"Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch."

Category: food

Easter – give me chic chocolate, not fluffy chicks

Easter Buys

A Dozen Quail Egglets £10 Hotel Chocolat Milk Chocolate Mini Eggs with Salted Peanut Butter £5.49 Montezuma Dark Chocolate Rose Flavoured Easter Egg £13.95 Betty’s Milk & White Chocolate Spotted Egg £7.50 Betty’s

Dad in Disco Bistro

My pops visited me on Tuesday as his busy schedule led him to Borough one afternoon. Being the caring (freeloading*) father that he is, he decided to spend some quality time with his favourite daughter (use my sofa for the night). After meeting him at the pub next door to my office, “what’s a Gandt?” he asked (he had text me previously to ask what I wanted to drink), I led him past the Tate, over the Millennium Bridge and out to St Paul’s Cathedral.

I explained to him that I had been trying to visit a pop-up restaurant called Disco Bistro for some weeks and had never quite got round to it. “You were waiting for my wallet then?” quipped Dad. No, I wasn’t. But it sure as hell makes the whole thing a lot more fun when you don’t have to look at the damage.

We were both a little bemused to enter the Rising Sun and be greeted by a crowd of whooping and hollering suits. The bar maid mouthed “Horse Races” at me. I mimed an understanding Ahh! having no idea what this meant. We ordered a wine each and were told to head on up stairs when we were ready. Upstairs was a stark contrast, low lit with candles on little wooden tables with mis-matched chairs (old bus seats for the larger tables) whilst soothing reggae played. We sat and took to the menu straight away. We ordered and surveyed the room a little more. An achingly cool couple sat behind us, who pulls off a scoop back and top knot on a Tuesday? “Is that a Squirrel?” I had read about him in Grace Dent’s review. “It looks punk, but they are playing reggae, that’s a little annoying” dad threw out there. As a man of many hair colours, motorbikes and tattoos I take my old man’s opinions on the punk genre very seriously. Above our heads a huge conglomeration of trumpets were gathered to create a huge sphere of golden splendour and on the wall a blackboard chalked out a number of issues. Are you serious here? I’m sat on an old school chair eyeing up a questionable piece of taxidermy and trying to decide between beef or fish, should I begin conversation on eradicating malaria? Probably, actually, yes.

We chose a grilled half scallop with black pudding and apple to start. Cooked to perfection and the unexpected brit twist of black pudding was surprisingly delicious, I’m not usually a fan of it. For main: Mr Knight then went for a flat iron steak bun with peppers and I for deep fried Pollock in a buttermilk roll with fennel slaw. Both served with fries cooked in Aged Beef Fat. The food hit the table, “no” he cried and shook his head in pure disbelief at the young girl. What had she done, I panicked. I looked at my dad with that withering stare only a child can give their parent; please don’t embarrass me in front of the cool girl dad. I spotted his outstretched index finger. He was pointing at the tomato sauce and mustard. Ok, now I’m confused. “no” he repeated and laughed. Oh I get it, he thinks its a joke getting condiments straight from the bottle, where are the poncy little tubs they usually come poured in he’s thinking. I dismiss the bemused hipster and quickly explain to dad that that’s the the thing to do now. Heinz its a cult, its a statement, its widely perceived as the best despite its mass production, its not even equal to the coca cola/Pepsi debate because it has no rival. “it’s like getting your wine served in a tumbler glass, you like a good sauv blanc but you don’t feel the need to pour it into an actual wine glass.” His nose crinkled; not such a fan of that then.

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Now, I previously had reserved my “best chips of my life” status to Bread Street Kitchen, a mere spit from our then destination. But I’m sorry Gordon, Carl Clarke’s genius has knocked you off my little respected list. THESE CHIPS ARE INCREDIBLE! Meaty, crispy but still having that pillowy soft potato inside, I wouldn’t shut up about them. Pretty embarrassing as I gushed and threw my head round to see Clarke himself sat with a couple of hotties  (media types I suspected) urgh am I food groupie now? How he creates this carby miracle I don’t know but I need more! Anyway’s after all that excitement and drained wine glass, we decided to order another, this time from the restaurant itself and not the pub downstairs. A respectable and tasty house white appeared…in glass tumblers.

All in all the bill came to about £50, I think. Being the true gent, Dad picked up the tab obvs. I am only posting the below image because I took it whilst he was telling me a cheesy joke, I showed it to him and he exclaimed “I’ve got old”. Love ya Old Man Knight.

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*naturally I must add that the only free loader present for the 18hr visit was me. Obviously.

If ever there was a reason to get a credit card – Sidecar Doughnuts CA

SidecarDoughnuts are kind of an obsession me and my best friend have. It’s not even in a food snob way. We love the cheap sugared Tesco variety too. Although our preparedness to “hunt” a good ‘nut down is somewhat scary. We are currently in email correspondence trying to justify credit cards and an 11 hour flight to get our chops around a Sidecar creation. Madness? Maybe. But just look at that Rosemary infused raised ring with rosemary honey glaze.

www.sidecardoughnuts.com

Galette de Rois

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My French is coming on leaps and bounds with the help of my new colleague. By this, i mean she seems to have learnt to humour my “Cute” interpretation of her mother tongue.

Last week she treated the office to a typical French dessert, the history buff in me took to wikipedia to find its traditionally a twelfth night treat, called Galette de Rois. Usually a surprise can be found in the centre and the procurer of said surprise gets the honour of wearing a gold crown for the remainder of the day.

For our first galette we had no surprise and no crown; we are all adults after all and that would be foolish. I sulked silently.

Anyways its a puff pastry pie filled with frangipane and apricot jam. It looked beautiful with its herringbone scoring and egg wash glaze.

I wanted to recreate it at home as Celine insisted it was barely cooking. Hmm, well as you can tell my attempt was no where near your average French patissieres perfection. Saying this i have pretty much demolished it so… bon appetit. You can see the recipe i used (from good food) here.

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How do you like your eggs in the morning?


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Camera Shy?

Burger and Lobster - Lobster Roll

I got a bit of a mocking the other day when I admitted to someone that I eat out a lot and that on occasion I may take photographs of the food I encounter. I’m by no means the worst offender for it, I’ve been with people who have scrambled almost onto my shoulders to get a “birds eye view”.

In seconds of a dish hitting the table my friends and I all snap it send it to twitter, facebook and instagram, if you asked us why I’m sure we’d shrug our shoulders and sheepishly respond “it’s looks pretty”. But I guess for me it’s quite simple and a bit cavemanesque, I got food, it’s tasty and you fools don’t, suckaaas.

Anyways, I read recently in the NY Times that, as we snap and flash, apparently some chefs and diners are getting so enraged with the fanfare that they are imposing photography bans. Chill out lads, surely in this case photography is the most sincerest form of flattery? Or maybe we should all just return to food-orgasms (ya know when people exclaim “ERRRRRMAGAAAAD this triple cooked.. OHHH.. chip is SOOOOOO mmm GOOOOODDD!”) I believe they are the true assaults on dining experiences.

You can read the full NY Times feature here

Have you been to a restaurant that chastised you for your food snaps? If so would you make a return visit?

p.s the image above was taken in Burger & Lobster a few days ago. Yes my elbows were level with my ears, no I didn’t care and neither did my darling waitress.

Is the Burger reign over?

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For Londoners the burger obsession reached heady heights in 2012, it was as talked about as the Olympics. Nearly every man and woman from across the Boroughs has their special recommendations and all strive to find the perfect patty. But are we over it? Are we waving farewell to the brioche sandwiched beefy goodness?

Quite frankly, No. At least I’m pretty bloody sure we’re not.

Burger places are still going strong with the opening of Shake Shack in Covent Garden and the increasing development in our favourite chains (Honest now have two, MEAT Mission and MEAT Market add to the growing MEAT empire, Burger & Lobster opened their fourth in the chain on Bread Street and Byron has a whopping 25 in London alone). It seems our appetites are far from satiated.

Some tried to roll on in on the back of low/high dining and thus attempted to gentrify the otherwise abundant chicken shops. But it’s no real match, The Chicken Shop is too far out (Kentish Town really??) and Wishbone got one of the most damning reviews from Brixtons biggest foodie fan. So no one has quite stepped up to the plate (har har).

So how is the burger in London evolving? Well apparently the new thing is to get yer nails did and hold your burger in weird poses whilst a mate takes a photo. Then you send it into the kind fellows at Burger and Nails tumblr who post it for the world to rate. I want to hate this concept but it’s my new guilty pleasure. Chchcheck it out.

National Popcorn Day


National Popcorn Day

Plastic popcorn holder from Dotcomgiftshop Lemon & Poppyseed and Caramel & Macchiato Gourmet popcorn from Joe & Sephs Popcorn Popcorn Machine from MonsterStuff.co.uk

Today is apparently National Popcorn Day, not that I need an “official” day dedicated to the stuff – I’m already an avid fan. Not just the snack of choice for cinemas, popcorn has entered into the gourmet league with brilliant brands such as Joe & Sephs offering interesting and diverse flavour ranges. There is even a dedicated popcorn shop in Notting Hill!

Dulwich Deli Day

In a bid to not lose the last of my holiday before the New Year I have taken today off to do “personal admin” or frantic christmas card writing, spending a fortune on stamps, buying relations gifts, donating to charity and…eating, obvs.

I started by treating my little car to a drive to East Dulwich, which is my new favourite place. They’ve got an Oliver Bonas, a Draft House, an amazing charity shop called Give + Take and a drool-inducing deli.

With its huge windows and shelves that go all the way up to foodie heaven it will stop you in your tracks. They have a wide range of cheeses, cold meats, cakes, well everything! I took forever pouring over their pasta selection and  the seasonal goods (piles of stollen and mince pies!)

Seggiano chocolate covered figs

I ended up picking up these chocolate cherry figs for poppa Knight from Seggiano and one of their “massive sausage rolls” which are indeed huge. I ate it in the car and happily let it flake deliciously all over me and the interior, oh well.

If you can’t make it to Dulwich you can order the figs from Selfridges too.

Betty’s Countdown

Ok so I recently posted about my delectable Montezuma advent calendar, but since when has one chocolate in the morning been enough? SO you can imagine my glee when I awoke to this beauty which had been set up for me by my amazing/brilliant/fabby house mate.

Betty's Advent CalendarThat my lovelies is 24 pockets of cocoa joy and it’s designed by Poppy Treffry who I adore. Each numbered pouch houses a palm-full of either milk or white chocolate shaped into some of our well known Christmas favourites. Day number one brought me this cheeky snowman. I named him Philipp and then devoured him in two bites. You could still get yourself (or your house mate one) and chomp on the days passed, or if you deem it too late I recommend you check out their Christmas ranges as they are perfect for family and friends. And I can say this from chocolate covered chops, it’s bloody delicious stuff!

www.bettys.co.uk