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

Got Milk?

Decorative Vintage Milk Bottles Decorative Orange Milk BottleIt’s all anyone in this usually grey city can talk about, but god damn it doesn’t the sun make people happier? It makes me crave bright, childish colours and these milk bottles are perfect. Use as a vase or maybe a fun centre piece for outdoor dining? Available at my favourite Hunkydory Home.

 

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Let’s have a pillow fight and eat something with Oreo’s in it..

I’m 23 and I like sleepovers. Yes, obviously that sort, you filthy minded creature but here I’m on about the pillow fighting, movie watching, carb loading kind you have with your female friends. I’m having one tonight actually, so Martha took this Americana-throw-it-all-together treat recipe and we knocked it up in about 5 minutes. There were girlish giggles and finger licking – we love a cliché. It’s a brilliant marriage of Rice Krispy Squares and the US favourite: Oreos. You melt 75g of butter and 150g of white marshmallows till it’s a horrid looking gooey paste. Tip in 6 handfuls of rice crispies and a pack of bashed up Oreos. Stir until combined and your straining arm can take no more. Crack it into a baking paper lined tray and spread out. Do not, at this point, use a palette knife as Gill did, the concrete like substance will bend it. RIP fave kitchen tool. Then smother it in swirls, dollops and lines of melted white chocolate. If you can bare it wait till it’s cooled and slice up for midnight snacking in pjs.
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FM Mangal – Honest talk and wholesome wine…kinda

FMLittle Turkey, does this exist? I mean you have Little Venice, no mini canals unfortunately, and china town, the Vietnamese quarter in East London but do we have a dedicated Turkish spot? If not I suggest FM Mangal be pronounced the heart of it.

From outside it appears to be nothing more than your run of the mill kebab shop to which you will have undoubtedly frequented on cold nights after long days at work which have left you bereft of cooking inspiration (or more likely after you’ve sunk too many vodkas). But inside awaits rug clad exposed brick, twinkling Turkish lamps and humble tables, that is after you climb up the stairs past the swirling, smoking and fortunately glass screened grill.

The menu is pretty extensive and to this Turkish-delicacy-novice was a sea of phrases I was never going to understand. Cop Sis or Tavuk Kanat? We ordered the warm meze to start which featured some uninspiring calamari, ever pleasing halloumi and fair falafels. The stand out was admittedly the grilled onions and garlic served drowned in a redwine/vinegar sauce that we mopped up with the provided flatbread.

We plumped for the house white (and two cokes, you can’t take these kids anywhere). Our pockets felt moth bitten on this occassion and bottles here always resemble the unrecognisable labels seen gathering dust in late night shops. It was chilled, bonus, tasted cheap but we nodded sagely regardless of the unabashed shock of our waitress. Awkward.FM MangalIt took some time to get our mains, the FM Mangal Special, Mixed Kebab and Tavuk Saslik, but as a group who rarely indulge in silence this was no issue for us. Portions are big. I admit, I knew what I was getting myself in for as the menu listed meaningless meat names rounded off with rice and salad, but boy do you get your ££’s worth. It’s phenomenally charcoaled on its edges, smoke permeates everything but the spiced sauces and sweet coverings take it from polycarton to table worthy. The fresh salad sides and pillow soft rice though delicious, served for me as only a palate cleanser and time bider till I could face the next small mound of awaiting meat.

Jay Rayner was not lying when he said this place was one to be celebrated. For all its worn edges and questionable frontage this place is the dogs. After shuffling, sitting up straight and then finally conceding we could fit no more in our stomachs, we asked for the bill. All in all it came to only £20 each with tip. I somehow managed to eat all three pieces of the Turkish delight offered too.

The website is clunky and choc full of stock images but don’t let that put you off. It has the address and menus up there, everything you need: fmmangal.net FM Mangal2” Have no scandal while you dine, Just honest talk and wholesome wine” FM Mangal – The mural did look pretty old to be fair though.

Street Feast – It’s a dine of the times

Street Feast Poster

Its back on the 12th, next friday! Just in line with the lighter nights and warmer weather (hopefully).

The clocks may have gone forward but surely this is the first sign that summer is on it’s way? It’s got the cult classics (we can call them classic now right?) Big Apple Hot Dogs, The Ribman and some new names I’ve never had the pleasure of me[eating], HAI Spit & Roast! The plan? Head down to Merchant Yard, fill your belly with food, your liver with alcohol and your mind with music and art.

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Photos by Chris McIntosh from Street Feast

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Photos by Chris McIntosh from Street Feast

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Photos by Chris McIntosh from Street Feast

If you need more info check it: www.streetfeastlondon.com

Brunch at Love Walk

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Image from Three Piece Suite

It’s safe to say the bank holiday chewed me up and spat me out then swallowed me whole one last time. After squeezing in two drunken nights East, a flying visit to Cambridge, Sunday lunch with my grandparents, throwing my hand at some DIY at my parents new shop and some questionable driving, I was a mess yesterday and felt rather sorry for myself. But we (Martha) needed to go to Tesco’s to buy alcohol (Hen prep not alcoholism). After an hour of “in 60 secs we’ll move” we made the executive decision to line our stomachs before braving the spirits of the night before.

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Image from Three Piece Suite

After an incredible 7 million point parallel park we stumbled in to the bright and instantly cheering Love Walk Cafe. Mason jars of coloured water sit on shelves, neon coloured light cords wrap themselves around beams letting the bare bulbs hang and illustrations are pinned up on the walls. It’s a creative and imaginative space, inspired by the love affair of Camberwell’s Robert Browning. Poetry appears in script on the walls, in the bathroom and on the staircase, quotes and extracts from his work and love letters to his lover Elizabeth. Downstairs is magical, full of bright painted murals, characters and fauna designed by the talented Three Piece Suite.

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Image from Three Piece Suite

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Image from Three Piece Suite

Service is helpful and friendly and the menu quite vast. We went for an English Breakfast, which was heavily edited and changed to no inconvenience of our waitress, and an American Breakfast of pancakes, bacon and scrambled egg with a good dose of maple syrup. The coffee is great, and I appreciate that they just call it white coffee, but I was too preoccupied to ask where/who they were from. Also on the menu are sandwiches, salads, burgers, even a minute steak and the usual cafe essentials such as cakes and pastries. It is also incredibly cheap, almost unbelievably so.

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Really all they need to do now is update the website.
www.lovewalkcafe.co.uk

A young admirer remarked ‘There is no romance now except in Italy.’ Browning thought for a moment. ‘Ah, well,’ he said, ‘I should like to include poor old Camberwell.’ Robert Browning.

McMossy

This short video from Tom Sachs features Kate Moss flipping, pouring, saucing and smoking from a makeshift McDonald’s cart. Incredible.
It’s not a long lost video of Moss serving her time as a teen worker in McDo Croydon but a fashion short, that makes me really crave a burger.

Plated Poets

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“I am nothing but a simple plate, porcelain skin painted gold and blue. I am not a poet, just a dish, but I’ll leave that judgement up to you.”

Crockery that longs for you and tells you that you give meaning to their life, Keats had nothing on these silent poets. I am falling hard for these dishes from mineheart, especially the cheeky “A little bit on the side” plate.

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

Bermondsey Beer @ Cool Cat’s Cafe

IMG_20130312_222738At a cool 6.9% this Bermondsey brewed beer, The Kernel, will give you that perfect Friday buzz tonight. I tried chilled and at room temperature and I have to recommend it at room, much nicer. Find out more about the local brewer here: thekernelbrewery.com they list a load of stockists on the site too but I enjoyed this at my super local – Cool Cats Cafe.

 

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.