Month: June 2008

Taste of London

I quite like festivals, they’re lots of fun. An opportunity to socialise, try new things, and, come the summer, that might even involve sunshine. This was the case yesterday with Taste of London, an annual food festival that takes place in Regent’s Park and showcases some of the best food that London has to offer. Added to that there’s tastings, talks and demonstrations. It runs over four days, Thursday to Sunday. Sunday was the day we went, and fortunately for us, had the best weather. We got down there for the opening at 12pm, determined to get the most out of the day. It wasn’t so busy at this point, and almost the first thing I saw was the Aitkens brothers walking purposefully towards the stage, decked out in their whites & aprons, preparing for a demonstration. We lingered a while, but we were keen to do some wine tasting. Unfortunately, we weren’t alone, there was already an enormous queue when we got down there, so we decided to grab a bite, a glass of …

Haozhan

I am a little late with this one, I am possibly the last food blogger to write about Haozhan. I’ve wanted to go since it opened, but never did and I think this is because it is in Chinatown. This made me nervous, as, generally the best Chinese food in London is found outside of Chinatown. I like going there for their grocery shops, and, go frequently for sichuan pepper, spring roll wrappers and random treats. I enjoy the bakeries and their dairy free semi-savoury delights. But, with few exceptions, the restaurants are not great. However, I continued to read good things and I decided I should really try it. Hoazhan comes with solid credentials – Jimmy Kong of New Fook Lam Moon opened it with Chee Loong Cheong, formerly of Hakkasan, in the kitchen. Hakkasan is one of Alan Yau’s famed establishments and one of London’s few michelin starred Chinese restaurants. It offers sophisticated Chinese fusion food, but, is in the upper echelons of my current budgetary restrictions, so it was good to get …

Broad beans, green garlic & mint bruschetta

I love this time of year. By now I’ve been eating gorgeous seasonal asparagus for about 6 weeks. I should be getting sick of it but I never do. The end of the asparagus season would be depressing, if it were not for the start of the broad bean season with an overlap of a couple of weeks to facilitate gorgeous salads, or, for indulging in any number of dishes with broad beans in the starring role, as I did here. I was at Marylebone Farmer’s Market at the weekend, rushing as always to get there before it closes at 2pm, and I was quite delighted to find that, as part of Marylebone Summer Village Fayre, it would be open until 5pm. There was the added bonus of new stallholders, albeit just for one week, including the Garlic Farm from the Isle of Wight with their amazing arrays of garlics and garlic products, including elephant garlic and green garlic. Now green garlic is something that I haven’t had before. I know! What kind of foodie …

Sake Tasting Menu from Akashi Sake Brewery Co. & Tsuru

I was at a wonderful event the other night, and I really want to tell you about it but before I do, I want to clarify, for any new readers, that I am not one to write about something because I’ve gotten a freebie. I take great care to ensure that everything I recommend here is of quality and value. I don’t want to waste your time or mine, nor do I want you to feel that this blog isn’t worth reading as my reviews are unreliable, or, perish the thought, that I am easily bought. This event was great, and there’s a couple of things to recommend to you as a result, added to this, it was a really nice experience and one that I would like to share. Ok, now on with the review! I had the pleasure of being invited to a sake tasting event at Tsuru in Southwark, London. This was presented by Wakana Omija of the Akashi Sake Brewery Co., an artisanal sake and shochu producer and Tsuru, a Japanese …

Meme Catch-up

One of the great things about blogging, is interacting with other bloggers – it’s inspiring, friendly and creative. There’s lots of ways of interacting – leaving comments, email, even just reading, but there’s also lots of memes lurking around, encouraging us to disclose more than say, our latest dinner recipe, or meal in Soho, and to participate in this wonderful thing we call the blogosphere, but I’ve fallen behind and have a few to catch up on. So, now folks, it’s time for some extreme participative blogging. I am going to catch up on my memes. Brace yourselves, or ignore and wait for my next post. I promise not to take too long :-)

Sweetcorn fritters with tomato and avocado salsa

I went to a friends yesterday for dinner and she made the most beautiful sweetcorn and roast red pepper fritters with salsa. I had to try and recreate something similar tonight and I am very happy with the results, so unusually, I am happy to blog immediately and encourage you to try them. Sweetcorn fritters remind me fondly of a holiday in Australia a couple of years ago when I had them for breakfast and had one of those – why haven’t I had these for brekfast before! – revelations. They also remind me of my vegetarian years, when, not a fan of meat substitutes, I instead indulged in sweetcorn fingers and fritters and the like. The texture is wonderful, and each piece of sweetcorn is just bursting with flavour. With a side of avocado and tomato salsa, I challenge anyone to dislike this quick and nutritious evening staple. I kept these simple, the fritter batter contains only sweetcorn, shallots and fresh coriander with a vibrant and flavoursome salsa of heirloom tomatoes and hass avocado …