Eating out - The week long birthday party

Well this post was started a while ago, but i’ve just been so busy that I haven’t been able to finish it. But I finally managed to get it done, so here it is.

Potentially one of the most almighty birthday celebrations I have taken part in so far was this summer after all our exams had finished. My friend Aneesa decided that she couldn’t graduate without having visited a decent amount of the restaurants around us so organised a week long food-fest, so people could pick which restaurants they wanted to go to, based on food preferences or availability. So if you were like me you could agree to an extremely expensive and stomach intensive week of eating out everyday...

All the receipts from the week, and a item of cutlery from each restaurant...

We started off the week with Thai food in a nice little restaurant called Sara’s, which despite being right in the Student area hardly anyone had visited it before. The food was really tasty, a good way to start the week, I had Chicken Satay for starter and Chicken with ginger and jasmine rice for main. Pretty sure I’ll have to make another trip back here to try out some of the other dishes on their menu. The one bad thing I have to say about it was their water jugs! They were ridiculous, you couldn’t pour them out for the first half of the jug without spilling the water all over the table/floor... and I don’t think they usually cater for tables of 13 people, although they coped very well.

Tuesday was the one day of the week where our night’s main event wasn’t actually dinner. Since we are Ballroom and Latin enthusiasts we had booked tickets quite a long time ago to go and see Vincent and Flavia (from Strictly Come Dancing) in their show Midnight Tango. It was amazing! But it didn’t just focus on them and their dancing, it had a nice storyline with some comedic moments which were really well aimed not overdone. The dancing itself was also amazing. I wish I had the ability to dance even half as well as they do. If anyone has the chance to go see it I would definitely recommend it, particularly if you like Ballroom dancing.

The Wednesday was her actual birthday, and we didn’t go to a new restaurant. It would have been new for many of us, except we had been there for the Ballroom committee handover the previous week. But it’s an amazing place called Turtle Bay, they serve Caribbean inspired food, although the ingredients are not necessarily always the same as those actually used out there they have captured the Caribbean vibe. This time I went I had a Jerk Chicken flatbread which was amazingly tasty, and so filling. But one of the main attractions, other than the yummy food is the amazing cocktails that they do, especially with happy hour deals.

The fourth night was our little taste of Mexican food, a slightly smaller group with only 5 of us going to this one. Most of the people were feeling the effects of the previous late night or had only stayed for turtle bay and then decided to head home. We started off with nachos, pretty standard choice really, then I have to say I was quite unadventurous and went for the fajitas. But I was slightly disappointed, they weren’t nicer tasting than other fajitas which I’d had in non-mexican speciality restaurants (particularly Banana Wharf where we were going later in the week). But the desert was something I haven’t had since I was in Australia – Churros! They are so good tasting, but the portion we got given was absolutely huge, I was expecting something half the size. Another very filling meal though.

Then it was on to the slightly posher section of our meals. Friday was results day! So everyone graduating had just found out their results, and it was cause for celebration. What better way to celebrate than a meal out... This was in The Grand Cafe, the venue in which we had our performing arts ball slightly earlier in the year. So we already knew the food was going to taste good, but I have to say the service was even better this time than previously. The meal was expensive by the level of the previous restaurants, but quite justifiable, the food tasted amazing and they had decent sized portions, if anything they were a little too large, I couldn’t manage to finish my sea bass en croute unfortunately. The service was also top notch with our waiter coming to our table to refill our wine glasses and remembering which people on the table were having which wine. I was quite happy I managed to fill an entire Delicious Dining reward card (requiring £280 spend) which will get me 50% off another meal at select venues.

On the Saturday we had one of my favourite venues to go to. Banana Wharf! This is a lovely restaurant down in the Docks of Southampton, and it serves almost every type of food. The prices are a little more than I would probably normally pay for a meal, but every dish is amazing, with massive portions and the service there is amazing. It’s part of the same group as The Grand Cafe, so more stamps on Delicious Dining cards!
We all had a bit of an Italian themed evening, although there were only 4 of us (this was a late addition to the week’s events), the pasta portion I got was absolutely huge! (Penne with chicken and pesto) Even larger than the portions that we had the previous evening. But I tried whitebait for the first time, which was really nice. I have to say I wouldn’t really recommend apple strudel ice cream’s a bit strange. Probably safer to stick to more traditional flavours.

Finally (from our stomach’s and wallet’s perspective) we reached the final meal of the week. An all you can eat Japanese Buffet! Now I’m not always very adventurous in my food choices, so I have pretty much never had Sushi before. Making this quite an experience for me.
We tried pretty much everything on the starter section of the menu, and it was (for the majority) very tasty! The massive exception to that rule being Miso soup... Definitely not trying that again. Unfortunately I didn’t realise that the main I ordered was bathed in a Miso soup sauce... definitely made it a lot less appealing. 

Definitely a fantastic week, and I think we might have to make an excuse to do it again and sample some more of the restaurants that are around!


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