Eating out – The week long birthday party

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Well this post was started a while ago, but i’ve just been
so busy that I haven’t been able to finish it. But I finally managed to get it
done, so here it is.
Potentially one of the most almighty birthday celebrations I
have taken part in so far was this summer after all our exams had finished. My
friend Aneesa decided that she couldn’t graduate without having visited a
decent amount of the restaurants around us so organised a week long food-fest,
so people could pick which restaurants they wanted to go to, based on food
preferences or availability. So if you were like me you could agree to an
extremely expensive and stomach intensive week of eating out everyday…
All the receipts from the week, and a item of cutlery from each restaurant…
We started off the week with Thai food in a nice little
restaurant called Sara’s, which despite being right in the Student area hardly
anyone had visited it before. The food was really tasty, a good way to start
the week, I had Chicken Satay for starter and Chicken with ginger and jasmine
rice for main. Pretty sure I’ll have to make another trip back here to try out
some of the other dishes on their menu. The one bad thing I have to say about
it was their water jugs! They were ridiculous, you couldn’t pour them out for
the first half of the jug without spilling the water all over the
table/floor… and I don’t think they usually cater for tables of 13 people, although
they coped very well.
Tuesday was the one day of the week where our night’s main
event wasn’t actually dinner. Since we are Ballroom and Latin enthusiasts we
had booked tickets quite a long time ago to go and see Vincent and Flavia (from
Strictly Come Dancing) in their show Midnight Tango. It was amazing! But it
didn’t just focus on them and their dancing, it had a nice storyline with some
comedic moments which were really well aimed not overdone. The dancing itself
was also amazing. I wish I had the ability to dance even half as well as they
do. If anyone has the chance to go see it I would definitely recommend it,
particularly if you like Ballroom dancing.
The Wednesday was her actual birthday, and we didn’t go to a
new restaurant. It would have been new for many of us, except we had been there
for the Ballroom committee handover the previous week. But it’s an amazing
place called Turtle Bay, they serve Caribbean inspired food, although the
ingredients are not necessarily always the same as those actually used out
there they have captured the Caribbean vibe. This time I went I had a Jerk Chicken
flatbread which was amazingly tasty, and so filling. But one of the main
attractions, other than the yummy food is the amazing cocktails that they do,
especially with happy hour deals.
The fourth night was our little taste of Mexican food, a
slightly smaller group with only 5 of us going to this one. Most of the people
were feeling the effects of the previous late night or had only stayed for
turtle bay and then decided to head home. We started off with nachos, pretty
standard choice really, then I have to say I was quite unadventurous and went
for the fajitas. But I was slightly disappointed, they weren’t nicer tasting
than other fajitas which I’d had in non-mexican speciality restaurants
(particularly Banana Wharf where we were going later in the week). But the
desert was something I haven’t had since I was in Australia – Churros! They are
so good tasting, but the portion we got given was absolutely huge, I was
expecting something half the size. Another very filling meal though.
Then it was on to the slightly posher section of our meals.
Friday was results day! So everyone graduating had just found out their
results, and it was cause for celebration. What better way to celebrate than a
meal out… This was in The Grand Cafe, the venue in which we had our
performing arts ball slightly earlier in the year. So we already knew the food
was going to taste good, but I have to say the service was even better this
time than previously. The meal was expensive by the level of the previous
restaurants, but quite justifiable, the food tasted amazing and they had decent
sized portions, if anything they were a little too large, I couldn’t manage to
finish my sea bass en croute unfortunately. The service was also top notch with
our waiter coming to our table to refill our wine glasses and remembering which
people on the table were having which wine. I was quite happy I managed to fill
an entire Delicious Dining reward card (requiring £280 spend) which will get me
50% off another meal at select venues.
On the Saturday we had one of my favourite venues to go to.
Banana Wharf! This is a lovely restaurant down in the Docks of Southampton, and
it serves almost every type of food. The prices are a little more than I would
probably normally pay for a meal, but every dish is amazing, with massive
portions and the service there is amazing. It’s part of the same group as The
Grand Cafe, so more stamps on Delicious Dining cards!
We all had a bit of an Italian themed evening, although there
were only 4 of us (this was a late addition to the week’s events), the pasta
portion I got was absolutely huge! (Penne with chicken and pesto) Even larger
than the portions that we had the previous evening. But I tried whitebait for
the first time, which was really nice. I have to say I wouldn’t really
recommend apple strudel ice cream though…it’s a bit strange. Probably safer
to stick to more traditional flavours.
Finally (from our stomach’s and wallet’s perspective) we
reached the final meal of the week. An all you can eat Japanese Buffet! Now I’m
not always very adventurous in my food choices, so I have pretty much never had
Sushi before. Making this quite an experience for me.
We tried pretty much everything on the starter section of
the menu, and it was (for the majority) very tasty! The massive exception to
that rule being Miso soup… Definitely not trying that again. Unfortunately I
didn’t realise that the main I ordered was bathed in a Miso soup sauce…
definitely made it a lot less appealing. 
Definitely a fantastic week, and I think we might have to make an excuse to do it again and sample some more of the restaurants that are around!

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