Trago Lounge

(L-R) Falafels with red onion and coriander yoghurt dip, hummus with extra virgin olive oil and smoked paprika, crayfish and prawns with tomato and chilli, honey glaze shredded 5 spice pork, roasted sweet potato and butternut squash with goats' cheese.

(L-R) Falafels with red onion and coriander yoghurt dip, hummus with extra virgin olive oil and smoked paprika, crayfish and prawns with tomato and chilli, garlic and parsley mushrooms with smoked paprika, honey glazed shredded 5 spice pork, roasted sweet potato and butternut squash with goats’ cheese.

Trago Lounge is just one part of a large chain of cafés/bars called ‘The Lounges‘. It is the ideal place for an impromptu, upmarket meal, without having to go through all of the fuss of making a reservation, having someone constantly waiting on you and then worrying about who’s turn it is to pay the bill.

The restaurant reminds me of a smart, but friendly, gastropub with its classic leather and solid wood furniture. Just enough character has been splashed across the room to make it interesting and individual, I especially like the vintage wall hangings and large blackboard-style menus.

Opting for their signature tapas (a choice of 3 for for just £7.95), I hesitantly waited for it to arrive at my table after I was left incredibly disappointed when I first tried it on a trip to Seville, Spain, last year.

Fortunately, the UK’s take on the traditional Spanish cuisine seemed to do the trick. The six mini dishes arrived at the table looking vibrant as ever and were served with a nice helping of ciabatta bread.

On to the critique. I definitely enjoyed the hummus, pork, and mushrooms but I wasn’t too keen on the falafel or the crayfish (I’m undecided as to whether or not I liked the roasted veg because I think it could’ve done with a little bit longer in the oven!). The shredded pork was my favourite, it was beautifully tender and melted in the mouth, and you can never go wrong with garlic mushrooms. The tomato and chilli sadly overpowered the seafood and you couldn’t taste the subtle flavours of the crayfish at all and the falafel is just plain difficult to perfect so I’m sure I can find it in my heart to forgive them for that minor dry blunder.

All in all though, I honestly think the Lounge has one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat in, and the food was delicious considering how affordable it was. I will definitely be making another visit sometime soon and you should too!

The Verdict:

  • Food: 7/10
  • Service: 7/10
  • Atmosphere: 10/10
  • Value: 8.5/10
  • Overall: 8.1/10

Did you enjoy your last visit to one of the Lounges? Tweet your feedback @TheLoungers

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Carrot and Coriander Soup

BBC Good FoodFollowing on from Jay Leno‘s quote about soup not being considered a real meal, I decided I had to put it to the test by following this BBC Good Food recipe for a very traditional Carrot and Coriander Soup.

As the recipe only really contains the most basic of ingredients, (a few carrots, a potato, and an onion), you would expect the soup to end up being really bland and boring but this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Carrot and Coriander Soup

The soup was jam-packed with flavour and it was actually quite filling! I’m not going to lie though, I had to have some garlic bread with it, because like Jay Leno, I’m not a big believer in having just soup for dinner. For a second though, I might have been convinced…

The soup was absolutely delicious but I still think I would have preferred it as a starter before sitting down to a nice full plate of steak and chips. Or something like that.

I promise I’ll keep trying though, watch this space for Butternut Squash Soup, Pea and Mint Soup, Tomato Soup, and many, many more.

PS: If you don’t have a nice big fresh crusty loaf on hand to soak up the goodness, you should try this last-minute tip on how to make your own garlic bread:

If you know of any other wholesome soups that might tempt me away from “real” dinners, please tweet them @FongtasticFood