Kingfisher Fish and Chips, Keswick, January 2018

We do love a bit of classic fish’n’chips. In Keswick, you are spoilt for choice, with three to choose from. This year we opted for The Kingfisher, as they are top of the Tripadvisor pops.

It was a good choice. Look at that lovely big lump of cod. Freshly cooked to order, and really nice. Juicy flakes of fish, crisp batter and lovely chips. And enormous portions. Mrs MOFAD opted for scampi as usual (no chance of a Yorkshire fishcake in Cumbria).

Cracking fish’n’chips and we’ll be back when we’re next in town.

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Star of Siam, Keswick, December 2017

The traditional New Year’s Eve takeaway. For the first time in a long time, we are not in Ambleside, and not going to Jade Garden, Lucky Dragon, China Cottage, Doi Intanon (on the rare year that it was open on NYE) or Jintana.

In Keswick, we turned to a familiar Thai restaurant, Star of Siam. We’ve been coming here for as long as we’ve been coming to Keswick, a lovely friendly Thai restaurant, and great for takeaways (as ever we like to drink our own beer rather than drink poor quality offerings in takeaway outlets).

Here is a case in point.

Thornbridge Serpent.

I encountered this beer for the first time on “Thornbridge night” at The Needle & Pin in December 2016. We deconstructed the beer that night, tasting a very sour and tannic Oliver’s cider, a sweet perry, and a meh bourbon. On that night, it tasted like the lees (the leftover bits from fermenting cider, yeasts, skins and whatever’s left) had really dominated this brew, a Belgian style golden ale.

A year on, and it’s even better. So much apple, the beer that’s not a beer.

On to dinner, which accompanied this fantastic beer that’s not beer. A classic starter, satay chicken with peanut chilli sauce. Just to be clear, the satay part is not the peanut bit that you like, that’s in the sauce. The satay part is usually made from lemongrass, shallots, garlic, chilli, ginger, turmeric, coriander, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and a few other bits.

The “slaw” bit might not be the most authentic, but it works here with the juicy chicken and tasty peanut chilli sauce.

On to the main event. Chicken gang massaman. The massaman is probably my favourite Thai curry, perhaps because of more peanut. It varies from place to place. I always used to have beef, but too many cheap cuts of steak have left me favouring chicken instead. A very simple one tonight, a few bits of carrot and some chunks of onion,

Simple, but very tasty, and a fantastic way to round out another lovely year of food and drink. Many great meals accompanied by many great beers. 2017 has been a good one.

Out of India (takeaway), Shepshed, November 2017

A new curry house for us, yet one that we have passed countless times. The M1 seems to have created some kind of psychological barrier, since we’ve never been here for a curry or ordered a takeaway. Yet as the crow flies, it’s pretty much the same distance as many of the curry houses in town that we normally use.

Tonight we’d been out at a fireworks display, and due to some closed venue exits we decided to change our takeaway plans and nipped across the M1 to Out of India. There’s a big car park out the back, and plenty of room inside, as they are licensed for up to 70 people.

Just takeway tonight because as ever my beer selection is far better than their beer selection. Yes, that’s a humblebrag, but it is true. Do they have Geordie Pagoda II by Brinkburn Street brewery in Byker? No. Or Above the Clouds by Electric Bear from Bath? No. I had both of those beers tonight. Maybe they’ve got some beers from a local brewery? No, none of those either.

Anyway, enough moaning about beers in curry houses, that’s what takeaway is for. We ordeded our food and we were soon back home tucking in to tasty curry, with regular dining companions Karon & John.

My choice tonight was chicken shatkara (also spelt shatkora), a chicken curry with small pieces of a citrus fruit known sometimes as a wild orange. I love the sourness of this fruit with the richness of the curry sauce, and it was accompanied by a lovely naan bread.

Based on tonight alone, Out of India has become our new go to curry house for takeaways. We’ve even thrown out all of our other takeaway menus!

Mother Hubbards Fish & Chips, Swaffham, Norfolk, July 2017

Another takeaway post, and a rather impromptu one at that. If you’d asked me yesterday morning what I’d be eating tonight, I would have said curry, at home, as per.

Due to an urgent family matter, we needed to be in Swaffham this weekend. Have I ever told you that the architect who designed our kitchen extension also designed the public toilet block in Swaffham? Well, I have now.

So on an overcast Friday evening, I found myself in a long queue outside this chip shop. Possibly the longest chip shop queue that I’ve ever been in. That has to be a good sign right?

Indeed it was. Three delicious portions of fish’n’chips were served up, alongside a little tub of home-made tartare sauce (no squeezy sachet nonsense).

There was plenty of choice, three sizes of cod, two of haddock, two of rock, plaice, skate, wholetail scampi, fishcakes, cod roe, saveloys, sausages, spring rolls, pies, burgers, fried chicken, battered mushrooms and plenty of moisteners in the form of beans, curry sauce, peas (mushy or not) and gravy. They also do pizzas and garlic bread, jacket potatoes and salads. There are also desserts. And a whole cabinet of fresh doughnuts.

A cracking fish’n’chip shop with lovely friendly staff, and you can see why it is so popular (there were no queues outside Mr Chips on the other side of the market place). Definitely the place to go if you find yourself in this charming sleepy market town.

Cafe Le Raj, Chipping Norton, July 2017

Much like yesterday, this is another placeholder, because we’ve been here before and need documented evidence of our visit! We were slightly (a lot) more sober than when we had a curry from here last year, after the bit of a let down which was the Hook Norton beer festival. So this year we organised our own. There are two other posts about that.

Tonight, we ordered our curry before we started drinking, phoning our order in and then popping out to collect it. They do offer free delivery within a 3 mile radius (we were within 1.5 miles) but it was going to take an extra 40 minutes, so we decided to collect.

Everyone enjoyed their curries. My dhansak was nicely spicy and sour, and even Hazel’s korma had a little warmth to it. Mrs MOFAD enjoyed her chicken tikka rogan josh and we shared rice and a naan (I would have liked a little more of both).

So, future selves, this is the curry house to come to when camping in Chipping Norton.

Arctic fish bar, Chipping Norton, July 2017

A quick post and one without photos. Whatever next. This is really just here as a placeholder to remind all of us which chip shop in Chippy it is that we like. We’ve been to this one every year, and we do sometimes struggle to remember which is the good one. It’s this one, lovely chips, nice crisp batter on the fish and a decent size of cod too.

If you are camping nearby (as we are at least once or twice a year!) then this is the chip shop you need!

Sara’s Indian, Coniston, June 2017

As you will know if you’ve ever read any post tagged #curry, Friday night is curry night. When we’re on holiday, that usually means finding the nearest Indian restaurant. Whenever we’ve stayed in Coniston previously, that has proved to be a problem, because there wasn’t one. The first time we stayed, it would probably have meant an hour’s round trip to Tagore in Ambleside (since closed). In fact, if we’d been stuck behind some of the tourists that have plagued our journeys this week, it could have been closer to two hours!

Thankfully, things have changed with the opening of Sara’s Indian in 2015. An Indian restaurant and takeway, which doesn’t have an alcohol licence so you can take your own alcohol (there’s a brewery literally across the road if you’re stuck for ideas). Menus are available outside all day long, so you can pick one up and take it back to your holiday cottage for later use. We did that last weekend, and tonight we were perusing and ordering our dinner.

A really interesting selection of dishes to choose from, a lot more variety than just some tikka masalas, bhunas and kormas. Plenty of things that I’ve never seen before (and we’ve been to our fair share of curry houses).

For me it was chicken podina piaza with mint, ginger, onions and mango chutney all mixed in. This was delicious, nice warmth and good flavours coming through from the mint. I like mint in a curry.

Mrs MOFAD had her usual chicken tikka rogan josh, and we both had a very tasty coriander naan.

If you are looking for somewhere that serves food in Coniston after 9 (since most of the pubs stop then), or you are just looking for a good curry, this will do nicely. At last a curry house in Coniston!