mu mu, Kettering

I travelled half of the country for this burger. Alright, more like half of the county but that is still serious commitment. I’d heard of mu mu burgers from a number of sources and pictures of the gourmet meals kept popping up on my Facebook feed (sometimes you have to trust Facebook people). So I herded some friends up and we made the long, difficult trek to the faraway land of Kettering. Was it worth the time/effort/diesel money? Well, yes it was.

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Look at that beauty. Oozing with delicious juices and cheese. I went for ‘The Something Blue’ which had blue cheese (incase you hadn’t guessed), caramelised red onion, mu mu blue cheese sauce and smoked streaky bacon. It was juicy, tender and packed with flavour. Another thing I loved about mu mu is that you get your chips INCLUDED with your burger. Can you believe it? These days, anywhere that serves a good burger seems to leave the chips out of the whole equation, making you buy them as a side. Well congratulations mu mu for thinking about us chip lovers, we really do appreciate it.
This little venue is a gem. Book ahead and follow them on Facebook, they always seem to be running competitions. My main concern is, when are you coming to Northampton mu mu?!

Franks Hamburger House, Cogenhoe

Frank’s Hamburger House offers a lipsmacking, tummy rumbling selection of beef whether it’s in their Steakhouse or Hamburger House(s). Both can be found on the Wellingborough Road with a third venue recently opening in Billing. Although the Cogenhoe venue is poorly advertised it nonetheless serves the most delicious burgers (amongst other things).
After booking an hour before arriving to eat we were greeted by not only a friendly team of waitresses but a snazzy, smart interior. It looked impeccably clean that I would happily have eaten my burger straight off the table.
The menu boasts a wonderful selection of burgers, from the Express Lift Tower (double burger, cheese & bacon) to the Middleton Wholesome (burger, bacon, stilton & beer battered onion rings), the latter of which I went for. The bacon was perfectly crispy and the burger brilliantly juicy. It featured just the right amount of stilton and the onion rings were certainly nothing to complain about. The chips… let me tell you about the (bottomless) chips. They had been cooked to perfection and were the right balance of crispy and fluffy. It all came with a great, fresh salad.
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On the side we had halloumi with a balsamic glaze. The halloumi was cut into generous sized chunks and went down like a dream.
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Overall, service was quick and warm and the food was everything I expected. This isn’t a slapdash hamburger joint but serves up gourmet, tasty burgers. The starters and sharing plates coming out of the kitchen looked incredible, hence why a visit back to Franks is on the agenda.
Franks Hamburger House, Station Road, Cogenhoe, Northampton, NN7 1NH
(01604) 281964

Felix Yu, Northampton

Based in Northampton’s town centre, Felix Yu is the place to go if you want authentic, delicious Cantonese food. The interior is a mix between your normal Chinese restaurant and an office space. It would benefit from a slight make-over but the food is the star of the show, and quite rightly.

 

I decided this was to be the restaurant to celebrate my 22nd birthday with my parents. After a few jokes (i.e me being deadly serious) about whether we should go for the most expensive fixed price menu which came with wok fried lobster we settled for the fixed price menu priced at £24.80 per person. For starters: Chef Selection Mixed Hors D’oeuvres, a wonderful selection of little nibbles (3 of each to avoid any arguments). We also ordered an extra portion of Crispy Crab Wontons. The wontons were delicious, the crab meat packed with flavour. As part of the Hors D’oeuvres we got: Chilli Salt French Bean, Garlic King Prawns with Kataifi Pastry, Barbecue Spare Ribs Peking Style, Satay Chicken Skewers and Samosas. My favourites from this selection had to be the prawns and the green beans but all of them were packed with flavour and I really enjoyed the range of textures. The samosa’s were delicious and filled with what tasted like a thai green curry sauce. This provided a perfect sized starter for three with a good selection of your favourite Cantonese goodies as well as a few new bits to try.

 

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Next we had an intermediate course, Roasted Peking Duck. This was my least favourite course as I felt the duck was a little dry and the pancakes were too floury and doughy. That doesn’t mean I didn’t manage to eat a few as it was still tasty.

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For mains, Special Fried Rice (served straight into our bowls by the waitress with more left on our lazy Susan), Wok Grilled Fillet Steak with Chilli, Garlic and Peppercorn Salt Nyonya Crisp Chicken Fillet and Stir Fried King Prawn with Sun Dried Chilli and Caramelised Cashew Nuts. They came steaming hot with healthy sized pieces of meat and prawns. The beef was so tender, it fell apart in the mouth. Each was a taste sensation with each dish so different from the previous that I had to keep going back for more.

 

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We left full to the brim feeling satisfied with the great selection of food we had eaten. Service was a little slow and they seemed a bit stretched for waiting staff but they were friendly and apologetic. I will definitely be heading back here for my next Chinese fix with I am in Northampton. It is worth a visit, make sure you book!

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Buddies USA, Northampton

If you want food, and lots of it, Buddies USA is the place to come. With a few dotted around the Northamptonshire area, they specialise in all things American and they don’t do it half-heartedly. Hamburger heaven is the star of the menu with other American dishes for those who fancy something else. There’s a range of 40+ burgers to choose from with the basic ‘Plain Jane’ to ‘Charlie Brown’ with peanut butter and cheese. And they don’t stop with the topping, you can swap your burn for a sugar coated doughnut and smother your fries in BBQ sauce or cheese sauce…. see their menu here.

 

If you’re looking for quality food then perhaps give this place a miss but if you’re looking for quantity, and tasty quantity at that then book yourself a booth. The interior will give you hours of fun, kitted out with all things American with rolling film of the streets of New York, the Simpsons or Man vs. Food on the TV screens.

 

Four of us set ourselves a Man vs. Food challenge. We dared ourselves with an X-L Double with wet fries… each. This means we had two 6oz open burgers, piled with our chosen topping and served with coleslaw and fries. I went for the Chewbacka…

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Topping: cheese, bacon, mushrooms, mayo and lettuce. PURE DELICIOUSNESS. May be a tad too much mayo, it meant that I couldn’t really take what I didn’t eat back home in a doggy bag because the mayo would not keep well. However, I love this topping, all of my favourite things piled on top of some beef.

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This picture is a birdseye view of my meal, equipped with BBQ wet fries and my cousins who had the Shrek: mozzarella, southern fried chicken, green leaves, garlic mayo and tomato. Another gluttonous, scrummy meal. Both served with a drenched (may be a little too drenched) portion of BBQ wet fries!

 

We all left very full and very happy. We knew what we were getting and therefore weren’t disappointed with the standard supermarket style burgers. Next time perhaps I’ll try one of these…

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The Cromwell Cottage, Kislingbury

The Cromwell is one of my favourite places to eat when I head home from Uni. I couldn’t possibly tell you about all the wonderful meals I have had here, I really would struggle to say anything bad about the place in general. It’s a great place to head to, whether it’s for a wonderful gastropub style meal or for a cosey drink by the fire in the winter or outside in the summer.

The menu is extensive and covers every craving you might have. The staff are all wonderful. The fact that many of their waiting and bar staff have been there for a while speaks volumes.

I can never turn down a starter at The Cromwell. They always have something (or a selection of things) that really takes my fancy. This time, as I am currently on a bit of a black pudding high, I went for Pork Belly with Black Pudding and Apple & Vanilla Puree.

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It was gone in approximately 5 seconds. Dad had the same and we gave each other a look of triumph as we ate. There is, after all, nothing better than knowing you have picked the right dish. The vanilla was a really nice touch. I was unsure at the start whether it would add anything to the dish but whilst subtle it made the dish really unique.

 

I must have been feeling lower on protein but next I had a beef burger with pulled pork on top. This is a new addition to the menu and the optional topping of pulled pork left my mind wandering. There was only one thing for it, I must eat it.

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A good portion of chips is always vital. I was not left disappointed. Skinny or chunky, The Cromwell knows how to make a good chip. On this occasion I would say the burger was a tad dry but the pulled pork and gherkins gave it that extra moisture. I was well and truly proteined out are this dish. My brother and Dad both had the sirloin steak. Anyone who knows my Dad will know that a steak is his go to dish on any menu. There is no competition when a steak can be fried up and popped on a plate so we didn’t need to ask what he was having for main.

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Dad, as usual, was happy with his decision to get a chunk of beef accompanied with chips and of course some pepper sauce. My brother however was slightly disappointed as he had a really grissly steak and found it really tough to cut through. With parents as beef farmers’ there was a process of investigation around the table concluding with Mum bringing it up with the waiter (because the rest of us are far too chicken). The waiter took the news back to the chef and then bought more news back to us. They decided to not charge us for my brothers steak… these things happen. We were more than happy with the way the waiter dealt with the complaint and apologised for my brothers bad luck. Dad meanwhile was polishing off his perfect steak.

 

Despite the grissly steak, once again we were happy customers. We are always greeted with wonderful waiting staff and our tummies full to the brim with hearty, tasty food. The Cromwell is definitely a must if you are stopping or driving through the Northamptonshire area.

 

Website: http://www.thecromwellcottagekislingbury.co.uk