REVIEW: Red Hot World Buffet Cardiff September 2013

I was recently chosen to join the #RedHotTastemakers (you can read more here).

This was my first visit as a Red Hot Tastemaker. We booked for 4th September lunchtime. I took Hubby along as he was almost as keen as me to be part of it!

We arrived at 1:30pm and was warmly welcomed. We were shown to a table in the middle of the downstairs area. Hubby prefers to sit by a window or along a wall so I asked if we could have a table along the wall. No problem,  a table was set up and we were introduced to our waitress Marketa.
I explained that I was a Tastemaker and had to show her my email confirmation. She checked with the manager and came back with a big smile and confirmed that she was now aware of what the scheme is. Bless her!!

red hot buffet,

Oriental/Curry Station, Cakes, Sushi, Pasta Station

This is what we had and our opinions:

First Drink:

  • Cosmopolitan Cocktail and Cobra Beer – Cosmo was lovely – vodka and cranberry always a good mix. Cobra went well with the main course curry.

Starters:

  • Me – Sushi – very tasty and I was glad to see they had pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce available. I did try eating with chopsticks..but resorted to fingers and a fork.
  • Hubby – Soup – hot, tasty and quite spicy.

Salad Bar: Both of us picked bits and bobs from the selection.

  • Me – The Thai glass noodles and Tomato and mozzarella were my favourites.
  • Hubby – Liked the Tomato and mozzarella and the sprouting beans.
red hot buffet starters

Starters and Salads

Main:  There is so much to choose from, Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Pasta, Pizza, Teppanyaki but we both decided to go for Curry and we ended up choosing the same. Lamb Rogan, Chicken Korma and Pilau Rice. We also picked up some Onion Bhaji and Nan Bread.

  • Me – I preferred the Rogan, although it had a bit too much clove for my liking. I also prefer to have some onion and peppers in my Rogan.  The Pilau rice was exceptional, slightly spiced and fluffy.
  • Hubby – he preferred the Korma but was disappointed that he had to fish around for some chicken despite the pan having just been replenished on the buffet.
  • We both liked the Onion Bhaji, they had a good flavour and good crunchy crust.

Dessert: The selection is amazing. Everything is in tiny portions so you can fill your plate with lots of samples. There is also a chocolate fountain with cake and marshmallows that you can dip in.

  • Me – I liked all my selection, strawberry mouse, mango baked yogurt, chocolate brownies, my favourite were the doughy balls..served warm in a syrup – they are really scrummy..I could have had more of them!!
  • Hubby – He had apple crumble first which he thought was yummy. He then went back up as I told him there was a coconut and cherry dessert up there..he loves cherries!! He came back with a plate full of goodies, the cherry dessert, some of the doughy balls, brownies, jelly, mousse and mango yogurt. He scoffed the lot and declared that the desserts were his favourite part of the meal!
red hot buffet, curry, dessert, drink

Curry, Dessert Selection, Mojito!

2nd Drink

  • Apple Mojito and Kingfisher beer. The Mojito was delicious and I’ll definitely have it again. Mint, apple and vodka in a BIG glass..

Overall we had a great time at Red Hot. The food is well presented with plenty of choice to suit all palates and appetites.  Marketa took good care of us and was very patient waiting whilst I decided which cocktail to have.

We were both a little disappointed with the curry (hubby actually said mine were better – Sorry..) so we’ll try something else next time.  The starters and desserts were the stars of our lunch – oh along with the Apple Mojito!

The only other thing I would like to comment on is the ladies toilets. The entrance is VERY dark and inside smelt a bit (stale wee and horrid disinfectant), paper was peeling off the walls.  Could do with an overhaul!!

*Disclaimer as part of the #RedHotTastemakers we received a meal and drinks in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts pictures and content is my own and cannot be reproduced without permission.

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RECIPE: Chicken Biryani – Slow Cooker style

I’ve scoured the interweb looking for a suitable recipe for a Biryani. Some say to cook the rice separately, some are dry cooked meat with the rice par-boiled and added at a late stage of cooking, some add the rice at the start of cooking.
So there doesn’t seem to be a definitive recipe anywhere.. oh dear. Continue reading

RECIPE: Savoury Rice (122/366)

I often think that plain boiled rice can be quite boring.  Buying flavoured rice can be expensive – but I do like the Tilda ones and usually buy a few for the store cupboard when they are on offer!

I made a curry yesterday and decided to make my own flavoured rice. It’s really easy!

For 2 portions:

Cook 4oz of long grain or Basmati rice according to the instructions on your packet 0r however YOU usually cook it!

Whilst its cooking, sweat half a small chopped onion in a little oil, add one teaspoon of curry powder and fry for a minute. Add a handful of halved / quartered mushrooms and a handful of frozen peas and stir. Cook for a few minutes to cook the vegetables. You may need to add a little water but don’t add too much – you want an almost dry mixture. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.

Drain the rice and return to the saucepan, add the veg mix and give a good stir with a fork.  There you go! Savoury rice for pennies!

You can use any veg – try sweetcorn, peppers, chilli, green beans. You can also opt to leave out the curry powder if you want to serve it with a stirfry.

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RECIPE: Chorizo and Chicken Paella (94/366)

RECIPE: Chorizo and Chicken Paella

Serving Paella at our house is difficult. I love a good paella and love seafood, hubby likes paella but not the seafood kind. YES I know paella is a seafood dish but he always opts for the meat version if we are on holiday.

The best one I’ve ever had was at AYO’s in Nerja, Spain. The restaurant is on the beach and when we went there in November 2001 they only served Paella and only opened at lunch time! Along with crusty bread, salad and a beer or wine or three it was the perfect lunch. It suited hubby too as the Paella had chicken and pork as well as lots of seafood.

When my youngest son still lived at home I used to make us a paella for supper when hubby was working nights. Huge plates of rice, veg and mixed seafood – perfect.
So now he’s left home and it’s just me and hubby I have to compromise.. so here’s my meaty version of paella. I serve it with a salad and a toasted tortilla wraps.

To ring changes try adding peas / sweetcorn or of course you could add some seafood!!

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • 3 oz / 60g Chorizo
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 red or green bell pepper – diced
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 clove garlic – crushed
  • half pint / 275ml hot chicken stock
  • quarter pint / 150 ml white wine
  • half teaspoon turmeric
  • 5 ounces / 150g paella or arborio rice
  • Salt and pepper
  • chopped parsley – for decoration

Method:

  • Remove the casing from the chorizo (you don’t have to but I prefer to remove it). Cut in half length ways and slice each half.
  • Cube the chicken
  • Heat a couple of teaspoons of oil in a heavy based saute pan (fry pan) and gently fry the chicken and chorizo until the chicken is just beginning to colour.  Remove from the pan leaving behind any oil.
  • fry onion and pepper in remaining oil until onion is transparent.
  • Add garlic and turmeric and fry for a minute.
  • Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the oil.
  • Add chorizo and chicken back to the pan.
  • Pour in the wine and bring to the boil.
  • Pour in hot stock bring back to boil.
  • Simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes stirring every few minutes with a fork.
  • If the mixture is getting too dry add a little more hot stock or hot water.
  • When the rice is just tender and the liquid has nearly all been absorbed check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve sprinkled with a little chopped parsley.

Serving:

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