Wednesday, September 27

Food: Burnt Click for more info

Instahype fuelled hipster meat houses seem a dime a dozen these days, and where I would usually ignore them Burnt seemed to capture my attention by virtue of being only down the road from my old house (damn nostalgia). 

Given the queues it was quickly becoming famous for, we decided to arrive at 4:30pm for its 5pm opening. It turned out that we didn't need to - for the entirely of our visit there was covers available so it now seems perfectly possible to arrive at a reasonable time and still be fed.

I was immediately enamoured by the menu - or rather the size of it. Seven items (including the veggie option) was all it had for the headlining items, with a splattering of the usual sides.

The flagship offering appears to be the smoked brisket, which although novel didn't really seem that great value for money. Do it once I guess? A much better option as a snack were the links, being more substantial and tasty than the cut of meat before.

Sandwiches-wise, Burnt offers the now traditional smash burger, but what you should really go for is the Ribwich - a fulfilling amount of pulled meat sitting between two sliced of brioche bread. Make sure you thoroughly confirm its availability - we were incorrectly told it wasn't available and over-ordered as a result.

Prices were good. We did overspend today, but repeat visits should bring the bill to under 20 a head which is reasonable for what you get. Service was what you would expect from a place that relies on Instagram for marketing, so don't expect the world. Oh and make sure you wear some of your least favourite clothes - you'll be smelling of smoke for a few days after this.

Tuesday, September 26

Film: The Expendables 4 Click for more info

Or maybe Expend4bles? Either way after three previous films we should all know what to expect - and I'm pleased to say that the fourth iteration of the film carries on with the upward trajectory of improving films. It's just about hard to believe how bad the first one was.

We have the usual core actors, although this is clearly a Statham show now, with a scatter of b-list action heroes bringing up the rear. The action is better (although still with questionable CGI), the humour gun ho and the overall package delivering what it's supposed to.

I'm not sure if any of that is worth a recommendation though, but if you're a fan of mindless action films then you really can't go wrong here.

Tuesday, September 5

Film: The Equalizer 3 Click for more info

My first surprise is that neither of the previous two instalments of this series have been mentioned here before - the first I do remember watching at home (which disqualifies it for review) which the second I hadn't seen until catching up for this latest chapter. You could say I'm not quite the Equalizer fan then.

Like the first two films, the third holds no surprises. That's not to say it's not a good film - it was actually pretty good - it's just not one to watch expecting great things. You'll cheer the hero, you'll boo the baddies, and just like with the movie itself the stakes in the plot aren't too high. That just means it has to try hard to fail, and I'm pleased to say it didn't do that.

Recommended for that rainy day.

Saturday, September 2

Food: Afghan Grill Click for more info

When it comes to restaurants, generic names mean one of two things: either the place is so good, that its the defacto default option for such a generic term, or the food is so generic, any other name would miss the point. Afghan Grill falls firmly into the latter.

There just wasn't anything special about the place. It was adequate, if a little cramped, service was passable and the food nothing not seen elsewhere. We kept the menu simple with some chapli kebabs, lamb kharai and kabuli rice... and it was all okay.

Given the competition and options available closer to home, I see no reason going out of my way to revisit Afghan Grill - however it is now a known and solid option if I'm ever in the area.