The last couple of weeks have been completely food- and fun-filled. First, there was Sparkly Date Palm’s wedding in Ireland a couple of weekends ago. Then, there was a friend’s surprise birthday party at one of Covent Garden’s iconic American imports. Later in the week, I was at a wine and food pairing evening in Canary Wharf (where plans were made to go to a pop-up restaurant in the Isle of Wight later this year). This past weekend alone saw a barbecue on a tiny central London balcony, a book launch at an Indian street food joint in Soho, and dinner at the oldest Indian restaurant in the city. The trend is set to continue – we have another wedding this week, but this time in Spain. On the way to the wedding, we’ll be stopping at a famous suckling pig restaurant in Segovia. I managed to squeeze in a few gym sessions over the past few days, but I don’t think it’s going to help – I’m on track for spontaneous explosion!
With all of these food experiences to rival the schedule of an APEC summit, it’s hard to choose which one (or ones) to talk about. Since Cinnamon and Truffle have promised to tell you about a variety of things, including our food findings, I thought I’d share with you a few highlights and discoveries from the past weeks. This is food-blogging, tapas-style!
Wedding in Dublin * This was wonderful for a whole lot of reasons, including the beautiful couple, and their lovely, welcoming family (the Irish are my favourite people on the planet). The food highlight was the wedding cake, with all three layers of sponge, chocolate and fruit having been home-made. I’d never had a home-made cake at a wedding before, and it was simply delicious – nothing like the usual plastic fruit cake which most wedding venues offer. Nice one, Sparkly Date Palm!
Asia de Cuba, Covent Garden * I’m not a huge fan of this place, it being a pretty expensive version of cheap and cheerful. But we had a memorable dish of seared tender scallops, which came with a creamy sweetcorn sauce and caramelized onions. Something I’m definitely going to try to replicate at home. If it works, I’ll share the recipe!
Battery, Canary Wharf * In ten years or so, when the East End becomes the in place to be in London, Battery is going to become the penthouse restaurant everyone wants to go to. It’s located at a bend in the river on the West-side of the Wharf, and so it offers a great view over the heaving Thames and towards the Gherkin end of the City (behind which the sun very aptly sets). A real find here was the Cremant de Bourgogne, Moingeon, Blanc de Blanc, an excellent French sparkling wine from Burgundy (and therefore made from Chardonnay). It would be perfect as a daytime sparkly aperitif, when you’re having friends over and you’re not feeling like an overly uptight, dry, evening-gown-type champagne.
Mooli’s, Soho * Started up by two ex-corporates (one of them an ex-lawyer who also found the road to freedom), Mooli’s is one of the early movers on the Indian street food scene in London. It totally makes sense to me – after an evening out, why go for a kebab and chips when you can have a fresh roti with healthful ingredients? Their goat mini-mooli, with tender cubes of goat meat and potato, with refreshing red onion wrapped in a warm roti was pretty good. I’m going to try wrapping some spiced lamb and potato (avec garnish) in a chapatti at home and - although it won’t be the same as Mooli’s - see if it works as a quick lunch. Watch this space for a recipe.
That’s this week’s round-up! Next week I’ll report back from España (and hopefully tell you about real tapas...)