Sunday 26 January 2014

Restaurant Review: Scogs Restaurant, West Kirby, Wirral.

I have thought for some time that it might be fun to include the occasional review of a good bar or restaurant on my blog. Last night, I dined at Scogs Restaurant for the first time, which is located at 34-36 Banks Road, West Kirby, Wirral, Uk. (
The restaurant describes itself as a contemporary restaurant and I would agree. The decor was simple but with a nice attention to detail such as linen napkins and elegant wine glasses. We were greeted warmly on arrival, and having made a reservation we were led straight to our table by the window. The menus were impressive, with original sounding dishes such as 'Goats cheese and wild mushroom stroganoff' alongside more familiar classics such as 'Crispy fish and chips with crushed peas and mint'.
I had the starter of 'Homemade soup with a warm roll' which was a deliciously rich and tangy tomato soup, drizzled with single cream, accompanied by a warm wholemeal roll with a small dish of butter. The starter was absolutely delicious and the portion was very generous, which is often not the case in many restaurants. My dining companion had the 'Garlic and rosemary pizza bread' as his starter and he said it was very tasty indeed.
To drink, I had house champagne by the glass, which was perfectly dry with a good amount of fizz. My companion had a 'Tee total cocktail' an alcohol free blend of juices which he said was lovely. The main courses arrived and we were both astounded by the beautiful presentation of the food as well as the generous portion sizes. I had the
Chicken breast wrapped in Parma ham & topped with goats cheese on spinach, wine & cream sauce with chive mash. It was perfect. The chicken was cooked to perfection and the creamy white wine sauce was rich, with an excellent depth of flavour, which was added to by the spinach. The mashed potatoes were creamy and the goats cheese itself was sharp and rich in taste. 
My companion had the Goats cheese Wellington, roasted cherry tomatoes, sweet red pepper coulis with sauté potatoes & French beans. The wellington was encased in flaky pastry and the red pepper coulis was delicious. The tomatoes and beans were tasty and complemented the dish and the sauce was sublime, as were the crispy potatoes.
I skipped dessert, opting to end the meal with an Irish coffee which was lovely. My companion had the Warm chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream. It was a perfect dessert, with the little chocolate fondant having a rich chocolate sauce inside and the ice cream was served in a biscuit basket which was a nice touch.
All in all, it was a wonderful meal and the whole bill only came to £68 with tip which was very good value for such a lavish dining experience. The service was impeccable throughout and the live music added to the ambience. The restaurant also offers a deal : Choose a starter & main course for £14.95 before 6.30pm, £17.95 after & get a bottle of Pinot Grigio or Merlot for £10.00. They even serve a breakfast menu which is renowned for enormous portions and good value prices.

 The table

 A glimpse of the interior

 Place setting

House champagne and Tee-Total cocktail

 Tomato soup and warm roll/ Garlic and rosemary pizza bread

 Above: The main courses. Chicken in Parma ham (bottom of picture) and Goats cheese wellington (top of picture)
 Goats cheese wellington
 Chicken in Parma ham

 Irish coffee and chocolate fondant
Chocolate fondant and pistachio ice cream

Thursday 23 January 2014

Recipe: Peri-Peri Chicken Pitta Breads.

These chicken pitta breads are easy to make and they offer a great alternative to a take away meal.
(Allow 2 chicken/ Quorn mini fillets and two pitta breads per person dining)

A splash of olive oil.
Lettuce, washed and shredded.
Bottle of Nandos medium Peri-Peri marinade (or another shop bought Peri-Peri marinade).
Cheese slices,cut into strips  (I used cheddar).
Pitta breads.
Chicken breast mini fillets (or use Quorn mini fillets for a vegetarian version of the recipe).

Good quality oven chips and flatbread compliment this dish (optional).

To serve:

White wine (eg. Pinot Grigio) or sparkling water.

(If using oven chips to serve, cook them according to the instructions on the packet.)
First, wash and shred enough lettuce for each pitta bread. In a griddle pan or a non stick frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat.
Place the chicken or Quorn fillets into the pan and pour enough of the marinade over to coat each fillet.
Cook the chicken, turning frequently until it is crispy and browned on the outside and white all the way through when you cut into it. At least 7-10 minutes normally of cooking time, but make sure it is cooked thoroughly before serving. If using Quorn, cooking time will be less!
Just before the chicken or Quorn is done, layer the cheese strips over each fillet so that the cheese melts slightly as the chicken finishes cooking.
Meanwhile, split and lightly toast the pitta breads. When toasted, spread a little Houmous onto the bread and top with lettuce.
Once the chicken or Quorn is cooked, carefully transfer it onto the waiting pitta breads. Drizzle with your preferred sauce to serve, for example ketchup or mayonnaise.

To serve, I accompanied the pittas with crinkle cut oven chips. Some other side dishes to compliment the pittas would be rice, mashed sweet potato or mixed green salad. To vary the dish, use a Jerk marinade rather than Peri Peri, or use Halloumi cheese rather than Cheddar. Another idea is to substitute the pitta bread for tortilla wraps.
I would suggest white wine to serve with this meal, to compliment the spicy chicken I served Pinot Grigio but Chardonnay would also be a good choice. For non-drinkers, serve sparkling water so that the flavours of the pitta breads are not spoiled by a sugary soft drink.
The Ingredients (minus the olive oil)

Thursday 16 January 2014

Outfit of the day

Bag-River Island
Faux leather leggings-Primark
Dress Topshop

I bought this wine-coloured blazer from Primark in December. It has rolled up sleeves with a polka dot lining and it is simple to throw on with a plain black dress. The bag is from River Island and I have used it so much that it was a really good buy. All black can look a little dull, but with a contrasting blazer and a slick of red lipstick the outfit becomes more fun whilst still being elegant. Where would I be without my precious leather-look leggings? I love how they look with a dress or a long t shirt and a statement necklace.