Yaba African & Caribbean Restaurant

Discovery

On Friday I went to a hair shop in Hulme to buy some supplies. As I was walking down the street that the shop was on I noticed a cosy little restaurant discreetly blending in amongst all of the take -aways and hair shops. I hadn’t been down this street in years but I could tell that this restaurant hadn’t been here long, I went inside to find out more…

Yaba is an African and  Caribbean restaurant that specialises in Ghanaian and Jamaican food. The owners, one Ghanaian and one African, had the idea of bringing both of these food types together to show just how similar they can be and to bring the African and Caribbean cultures together. I liked the idea and smell of the food so much that I booked a table for that same night.

I returned to the restaurant at 7.30 as promised and was greeted straight away by a lovely waitress. She told us to take a seat and gave us some menus. There was a vast amount of food available and being of Caribbean descent I recognised some, such as the Curried Goat, Jerk Chicken and Ackee & Saltfish but then there were African dishes such as Palaver Sauce, Red Red and Waakye that we were unfamiliar with so we had to grill the waitress as there wasn’t much of a description in the menu, which would have been helpful.

Food

In the end my friend stuck to what she knew and had the Jerk Chicken with Rice ‘n’ Peas and I mixed it up a little by having Jamaican Curried Goat with African Jollof Rice. We shared a plate of Kelewele for starters.

Whilst we were waiting for our starter (which was cooked upon order- very impressive) I enjoyed a homemade Yaba Bay Punch- a thick infusion of tropical fruits like guava, watermelon and strawberry. It was very tasty and I ended up getting another glass, resisisting the urge to buy a third. Our Kelewele arrived and was more than enough for the both of us, it was good to see that this wasn’t the type of restaurnt where the food covers just a tiny part of the plate…we were going to go away with full and hopefully satisfied tummies!

The Kelewele, which is diced plantain seaseoned in ginger and pepper and then fried, was very tasty and left me looking forward to the mains. At £7.80 for each of our main meals a little more rice would have been nice but otherwise I have no complaints. My curried goat was soft and nicely spiced and the rice was the perfect texture. My friends Jerk Chicken was much much spicier, perhaps a ‘spice rating’ guide should be placed next to each of the products.

By the end of the meal we were too full fit in a dessert which was just as well as they had sold out and no more cakes had been baked yet.

Overall, I enjoyed my time at Yaba. The waitress was friendly and helpful and we felt really comfortable. I’ll definitely be going back.

Food: 9.5/10- descriptions needed

Decor: 10/10- bigger than  thought, clean, warm and cosy

Ambience: 8/10- great authentic music and felt relaxed but would have been better on a busier night

Value: 9/10- could have had more rice!

Service: 10/10 waitress was lovely, kept us informed had made sure we were ok. Sincerely apologetic when people were waiting a while for their take away

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Gnomeo, Gnomeo! Where Art Thou Gnomeo?

Gnomeo & Juliet is a children’s film produced by Elton John and David Furnish. It is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s tragic love story Romeo and Juliet but instead of warring Montagues and Capulets, it is a bunch of garden gnomes who are arch enemies.

Petty damage to one anothers gardens and back alley lawn mower races are a daily occurrence until Gnomeo (voiced by James McAvoy)- from Ms. Montague’s blue gnomed garden- meets Juliet (voiced by Emily Blunt)- a red hatted gnome who lives next door in Mr Capulet’s. After a scene of flirty fun the couple meet up secretly whilst trying to stay faithful to their gnome families at the same time.

The film was entertaining for both adults and children as it featured naughty in-jokes and lots of slapstick humour which resulted in laughter and shrill giggles all around.

Every character was voiced brilliantly, my favourite being Nanette the frog (voiced by Ashley Jensen)- a lovesick, innocently blatant, eccentric amphibian and juliet’s guardian of sorts. A special appearance from Hulk Hogan as the voice on the Terrafirminator lawnmower advert was great to hear both times it was played. And Jim Cummings’ Featherstone the plastic flamingo (pictured below with the main characters) added even more pleasurable humour.

The film wouldn’t have been complete without references to Elton John and a ‘cameo’ from ‘Bill’ Shakespeare (voiced by Patrick Stewart).

This film is well worth going to watch if you are a fan of lighthearted fantasy. It doesn’t concentrate too much on romance and has a happier ending than the original. I would also say it isn’t worth watching in 3D as there is pretty much not a single scene that caters for the 3D experience.

I give this film four stars ****

The Happy Couple

Handy Shorthand

In my quest to become a super amazing journalist, I decided that a course in shorthand would be helpful, or at least look good on my CV. I’ve been doing it as an extra curricular activity since around October and it’s really HARD! I’m being taught the Teeline version and two hours once a week is no where near enough practise time.

It’s been really hard to find time to practise outside of lesson, what with my dissertation, essays, reports, projects and role plays all to do at the same time but lately I’ve ben making the time, whther it’s first thing in the morning or last thing at night, and found that it is making a difference.

Teeline seems to be on my mind all of the time, I find it slipping in to my writing from time to time, which is good practice I guess. The exam begins at 40words per minute, so tonight I’m going to start at that, trying to write 40 random words in Teeline in a minute. Wish me luck!

Hi…

Just a quick note to introduce myself. I’m new to wordpress and still finding my way around but I might as well start as I mean to go on.
As you may already know, my name is Siobhan and I am a journalism student hoping to soon be an established journalist. I already have one blog which is a general thing but this blog will be involve purely journalistic entries.
Look out for accounts of work experience, film and food reviews (two of my favourite pass times) and just the general trials and tribulations of a journalists trying to make it in the big wide world.
Ciao for now