Food

The Best of Eat Out to Help Out

By Indigo Jones

Featured image by Kathryn Jones @ Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Cardiff

Hello, my name is Indigo, and I am a die-hard foodie. Ever since I was a child, I longed for the days my parents would take me to eat out, flashforward to now, I am 21 and not much has changed. In all honesty I have probably spent a large portion of my student loan on takeaway, meals out or weekly shops (but if the government ask it was spent on books and bills). Over lockdown I struggled to fuel my food addiction as my local takeaways and favourite restaurants were forced to close due to COVID-19. Instead I was left to my own resources and had no choice but to cook for myself, talk about first world problems! This not only helped my bank account, but also my waistline. I found myself feeling healthier and losing weight, that was until food establishments began to open and Rishi Sunak had the bright idea of creating the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. I thought to myself, “Wow this is a great way to help local businesses out and give a boost to our economy”. Then it dawned on me I would be able to get my favourite foods for 50% off; it was like living in a dream! So, I did exactly that. When I say I ate out help out, I really mean it, I did more than my fair share of helping out. I confidently say I went out to eat almost every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in August. So, upon reflection of this last month I am offering my favourite meals and deals that I have enjoyed throughout August.

Pen and Wig

The Pen and Wig in Cathays happened to be the first venue that I went to in August whilst the scheme was taking place. The beer garden is famous within the student Cardiff University and locals alike, and the new social distancing measures put in place have confirmed that as their beer garden is almost always fully booked. They say save the best for last but trust me, I had the very best meal at the beginning of the month. I ordered an 8oz rump steak, served with chips and all the trimmings, a side of garlic bread and a pint of coke all for under £10. Not only was the food amazing but price was even better. 

Steak with all the trimmings @ Pen and Wig Cardiff (Image: Indigo Jones)

Nando’s

Not to be basic, but I couldn’t not attend Nando’s during eat out to help out. They say variety is the spice of life and well where better to get spice than the home of piri piri? Honestly, I spend too much money in Nando’s annually, so when the opportunity to have my half price chicken, of course I took it! I ordered a half a chicken, with two sides, a drink and a brownie to take away and it all came under £10. There isn’t much more to say as you can’t really go wrong with a cheeky Nando’s, and trust be the 50% off made it extra cheeky!

A very cheeky half a chicken, piri chips and tender stem broccoli @ Nando’s Swansea (Image: Indigo Jones)

Wagamamas

You can’t go wrong with a Wagas, and I absolutely love it! I for one never usually order sides as I find them overpriced, but this scheme allowed me to be more adventurous with my traditional Wagas order. Firstly, I wanted to try out a new main, so I asked my friends for recommendations and finally decided on the teriyaki salmon soba with the bang bang cauliflower as a side, both of which together would normally cost just under £19. I thoroughly enjoyed my new and improved order and enjoyed it even more when I paid less than £10 for the two. 

Teriyaki salmon soba @ Wagamamas Bridgend (Image: Indigo Jones)

Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Cardiff

The last place I attended during ‘Eat out to help out’ and clearly the most expensive, was in fact the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse in Cardiff. I ordered off the EOTHO set menu where you would get three courses for £10, which is an amazing price for a steak on its own let alone a three-course meal. Although, during this last month or so I’ve had a fair few steaks during the scheme, some better than others, and considering this restaurant is known for its steaks I am sad to say I’ve had better. The other two courses were pretty average, Welsh rarebit to start and a cheeseboard to finish, but on the other hand I did enjoy them. Personally, I think it was great value for money, although would I spend £20 on it? Probably not.

Butcher’s steak and chips @ Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Cardiff (Image: Indigo Jones)

In conclusion, on one hand I did in fact eat out to help out, but on the other hand I did not help out my diet. Let’s hope that next month they do a workout to help out scheme in the gyms, because trust me I need help! Thank you very much Rishi x

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