This month’s eating out post comes from Jo who blogs at Yum Dim Sum, and lives in Milton Keynes.
Over to Jo…
Milton Keynes has had a bit of a bad rep in the past when it comes to dining… and not without reason if I am honest! Every big chain you can imagine we’ve got it, which is great, but when you have two or three of each? Things start to get a little samey. In the past we’ve certainly been lacking the love and personality you get from independents.
Times are changing though! In the last 18 months Milton Keynes has attracted new independent start ups and even gained the interest of exciting chains who previously didn’t venture out from London. Which is great for me; as a food lover I’m happy to travel for great grub, but if it’s on my doorstep even better! So here’s my recommendations for great places to eat in my home town.
Best for a roast
I’m of the opinion that you cannot beat mum’s. But if mum isn’t around then your next best bet is the Cross Keys. It’s a tiny, extremely old pub that offers a really good quality roast with a brilliant selection of trimmings. Their cauliflower mash in particular I love! Make sure to book because small and popular is a tough combination.
Best for a meal with friends
If you want somewhere tasty, trendy and with a great drinks menu to back up the food you’ve got to try Banana Tree. One of the aforementioned London chains that Milton Keynes has attracted, they offer deliciously fresh Indochinese meals in fantastic portion sizes. A tip? Make your meal a combo: it’s great value for money and gets you lots of tasty sides. I also highly recommen d the lychee mojito, and perhaps a less than graceful swing in one of the many hammock chairs that hang around the bar.
Best for Chinese
Taipan has been offering top quality, authentic Chinese food for years and is one of my favourite places to eat in Milton Keynes. As well as a la carte dishes they serve dim sum at an impeccable standard. Dim Sum is eaten at lunchtimes from 11am-3pm. No need to book but I recommend going early as they get very busy. Some of my favourites are char su pastries, steamed prawns and shumai .
Best For Cocktails
In The Hub is a tiny unit that many businesses have tried and failed at making a success. London bar chain Be-At-One have done what nobody else could and no only survived, but thrived. Be At One offer an exhaustive cocktail menu and quality ones at that. Hate paying for a weak cocktail filled with ice? Here you’ll be guaranteed a tasty, alcohol rich drink. Oh and did I mention that the staff love to get up on the bar and dance? This is such a fun place to let loose!
Best For Coffee
Before Bogota the coffee scene in the centre was distinctly average, but these guys have changed that. Starting out as a small independent unit in The Hub, their coffee house is uber trendy and the drinks themselves are delightful. Smooth and strong and brewed to perfection. Following their success they now have opened two more units including one in the shopping centre. (Psst, if they have the salted caramel cake on offer it’s a dream to eat with a flat white!)
Best For a Night in
If you feel like vegging out at home I cannot recommend Percy’s BBQ enough. Established in 2010 they have taken the city by storm. Delicious cuts of meat rubbed in spices, smoked and BBQ’d to give you the best meaty experience going. As far as takeaways go this cannot be beaten on quality of food and value for money.
Jo is a 27 year old food blogger, writing about all things edible from her hometown Milton Keynes and beyond. Jo is passionate about food in all of it’s forms, writing honestly about restaurant experiences to guide people in getting the very best out of their meals. If you’re looking for inspiration at home, Yum Dim Sum has plenty of recipes for all occasions as well. For more tasty talk follow her on Twitter & Instagram.