Weekend Reviews: Wokkas & Potato Bakehouse

Over lunch on both days this weekend, I checked out a couple of the newer food outlets in town: on Saturday, a Chinese place, Wokkas, that’s just opened in the tiny space (next to Propaganda) previously occupied by an excellent but doomed burger-and-chips takeaway (Eats). They’d managed to squeeze a very nice looking sit-down restaurant in there! The kitchen was open, so you could see everything that was going on, and the staff were very friendly. It was their first Saturday, and they seemed busy enough. The food was quite expensive: a portion of chicken in black bean sauce (inc. fried rice) to take away (10% discount) set me back £6.68. I couldn’t fault the food, though. The rice wasn’t over or underdone, and the black bean sauce had bits of red chilli in it. Smaller portion size than I expect from a chinese, but then it’s a classier place. May be a good option if you want a light meal when you’re round town and you aren’t a minimum-wage worker like I am.

Sunday I went to Potato Bakehouse, in the food court bit upstairs at St. Stephens. There was a queue and there seemed to be quite a few people waiting for food at tables as well, but when I was served the lady revealed that everyone was waiting for paninis (?!?) and that my potato with chilli would take all of five minutes. So buy potatoes! Expensive though – £4.19 for a baked tattie with chilli. Weekdays, there is (or was) a trailer in paragon square that does them for less, with more chilli, but this being a Sunday I had to settle. Decent enough, but what with it being tucked away upstairs in St Steven’s I’ll probably not visit again.

Da Gianni

Da Gianni is a restaurant and takeaway – at 48 and 56 Princes Avenue respectively (next-door-but-one from each other, effectively). The takeaway only opened very recently so I popped in the other night with a friend. As takeaways go, this one is very classy indeed. It serves, pizza, pasta, and a variety of antipasti (starters) and side dishes – the menu’s presumably a copy of the one in the restaurant.

The upshot of this, of course, is that it’s pretty pricey. Pizzas and pasta start at £6.25. We chose a Lillianna (mozzarella, italian sausage, mushroom and spinach – no tomato). The dough was done just right, unlike most takeaway pizzas. It ranks up there amongst the tastiest pizzas I’ve had,  but it wasn’t huge – though big enough to fill one stomach, unfortunately in this case we were sharing.

The chef was friendly enough, once we convinced him we weren’t after a kebab or a burger; he chatted away about the ingredients and told us how everything’s freshly prepared, how they’re up for delivering to places near or (relatively speaking) far, and how the pizza we’d chosen was named after his daughter.

All in all, overlooking the expense, this one definitely deserves a repeat visit. Possibly I might make it down to their restaurant at some point and see if that’s as good, too! 8.5/10