It's a well known secret that Gilbert and George go to the same kebab house in London at least five times a week to eat supper. They have been there two out of the three times I have been recently with arty friends who I want to surprise and impress. Apparently they don't have a kitchen at home so they couldn't cook even if they wanted to. The question is, is it an Installation or not? Whatever it is, the kebabs are cooked on the traditional Mangal open-fire barbecue, the pide bread is freshly made and free, quail is on the menu, the meat is full of flavour and it will only cost you about £10 per head. This, and Gilbert and George, are the reasons I can no longer go to the kebab van on Station Hill after a night out in Bury.
My name is Mrs Madumbi. I am a new occasional contributor to Suffolk Foodie. My focus, though by no means not exclusively, will be on food from Africa. Guess what I found in a Tesco in Sheffield? - amaDumbe. You could mistake this rather ugly, occasionally hairy, vegetable for a mutant potato, but it has a delicate taste of its own - like no other. The amaDumbe, more commonly called madumbi in South Africa, is called eddoes in the Caribbean and Tesco, and taro elsewhere. Do remember this plant can be toxic in its raw form. Madumbis are usually peeled before cooking and can be boiled or steamed, whole or cubed. As a child growing up in southern Africa I loved this vegetable. It was always boiled in its skin for 20/25 minutes (depending on size) until the fleshy part gave when pricked with a fork. After cooking, the water was drained and discarded. The skin comes away easily once cooked. The rather grey inside of the madumbi has a nutty, slightly sweet taste (think distant cousin of sweet potato). The texture can appear slimey and unusual but it is not, so please do not be put off. Newcomers quickly acquire a taste for this versatile little tuber. It is delicious served simply 'potato style' with salt and butter. It can be mashed and mixed with caramalised onions or leeks; added to soups and curry dishes; sliced thinly with a mandolin for crisps and oven-baked or fried.
You don't usually see menus like this being served in a Norfolk village hall. Run by Rebellion who hold monthly pop ups, here is the link the their Facebook page and to their pop up at Long Stratton Village Hall on March 5th. £40 per head. Sounds good and it's bookings only.
Vacherin Mont D'Or making in Switzerland. One of my top ten cheeses.
This year's SuffolkFoodie annual leave was taken on a 48 hour trip to see the best (and probably the most hyped) of the latest London eat-and-drinkeries. Starting at Taberno do Mercardo (via a really nice tea merchants on the way, and only minutes from Liverpool Street station) we had small pretty plates that featured tinned cold monkfish, runner bean 'fritters' on clam broth, cuttlefish with pigs trotters, drippingly soft cheese with toasted bread, prawn rissoles and the runniest custard tart. The waitress was as excited about the food as we were so even with just one glass each of house sparkling rose - shining like a citrine jewel - it was easy to spend half of our budget on the first meal.
Amazing food stalls here at Chatsworth Market every Sunday morning. I regretted my big breakfast because I couldn't eat lamb with pomegranate from the Persian stall. Bought some lovely cheese though from this farmers son.
Fancy a drop of camel milk in your coffee? Well head down to Taylor Street Barista's at 125 Old Broad Street, London this week and 28 Queens Street, Brighton next week and you will find the United Arab Emirates produced camel milk "Camelicious" on the menu.
We are not ones for advocating produce that has travelled half way around the world, but this is in aid of Farm Africa, with customers encouraged to give a £1 donation for each coffee purchased.
Camel milk is very popular in the Middle East and North Africa and has five times the Vitamin C and half the fat content of cows milk. New rural enterprise anyone?
I couldn't stay in Cromer last night without trying out No 1 Fish and Chip Restaurant and takeaway, recently opened by Galton Blackiston ( you know; Morston Hall, Michelin Star, Celebrity Chef...) The restaurant is quite big and the takeaway shop is next door.
When you arrive you stand behind a sign which says "please wait to be seated" so I did. The waitress came over and said that she was not allowed to seat me - I thought she was joking, but she wasn't. So I had to wait for the lady in charge to finish taking an order before she showed me to a table.
I was hoping to try the house special - crab cakes - but they had sold out so I ordered plaice and chips and a portion of mushy pea fritters.The printed menu gives more space to the wines on offer than the savoury food but I was driving so had a ginger beer, there are some nice choices of soft drinks. The fish was very fresh - had lovely batter, light and crisp - and very good chips with a portion of homemade tartare sauce on the side. The pea fritters were also tasty and so hot I burnt my mouth eating them. They were served with a mint dip.
The service was a bit shaky from that wait at the start. A few things were forgotton and there were some interesting descriptions of the menu - olives in the tartare sauce.... I don't think so!