Tag Archives: Gua bao

My 2014 Favourites!

The time of year has come where we make lists of our favourite things, for me as a so-called food blogger, it’s time for me to look back at some of the memorable eating experiences I’ve had. So with that in mind I’ve scoured the last year and picked out my favourites.

These aren’t in any particular order by the way:

1. The Man Behind The Curtain – whether Leeds’ food and drink scene is heading towards a Michelin star is debatable, the execution of the food and the service here are second to none and deserves to have praise heaped on it. The food is innovative, aesthetically beautiful and exquisite to boot.

Part of the degustation menu

2. NOM Deli: one of the things I enjoy about food blogging is meeting people. I’m not the most out-going person, but this has brought me out of my shell more, and talking to like-minded individuals who base their work around the love of food is very inspiring. So when meeting the team from NOM Deli that’s what happened, they love the food from their native homeland and are serving their take on Banh Mi, bun and pho in Leeds city centre. I remember vividly trying the Banh Mi at Kirkstall Deli Market and being completely blown away by it! I’m definitely hoping to visit them again, to try out their Friday evening menu in the new year! Fancy reading about my experience at NOM, click here.

Banh Mi with BBQ pork

3. Stuzzi – this is another one of those wonderful combinations of brilliant food produced by the most passionate of people! I know I’ve recently written about this team, but what the hell because I adore their Italian food and their infectious love for their cuisine! Both of my Stuzzi experiences at the Belgrave Music Hall residency and at their new home in Harrogate have been memorable. To read about my Stuzzi encounters click here.

Stuzzichini sharing box

4. Tartine Bakery, San Francisco – this summer I spent seven days exploring the city to the fullest. If I was to choose one from the many amazing eats we had on that trip, for me it would have to be the afternoon we spent in the Mission District, firstly joining the back of an already long queue that hugged the building, then admiring and drooling over their beautiful bakes from afar. Having eyes on stalks to grab a table as soon as one came free then slowly devouring the prettiest tarts ever!!! The fresh fruit tart and lemon cream tart were both an absolute delight – so light and dreamy. A absolute must visit!! To read my experience of patisserie heaven in San Francisco, click here.

Lemon cream tart

5. The Reliance – this isn’t necessarily based on one of my most recent reviews, our annual Christmas lunch, but also from eating here many times over the years. It’s a firm favourite in my eyes delivering on many levels and all important ones for me; great food served at reasonable prices, lovely staff all found in a relaxed space. Our Christmas lunch a few weeks ago just reaffirmed this for me! To read about my last couple of visits click here.

Meatball sandwich
Meatball sandwich
Confit duck
Confit duck

6. Le Langhe – this Italian restaurant in York won me over with it’s perfect pasta, so much so that we ordered seconds! Simplicity in its ingredients, yielding tasty results, I could eat a bowl of that silky pasta all over again as I type, it was so good!! Click here to have a read of my visit.

Game ragu

7. Belgrave Feast – Oh I’ve eaten, and I’ve eaten well over the last year, enjoying amazing street food at Belgrave’s monthly feast!! I’ve gone on ALOT about the Belgrave in 2014 making it a difficult one to whittle down, so I thought which would I always go to time after time, without question I would have to pick out Arepa!Arepa!Arepaand Fu-Schnikens!! Both are extremely comforting, more-ish and damn tasty! 

SobreBarriga Arepa
Gua Bao with sticky ox cheek

Where have you had some memorable meals and why?









Off The Grid street food photoblog, San Francisco

Regular readers of the blog may know off my penchant for street food, so whilst researching for my little jaunt around San Francisco, one thing on my food radar was seeking out the best street food I could find. I’ve watched many a street food programme on the Food Network channel and followed how street food has exploded in America over the last few years. Meanwhile, street food has emerged as part of the zeitgeist across the UK; London has a number of well known street food markets, such as Street Feast London and Brixton Market, Manchester with events such as B.Eat Street MCR, and Leeds has the Belgrave Street Feast and Amazing Graze….I could go on.

One of my guide books highlighted a weekly event called Off The Grid, with the aim of about gathering different food communities together they have 35 weekly public markets across the San Francisco Bay Area!! On reading this you can imagine my thoughts…..alarm bells, fanfares, party poppers going off absolutely everywhere!! A quick nosey on the website just reaffirmed my excitement and it was one of the first things I noted down as a FOODIE MUST DO on our trip.


So as part of the itinerary I’d planned, we rocked up Friday 5pm (if that’s possible after walking 20+ miles in 35°C heat) to Off The Grid at the Fort Mason Centre. We anticipated seeing up to 32 different traders serving their wares from trucks, carts or tents…ahhhh STREET FOOD HEAVEN!!! There were so many different cuisines on offer; from Malaysian, Nepalese and Filipino to Koreon, Mexican, Asian and many others besides!

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After a quick scoot round to get my eye in and awaken my taste buds, we both ended up with what could be classed as four courses.

Pork belly Gua Bao, Maui Fish Taco, Sangria, Pork and Chive Dumplings, Strawberry and Lemonade Popsicle
Pork belly Gua Bao, Maui Fish Taco, Sangria, Pork and Chive Dumplings, Strawberry and Lemonade Popsicle

I love a Gua Bao and one of the best around are served up by The Chairman who offer a steamed or baked bao, I went for the steamed belly pork bao ($3.75) and it was so good!!! Soft, pillowy bao filled with uber soft pork, topped with pickled daikon and shiso leaf, with the addition of some chilli sauce made for a very tasty intro to Off The Grid. At just over £2 sterling, a bargain too!!

My second course was a Fish Taco from The Taco Guys, I think this was my favourite out of everything I ate that evening!!! Every ingredient was evident from the first mouthful and it was so full of fresh flavours, but also textures from the panko breadcrumb coating, creamy mayo, pickled onion and slaw. I found it hard to resist going for seconds and well worth $6, as it was a decent size too!

Our third savoury course came in the form of dumplings from Happy Dumplings, my friend and I are both dumpling fans so ordered a portion of pork and chive. Three large dumplings ($4 I think) had quite a thick casing filled with lots of pork; they were tasty, but weren’t my favourite. 

My last course had to be something cold and refreshing, especially as it had been a scorcher of a day, so an ice lolly or popsicle as they call them from Fat Face was in order. From a selection of unusual flavour combinations, including apricot/curry and thai tea/sweet potato I chose one of the safer picks of strawberry and lemonade ($3.50). Exactly what the doctor ordered!! 

Such a great atmosphere and it was rammed with people all enjoying great food and drink!

Hey street food fans, wouldn’t it be great to have something like this in Leeds every week? 
Off The Grid
2 Marina Blvd
Fort Mason Centre
San Francisco
CA 94123