Dirt Health – NCL

Dirt Health – NCL

Dirt Health has being on my list for a long while now, combined with their incredibly appetising menu and a friend who frequents there far too often, (giving me serious FOMO), I knew this had to be the first place I visited when I returned. Dirt Health is situated on Chillingham Road in Heaton, somewhere that’s rapidly becoming the hub of all new cool independent eateries. So get yourself on a metro and head there!

Now before I get into the details, I want to take a minute to throw all the stereotypes out the window for ‘healthy food / clean eating places’. There is absolutely no reason why anyone cannot enjoy eating well. You don’t have to be gym honed, macro mad or a green juice gal or guy to ‘fit in’ here. Walking into dirt, there were families, middle aged couples, gym goers, foodies and young businessmen. It is for everyone, which is something Jess, the owner is so passionate about.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to brandish other healthy eateries over the realms of social media but, I get that not everywhere is welcoming and can make you feel self conscious if it’s not typically ‘your vibe’. But forget that completely Dirt emphasises the importance of looking after yourself and the planet. Basically, if you want to eat food that not only tastes great but makes you feel supercharged and refreshed while supporting locally sourced ingredients and packaging that helps the planet, then you should go. ASAP. The interior is also minimalistic but straight to the point, it’s inviting, cool, and like the food, fresh yet makes a statement.

I love signage especially when it’s straight to the point
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Check out that ethos!


Moving onto the food because, that’s what we all want the lowdown on. Both the food and drinks menu’s are packed with so many options, think smoothie bowls, bulletproof coffee, superfood lattes, sweet potato pancakes, pulled jackfruit tacos and buddha bowls while also featuring daily/weekly specials. Now don’t quote me on it but I think inspiration derived from the more Australian style of healthy eateries, bringing a more fun and fresh feel to what is provided by others in this field in the UK. Now don’t forget desserts, theres so many raw treats like carrot cake and tiramisu, all the feels of an indulgent dessert but none of the guilt, clearly a win win situation. I think it’s also important to address that Dirt cater for all types of eating choices and lifestyle preferences, vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, you get the idea. Also, for all you macro counters or just generally interested customers, they got you covered, every single thing from full dishes to sides are detailed with the total calories, carbs, protein and fats, so perfect if you’re wanting to stay on track!

The final thing I want to address is service, now if you read my previous post, you’ll know that I’m a stickler for service and think it’s hugely important in shaping my opinion on a place. The service is faultless, every member of the team knows the menu inside out and can help you with any suggestions or queries you may have, may sound a small thing but you’d be surprised how many places are let down by this. Feedback is welcomed and so is conversation, I had a great chat with the owner while I was there, all about the history, inspiration and future plans. The passion that comes across for Dirt by all the team is amazing and clearly is testament to Jess and of course to everyone that is involved, making it a really happy and positive place to visit.

Bulletproof coffee, iced matcha latte, shakshuka and crispy cajun chicken were what we devoured that day and they were all fantastic and bursting with flavour. I definitely could have chosen so many different dishes but, got to have a reason to go back right?

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Is it weird I admire the plates as much as I do the food? 




I cannot quite believe it’s June, love island is starting and summer is fast approaching, where did the time go?!

If you follow my instagram, you’ll know that I recently returned to Dubai. Dubai is so lucky with its restaurant scene, over the years, just like Dubai itself, it has expanded into something crazy but oh so exciting.

When I return to Dubai, I always like to visit some of my favourites, but I also stress the importance of exploring and trying a few new restaurants, and this time one of which was Katsuya.

Katsuya describes itself as Japanese cuisine with californian fusion and has many restaurants, sadly none of which are in the UK but if you happen to be visiting the likes of Las Vegas or LA then you should definitely check it out.

Katsuya in Dubai now has 2 restaurants (third coming soon!), one in Emirates mall and the other in the newly opened Jumeriah Al’ Nasseem which is part of the Madinat Jumeriah complex.

The menu is vast and full of flavour with plenty of options to suit differing tastebuds. Something I love about this cuisine is that it invites you to share the meal with others, so in my case, it translates as ordering as much as you possibly can and getting to sample all of it, instead of being confined to an individual starter, main, dessert (does this make me greedy?!). Katsuya also highlight in their menu the chef’s favourites, which is always quite useful when you’re visiting somewhere for the first time, not sure what to go for and simply if you want a change from your usual options.

All in all there were a good 15 dishes that came to the table and were taken away with nothing left on them, so safe to say, we chose well. But the stand out dishes for me are as follows;

Crispy Rock Shrimp – never in life have I tasted anything like this, the flavours and the sauce they were coated in were just unbelievable. You also get a lot for your money with this starter so definitely a good option to go for!

Chicken Karage – This Japanese crispy chicken is served with a yuzu aioli. The serving portion is small, so I definitely would recommend ordering 2 lots of this if this is your thing (I wish I had). Also quite possibly the best aioli I’ve ever had, such a unique warmth flavouring combined with a refreshing aftertaste, there’s nothing quite like it.

Tuna Ceviche Tacos – Really enjoyed these, if you’re not a red onion lover though, I would probably advise against them.

Wagyu Tobanyaki – Unreal just unreal, I’m talking melt in the mouth good.

Chicken Teriyaki – This was a really light dish, and also one of the less pricey options on the menu, but by no means did that translate in any way to the quality. This was really flavoursome yet simplistic, and something I think would go down well with even the fussiest of eaters.

Miso-Marinated Black Cod – This I always think is an absolute essential when dining with this cuisine, Nobu were previously my top rated for Black Cod but it’s safe to say they have now being replaced. This is a Katsuya signature dish, and it definitely held up to expectations, the sweet miso it’s coated in really took this to the next level.

Of course, a lot of other small plates were sampled such as Salmon and caviar sashimi, Japanese Mushroom Bops and Vegetable Tempura but like these and the others, although they were great choices and really enjoyable, they just didn’t quite hit the top spot for me.

The final thing I feel I have to address is the service; now for me, this is a quintessential factor in having a memorable dinner. The service was impeccable from start to finish, there’s some really cool quirks to the service upon arriving and I don’t want to ruin that for you, so I guess you’ll have to go and find out what they are!

Alice x

P.S If you wanna see some of the pictures from the meal, keep up to date with my instagram here

Caffeine Kicks

Hello! It’s been a while right?

Things have been HECTIC recently, but I’m back now and that’s all that matters. So I’m kicking off with a brand new post all about coffee, because quite frankly I love it and I couldn’t imagine life without it, yes seriously.

Anyone that knows me, knows I’m a coffee snob, (there’s just no way of saying it nicely) SO that means I’ve become very good at whittling down my list. It’s nice sometimes to be able to go somewhere where you can go just for coffee and don’t feel the pressure by customers or anyone in general to eat something. I definitely have a solid set for Newcastle, Leeds and York; (Manchester and London I’m working on) so my first instalment is going to be about my home city of YORK!

York has really improved is coffee game over the past few years, once littered with chains, the independent coffee shops are growing by the day and some of the long standing ones are finally getting the recognition they deserve, from more than just the locals.

So let me give you a run down of my favourites aaaaannd because I’m such a great person I’ve organised this in a somewhat ‘coffee trail’ style list, thank me later:

1 – Stanley and Ramona

So to begin our journey we’re starting on Bishopthorpe Road. You know by now I love this place and if not, you can see my early post on Stanley and Ramona here. In short, the coffee is fantastic using a single origin blend and they offer a variety of different styles. Whether you sit inside or out it’s a great place to go on your own or with friends or family. IMG_7530

2 – Dyls

Walking down from Bishopthorpe road and over Skeldergate bridge is where you’ll find Dyls, after been closed for so long due to the nightmare floods in York we often experience, it is now finally back up and running. I have only been here once so far, but it definitely left a lasting impression on me. Apart from the beautiful decorated 3 floor turret style building (forgive me I don’t know the technical word and I really should all considering), and they’re great selection of Gins – which I will be returning for; their Mochas were absolutely delightful. Dyls do it right and chuck away all the powdered chocolate rubbish and bring in the top quality pure thick melted belgian chocolate of which you can choose from milk or dark. This 100% makes the difference and they have definitely placed Mocha’s well and truly back on the coffee options. Oh and the coffee that underpins the mocha also tasted great too, so all in all it’s a good choice to make.


3 – Gatehouse Coffee

Gatehouse coffee is so great for all the aesthetic reasons, located on the walmgate bar, they have cold brew on tap – what a dream! I love to go to Gatehouse when friends are visiting purely because its something you don’t expect. If you head here I’d recommend wrapping up warm (weather dependant) and heading outside on to one of the two floors they have. The only downside is that the students of York tend to take up the inside seating during the week, which I can’t complain about as being a student myself I was definitely guilty of doing this in Newcastle. All that been said, Gatehouse is beautifully historic and ‘so York’!


4 – Fossgate Social

This cosy little place on Fossgate is a great chill out space for a coffee stop during your day or evening in York. It does a bit of everything and that’s why I rate it, did anyone say Espresso Martini’s? Amen. Its terrace garden at the back is really cute too, perfect for those slightly warmer days because trust me, this place gets packed on every single floor!


5 – The Dark Horse Espresso Bar

A new addition to the York coffee scene is The Dark Horse Espresso Bar which is located in the Shambles Market. Serving Allpress Coffee and some great sweet treats too, it’s bang on central for all your coffee needs, again you can choose to take a seat on the benches provided or grab and go which is what I tend to do, and a takeout coffee has never tasted SO good.


6 – The Perky Peacock

I love Perky Peacock again due to it’s beautiful location on Lendal Bridge, another place visitors revel in because you don’t really get a great coffee in such a historic hidden gem. This one is now their main coffee shop and you can see why, they always have a plethora of options and have the knowledge backed up to support it also!



7 – Rae & Webb

My final destination is on Gillygate and it is the one and only Rae & Webb, some argue it’s a bit of a walk from the ‘centre’ but I’d say different, it’s about 5 minutes, so get moving and head there! The owners are wonderful and you are always greeted with a smile, it’s a great chilled out vibe where you can literally watch the world go by; with great coffee too – obviously.



So there we have it and here ends this post, let me know if you check any of these out next time you’re around and about in York.

Alice  x

*disclaimer* maybe don’t visit all in one day caffeine is dangerous if you have too much.