I have popped into to a few of Jamie’s restaurants over the years, and whilst I’ve found some of his concepts to be fab, others are hit and miss (there are only so many times starters appearing on giant cricket bats is a fun novelty). However, an evening at a meat and BBQ joint in the city is not to be sniffed at, and sounded right up my street. Continue reading Butchery at Barbecoa
I love Dishoom. I practically work above the newest outpost and waited patiently for what felt like years for it to open. During the soft launch period I was SWAMPED with work (sod’s law) and never made it down there for 50% off before the mobs arrived each day – I’m very temperamental with queuing for a table, even if it is for lush, juicy Indian treats.
In the spirit of being over 30, we had a last-minute change of heart re attending a Halloween rave in Hackney last weekend, and instead decided to go for a country adventure in the New Forest. A random choice perhaps, but it’s near enough to London to go for one night and I’ve heard great things form various people – plus the weather looked great. So the bikes were chucked in the back of the car, we grabbed all manner of sweets and snacks and off we went.
Silk Road is an unassuming place on Camberwell Church Street, with more of a café vibe than that of a restaurant. Having heard reports of hour-long waits mid-week we booked as it was a Saturday, and good job as the place was absolutely packed. Good sign!
Meat. It’s all about meat. Not life (well, sometimes) but in this unassuming basement on the Piccadilly side of Soho it is most definitely all about meat. I remember when Blacklock launched early this year, to a flurry of social media activity from the most respected food bloggers and Instagram stars. Although the hype has died down (a bit, not completely) they’re still always busy and for good reason. I’ve been a few times and this is a kind of mash-up of the various visits.
Spending the afternoon at Wimbledon is pretty high up on the list of things to do on a nice summer’s day that are somewhat more pleasant than being in the office. Luckily, I had the opportunity this week to have lunch at The Gatsby Club with the lovely folks at Compass and Restaurant Associates, and sample some of their fabulous offering.
The last few days saw the opening of Pop Brixton, a new shipping container space housing bars, restaurants and event space nestled behind the station on Pope’s Road.
Swirls of vivid colour, squeals of laughter, delectable Indian treats and heavenly cocktails can only mean one thing; the House of Holi is back! For the uninitiated, Holi is the Indian festival of colour, when families celebrate the arrival of spring by covering each other in brightly coloured handfuls of powdered paint – and very welcome it is too in a chilly, not-quite-spring London.
Continue reading Holi at Cinnamon Kitchen
I love tapas and the general idea of having a big selection of dishes for everyone to dive into and share. Just as well really as you’ll come across this concept in a huge number of London restaurants at the moment. So for a little girly night last week, tapas was the theme (mainly as I’m going through a Cava phase) and I managed to throw together a feast with very little skill and hardly any time away from the ladies. *Disclaimer: this is probably not all completely authentic but all goes well together and tastes lovely! Also this is certainly not an innovative recipe or anything groundbreaking – just a bit of inspiration if you have people coming and not much time.
So for something similar, you should buy: roasted peppers in jars, fresh anchovies, fresh artichokes, Serrano ham, Manchego cheese and some decent chorizo. This is the assembly-job stuff.
You can also easily knock up: chilli and garlic prawns, a leek and potato Spanish tortilla, tomato garlic bread, grilled sardines and herby lamb chops. These things are relatively quick and not particularly difficult.
I started with parboiling some sliced new potatoes with half a leek for about 5 minutes, then spreading them in a frying pan with melted butter, salt and pepper. Pour over 8 whisked eggs and let it cook on a medium heat until it’s firm at the edges and wobbly in the middle. Then grate some cheese on (I used a mixture of chedder for flavour and gouda for stringiness) and put it under the grill until the cheese bubbles. Then set aside.
For the prawns just finely chop red chilli and garlic, gently fry for a couple of minutes in olive oil then add the prawns. Once they’re warmed through take off and put them in a bowl. The sardines and lamb are just griddled for a few minutes, a squeeze of lemon compliments the oily sardines perfectly, and lamb loves a sprinkling of oregano. Cook the chorizo in a pan for a few minutes until heated through and releasing the lovely red oils.
Then serve! Arrange all the pre-bought things in bowls and let everyone dig in. With the bread, have everyone grab a cut garlic clove and half a tomato and rub both onto the toast – you get the lovely flavours of the tomato and garlic and it’s fun to to. I also served a green salad to add colour and something light and fresh.
Although I didn’t realise until I walked in, this was my second visit to Jackson & Rye on Soho’s Wardour Street. I attended a networking breakfast there a few months ago and from what I remember (I’m not great in the mornings) it was fabulous, so I was more than keen to go back for dinner.
From the team behind Grillshack and backed by Richard Caring of the Ivy, Carluccio’s, Scott’s and J Sheekey among others, Jackson & Rye is loud, lively and exactly what you’d expect from an American themed restaurant in Soho on a Friday night – in a good way.
Roast lamb rump on courgettes and tomatoes was tender and packed with herby flavour. Rump steak was delicious if slightly past the requested medium, and chips were thin and the ideal combination of crispy and fluffy that you come to expect from anywhere better than McDonald’s. I ordered creamed grits with sweetcorn on a whim, and thank God – they were smooth, creamy, salty and sweet, the perfect partner for roasted meat. I was expecting something sloppy and vaguely porridge-like, so they were a lovely surprise and something I’m very keen to have again, and soon.
We also threw in half a lobster as a side dish, why not, January’s crap and you need all the little joys you can get! It was juicy and delicious as you’d hope, simply grilled with lemon.
Not a huge fan of dessert usually but this was big hunks of charred marshmallow with blood orange sorbet and hot chocolate sauce to pour over the top (main pic) – wow, it was light, rich and fruity all at the same time, and just totally gorgeous.
The American Merlot (when in Rome) was far too delicious – this combined with the daft proximity of the next tables meant I was extremely close to clearing all their dishes with my backside on leaving, and I was forced to apologise both before and after. No complaints about the wine, but perhaps they could allow another few inches between tables for privacy, dignity and the fact that we struggled to get all our plates on it at the same time. Obviously space is at a premium in Soho and they want to cram in as many covers as possible, but it does give an air of the assembly line.
Overall dinner at Jackson & Rye is fun, hearty and delicious, with a great menu, plentiful booze options and lovely staff. Definitely worth another visit, although go with a group for a bigger table.