Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Restaurant review: Yak Yeti Yak (Bath)

Lying underground near the famous Second Bridge nightclub in Bath is Yak Yeti Yak, a charming Nepalese restaurant offering some very authentic and delicious dishes.
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As far as quantities go, the main meals had a decent amount, whilst perhaps less than the more generous portions you’d find on offer in a typical Chinese or Indian restaurant, the quality on offer was much higher, with some wonderful herbs and spices that I’d never experienced before, but complemented the main meal wonderfully. I had the chilli chicken has my main meat dish, and whilst it was indeed quite spicy, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as chicken I’ve tasted in other Asian restaurants, when the chefs go too far with making it spicy, thus completely detracting from the overall flavour. The chilli quotient of the meal here was perfect. The rice was quite uninspired, particularly given the somewhat steep price tag.

However, the main disappointment in terms of quantity were the starters. The cheeseballs were just under five pounds, and there were only five of them, and so small that you could have easily consumed it in one bite (first picture for photographic evidence). The presentation was marvellous – I’ve been in only a few restaurants who take such good care with the aesthetics of their meals –

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But the meagre quantity of food meant that for me, Yak Yeti Yak will never be one of my favourites. The main meal left me comfortably nourished, but not as stuffed as I could be from a restaurant, particularly as I paid just under £20. I understand that the point of starters is to pique your appetite, not to fill you up, but after sampled the tantalisingly good starters, and only having had a few bites, I was, if anything, just more famished.

Overall, the ambience (incense, mood lighting, and the seven of us were allowed to sit on cushions on the floor, which hugely contributed to the fun experience we had) and high quality of the food rendered this a good place to visit. The starters were far too expensive for what they were, and, whilst delicious, that meant that overall, I left an otherwise stand-up venue feeling a little short-changed.

 Grade: B

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Emsy tries her hand at cooking a full English breakfast.

I had some help from Theo (read: he cooked pretty much everything other than the hash browns, tomatos, sausages and baked beans, which I was in charge of. And I ruined the sausages).

The cooking process:

The sausages were a rather embarrassing phail. Basically, I put them in the grill thinking they were cooking as the grill was warm, but that was just heat from the oven cooking the hash browns. So by the time I worked it out, the sausages were late, and looking distinctly unappetising. Anyway, here they are:
And the finished product:
Contents: 3 slices of bacon, garlicy mushrooms, fried egg, three fried tomatos, baked beans, three hash browns.
And it was absolutely delicious! We'll see what mistakes I make in the kitchen next weekend...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Accidental Husband (Griffin Dunne, 2008)

Uma Thurman plays Emma Lloyd, a popular radio agony aunt who specializes in advice pertaining to the matters of the heart. She is engaged to caring but stuffy publisher Richard (played by the quintessential stiff upper lip performer, Colin Firth), but one day, after giving advice to a woman that has her ditching her fireman fiancée, finds herself on the receiving end of some computer hacking retribution as his younger brother makes them engaged. Emma, utterly baffled by the whole situation, sets about finding the fireman (Patrick, played by relatively unknown actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan), only to find that, surprise surprise, the course of true love never ran smooth.

Even the performances aren’t up to much. Uma Thurman is best known for her fierce performance as The Bride in Kill Bill, but has shown that she can dos whimsical and cutesy in The Truth About Cats and Dogs. However, in this film, she’s difficult to take seriously and borders on annoying. The scenes which have clearly been played for laughs – when Emma gets drunk in a bar after being tricked into taking shots – are awkwardly staged and downright unfunny. Colin Firth fails to bring any dimension to the caricature of a stuffy Brit, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan is comfortably the best of the three leads in an exuberant performance. It’s a nice surprise top see screen siren Isabella Rossellini pop up in a less dramatic role than we are used to seeing from her, but her fleeting cannot elevate the tired script despite her best efforts.

It’s hard to find a single scene that isn’t embarrassing. There is a complete lack of chemistry between Thurman and Firth, and Thurman and Dean Morgan, leading to the rather blatant conclusion that the film’s heroine would perhaps be better off if she was simply single. In one scene where Patrick masquerades as Richard and talks football is clunky – he mispronounces “Bayern Munich” and the football repartee between the characters is utterly unimpressive. The scenes where Colin Firth’s character is hollering at Emma down the phone are a pain in the arse and really makes you question why she wants to marry this fool.

The film looks to send up all those tired self-help books, which is fair enough, but the criticisms that  Patrick raises of Emma’s book paints it as so bad that it’s utterly unbelievable that it would ever get printed in the first place. And whilst the film tries to capture Emma’s emotional torment in choosing between the two men, the way she keeps falling into increasingly bizarre scenarios doesn’t ring true, and the fickle way in which Emma falls in and out of love is unconvincing to the extreme, and thus, we don’t really care WHO she goes for, we just want the damn film to end. There's an obligatory sex scene bunged in but like the rest of the film, it fails to titilate.

As 2011’s Bridesmaids showed, Hollywood can both have fun and produce an entertaining end product when producing films about the hustle and bustle that leads up to a wedding. But Bridesmaids featured strong performances, an amazingly wicked script and everything just clicking. There is no sass, and certain no click in The Accidental Husband, which doesn’t so much feel like a romantic comedy as it does a short collection of unfunny skits. It’s a shame seeing the considerable talents of Thurman and Firth wasted, but the key to building a sweet romantic comedy is for the romance to feel believable. The relationship between Annie and Officer Rhodes in Bridesmaids was tentative, often clumsy, but overall realistic and touching. The way in which Emma finds “love” in this film is nothing more than a series of sketches where Uma Thurman gets to flounce about in pretty New York apparel. Real life just isn’t like that. And this is not a good film.

Grade: F.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Carnitas pork burritos.

The veggies:

The pork (slow cooked in the oven for about 4 hours):

The other ingredients:

The finished product:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yet ANOTHER trip to Pizza Express with my brother.

This photodump is the sequel to this, which in turn is the sequel to this!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A trip to Nando's for my cousin's birthday.

I had -
My brother had-
My cousin had (although we all helped!)-
And we all dug into this rather fabulous cake-

A pledge for healthier eating.

I had two more pizzas this week--

Unfortunately, due to the lack of variety in my diet, I got ill on Shrove Tuesday, which was the worst possible timing as it meant I was poorly and missed out on Pancakes Tuesday --
That, and the ensuing indigestion I suffered, was more than lesson enough, and from here on forward, I pledge to have a much healthier diet, to avoid this ever happening again! Which means I will have to cut back on the pizzas, which is a shame, but hopefully in doing so I'll discover new types of food that are just as tasty!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Big pizza week...

A not a single trip to Pizza Express, surprisingly. ;)
Tuesday - Sainsbury's pizza
Wednesday - Sainsbury's pizza
The Sainsbury's pizzas were 10 inches, so exactly the same size as the Domino's pizzas in the photo below. They were 2 for £6, which I think is an absolute bargain because they taste every bit as good as Domino's pizzas, and with more nutritional content! So yeah, get on it!
Saturday - Domino's