As mentioned in my last post, life sort of got away with me for a variety of reasons, one of the main ones was the anniversary of my Mum's death. This year; 5 years, hit me hard and I wanted nothing more than to bury myself in the sand completely and in an online sense that is what I did. I focused on myself and my family and chose to be kind to myself and step back. Although I firmly believe this was the best thing to do for myself, I did have some posts half written and blog commitments I flaked on, which is not cool (sorry guys).
So, I am getting myself back to normality but sharing some recent restaurants I visited and reviewed. The first of which was Chiquitos in the Metro Centre. Chiquitos is actually a big favourite of mine. It may not historically be the fanciest or most authentic Mexican restaurant in the world but I actually love that about it. It is somewhere I visited a lot as a kid and was always our first choice when visiting the Metro Centre. There has been a huge regeneration of the food offerings in the Metro Centre this year, with the yellow food zone tripling in size and some big food names setting up shop. Chiquitos has moved to this new food hub, and opened a beautiful new restaurant.
While it is shiny and new, with great decor, it had kept the things that made Chiquitos great; quality food and fantastic service. We visited on a Saturday with my sister and Zoe and while it was busy, the layout of the restaurant meant you never felt on top of anyone else, and the staff ensured we had everything we needed, our waiter; Nico, was attentive and friendly, making the effort to speak to Zoe and even played some peekaboo with the menus. It is the little things like this that really make a difference for me when eating out. Eating out with a toddler can be a stressful experience but we felt completely comfortable and relaxed at Chiquitos.
I don't know if its the fact that I don't have a decent full length mirror at home, but I can never resist a sneaky loo-selfie.
Anyone who visited the old chiquitos will know what I am talking about when I mention toilets. The previous restaurant was a little lacking (to put it politely) in decent facilities. I can happily report that the new facilities are top notch; including the baby change.
Now down to business; the food. There is a new, slightly smaller (which isn't a bad thing) menu on offer, focusing on the things they do really well. I opted for the street style pulled pork burrito which came with tortilla chips and dips. My sister went for the Spiced Coconut Chicken which came with Mexican spiced rice, tortilla puffs and whipped feta & honey. The burrito is my absolute favourite, and while I order it a lot, I struggle to look past it on a menu as I know how good it is. The spiced chicken dish was a new addition to the menu, and didn't disappoint. It was filling and flavourful and the tortilla puff were a really interesting accompaniment that I'd never come across before.
Zoe ordered the tortilla pizza from the children's menu. The children's meal is £4.95 which includes main, side, dessert and a drink. We found this to be incredible good value. The tortilla pizza was HUGE and the vegetable side was well cooked (I often find in restaurants that if I order veggies they are microwaved or mushy, these were neither) we opted for the fruit shoot hydro and fruit and ice cream for dessert. The portions were extremely generous.
We also ordered some non alcoholic cocktails as a treat, we visited the restaurant the day after the anniversary of my Mum's death, so felt it was apt to give her a little toast. They were actually really nice and packed with fresh flavours. I often feel disappointed with virgin cocktails (as what is the point, am I right?) but my mock-jito (see what they did there?) and my sister's Virgin Colada were so damn good, you really didn't miss the booze.
All in all, we felt that the new restaurant was modern and in keeping with the new food hub, while keeping all of the charm we loved about the old. We will definitely be visiting again.