthy. What fellow mugcake makers and I don’t love? Making full cakes. Without a house full of sweet tooths to clear a cake stand in a day or less, cake-making’s inevitability is the personal consumption of hundreds of calories that I simply don’t need.

The trick? Making a yummy personal-sized cake full of hidden healthies! In my words, ‘The Calories Don’t Count Healthy Cocoa Cake‘.

Ingredients:
1 egg
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 very ripe banana
1 tbsp greek yogurt
1 pinch self-raising flour
1 pinch cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Smoosh the bejeezus out of your banana. Use a blender if you have one to hand, of course – I just prefer to smoosh and whip manually. Transfer into a small microwave-safe dish or mug.

2. Crack an egg into the banana and mix (by fork). Add the rest of your ingredients and mix once more.

3. In regards to the cocoa, I personally like to leave mine until the last ingredient and not mix it very well. This creates little pockets of cocoa in the final cake; ‘healthy chocolate chips’, if you will. Mixing it in well will simply create a more consistent chocolate flavour in the cake.

4. Microwave for one minute.

Enjoy!

healthy cocoa cake
healthy cocoa cake


What I Wore – Dolce and Gabbana Face

dolce gabbana sunglasses
Though I don’t buy sunglasses all too often (once a year, if that), I tend to get completely obsessed with the pairs that end up cased and handbagged with me. In this case, I was obsessed before they even arrived.

After hours scrolling the pages of the Sunglasses Shop (it’s like sunglass porn), these bad boys from Dolce & Gabbana were on their way to me.

Deserving of a far snazzier name than the ‘4171P‘, these sunspecs are simply gorgeous. From the cream-coloured cat eyes to the slinky logo-ed arms, they are the effortlessly cool and look good with practically everything I’ve worn over the past week. Lust.

dolce gabbana sunglasses
dolce gabbana sunglasses
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Review: Almost Famous Burgers, Manchester

almost famous burgers manchester
Sometimes I really hate reviewing food.

Not that I’m ungrateful (far from it!) – I simply have a problem sitting down to start blogging after a tough workout and healthy breakfast, only to develop an insane craving for a dirty-as-they-come burger.

I think my mouth is throbbing. And I’m blaming Almost Famous.

This restaurant is so wrapped up in burger hype that I felt it be sacrilege not to order one…or two…with loads of fries…and crack wings….and cocktails. Ahem.

Though almost all of the burgers on Almost Famous’ menu start with a double cheeseburger base, each and every one is met with a flurry of – slightly insane – toppings. My best friend couldn’t take his eyes off of the River Phoenix; the double topped with bacon, BBQ fried onions, frazzles, baconnaise, chipotle ketchup, BBQ sass, and fresh chilli. With the trifecta of bacon (and bacon-esque) toppings on offer, it sounds much more sickly than it actually is. Somehow, the high-low mix of ‘ingredients’ like fresh chilli and Frazzles worked.

Jumping off the deep end, I went for what I was most intimidated by: the super saucy Baddaboom. While this burger was topped with just one slice of bacon, the other ingredients (chorizo, onions, marinara, famous sauce, frenchs, parmesan, and chilli) maxxed out all available space inside the garlic butter brioche. Beautifully so. The chilli and chorizo added another dimension to what I’m sure is a disgustingly calorific food mountain.

Deciding to share some ‘Winning’ fries (heavily house seasoned skin-on and sweet potato fries) in between bites of their ‘Crack Wings‘, I was in Americana heaven. The wings come in ‘Suicide’ (HOT!), ‘Redneck’ (BBQ) and the soy-based ‘Pho-king amazing’ sauce. I went for the latter, and fell in love with the asian sensation (I’m positive the sauce had some sriracha in it).

The only thing I didn’t enjoy about Almost Famous was ordering at the bar. While I don’t expect much ‘service’ from any restaurant I go to, I have had low-key table service at restaurants/cafes that cost less than half as much. Waiting ten minutes to order food, another few minutes for cocktails to be made, and then having to carry them – and a purse – back to the table? It prevented me from ordering more drinks. It’s a disservice to an otherwise awesome establishment.

Note: Like all good burger joints in this day and age, Almost Famous has a no booking policy that means two hour waits are not uncommon on a Friday or Saturday. If you can’t hack a queue, don’t think you need to write it off. Lunchtimes are still buzzy (but queueless), and a Thursday evening visit will keep you in a happy food coma until the weekend arrives.

almost famous burgers manchester
almost famous burgers manchester
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