Thursday, 30 December 2010
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
One night before Christmas, I was lead through an understated wooden door on City Road in Old Street and down a steep staircase into London's best kept secret bar - the Nightjar.
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Many a kind word has been bestowed upon Dishoom since it opened in July, and rightly so. The pastel walled, trompe l'oeil tiled space pays homage to the vibrant Bombay all-day cafés of the '60s, which drew an eclectic clientele, from breakfasting students and lunching lawyers, to artists and writers in search of inspiration.
Dishoom, 12 Upper St Martin’s Lane WC2H 9FB. Tel: +44 (0)20 7420 9320. A meal for two with water and service costs about £35.
Monday, 27 December 2010
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Moving on to this week, on Tuesday I popped into the launch of Cassis Bistro on the Brompton Road in Knightsbridge. On arrival I spot Charles Campion keeping court, Champagne glass in hand. The space has a reassuringly casual air, with brown leather booths and simple gray brickwork. The food is traditional bistro fare - snails in pastry, scallop ceviche, an array of patés, hazelnut tarts - all very lovely, but haven't we seen it all before? I struggled to find a USP.
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Monday, 22 November 2010
With truffle season in full flow, last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the latest WineChap Eno Club dinner – a Piedmont inspired truffle fest at Polpo in Soho, hosted by WineChap's flamboyant frontman Tom Harrow.
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Sunday, 7 November 2010
'It's time Brits drank Indian food with Indian wine, instead of a beer named after a snake', begins Amber Vaidya, brand ambassador for Indian winery Grover Vineyards, in an impassioned speech at gourmet Indian restaurant Moti Mahal in Holborn.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
No one does culinary theatre better than the Spanish. And so it was that I was invited to go down the rabbit hole into an edible Basque Wonderland.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Dining at Kayashii is an extraordinary experience. From the burly bouncer on the door to the blinding white decor, neon lighting and house music on rotation, it feels more like a club than a restaurant. Or, at the very least, a fusion of the two: a clubaurant.
Tuesday, 2 November 2010
Monday, 1 November 2010
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Culinary wizards Bompas & Parr have found a new plaything. Moving on from the jelly moulds that made them famous, the pair have turned their hands, Wonka-style, to chewing gum.
Last week, the boys set up shop in Whiteleys, with a pop-up artisanal chewing gum factory. On arrival I'm swiftly lead to the dimly-lit Flavour Library, complete with haunting music on a loop, and scientific diagrams linking the 200 flavours on offer, from the play-it-safe strawberry and cotton candy, through the more adventurous white truffle and green pea, to the downright ludicrous curry, anchovy and hot dog.
I whiz around the aroma room, frantically opening flavour-scented jam jars in a bid to whittle down 40,000 possible combinations to my final two. Watermelon is divine, as is caramel, but they're both too predictable. Peanut jumps out of the jar, along with banana and almond, but I'm looking for something a little more playful. A mix of sweet and savoury perhaps? I strike upon what I believe to be an ingenious duo: foie gras and crème brûlée, having tasted something similar at a basque gastronomy evening the week before. It'll either be delicious or disgusting.
I write my flavour combo on a raffle ticket and hand it to the lady in a lab coat across the counter. She glances at it disapprovingly. The factory is proving so popular, punters have to wait for their numbers to be called, Bingo-style, by a bespectacled man on a megaphone. To ease my wait, I indulge in a Hendricks and tonic from a jam jar.
Finally my number's up, and I'm lead into the gum factory, a pink room lined with long wooden work benches. I'm given a gum-making tutorial by Sam Bompas himself, who dashes out the back to retrieve my flavours. He returns with a vial full of caramel coloured liquid, which I'm told to squirt on my clear gum base and then stir furiously. Icing sugar and citric acid is then added, and more stirring ensues.
'Would you like to add a colour?' Bompas enthuses. 'Why not make it bright green?', he suggests, squirting a few drops of green food colouring into the mixture. I stir it furiously, until it's the texture of Play Doh, then pick it up, douse it with icing sugar and roll it into small gum balls. Impatient, I pop one in my mouth, fearful of what I'm about to chew. Luckily, the crème brûlée dominates and it's surprisingly tasty.
The foie gras is definitely in there, but it's the custard-like, vanilla backbone that lingers. I finish rolling my pea green gum balls and pop them into a tiny white Bompas & Parr box. For their next trick the boys want to go one further and create a gum that changes flavour mid-chew, from savoury to sweet, recreating the Three-Course Dinner Chewing Gum Violet Beauregarde has the misfortune of eating when still in the testing phase in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, turning her into a giant blueberry. Wonka would be proud.
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Monday, 25 October 2010
Wine and the City catches up with master chocolatier William Curley to get his opinions on wine and chocolate matching, and find out about his latest project: recreating classics like the Jaffa Cake and Bounty bar.
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Saturday, 23 October 2010
Monday, 18 October 2010
Sunday, 17 October 2010
Nobu and Zuma dominate London's modern Japanese dining scene, gaining column inches as much for their celebrity clientele as for their food. Sumosan is something of a modest younger sister flying slightly under the radar.