The Cock in the beautiful village of Hemingford Grey is one of the fabulous Cambridgeshire restaurants operated by Cambscuisine. I’m already a huge fan of one of their places – SmokeWorks, which I raved about here and here. I have been meaning to try out their other restaurants so I was delighted when Jessica Hope, who’s in charge of marketing and people development at Cambscuisine, invited me to a sneak peek of The Cock’s new à la carte starters and mains menu, which launches on 14 May, 2015. I was impressed, not only by the delicious 20 or so dishes served, but by the very well organised, professional and hardworking team. It was also great to meet one of the owners, Oliver Thain, as well as head chef Wil Findlay who designed the new menu. I was joined by fellow blogger Miss Sue Flay, who made a rather neat video of the tasting session. You can view it here.
The Cock’s ethos is to provide high end casual dining and they’ve definitely hit the mark with their menu and decor. The food is guided by the seasons and there is an emphasis on sourcing fresh, local ingredients. It’s no wonder The Cock has been named the 2015 Cambridgeshire Dining Pub of the Year in the Good Pub Guide.
It’s worth noting that the new à la carte starters and mains menu is mostly gluten free, which will please coeliacs, allergy sufferers and those with dietary preferences. There are plenty of meat-free options too, such as risotto, polenta, truffle gnocchi and smoked camembert.
There is definitely a demand for good sushi in Cambridge so when Japas opened its doors back in September 2010, it was a welcome sight. Located on Saxon Street, it’s slightly further afield from the hustle and bustle of the town centre but still walkable. Japas was once the Cross Keys pub and when it first started trading, it was known as Japas Bento Box.
I’ve been going to Japas for my sushi fix on a regular basis. I find that the fish is always fresh and the servings are substantial. Food comes out fast, but not rushed, and I always leave with a happy and full belly.
This salmon with coconut rice recipe is fuss-free and very tasty. Ginger is a particularly fragrant ingredient and lends a clean, fresh flavour to both the salmon and the rice. The bulk of the work is chopping the ingredients and making the black bean sauce. You can even prepare the sauce ahead of time and marinate the salmon in a covered baking dish for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Then all you need to do is pop the salmon in the oven and make the coconut rice whilst the salmon is baking.
I’ve been to Sticks’n’Sushi in Covent Garden before, back in November 2013 when it first opened and had a fantastic lunch. This time, it was for dinner and I was with 2 dining companions. It was just after 5:30pm on a mid-week evening and the place was already filling up quickly. Word has definitely gotten out that this is one of the top restaurants in Covent Garden, so reservations are recommended. They serve some of the best sushi around and whilst it can be relatively expensive to eat there, the superior quality of the food definitely justifies the price.
Located on Henrietta Street, Sticks’n’Sushi’s presence and signage are understated, which makes it a bit of a find…in a good way! Once inside, the ambience is welcoming and staff are super friendly. The décor is impressive, with stripped back walls showing exposed brick, functional chairs, super soft leather sofas and leather-topped tables. There is also a downstairs area, with stools at the sushi bar. The whole atmosphere is fun and convivial, but it also works for couples or even solo diners.
Craving sushi and a quick lunch, we headed off to Etsu Japanese Restaurant when we arrived in Liverpool. Etsu turned out to be a bit of a find, in terms of food and location. Nestled in the concrete jungle that is Beetham Plaza, there it was… a little oasis of delightful flavours and aromas.
We immediately forgot we were in the middle of bustling Liverpool and enjoyed the relaxed ambience. We were greeted warmly and shown to a table at the back of the restaurant by our friendly and helpful waitress.