Mannaza Korean BBQ, Newcastle

Hello, Hi, Welcome,

So this week on the blog I decided to try writing a little foodie post as I’m always looking for new and different eating experiences to test out. At the weekend, my friend and I decided we wanted to see if anywhere in the North-East offered a Korean BBQ dining experience as we had both  learned about Korean BBQ through tv shows and online videos.

If you don’t know what Korean BBQ is, it’s basically where you cook chosen meats on a grill which is placed on your table at the restaurant. It’s a little different than just sitting down for a regular meal and it’s a huge phenomenon in Korea for social meetings.

Upon our search, we found Mannaza, a Korean restaurant which provides the barbeque cooking style we so badly wanted to try. Located just next to Blackfriars, the restaurant is easy to find and as it’s close to The Gate, it’s only a short walk to bars and the cinema if you’re looking to add more to your night.

Inside, the restaurant is a nice size. Not too big, not too small and has a friendly, warming atmosphere. We booked our table because I was unsure just how popular a Saturday night could get at Mannaza and I’m glad we did as there was a handful of people waiting for a table and we walked straight in to our reserved table.

The menu is extensive! There’s pretty much something for everyone, from vegetarians to seafood-lovers (I even spied that they serve octopus). It’s pretty simple to decipher as they have a ‘Self-Grill’ column which lets you know what options you can choose for the Korean BBQ dining. If you fancy something from the menu but don’t feel like cooking it yourself, there is the choice to have it cooked by the chef so don’t fret if the idea of self-grill is a bit daunting!

We went for the set menu for 2, which included a starter of dumplings (which were already cooked for us and delicious), a tray of marinated raw chicken (Yangnyeomdak-Gui) and a tray of marinated raw beef slices (Bulgogi) to cook on the grill, a side of kimchi and a side of spinach alongside 2 portions of sticky rice. All together I think the food came to £28.00 which we thought was pretty reasonable for what you were given.

When it came to the time for us to grill our meats, we were a little hesitant on how long we had to cook the slices for and if there was a desired ‘look’ for the dish we were meant to be grilling without completely burning the living daylights out of it. The slices of meat are sliced thinly for quick cooking and I cook quite regularly so I shouldn’t have been so worried about poisoning the both of us but I really am not equipped with any BBQ knowledge.

We managed to get the hang of it after the first few tester bits of meat (we literally cooked on bit at a time just to see what would happen) and ended up throwing the remainder of the meat all on the grill. If not a tiny bit stressful, it provided a boat load of giggles and a lot of fun and the end food product was absolutely delicious and filling!

I noticed on the menu that they also serve Korean wines and Sake, but we just went for the typical Pinot Grigio and Merlot to calm our anxiety after the hilarious food encounter.

I would highly recommend this restaurant if you’re looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary to try out! The prices are reasonable, the staff were helpful and the experience was great. I’d like to take a bigger group of friends next time just to see how we all cope. We also didn’t give ourselves food poisoning, hurrah!

Have you tried Korean BBQ or had any other fun dining experiences?

I hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you soon,

Chanel

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Tomato Soup Cupcakes Recipe

Happy Easter!

Over the last few days my social media feeds have been brimming with baking goodies, from Easter mini egg cakes to Creme Egg brownies and I’ve definitely been bitten by the bake off bug.

Instead of going with the traditional recipes, I decided to try something a little bit different and I spotted this Tomato Soup Cupcake recipe in my The Hummingbird Bakery book and thought why not give it a go.

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in The Hummingbird Bakery ‘Life is Sweet’ book

I know what you’re all thinking…that is disgusting Chanel, why would you even want to eat such a monstrosity! However, the book describes the taste as a ‘kind of carrot-cake’ flavour and I completely agree, you can definitely taste the slightly spiced resemblance.

Here is what you’ll need:

Ingredients

Cupcakes: 

  • 115g (4oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 285g (10oz)  Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 270g (9 1/2oz) Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 60ml (2oz) Water
  • 295g (10 1/2oz) Tin of Condensed Cream of Tomato Soup
  • 18 muffin cases

Frosting:

  • 100g (3 1/2oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 240g (8oz) Full-fat Cream Cheese, cold
  • 400g (14oz) Icing Sugar
  • Ground cinnamon for sprinkling on top!

The recipe says it makes 18 but I managed to get 21 out of the batch and was left over with loads of icing too!

STEP ONE:

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F)/ Gas mark 4

STEP TWO:

  • Line the muffin tin with the muffin cases

STEP THREE:

  • Use a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment or a hand held electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy (the recipe recommends mixing for 5 minutes on a medium-high speed)

STEP FOUR: 

  • Pop the eggs in one at a time, on a lower speed and making sure you have all the mix from the side of the bowl

STEP FIVE:

  • In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients (plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, allspice, cinnamon and cloves) and then mix into the wet ingredients. The recipe says to mix on a low speed but I thought my mixer’s lowest speed was still too fast so I just used a wooden spoon to mix.

STEP SIX:

  • Add the water and the condensed soup to form a batter (the smell is extremely strange and off putting so bare with it)

STEP SEVEN: 

  • Spoon the mixture into the cases until about 3/4’s full and bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool when on a wire rack.

 

LEAVE TO COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE PUTTING ON THE FROSTING OTHERWISE IT’LL JUST SLIDE AND MELT OFF.

STEP EIGHT:

  • To make the frosting, beat the butter and then add the cream cheese and icing sugar. Mix slowly to begin with otherwise the sugar will spill everywhere. Then mix on high speed for three minutes to create a creamy texture.

STEP NINE:

  • Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon.
The final product

These cupcakes are delicious and not dry at all, I was worried when mixing in the soup that the consistency looked too thick but they baked beautifully and have been gobbled up by my family.

Special thanks to Tarek Malouf for making this inventive recipe which was definitely an experiment as well as a baking venture. You can check out his website here or you can purchase The Hummingbird Bakery, “Life is Sweet” recipe book here.

If you want to read my previous blog post you can find it here

Thanks for reading!

Chanel

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