Month: August 2010

Posh Lunch Club: Living it Large at Viajante

Life is for living eh? And I do know how to indulge. Viajante,  new player in the playground that is London’s restaurant scene, offers something different in the gentle wilds of Hackney. Nestled in the new hotel at Bethnal Green Town Hall, it is  a mere 10 minutes on the train from my flat, and I have found myself there three times. That’s not the only reason I have gone of course, being a Londoner, I am spoiled for places to spend my hard earned dosh and can relieve myself of my salary in eating establishments in record times  should I choose to (I try not to very often, there is rent and all that!). I do like what Nuno Mendes is doing at Viajante though, and they do a tremendous posh lunch. I had been awaiting the launch for some time. I must be one of the few bloggers in London at the time to miss his previous restaurant Bacchus, and I’d heard great things about what he would do in Hackney. Often hailed as …

A Sneak Peek: Posh Lunch Club at Viajante

Well, hello there strangers! Apologies for the radio silence but I have had no internet. No internet?! Liberating and detrimental at the same time, I am back now and you can expect a few posts from me over the coming days to make up for it. Today, I am afraid I am useless. Sleep deprived with few words of my own, I am fit to only crawl into a corner with my book (a good one it is too – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). I have a had a wee tummy upset, grim at worst, tiring at best. However, in advance of my next post – Posh Lunch Club at Viajante (Oooooo-er!) – I would like to share some photos of a 3 course set lunch that I had at Viajante some months ago (mid May), but never got around to writing about. To whet your appetite in the short-term, while I gather mine. I’ll be back soon, brim full of energy and bubbling with words to tell you all about the 6 …

Book Review: Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Food Critic by Ruth Reichl

It’s summer. A time of escape and holiday. When stuck at home, what better way to escape than with a great book? There is a particular type of book that I love: the food memoir. Stories and anecdotes punctuated with recipes. Recipes of significance, from childhood and striking occasions, recipes that evoke memories and feelings, and warmth. Sometimes detailing such intimacy you feel you are in it, and when you finish the book it is with sadness, as all of the people you got to know, disappear. I always seek them out, and recommend them to friends. I started to wonder why I wasn’t recommending them to you, so here you are. The first review in what will be many recommendations of books that you can escape in. Gifted to me by a friend some years ago, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Food Critic is one of these lovely books. Authored by Ruth Reichl, ex editor of Gourmet and prior to that, critic for the NY Times, it’s a captivating read. I …

Recipe: Spaghetti with Slow Cooked Tomatoes & Prawns

It was the day after my cousins wedding and I was tired. I had had an extraordinarily busy week and lots of rich food, and I found myself craving something fresh, comforting and healthy. My sister and I surveyed our options and thought – take away – as neither of us had the energy to cook. Thoughts of rich creamy Indian food quickly persuaded me that I should though. My tum couldn’t take anymore. I love staying at my sisters house. It’s lovely to be home with family. They’re amazingly hospitable, even as I laze and graze, and it’s lovely to see my tiny 14 month old niece. There’s also her lovely garden with herbs and salad growing a plenty. We agreed I’d cook and I surveyed the larder. Prawns, small juicy tomatoes, parsley & thyme from the garden, white wine and spaghetti. Fresh bright flavours, tastes of the sea and comfort. The deal was done. I started with 8 small tomatoes, bigger than cherries but about half the size of normal tomatoes, they were …

A Demonstration & Tasting of the Art of Confectionery: Romanengo at Petersham Nurseries

I embrace most foods and have few food hates. There are some that require a pep talk – tripe and drisheen would be an example, but there are some that have made me bawk. Hello dried fruit – particularly raisins. I hate them. I really do. I attribute this to a kilo bag of raisins I ate as a child, and promptly vomited back up. Silly business. In recent years I have discovered some that I enjoy though, those big Spanish ones that are a dull green, juicy and tender and wonderful in salads, dried mangos and pineapple grace my table too. And then I realised that I was being really silly, so I have reintroduced them to my diet. I still hate those small brown raisins though. Why would you do that to a grape?! Romanengo, the Genovese confectioner could have converted me immediately. They do wonderful things with dried fruits and since 1780 have been conserving fruits and flowers with skills transferred through the generations. Dried fruits is a poor term for their wonderful …