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[Preview] Sharing Stories: An Italian Dining Experience & an Exclusive 2-4-1 Ticket Offer for Eat Like a Girl Readers (In Partnership with Peroni Nastro Azzurro Alta)

This post was sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Alta. I attended the preview dinner of Sharing Stories: A New Italian Dining Experience, details of which are here.  The dinner is a once off, on Wednesday 26th November at Daphne’s in London, and includes 3 cocktails, complimentary Peroni Nastro Azzurro Alta, and a bespoke menu created by Daphne’s head chef.  A special 2-4-1 offer is available exclusively for Eat Like a Girl readers. Details are at the end of the post. The dinner is to celebrate the launch of Alta, a new sharing bottle designed to be enjoyed with friends. All photos were provided by Peroni, the editorial is mine.

To showcase the launch of the new Alta bottle, Peroni is hosting an exclusive supper club at Daphne’s in South Kensington. Sharing Stories: An Italian Dining Experience will be a multi course feast created by Daphne’s Head Chef, Michael Brown. It will bring to life the diners’ most memorable Italian experiences through taste, smell and sound. The entire night will be created from the diners’ impressions of Italy, with each course inspired by the guests’ memories. These will also shape the cocktails, décor and music for the evening giving guests an entirely bespoke experience.

Daphne’s, where Sharing Stories will be hosted, is a well respected and very popular restaurant which has been serving classic Italian food in Kensington for 50 years now. The food was very good and plentiful, seven dishes in total, including sensational gamberoni with chilli and garlic, an excellent mushroom risotto and beef carpaccio served with lots of fresh truffle. There was lots of Peroni, served in the new Alta bottle, and the cocktails were twists on classics, with – of course – some Peroni involved.
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Review: Barrafina, Adelaide St, London

Barrafina Adelaide St seems to be London’s new favourite restaurant. I can’t bear hype, and I loathe queues, but I love the original Barrafina so I braved it. The queue wasn’t that much a of a drama in the end, you get to have a drink at the counter while you wait. There were 4 of us and we waited about 45 minutes. Which flew by.

If you are not in the know, Barrafina is a Spanish tapas bar, the original is on Frith St in Soho, the newest sibling on Adelaide St, between Charing Cross and Trafalgar Square and just up the road from Terroirs (which I love). Diners are seated along a curved counter which circles the kitchen, the room is buzzy and smart.

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Mayfields, Wilton Way: Go, While You Still Can (You Have a Week)

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This is the briefest review that I have ever written but it really just a quick heads up for all you Londoners. Mayfields in Wilton Way is closing on Saturday 27th. It is a terrific restaurant and has had nothing but rave reviews. The food (from Matthew Young ex Wapping Project) is smart, flavourful and very creative. The room is bustling, run brilliantly by Clare Roberson (ex Shacklewell Nights), the wine list (from Borough Wines) is eclectic and very affordable. When I heard it was closing I booked twice, and this speedy post is a review of those visits, and to urge you to go, while you still can. It is a reminder too for all of us that we need to support great restaurants, especially local ones, or we will lose them. These photos are from my first meal last week. Must orders: lemon sole & grouse and not pictured from last night the mushroom, egg yolk, orange & seaweed; raw razor clams; chocolate mousse and octopus with lardo and dill bobby beans.

Price range: We paid approximately £50 each for 3 courses and wine.
5/5

Mayfields, 52 Wilton Way, London E8 1BG
020 7254 8311

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New Cooking Classes: Handmade Pasta Class & Feast Available to Book Now

So you know all of that fresh hand made and hand rolled pasta that I have been obsessing over? And the new classes that I promised? Well, here they are! I am scheduling 3 (small) classes only, and they are longer than normal too, running for a full day so that we can cover a lot of pasta ground. They are in Lambeth in central London this time, in a lovely kitchen that has a great prep area and dining area. As with all my classes, this is very sociable, and the price includes wine and a proper pasta feast.

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Busiate, Malloreddus & Orecchiette

Handmade pasta is such a joy, and once you get the hang of it, very easy and speedy. It tastes much better than most you have had too. I am very excited to share everything I have learned and to feast with you.

The class incorporates lots of my Italian travels, and some classic pasta dishes that you know (Tagliatelle with Ragu from Emilia Romagna) and some you might not (Malloreddus with Sausage Ragu from Sardinia). We will make 8 pasta shapes in total & 8 dishes incorporating them all. You will learn how to make all of the sauces too. We will finish with a pasta feast, and you can take the rest home, of course.

  1. Tagliatelle (Bologna – served as is traditional with ragu)
  2. Tortelli (Parma – Tortelli d’Erbetta, a fresh egg pasta dough stuffed with ricotta & greens in a butter sauce)
  3. Garganelli – (Emilia Romagna – served in a prosciutto & pea sauce)
  4. Passatelli (Emilia Romagna – a pasta made of egg, breadcrumbs, nutmeg & parmesan, served in chicken broth)
  5. Malloreddus (Sardinia – served with a sausage ragu)
  6. Orecchiette (Puglia – served with broccoli and anchovies)
  7. Busiate (Sicily – served with Trapanese Pesto)
  8. Spaghetti alla Chitarra (Roman style in a classic carbonara with guanciale)

Sounds good, eh?

Places are limited to just 12 per class. Book now on PayPal (links below), or contact me by email (niamh at eatlikeagirl dot com), to arrange a direct payment. Classes run from 10.30am to 4.30pm and include hands on tuition, lunch & wine.

Note: this is obviously not a vegetarian class, but if vegetarians are interested, I can look at adapting it. Just email me.

Please see Terms & Conditions at the end of the page before booking.

Full Day Handmade Pasta Class on Saturday 18th October 10.30am – 4.30pmbook this class now on PayPal

Full Day Handmade Pasta Class on Saturday 8th November 10.30am – 4.30pm – book this class now on PayPal

Full Day Handmade Pasta Class on Saturday 29th November 10.30am – 4.30pm – book this class now on PayPal

Reviews of previous classes:

Comfort & Spice Class Review from AT Culture / Diary of a Food Perve

Bacon Masterclass Review from Simply Splendiferous (with lovely watercolour illustrations too!)

Bacon Master Class – Gastronomical Heights

Foodycat: Bacon Masterclass with Eat Like A Girl

Terms & Conditions

Ticket dates are not transferable – once you book / commit to a particular date, you are tied to that date. These classes are very expensive to run, deliberately small and are only profitable with a full attendance. I have had terrible problems with people changing dates multiple times and then cancelling and demanding refunds. If you can no longer make the date I can try and help you find someone to buy it from you, or if there is a waiting list, sell it to someone on that list.

If the classes don’t sell enough to meet my costs, I reserve the right to cancel the class, with a full refund, at a weeks notice. I am confident that this won’t happen with these classes, but it is best that I say so, just in case.

Thank you and sorry to be painful about this, but I have learned the hard way.

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Meatopia London & Josh Ozersky’s Dirty Steaks

Meatopia rolled into town again last weekend. A US food institution and brainchild of food writer Josh Ozersky, this was their second year in London. Meatopia gathers the best chefs, butchers, artisans, evangelists and burgerati and has them cook over fire – and only fire – for the weekend at Tobacco Dock. Only the best naturally raised and ethically sourced meat is used.

Chefs this year came from all over the UK, the US, Singapore & Brazil. Mixed in with all of this was an American Whisky Bar, some pretty raucous live music and dancing. Lots of fun & great food. Here are my highlights and your guide on how to cook Dirty Steaks at home.

(Some of) the burgers of Meatopia – Fred Smith’s Dream Burger (made with 60% Welsh wagyu short rib beef and chuck); the MeisterShack Burger from Mark Rosati of Shake Shack; 60 day aged beef burger with American cheese & bacon in a traditional sesame seed bun from Zan Kaufman of Bleecker Burger.

Charlie Carroll / Flatiron’s Whole Spit Roast Dexter, served in a yorkshire pudding with fresh horseradish cream.

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Sunday Bacon Club at the Underground Cookery School

Underground Cookery School_Dining Space

It has been a while since my last Sunday Bacon Club at the Underground Cookery School, and not long to the next, and it strikes me that I have yet to write about it. Which would be a shame as it was so much fun, is different to any class that I have ever done, more sociable than ever (and my classes are always pretty sociable), with as many drinks as you like, lots of bacon – natch – but  not just bacon. I am talking about candied bacon fudge, (my) bacon jam, candied bacon flapjacks, buttermilk and bacon waffles for brunch drenched in maple syrup.

OH YES. You need to know about it. There is only one more in the diary for the foreseeable, so if you are interested, you need to book that too. I have been too busy, ill, then travelling, to advertise it or do anything practical. The first one sold out, and I hope the next one will too.

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Sunday Bacon Club is hosted at the Underground Cookery School near Old St in London, so very central. It felt unfair to drag you out of your scratchers* too early, and so Sunday Bacon Club starts at a deeply respectable 11am. When you arrived you are greeted with tea, coffee, biscuits, and (within reason) whatever your heart desires. Hell, you can have beer or wine, if you want (or need) to.

The Underground Cookery School is a lovely large space. I lead the class, and work with their chefs who support me throughout, and wonderful they were too. Super warm and hospitable, they ensured that no fudge was scorched, no glass was without being topped up, and they kept on top of the wash up too. All ensuring that all anyone at Sunday Bacon Club had to do was cook, chat, eat, drink and be merry. And it meant that I had lots of time to be hands on too.

We spent the first 3 hours cooking, and I was busy so I took no photographs at the class itself, I will rectify this next time!  Then it was time to focus our attention on waffles (buttermilk and bacon waffles for the next Sunday Bacon Club, a recipe from my next book, not published yet), American style pancakes and even more bacon. Some greens too, and plenty of (the very best) eggs, for balance. Seated around a large central table, everyone ate their fill, and chatted and laughed. It was a fantastic day, and I wish I could do Sunday Bacon Club more often.

There are still places for the next Sunday Bacon Club at the Underground Cookery School on Sunday April 6th. I hope you can make it, it is a lot of fun, and very delicious.

Book your place for Sunday Bacon Club on Sunday 6th April on Paypal by clicking this link :)

Reviews of previous classes:

Comfort & Spice Class Review from AT Culture / Diary of a Food Perve

Bacon Masterclass Review from Simply Splendiferous (with lovely watercolour illustrations too!)

Bacon Master Class – Gastronomical Heights

Foodycat: Bacon Masterclass with Eat Like A Girl

*scratchers is Dublin slang for bed, and I love it.

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Review: The Lockhart, London

The Lockhart, London

The Lockhart, London

January was not a hugely successful month for dining for me. Not that I was on some dry January mission, January, of all months, needs decadence and I will never do that. I ate out a lot and had some good meals, but rarely anything exceptional. Then I went to The Lockhart and had my faith restored.

The Lockhart opened last year but not well. So they got a new chef, changed the menu, closed and worked on it before opening again in January. I was meeting two food loving friends for dinner, and booked at the last minute after one friend objected to the original reservation elsewhere. Expectations were high. Very.

The Lockhart, London

The Lockhart, London

We sat by the kitchen, a bright vivid space, and watched the chefs gently choreograph our meal. Brad McDonald leads the kitchen, a well respected American chef who now cooks southern food in London. And lucky us. We ordered pretty much everything between us (the menu is not overwhelming and is perfect for this).[Read more]

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Review: House of Ho [Vietnamese, Soho, London]

House of Ho, Soho

House of Ho, Soho

Bobby Chin is well know for his TV exploits, however, he also owns two very well regarded restaurants in Hanoi & Saigon. Now, a third in London has been added to the list in an impressive double fronted site on Old Compton St in Soho. The official opening day  was January the 6th, although they were operating in soft launch over Christmas. I popped in earlier this week.

First impressions are good. The space is vibrant and buzzy and the menu looks promising. We started with cocktails, I had a horny devil simply because I can’t resist chilli anywhere, even in my drinks. With lemongrass vodka, Vietnamese devil’s chilli (floating menacingly on the top of the cocktail) and fresh coconut, it was fresh and sharp with a lovely gentle heat.[Read more]

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Last Call for Sunday Bacon Club Xmas Presents!

Sunday Bacon Club has proved a very popular present for Xmas this year, so if you are stuck for a present for a bacon loving friend or family member, look no further! I can send you a voucher by email ASAP after you have booked it.

What is Sunday Bacon Club?

The Sunday Bacon Club will run from 11am – 3pm (it is Sunday after all, and I know most brunch fans love a lie in), and will consist of

– arrival drinks / snacks

– 3 hour long masterclass with previews of recipes from Project: BACON, and also including some classics from past classes (chipotle bacon jam, maple candied bacon, bacon fudge). The classes are 100% hands on, and you will make everything you make yourself, and from scratch, with support from me and chefs that I hire to support me

– brunch, glorious bacon brunch, with a bacon bloody mary and wine

The venue is the very spacious and smart Underground Cookery School. Brilliantly located a 5 minute walk from Old St station, this school is a lovely sociable space with everything we might need to help make bacon even more brilliant. There is a great dining space for brunch too. Finally, they are licensed, and so I can serve you lot wine, while you cook.

If you want to book, you can email me, or you can book via paypal or email me at niamh@eatlikeagirl.com. Christmas present? I can send you a snazzy voucher, just let me know.

Sunday Bacon Club – Sunday 16th February – book on paypal now

Sunday Bacon Club – Sunday 30th March – book on paypal now

Reviews of previous classes:

Comfort & Spice Class Review from AT Culture / Diary of a Food Perve

Bacon Masterclass Review from Simply Splendiferous (with lovely watercolour illustrations too!)

Bacon Master Class – Gastronomical Heights

Foodycat: Bacon Masterclass with Eat Like A Girl

Terms & Conditions

Ticket dates are not transferable – once you book / commit to a particular date, you are tied to that date, unless there is a serious issue that could not be avoided.  I have had terrible problems with people changing dates multiple times and then cancelling and demanding refunds, which makes these classes a nightmare to run. If you can no longer make the date I can help you find someone to buy it from you.

If the classes don’t sell enough to meet my costs, I reserve the right to cancel the class, with a full refund, at a weeks notice. I am confident that this won’t happen with these classes, but it is best that I say so, just in case.

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Announcing: Sunday Bacon Club (A Bacon Masterclass & Bacon Brunch) – Book Your Place Now

I love teaching my bacon masterclasses. Over the course of the 3 hour class everyone chats, and gets to know each other, but then everyone has to go home. Bacon is a terrific social glue. With the general excitement about the class, the quirkiness of the recipes, the smells (oh, those smells), then finally the deliciousness as you eat it, it always seems a shame to just go. So, I looked into ways that I could extend the classes.

What to do? Evenings are too short once you leave work, so I looked at Sleepy Sunday and thought, well what about a class then? Followed by brunch? When there is no time pressure, and people can relax, and have some wine while they cook, and then after with brunch? Sounds good, doesn’t it? 

The venue is the very spacious and smart Underground Cookery School. Brilliantly located a 5 minute walk from Old St station, this school is a lovely sociable space with everything we might need to help make bacon even more brilliant. There is a great dining space for brunch too. Finally, they are licensed, and so I can serve you lot wine, while you cook.

Now you know I love brunch. I previously ran a Brunch Club to celebrate the launch of my first book, Comfort & Spice, (which has a whole chapter on it, and so does my next book Project: BACON too). I ran a pop up Brunch Cafe at Irish Music & Arts Festival Electric Picnic (and won an award for it too!). This time, we will have bacon waffles and eggs and buttered greens. A bacon bloody mary to wash it down? So many ideas, a whole bacon brunch chapter to eat through. Sunday Bacon Club? Bring it on.

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Preview: Foxlow, St John St, London

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St John St is a busy street, and in a very good way. Home to St John’s restaurant (from Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver), and also wine bar & restaurant Vinoteca (across the road), with Bistro Bruno Loubet (which I have eaten at 3 times but neglected to blog, a huge oversight), and The Zetter Townhouse around the corner (one of my favourite spots for drinks and bar snacks). There are lots more and I could type all day, but my point is, that this isn’t an area that has been crying out for great new restaurants. This hasn’t stopped the Hawksmoor team from taking a stab at it, and given their pedigree (I am a fan of their Hawksmoor steakhouses and bar), I was curious as to what they planned to deliver and how. I knew that this wasn’t going to be another Hawksmoor, but I was expecting it to be quite meaty. And so it was. In a very good way.[Read more]

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London: Jacob Harrison Pastrami (Montreal Style Pastrami in London and it is the Real Deal)

“Square pastrami makes me so angry! I have to avoid that counter in the supermarket every time”.

An unusual conversation to be having in a park in North London, perhaps. Over a portable gas burner and a pot containing a vacuum packed bag of meat. Stranger still was that it was with a someone that I had never met before and knew vaguely only through the internet. However, I had heard great things about Jacob Harrison’s Montreal style pastrami and I had to try it. Even if that meant that we had to meet somewhere in between (to be fair, he had offered to meet me at my place and invited me over to his, but I only had an hour to spare so this was the best that we could do at the time).

Montreal smoked meat (aka pastrami) is famous. Schwartz’s Deli is a first stop for most travellers to Montreal – myself included. When I last visited and requested a sandwich, the waiter looked at me and said, “have you tried the pastrami from elsewhere?” He continued “I did and now I know why we have such long queues here.” It was so innocent and confident, yes, but deservedly so. On both of my trips to Montreal, I have eaten there.

Jacob Harrison Pastrami

Jacob Harrison Pastrami

Corey, the man behind Jacob Harrison, was missing it deeply. His family had a deli when he was growing up and this was his only connection, but tired of and so depressed by what we here consider pastrami, he developed his own recipe with his own spice mix, using rare UK beef. I tasted it, and not only was it fabulous, it was at least on a par with Schwartz’s. Moist and rich with fat (fat is key to flavour), it made a perfect sandwich with mustard and sourdough bread. Montreallers and pastrami passionistas, please note, Jacob Harrison’s pastrami is smoked, so it isn’t exactly like Schwartz’s, but they are not trying to copy Schwartz’s here, it is just my point of reference.[Read more]

Manicomio City Steak & Chianti Night
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Preview: Manicomio City Steak & Chianti Nights

I recently found myself in the Gutter, no, sorry, Gutter Lane in East London. Manicomio City, an offshoot of the original Manicomio in Chelsea, are offering a Chianti & Steak Night Special until the end of November. I laid my waistline on the -er- line and went to check it out for you.

On offer is a Longhorn T-Bone (750g) from the Ginger Pig, and a bottle of 2009 Castellare Di Castellina, Chianti Classico. The steak is available at lunchtime to share for £45 and the wine also retails at £45, so it is a bit of a bargain at £65 for both. The Ginger Pig is pretty well known in London now, and like most food obsessives, I am familiar with their steak, both from the Ginger Pig butcher shops and also steakhouse Hawksmoor, which uses their steaks exclusively. Great meat and steaks, and I especially love the blue cheese taste the Longhorn fat has. Fabulous.

The offer is for the steak and wine, excluding sides and starters and desserts (should you want them), but I am always looking for great gnocchi so tried the gnocchi with tuscan sausage and fennel ragu first. The gnocchi were pillow light and the ragu deep and rich with the fennel lifting it. My friend had the rabbit papardelle with leeks, capers and lemon – and of course I had a taste – another lovely rich tender ragu with the capers and lemon giving it piquancy and freshness.

Gnocchi with Tuscan sausage and fennel ragu

Gnocchi with Tuscan sausage and fennel ragu

Rabbit pappardelle with leeks, capers and lemon

Rabbit pappardelle with leeks, capers and lemon

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