Tag Archives: food review

Scone Chronicles – 32 – It’s KFC

Sorry. The next one will definitely have scones in it. I ate them this morning, especially for my readers. However, getting back to the seaside trip, what did we do when we found there were no fish and chips?

I think I blew the mystery by telling you we went to KFC in Skegness a few posts ago.

I’ve eaten Kentucky Fried Chicken and written about it before, but I think this is the first Scone Chronicle devoted to the subject. If you think I’m going soft on them it might be because I really liked it. Or it might be that I’m hoping this post leads on to an offer from KFC to become a mystery customer and eat lots of free fried chicken. I live in hope.

We selected KFC because it’s familiar, it has toilets and it has parking. I’m not keen on the new ordering system with the machines. So far I’ve struggled with the machines at KFC and Burger King – only McDonald’s seems to have done it right. This is strange when you think it should be so simple.

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Wicked Zinger Meal – why can’t they just call it a chicken sandwich meal?

Same with batter. Coat the chicken, fry it, job done. The result should be crispy and tasty. I throw that in as a bit of dramatic foreshadowing.

I ordered the Wicked Zinger Burger, or tried to. The burger was what I expected, as were the chips and beans, but I normally have two hot wings with the meal – this one came with a chicken leg. To add insult to injury the coating on the leg was a flaccid sort of soft batter that draped the leg instead of forming a crispy crust. I don’t know what had gone wrong, but Julia reported the same problem with her chicken.

The chips were good, still with some skin attached, so they must have been good for me. If you look at the picture you will see a champion chip. Beans are full of fibre, so ditto for that.

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A very long chip

The burger was crispy and, as always, reliable. However, it’s a bit of chicken in a crispy coating with lettuce and mayonnaise, so it should be difficult to do it badly.

So, to sum up – not exciting but generally good. The soft batter was a let-down but isn’t generally a problem. The rest of it was fine, including efficient service, good standards of cleanliness and the all-important car park/toilet combo.

When we went in there were several groups of young people eating, but by the time we left they had been replaced by groups of people who looked like us – wrinkly, grey and looking relieved to have found somewhere decent to eat.

I enjoyed it, and would be happy to receive free food or payment in cash for reviews if anyone from KFC is reading this. You never know, it might work.

But they do need to fix that floppy batter.

The Scone Chronicles – 31

First, let me apologise for the lack of scones, or even baked goods. once again. It was always my intention to concentrate on scones. I like scones. But somehow they have taken a back seat. In Spring I promise to return to scones.

Second, please accept my apologies for the complex timeline. This report goes back to the time, a couple of weeks ago, when I couldn’t get onto WordPress.It should really be number 29 but two others slid into place – the dry Lemon Drizzle Cake and the Biscuits with Sparrows. Chronologically this post comes just after the coffee at Springfields.

And having explained all that, I have just noticed there are two Scone Chronicles XXVII. I’m not going to go back and correct the errors this causes, and I’m not going to get upset. A mild tutting sound is all that you will hear, as I am a reformed character.

Sadly I won’t be able to take you through it in detail, but I thought a few points were worth making.

While we were at Springfields we decided to eat before we left and then have soup in the evening. We like Frankie and Benny’s though we do tend to question the value for money. This is based on cost, portion size and the fact we can still remember when you could get a decent plateful for under a pound. Yes, the curse of the old age grumblers has caught up with us.

The thing about Springfields is that the staff are always top class, and it’s a pleasure to be served by them. (If anyone from Frankie and Benny’s reads this, I am available to write reviews and other stuff in return for free food and cash – just thought it might be worth mentioning).

We had the standard burger, because it’s a decent meal and reasonably cheap. They were doing a few Vegan things, but I can’t really remember the menu, apart from the Beetroot Burgers (known as the Smoky Beet Burger). My lifelong loathing of beetroot will ensure that the thought stays with me for a long time.

There was a time, several years ago, when F&B used to do a delicious sticky red sauce, a bit like sweet chilli. Then they dropped it for a cheap imitation, then went to something pink and toe-curling. Look at the two pictures. One is of the burger and fries when we had it about a year ago. The other is now. Can you see a difference?

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Last year’s burger and chips and sauce

Disregard the chips. They came in the same size container but I turned them out before I took the photo.

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Burger and Chips. Tasted nice but didn’t exactly fill the plate.

That’s right, there is no sauce at all. And come to think of it, there are several other differences. This is known as shrinkflation. They rely on customers with bad memories, but I took photos which, by accident, show it in action. But lots of people do it, so let’s not blame F&B.

On the other hand, they are still responsible for depriving me of that delicious red sauce…

 

The Scone Chronicles – Number 7 – Done as a Haibun

As usual, there is a queue at the cafe in Sainsbury’s at Arnold. The woman behind the counter is working hard but the system is against her. So is the customer she is serving, who can’t make his mind up.

I have two scones – one cheese, one fruit. Julia sticks with a single cheese scone. We select them, then we wait in line. They are small, neat and hexagonal.

Eventually I go to find a table because my knee is playing up.

The first two tables are too dirty to clean by wiping with a paper napkin. The third is passable, but dirty underneath. They have at least four staff and I’m not impressed. I think of writing a stiffly worded letter of complaint but it won’t do any good and the insincere reply will annoy me even more.

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A dirty floor – Sainsbury’s, Arnold

The cheese scone feels hard as I slide the knife in. It is not a light and fluffy scone, though I had expected this from the small and regular shape.

There are specks of visible cheese, and it tastes good.

The fruit scone is moist inside, in a doughy way, rather than a good way. It still tastes good but looks strange in the camera viewfinder.

A slightly doughy fruit scone

A slightly doughy fruit scone

At one time we would have ordered the cream tea but we are getting too old for all the sugar and fat.

evening draws on

the rotund blogger

photographs his food

 

 

Harvester – Review

Here it is, my first food review of the year. The target is to visit 100 tearooms in 365 days, but I’ve decided to review all the places I eat out to ensure we hit target. I’m hoping that it will also prevent me eating out too much, but I fear this may be a doomed hope.

We had to take Number One Son to the airport and Julia suggested eating on the way. Harvester in Wilford was conveniently placed so we tried there. It’s usually passable and often quite good. It provides free salad, fresh bread rolls and last time we went they had a special lunchtime offer.

Well, the offer is over, the bread roll baskets were empty and the salad looked like it had passed peak freshness several days previously.

Very disappointing.

The worst bit was when I ordered cod and chips.

“We don’t have any batter, but we can do you plain grilled cod.”said the server.

Because, of course, beautifully battered, golden, gleaming cod is very much the same as dull, dry, boring, grilled fish. (Please note that I’m being sarcastic here.) Frankly, I’d rather have a slice of grilled carpet.

Hake and Chips in Cromer

These are the fish and chips from Fish and Chips at Cromer. Just reminding you, and any passing Harvester employees, what they should be serving. Unsurprisingly, I have no pictures of plain grilled fish. There will be plenty of time for grilled fish when I’m in a care home and can’t find my teeth.

Did you know you can have your false teeth made with your name on so that you don’t lose them in homes or hospitals? One of our customers told me this as he makes them. You machine a recess in the plate, put in the name tag and then finish off with clear acrylic. Cunning, or what?

So I had a burger. No 1 Son (as I think of him in our less formal moments) had a chicken burger. Julia had gammon with egg. She was offered pineapple too but turned it down. I may have some reservations about aspects of the meal, but they can be quite generous at times. Even if they don’t have fresh salad, warm rolls or batter.

I was mildly sarcastic about the chef not being able to mix flour and water, but it seems the batter comes in bags of batter mix.

Without being too detailed or sarcastic, it wasn’t Harvester’s finest moment. They did replace the salad and refill the rolls before we left, but the moment had passed by then.

The food was good, even if the lack of salad, bread and batter was disappointing. Wasn’t keen on paying full price either, though it isn’t actually expensive by modern standards.

 

 

Ambushed by salad

We had a late lunch at Carsington Water after a dropping off Number Two son in Sheffield and taking a trip through the misty Peak District. There weren’t any decent photo opportunities, and when I did stop to try I ended up depressed by the fly-tipping in the lay-by.

Lunch would have been a bit earlier but the satnav disgraced itself by taking us into an Industrial ¬†Estate and trying to send us up a cul-de-sac. It’s not the first time.

I may have to rethink my newly found confidence in technology…

The meal, supposedly cheese and pickle sandwiches with a side order of chips, came with an unexpected extra – salad. It was excellent salad (better than the sandwiches if the truth is told) ¬†and to my surprise I quite enjoyed it. However, I can’t help thinking that there should have been more warning that the salad element was going to be more than a symbolic garnish. You have warnings for allergies and for Vegetarian and Vegan foods, why not a big green “H” for “Healthy”?

I appreciate that healthy is good, and that I have to alter my diet, but you can’t just spring it on me. The shock isn’t good for a man of my age.

The salad was crisp and full of flavour and the chips were crisp and tasty. There was plenty of tea in the pot. The sandwiches fell slightly short – the rocket garnish was good, the onion relish was good (though without the promised bite of chilli) and the cheese was OK, though it could have been a bit stronger without overpowering things. It was just a little disappointing that the bread was slightly dried out on the surface.

As for the birdwatching, we managed to avoid all the interesting birds that were listed on the board in the RSPB shop and I also missed a good photo of a male Reed Bunting.

Here are some I did get.