Saturday, 31 August 2013

Ocean Bells Coffee Company

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The coffee scene in Watford was dire, to say the least. That's until this past Wednesday when Ocean Bells Coffee Company opened on the Watford High Street. Having found out 2 weeks ago that a speciality coffee shop was opening, I've been excited and they did not disappoint! 
Find it lacking, coffee-wise, over on this side of the pond, Husband and Wife team of Alex and Isabella decided to open one of their own, a coffee shop that definitely won't feel out of place even if it was located amongst the many independent coffee shops in London. I'm making this comparison only because my hubby and I love going around exploring the many coffee shops that have been mushrooming up in the big smoke. We've been hoping for one to open in Watford for the longest time so we are very happy that our wish have finally come true!
They are currently serving a sweetish espresso blend, Jailbreak from Hasbean, that's easy on the palette. Coupled with silky smooth textured milk, it was a joy to drink. I had a chance to speak to Alex so I found out that they are planning to bring in some single origin coffee beans and may have a filter coffee going soon. A guest espresso too, perhaps! I'm definitely looking forward to this, as even though I'm not a coffee connoisseur, I enjoy trying out coffee of different profiles and learning more about them. 

The decor is simple, clean and comfortable, just the right place for having a coffee whilst catching up with the morning papers or having chat with friends.

Decorated with lots of various photos, articles and sketches, it feels pretty cosy too.

As they have just opened, they want to first concentrate on coffee(of course!), cakes and pastries that have been lovingly made by Isabelle. They'll slowly add some lunch offerings once they'll found their feet.
Am sure this will soon be one of my most frequented places when in Watford and be sure to give it a go when you are in the area!

Ocean Bells Coffee Company
133 High Street
WD17 2ER

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Sticky Chilli and Mirin Chicken Wings

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Sticky, spicy, sweet, salty and juicy chicken wings....if that doesn't get your taste buds moving, I don't know what will! We only recently discovered this absolutely finger licking good recipe from Sabrina Ghayour and it immediately became one of our fave recipes as we simply couldn't get enough of it!
Ingredients (Recipe from Sabrina Ghayour)
800g-1kg of free range chicken wings
150l of dark soy sauce
75ml of Mirin
4 tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
4 heaped tablespoons on caster sugar
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
2 red chillies
4 inches of peeled ginger
3 cloves of peeled garlic

1) Preheat oven to 150 deg C.
2) Using a hand blender, pour all the ingredients (aside from your chicken wings) into the container that comes with your hand blender and blitz together all your ingredients until your reach a smooth liquid. Place your chicken wings into a large bowl and pour over the marinade and leave it for at least 2 hours.
3) Place the chicken wings in a baking tray.
4) Using a pastry brush, give the wings one last coating of sauce before placing them in the oven to cook for 25 minutes before giving it another brush of the marinade. 
5) Repeat this process another 3 times, marinating every 25 minutes and then allow them to cook for a final 25 mins (total cooking time of 1 hours and 40 mins) before serving. 

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