Yo Yo Bar & Restaurant – Shipley

Reviewed on July 29th, 2014 by Dina

Asian fusion cuisine can be a bit of a hit or miss situation. But Yo Yo had nothing at all to worry about with the taste and quality of their food.

As Yo Yo is a bar and restaurant, the restaurant area is on the raised level which overlooks the bar area. The dining area is spacious and has high backed chairs, wooden tables and a beige and brown decor.

Soup and fried delights were the start of this family feast! The Tom Yam Soup had the perfect balance of sweet, sour and tangy flavours. Sliced carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, mange tout and spring onions were the vegetables in this clear soup.

The Vegetarian Combo was a good variety of items which included dim sum, samosas, tempura and salad. The vegetable tempura were aubergine slices, peppers and courgette. They were all really tasty; not just the vegetables but also the batter. Filo pastry filled with spiced vegetables were the samosas. The dim sum were pan fried and stuffed generously with the vegetable filling. The dipping sauces were mint yogurt raita and tempura sauce. All of the starters dishes were satisfying and had a good flavour to them.

Yo Yo Tom Yam SoupYo Yo Yo Yo Vegetable ComboYo Yo Massaman CurryYo Yo Stir Fried Vegetable MedleyYo Yo Thai Red CurryYo Yo Baked Lemon CheesecakeYo Yo Ice Cream SurpriseYo Yo Sticky Toffee PuddingYo Yo InteriorYo Yo Interior 2Yo Yo Bar Area

Thai influenced dishes were chosen for the mains. Even though the Yo Yo menu did not give the option for the curries to be vegetarian, the staff were more than happy to make them without the meat.

The Massaman curry had big cubes of tofu, potatoes, onion, cauliflower, mushrooms and carrots. The creamy coconut curry had a richness to it and the tastes of the tamarind and ginger came through.

The Vegetable Thai Red Curry was slightly lighter and was made with similar vegetables to the Massaman curry. Instead of tofu and potatoes though, this curry had broccoli and peppers. Both of the curries were mild and were served with jasmine rice. A medley of colourful stir fried vegetables were also had as side dish.

The portion size of the food at Yo Yo is fairly big. But there is always room for dessert! Our selection included the hot pudding of the day, baked lemon cheesecake and the ice cream surprise.

Sweet sticky toffee pudding with custard is a classic hot pudding. This particular one had to be a personal favourite out of the desserts. It was sweet, sticky, rich and delicious; everything that is expected from such a pudding. It was the first time that I had baked cheesecake and it was not as nice as a normal cheesecake. The lemon cheesecake was tangy but the texture was slightly dense for my liking. The ice cream surprise was served in a sundae glass with scoops of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. It was topped with chocolate sauce and a wafer.

The Yo Yo staff were lovely, friendly and gave good service. Even though the kitchen was soon to close, they gave us time to decide on our order and also gave us a chance for dessert.

Yo Yo is a great place to go to for some variety to your meal selection. From starters, to mains right through to dessert, you won’t be disappointed. The only problem you may have is what to choose from the different Asian dishes!

Yo Yo, Rosse Street, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3SW

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Kaffeine – Fitzrovia

Reviewed on July 20th, 2014 by Dina

Glorious blue sky summer days means the pleasure of making the most of the great outdoors but also taking the chance for a relaxed lunch. Kaffeine is a very popular cafe with queues coming out the door at busy times. Wooden panels and crate like tables make up the small seating area with some high stools near to the counter. There is a bench outdoors too.

Kaffeine serves up one of the best smoothest coffees and one that I would return for. The Americano decaf was served in a matching black cup and saucer with soy milk. The food is displayed in the counter fridge and includes toasted foccacia sandwiches, baguettes, tarts and salads. As the food is seasonal, Kaffeine has a menu that changes each week.

KaffeineKaffeine Vegetarian TartKaffeine Chocolate and Hyssop FriandKaffeine InteriorKaffeine CoffeeKaffeine Interior 2

The vegetarian tart on offer on this particular visit was roasted vegetables in a Gruyere pastry with saffron cream. The pastry was thin, light and crispy. Parsnips, aubergine, red pepper, onion and courgette made up the chunky filling. It could have done with slightly less saffron cream. The tart was garnished with wood sorrel.

For something sweet, the chocolate and hyssop friand was chosen. The cake was almond based and was not too dense. The chocolate and almond made a wonderful combination with the hyssop icing. In Kaffeine’s own words, this is what hyssop is:

“Hyssop is a foraged plant that is quite resilient and best picked in early spring or early autumn when it’s in blossoms. The leaves and stems have a menthol aroma and taste of a combination of peppermint and lavender.”

Kaffeine

There are lots of other sweet treats on offer such as cookies, brownies, Portuguese tarts and muffins. It is a shame that the cakes are not covered and are just on display on the counter top. The staff gave service with a smile and were efficient.

Kaffeine is a great cafe with fresh tasting food and undeniably fantastic coffee! It makes for a lovely place for just coffee or for lunch.

Kaffeine, 66 Great Titchfield Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 7QJ

Rating: ★★★★½

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Andy’s Taverna – Camden

Reviewed on July 9th, 2014 by Dina

Andy’s Taverna is a small cosy restaurant which has a family run feel to it. The outside is decorated with hanging flower baskets. Several attempts were made to come to this restaurant but each time they were fully booked and one of the times they were closed for a private party.

To have some variety to our meal, the Vegetarian Platter was chosen. This started with a selection of dips and a basket of bread. The houmous, tzanziki and the aubergine dip were all tasty and the bread was fresh. The portion size was generous!

Next came the main part of the platter which had a great colourful selection. Grilled vegetables included mixed peppers and aubergine. The centre piece was the vegetable moussaka. Thick vegetable slices baked with a creamy cheesy top was delicious.

Andy's Taverna Vegetable PlatterAndy's TavernaAndy's Taverna Dips

Golden crispy triangle parcels filled with spinach and feta cheese were the spanacopitta. Tender chargrilled ovals of halloumi were dotted around the platter plate. The piperies gemistes were peppers stuffed with vegetables, feta cheese and bulgur wheat.

If that was not filling enough, it all came with a big salad. Everything that we had been served at Andy’s Taverna had been cooked just right and not at all overdone.

For dessert, it was ice cream: banana, chocolate and mango sorbet. The ice cream was divine with each flavour holding its own with chunks of banana, chocolate and intense mango!

The only thing that we had issues with at Andy’s Taverna was that although the staff were friendly and the atmosphere was relaxed, the service was quite slow. There was a party dining at the same time as ourselves and so it was hard to get the attention of the staff.

At the end of the meal, the staff did apologise for the slowness. It was refreshing that they had recognised that they could have been swifter with the service and did not need us to mention it to them.

The cuisine at Andy’s Taverna is of great taste and quality. Hopefully, the slow service was just a one off!

Andy’s Taverna, 81-81a Bayham Street, Camden, London, NW1 0AG

Rating: ★★★½☆

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