Alphabet Dating | F is for... Food & Film

Okay, so we went a bit basic bitch with our idea for the F date, but bearing in mind we should have done it in December, time together was long overdue. January was pretty hectic with our birthdays and while we had our weekend away together, a date night was drastically needed. The eagle-eyed readers will know we’ve already combined dinner and the cinema (B is for... Burgers, C is for... Cinema) but desperate times call for desperate measures!

This time we went to the Xscape, where there’s a much better choice of restaurants. The cinema is also a Cineworld, rather than an Odeon – but to me, it doesn’t make much difference. When choosing where to go for dinner, Ash suggested Cocina, a Mexican restaurant. We hadn’t been there before and it seemed a good idea, as it was somewhere different. After checking out the menu online, I was sold.

The restaurant itself isn’t very big, but it’s on two levels (not that I went upstairs) and with its small plates/street food, it has that Latin kitchen cabana kinda vibe. The cocktail list was extensive and pretty good, with plenty of offers including Happy Hour. But it was mocktails for us, as we’re still not really drinking (I say as we had a glass of red last night). Ash had a passion fruit cooler, which was made with passion fruit, orange and lemon – and understandably quite sharp. I had a sip and realised I had lucked out with my choice of beverage – a hibiscus agua fresca. Fruit puree and lime, topped with soda – it was divine and so refreshing.
To eat, I decided against the tapas style dishes and in the end, was drawn to the chicken brochetas (£13.95) on the specials, which was a very good choice. Two grilled chicken skewers, a bed of Mexican rice topped with grilled pepper and cactus, some purple slaw and a pot of chipotle crema. The dish wasn’t too dry at all, as the chicken was still succulent. I was intrigued by the cactus but there wasn’t much flavour, kinda like a mix between the taste of water and smell of aloe. But it was delicious and even though I couldn’t manage all of the rice, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Ash ordered the chicken & chorizo enchiladas (£12.95) from the ‘build your own’ section of the menu – with a side of Mexican fries (£2.95). There were two large, stuffed tortillas on a bed of rice and beans. It looked great and although I didn’t try any, Ash confirms they were delicious – not too spicy but very cheesy. The portion size was bigger than he was expecting and while he managed it all, there was no need for the chips. I hadn’t anticipated my dinner being as big as it was and while I promised I’d help him with the fries, I only had a few – but I found them a bit undercooked and almost soggy. The spice was there, alright!
Dessert was a no-brainer – churros! We ordered the portion of five (£4.95) with a pot of chocolate dipping sauce. The alternatives were dulce de leche, mango sauce or agave syrup – but you have to go traditional! Five churros was just enough for the two of us, as the larger portion contains 15, which would be far too many... even I can’t eat that many churros! They were deep-fried to perfection, so crisp and covered from top to bottom in cinnamon sugar. The chocolate sauce glistened, was still hot and was so rich, but in an indulgent way! I know where I need to go for my churros fix in future!

The service was good throughout, although it was fairly quiet when we arrived. But even as it got busier, the staff were still attentive and keen to hear we were happy and enjoying our meal. Despite it being a small place, it’s a great place to catch-up quickly over cocktails or have a casual bite to eat.

Film now – and we went to see The Invisible Man. I hadn’t properly seen the trailer and didn’t know what to expect. I also didn’t recognise any of the cast. If you like psychological thrillers, you’ll love it. When it comes to films, I love scary movies, but I don’t like being physically scared. With that in mind, while I enjoyed The Invisible Man, it is quite thrilling and probably not recommended to those of a nervous disposition or anxiety. I was genuinely scared afterwards and ended up having a nightmare that night.

The trailer probably shows one of the most thrilling scenes of the movie, but there was plenty of tension throughout – even in the opening scene, when a dog bowl gets kicked over! I know in the current situation, people probably don’t want a night out at the cinema, but if you do, I recommend going to see The Invisible Man – or at least, catch the trailer online. I’ve since read it was based on a novel, so I’m going to make it my aim to read that soon... even though I’ve got a pile of books to get through first!

You can’t watch a movie without snacks and despite the Mexican feast, I still managed to spend over £8 on pick n mix... aren’t cinema sweets super expensive?! I think I completely forgot about that as I was scooping pink & blue bubblegum bottles in the bag as if they were going to run out!

We had a lovely evening together and very quickly made plans for our G date – coming soon to the blog! Who knows how long it will be to our H date – or worse, we might even have to have it at home!

Love, Lucy xx

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