Debruyne out for six weeks for City

Manchester City have been rocked by the news that star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne for six weeks with a hamstring injury, news which was confirmed by manager Pep Gaurdiola. The Belgian playmaker has been a crucial player for The Citizens this season, the 29-year old has three goals and an impressive 15 assists this season.

Former Chelsea player De Bruyne picked up the injury in the 2-0 win against Aston Villa and will miss this weeks fourth round game against Cheltenham .

The loss of the new club captain, is clear for all to see. When the former Wolfsburg man got injured in the 2016 season, the season where Leicester against all odds won the Premier League title. The Blues will be hoping that, the same affects won’t happen this time round, especially with players like Bernardo Silva and Phil Foden on their books.

De Bruyne, is irreplaceable whatever way you look at it. This might force Pep into a late move for Martin Odegaard? We will have to wait and see.

The theory proved wrong?

Hello, and Greetings my bearded soldiers, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag-bearer of all beards. I am that beard who tries to make people laugh and I am that beard who tries to make people smile.

Brothers, I hope you’re well, looking after yourselves and also looking after your beards. My Bearded Soldiers this is a lockdown we’re in, so I hope you’re looking after yourselves. Please feel free to contact me, if you feel you need to in these times if you want to Skype, Whatsapp or communicate in any other way you see fit.

Now, my brothers I am sure you remember my passionate blog post about being loyal to one takeaway and not ruining takeaway night with a ‘dead lemon’ (going to take away that doesn’t meet your expectations).

If you don’t, here is the link of that article

This evening brothers, I have fallen in love (look away now Mrs Malik hehe), but her name is New York Crispy.

She lives on Wilmslow Road’s Curry Mile! Ok, enough sarcasm, for now. My Beloved’s, tonight, treating the experience like a ‘free hit’, I went to one of the best chicken takeaway shops in Manchester, for the very first time.

This wasn’t my opinion, as I hadn’t tried it, but it is now! Double chicken burger, red salted chips and a very generous serving of curry sauce all over the burger, made for a delicious textured burger.

For my taste buds, the curry sauce was spicy, but not too much that it would burn my lip.

As I devoured the burger, bite by bite my pallet was just left in awe of such wonderful tasting beauty in the mouth.

Service was excellent and in no time I could set my eyes on this burger beauty , the burger bun was nice and soft too.

The chicken breast was succulent and thankfully not tasting processed as I have tasted in other takeaways that they sell chicken.

I have been to some takeaways, where I could swear blind, the chicken hasn’t been cooked properly.

New York and their chicken though, no such problems and the chicken was nice and crunchy too.

Long I have been someone who was vocal about not trying a new takeaway and if you do and it’s not nice don’t give them a second chance.

This rule I had almost lived and died by it, but sometimes in life, you need to break the rules lol. With New York Crispy, I broke a rule by trying a new takeaway , what a wonderful tasting meal it was!

For me, the two best burger places are Philadelphia and Miami, but New York needs to enter into the conversation of the best burger places in Manchester.

That was an excellent showing this evening guys. No doubt see you again soon! It’s over and out from The Captain.

Asda pizza an unsung hero

Hello and good evening, I hope you’re all well, looking after yourselves and keeping safe in these testing times. Ladies and gentleman, here is another food blog for you. The last post we did on food, was on Dixy chicken’s many variety of burgers.

The burgers I tried in that branch of Dixy’s was fantastic! I do digress, but back to the topic and talking of fantastic I want to talk of the fantastic pizza that’s on offer at my local Asda. Now, having checked many Asda stores across my home city (Manchester) this appears to be the only branch that has this kind of pizza.

Now, I am not referring to their Goodfellas range (that’s frozen pizza), no I am talking about the pizza they serve in their canteen. What made their pizza all the better tasting was that I stumbled across the fact that they even sold pizza like this.

Cheese and tomato, with a 14 inch diameter …. it’s to die for! Made with a lot of love and care (which is evident from the taste), the Asda pizza us drizzled with oil and the pizza base is soft with a superb texture. Cheese and tomato is a safe option, but the way it’s blended together is the stuff of fantasies.

Everyone dreams of a perfect love story, boy meets girl, or some would argue girl meets girl or boy meets boy … but no, the most perfect love story is you and Asda pizza. In a 14 inch diameter, arguably there’s a lot of space to work with.

If you don’t know how to use the size, it could be 20 inch and still not taste to perfection. There are meat options available too such as chicken pizza, but it’s the cheese and tomato that’s the flagship.

There was us thinking Asda is a supermarket, they can’t do such delicious tasting pizza, but who would have thought this very same supermarket would now sell mobile phones and a decent pair of jeans.

Texture perfect, dough perfect, base perfect and nicely drizzled with oil on top of the cheese and tomato, my God, please make lockdown end, coz I need Asda pizza! Don’t just take my word for it, try it yourself and you too will be amazed.

At just £7 for six 14 inch slices, tops it all off.

Dixy Chicken Wythenshawe review

In what has felt like months, finally Dixy Wythenshawe is open! Dixy is what I see as one of the best take away chicken burger chains in Manchester, if not the best!

The reason for the delay for Dixy Wythenshawe not opening , has been down to Covid19 and the lockdown of course, but has the wait been worth it? I will discuss dear reader. So who am I? Well, avid reader you know that I am Ayyaz Malik, writer and blogger, but what you don’t know maybe is that I am a massive fan of Dixy’s.

The South Manchester branches have increased in recent years. There was Chorlton, Fallowfield and Longsight, but since there has been additional branches added in Rusholme (Curry Mile), Sale, Whalley Range, Burnage (no longer) and Stretford.

Whalley Range and Stretford ( both are on my to eat list), I have tried all of the Dixy branches in that region (England U.K region) . My waist line, supports this.

So, when I go to Dixy, what I order is my signature. Three mini burgers and a pepsi can, when I am not with my brother and a mega mix chicken burger meal, when I am with my stunt double (my twin).

What will I be judging Dixy Wythenshawe by here? A few factors, time taken for order, quality of bun and quality of chicken (taste and texture). With this branch of Dixy chicken, the mini burger was brilliant!

Going to this branch, I was a bit apprehensive going to this branch and trying this burger, due to the high standards I have tasted of the mini burger.

The other bits on the menu I have checked is the mega mix burger meal and also the double charger burger meal.

The mega mix, is chicken fillet, with two mini fillets on top. To compliment the burger, there’s lettuce and some mayonnaise to further compliment the burger.

I am delighted to say that the mini burger (the hot dog shaped burger) was soft and not toasted. I have tasted the mini burger and the burger itself, being toasted.

That, in my humble opinion ruins the taste! As for the chicken, it was crispy, succulent and seasoned nicely too. I have tasted chicken being too crispy, hard and rugged. My teeth, are having a wrestling match with the chicken.

Thankfully, the double charger burger was also well cooked and the chicken was across the board, of an excellent high standard.

If there was a slight criticism, the time taken for the burger was a bit long, but at the same time I won’t complain too much because, this branch is newly opened and second, the quality of the chicken was brilliant. One last thing, to maybe nitpick somewhat, but for me the burger box needs to be Dixy branded, but I also concede at the same time, I am being over the top.

So, there you go my review of Dixy Chicken Wythenshawe. A good experience, with well-made burgers (the bun) and with succulent, crispy, succulent and seasoned nicely too. More of the same please guys, see you soon!

So, is there always space for dessert?

Hello and greetings my Bearded Soldiers, it’s me your Bearded Captain, leader of all beards and flag bearers of all beards on digital and digital broadcasting media. I am that beard who tries to make people laugh, and I am that beard who tries to make people smile.

My beloved brothers, I want to and need to talk about an important topic, that’s in turn caused quite a discussion. That brothers,is the issue of “is there always space for dessert?”. In short, yes there is (it’s been scientifically proven).

But with such a debate, the full side of the argument needs to be heard. One side of the argument, is that enjoy your starters and mains, and leave that as that. There’s a time for desserts, but that’s a bit more of on a special occasion.

The other side of the argument, is that a dessert is the perfect was to sign off a delicious meal. For example, you can not go into Nawabs, enjoy their starters and mains, and not sign the meal off with a dessert. That’s the headline performance for the evening (the desserts counter).

I am too full, just doesn’t cut it. If somehow (although it’s in the mindset) you are legitimately too full, then you need to change your strategy. It’s an unwritten rule, you can not have starters and mains only. in many Eastern cultures and traditions, a dessert is always served after dinner time.

The dessert is seen as almost a limb of the dinner, they are connected to each other. As much, as I love desserts, my beards it’s not possible to solely have a dessert mains course. What I mean, is that you have to have a mains course and a dessert, not just the dessert.

As savoury as a dessert is, that’s directing yourself to diabetes avenue if you have a dessert on your own. Brothers, honor your beards, the way they deserve to be honoured. My soldiers, be consistent in your cause for the love of beard.

Brothers, be dedicated in showing good love to the dessert, which includes chocolate cake and all the other cakes out there. It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain, stay blessed stay beard!

Christmas, tis the season to be jolly!

Tis the season to be jolly, they say. The exchanging of presents, the meeting and greeting of family members, Christmas is not too dissimilar to another festival ..

Eid. The festival of Eid is of course twice a year, which marks the end of Ramadhan or the end of Pilgrimage season (Hajj).

Just like Christmas, the Muslims too traditionally go to relatives houses. Whereas people who tend to celebrate Eid, tend to spend their day waiting outside the hairdressers waiting to get their hair cut.

If they’re not there, then the journey to Trafford Centre is an Eid day must. Then to top the day off? Well, surely the trip to Manchester Curry Mile (Wilmslow Road) awaits.

Not so much the cuisine of the Curry Mile, but the fact that very same Curry Mile transforms into a Le Mans street race. Wheel spins and the high revved engines, maybe a breach of the peace, but not everyone celebrates Eid in this way.

Christmas, from my understanding, is an occasion to wine and dine (literally), where Christmas crackers are cracked, and dad jokes are told … ( need dad jokes telling? Call me! I will do it for free!).

Turkey will be enjoyed (the food not the country), jumpers with a Christmas theme tend to be worn, mince pies and tend to be eaten and wine tends to be drank. In some Christmas households, the occupants tend to get drunk.

When it comes to Eid, Muslims do not get drunk but eat quite a lot let’s just say. Chicken, kebab and fish is just for a starter! Then it’s the mains (which is suitable for serving half of Manchester).

Muslims might not get into an intoxicated state through drinking, but some managed to get into that state through eating (true story)

People who celebrate Christmas might not eat as much as Muslims when celebrating Christmas.

Muslims and people who celebrate Christmas have in common is that they spend time with their families, and in turn look to savour the time they aren’t able to spend otherwise.

However you spend this day, I hope you are able to spend it with the people you love and care for. I also hope you can share a good meal with those very people too. It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

Midweek football round up

Defending champions Liverpool opened up a three point lead at the top of the table, but were frustrated by a dogged Newcastle side who earned a 0-0 draw.

This fixture was a far cry from the legendary matches up between these two sides which always seemed to produce thrilling finales.

Visitors Liverpool, were making most of the running and had the better of the game, but weren’t able to leave St James’ Park with the crucial three points, they so dearly craved.

As a consequence of this result, arch-rivals Manchester United could join The Reds at the top of the Premier League summit (if they win their game in hand), after they held their side of the bargain, all be it with a last gasp winner by Marcus Rashford against Wolves, the night before.

That win for The Red Devils, was just their second at Old Trafford this season, but more importantly potentially helps them go joint top with Jurgen Klopp’s men, should they win their game in hand.

It’s been a very strange season, with many (including myself) at one point or another criticising United this term.

Whether you’re enthused by this United team or not, it’s been a very consistent team of late, especially away from home.

From second place United (30 points) to ninth places Southampton (26 points) is an example of just how competitive this season’s Premier League has been.

That draw for champions Liverpool, is their second successive draw, but at the moment not too much damage has been done, as they’re still top of the table.

Elsewhere Leeds, achieved the most emphatic win of the week, with a 5-0 win over West Brom.

Manchester City vs Everton and Tottenham vs Fulham, were both called due to covid concerns. Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who had family members, with symptoms, ended up self isolating.

We wish all those affected with covid, a speedy recovery.

The Joys of rain

Hello and greetings my Bearded Soldiers, it’s me your Bearded Captain, flag bearer and trend setter of all beards, on digital broadcast media.

My bearded beloved’s, just because I might have veered off a little on talking about beards, please understand, the love and passion I have for man’s true best friend (his beard) hasn’t waned.

It’s as strong as ever. My brothers as leader of the Bearded Tribe, I have to be wise and calculated on how the message of beard is portrayed. If I talk about beard 24/7, the clean shaven will run away, they will get intimidated.

Maybe not the best example, those clean shaven women wannabe’s get flustered at the slightest bit of discomfort. My brothers, I am here though this evening to talk about rain and it’s many joys.

Being from Manchester, people from abroad would associate my home city (the greatest city on earth) as a city that’s associated with it’s football, and rightly so.

Manchester United, sports fans will tell you, they have won the League title more than any other side.

More about that another day … Manchester in the past might have been associated with gang culture, but the locals will tell you, we experience a lot of rain!

It’s “pis*ing it down* or “weather’s nice outside” (with a hint of sarcasm) are just some of the Mancunian ways to describe when the heavens open. For most, it’s a moment of dread when the first bits of drizzle hits the window.

That’s understandable to a point. The cloud’s go grey, then all over a sudden there’s a dark gloomy feeling in the atmosphere. If you get caught up in the rain, whilst on foot – that’s quite a feeling.

It’s happened to yours truly, I have been caught in the rain whilst on foot and I got drenched! Clothes soaked, with beard too – but it’s the damp clothes smell and feeling really cold after that’s problematic .

That can be solved, when you get home by standing next to the heater for 10 mins or so, so there’s a silver lining after the cloud (literally).

Go by car, to avoid such a problem that is getting caught in the rain as a pedestrian they say.

Well, as a motorist that has it’s own challenges.

On a short commute it’s fine to a point, but this reminds me of when I used to go to Yorkshire on the weekend. Some weeks, the weather was brilliant.

Other weeks however, the weather would be very wet with heavy constant rain. The rain beating against the window, would be problematic for visibility through the front windscreen of course.

In theory, this can be solved by turning on the windscreen wiper, which moves the water away of course.

When there’s heavy rain, or rain at a fairly consistent rate, either way this is a windscreen nightmare!

Too slow, then the wipers struggle to clear that beating rain.

If you do it too fast, then your wipers make a loud noise which is more intimidating than the Haka.

As your wipers work over time trying to clear that beating rain, looking like a hamster on a running wheel, the windows are getting steamed up over time.

If you don’t turn the heater up enough, your windows don’t clear, and you can’t see what’s in front of you.

If you turn your heater up too much however, then you have to fight the stuffy heat of the car.

So for the driver, he will see Manchester weather outside his car , but feel weather like Mallorca inside his car.

In a short journey that’s bearable just about, but in a long journey not so much so.

So, those are the problems rain can cause in the car. Outside the car, on the road, you have to contend with your fellow drivers, whose driving in these conditions are naive, to put it kindly.

The rainy weather causes panic and confusion to motorists, the rainy weather makes me a do an emergency break, the kind of braking like I last did on my driving test when the examiner slapped the dashboard.

Those are cons for a driver in the rain, but for a passenger?

There’s pros … such as sitting in a place which keeps you sheltered in the rain, and when the driver changes the heat, at least you know you’re being kept warm.

You see,. It’s not all bad! Rain, is beautiful to look when you’re in doors, knowing you have absolutely no need to go outside!

Nice tall cup of coffee, couple slices of warm toast with a nice cozy jumper *happy days* (yes I have thought about this a lot).

Some people who do get caught in the rain, whilst walking do have an umbrella with them and are prepared.

Talking of Umbrellas, I want to relay a story. So your captain was driving, whilst it was raining and to my horror, I saw a couple get stranded in the rain.

That’s not the horrific part, the horrific part is this, the man of the couple was under the umbrella and lady wasn’t and she was getting drenched!

My god, I wanted to stop the car and give him a spear! This my brothers is not beardly conduct.

He was clean shaven, which probably says a lot in itself.

Brothers, when walking on the pavement with your women folk, you allow her to walk inside, and you walk the side towards the road.

Brothers, if you have an umbrella and it’s raining you allow her to get under the umbrella.

This is basic rules my brothers, you beards know this no doubt and it’s something you do in the first place , but it’s reminder to you all..

Stay blessed, stay beard. It’s over and out from The Bearded Captain.

The Perfect Cake By Professor Choco Cake Lover


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Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls I am sure you have been aware that I have been writing some blog posts of some “scientific findings”. My first study was over the Dixy Chicken burger and the other study was of the man fur that is the beard.

This blog post will let you know the outcome of my other study, the study of the chocolate cake. Again just like our friends at Dixy Chicken, this time our other friends at Dessert Republic also in Chorlton Manchester, to deserve an epic high five.

Located in the town centre of the Chorlton town centre, boys and girls these chappies make you feel like the bee’s knees (and no I am not on comission either), I genuinely mean this . For those of you who know me, you would know I am an avid researcher in the field of eating and in particular the eating of cakes.

The cake is a cake, some argue ….. if you are of this opinion, please don’t get offended when I say this, but if anyone holds that opinion I will have to buy a 10lb weight of fish and slap it accross your face. You would deserve it too!

Anyway,a cake isn’t just a cake ….. no no, not even close. A cake comes in different forms, there is the supermarket cake, there’s Karim’s cake, the Nawaab’s cake and O yes the beautiful Dessert Republic cake.

As I have said this before, I consider myself an expert in the field. Well putting on the weight that I have done, that surely hasn’t gone in vain let me assure you! So boys and girls what makes the good cake.

I have noted a few different examples of cake, let’s start with the bad examples. That is Karim’s’ cake and that of the supermarket stuff. Now, some may argue I am being harsh, but no when they say sponge cake, I don’t literally expecting to be eating the sponge. If I wanted to eat the scouring pad, I would have done by buying some from the £1 shop, but no thanks, not on this occasion.

I could have poured my whole glass of water in there and it still would have been hard as a rock. Talk about stuck between a rock in a hard place!

Not too moist, no no but not too dry is the reason why both the supermarket cake and Karims’ cake is out of the running, guys I have done my research I know what I am talking about.

When I have a cake, I want it to be as soft and warm as my heart and not as hard and cold as my ex’s. Nawaab’s and the Dessert Republic both do this perfectly (cake at the right temperature) , but the reason why I love the Dessert Republic cake is because it’s a place you can go to day in, day out and even Nawaabs have had a bad day at the office.

Your visit to Dessert Republic isn’t one to do on your own, because that’s the key rule when going out (never eat or drink on your own) but that isn’t saying bother the person randomly at your next table and pretend that you know them, that’s just creepy.

I have never done that … honest hahaha.

Soft, and melt in your mouth like cake which is succulent and not too soft and not too hard is what a cake should be, with the smooth chocolate gushing as you press your spooon into the cake,  the guys at the Dessert Republic I literally salute you. Just when I thought the art form of the perfect cake was dying out, you my friend said “we got this Ayyaz” and you were true to your word.

The nice sprinkle of the Dessert Republic on my plate, that just makes something better and better. Am I being biased? Check for yourself. Nawaabs is good, but it doesn’t have the same touch, personal touch as what the Dessert Republic has. I rest my case, I will take my blank cheque in the post ….. thank you.

*Disclaimer, I wrote this for part sattire and for my general love of Dessert Republic and my views don’t represent theirs thank you*