La Piazza by Signorelli’s – Cambridge (UK)

Signorelli’s Deli opened on Burleigh Street in 2017 and it’s been a huge success, due in no small part to the hard work of affable owner Alex Signorelli and his team. So when The Grafton started its massive refurbishment and creation of Food Social, it was only fitting that Signorelli’s have a presence there too.

La Piazza by Signorelli's Grafton Cambridge Alex Signorelli

La Piazza by Signorelli The Grafton Food Social Cambridge

Based on the concept of a town centre square, La Piazza by Signorelli’s is a place to gather, day or evening, for food, drinks and good company. The area, right by H&M on the ground floor, is certainly eye catching with its plush velvet seats and fantastic lighting. It’s family friendly too, with highchairs and lots of space for prams.

La Piazza by Signorelli Grafton near H&M Cambridge

La Piazza by Signorelli Grafton Food Social Cambridge

Their counter is laden with hot dishes, salads, cakes and gelato. Signorelli’s bread (including their award-winning ciabatta) is freshly made every day in their on-site bakery at the Deli and there are a variety of sandwiches for a quick bite.

La Piazza by Signorelli's Grafton Cambridge counter

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Cam Spice – Great Eversden, Cambridgeshire (UK)

Cam Spice has been on my list of Indian restaurants to try so I’m happy we finally had the chance to visit. It’s located in Great Eversden, Cambridgeshire in a pub named The Hoops and it has retained its charm despite the refurbishment. The big car park is a bonus.

Cam Spice Indian Restaurant Great Eversden Cambridgeshire

Cam Spice pub sign The Hoops Great Eversden Cambridgeshire

The restaurant makes great use of the space with a cosy bar that’s popular with the locals, an area with additional seating amid the exposed beams as well as round tables ideal for groups behind the impressive bubble water wall.

Cam Spice Great Eversden Cambridgeshire tables

Cam Spice Great Eversden Cambridgeshire interior

Paulo and I were warmly welcomed by Baba and given a table in a little nook by the window – very charming! Baba was very helpful and helped us decide what to order, as the menu was so tantalising it was hard to choose. He was the perfect person for a foodie like me to talk to as he is a chef himself and he took the time to understand our tastes and preferences. I liked the fact that the kitchen was flexible enough to adjust any of the dishes – in my case less spicy and for Paulo, kicking the chilli level up a few notches.

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Blue Caribou – Manchester (UK)

Any Canadian who has moved from their home country, like me, will invariably succumb to nostalgia and start missing their favourite foods. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started missing poutine so much but it probably coincided with my move from London to Cambridgeshire 10 years ago, when I finally felt settled in the UK. It took several more years for poutine to become well-known and it eventually made its way onto Cambridge menus – but without the all-important squeaky cheese curds. Although the combo of cheese, chips and gravy can only be a good thing, there is a specific way to make poutine and I have found very few places in the UK that are able to make proper poutine. Manchester’s Blue Caribou is one of those traders who have poutine down pat. They understand the holy trinity of fries, gravy and cheese curds and how to strike the right balance of flavours and textures.

Blue Caribou Snack Bar Manchester traditional poutine

Blue Caribou first started popping up in Manchester in 2016. It’s the creation of British-Québécois married couple Graham Gartside-Bernier and Vincent Bernier. They lived in Canada and now live in Manchester. They have eaten some of the best poutine in Québec, where it originated back in the 1950s. If their names seem familiar it’s because they recently appeared on BBC Two’s My Million Pound Menu with Fred Sirieix.

Blue Caribou Snack Bar du Quebec Manchester Vincent Bernier

Blue Caribou Stretford Foodhall Graham Gartside-Bernier

As a born and bred Montrealer, I can wholeheartedly state these guys know what they are doing when it comes to authentic poutine, plus they have the culinary skills to create delicious variations with ingredients like pastrami (La Reuben), kimchi (La Coréenne), roast chicken and peas (La Galvaude) and vegan doner (La Doner). Now that Blue Caribou have a permanent home at Arndale Market, they are able to expand their menu to other Canadian/Québec casse-croûte (snack bar) classics like pogos (corn dogs), hot chicken sandwiches and steamés (steamed hot dogs) that crop up occasionally on the menu.

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Chi – Cambridge (UK)

Chi is Cambridge’s latest independent restaurant to open in Food Social, the burgeoning dining quarter in The Grafton, near PureGym and the Vue cinema. Chi offers Asian inspired street food cuisine like bao, banh mi, bubble tea, dumplings, bubble waffles, noodle/rice dishes and more.

Chi Food Social The Grafton Cambridge

Chi Restaurant Food Social The Grafton Cambridge

This new addition to Cambridge’s food scene is expertly developed and designed but it’s definitely not a soulless corporate chain. It’s clear this place has heart and is driven by passion for good food.

Seating Chi Restaurant The Grafton Cambridge

Paulo and I were invited by co-owner Aidan to try the menu and it was nice to hear about his extensive (and impressive) experience in hospitality as well as his connection to our city. Aidan not only grew up in Cambridge, he also grew up in the restaurant business. His father, who’s from Hong Kong, owned a successful restaurant over 20 years ago just down the road from The Grafton.

Aidan Chi Food Social The Grafton Cambridge

Counter seats Chi restaurant Food Social The Grafton Cambridge

Chi sits in a lovely, bright space at the back of Food Social. There are lots of tables and the chairs are comfortable. There is even counter seating with stools, complete with outlets for laptops. It’s also child friendly with highchairs and a kids’ menu featuring fun activities, including making paper lanterns. They even had some creations on display at the order counter. Very cute!

Chi Restaurant The Grafton Food Social Cambridge

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