Hanoi Bike Shop

Hanoi Bike Shop has made a name for itself in the West End, occupying the former site of Stravaigin 2 & serving up a range of Vietnamese dishes. It’s somewhere that’s been on my hitlist for a while so we decided to pop along one Saturday night.

Wheels

The only word to describe the restaurant is quirky. It’s split over 2 levels & filled with lots of bric a brac type artifacts such as wheel spokes, tin cans & metal signs. It all merges together to give the feel that you’re actually eating in a street food shack type place. It’s also pretty cosy, which does have the disadvantage that you can overhear the people next to you without much effort, especially if they’ve had a few!

Hanoi Bike Shop Menu

In terms of dishes, most are of a sharing/tapas size, with 3 or 4 dishes recommended along with a side dish or 2. There is  a wide range of street food dishes ranging from rice paper rolls to sweet potato & soy bean cakes & grilled mince wrapped in betel leaf. The remained of the menu is made up of curry, stews, grills & traditional Vietnamese Pho. I shouldn’t forget to mention that Hanoi Bike Shop also makes all of their tofu in-house – the only restaurant I know who does so!

Condiments

Given the wide range of dishes as well as the specials on offer, it was really hard narrowing it down to a few dishes to share between us. We first went for the rice paper rolls filled with prawn & omelette. Being naive & never having had rice rolls before, I fully expected them to be similar to spring rolls. When I took a bite & it was a cold, I did get a bit of a shock! However, the roll was filled to the brim & the filling was full of flavour, enhanced by the fresh coriander throughout. The accompanying vinegar chilli dip gave it a bit of a boost.

Rice Paper Rolls

The remainder of our dishes were:

  • Black pudding & salt n pepper squid – this was delicious! The salt n pepper seasoning was not so overpowering that it detracted from the black pudding & complemented it well
  • Spiced Pheasant Curry – the flavour of this really reminded me of a massman curry which is my favourite Thai curry. I’ve never had pheasant in a curry before & can say it won’t be the last time!
  • Caramelised Sardines – this was a special on the night & the brown sugar caramelisation made the sardines so moreish. However, eating these with chopsticks proved very difficult!
  • The side we had were jasmine rice for the curry & seasonal greens wok fried with garlic which were very garlicky

Pheasant CurryBlack Pudding & Squid

I am a bit gutted that we didn’t try the tofu but there was so much choice that it wasn’t what we felt like on the night. Plus, it gives me an excuse to go back! We only had a glass of wine & a beer with our meal & the total came to just over £40, which was pretty reasonable. The one drawback was that because of where we were seated, we didn’t catch the price of the sardines so were shocked to find out it was £10 for the 4 sardines we ate. A bit pricey in our opinion.

Hanoi Bike Shop

I will definitely be back to Hanoi Bike Shop since there’s so much more on the menu I have to try!

Eats From the Street – Glasgow Fort

Last month saw the first of four Eats From the Street events at Glasgow Fort. Eats From the Street is a showcase of local & national street food vendors, providing good eats for reasonable prices.

The venture is the brain child of Richard Johnson who set up British Street Food & the namesake   awards in 2009 to get street food seen & heard. The concept of Eats From the Street was developed a few years ago & has this year, finally been put into practice. As well as the street food vendors, the ensemble also has a massive double decker London bus which has been converted into a dining area. So even if it’s raining, you can still enjoy street food in the comfort of the bus without getting soaked!

We popped along to check out the vendors & see what was a on offer. We had a dish from Mighty Mexican who have recently started out on the street food scene in Scotland. Providing fresh, authentic style Mexican food, Mighty Mexican also provide the biggest burrito I’ve ever seen! We had a chicken burrito with their Mucho Macho sauce, which is the hottest they offer (that should come as no surprise). The burrito was tasty, full of smoky & chilli flavours. We initially didn’t think much of the Mucho Macho sauce but it had been dulled down by the sour cream & guacamole but thankfully a lot had gathered at the bottom so the burrito ended in a nice spicy burst.

Mighty Mexican

We also sampled the wares of Nusou, a street food revelation, focussing on healthy street food. They also recently won Best Newcomber in this year’s British Street Food Awards. Nusou offers cooked to order Noodle Soups which are cooked & ready to eat in a few minutes. We had a chicken noodle soup with all of the trimmings & some extra chillies & peanuts added on top. I have to say, the soup was better than some of the dishes we had when we were in Thailand this year.

Nusou

Eats From the Street are back at the Glasgow Fort this weekend, 1-2 November & another 2 times before the end of the year. I’d definitely recommend popping along  & trying out some of the nation’s best street food on offer. Other outlets taking part include Glasgow’s very own Babu Kitchen & Breaking Bread.

Date Featuring:
Saturday 1 & Sunday 2 November Zoete Koek
Mighty Mexican
Bowl Food
Breaking Bread
Nusou
Saturday 29 & Sunday 30 November Zoete Koek
Mighty Mexican
Babu
Nusou
Breaking Bread
Fuel Coffee
Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 December Papaganoush
Babu
Mighty Mexican
Nusou
Breaking Bread
Fuel Coffee

BBC Good Food Show Scotland

Last week I attended the BBC Good Food Show as part of their official blogger team for the show. I had visited the show last year & enjoyed the atmosphere, producers & demos so I was hoping that this year would live up to expectations!

After watching Paul Hollywood & Mary Berry cut the ribbon to declare the show open, I had enough time for a quick wander before the first demo started at 11. One thing I did notice about this year was the amount of space! Last year’s show was rammed full of producers & it took a while to get from stall to stall due to the amount of people. This year, there were noticeably less stalls, which meant more room to move about but unfortunately meant there were less producers on hand.

paul mary

Being a big Great British Bake Off fan, I was looking forward to see Paul Hollywood & Mary Berry do their thing at the Chef’s Theatre. We were treated to a demo of a couple of dishes: Mary’s chicken & mushroom bake & a joint effort of Lemon Posset & Pistachio Shortbreads. All dishes looked good enough to eat & as luck would have it, all recipes were in the show guide so I’ll be able to reproduce the shortbreads for some christmas gifts this year!

The rest of the day was spent talking to different producers, watching interviews & of course, sampling & buying lots of goodies! Despite there being less producers than the previous year, it did take us a good 4-5 hours to get round all of the stalls. This may have had something to do with stopping to chat with most producers! The stand out producers for me this year were:

producers

Isle of Skye Sea Salt – They are one of the few salt producers who use the traditional method of evaporation. They have recently been awarded a great taste award.

Billington’s Deli – Winner of the BBC Good Food Show Scotland Deli for the second year, Billington’s have an amazing array of products available in their deli. They have a focus on artisan producers & won a big tick from me for stocking Rock Rose Gin that I have been dying to try for ages!

Scotia Spice – Winner of a bursary award for this year’s show, Scotia Spice provide recipe kits to create authentic Punjabi dishes. I will be doing a feature on this soon.

Plan Bee – Another bursary award winner, Plan Bee are actually a bee hive management company. They have hives across Scotland, including at the Two Fat Ladies restaurant & Glasgow city chambers. Their honey is the best I’ve ever tasted! Oh & they gave me a snazzy badge!

producers3

It wouldn’t be the Good Food Show without spending a small fortune on goodies. This year I had a budget & I was so surprised at how much stuff I was able to purchase & stay within budget:

– Ochil Fudge Pantry – I picked up a few bars of fudge, including their bakewell bar which is full of almondy goodness & whole cherries

– Heck Sausages – I had some last year & bought 4 packs of their sausages. The quality is amazing & there is little fat to them.

– Martin Miller’s Gin – I couldn’t go without picking up a bottle of this, one of my favourites!

– Plan Bee Honey

– Ramsay’s of Carluke Black Pudding – we’ve eaten a lot of this since we bought it, amazing quality!

– Piper’s Chicken Pakora – probably the biggest pieces of pakora I’ve ever eaten!

– Simply Add Chilli – as we’re both big chilli fans, we couldn’t resist picking up a jar of the extreme chilli seasoning

– Collective yoghurts – I had found their spiced pumpkin yoghurt in the supermarket recently. At the show, I picked up a few tubs, including their coconut & lime version which is very moreish!

– Edinburgh Gin – no I didn’t get more gin, honest! Instead, I picked up a lovely Harris Tweed hipflask & whisky set for my Dad’s Christmas

– Borders Biscuits – I got to the stall far too late as they had been ransacked & only had dark gingers left. It would’ve been rude not to pick up a pack!

As you can see, a lot of produce & we’re still working our way through this! Not to mention, the amazing goodie bag I received for being part of the blogger team which contained cute Warner Edward’s miniatures, a lot of cakes from Mrs Crimbles & vinegar & maramlades from The Little Herb Farm.

And I shouldn’t forget to mention that I also had a quick meet & greet with Mr Bake Off himself: