Page 31

Christmas Issue 2011


Food and Drink

Restaurant Reviews



ith the news this week that Yates’s was closed for refurbishment, Seren went down to check out exactly what would be changing, when it would be reopening and what deals we can expect before Christmas and in the new year. It had been a little while since I last graced Yates and aside from the general décor, quite a lot had changed. Firstly the menu had undergone a bit of a revamp and there appeared to be much more variety than on previous visits. The staff were very pleasant and cheerful, but most of all Yates’s was heaving. Despite having the demands of a full pub, the chef ’s had my food cooked and served in less than 15 minutes and both the lasagne and chilli tested by my party were very good. I was pleased to discover that as it was a Monday I could experience ‘Monday Madness’ and have a meal for £1.99 which obviously appealed to my student pocket, and that desserts were two for one. Not bad, especially towards the end of the year when the budget gets tighter and we switch up cheap wine for even

cheaper wine and pub crawls to pre-drinking, so in that respect I can’t really fault it. It wasn’t all good with Yates’s though. At the time of print (pre-refurb), Yates’s toilets were more than off putting and there definitely wasn’t enough light. However, as this issue goes to print, Yates’s is undergoing £50,000 worth of refurbishment, which is to include scrubbing the toilets and inserting a few more light bulbs. Mainly though, the refurb is also set to give the student friendly pub a fresh new look and more vibrant atmosphere and we are glad to hear it. The manager told us that we could expect more seating and snazzy new décor and he even tried to sell us a Barry card - the Yates equivalent of student discount apparently. All in all my visit was a resounding success and I would definitely go back, mainly for the food but partly to nosy at the sparkling new toilets. It’s no pretentious, over-priced restaurant but suits the student pocket, earning it the Seren student stamp of approval this month.

Gemma Ellis


As December is in Africa’s summer, Christmas dinner is typically eaten outside. In South Africa they pay homage to tradition with roast beef and turkey, suckling pig and local delicacies such as yellow rice with raisins. For afters, plum pudding and paper hats are the order of the day. In Ghana, they feast on rice and fufu, a yam paste, together with okra soup, porridge and assorted meats.


I would write these dishes in Norwegian but I’d only do them an injustice by failing to correctly note all of the accents. Nonetheless, Christmas in Norway sounds pretty tasty – mulled wine washes down whole roast pork ribs, sweet and sour red cabbage, meatballs, ginger and black pepperspiced cookies, and national dishes such as lutefisk, a preserved fish with lye (a corrosive alkaline substance) that has been washed and boiled. To make lutefisk safe for human consumption, it needs several days of soaking in cold water because of the high pH value found in lye.


Noodle One


t was admittedly with some excitement I went to Noodle One with my housemates. Considering myself something of a ‘foodie’, I enjoy sampling new things and having a crack at a culture I haven’t experienced. Unfortunately for me, this has never really extended to Asian cuisine. I love sushi, and like most I’ve had the odd Chinese takeaway. However, as far as authentic Asian food goes, I’ve never partaken. What I can say after visiting Noodle One is that I will be again! To start, me and my three friends shared a chicken satay, which was very tasty (although I’d recommend one each, as we only had one piece of chicken per person - I hadn’t originally intended to share it!). For the main course, I intended to try something that I hadn’t the foggiest idea about, so I ordered a pork and prawn wonton soup. I’m slightly ashamed to admit I didn’t know what wonton was (a pastry parcel with meat inside-a bit like a dumpling), but thoroughly enjoyed it regardless. The broth was hearty and tasty, and was filled to the brim with noodles, vegetables and bamboo shoots. I also


Portuguese Christmas food sounds pretty funky. Bacalhau (cod), cabrito assado (roast goat) and polvo cozido (boiled octopus) only scratch the surface with Bolo-Rei de Chocolate (literally translated as Chocolate King Cake) sounding the most challenging; there are three levels of bolo-rei (King Cake). The first is just a simple fruitcake, the second (bolo-rei Escangalhado) is similar but with the addition of cinnamon and chilacayote jam. Then we get to the last stage which contains the jam, nuts, raisins and, instead of fruit, chocolate chips. And lots of them.


German markets spring up all over Britain in December and many of them offer Christstollen (a fruitcake), Weisswurst (sausages with bacon and things like lemon, parsley and cardamom) and roasted goose.

Mains in Spain consist of roasted meats such as turkey and lamb with seafood like lobster and crab. Things sweeten up with yema, an egg-based dessert, and King Cake known as roscón de Reyes (tortell in Catalan). King Cake is, it’s fair to say, a crazy cake. History has it that the cake takes its name from the three Kings; Catholic tradition says that their journey to Bethlehem took five days and that they arrived to honour Jesus on Epiphany. The season for the cake extends from the twelve days of Christmas through to Mardi Gras day. Famous admirers of the cake include Samuel Pepys who wrote: “we had a brave cake brought us.”


had king prawns in there too, so I was spoilt for choice in terms of variety and texture. This was all washed down with several Tiger beers, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The only downside was that the flavours on offer were very wholehearted and blunt. This is enjoyable food, but probably best enjoyed as a winter warmer, as opposed to a light summer snack. The other negative aspect was self-inflicted, namely when I accidentally ingested a chilli which was giving the broth a delicate spice, and it resulted in me having to take a break f r o m eating whilst I experienced the not altogether w o n derful sensation of my tongue being hot enough to melt steel. Apart from that though, I had a thoroughly enjoyable meal, and would definitely return.

8/10 Joey McNally


The French often bring out the big guns for Christmas; oysters, foie gras and smoked salmon are merely light snacks before the 13 desserts that are made in Provence. These dishes – quince cheese (jelly), walnut cake, almond cake, raisin cake, casse-dents of Allauch (a biscuit), calisson of Aix-en-Provence (a traditional French sweet), nougat blanc and noir au miel, apple cake, pear tart, orange cake, winter melon and fougasse (a Provencal bread) – are representatives of Jesus and his twelve apostles.


Christmas Eve in Denmark is celebrated through the night and to help the festivities along, they eat dishes such as prune-stuffed goose, fried pastries and cinnamon flavoured rice pudding, commonly known as Grod.

This isn’t verified but according to Wikipedia, it is very common in Japan for orders of KFC fried chicken to be placed months in advance such is the shortage of turkey.


A Canadian Christmas pays homage to several different delicacies – the American pumpkin pie, quintessentially British trifle and unusually, satsumas. All of this is washed down by apple cider and eggnog.

Christmas AroundThe World Joe Russell

Seren - 221 - 2011/12 - December Issue  

This is the December 2011/12 issue of Seren, Bangor Univeristy's English Language Newspaper. Produced by students for students.

Seren - 221 - 2011/12 - December Issue  

This is the December 2011/12 issue of Seren, Bangor Univeristy's English Language Newspaper. Produced by students for students.