How long will I get to keep them?

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It may not seem like the best time of year to go talking about sunglasses but when I go out to get Regan from school at the minute the sun is so low in the sky that something had to be done.

I like a good bargain as we all know and I simply wanted something to keep the sun out of my eyes when I was driving.

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Cheapass Sunglasses offer a great price and also a fast delivery considering they are not UK based.

I had a good browse over their website and found a few styles that I liked. Like any other shopping experience I could have quite easily have got carried away but I will save that for the spring.

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They offer 1 PAIR for €8.95,  2 PAIR’s for €16 and then each PAIR after that for €6 each.

My order arrived within 7 days and were well packaged in a little box.

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The only issue I am going to have, is keeping them for myself …….

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To see more you can visit the website, or visit Cheapass Sunglasses on their social media pages….. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cheapass Sunglasses also have a wholesale site.

Katsu Curry

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Mark is a dab hand in the kitchen, so when given the opportunity to review a curry making kit he jumped to the challenge.

The kit, from Yutaka, consisted of Panko (Japanese style breadcrumbs), Sushi Rice and Katsu Japanese Style Curry.

We are both quite partial to a good curry and love Japanese cuisine.

Working nights means that we rarely get the chance to sit and eat together so to have a meal together is a treat.

While I was at work last Saturday night, Mark set about cooking up a storm.

For instructions on how to make this curry you can pop over to the Yutaka website for a step by step guide.

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The kit is easy to use and the only issue we had was down to our error.

The instructions are very easy to follow and the meal is ready in about 30 mins in total.

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First up was the rice. Instructions tell you to add the rice to a bowl and rinse several times, draining in a sieve. The rice was put in a sieve and rinsed until the water was clear.

It was then added to a saucepan of water and was put on a simmer for 10 mins before leaving to stand for 20-30 mins.

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The Chicken needed the addition of an egg and some plain flour.

First up, you have to trim and score the chicken and coat it in flour, then you dip it in egg and then finally in the breadcrumbs. Now the next bit is where we made an error.

We have a kitchen thermometer and Mark went to check the heat of the oil that you have to deep fry the Chicken in and realised that the battery had died in it. So the chicken was deep fried and then finished off in the oven. Ordinarily, it would be deep fried on each side until it floats. (In our case we deep fried until brown, drained and finished it off in the oven)

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Then the sauce. You initially fry an onion until soft and then you add 800mls of water and the 100g block of sauce. That is brought to the boil and then allowed to simmer for 8 mins.

Then all being well you end up with something that looks a bit like this…..

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I have to say the level of spice was just right for me, the chicken was lovely and so was the rice. It was a really delicious meal and something that we will certainly be investing in when shopping in the future (along with batteries for our thermometer).

For further ideas on how to cook Yutaka products or for recipes you can find them on Facebook, and Twitter.

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A Thaikhun Birthday

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When Mark and I were talking about Caitlin’s 10th Birthday day out we decided that we would like for her to try something different for lunch. She is like Libby and really doesn’t venture much further than her comfort zone, also, like Penny she eats little and often.

A few months ago I won a takeaway from Thaikhun and have been longing to go back and try their Main Menu since. When I mentioned it to Mark he thought it was a good idea so I contacted them to arrange a booking. The customer service was perfect from the beginning and after a brief discussion we were booked in for 2pm.

We arrived at Intu MetroCentre and headed straight up to Thaikhun. Our timings were slightly out due to the road closures that occur when the Great North Run is in action, but we still got there on time.

First impressions speak a thousand words and Caitlin and Mark were both drawn on with the décor from the outside. From the old style dial TV’s, to the pallets on the walls and from the letters on the walls, to the sacks hanging from the ceiling, it all tells a story. Mark found himself tweeting Thaikhun asking them to come and decorate for us, he was so taken by what he saw.

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When we arrived we were seen by their very lovely Manager who apologised that our table wasn’t quite ready and would we like a drink whilst we waited. So we sat down and enjoyed the inside of the restaurant and watching the world go by.

Getting seated didn’t take long and our table was lovely. The Manager went through the Menu with us, explained the dishes and the Children’s Menu. The children are given and activity sheet and have three options for their meal and it looks like this………..

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With option two you choose an option from each column, hence creating your own meal. We liked how simple the options were, like I said Caitlin likes plain food that she can add sauce too. She went with the third option of Chicken and Rice and order some sweet BBQ sauce to go with it.

Mark and I however were not as easily decided. For a couple who love so many different types of food, this was heaven but we only could choose one thing. So after much deliberation we went for a starter platter for three, for Main Course I went with the Chicken Massaman Curry (which comes with Jasmine Rice) and Mark went with the Chilli Beef, this did not come with a side dish so Mark ordered a portion of noodles. The lovely Lauren took our order and looked after us for the rest of our visit. All the staff were lovely throughout and give the impression that they love their jobs.

One thing I do love is an open kitchen, maybe that is the nosey side of me, maybe I like to see what my food is doing but to see that the kitchen was open was a delight. While we waited for oue starter Mark took a quick picture…..

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Then our starter arrived………

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Sukumvit 39 Platter

The platter consisted of Thai Fish Cakes, Spring Rolls, Honey Pork and Steamed Vegetable Dumplings. These were served with dipping sauce.

The presentation is fantastic and fits in with the surroundings so well. We got stuck in and Caitlin sampled everything, which we were over the moon with. Mark and I got stuck in and every ounce of it was lovely. (I was slightly concerned that I had eaten a little too much starter and also concerned that I wouldn’t have room for pudding at the end).

The wait in between courses was perfect.

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Helping Caitlin with The National Geographic activity sheet we were occupied when our Main Courses arrived.

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Fried Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Vegetable Sticks and Sweet BBQ Sauce

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Chicken Massaman Curry with Jasmine Rice (Curry flavoured with Cinnamon, Star Anise, cooked with Potatoes, Cashews and Onion…You have the option of Chicken, Prawn/Duck, Tofu or Beef)

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Nua Phad Kra Prao with Sen Jun Luak (Beef with Chilli and Thai Basil with Rice Noodles in Soy Sauce, Beansprouts and Fried Garlic)

We all had a try of each others and it was delightful. Everything tasted aromatic and even the spicy dish that Mark had was full of flavour and not all about the spice which I often find with Thai food. We really enjoyed it.

Mains finished, Lauren came over with the dessert Menu and an Ice Lolly for Caitlin. As Mark isn’t a dessert fan Caitlin and I ordered one for her and I.

As we were sat talking I noticed that a lot of the floor team were assembling at the bar with various instruments and a candle was placed in one of our desserts. The next thing we knew the team were drumming, shaking their tambourines and singing Happy Birthday around our table for Caitlin.

What a lovely touch and we are touched that they went to the effort. As if the food and service wasn’t enough, our meal was finished off perfectly with the gesture. We can’t thank the team at Thaikhun MetroCentre enough.

Our desserts were…

Banana Fritters with Vanilla Pod Ice Cream

Gluten Free Chocolate Tart (Layers of Chocolate Cream on an Almond Base)

We started out having half of each but Caitlin was loving the Chocolate Tart so I gave that up for the Banana Fritters, that were also scrummy.

We really did have a lovely experience and we will be visiting again. I would urge anyone to pay Thaikhun at Intu MetroCentre a visit. The Menu has so many tempting choices and we would try something completely different next time. I would love to take the rest of the family and see what they make of the meals.

Massive compliments to the Manager, Lauren and the rest of the team. Every ounce of our expectations were fulfilled and surpassed. You gave us an amazing start to a 10 year old’s birthday, giving her memories to hold on to forever.

Thank you for having us….

See you soon

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