I'm trying to lose weight. Over lockdown I'm not afraid to say that I packed on the pounds - more so than ever in fact and I'm now officially a "fat lad".
It actually doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would do - and even though I'm trying to lose weight, there's a part of me that thinks it might be a good idea to keep it. I mean, I'm married now so surely I can let myself go a little bit?
This week I found it extremely easy to keep the weight on as I travelled to The Pen & Pencil on Hilton Street to check out their new menu - a menu that's packed with a variety of FRIED CHEESE dishes that certainly need to be tried.
Now, the new dishes don't all revolve around fried cheese, with a couple of new brunch options, burgers and sandwiches to choose from.
On the brunch side of things is a gorgeous Baked French Toast Casserole (£9), Winter Squash Ratatouille (£9) and Homemade Potato Roti on Pea Soup (£8.50), both served with poached eggs and my personal favourite - a spicy Nduja Potato Hash (£9.50).
They've also added a delectable Salmon with Sesame Couscous (£14) to the mains, alongside Monkfish with Beetroot Lentils & Clams (£14), BBQ Ribs (£14) and a New Yorker Chicken (£13.50) which is a breaded chicken breast stuffed with sun blushed tomatoes and parmesan served with Romanesco cauliflower and topped with creamy tomato sauce.
Let's talk about all of this cheese though eh!? That's what you really want to know about. Well, first up is the Jefferson Mac & Cheese Lava Cake Salad (£12) which is pretty much a massive ball of mac and cheese that's been coated in breadcrumbs and then fried.
Cut into it and the cheesy innards come pouring out, and it's a truly sexy moment for all of you cheese lovers out there.
Similarly, the New York Mac N Cheeseburger (£10.50) offers up a similarly gooey experience. The burger consists of a fried mac & cheese patty, topped with crispy bacon, jalapeno mayo and salad.
And finally there's this, a Deep Fried Cheese & Prosciutto Sandwich (£8) which is like a traditional cheese toastie but on steroids.
It's basically a cheese toastie with prosciutto that's been coated in breadcrumbs and fried. And if that wasn't naughty enough then there's a healthy pot of tomato-y Manhattan dipping sauce on the side.
But that's not all. You'll also find Cheese Fries (£4), Spinach & Feta Rolls (£4.50), Halloumi Fries (£3.50) and some mega Cheeseburger Spring Rolls (£6) on the menu too - truly wonderful news to anybody who loves and lives cheese.
The new Pen & Pencil menu is available now.