Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Food over London and the Tentacles of Doom

Always keen to try something different, so after being inspired by the octopus dish at Opera Tavern, and Anthony Bourdains' No reservations in Lisbon, I wanted to recreate my own version. Good octopus isn't the most easiest to source with most supermarkets selling puny white things that are no doubt accountable for most comments of 'octopus just tastes like rubber' as well as inadequate cooking methods. Also, the internet is awash with loads of contradictory advice until I stumbled upon this video from Tom Kitchen.
I picked up a large atlantic octopus from a little Portuguese cafe in Kentish Town, called Wine Cellar, a gem of a place, the espressos and pastéis de nata they do are amazing. They also have a sizeable amount of Portuguese produce including Bacalhau and a great selection of frozen seafood. Downstairs is a huge wine cellar (as the name suggests), so it's well worth checking out if you are in the area. Since the octopus is frozen the first part of the tenderising process is already done.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Pitt Cue Co

Pitt Cue Co @PittCueCo
1 Newburgh St, Soho

Pitt Cue Co 1 year after opening is still as popular as ever, the fanfare for it is clearly still yet to die down. On the first week of January with hardly anyone back at work, empty streets, tumble weed floating about, and yet still have to wait for a seat at 6pm at PCC. This is testament to what they do here, some of the best BBQ meat in London. Queues are synonymous with Pitt Cue, even in it's 'early' days as the trailer at South Bank often had it's own snaking queue. With incredible quality meat, from such places as Philip Warren butchers, it's something unlike anything else in town at the moment. Despite visiting the trailer a few times to devour the pulled pork, big ode and the brisket, it's been a while coming to get here.

Friday, 18 January 2013

High and (mostly) Dry

Duck & Waffle (@DuckandWaffle)
Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY

Duck N' Waffle
Zooming up in the much-discussed Roald Dahl-like glass elevator to the 40th floor of the Heron Tower is as much the exhilarating, if nerve-shattering, experience as has been discussed in other blogs. Once at the top, you are lead to the main dining room, a surprisingly intimate affair, with floor-to-ceiling windows surrounding three quarters of the space. The panoramic view here is largely unbroken and the table setting allows for pretty modest views even for the middle tables (unlike our experience with Galvin at Windows). We went for breakfast in this case, but they are impressively open all night. I'm guessing this for the benefit of the more industrious workers in the city, as well as late night revellers looking for something more adventurous than the standard dirty doner (must be quite a sight at 2 am!).

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Brasserie Zédel

Brasserie Zédel
20 Sherwood street

In a side street just off the hustle and bustle of central tourist haven Picadilly, the Uk's equivalent of Times Square lit up at night with advertising hoardings, lies a subterranean space unlike any you are likely to find in London.  The place is grandeur of the highest level, bordering towards the obscene. The amount of marble and lighting is on an epic scale. The dining room, with over 250 seats is more the size of a small field, and is packed out, even the grand piano looks diminutive at the side of the room. Despite it's size it's not that easy to get a walk-in, booking is recommended. For those of you unappreciative of the latest 'no reservation' trend, this is what you've been looking for. The cuisine is classical French, and while not in vogue, this place should be around for much longer than most, unless the upkeep of all the marble and brass puts them into liquidation.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Free Company @ House of Wolf

House of Wolf
181 Upper street, Islington

With London still revelling in 'pop-up' restaurants and short term chef residencies, House of Wolf has arisen trying to strike while the iron is hot, with the promise of experimental dining. Experiments are always a risk, but at House of Wolf  they simply relinquish control to the latest upcoming chefs with a series of residencies and pop-ups back to back. Most recently they had in Blanch & Shock to mixed reviews. This time round was a very short 4 day residency from Free Company, a trio of upcoming chefs most notably from the Salt Yard group, already a plus for me having so many times revisted Opera Tavern. I didn't want to miss them this time after hearing good things at their stint in the Endurance.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Street food revolution

The list of great street food places is almost never ending, from KERB to Broadway market, London is truly spoilt for choice. New vendors are popping up all the time and we have got on board the revolving door that is 'London's best street food'. Make sure to check out their twitter feeds to make sure where they are on a particular day.