Category: Mixed Reviews

Restaurant review – Fahrenheit at Genting Casino, Edgbaston

This week the husband and I did something a little different, and went for dinner at the Fahrenheit Restaurant at Genting Casino just outside Birmingham city centre.

The reviews were great and it’s nice to mix things up a little sometimes. Neither of us are gamblers, so casinos are not our usual stomping ground (I’ve been to one a couple of times, many years ago for work Christmas parties).

What a great decision it was!

The whole experience was fabulous. On arrival we were asked if we would like to join, and advised that we couldn’t bet more than £1400 without ID. Funnily enough, that wasn’t a problem! Photographs were taken for security (fair enough) and then we were shown through to the venue.

I was a little concerned that the atmosphere might be a bit brash, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The gaming area is on one side of the space, with an opulent bar area in the middle, and the restaurant tucked away offering a quiet and sedate dining experience at the other side. We were welcomed by the manager who invited us to take a seat while he brought drinks to our table. We were given menus to peruse and then ordered our meals before being shown to our table in the restaurant.

Bar area Genting Casino Edgbaston

Drinks in the bar

The menu comprises a good selection of starters, a grill section of steaks and burgers and a mains section with various fish and meat dishes. For starter we both ordered the black pudding scotch egg; in fact this was one of the reasons we decided to eat at the restaurant because I’ve been raving about them to the husband for ages, and he’s a big black pudding fan.

For main course I ordered yuzu glazed pork belly with pea and potato salad, and husband chose the chicken burger with chorizo and halloumi served with sweet potato fries.

First the starters – they lived up to expectations and then some.  A crispy coating, not too thick or crunchy gave way to a layer of flavoursome black pudding encasing a soft boiled egg. It was cooked to perfection, the juice of the yolk spilling out and mixing with the accompanying delicately flavoured mustard aioli to give an extra bit of moisture to an already juicy dish. Just stunning.

Black pudding scotch egg

Main courses were well presented ; husband’s burger on a wooden board with a metal basket full of sweet potato fries and his extra side order of the house chilli and bourbon sauce.

Chicken burger

I sneaked a chip (because, why wouldn’t I?!) and they were so good; crispy, crunchy, fluffy and extra delicious dipped into the sauce which was a mix of sweet and fiery and rich. The burger toppings of halloumi and chorizo were plentiful, although he did comment that the chicken was slightly too overcooked around the edges rendering it a little crispy. A small thing to deal with in the grand scheme of things.

Close up of chicken burger

My meal was served in a glazed bowl; two thick pieces of pork belly on top of peas, broad beans, purple baby potatoes and pak choi. The crust of the pork was slightly dry in places, but the meat was incredibly succulent and fell apart on the fork. The salad lacked seasoning and was quite bland, but a good helping of salt resolved that and the freshness was a perfect foil against the indulgent pork.

Yuzu pork belly

Yuzu pork belly close up

Now, generally when we go out to eat I’m not a dessert person, but the dessert menu was very good and peanut butter cheesecake was too tempting an option to not try. Served with a smear of strawberry jam, freeze dried raspberries and salted peanut brittle, it was just divine.

Peanut butter cheesecake peanut brittle

Like contort-your-face-into-all-sorts-of-enjoyment poses divine. The topping was light and fluffy, with a distinct taste of both the peanut butter and cream cheese, on top of a sweet biscuit base. The brittle was crunchy and sweet and savoury all at the same time, and the sweetness added an extra zing.

The staff were exceptionally good – from the manager who gave us his personal welcome to the two waitresses who served our table; they were polite and keen to please without being too over the top or in your face (I hate that when I’m eating out). The ambience of the restaurant was really lovely; softly lit and welcoming.

Fahrenheit restaurant Genting Casino

Interestingly, the bit that put me off (that it’s in a casino) actually intrigues me for our next visit. I had a wander around the gambling area and it’s all very enticing – not in a “gamble your house” kind of way, but in a “this is something a bit different after a meal” kind of way. Obviously they’re equipped for big betters (and I’m sure that’s their preference) but minimum stakes on the roulette table start from just 50 pence so even just a tenner could be a fun way to round off a night.

I already can’t wait to go back.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Motley Crue – The Final Tour

This time last week I was basking in how great Motley Crue were at the Genting Arena the night before, and how excited I was to be seeing them at Wembley.

Motley Crue band logo

I’ll start this review by saying wow.

Now I’ll tell you why.

Firstly, Motley Crue as a band have been releasing records for over 30 years. When a band has had commercial success for that length of time; touring the world and playing to hundreds of thousands of people, it’s pretty fair to say they know their stuff. They know how to tour, how to put on a show and how to please an audience.

So it’s pretty difficult to review them in the way you would a smaller/lesser known band at a smaller venue.

Even so, there are bands that lose their shine and passion as the years go on; and perhaps their performance suffers as a result. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s band fall outs, maybe it’s quality of musicianship.

You couldn’t say any of that about Motley Crue’s two performances last week. The stage show was big – there was lots of pyro, millions of lights, fire, and a drumkit on a rollercoaster.

Motley Crue drum rollercoaster 2

Motley Crue drum rollercoaster

Drum rollercoaster

Yep, Tommy Lee’s whole kit was attached to a rollercoaster that came right out into the crowd. During his drum solo he traversed the length of the coaster and back again; going upside down while also spinning around on the drum platform. Pretty spectacular stuff!

All of the big hits were in there with pumped guitar riffs and singalong vocals. Vince was flanked by two hot girls in tiny leather outfits, and why wouldn’t he be? This is a band who were instrumental in 80s rock and really lived the rock and roll dream of sex, drugs and debauchery. They’re over 50 now, yet to watch them you wouldn’t know it. There were no signs of lethargy or slowing down- each and every member of the band was really going for it.

Vince’s vocals have taken a battering in certain reviews I’ve read, and a lot of people decided not to see them again after outdoor festival performances at this year’s Sweden Rock and Download. I don’t think an outdoor festival is ever the best representation of how good a band can be, to be honest. And with the amount of energy and movement he puts into working the stage, it’s hardly surprising he doesn’t hit every single note!

I’ve seen them 6 times in total now, which is a lot for a band I never really thought I liked before the first time, but I can honestly say that I’ve loved each and every show. Part of the brilliance is that there are hardcore fans at their gigs who absolutely live and breathe their music, so the atmosphere and excitement is electric. And the band genuinely seem to care about their performance and giving everything. The visual aspect of the shows, as well as the audio, is above and beyond what a lot of bands do.

At the end, Vince and Nikki stepped onto two mechanical arms which then swept out into the crowd, so they were over and above the audience and playing to people below.

Nikki and Vince

Necessary? Not at all! Imaginative? Yes! Expensive and difficult to set up at each gig? You betcha! But they did it because the passion is still there to deliver a great show.

Nikki fireworks

Nikki finale

Nikki

Nikki Sixx

The finale couldn’t have been more different. The band left the main stage and made their way to a small platform half way in the crowd, lighting their path with torches. Just the four of them; Nikki on bass, Mick on guitar, Tommy on piano and Vince on vocals they sang Home Sweet Home.

Home Sweet Home

Nikki and Tommy Home Sweet Home

Vince Home Sweet Home

Nikki close up

No fancy effects, no bright lights – just the band in a pared down, intimate (well, as intimate as you can be in a sold out arena!) and emotional goodbye.

Crue famously signed legal documents stating that they will never tour again, so there was always going to be a lot of hype to this tour. Sceptics would say it’s a sure fire way of selling out venues, which they did. And of course there’s lots of sadness from lifelong fans that they’ll never see them again, but going out on a high was a good move. The fans will be left with nothing but positive memories of a great live goodbye.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Hotel review – Conca Azzurra, Massa Lubrense

We don’t generally go on all inclusive holidays (or package holidays full stop), as we’re big fans of eating out at different restaurants and having no set times in our day, but when we spotted the Conca Azzurra hotel on the Thomas Cook website it seemed ideal for our needs for this year.

Conca Azzurra hotel

We were holidaying late, wanted a mix of city break and relaxing and the reviews were really good.

First impressions of the hotel were great; after a very long and rainy drive from the airport, we finally arrived gone 11pm to a lovely meal of cold meats, cheese, bread, rice and pasta, and the all important wine! We’d booked a junior suite with seaview (not because we’re that kind of people, just because it was the last room available!) and it really had the wow factor; huge in size, large bathroom with two sinks, jacuzzi bath and separate shower cubicle; huge comfy sofa, soft lighting and lots of storage space, with a large balcony and sliding patio doors.

Conca Azzurra junior suite

Conca Azzurra hotel room 2

Conca Azzurra junior suite 2

Conca Azzurra junior suite 3

Conca Azzurra junior suite 4

Thanks god for that suite. Because for the first two days we spent a lot of time in it. It rained from arrival and for the next 24 hours. Not “oh it’s only light rain, let’s chance it”. Thunder, lightening, wind, inches of rain. This isn’t as bad as it sounds; we pulled the big sofa in front of the balcony doors and looked out to sea.

Conca Azzurra junior suite 5

And we drank wine. Lots of wine. It was impossible to order a glass – they just gave you the bottle – so with nothing better to do we whiled away the day reading, relaxing, napping (a 2 hour booze snooze counts as a nap, right?) and having a little tipple.

It was actually pretty nice. We’ve had a hectic few weeks so being able to just chill out was lovely.

The following day started dry but very windy. The hotel is at the bottom of a cliff, it’s impossible to reach it without taking a minibus from the top to the bottom around hairpin bends and hair-raising slopes

Hotel and cliff face

Hotel minibus

But the isolation and views are fantastic when you’re at the bottom. The sea was bashing at the cliff face and it was far from warm. We had a wander round the grounds and down to the sea.

And then it started raining again. So we did more of the first day; relaxing, sleeping. And wine.

Post storm we saw this amazing sunset. The island you can see on the horizon is Ischia.

Storm sunset 2

Storm sunset

Sunset over Ischia

Sunset over Ischia 3

Sunset over Ischia 2

Storm sunset 3

On day three the sun came out. Hurrah! We finally got to take advantage of the fabulous sun terrace which had two hot tubs, sun loungers and comfortable outdoor sofas, all looking right out to sea.

Conca Azzurra terrace

Conca Azzura view from terrace 3

Naturally I had to indulge in some more wine (celebration!)

Conca Azzura hot tub

And a cocktail!

Conca Azzura hot tub and drink

Conca Azzura me in hot tub

Chilling on the terrace

Reading in the hot tub

The hotel itself is small, with only around 35 rooms. It had a nice outdoor terrace which we were able to make use of both daytime and evening for eating and drinking.

Conca Azzurra hotel terrace

Conca Azzurra outside

Conca Azzurra by night

We booked the hotel knowing that it was fairly isolated, and that it wasn’t possible to just pop out for a walk or into Sorrento. You had to get the minibus to the top of the cliff before you could get anywhere, and it’s not an area for walking. To get to Sorrento you needed to book the free shuttle bus there and back (or book an expensive taxi), so obviously there were timetables to be mindful of. But if you’ve done your research before you book then you know this. It really annoys me when people complain about something that’s made clear in advance.

The food was slightly underwhelming at first – from the reviews we’d expected gourmet meals but the reality was more rustic Italian food. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty and well cooked and plentiful, with loads of choice at each meal. But this wasn’t the foodie holiday I had hoped feared expected. I didn’t go mental and stuff my face til I felt sick, and I didn’t break the scales when I got home! (this is both good and bad in my book).

But check out these views!

Conca Azzura view 1

Conca Azzurra view 6

Conca Azzurra view 5

Conca Azzura view from terrace 2

Conca Azzura view 2

Conca Azzurra view 4

Conca view 2

Conca view 4

Conca view

Conca view 3

Would I stay there again? No, because there’s loads more of the world to see and I’ve done that part of Italy now. That’s no reflection on the hotel. I just don’t understand people who go back to the same place year in year out. It smacks of lack of imagination.

Have you seen my previous posts about our visits to Herculaneum and Amalfi & Positano?

Gig review – Biters in Wolverhampton

Sometimes a band comes along that you’re genuinely excited about – that you’re grabbed by right from the off. For me, this year, that band is the Biters.

Biters

I’ve only been aware of them for a couple of months (although they’ve been around for a while), but their current album – Electric Blood – is everything a rock ‘n’ roll album should be, and more.

So I was very excited to hear they were touring.

Biters tour

Less excited when I found out it was on a Wednesday, in Wolverhampton.

a) Wednesday – well, say no more. School night. No drinking or partying or really throwing yourself into the occasion because you have work the next day (not that I need a drink to have a good time, but y’know).

b) Wolverhampton. Despite it’s pretty close vicinity to Birmingham, it’s a bit of a ballache to get to.

There’s also the small matter that it was less than two days til our holiday, nothing was packed and some of it wasn’t even washed yet.

But still.

Husband has this band ticked for good things, and I had a heavy sense of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) so we said “fuck it” to the practicalities, and off we trundled.

The Slade Rooms is a great venue – a big wide stage so you can see plenty of what’s going on, a good size gig room, ace sound and a big bar too. My favourite of the Wolverhampton venues I think – much more geared up towards a rock gig than, say, the Wulfrun or Civic Hall.

We weren’t bothered about seeing the support band, as is often the case, but arrived in time to catch them. And am I glad we did! Shock Hazard are a 3 piece from Norwich and they were great! The singer played lead guitar like he was in a full house at Wembley – a great frontman throwing himself around the stage, getting into the audience and, at one point, climbing up to the top of two big stacked amps (I actually said out loud “this isn’t going to end well” which probably wasn’t the reaction he wanted!) The band themselves look pretty mis-matched; a curly haired crazy rock god in the making, the bassist who looked like he’d be better suited in This is England 90, and the drummer who was so skinny he barely looked capable of lifting the sticks. But together they were amazing – tight, loud, fun to watch. It was a great opener.

And then came The Biters. They didn’t disappoint. Right from the off they kicked ass. Musically brilliant, vocally brilliant – loved them. 4 guys from Atlanta Georgia, this was their debut UK tour and I really felt for them – they deserved better. Wolvo on a Wednesday night is not going to go crazy, regardless of how fantastic you are (they were) and they deserved a bigger, better crowd. The front man actually said at one point “what do I need to do to get you guys going?” But what they were doing was just fine by me. Guitar riffs with a 70s flavour, singalong chorus’ and the kind of drums and bass that you can’t help but stomp along to. Singer and guitar player Tuk has the coolest style – all punky hair and skinny jeans and he’s a funny guy too; interspersing their songs with tales from the tour and home, and having some fun with members of the audience. But the music was the absolute star of the show, as it should be.

Highlights of the night for me were 1975 and Low Lives in Hi Definition, but really it would be wrong to put them out their as favourites because everything was so freakin’ good!

At times sounding like Thin Lizzy (never a bad thing!) with a distinctive vocal that makes them instantly recognisable, their songs are varied in tempo and style, but all with that inimitable 70s rock ‘n’ roll attitude that to me embodies all that I like about rock music.

If they do get as big as husband predicts, I’ll be honoured to say I saw them in a small venue in Wolvo on a Wednesday night.

But next time, if they could play a weekend date, the crowd might actually engage and show them just how great they really are!

Stupidly, I deleted all my pics (noooooo!) so here’s one courtesy of the husband.

Biters singer

And here is “Low Lives in Hi Definition”

Check ’em out!

 

Roomzzz Leeds – a review

When we booked tickets for Danko Jones in Leeds (you can read my review here) we were looking for somewhere central and well priced to stay, and Roomzzz fit the bill. Just a couple of miles from the gig venue, they offered more than the standard hotel room, with more space and home comforts.

Roomzzz`

I first came across Roomzz because a hotel we used to use regularly in Nottingham was taken over and converted. They have 7 locations around the country, mainly in the North (Manchester, Leeds, Nottingham and Chester). Technically they’re serviced apartments rather than hotels – a concept which was new to me.

It’s a great idea – giving you freedom and saving you money, if you want it to. With a fully fitted kitchen including fridge freezer, hob and microwave you could eat in the apartment rather than going out. There’s even a washer dryer and a dishwasher. The lounge area is good if you fancy a night in just relaxing – you can chill out in comfort rather than sitting on a hotel bed.

Roomzzz Leeds reception 2

Roomzzz Leeds reception

We booked a Liberty Suite for the bargain price of £66.10 through their loyalty pricing (anyone can register for it) – which was just like a city centre apartment – entrance hall, bathroom, separate bedroom and through lounge/kitchen/dining room.

Roomzzz Leeds bedroom  Roomzzz Leeds bedroom 3

Roomzzz Leeds bath

Roomzzz Leeds bathroom

Roomzzz Leeds dining area

Roomzzz Leeds kitchen

Check in is at 3pm and check out at 11am, but you can book either a 2 hour earlier check in (1pm) or 2 hour later check out (1pm) for just £10, which I think is excellent value (and was much needed after a night out!)

The apartments are finished to a high standard with good spec kitchen and appliances, wooden floors, leather furniture and a huge bed. There’s everything you could need including a plasma TV in the bedroom and a fully stocked cutlery drawer!

Roomzzz Leeds kitchen 2

Roomzzz Leeds fridge freezer

Roomzzz Leeds cutlery draw

Roomzzz Leeds dishwasher

Roomzzz Leeds microwave

There’s even teatowels and a dishwasher tablet!

Roomzzz Leeds provisions

The bathroom has some funky coloured toiletries and a rather futuristic looking built in hairdryer.

Roomzzz Leeds toiletries

Roomzzz Leeds hairdryer

My only criticisms?

  • The apartment lacked warmth and personality – furniture and flooring was very dark and the lighting was poor; a table lamp would work wonders for atmosphere
  • The shower wasn’t very strong; I struggled with washing the shampoo out of my hair
  • There was no full length mirror (hello male architect!)
  • The grab and go breakfast – which is included in the room price and is served until 10.30am in reception, consisting of pastries, muffins and juice in – was all gone by 10am.

But those are small niggles for a good stay! It was nice to have space and comfort in comparison with a standard hotel room and I would definitely stay at a Roomzzz aparthotel in the future.

Chillidogdogs – oh yeah!

If you read yesterday’s post about one of my local pubs, you’ll have seen me mention Chillidogdogs.

In keeping with the nation’s current obsession with streetfood, Chillidogdogs deliver a pared down menu done really really well. They serve from their little premises in the beer garden at the Prince from Thursday through to Sunday and boy is their food good!

These pictures come from 2 different visits (not that I care whether you think I’m greedy, just saying that I have tested for consistency and been delighted both times).

Chillidogdogs food selection

Nachos to start – I’m going to put this out there and say these are some of the nicest nachos I’ve ever had. The balance is right – enough topping to last right until the last delicious crunchy triangle. The chilli is sweet and meaty, not hot or spicy, just really really tasty.Chillidogdogs nachos 2

Chillidogdogs nachos

The hotdogs are hot-damn! Sausage spilling over the end of the roll, there’s just enough bite to the skin followed by the juicy meaty filling – these are quality ingredients! Lashings of afore-mentioned chilli and mustard with just enough kick. My mouth is actually watering as I type.

Chillidogdogs hotdog

The husband is something of a burger aficionado and has a lot of experience in eating them. He has declared this to be right up there with the best burgers he’s ever tasted. Smothered in juicy pulled pork, oozing with cheese, there were yummy noises aplenty (he was so impressed he had the same both times).

Chillidogdogs burger

Chilli fries kind of speak for themselves really. If they could speak they’d say “eat me”. They’re so good. The kind of thing you wish you weren’t sharing. I’d happily lie down in them like a big cheesy chilli potato pillow and eat my way out. Too good.

Chillidogdogs fries

So, there you have it. As you can tell I’m rather indifferent to the whole shebang and could take it or leave it. By which I mean order and eat all of it. All of the food. All of the chilli topped products, until I slumped into a meaty chilli cheesy carb coma. That sounds good.

If you’re in or around Birmingham and haven’t visited the Prince of Wales and Chillidogdogs, have a word with yourself!

When is a pub not just a pub…?

…When it’s the Prince of Wales in Moseley!

Prince of Wales Moseley

When it has a moose head on the wall in the bar

Prince of Wales moosehead

When the bar is as traditional as this, and serves an ever changing selection of craft beers, ales, wines and spirits

Prince of Wales bar

When it has a cosy snug which has real log fires in winter

Prince of Wales snug

When it has traditional Victorian details like this tiled mirror and walls

Prince of Wales mirror

Prince of Wales tiles

Prince of Wales details

When it has a massive beer garden that’s half covered and heated so you can use it all year

Prince of Wales garden

Prince of Wales garden 2

Prince of Wales outside

When it has a purpose built cigar hut – La Choza – selling Cuban cigars

Prince of Wales cigar hut

When it has a tiki cocktail bar serving traditional cocktails and house specials

Prince of Wales motiki bar 3

Prince of Wales garden 3

Prince of Wales motiki bar 2

When it has a “Shed du Vin” selling bottles of wine and snacks

Prince of Wales Shed du Vin

When it has it’s very own street food vendor onsite – Chillidogdogs (more on that in my next post).

Prince of Wales Chillidogdogs

When it’s the most creative, cool and unusual pub you’ve ever been to!

The Prince of Wales dates back to 1861. The current landlord and landlady have been there since 2007, and transformed it from an old man’s boozer into the unique, charming, fun place it is today.They have recently been named UK Licensees of the Year, beating 50,000 others across the country.

There’s a plot of land next to the pub which has been earmarked for development into apartments. If that happens there’s a good chance the new residents would complain about noise and the Prince would get closed down.

That would be a travesty. It was ‘ere first.

I never understand people who move in near to a place they know will generate noise and then complain. It’s already happened to a couple of places in Birmingham City Centre.

Let’s hope common sense prevails.

All hail The Prince!

Gig review – The Amorettes and Danko Jones at the Key Club in Leeds

We’re quite a fan of road trips to see bands we like and would generally rather travel to a weekend gig than do a mid week gig closer to home.

Which is how we found ourselves in Leeds on Saturday to see Danko Jones.

I was first introduced to the band by the husband (no surprise there!), about 5 or 6 years ago. They’re punky, funky, loud and in your face with great riffs and brash singalong lyrics but we’d never yet seen them live. So when they announced a UK tour, we were all over it.

Common sense would have been to go to the Wolverhampton date, but that was on a school night, and where’s the fun in that?

The Key Club was a great venue – small, intimate, dark, with great sound and a cheap bar! Seriously though, the sound quality and volume was very very good.

Support band The Amorettes are an all girl group that I wasn’t familiar with. They were pretty good – musically tight and full of attitude. For me it was spoilt by the fact that the lead singer delivered all her segues between songs in an OTT fake American accent. Why? You’re from Scotland! I hate fakery, and I hate it when bands feel they have to sound American to fit in. It completely undermines and spoils the rest of the performance for me.

And, in truth (which isn’t their fault) I was only really interested in the main band. Who did not disappoint!

One word.

Wow.

They literally blew me away. Right from the first chord the energy was incredible. Vocally, lead singer Danko is strong, raw and full of passion. Musically, for just three people, they make a hell of a lot of noise! It was like listening to the CD. Stand outs for me were “Legs” and “Do You Wanna Rock” (there aren’t many rock songs with cowbells in!)

Danko Jones Key Club Leeds

Disappointed to not hear “I Think Bad Thoughts” which was the original song that got me into them (and is probably my favourite) but that’s a very weak complaint in what was an incredible set, performance and night.

I already can’t wait to see them again – come back soon!

And, because I missed it, here is “I Think Bad Thoughts”

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Banksy – Dismaland Bemusement Park

When I saw that Banksy was launching a Dismaland exhibition in Weston Super Mare, my first thought was “how has he managed to keep that secret?”

Closely followed by “I deffo want to go”.

As luck would have it, the dates fit in nicely with our weekend in Looe, meaning we’d practically be passing Weston on the way home.

What I was less prepared for (although should have anticipated) was that tickets would be hard to come by. Priced at just £3 plus £2 booking fee in advance, they were a veritable bargain. And also highly in demand. Unable to buy any online, I resorted to ebay listings and See Tickets message boards to source some.

I eventually managed to bag a couple for £15 each. Which isn’t too bad, but it’s still 3 times the face value. Which is annoying, but not worth missing out for the sake of an extra tenner each.

What did amuse me was that the some of the people who were selling at silly prices were emailing me the day before offering them for much cheaper. Meaning that, for once, touts haven’t made a mint. It also means I could have got some cheaper if I’d have waited, but it wasn’t worth the risk.

When we arrived I recalled immediately that I’d read the staff have attitude – it’s all part of the “experience”. The trigger was how rude the girl was on the door, followed by the ticket checker. One of the fake security guards in the foyer told me to take my hat off “you’re not Michael Jackson”. Without fail everyone who worked there was bad mannered, disinterested or disengaged. It was all part of the fun.

Without further ado, here are some pictures! As you’d expect there are a lot of political statements, a heavy dose of irony, and the inimitable Banksy don’t give a fuck attitude.

Dismaland and Ariel

Banksy Dismaland castle

Banksy Dismaland police van

References to the horsemeat scandal. The carousel was particularly clever – it looked at odds with the rest of the park at first – being all shiny and colourful – but one of the horses was hanging and cut open and an operative with a cleaver was sitting on boxes marked lasagne

Dismaland horsemeat

Dismaland hotdog

There were lots of battered old kids rides around the park

Dismaland old ride

The burnt out ice cream van bore a sign that said customer service, closed 24 hours

Dismaland ice cream van customer service

This was my favourite piece of artwork; half of the letters that spell Disneyland have fallen off, leaving Dead

Dismaland Disneyland Dead artwork

Mickey Mouse with a serpent tail

Dismaland mickey mouse snake

Mini “Gulf”, set on a course made of oil cans, old pipes and petrol pumps

Dismaland Mini Gulf

Dismaland mini golf

This was rather close to home – I guess that was the point. Based on the remote control boats you play at theme parks, these were filled with tightly packed in migrants. Some were floating face down in the water

Dismaland remote control migrants

 And, of course, some political and anti-capitalist statements

Dismaland anticapitalist

Dismaland church sexuality

There was an outdoor cinema which showed some rather weird films – we caught the end of one with a teddy bear being cut open to show real human organs

Dismaland cinema

And a rather jovial big sandcastle!

Dismaland giant sand castle

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Even with paying so much over the odds for tickets. Because it’s only a temporary exhibition there’s that feeling of being part of something special – it’s conceptually brilliant and very well delivered; so sardonic and scathing.

Loved it!

Are you a fan of Banksy’s work?

 

Restaurant review – Sabai Sabai, Moseley

On Monday evening, keen to stretch out the weekend that little bit further, I suggested an impromptu date night. We had pre-dinner drinks and then went for a meal at Sabai Sabai.

Sabai Sabai

One of the things I love about where we live is the range of restaurants and bars; different cuisines and flavours. We haven’t been to SabaI Sabai for ages, probably about 4 years, and I’m really not sure why?

The restaurant is fairly small, probably seats around 40 people, and it’s long and narrow with opulent decoration in purple and gold.

Sabai Sabai Moseley

Sabai Sabai purple and gold

We chose a window seat to watch the world go by and ordered some drinks and prawn crackers (which were so spicy and tasty, with sweet chilli dipping sauce) while we perused the menu.

Sabai Sabai window seat

Deciding on food turned out to be something of a problem. There’s a lot of stuff on the menu and it all sounds really good. As usual I got “the fear” in case I didn’t choose wisely!

I decided to go for something I’ve been wanting to try for a while but haven’t been brave enough – softshell crab. Part of the reason I haven’t tried it is because the husband keeps weirding me out about it! But it sounded delish; covered in breadcrumbs and fried, served with thai salad and sweet chilli sauce.

Husband had the mixed platter which is a selection of different items – great for when you just can’t decide. It included golden bags, chicken satay, prawns tempura, sweet corn cakes and fish cakes.

Sabai Sabai soft shell crab

Golden bags (Toong Tong) always makes me giggle childishly!

Sabai Sabai golden bags

The crab was really good. Quite heavy on breadcrumbs meant that the first couple of bites didn’t yield much meat, but once past the claws there was loads!.

Sabai Sabai soft shell crab 2

Delicate and tasty, perfectly paired with the chilli dipping sauce it was very filling – perhaps slightly too big for a starter (it hurts me to say that!)

For main course I had Ped Makam Jarn Ron, which was duck breast cooked with palm sugar and tamarind to create a really sticky gooey sauce, served on a sizzling platter of onions and topped with dried shallots.

Sabai Sabai duck platter 2

I also had a side order of egg fried rice (to be honest we could have shared,one portion is quite large!)

Sabai Sabai duck platter

Husband had Prawn Geng Massaman which was sweet with coconut milk and peanut sauce, full of big juicy prawns and chunks of potato.

Sabai Sabai Geng Massaman

The bill came to £75, but having worked it out £25 of that was drinks! (two glasses of wine for me, a beer and a double spirit and mixer for husband). So the food itself is very reasonable, with most mains being around the £10 mark.

As I said, I have no idea why we haven’t been for so long, but we won’t make the same mistake again! (if only because I want soft shell crab!)