Time for the Chicken Shawarma

Tower of London

Having spent the day in London and having made our way back to the Westfield Shopping Centre (to collect the car) we decided to have a bite to eat before heading home.

At Westfield there are plenty of choices available to suit a range of pricing envelopes. In the end we headed to Bills, in the main for the range of choices available.

Most times I eat at Bills I go for quite traditional dishes, usually French or English in style. So going for the Chicken Shawarma was a change of direction for me and an interesting choice.

The chicken was served with garlic flatbread, chopped salad, house pickles, chillies, mint yoghurt & hummus.

plate of food

This was a nicely presented plate of food. I think I should have had the halloumi rather than the chicken, though at the time I did not fancy the red chilli that it was marinated in. The chicken was just okay, nothing special. The pickles and salads were nice. The flatbread was warm and fresh.

Overall I did enjoy the dish. The rest of the table enjoyed their food. The chicken burger was demolished, and the Caesar Salad was also said to be delicious. As for service, well it could have been better. It took about three attempts to get some tap water.

Bento Box Time

It’s been a while since I have had a Bento Box from See Sells Sushi, but as it was Friday, and the Finzle Reach market was on, I headed off in the heavy rain to see what was around, but thinking I would probably have the Bento Box.

It was raining quite heavily, I did think earlier in the day that the market might be cancelled because of the rain and wind. However, it was open, though the weather did mean it wasn’t very busy. There was though still a queue for the See Sells Sushi stall. I did have a look around to see what was around. In the end, I went back and queued up for my Bento Box.

I had my usual choice of been donburi and crispy chicken hirata bun. Service was quick and friendly.

The beef was as usual, excellent. It is tasty tender beef rib on a bed of sushi rice and served with pickle and spring onions.

I’ve always enjoyed the hirata buns from the stall, this crispy chicken hirata bun was tasty. It was a charcoal bao bun with two pieces of crispy chicken, lettuce, pickles and sauce.

Overall a delicious box of food, which I really enjoyed.

Nice chicken, shame about the squid!

I was in London I was staying at the Crowne Plaza in Ealing and I had dinner in the hotel restaurant. They have an extensive menu with some interesting choices.

I always think that the way in which a restaurant cooks and serves calamari gives you an insight into what kind of cooking they do, and food they serve.

So seeing Spiced Squid Rings on the menu I thought I would give them a try. They were described as battered calamari dusted with paprika served with garlic and lemon aioli.

Now I will say at this point that I didn’t think that these would be any good, the description of the squid as battered calamari said to me that these was not going to be freshly cooked squid. This would be frozen calamari rings cooked off in the deep fat fryer.

When it arrived, it was as expected.


The batter was thick and doughy. The squid wasn’t tender, but then it wasn’t chewy either.

Sometimes I think does a dish need a salad garnish, this one did.

I was expecting to me disappointed, and yes I was disappointed.

For my main course I went with the Garlic Butterfly Chicken. Normally this is something I wouldn’t choose, but decided I would go with something different. The hot weather also meant I did actually fancy a salad.

This was marinated chicken served with Panzanella Salad & grated parmesan cheese.

This was a much more impressive looking dish.

marinated chicken served with Panzanella Salad & grated parmesan cheese

The chicken was cooked well, it had been cooked on the griddle, but was still moist and tender and full of flavour.

Now as for the Panzanella Salad. Well if you search online you can find a description of Panzanella Salad.

Panzanella or panmolle is a Tuscan and Umbrian chopped salad of soaked stale bread, onions and tomatoes that is popular in the summer. It often includes cucumbers, sometimes basil and is dressed with olive oil and vinegar.

The salad I got wasn’t quite that, but it was a nice salad. There was stale bread, tomatoes, onions, but it also had quite a bit of sweet peppers as well. I liked the use of grated parmesan cheese. The bread was a little too stale, but did add crunch to the salad.

I liked it, but I think that Florentine traditionalists would disapprove.

So despite the disappointing starter, I did enjoy my main course.

Back to Master Bao

It had been a while since I had eaten at Master Bao. I really do enjoy a good bao bun and my first encounter with the Master Bao eatery at Westfield was back in December 2019 and a return visit in January 2020. I then made a visit back in September 2021.

So on a recent trip to London and needing some lunch I headed to the Westfield Shopping Centre. I did look around, but in the end headed to Master Bao.

I went with the meal deal of two bao buns and a side. I ordered the Prawn Bao and the Shiitake Mushroom Bao. The side I chose was fried vegetable dumplings.

The Prawn Bao contained marinated king prawns, fried, pickled mooli, spiced spring onions.

The prawns were nice and crispy, I liked the additions, and the bun was soft and fluffy. A really lovely bao bun.

Whilst the Shiitake Mushroom Bao had teriyaki shiitake mushrooms, pickled onions, miso.

Really nice mushrooms, with a strong savoury flavour, which contrasted with the soft fluffy bao.

I’ve had both these bao before and these were just as good, nice and tasty.

The vegetable dumplings had been fried.

I think they would have been better steamed, and then potentially fried in a pan. They were a little too crispy for me, I mainly prefer my dumplings steamed.

Nice lunch.

Pad Kra Prow at Rosa’s Thai

Royal Albert Dock

I was attending a conference in Liverpool, and arrived in the evening. I was quite hungry after a long journey to Liverpool, so after looking at (and dismissing) the hotel menu I headed out to the Royal Albert Docks for a bite to eat. There is quite a bit of choice across the docks, and knowing I was short of time, I realised I had to choose quickly. After looking at a few choices I decided that I would go for Thai and went into the branch of Rosa’s Thai they have on the docks.

They described themselves as:

A family of foodies dedicated to serving up perfected Thai dishes. You’ll find us in unfussy cafes at the heart of neighbourhoods, cooking up fresh dishes from our kitchens straight to your table.

The menu looked interesting and I could see quite a few things I liked the look of. So in I went. It was quite busy, but I was given a warm welcome and I took a seat and l looked around. The environment was informal and inviting. They have different kinds of seating and they used lots of wood and wooden furniture. The staff looked busy, but friendly and efficient.

I looked over the menu, which has quite a few options. My first choice for the starter would have been the crispy squid, but I always have that, so looked over the choices. In the end I went with the Gai satay. Described on the menu as succulent, lemongrass-scented grilled chicken thigh skewers with Rosa’s peanut dipping sauce.

Gai satay

These were three large skewers of marinated chicken thighs, nothing like the satay skewers you find in the deli counters of most supermarkets. The satay sauce was delicious and really enhanced the chicken. I was pleased with that choice.

For my main course I did think about getting the Pad metmamuang, the cashew stir fry, but in the end I went with the Seafood Pad Kra Prow. This was the Chilli & Basil Stir Fry with seafood. The menu called this a spicy and fragrant favourite with Thai basil, onions and green beans. This is something of a national dish, a real classic.

Seafood Pad Kra Prow

I wasn’t sure about the presentation and look of the dish. However the spiciness was just right, there was a good portion of seafood in the dish, though it was dominated by the squid. Not that I minded as I prefer squid. I suspect if you like prawns you might be a little disappointed, though there are prawn dishes elsewhere on the menu.

The squid was nice and tender, and I enjoyed the green beans and Thai basil. Overall I really tasty dish.

Alongside I had some sticky rice. 

sticky rice

The sticky rice came wrapped in banana leaf. It was really a large lump of sticky rice, which I had to break apart with my spoon. However it did add to the overall dish.

Alongside the food I had a Thai beer (in a can).


This was a lovely meal, excellent service, tasty food, and nice environment. It was my first experience of Rosa Thai and I certainly would go again.

Chicken Schnitzel

We made our way to Bristol for a meal, and as we had enjoyed our last visit to the Coal Kitchen, we headed there again.

They have quite an extensive menu, but also a set menu. I went with the set menu again, but planned to have something different for my starter and my main course. This time for my starter I had the Beef Koftas. For my main course I looked over the menu. I had the minute steak, this time I wanted something different. I decided I didn’t want a wrap or a burger. I did think about the Caesar salad, but there was a £4.50 supplement to add halloumi. In the end I went with the Chicken Schnitzel. This was a chicken breast in golden crispy breadcrumbs, fried egg, and salad. I recently had a chicken schnitzel at Drayton Court which was a little dry, so was slightly hesitant, but in the end I did plump for the chicken.

The dish arrived, the chicken, was a chicken breast in golden crispy breadcrumbs. This was served on top of a salad which consisted of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and red onion. On top of the chicken was a fried egg.

chicken schnitzel

The chicken schnitzel was a lot better than the last one I had, the chicken was still moist and tender, the breadcrumb coating was crispy and golden. The salad was nice and fresh. The fried egg was a nice addition. I quite like having a freshly cooked egg with a salad. I remember once watching a cooking programme where the chef had placed a freshly poached duck egg on top of a salad.

I did enjoy this plate of food. The waiter had asked if I wanted fries with my food, I think if I was just having a main course, then you might want some fries with it. However having had a starter I decided not to have the fries. I don’t think it needed the fries.

The service was friendly and warm. 

We enjoyed our meal and it certainly was a place I would visit again.

Pan-Fried Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast

I had been staying at Drayton Court and had wanted the pan-fried lemon pepper chicken breast, but they had run out, so had gone with the Norfolk chicken schnitzel with Caesar salad. 

So on a later visit it was nice to see the pan-fried lemon pepper chicken breast still on the menu and it was available, so I ordered this as my main course. It was described on the menu as pan-fried lemon pepper chicken breast with courgette Parmesan fritters, prosciutto crisps and warm garlic slaw.

Pan-Fried Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast

It was a beautifully presented plate of food and I was really impressed.

The chicken was cooked perfectly and was full of flavour. I liked the warm garlic slaw. The prosciutto crisps were interesting and added texture and an element of saltiness to the food. I have to say though I was less impressed with the courgette Parmesan fritter. Mine was not crisp and felt laden with grease, so much so I didn’t actually finish it. However, apart from the fritter, I did enjoy the dish.

Chicken Souvlaki Wrap

I was working in Bristol and headed to the Temple Quay Market. I spent time procrastinating about what to have. It was a Tuesday so there was less stalls than there is on the Thursdays. I did think about Korean fried chicken. I then thought about a Vietnamese rice bowl. In the end I went to The Street Taverna and had a chicken souvlaki wrap.

They had barbecued chicken thighs served in a Greek flat bread, with red onion, yoghurt, and chips.

chicken wrap

The chicken was tasty and tender, the chips were nice and crispy. I also enjoyed the flat bread as well. Not sure if the chips added anything to the wrap.

Having said that though I liked the wrap, I think if I wanted a chicken wrap in the future I would head to Matina at the St Nicholas Market. Though they don’t have chips in their wraps, they have a better range of salads.

Lemon and Thyme Roast Chicken

I was in London and staying at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. This is a Fullers Hotel and is part of the same chain at Drayton Court, which I have also stayed at.  The restaurant is in the older part of the hotel, as the hotel part is now a new build at the back. Despite being part of the same chain, they do have different menus. Their version of chicken was different to Drayton Court. So after having had my prawn cocktail starter I had the lemon and thyme roast chicken.

This was lemon and thyme roast chicken served on chorizo, courgettes, red onion and cannellini beans.

lemon and thyme roast chicken served on chorizo, courgettes, red onion and cannellini beans

The chicken was really good, full of flavour, moist and tender. You could taste the chicken, and the lemon and thyme enhanced the flavour.

The chicken was served on a bed of chorizo, courgettes, red onion and cannellini beans. The beans were a little overcooked, but the chorizo was excellent, large chunks of soft spicy chorizo.

Overall I really enjoyed this dish and would certainly order it again.

Chicken Schnitzel Caesar Salad

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. This is a place I stay regularly when working away in London.

For my starter I had gone with the Beef Short Rib Bao Buns and had wanted the pan-fried lemon pepper chicken breast for my main course, but they had run out, so I went with the Norfolk chicken schnitzel with Caesar salad, anchovies and Parmesan.

It wasn’t my first choice because I didn’t really want a schnitzel. I thought it might be quite dry.

When the dish arrived it did look rather good.

Chicken Schnitzel Caesar Salad

The chicken schnitzel was on the bottom of the plate and placed on top was some baby gem lettuce, croutons, anchovies, and dressed with a Caesar salad dressing.

I really enjoyed the Caesar salad aspect of the dish, but the chicken schnitzel really let the dish down, it was slightly overcooked and as a result was quite dry. I think the dish would have worked better with a chargrilled chicken breast rather than the chicken schnitzel.