That awkward moment
Last Friday I was able to take a break from study and enjoy some quality time out with friends. For our birthday (way back in December), my friends had clubbed together and bought my sister and I tickets to see Miranda Hart's live show! Needless to say, we were beyond excited.
Miranda is one of those programmes that is difficult not to love. Whether it's her mockery of uptight Brits, her hopeless attempts to get together with Gary or just the general absurdity of the situations she gets into, it's something that never ceases to make me smile - even when I've heard the jokes before! At the moment one of my favourite episodes is the one in the hotel room... or the one where she and Gary go out for dinner.... or the one where Tilly plans her wedding! But of course, we can't forget the season finale and that cliffhanger. Do you have a favourite episode?
We thought we'd make an evening of it and so booked a table at the Red Panda restaurant in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. As we waited outside we spotted a small group of female teachers coming our way. As they passed us we issued an awkward "hello" before collapsing into giggles. We watched them go into the restaurant - they'd obviously reserved a table too - and repeated, "It'll be okay as long as we're not near them". Sliding neatly past the long queue, we slipped into the restaurant and followed the maître d' to our table. And guess who was at the table opposite?!
You couldn't have planned it if you'd tried. A few grimaces, smiles and general expressions of confusion followed - of all the places to sit! However, after a few minutes we soon forgot all about the teachers sitting opposite and succumbed to the menu.
We started with cabbage spring rolls with sweet and sour sauce. A little bit boring, especially when I was expecting hits of ginger and cabbage!
Barbecue Ribs were another option - quite a large portion for starters but tasty nonetheless!
The third and final starter (don't worry, i didn't eat these all by myself) was a dish or crispy fried chicken with a little garnish of spring onions and peppers, drizzle with chilli sauce. Yum.
Aaaaand onto main course. We ate from the pre-theatre menu, which allowed you to pick your meat with a range of sauces.
I naturally chose prawns - the ultimate food! Lightly battered and flavoured with a chilli and honey sauce, this was delicious; not too heavy and with a good kick.
We ordered a bowl of noodles or rice each; and on reflection, a single bowl would have done two of us perfectly! At nearly £4 a bowl these weren't cheap - but it's all a leaning experience.
Honey chilli chicken for another friend. The batter was heavier on this and it was a rather toxic-looking red colour, but again very nicely balanced!
Another friend stayed predictable and chose her favourite Chinese meal - beef in black bean sauce. I'd been wanting to try this for a while but my resolve wavered when I read about the prawns and so it will have to be an experiment for another day.
Sweet and sour chicken - not a personal favourite of mine (I can't handle the sourness) but delicious, I was assured.
And so for the final dish of the evening - prawns in curry sauce. An unusual combination but lovely nonetheless.
All in all I enjoyed our meal. For someone who rarely eats Asian food (and when I do, it's Indian), I thought it was good to experiment and try something new. Whilst the food wasn't top-notch, it was handy for an evening out and the restaurant was very busy, buzzing with conversation. I'd recommend that you book a table to be sure of getting a seat if you go on the night of a show/concert; and do think about portion sizes! Share a bowl of noodles and maybe skip the starter if you want to be able to eat all of your main course. Better for your waistline and the pocket, too!
We made our way into the auditorium and shimmied along to powerful tunes such as Dancing Queen and I Will Survive. The lights dimmed.... Miranda had entered the building! A sing-along, matchmaking and free Doritos for some lucky audience members were little extras that adorned a great performance - with a surprise at the end. A brilliant evening that made me thankful to have such thoughtful friends. Here's to laughter, inside jokes and a big helping of tasty food!