This Student Foodgram series has enabled Quench to showcase the best of Cardiff students’ creativity when it comes to cooking, photography and use of social media. We hope you’ve enjoyed discovering these accounts, where our fellow students’ passion for food shines through their Instagram, as much as we have! Maybe the series of interviews has even inspired you to start your own foodgram…Read what our final foodgrammer has to say below:
Words by Amira Banaulikar
How long have you had your foodgram for and what inspired you to start it?
I started my foodgram almost a year ago after travelling around for a bit. I love eating out and trying new places so I figured I may as well start one with all the content I’d been generating, my personal Instagram’s highlight was too full and I knew more was coming!
My parents have a restaurant back home so they’re big on cooking so when I got to uni I was pretty much unprepared. I intend to cook more but I’ve pretty much been doing the same four dishes in a cycle with a few variations but hey, when you find something good…
What’s your favourite cuisine?
Thai food. But I’m a sucker for Indian food since that’s home for me.
I absolutely love Thai food but since I’ve been in Cardiff I’ve been craving Indian food (you haven’t lived until you’ve had a fish thali). I also really love brunch food – that’s what most of my Instagram was about in the beginning: avocado toasts, ice cream, and pancakes!
What’s the best thing you’ve ever made?
Super basic but an omelette. One of my childhood friends back home has his own cook and he made the most amazing omelette ever. It was spicy and filled with so many different flavours! I struggled to explain to my parents what was in it and always ended up with a cheese and tomato omelette when ordering from the restaurant. As soon as I got to Cardiff I was having my omelette cravings and attempted it myself – turned out amazing. To be fair, maybe it was because I’d eaten pasta and tomato sauce for a whole week but I’m patting myself on the back for that one.
What’s the secret to getting the best-looking snap for Instagram?
Standing up, ideally you’ve gone out with three or more friends so while they glare at you, ignore it and snap away! If it’s a food stall, hold it up (usually it’s ice cream or a donut, maybe even a hot dog) and have the stall / building in the background.
If you can, standing on a chair is the best way to get the gorgeous bird’s eye view picture but I haven’t been to a place in Cardiff where I’ve felt comfortable doing that yet! Alternatively, just pose with your food and ask your lovely (and patient) friend to take the picture.
Tell us about your worst kitchen disaster.
My worst kitchen disaster has got to be the first time I attempted to cook rice. My mother wasn’t responding to my messages, I’d made a banging Thai curry and needed some rice to go with it. I looked up a bunch of recipes and got the general idea of it (or did I?).
Cooking rice is nothing like cooking pasta – there won’t be any extra water to drain (I know, I sound like an idiot. It’s so obvious to most people but I was starving and not thinking things through). The recipe said to add more water if necessary and I kept thinking I didn’t want my rice too dry. In the end, I’d made wayyy too much and had three boxes filled with SUPER soggy disgusting rice. Luckily, most things can be saved and with another recipe I learned how to make ‘Rice Cakes’ and ended up frying that rice, it wasn’t great but it beat eating the soggy rice.
What would be your top 3 tips for someone wanting to start a foodgram?
1. Just go for it. I’ve had so many different Instagrams and it’s so much fun! Stop thinking about doing it and just do it.
2. Tag! Tag places you’ve been to (they re-post usually, especially if it’s a story) and the things you use!
3. Regular posts and get those hashtags going. I suck at this because I’m constantly trying to not spend too much money and my whole experimenting thing has gone out the window. I promise I’ll be more original in my next semester.
Where is next on your hitlist?
The Ivy. I know it’s going to be expensive and I probably won’t go there as my next stop but I hope to go there soon! My parents will definitely come visit me sometime soon and I’ll convince them (hopefully) to take me there! I’m also keen to try out Mowgli Street Food but I’d really love to go with my friends and it’s hard getting our schedules to sync up.
Please share your best tip for eating out on a student budget!
It’s easier than you think. I absolutely love eating out and it’s my way of treating myself. Of course, it can get difficult sometimes since I do prefer going with friends rather than alone and they’d rather spend their money on a night out. During fresher’s week I went out twice, so every time I didn’t go out I’d put aside however much money it would’ve cost me to go out (entry fee and approximately 2 shots). Have you ever snuck into a club? Not bought that extra shot? Managed to pull and someone else bought you your drink? Passed on a taxi and walked instead? That’s all money saved for food, it’s so worth it and you’ll notice it starts to add up.