Eating & Exploring in October: Afghan street food, Pumpkins & first date throwbacks

Hello! Welcome to a new series on Sophie etc: My monthly eats and adventures. Every month, I am going to be writing a bit of a catch-up post, with details and highlights of where I have eaten and explored that month. I go to a lot of places that I only end up sharing on Instagram or Facebook – they don’t always end up on my blog, so I thought these posts would be a great way to help you discover even more of the Milton Keynes food scene and get some inspiration on things to do.

I’m kind of throwing it back to old-school blogging with these posts – I used to do weekly round-ups way back (god knows why I thought my uni life was that interesting) and I love reading Laura from Bite Your Brum’s weekly round-ups of food and drink in Birmingham. Brace yourselves, I think there’s going to be a lot of food!

Here is my October in eats and adventures.

Taipan MK, 12th Street, CMK

Dan and I FINALLY made it to Taipan! After being recommended it several times (Mike and Jo, I’m looking at you!) we finally found a spare lunchtime to go and eat dim sum. We were pretty impressed – it definitely wasn’t the best food I’ve ever eaten, but I think it’s because Chinese cuisine isn’t really my thing. My favourite dishes were the roasted pork belly dumplings and the Cheng Feung. It was kind of a research meal for an upcoming MK Food Guide to the best Asian restaurants in MK so watch this space.

You can find Taipan in the theatre district, or as it’s now known, 12th Street.

Made in Sud, intu MK

When I got home from Ibiza, I had the day off work as I’d landed about 12am that morning. Gross. Dan whisked me out for a pizza date at Made in Sud which we’ve both been craving for ages. It’s the best pizza in Milton Keynes for sure and it’s so cheap. You can get a margarita for £4.50!

We had the Nduja pizza topped with spicy sausage and the antipasti which was topped with parma halm, buffalo mozzarella and rocket. So fresh, so delicious. Best pizza I’ve had outside of Italy for sure!

Read more: The Best Cheap Eats in Milton Keynes

The Knife & Cork, Stony Stratford

Fun fact: Dan and I had our first proper date at The Knife & Cork when it was owned by Cameron’s. We shared baked camembert and wine, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Knife & Cork is now owned by someone else but it’s definitely lived up to its past reputation. We ordered a selection of tapas between four of us (we were on a double date with Dan’s brother) and it was bloody delicious. My favourite was definitely the pork belly which was slow-cooked in a sticky sauce. The baked camembert was topped with honey, pecans and cranberries and was also delicious. I’d absolutely recommend if you’re after a casual dining spot with loads of good food and wine.

Wrap it & Run, Wolverton

A takeaway that has been on my ‘to-eat’ list for some time, Wrap it & Run is a breakfast/brunch delivery service in Wolverton. On a lazy Saturday, we ordered a Big Daddy Boss wrap each which came packed with sausages, bacon, egg, hashbrowns and Mexican cheese. Each wrap comes with a bottle of juice and two extras so we had beans and Reasons to Season chipotle sauce. Absolutely bloody delicious and a bargain at £6 each.

Man-o-tu Kitchen, Centre:MK

There’s a new street food vendor in town! Man-o-tu Kitchen opened this month in Queen’s Court in Centre:MK (the food court bit just opposite McDonald’s) Run by three sisters, Man-o-tu is serving Afghan street food. At the moment, there’s two things on the menu: Mantu and bolani. Mantu are steamed dumplings filled with meat and topped with lentil sauce. Bolani is a flatbread filled with mashed potato and leeks. Both are so delicious!

When I chatted to Samira, one of the founders, she said they are finding it difficult to encourage people to try their food as they hear ‘Afghan’ and associate it with negativity. I urge you to go and give this food a go – there’s nothing scary about it and it’s SO good. Let me know if you go and try it!

The Syrian Kitchen

As part of A Festival of Creative Urban Living which was on Midsummer Boulevard for a few weeks, there was a street food van called The Syrian Kitchen. It was created by six refugee women from Syria who love to cook. The project aims to provide training and mentoring and help integration in local communities. It was supported by David Lock AssociatesMilton Keynes Council and Eat With Spencer.

We tried the chicken shwarma wrap which was so tasty. Syrian cuisine pulls from a lot of influences, so you get a real fusion of flavours. Hopefully, there will be interest and support in this project going forward as it brings a completely new cuisine to MK and helps to support refugees and their families.

The Pumpkin Patch MK

Along with everyone else in Milton Keynes, I went to the Pumpkin Patch MK which opened for its first year this month. It was absolutely PACKED and there were lots of great activities for kids. And of course, lots of pumpkins! They sold out but the good news is they will be back next year – hopefully with even more pumpkins!

More eats and adventures from October

I hope you enjoyed my first ‘month in eats’! My blog used to be such a chatty place so it’s nice to slip back into my roots a bit and just write about what I’ve done. One of my goals for next year is to do more videos and I’d LOVE to do a monthly vlog with where I’ve explored every month!

Don’t forget to share your finds on Instagram with #EatandExploreMiltonKeynes!

Where have you eaten and explored in October?

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