Hi all, how are you doing? I hope you’re all having a smashing Friday. I can taste the weekend, and at the risk of sounding like a certain furry cereal tiger, it’s going to be grrrrrrreat!!
I received a lovely surprise from the gorgeous bods at the Intu Derby to cheer me up on Blue Monday (officially the most depressing day of the year). The parcel of goodies included retro chocolate, a pre-loaded gift card, free parking, free coffee voucher and a whole host of other treats. I actually bought my latest haul of cosmetics using this voucher, so thanks for that Intu, it’s muchly appreciated. I’m a little bit in love with Kiko Milano and always get a makeover done by the fabulous Leah, but more on that later in a standalone blog.
Earlier this week, Intu Derby held its Blue Monday Healthy Eating Blogger Event. A bunch of foodie bloggers met at Eat Central after hours and were taken on a healthy eating whirlwind tour by the pretty witty Tania. Here’s the menu, which consisted of a total of five delicious pit-stops.
We kicked off with Fruit Fusion Shake appetisers from cool Shakin’ It bods Leigh Peters (Manager) and Emily Levy (Supervisor). We had a choice of green or red smoothies, both being packed chock-full with vitamins, immune system boosting minerals and general awesomeness. Now, what’s just so darn delicious about these smoothies, is that they feel like a naughty treat – but they’re not. They’re actually GOOD for you, how cool is that? Green Smoothie has a soya bean base, made with whey protein, nutri-pellets, chia seeds, spinach, pineapple and banana. It’s high in fibre and great if you’re on the go. Red Smoothie is made with pomegranate, whey protein, nutri-pellets, blueberries, strawberries, hemp seeds and is a fantastic source of protein, perfect for the after-work out refuel. I’m about to start my health kick and will let you know how I get on in a standalone post.
For starters, we had a selection of delectable treats from YO! Sushi including Salmon & Avocado Handroll, Avocado Maki, Kaiso Salad and Goma Salad. I’m a big YO! Sushi fan (their Salmon Kimchee is to die for, seriously) and I wasn’t surprised that a whole swathe of the YO! Sushi menu is healthy and rich in lovely nutrients perfect for those on a calorie controlled diet. Cool Kay Kalia (Assistant Manager) and ab fab Head Chef Karen Cabajar were on hand to talk us through the YO! Sushi offerings.
We then headed over to Joe’s Kitchen where we were looked after by the chirpy, smiley Ryan Riley (Assistant Manager) and Raji Mann. We munched on Vegetable Patches (hummus pots with cutesy vegetable artwork) and Avocado Open Sandwiches. Now, there is something delectably luxurious about an avocado and Joe’s Kitchen’s offering was inventive and tasty with a nice zingy aftertaste.
Mains from Byron including Naked Burgers (sans bread and therefore great for a carb-free option), Quinoa, Avocado & Roasted Tomato Salad, Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad and Sweet Potato and Courgette Fries. Hats off to Will Clarke, Cody Allen and Megan Taylor for superlative customer service and for putting a smile on my face by sporting a tee-shirt called “Pickle.”
We then flitted over to Wagamama, where the fab Ysabelle Ali (Front of House Manager) and Jordan Longmuir (Back of House Team Leader) dished up Sirloin & Shitake Salad, Warm Chilli Tofu Salad (my personal favourite, because the tofu was gorgeously chewy with a slight caramelised exterior), Yaki Soba and Yasai Yaki Soba. For dessert we polished off the Mochi Ice Cream. Now, this is where my palate was divided. For the life of me, I couldn’t decide whether I really liked the Mochi balls, or whether it was an acquired taste. I can only think of one option – to try out the Mochi balls again to see if I can make up my mind.
My takeaway from this great event (pardon the pun) was that there are great spaces that have wonderfully diverse menus, serving gluten-free, vegan and healthy dishes that aren’t going to put your diet or healthy eating plan off-track. With wonderful dishes served throughout the course of the evening, I left very full. Plus the kind folks at Intu had given us a lovely goody bag filled with delectable treats including a spicy sauce from Byron (which I’ll be cooking a nice piece of chicken with, so look out for that in a standalone post).
Thank you to Tania at Intu, Shakin’ It, YO! Sushi, Joe’s Kitchen, Byron and Wagamama for a wonderful evening out. I salute you and cannot wait to see all my fellow foodie bloggers again soon.