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.
I opened my front door this morning to find this on the handle. In the seemingly never-ending competition between food start-ups I thought this was a great marketing tool - I actually read it before I put it in the bin. On offer and described by Time Out as 'Swanky Chef-made Meals' were Flat Iron steak, Artisan breads, Berlin Brunch which I had to look up, Truffle Mac'n'Cheese, Avocado sourdough, Club sandwich and Prosecco or Bloody Mary - all available at weekends from 11.30am to 10.00pm. But I won't be ordering because I will be making my own.
Critically acclaimed Moro has little sisters and now we have one of them - Morito - living at the end of our road. With Brawn at the other end of the road I have hit the foodie jackpot for restaurants moving to this area of London, although at suffolkfoodie we rarely have deep enough pockets to go there more than once. Give me the pie and mash shops for dedication to service (about a hundred years of it) and value (still £3.50 for a home made lunch) But award-winning Moorish cuisine, rooted in Spanish and North African influences is hard to ignore, and the owners of Moro - Sam and Sam Clark - were locals once, they lived in the area too. So we booked our table, starting with three glasses of sherry (not each - there were three of us) advised by a waitress from Jerez, and quickly into a starter of dakos - a salad of tomatoes and soaked rye bread with fresh cheese, olives and anchovies. We then went through the tapas: octopus with fava puree, a succulent turbot steak with sherry vinegar and paprika, salt cod with purple potatoes, rabbit deep fried to a dry crunch with rosemary and moscatel vinegar, labneh with chillies and broad beans, and beetroot sweet herb borani with walnuts. It's all about the fresh quality ingredients and the interesting flavours here. The dessert we shared was filo pastry with gum mastic labneh and rhubarb. All of this and a glass of wine each amounted to £40 a head including service. I think we can afford to go back.
- beetroot, sweet herb borani and walnuts £6
- labneh, chillies and broad beans £7
- chicarrones - crispy pork belly £7.5
- dessert - filo, gum mastic labneh and rhubarb £7
- starter - dakos, fresh cheese, olives and anchovies £6.5
- salt cod, purple potato, quail egg and alioli £12
- the salt and spices on the table when we arrived
- turbot, sherry vinegar and paprika
We were introduced to this gorgeous Venezualan Diplomatico rum at Victualler in Wapping. Well worth a visit if you like organic, biodynamic, raw and natural wines. A lovely enthusiastic owner who is happy to share his knowledge too!
The perfect pre-drink drink. Drink on a hot summers day, after cutting the grass. Mix the French bitters with pilsner or a wheat beer for a perfect apertif. Or nip to Duck Soup in Soho and enjoy with a plate of green beans, anchovy, soft boiled egg and sour dough crumbs.
On Brick Lane, of course it's complete madness, but only because you didn't think of it first - and they have jobs!
The Mr Cutlets competition was Meatopia's chance for anyone to cook alongside some of the finest chefs from the UK and around the world to showcase a dish this year. The competition ran from 2nd July 2015 to 2nd August 2015 when the team selected a shortlist of six finalists to be invited to London to cook their dish. Two winners were selected from the finalists to cook at Meatopia 2015. Entry to the competition was open to everyone, from members of the public to aspiring young chefs and contestants who needed to supply details of their dish in advance. Inspector X entered and cooked a dish she created for the occassion - we often cook over a camp fire - Red Poll Shin and Tail, and made dumplings on the day. She wasn't selected - but she was the only girl!
Founded in the USA and brought to the UK by Richard Turner of London butchers Turner and George, Meatopia is a festival of high quality, ethically sourced meat cooked over wood and charcoal in a weekend-long event of meat, drink, fire and music that we covered for SuffolkFoodie last year when we first went to Tobacco Dock for a day out and accidentally found ourselves surrounded by huge hunks of men, throwing huge hunks of meat on huge and hot blazing fires. But this year it was very different! A woman entered the competition to win a chance to cook at the event. And she made a stew. And it was our very own lovely, brave and intrepid Inspector X!! See Mr (or Mrs) Cutlets for the result!
We met Henry at the Urban food Fest where his business partner Rob made delicious ice cream and froyo rolls right in front of us. This fast and furious ice cream involves a process which originated in Thailand; cream or yoghurt with various favourings and additional ingredients (meringue...fruit...) is put on a -30 degree plate and everything is mixed together very fast. After approximately two minutes the initial milk or yogurt freezes and is ready to be scraped off the cold plate into rolls. Quick Bite food magazine have already interviewed Henry and Rob and this is what they said. 'When we were back-packing around Thailand at the tender age of 20, we discovered a new way of making ice cream. ‘Stir fried Ice cream’ is the official terminology for it, and because we hadn’t ever seen it in the UK before, we decided to create Pan-n-Ice and bring it back.' Thanks guys!