The Fighting Cocks, Moseley

I don’t spend nearly enough time in Moseley, and whenever I visit, I always resolve I should head to that side of Birmingham more often. When The Fighting Cocks asked if I’d like to mosey over Moseley way and check out their menu, I was on the number 50 bus and on my way almost faster than I could reply to their email.

I’ve actually not visited The Fighting Cocks before, and was pleased to find the place was busy with locals eating and drinking on our Friday night visit. The inside is classic local pub, with lots of cosy booths. We settled in and perused the menu.

Mushrooms on Toast

Unfortunately, my first choice of starter was sold out, so instead I switched to Sautéed Mushrooms on Toasted Ancient Grain Bread . Ancient grain just seemed to mean ‘white’, but it was a good doorstop of lightly toasted bread. The mushrooms were perfect for a cooler autumn evening, with lots of creamy sauce and big chunks of meaty mushrooms. Cosy and filling, I wasn’t too sad at all that I’d missed out on the calamari.

Prawns

I am a bad blogger and have forgotten the name of the starter Dave ordered and it seems to not be on the menu on the website, but it was essentially prawns and chorizo on sourdough toast. There were a huge amount of prawns, which is always good to see. I felt the dish could have done with a bit of dressing actually across the bread, as when the prawns inevitably fell off, you were left with some very plain bread. Dave was unbothered by this however, and felt the artful swirl of balsamic across the plate was enough. He reported that the dish was well cooked with  lots of flavour.

Beef Burger

For main courses, I was still feeling those Autumn comfort food vibes and opted for a burger. The Beef Burger comes in a brioche bun with bacon and melted cheese, and is served with a choice of chips (you can choose between regular, triple cooked or sweet potato) and a gherkin. The triple cooked chips I chose were excellent, but I was sorry to there was no sign of the promised gherkin. The burger itself was good, with a chunky, juicy patty and well cooked bacon. The relish smear on the side of the plate was delicious, but I would have preferred it actually inside the burger, which was lacking in sauce.

Steak

Dave’s steak arrived with triple cooked chips and a giant Yorkshire pudding filled with caramelised onions. The steak was perfectly cooked, with the peppercorn butter really adding to the juiciness of the meat. The yorkshire was overcooked (so much so, that on first seeing it I mistook it for a large stuffed mushroom) which made it far too crispy, but the onion filling was tasty.

We both liked the atmosphere of The Fighting Cocks and I could easily see why it’s a popular spot. The staff are friendly, the bar is well-stocked and the food is competitively priced. With lots of foodie options in the area though, I think the menu offering was perfectly nice, but was of pretty standard gastro-pub quality. If you’re in Moseley and in want of a good pub meal, this is definitely a good option,in surroundings perfect for those cold evenings drawing in.

I was invited to review The Fighting Cocks. Our food and drinks were complementary. All opinions, words and photographs are entirely my own. 

 

Make Your Own McDonalds Szechuan Sauce

Szechuan Sauce

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably aware of a marketing stunt from McDonalds that majorly backfired. After Rick and Morty referenced the limited edition Szechuan Sauce from McDonalds, demand for the sauce suddenly exploded. Originally only available as a promotional item in 1998, as part of a menu themed on the release of Mulan, McDonalds brought the sauce back for one day only. Unfortunately, they severely underestimated the demand, and police were called as Rick and Morty fans expressed their outrage.

If, like me, you’re a fan of the show, but not willing to get into a fist fight in a fast-food restaurant, you’re in luck, because I’ve trawled the internet for the best copycat recipes that you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen, and hopefully not have to call the police.

  • Reddit user Xeropoint developed a recipe with his Dad, This version involves drinking a lot of Plum Sake…
  • Binging with Babish tested a few different options out on his YouTube channel.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, Ina Garten‘s sauce from her Szechuan Noodles recipe is a tasty option.
  • If you’re less fancy, this recipe from Nicole McLaughlin is a no frills, low equipment version.
  • Or do no cooking at all, and get McDonalds Barbeque Sauce and their Sweet and Sour sauce and mix the two together. I suspect this is properly how it was made in the first place…

 

Midlands Whisky Festival

After discovering I like whisky earlier this year, I’ve been on a mission to learn more about it. After assuming I wasn’t a fan, an evening with The Birmingham Whisky Club taught me to appreciate the spirit, and I’ve slowly been exploring different brands and discovering what I like. When my friends at East Village  asked if I’d like to go along to the Midlands Whisky Festival I nearly bit their hands off in my rush to say yes.

Midlands Whisky Festival

Glenfiddich

Held in The Studio in Birmingham, the Midlands Whisky Festival was host to a huge array of exhibitors, masterclasses and whisky fans. Spread over two floors, there was lots to explore. Your ticket included a tasting glass, tasting drams from each exhibitor, and a token for a ‘dream dram’ which was a larger taster of a rather more special whisky.

Penderyn

Welsh whisky

I already know I like Penderyn whisky, and I’m always loyal to a Welsh brand, so when I realised they were there, I made a beeline for their stand. Made in the Brecon Beacons, Penderyn was the first distillery in Wales in over a century and their whisky is now sold around the world.

I worked my way through a few of the drams on offer, and as always was impressed with how clean Penderyn‘s range tastes. I especially liked Madeira from the Gold range, which is finished in Madeira wine casks. With notes of toffee on the nose, the taste is crisp and sweet, with a background of vanilla. Myth from the Dragon range is easy to drink too, with flavours of mixed fruits. The packaging of the Dragon range is beautiful too, with a large dragon emblazoned across the boxes. These would be an attractive addition to anyone’s alcohol cupboard.

Mackmyra Whisky

I was delighted to spot Mackmyra. I tried their Svensk Rök at the Whisky Club tasting that started me on whisky, and it was one of my stand outs of the night, so I was keen to try more from them. Made in Sweden, Mackmyra is made with beautiful, clear water, as you’d expect from a Swedish drink. Their rep took us through the core range, starting with Brukswhisky, which is quite light, with flavours of spicy toffee. Next, we tried Svensk Ek, which is smooth and caramelly, and I think maybe my favourite of the batch. The Svensk Rök went down just as well as the first time. The peatiest of the range, this whisky is slightly smokier, but still with Mackmyra‘s signature cleanness and sweetness.

With so many whiskys to try, I was almost overwhelmed by choice. I wanted to try as many as I could, without ending up an absolute mess. With so much to try, I think this festival is ideal whether you’re a whisky expert or a total beginner like me, as each brand’s rep was knowledgeable and generous with the taster drams, so you could either find something new to you, or figure out what your tastes are.

I may or may not be already looking forward to next year.

I was invited to attend the festival by East Village. All opinions are honest and my own. I was not required to write a blog post.