#ESCAPISM25 A Sepcial Report on the Refugee Crisis
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Sometimes, when I’m sat in my favourite armchair soon after Christmas, playing with my Lego pirate ship and forlornly knocking back the dregs of a bottle of Tia Maria, I start to wonder whether it’s worth all the hassle. If we got rid of those painfully drawn-out months of foreplay, the battleground of the Christmas Eve supermarket dash, and the ritualistic force-feeding and binge-drinking of the day itself, would any of us actually miss it? I’ve thought about this quite a lot in the last few weeks, and I reckon I would. I quite enjoy being swept along on the relentless tide of hype and festive fluff – though I could do without the tedious arms race of crushing whimsy played out by the major retailers during seasonal TV ad breaks. I even enjoy Christmas dinner itself, in the way you have to when you’ve spent what seems like days pressing cloves into a giant onion to prepare the bread sauce, and when you got out of bed ten hours early to get the turkey on so it’s ready just in time to miss the Queen’s Speech. I also quite like Brussels sprouts, I’ll have a tantrum if you don’t set fire to the Christmas pudding, and no cracker joke will ever disappoint me (What does Miley Cyrus eat at Christmas? Twerky. TWERKY!!!). The whole thing terrifies and thrills me in equal measure, drawing me in like a moth to a brandy flame. Like a wise man said: “Once bitten and twice shy. I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye.” If you’d rather avoid it altogether, I sympathise completely – but this year, like every year, I’ll be going full-Christmas. Don’t hold the bread sauce. f
Our sister travel title, escapism magazine, is doing something different this month, highlighting the plight of people for whom travel isn’t a choice. Read more and find out how you can get involved at escapismmagazine.com/ the-refugee-crisis
GRAZING 008 LOCAL HEROES 012 STREET FOOD FIGHT 015 THE RADAR 016 WEAPONS OF CHOICE 020 RECIPES
FEAST 028 INSIDE TEA 034 YOSHIHIRO MURATA 040 UMAMI: GOOD TASTE 046 BRITISH CHARCUTERIE 052 MIXOLOGY
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060 TRAVEL: MANCHESTER 066 BOTTLE SHOP 073 CHRISTMAS FOOD & DRINK 085 THE DIGEST 090 THE SELECTOR
008 THE FOODIST | 010 LOCAL HEROES | 012 STREET FOOD FIGHT 015 THE RADAR | 016 WEAPONS OF CHOICE | 020 RECIPES
— PART 1 —
GRAZE “A COLLECTIVE OF STREETFOOD TRADERS WILL TRAVEL TO CALAIS TO COOK UP FOOD FOR REFUGEES” THE FOODIST, 008
As Christmas approaches, helping those in need has never tasted so good, writes Mike Gibson
LOCAL HEROES W INT E R POP-U PS
1 THE HEIGHT OF WINTER SE1 9SG; until 31 January
S ADVENT BECOMES Christmas, and the abundance of what the majority of us are lucky enough to have is there for all to see, it’s only natural to also reflect on those who live less fortunate lives. We at foodism are lucky enough to mix with some incredible social enterprises, initiatives and charities – such as Beyond Food’s (beyondfood.org.uk) FreshLife programme, which hands apprenticeships and mentoring to those suffering from, or in danger of, homelessness; FareShare (fareshare.org.uk), whose war on food waste also helps to feed more than 160,000 disadvantaged, hungry and vulnerable people in London and around the country; and ChickenTown’s (chicken-town.co.uk) brand new chicken shop in Tottenham that serves Haringey’s residents – specifically
those still in school – a healthy alternative to the capital’s ubiquitous fast-food joints, cooking low-fat, steamed chicken, running as a not-for-profit business and creating more than 40 jobs in the area in the process. Understandably, the refugee crisis, too, is inciting impassioned and creative responses from all over the industry. Take Street Aid (justgiving.com/StreetAid), for example – a collective of street food traders who will travel to Calais to cook for refugees for the second time next month. Each of these is a timely reminder that we live and work in a city full of people capable not just of creating extraordinary food and drink, but of acts of extraordinary compassion and kindness, too. f Check out more of our favourite food and drink charities at foodism.co.uk/food-for-a-cause
THE STE A MPUNK
ONCE UPON A WIGWAM EC2A 3JX; until March
Queen of Hoxton’s roof has been turned into a fantastical forest for the winter, where you’ll be drinking and eating fairytale food with the likes of Hansel & Gretel. You’ll even be able to eat the walls of the gingerbread house-inspired bar. queenofhoxton.com
Photograph by Oliver Dixon / Imagewise
Still using the teabrewing holy trinity of cup, teabag and kettle? Ah, that’s sweet. The serious teamakers (see our speciality tea feature on p28) have moved on to Alpha Dominche’s Steampunk. It uses steam-based water heating to achieve precise temperatures,
brew times that are adjustable down to the second, precise water volume adjustments, four filtration options for different mouthfeels and limitless steam delivery variations. It’s not available for at-home use (yet), but that could be just as well – it’s probably best to leave this beast to the pros first. alphadominche.com
Flavour-based experience creators Bompas & Parr have transformed The View from the Shard into a magical winter wonderland, complete with an iridescent grotto, snow drifts and quirky edible treats including Christmas candy floss. bompasandparr.co.uk
LOCAL HEROES + MORE WINTER POP-UPS
POPDOWN SE1 7NN; until 16 January
For a fishy festive fiesta, head to POPdown at The Vaults, underneath Waterloo. Contemporary dining company Cuisson will be serving up a four-course wintry menu (the cured mackerel with lovage emulsion, daikon and cucumber looks set to be a winner), and you’ll be able to take part in an Asian-themed masterclass and create your own sushi, as well as sampling bites of tuna tataki, wasabi roe and soya jelly. cuisson.co.uk
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SE8 4RZ; until 23 January
Deptford’s beloved Big Red – a huge, stationary former London bus-turned-restaurant – has received a makeover this month, courtesy of the Austrian-influenced (and brilliantly named) Fleisch Mob and its pop-up Wünderlust. The backbone of the restaurant menu is locally-sourced meat and fish and simple sides – who doesn’t love a good schnitzel? Weekends will see a late-night street-food menu to keep you going till the early hours, while the Vinyl Afternoon on Sundays means you can chill out with your favourite LPs (remember them?) while devouring a roast. wunderlustlondon.co.uk
SQUIFFY PICNIC W1B 5PW; until 25 January
Just the name Squiffy Picnic makes us want to leave our desks immediately and set off for this three-month-long pop-up at Kingly Court bar Cahoots, where they’re refusing to accept that summer is over by hosting a retro British picnic every Sunday. Choose from three memorably named hampers – Spivs & Scoundrels, Starlets & Sirens or Aristocats & Fat Cats – which include anything from Spitfire IPA to a hipflask of Sipsmith’s Damson vodka and traditional British picnic fare, and jitterbug the afternoon away with live jazz, swing and lindyhop. We’ll see you on the dancefloor… cahoots-london.com Photograph by Sebastian Boettcher; 2015 LarryJ Photography
Your seasonal health regime, analysed
THE CHRISTMAS TREE 40% ASPIRIN 8% BRUSSEL SPROUTS FIVE WAYS 12%
TREND #2: FIGHTING FIT
What you’ll be eating on Boxing Day
FOOD & DRINK CONSUMPTION
For the dedicated observer of eating habits, this time of year offers rich pickings, as we seesaw from unchecked consumption to monastic abstinence. Here, we lay the data out for all to see, and the results are genuinely shocking. Pass us another mince pie, yeah?
TREND #1: AIN’T OVER TILL IT’S OVER
AIR 15% THAT USED WRAPPING PAPER YOU JUST CAN’T BRING YOURSELF TO BIN 25%
STREET FOOD FIGHT
Kebabs. Hot dogs. Similar concepts in oh-so-different guises. When it comes to which is the superior ‘meat-in-bread’ snack, it’s a tough one to call
A frankfurter in a bun. Enough said The term ‘hot dog’ was coined in the 19th century, when it was widely suspected that sausage makers used dog meat in their produce. Lovely. Fast-forward 200 years, and you’ll find frankfurters made from the highest quality meat topped with everything from ketchup to kimchi. Aside from the fact they’re obviously pretty bloody tasty, that long bun means they’re easy to eat on the go, too.
70 Charlotte Street, W1T 4QG. A champagne bar serving hot dogs? Yep, and damn good ones, too. Our faves are The Reuben and Bao. @bubbledogsuk
Grilled meat swaddled in bread No one really knows where the kebab comes from – the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean or Turkey all seem likely – but it’s always a winning formula. The juicy grilled or roasted meat is at its best with salad and comfortingly cocooned in a warm pitta. Plus a dollop of chilli sauce, naturally.
◆◆ Laffa; various.
locations. Don’t let the fact it’s in an old horse trailer put you off – its kebabs are delicious, authentic and horse-free. @Laffastreetfood
T HE W INNE R IS
◆◆ Sesame; 23 Garrick
Street, WC2E 9BN. A dodgy kebab van this is not – it’s part of the Ottolenghi group and serves exemplary kebabs. @SesameFood
The bun’s the same shape as what’s inside – a clear street-food success
THE SIMPSONS; MARGE BE NOT PROUD (S7; E11) Homer: “I’ve figured out the boy’s punishment: First, he’s grounded. No leaving the house, not even for school. Second, no egg nog. In fact, no nog, period. And third, absolutely no stealing for 3 months.” SCROOGE SEES THE GHOST OF MARLEY IN A CHRISTMAS CAROL BY CHARLES DICKENS “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
◆◆ Big Apple Hot
Dogs; 170 Caledonian Road, N1 0SQ. A one-time street cart that’s now a permanent site selling first-rate ‘dogs and toppings. @bigapplehotdogs
CHRISTMAS FOOD AND DRINK IN FILM, TV, BOOKS AND MUSIC
ELF (2003) Buddy: “Elves stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” SUFJAN STEVENS – COME ON! LET’S BOOGEY TO THE ELF DANCE! Hijack a snow plow, clear out the streets. Tell all of the neighbours, there’s cookies to eat BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY (2001) Mark Darcy: “I realise that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude – and wearing a reindeer jumper.” BITE-SIZED
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Inspired by the traditional smörgåsbord, smorging is a much-loved Scandinavian tradition where friends get together to graze on delicious cheese and food that enhances its flavour.
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ONE-DISH WOND ERS TONY MARSDEN, VP OPERATIONS, ZOMATO UK
2015 has seen the single-item menu trend gather pace, and we see no signs of that abating in 2016. It shortcuts the choice conundrum for diners and simplifies life for restaurants, so expect more following hot on the heels of BAO, Bird, and Bone Tea. (Restaurants beginning with B are, as far as we can tell, a coincidence and not a trend). Other than the monomenu, expect 2016 to be the year when London’s long overdue boom in Burmese food finally takes place. The spectacular start enjoyed by Sri Lankan restaurant Hoppers tells us that people are crying out for new and distinctive Asian restaurants and, originating between the Indian subcontinent, Thailand and China, Myanmar’s dishes have all the influences to satisfy the intrepid London foodie. zomato.com/uk
We asked three experts to predict what we’ll be eating and drinking in 2016. Here’s what they told us…
C OM ING OF AG E
MARION CARPENTIER, GROUP FOOD AND HOSPITALITY DIRECTOR, HARVEY NICHOLS
H OP TO I T
Photographs by (beer) Chris Coulson; (chicken) Paul Winch-Furness
JAMES HICKSON, FOUNDER, WE BROUGHT BEER
Next year, I think we’ll start to see new UK hop varieties which more closely resemble the characteristics of New World hops (ie citrusy, zesty, tropical fruit aromas). These will be popular with brewers who want those flavours but would prefer to keep it local.
Session-strength beers will become more prominent as craft beer becomes more mainstream. That doesn’t mean losing the flavour, but as more pubs embrace good beer, so customers will want beers they can drink for a whole evening. This is a trend seen in the USA over the last couple of years as they move away from the ‘bigger is better’ mantra in terms of alcohol by volume. webroughtbeer.co.uk
We’re predicting that aged gin will be the gin trend of 2016. We believe that our customers will look to continue their gin journey by trying some exciting new innovations, and many of our favourite brands are experimenting in brilliant ways. Pink Pepper Gin is produced by an Australian in France and uses pink pepper, juniper and cardamom. It’s aged in Port Casks, which has imparted the gin with a wonderful roundness – along with a spicy, fruity, rich depth of flavour. Others we’re excited about include Burrough’s Reserve Gin from Beefeater – this aged gin encourages our customers to challenge their view of what a gin is; it’s complex, multi-layered and individual. harveynichols.com
WEAPONS OF CHOICE Up your beef game, get seasonal with stews and pies, and carbonate with the best of them PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON
FI ZZ K ID SODASTREAM POWER, £149.99 Thought the SodaStream went out in the 1990s? You thought wrong. The new breed is sleek, simple and – yes, really – cool. Insert regular tapwater, add flavouring if needed, and watch the carbonation process unfold before your eyes. sodastream.co.uk
B E E F IT U P 1. LAKELAND MY KITCHEN ELECTRIC MINCER, £99.99
1 2 3
If you’re serious about quality meat, shop-bought mince just won’t cut it. Grab this mincer and you’re just a quick trip to the butcher’s away from making high-grade mince at home. lakeland.co.uk
2. LE CREUSET CAST IRON GRIDDLE PAN, £99 A regular pan’s all well and good, but for perfect home-cooked steak you can’t go wrong with a griddle, which will drain fat and give you all-important char lines. selfridges.com
3. ARTHUR PRICE SOPHIE CONRAN STEAK KNIVES, £39.50 Make an impression when you’re serving with these beautiful stainless steel knives. selfridges.com
W I NT ER IS CO MING 1. TEFAL SECURE 5 NEO PRESSURE COOKER, £50-65 Cold weather got you in the mood for hearty stews? This pressure cooker locks in moisture and makes slowcooking easy as pie. johnlewis.com
2. SILVERWOOD OVAL RAISED PIE TIN, £34.99 Speaking of which, what better use for leftover turkey and gammon than a winter pie? The walls of this pie tin are removable if you want to glaze it, and it comes in other shapes. lakeland.co.uk
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◆◆ 15 mins
◆◆ 25 mins
LUXURIOUS ARTICHOKE WITH HEARTY SPELT GRAINS AND FETA – IT’S FIT FOR A NORDIC KING OR QUEEN I N GREDI EN TS ◆◆ 150g dried spelt grains ◆◆ 2 x 250g cans of artichoke
hearts, drained ◆◆ 150g feta cheese, chopped
into cubes ◆◆ ½ bunch spring onions,
sliced diagonally ◆◆ 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf
parsley ◆◆ 4-5 tbsp flaked almonds,
toasted ◆◆ Freshly squeezed lemon juice ◆◆ Olive oil, for drizzling
ORDIC FOOD SEEMS made for winter nights, but this delicious salad is great for non-guilty January eating, too. “It’s no secret that we love using grains in our salads at Scandi Kitchen,” says author and restaurateur Bronte Aurell of this dish, which exemplifies the restaurant’s focus on simple, classic dishes from Sweden and beyond. “Spelt is such a filling, wholesome grain – and it has an excellent bite to it. If you’re not a fan of spelt, you can use rye instead.”
1 Soak the grains the day before, then drain and rinse them. 2 Place in a large saucepan with a good pinch of salt and boil for approximately 22-25 minutes, or until tender but still al dente. If you haven’t pre-soaked the grains, extend the cooking time by around 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool completely. 3 Slice the artichoke hearts into large bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl and add the sliced spring onions, feta and parsley. 4 Fold in the spelt grains, season to taste and fold in the almond flakes. 5 Season with salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of oil. f
o ave t on’t h sh You d ut on fre d o e h n s n a a c spl oke – ell artich just as w s k r o w
THE BOOK The Scandi Kitchen: Simple, Delicious Scandinavian Dishes for Any Occasion by Bronte Aurell. Published by Ryland Peters & Small, £16.99
MOREISH SALTY BACON, PORK, CRISPY POTATOES, VELVETY EGGS AND FRESH BEANS AND BEETROOT. NOT BAD FOR LEFTOVERS I N GREDI EN TS ◆◆ 500g cold, cooked potatoes ◆◆ 300g cooked meat leftovers –
roast pork or beef, or both ◆◆ 200g onion ◆◆ 75g bacon lardons, or bacon
exture about t bines It’s all m o c g ythin – ever a comforting e to mak resting dish e but int
rashers cut into small pieces ◆◆ 25g butter ◆◆ 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf
parsley ◆◆ 4-8 eggs ◆◆ Worcestershire sauce ◆◆ Green beans, blanched ◆◆ Pickled beetroot, sliced
H, LEFTOVERS. THOSE sacred, oft-neglected sources of latenight snacking and kitchenscheming bounty. “In Swedish and Norwegian, this dish translates as ‘pieces in the pan,’” says Aurell of this pork, potato and beetroot hash. “It’s a great way to use leftover meat from a Sunday roast. “What makes it Nordic is the essential addition of pickled beetroot and fried eggs, giving the dish a good sharpness as well as an instant sauce from the runny egg yolk.” Loads of contrasting and complementary flavours and textures, and the sharpness from the beetroot, mean this isn’t just your basic comfort food fare – it’s a leftovers purge that tastes great in its own right, just in time for winter. You’ll be looking at your Sunday roast in a whole new light from now on.
1 Cut the potatoes and meat into similar-sized pieces (about 1cm). 2 Chop the onion and bacon (unless you’re using lardons) and set aside. 3 In a deep, oven-proof frying pan, melt the butter and add a drop of olive oil. Heat, then add the potatoes and
fry until they are golden and crispy. 4 Remove the potatoes from the pan, add a bit more oil (if needed), then add the onion and bacon and cook until they’re done. 5 Add the meat, heat through, and carefully fold in the potatoes again (the reason you cook and add the potatoes in two actions is to ensure they keep their shape and don’t turn the dish to mush).
6 Season with salt, pepper and parsley and transfer to a low oven. 7 Meanwhile, fry the eggs in another frying pan. If your guests are hungry sort, cook two fried eggs per person. If not, fry one each. 8 Serve each portion of pyttipanna topped with a fried egg, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce to taste, a few blanched green beans and a good amount of sliced beetroot. f
Preparation ◆◆ 10 mins
◆◆ 20 mins
AWARD WINNING GIN FROM THE SILENT POOL IN SURREY Available at Fortnum & Mason or online at www.silentpooldistillers.com Distillery open seven days a week, from 10:00am to 4:00pm. For details, visit the website.
A SIMPLE, CLASSIC DESSERT: MELT-IN-THE-MIDDLE CHOCOLATE CAKE. QUICK TO MAKE, BUT NO MEAN FEAT TO PERFECT
◆◆ 15 mins
◆◆ 15 mins
name: What’s in a erally lit a ak dk klad cake’ y ck ti means ‘s
ING R E DIE NTS ◆◆ 2 eggs ◆◆ 200g caster sugar ◆◆ 150g plain flour or cake flour ◆◆ 3 tbsp good-quality cocoa
powder, plus extra for dusting ◆◆ 1 tbsp vanilla sugar or extract ◆◆ 100g unsalted butter, melted
and cooled slightly ◆◆ Whipped cream, to serve
HIS CAKE IS one of the most famous fika cakes in Sweden,” says Aurell. “Every café has a version of kladdkaka. “This is our Auntie Inga’s recipe. It’s easy to make, but watch the baking: too little and it’s a runny mess; too much and it’s a stodgy, dry cake.”
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2 Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light, fluffy and pale. 3 Sift all the dry ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture. Fold in until everything is incorporated, then fold in the melted butter. Pour into a 20cm cake pan, greased then lined with baking parchment. 4 Bake in the preheated oven for around 10-15 minutes. The exact time can vary, so keep an eye on the cake.
A perfect kladdkaka is very, very soft in the middle, not runny once it has cooled – but almost. The cake will not rise, but it should puff up slightly during baking. 5 If you press down gently, the crust should need a bit of pressure to crack. When this happens, the cake is done. Leave to cool in the pan. 6 Serve with whipped cream, dusted with cocoa powder. f
028 INSIDE TEA | 034 YOSHIHIRO MURATA | 040 THE UMAMI EFFECT 046 CHARCUTERIE REVOLUTION | 052 CHRISTMAS COCKTAILS
— PART 2 —
FEAST “MARMITE HAS A POWERFUL UMAMI FLAVOUR THAT BRINGS OUT A RICH DEPTH IN OTHER INGREDIENTS” HIDDEN TALENT, 040
When it comes to drinking tea we can all be a little bit precious, but the British are becoming unusually experimental when it comes to their brew. Gareth May meets the London tea makers causing a stir in the industry
Photograph by Republica/Getty
CUPPAâ€™S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG
Photograph by ###
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T’S 3:30PM ON a Tuesday afternoon and I’m sat in an office in Brockley getting an education in tea. In front of me – on a whiteboard, all joined up neatly in a flowchart – are the words ‘black’, ‘green’, ‘oolong’ and ‘white’, and to my right, personal tutor-style, is Good & Proper Tea founder (and tea fanatic) Emilie Holmes. For the last hour, Holmes has been pitching speciality tea to me – meaning “loose-leaf, more premium teas” – but I’m still not convinced. Tea’s just tea, right? No matter how many buzz words you put in front of it. After Holmes geeks out at length on oolong (which, I’m about to find out, is well worth geeking out about), I’m offered a selection of teas. First up, honey orchid – the most popular of the “Phoenix Mountain oolongs”, a phrase which just makes me think of The Hobbit. “The Chinese have a saying,” Holmes says as she hands me a small bowl of pale orange liquid. “The first cup is for your enemy, the second cup is for your mistress, the third cup is for your wife…” “Christ…” I interrupt, wearing the face of a man in genuine shock. “I think that’s the best cup of tea I’ve had in my life.” Holmes nods – and I realise I’m her latest convert. Holmes has been drawing people to the cult of (proper) tea since 2012. First with her crowdfunded ‘tea truck’ popping up at food markets and festivals, and now with modern tea houses in Old Street and Soho.
MOST TEA BAGS CONTAIN A FINE TEA KNOWN AS ‘DUST’, WHICH BREWS FAST AND GIVES QUICK COLOUR 30
And she’s not the only one. Holmes is one of an army of tea makers educating the masses and delivering knockout cuppas to those weary of builder’s tea. According to figures from Mintel in 2015, tea sales in Britain dropped by 6% between 2010 and 2015. And the speciality sector is perfectly placed to rekindle our love of a good brew. But what does speciality tea actually mean? “It essentially means you know where the tea has come from [Holmes has visited most of the tea estates she purchases from, and is in constant communication with the farmers via WhatsApp], you’ve chosen good leaves and you know how to make it,” Holmes explains, as I neck samples of the chocolatey keemun black tea and the Lazarus-like, reinfuse-up-tothree-times silver needle white. Holmes is quick to add, though, that speciality is an individual thing. The ‘speciality’ element could be everything from the variety of the tea (silver needle, for example, is picked just two weeks of the year) to the way the leaves are treated. Florence Holzapfel is the tea and coffee buyer at Fortnum & Mason, which has been importing tea since 1707 and stock 160 types in total. “The spectrum of flavours that can be achieved with tea is certainly exciting and enticing,” she tells me. “Take assam and darjeeling, for example. Both come from regions in north-east India, but at its best assam is rich, full bodied and malty, whereas darjeeling is light, delicate with a muscatel character.” Though ‘speciality tea’, she adds, “is a loosely defined term”. It may then be easier to say what speciality is not, rather than what it is. Holmes explains that a regular tea bag contains what is known as ‘dust’ – a “really fine, almost instant tea, that brews fast and gives quick colour”. This low-grade tea is made using a process called CTC – cut, tear, curl – where the delicate leaves are passed through macerating machines and turned into a mulch, with very little of the original leaf’s flavour and health benefits left. For speciality tea, this mulching phase doesn’t happen – instead the pickers aim to keep the tea leaves and bud intact; hence the process is known as ‘whole leaf’. “Blacks, greens, oolongs, white teas, are all from same bush,” Holmes says, back in teacher mode. “It’s how the leaves are dried, roasted and fermented that determines what they become.” Production then, along with terroir, is another of the variables of speciality tea. But there are just as many factors involved at the brewing stage, which shape the taste and → even the mouthfeel of each individual
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Emilie Holmes from Good & Proper Tea mans the Steampunk brewers; teaâ€™s variety is a huge part of its appeal; Fortnum & Mason has been importing tea since 1707
Photograph by ###
→ cup of tea, from the quantity of leaves to the water’s brewing temperature to brew time. Luckily for me, Good & Proper supplies Top Trumps-style tea cards with all that information – just one of its innovations aimed at pulling in the disillusioned everyday tea drinkers. Across town at Amanzi in Soho, it’s a similar story. The tea shop offers a whopping 150 types of loose-leaf tea, but it’s the virgin tea cocktails (including the lychee mar-tea-ni) and a dedicated matcha menu – the first of its kind in London, with drinks including a chai matcha latte – that really turn heads. Antonia Hyltén-Cavallius, Amanzi’s business development manager, says one of the biggest factors influencing consumers’ passion for tea is health and fitness. “We’ve seen a growing number turning to these kinds of drinks as part of a healthier lifestyle, coming here rather than for after-work drinks, for instance,” she explains. “In particular, we’ve seen people turn to matcha green tea because its antioxidant and nutrient properties mean people get the caffeine kick they need, with an array of benefits on top.” There’s also the ethical argument. While speciality makers are drawing big with their integrity, lower-grade manufacturers are having a bit of a PR nightmare – and we’re not talking about monkeys in fancy dress. Early this year, tea-industry heavyweights including Unilever and Yorkshire Tea met to
set out plans to improve workers’ conditions and work towards sustainability, with 2030 as a target. Meanwhile, many smaller, single-estate companies (most low-grade teas are a blend from different estates) such as Hampstead Tea have already achieved that – it meets Demeter biodynamic standards and even provides workers with crèches for their kids. And founder Kiran Tawadey tells me consumers are increasingly aware of the importance of “workers’ wages, welfare and the wider ecosystem as a whole” and as such are “seeking out brands that champion sustainable and ethical credentials.” For many, though, tea’s biggest pull is its sheer breadth. The London Tea Club is a subscription service that encourages members to try three different teas each month,
LOOSE-LEAF MORALS: Most ‘regular’ tea bags contain a highly processed tea leaf ‘dust’, while speciality teas – mostly loose-leaf – are picked in such a way that the bud and leaf stay intact
delivered to them in neat little apothecarystyle phials. Founder Cecelia Lau says: “The variety of teas available, from flavored black teas like crème earl grey to the complex charcoal-roasted oolong, means almost everyone can find something they love.” She’s not wrong. When I slurped on the double-fermented pu-erh at Amanzi I felt a sudden need to do the teapot semaphore sign, such was my new found love of tea. As I write this, I’m supping on a sencha. What can I say? From now on, it’s only proper tea for me. f
Photograph by Scott Grummett/Getty Images
FROM FLAVOURED BLACK TEAS TO COMPLEX CHARCOALROASTED OOLONG, EVERYONE CAN FIND SOMETHING THEY LOVE
Elderflower rose mar-tea-ni
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You have a choice of 100 pure-leaf teas as well as our signature tea-based drinks such as virgin cocktails, frappés, chais and delicious bubble teas!
Join us for a free tea at our brand new spot in the heart of Soho. Just bring this card into our store and give it to a member of our TEAm.
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IN A CLASS OF HIS OWN Yoshihiro Murata gave Heston Blumenthal and RenĂŠ Redzepi their groundings in Japanese cuisine. Now he wants to educate London, he tells Mike Gibson
RIGHT: After a short-lived foray into Londonâ€™s restaurant scene with Chrysan, Yoshihiro Murata is back with an authentic Japanese offering
HEN A CHEF who’s been awarded seven Michelin stars across just three restaurants decides to set up in London, the food community sits up and takes notice. The chef in question, Yoshihiro Murata, is widely credited with playing a bigger role in bringing authentic Japanese cooking to Europe than anyone else, and his three restaurants –
Kikunoi Honten in Kyoto, which holds three stars, and Kikunoi Roan and Kikunoi Akasaka, in Kyoto and Tokyo respectively, which have two apiece – are firmly established as international eating destinations. This isn’t the first time Murata has set up in London, mind. The first was a couple of years ago at the ill-fated Chrysan, a Broadgate restaurant launched in partnership with the Hakkasan Group, which polarised critics and closed its doors for good less than a →
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WE’RE NOT REALLY FOCUSING ON HIGHEND FOOD. THIS IS FOR EVERYBODY WHO WANTS TO TRY REAL JAPANESE COOKING 36
→ year after it opened them. This time, though, it’s different: the newly opened Tokimeite, launched in collaboration with Japanese farming cooperative Zen-Noh, promises to match his restaurants in Japan in its approach and authenticity. With classic Japanese decor, a breathtaking sake selection, and sashimi and wagyu beef that are as good as any you’ll find in the capital, there’s a very definite sense that Tokimeite is out to please the Japanesefood purists. Speaking through a translator, shortly before the restaurant’s launch in late November, Murata tells us about the things he’s learned in more than four decades of cooking, what he’s doing differently this time around, and what the opening means for a cuisine that’s more popular than ever. Why did you decide to leave Japan for Europe when you were a young chef, and was that quite a rare thing for someone to do at the time? Europe at that time felt very, very far away
from Japan, and I had a very strong curiosity to learn something new. 44 years ago, when I first decided to go abroad, it was before the economy of Japan was healthy. At that time, if someone was travelling to Europe, all of their relatives came to say goodbye to them – I can’t believe this year I travelled to Europe twice a month. When I arrived in France, I discovered that no one had the correct information about Japan, or the Japanese. To Europeans, China, Korea and Japan were all the same, with the same languages and the same culture. And, of course, they had no idea what Japanese cuisine was. At that time there were many French people not really treating Japanese cuisine as it should be treated. I decided it should be my mission to be an ambassador of Japanese cuisine to the world. That was my mission in Paris, and here I am now. When I think back, 44 years is a very short period of time to expand and accomplish this mission. It could have taken 100 years, or 150, but in 44 years I’ve almost achieved it.
What do you make of the Japanese food scene in London, particularly the high-end Japanese restaurants? How will Tokimeite fit into that? First of all, we are not really focusing on the high end. This restaurant is meant for everybody who has the intention of trying real Japanese cuisine – that’s the positioning of the restaurant. I would like to make this a restaurant where ordinary people who work hard, as a reward once every month or two, come here and recharge, and enjoy, and then go back to their work.
Are there any restaurants you think are doing a really good job already, in terms of bringing authentic Japanese cuisine to London? There is no authentic Japanese restaurant that exists in London. They are fusion restaurants – but not authentic. We will be the first truly authentic one in the capital.
What attracted you to London, rather than Paris, or New York, or other cosmopolitan cities? London is the centre of Europe, in many aspects; it’s the centre of culture as well as business, and that’s why it was very important to start here. Everybody goes to France after London. Japanese chefs want to go to France, but I didn’t want to open there first. I want to
TOKIMEITE: TRIED AND TESTED
RIGHT: Yoshihiro Murata is unsurprisingly fanatical about using the very best ingredients at his new restaurant, and sources many ingredients from the UK, including fish from Scotland
cover the whole world – the United States of America, as well as the Middle East, in places like Dubai.
How are you working with the Zen-Noh cooperative, and what does that mean for the food that will be cooked in the restaurant? In Japan, because of many environmental changes, agriculture is facing a genuine crisis. TPP [the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement between several Pacific Rim countries including Japan, Singapore, Canada and the US] used to exert a strong duty to protect domestic products, but the United States is leading calls to take it out and make free trade available. In order to improve the situation proactively we have to expand our cuisine, through the Japanese restaurant business, in the proper manner. We need to raise awareness of the high quality of our products, and show that this quality is helping our agricultural industry to be successful all over the world. That was one of my missions. In Japan now, the self-supply ratio is 39%, but in the coming ten years it will be only 19%. As a result of that, after ten years, Japanese kids may have not enough food. So in order to protect our future, I wanted to do something with Zen-Noh – because they represent the farmers – not only in opening up the restaurant, but in terms of thinking about the food supply and the farmers’ future.
How much produce for the restaurant will be coming from Japan, and what do you think of the produce that we can provide here in the UK? At this restaurant the only pieces we are →
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Wall-mounted plates finished in platinum and a bar that bisects the entrance room and carries on into a wall-length mirror – Tokimeite certainly looks more than at home in its prime Mayfair location. I can’t claim the authority required to endorse Murata’s opinion that this will be the first truly authentic Japanese restaurant to grace the capital, but what I can say is it’s surely some of the finest wagyu and sushi to be had here. Sashimi is served in a closed box full of dry ice, glistening pink fish rising from the mist, and it’s a thing of beauty – prawn is almost buttery, tuna is lusciously textured, and scallop is so tender you could cut it with a fork. Wagyu, too, gets the royal treatment, in shabu-shabu and nabemono styles – sliced paper-thin in the former and lightly poached in the latter. It’s not cheap, but it’s tasteful, artful and, most importantly, delicious. Read the full review on foodism.co.uk
LEFT: Murata chose London for his latest venture because he feels that it’s the “centre of Europe in many aspects, including culture.” His new restaurant is open in Mayfair now
and butter. So without umami he can’t actually cook anything at all.
How much will Tokimeite reflect your restaurants in Japan, and what lessons did you learn from Chrysan? What will you do differently this time? One of the biggest learnings with the experience is selecting the right partner to deal with. At that time the concept of Chrysan was focusing on the high end, and fusion food, rather than authentic cuisine. It was very, very different from here. If a customer comes here and enjoys the cuisine, and is satisfied and happy, then they may travel over to Japan for the higher stage of eating in my Kikunoi restaurants there.
Do you think that there are any other chefs who could bring totally authentic Japanese cuisine here?
Sushi and sashimi are a huge focus at Tokimeite. Where will the restaurant be sourcing its fish from? From Scotland – there are so many good fish there. It seems like there’s great fish there, but not in London. They’re just there, in Scotland. I don’t understand why those great fish in Scotland never come to England!
You’ve had many western chefs come to study under you. What do you think of the chefs who travel to study authentic Japanese food? Heston Blumenthal, when he was 30, came to Japan to learn more about umami, and at that time he was studying under me. René Redzepi also came to America and studied umami under me. The study of umami results in a strong influence on a chef’s own cooking. For example, at Noma, René uses the umami concept very strongly, and never uses cream
Why is this the right time to launch Tokimeite in London? This is a perfect time as a result of Unesco registration [wa-shoku, the traditional Japanese restaurant-style cuisine, has just entered Unesco’s intangible cultural heritage list], as well as thinking about the state of the food supply in the future – this is just about the right time to move forward. I would like to be a role model to young chefs, and the first thing I’ve done in that regard is to help Japanese cuisine to be recognised by Unesco. As a result of that, the second stage was setting up this real, authentic restaurant by myself, because everybody wants to see what my next step will be. That’s what I’m focused on – demonstrating my leadership to the young generation of chefs. f Yoshihiro Murata’s new retaurant, Tokimeite, is open now at 23 Conduit Street, W1S 2XS; 020 3826 4411; tokimeite.com
Yoshihiro Murata photography by McCrickard Photography; Tokimeite photography by Nacasa & Partners Inc
NO ONE HAS REALLY DONE THIS KIND OF AUTHENTIC JAPANESE RESTAURANT IN LONDON BEFORE; THIS IS THE FIRST EXPERIMENT
→ importing from Japan are wagyu, rice, and some sake. That’s it – the rest is local. I don’t think it’s necessary to take more than that from Japan. I am very happy to be using local produce for the restaurant.
This is really the first experiment – nobody has done this type of authentic Japanese restaurant here before. If the restaurant is successful, my juniors in Kyoto may go out and do similar restaurants all over Japan. It’s like I’m now the father of the young chefs in Kyoto – my influence is very strong. Everybody is watching Tokimeite closely, and they may go abroad to do something similar, so this is a very, very important pilot restaurant.
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HIDDEN TALENT Ever wondered how chefs turn good dishes into truly great ones? The answer might just be umami. Amy Grier asks the capitalâ€™s top chefs to reveal the weird, wonderful ways they pack the savoury flavour into their dishes
URNS OUT THERE’S a reason (other than seasonal greed) that we can’t help ourselves from face-planting that cheese board, and umami – the savoury taste – is it. Officially discovered just over a century ago by a Japanese scientist, it’s actually something that’s been known about since, well, since cavemen first cooked a wildebeest over a fire and said “Yum, these caramelised amino acids taste alright, you know.” Since then, a whole load of science has emerged about what umami really is (the taste imparted by glutamate that occurs in a host of foods including cooked meats, fish, seaweed, tomatoes and strong cheeses), and the benefits it imparts (everything from enhanced satiety to better digestion) but what it really boils down to is this: Umami is that mouth-coating, effortlessly moreish, sometimes entirely unidentifiable thing that makes you want to keep putting fork to mouth. People mistake it for saltiness, but that’s a one-dimensional taste. Umami has layers, depth; it can change its character throughout the course of a dish. It’s the best mac n cheese you’ve ever eaten, a rich venison stew, mushy peas, that broad bean and pecorino dip from Waitrose you’re certain is laced with crack it’s so addictive. And no one knows how better to achieve it than chefs. Here’s how they do it…
YASUHIRO MINENO Chef-patron, Yashin UMAMI SECRET: Marmite
WE USE MARMITE IN THE KITCHEN. IT HAS A POWERFUL UMAMI FLAVOUR
Yasuhiro Mineno, Yashin
“We use marmite every day in the kitchen, even though it’s not listed as a main ingredient on the menu. It’s got a powerful umami flavour that brings out a rich depth in other ingredients. We use it as a marinade for salmon sashimi. To make it at home, simply mix 150ml soy sauce, 150ml sake and a teaspoon of marmite, and marinate the salmon for 30 minutes. It’s also great on pork loin, which only requires 15 minutes. Marinate it, wipe with water, wrap, then keep in the fridge overnight before grilling and serving with wasabi and soy sauce.”
BEN TISH Chef-director of Salt Yard Group UMAMI SECRET: Chargrilled parmesan rinds
RENDERED KOBE FAT ADDS A REAL DEPTH OF RICHNESS TO SOME OF OUR DISHES
Claudio Cardoso, Sushisamba
CLAUDIO CARDOSO Executive chef at Sushisamba UMAMI SECRET: Rendered Kobe fat “When we’re preparing our beef at the restaurant, we clean off all the fat and melt it at a really low temperature. Kobe fat has a very low smoke point, so once it’s melted we leave it to cool. It takes on a butter-like texture and you can use it in much the same way. We use it to cook steaks, emulsion gravies, to make certain dressings and savoury purées and to fry our gyozas. We also use it to make our hollandaise sauce, adding a real depth and richness but not an overwhelming beefy taste. It not only boosts flavour but is full of good omega 3 and 6 fats.”
TIM SIADATAN Chef-patron, Trullo UMAMI SECRET: Anchovy gunge “It was Fergus Henderson who first coined the phrase ‘anchovy gunge’ and I learnt this from him during my time at St John. All you need to make it is 250g of anchovy fillets, 25ml water, 1l rapeseed oil, 100ml A Mano olive oil, half a garlic clove and 7.5ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar. Simply blitz up the anchovies into a paste using a blender, add in the water, then slowly pour in the rapeseed oil. Once emulsified grate in half a clove of garlic, add the remaining olive oil and vinegar. You can then use this sauce as a seasoning for lamb shanks, in sauces or with beef. Stirred in at the last minute, it’s great for adding an umami hit, and don’t worry, cooked with other things it doesn’t make everything taste of anchovy. I promise.”
Photographs by (Salt Yard) Paul Winch-Furness; (Trullo and Sushisamba) Ming Tang-Evans; (Fera) John Arandhara-Blackwell; (Poco) John Arandhara-Blackwell
“I learnt this from an Italian chef I worked with at Al Duca in Mayfair many years ago. We used to save the rinds from the huge blocks of parmesan, grill or roast them and then put them in a pot covered with red wine, salt, molasses, bay leaves and thyme leaves. We would then bring them to the boil, simmer for ten minutes and then leave to cool. When cold we would throw in thick pork chops, legs of lamb or whole beef rumps and brine for three hours, or overnight for the bigger cuts, before cooking. The flavour the brine imparts is like nothing else – parmesan rinds have a really complex taste and the roasting or grilling accentuates it. The wine is the vehicle to transfer this to the meat. It’s easy to do at home, just stick to more robust cuts of meat as the flavour is pretty punchy. I think turkey prepared this way would work brilliantly.”
THE CHEFS OF TOMORROW AT DRUID STREET MARKET JOHN CHANTARASAK From Som Saa UMAMI SECRET: Nam-poo paste “Yes, it’s got a funny name, but this thick black paste, made from pounding crabs with lemongrass leaves, galangal leaves and guava leaves is just one of the many ways Thai cookery achieves umami. It’s fermented and is a deeply savoury umamibuilder for relishes and salads. Available at Asian supermarkets and online, it’s very strong and pungent with a salty ocean aroma. I use it mixed in fried rice, chilli relish and green papaya and crab salad but you can also use it instead of fish sauce in Thai recipes, or where you’d use anchovies in western cooking – with lamb, for example.”
TOM HUNT Chef-patron, Poco UMAMI SECRET: Kombu Seaweed – more specifically kombu – is a great natural source of glutamate. If you want to make a super flavoured hummus, try adding a piece of kombu or kelp to your chickpeas when boiling them. It will enhance the flavour, and make them more digestible. You can also try this when making lentils or beans – it adds a subtle savoury boost without being overpowering.”
LEWIS SULLY From Fera UMAMI SECRET: Roasted lettuce “Many overlook leafy vegetables and other greens such as cabbage and lettuce as umami sources, but these too can add the desired savoury fullness to your food. I find caramelising them heightens their flavour by extracting their high glutamate content. Next time you make a stock, sauce or any sort of casserole, brown your meat with a few whole heads of baby gem lettuce or cabbage wedges. This browning is called the ‘Maillard reaction’ – it enhances umami with many foods but when combined with those rich in glutamate you will achieve a fuller flavour.” chefsoftomorrow.co.uk
KOMBU ADDS A SUBTLE SAVOURY BOOST TO LENTILS WITHOUT BEING OVERPOWERING
Tom Hunt, Poco
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PAOLO ELESBANI Head chef, Il Cudega UMAMI SECRET: Baked banana shallots “An easy and really great way that I enhance the umami flavours of any dish is by doing something incredibly easy. Taking a few banana shallots with the skin on, I cover them completely in sea salt and bake them until they are cooked in their own juices. Once baked, remove them from their skin and gently stir fry them in butter until they turn into a dark brown creamy mass. Add the shallots hot or cold to soups or sauces, or layer them in between pieces of meat before roasting.”
FAH SUNDRAVORAKUL Owner of Shuang Shuang UMAMI SECRET: Doubanjiang (spicy fermented broad bean paste)
ADAM RAWSON Head chef at Pachamama in Marylebone UMAMI SECRET: Dashi and miso “Peruvian food often includes a lot of Japanese influences, so we use dashi – a soup and cooking stock made from seaweed – as a natural flavour enhancer in our duck on rice dish. It’s mixed into a saffron butter sauce and cooked in with the rice. We also glaze our lamb belly dish with a mix of white miso paste (available in all Asian supermarkets and online), rice vinegar, light brown sugar and butter so it has a nice balance of salty, sweet and creamy. Even our carrots are cured in miso for three days before being grilled. It extracts some of the juices, increases the natural sweetness and also seasons them without the use of salt. Buy some miso paste or hon dashi (miso soup base) and try it next time you do a roast, make gravy or do a stew. It’s great for boosting flavour and minimising the use of salt.”
BUY SOME MISO PASTE AND TRY IT NEXT TIME YOU DO A ROAST, STEW, OR MAKE SOME GRAVY
Adam Rawson, Pachamama
“This ingredient, which you can buy from Asian supermarkets and also from Sous Chef (souschef.co.uk), is typical to Sichuan cuisine and the ‘secret’ of making mala (a spicy hot pot broth in China and Taiwan). It's bold, salty and hot, but with subtle inherent sweetness that is characteristic of fermented bean products. Doubanjiang is brownish red, and is the ingredient that binds all the disparate elements of this broth – the dried chilli, Sichuan peppercorns and Chinese spices – together. It originates from China but also exists cross-culturally in Korea and Japan. Add it to stocks, soups, bone broths or anything you are making that needs a hit of extra flavour.” f
HANG ME OUT TO DRY
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As more an d provenance more emphasis is pu to a meat indus nd sourcing, a nasce n n try to rival that of main t cured is emergin la g in the UK , writes Mik nd Europe e Gibson
LEFT: A cheese and charcuterie selection at Verden. RIGHT: meat hanging in Trinity’s Upstairs. Both restaurants specialise in the potent combination of cured meat, small plates and wine
S RECIPES GO, charcuterie’s a pretty straightforward one: “meat, salt and time”. Those, according to charcutier Sean Cannon, are the only things required to make a truly great piece of cured meat. There’s no secret, and there are no short-cuts. You only need to bite into an Italian salami, or wait for the fat on a piece of Iberico ham to melt on your tongue, for the beautiful flavour of a high-quality piece of cured meat to make itself abundantly clear. Air-drying meat with preserving salts may have been a practice developed as a means of preserving food thousands of years ago, but it developed into one that can show a cut of meat at its tastiest and best – as Cannon puts it, “the ultimate celebration of a very, very high-quality piece of fresh meat”. So if it’s that straightforward (if not necessarily easy) to make, and that delicious, why have we had to reach out to our friends in Spain, Italy and France to get our hands on it? Fortunately we may not for much longer: closer to home, there’s a salty, meaty revolution brewing. Or curing, I should say. As more and more of us realise the benefits of buying local, cutting out middle-men, and paying a few pounds more for the benefit of products whose provenance we can trace, there’s a growing community of farmers and
charcutiers that are working in harmony to produce some of the best and most exciting cured meat on the market, and flying the flag for British agriculture in the process. Cannon is founder of Cannon & Cannon, a London-based producer and distributor of all-British charcuterie. As well as working with small-scale farms and producers around the country, it sells produce from stalls in Borough Market and around London. Having grown up in Norfolk’s agricultural heartland, Cannon set up the business after seeing the potential for a market that remained largely unexplored. “I’m very passionate about farming,” he says, “and about our history of agriculture and food production in this country – and I wanted to get into the food industry at a time where I felt it needed help. I met a British farmer who was making salami, and he was telling me that to make the charcuterie he has to allow the pigs longer to grow, and has to feed them on better, organic feed, otherwise they don’t create the right intramuscular fat. “So I thought, ‘This is great. We’re actually having to change the way we rear these animals to make it.’ He told me the reason he could afford to do it is because when you create a salami, it’s a premium product, so it’s more expensive. We don’t always have that approach in Britain. The trend has always been ‘cheaper, cheaper, cheaper’ – grow them
quicker, feed them crap food, fill them with antibiotics, make them into shit sausages.” Hugo Jeffries, a former chef at Nuno Mendes’s Viajante turned founder of Hackneybased charcutier Blackhand Foods, underlines this importance: “In charcuterie, the quality of the product is dependent on the animal’s welfare.” Tom Bell, owner of Clapton restaurant Verden, which specialises in charcuterie and sources much of it from Britain, agrees: “I think people are starting to realise that some of the farming practices that we adopted in order to get over post-war rationing are actually of no benefit to anyone, apart from being able to raise pigs in super-quick time. “You’re not raising a particularly good pig, it’s not got much fat, no one’s particularly happy about it in the end. People have started caring a lot more about where their food is coming from; there’s been a greater focus on farming practices, for using native breeds, and allowing animals to grow for longer so they can build up more fat reserves, which are all things that have been going along with the three powerhouses of charcuterie – France, Italy and Spain – for many years.” “In Britain, we’ve got all these rare breeds of animal that are dying out [the Rare Breeds Survival Trust lists 63 breeds of livestock on its watchlist],” says Cannon, “and charcuterie’s an industry that demands quality, rare-breed animals.” At the time Cannon was taking the first steps to setting up his company, he says there
IF YOU’RE CURING SOMETHING FOR YEARS, THE QUALITY REALLY NEEDS TO STAND UP
were 19 commercial charcuterie producers in Britain. “At last count, there were 93. That’s in four years. It’s absolutely exploding.” Hearteningly, and perhaps for the first time in decades, it appears to be quality, not convenience, that’s pushing more and more producers to create charcuterie that’s on a level – at the very least – with our continental neighbours: “If you think about the actual process,” says Jeffries, “it’s taking a piece of meat and letting moisture dissipate, thereby intensifying the flavour. If you start off with a substandard piece of meat, it’s only going to intensify what it lacks, rather than what it has.” Adam Heanen, who runs award-winning family butcher HG Walter (his father kept the existing name when he took it on in the 1970s) in Baron’s Court, agrees: “If you’re curing something like the hind legs of an animal for two, three years, what you want at the end is a very special product, and the quality really needs to stand up. Especially seeing as you’re not slow-cooking it or serving it with sauce – you’re eating it in its raw, natural state. I would go along with the argument that cured meats, in a way, are more reflective of the animal.” And it’s not just the butchers and charcutiers getting in on the act; there’s hardly a restaurant these days without a charcuterie board on its menu, and more and more are realising the benefit, economically and otherwise, of buying British, and of curing their own meats in-house. “I’ve noticed the foodie people I love working with have become more experimental; more interested in doing different things with the animal,” Heanen says. “Most of the restaurants we serve are experimenting, on a regular basis, with doing their own curing.” →
TROT FOR TEACHER
Photograph by ###
As charcuterie enters the mainstream in Britain, it’s not just the pros who can experiment with curing. Cannon & Cannon’s Meat School, set up a few years ago, aims to teach consumers practical curing skills they can use at home, as well as giving them proper introductions to charcuterie through beer and wine pairing evenings. “I’m a lover of the end product, explains Cannon. “Give me a plate of salami and I’m a happy man. But if you go and see it made from slaughter to fermenting to air-drying, you gain this
new level of love for the product and it takes on a whole new meaning to you, which is what I love about food – it’s so far beyond just putting something in your mouth and chewing it. “It’s like when you’re thinking about food or drink in the right way, it’s a journey, or a philosophy, and you can get really emotional about it. We spend all of our days working with the producers, so we want to give our customers what we’ve been lucky enough to have – we want them to also get hands-on, to understand the stuff, to go on that journey that we’ve gone on.” For more info: meatschool.co.uk
PEOPLE ARE EXCITED BY THE FACT THAT THEY CAN CREATE ANYTHING. IT’S AN OPEN BOOK → Adam Byatt’s Trinity in Clapham is one such restaurant – the team started out experimenting with curing, before it became an increasingly integral part of their operation. “Adam had been doing a little bit here and there over the years,” says chef Chris Bolan, who was recently tasked with leading duties on all the charcuterie operations in the restaurant. “Generally simple stuff, and the odd prosciutto when we had a leg of pork knocking around – so we were doing it very sporadically. Around a year ago, I started looking after it for him. I developed a salami recipe and that went really well, so we started testing different cuts of meat – two months ago we got in a whole Mangalitsa pig [a hairy European breed that’s becoming more common in the UK] and cured it from nose to tail. That was six months in the making – sourcing the right producer, and researching how to tend to the different cuts of meat.” Which brings us to another string to the charcutier’s bow: more value; less wastage,
especially as pork is by a distance the most common meat for curing. “There’s a lot more emphasis on the nose-to-nail concept,” says Heanen, “and you can use cheaper, fattier cuts in charcuterie – neck fillet is fantastic in a coppa, and in salamis you can mince up all the back fat – a lot of the chefs we work with want to utilise the whole of the animal.” So we’re playing curing catch-up to the rest of Europe. For one reason or another, we were slow on the uptake. But Cannon is effusive on the potential this provides for Britain’s charcutiers, particularly in the relative lack of hoops to jump through in comparison with the continent: “There’s total creative freedom, which is exciting,” he says. “With all of these great European products, be they wine or cured ham, there are, for good reason, rules and regulations that have come in to protect them over the years – they have to be created in certain ways. In Britain, there’s nothing – so it’s open season. That’s really exciting, because it breeds innovation, and people who are young of mind, entrepreneurially, are excited by the fact that they can create anything. It’s an open book.” From humble beginnings and light
ABOVE: Hugo Jeffries of Blackhand Foods gets fresh meat ready for mincing; a mouth-watering selection of premium British charcuterie from Borough-based distributor Cannon & Cannon
experimentation to a burgeoning industry in just a few years – there’s the sense that there’s never been a better time to be a British charcutier. “There are a couple of things that make me think British charcuterie has tremendous potential,” Cannon says. “Our ability to innovate, and to produce and manufacture food, is second to none. When we get the bit between our teeth we do fantastic things. We’re growing livestock really, really well. If you start with a great product, like you do with charcuterie, you’re going to end up with a great product. “So we’ve got the innovation on our side; we’ve got the quality of the fresh meat, which I believe is the best in the world; we’ve also got a consumer base who demand to know where their food comes from, who want to buy British and want to support British industry. Those three things just make for a very exciting time.” f
BEEN WATCHING NIGELLA AGAIN? WE’VE GOT A RICE FOR THAT.
You’ve been drooling at the TV and now it’s time to rustle up something tasty for dinner. Our range of Heat and Eat dishes are quick and easy to prepare, leaving you free to plump your prawns to perfection.
For recipe ideas from Pisa to Pattaya visit www.wevegotariceforthat.com
Bucks fizz? Not on our watch. Here are the only cocktails you’ll need for this year’s Christmas entertaining duties. Chin chin
T H E COCKTA IL Ingredients ◆◆ 65ml Milkybar advocaat (see below) ◆◆ 15ml vodka ◆◆ 15ml sugar syrup (1:1 water and
caster sugar) ◆◆ 1 egg ◆◆ 30ml prosecco ◆◆ Grated nutmeg
Method Shake the first three ingredients with the egg, then re-shake with ice cubes and strain over prosecco in a highball glass (or a clean milk bottle if you have one). Try a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg for a more festive scent.
T H E M IL KYBA R A DVOCA AT Ingredients
DUCK & WAFFLE BARTENDER: Rich Woods COCKTAIL: Milky Bar Snowball “This is a take on a 1980’s classic using a sweet-shop fave,” says Rich Woods, hirsute bartender extraordinaire at Duck & Waffle and Sushisamba, both skyline restaurants in the Heron Tower. One for the big kids (and not the Milkybar Kid).
◆◆ 200g Milkybar buttons ◆◆ 50ml advocaat ◆◆ 250ml vodka ◆◆ 250ml water ◆◆ 45g milk powder
Method Melt the buttons in a bain-marie and begin to fold the melting mix into itself. Once the buttons have completely melted, add the advocaat. Continue to fold the liquid until it is well mixed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. While mixing, add the vodka. Lastly, add the milk powder gradually while mixing until completely dissolved. Place in the container in the fridge for an hour to allow the fat from the chocolate to separate. Remove from the fridge and pass the liquid through a fine strainer to collect the solids. Bottle and reserve the liquid in a fridge for up to a week. For info: duckandwaffle.com; sushisamba.com
Photograph by Ming Tang-Evans
OXO TOWER RESTAURANT BARTENDER: Sophie Bratt COCKTAIL: Noggin Egg nog may be a little American for your tastes, but we’ve got it on good authority that it was actually created here in the UK. OXO Tower Restaurant’s take on the drink subs out heavy cream for almond milk, for a delicately flavoured, lighter drink.
IN G R ED IEN TS ◆◆ 50ml Elements 8 Spiced Rum ◆◆ 50ml almond milk ◆◆ 15ml honey syrup ◆◆ 10ml cinnamon syrup ◆◆ 20ml egg yolk ◆◆ Grated nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake hard and strain into a glass and top with a dusting of grated nutmeg. For info: harveynichols.com
I N GREDIENTS ◆◆ 50ml Hennessy VS ◆◆ 25ml crème de figue ◆◆ Dash of whiskey barrel bitters ◆◆ Handful of raisins ◆◆ Flamed orange zest ◆◆ 1 cinammon stick
Flambé the cognac in a pan with raisins and carefully transfer it to a mixing glass. Add the other ingredients and stir with cubed ice. Garnish with flamed orange zest and a cinnamon stick. For info: homehouse.co.uk
HOUSE 21 BARTENDER: Stephen Jupp COCKTAIL: Santa’s Night Cab Want to make an impression for your Christmas guests? We’d bank that ‘borrowing’ a cocktail recipe from the bar at one of London’s most exclusive members’ clubs isn’t a bad way to do it. This take on the old fashioned, made with Hennessy cognac and crème de figue, is a sure-fire, warming hit.
DRY MARTINI BARTENDER: Javier de las Muelas COCKTAIL: Year of the Lady London took note when Barcelona’s Dry Martini decided to make a second home in our capital, and this cocktail shows why: nothing outlandish, just a simple, perfectly balanced winter cocktail. Enjoy.
INGREDIENTS ◆◆ 50ml Hennessy fine de cognac ◆◆ 10ml poire william (French pear brandy) ◆◆ 10ml vanilla syrup ◆◆ 10ml cinnamon syrup ◆◆ 25ml fresh lemon juice ◆◆ 1 egg white ◆◆ 1 candied crab apple ◆◆ 1 cinnamon stick
Shake all the ingredients with ice and fine strain into a pre-chilled coupette glass. Garnish with a candied crab apple and a cinnamon stick. For info: melia.com
Photograph by Jordi Poch
TREEHOUSE AT SKYLOUNGE
◆◆ 35ml Chairman Reserve rum
BARTENDER: Treehouse bar team COCKTAIL: Winter Fizz
◆◆ 5ml sugar
This twisted manhattan comes from the team at Skylounge’s new pop-up, the Tree House. It’s built around Chairman Reserve St Lucian rum, with tawny port and vermouth to sweeten and champagne to cut through it.
IN G R ED IEN TS ◆◆ 15ml tawny port ◆◆ 15ml sweet vermouth ◆◆ Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters ◆◆ Lanson White Label champagne, to top
Stir all the ingredients together and add a dash of Lanson White. For info: hilton.com
Live Magnificently. Drink Responsibly.
© 2015 Brown-Forman Finland Ltd., Helsinki, Finland.
here’s to a classic less ordinary Ice. Preferably rocks. Then. Top with classic finlandia. “Kippis!”
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HIGHLAND SPRING COCKTAIL: Crisp Winter Apple Newsflash: not all cocktails have to be alcoholic. OK, if we’re using the term ‘cocktail’ entirely literally they do, but there’s nothing wrong with giving the non-drinkers and kids something more than warm cola this Christmas. This lightly spiced wintry drink will do just that. You’ll thank us later.
IN G R ED IEN TS ◆◆ 80ml Highland Spring sparkling water ◆◆ 100ml apple juice ◆◆ 1 pinch of ground cinnamon ◆◆ 1 pinch of ground nutmeg
Pour Highland Spring sparkling water and apple juice into a tall glass over crushed ice, sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg on top and serve with a fresh slice of apple. For info: highlandspring.com
NIGHTJAR BARTENDER: Marian Beke COCKTAIL: Ward 8 This cocktail from City Road speakeasy Nightjar makes use of a pickleback base, but adds fruit in the form of blood orange and pomegranate syrup and a kick of lemon on the finish. Delicious.
INGREDIENTS ◆◆ 50ml Bulleit Rye infused with pickling
spices ◆◆ 10ml puréed gherkin ◆◆ 3 bar spoons blood orange
marmalade ◆◆ Splash of grenadine ◆◆ 15ml fresh lemon
Shake with ice and serve in a goblet. Garnish with a gherkin. For info: barnightjar.com
PURE SPIRIT ©2014 CRYSTAL HEAD AND THE CRYSTAL HEAD BOTTLE DESIGN ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS OF GLOBEFILL INC. PRODUCT OF CANADA. VODKA DISTILLED FROM GRAIN 40% ALC. / VOL.
www.smeguk.com www.smeguk.com www.smeguk.com DISCOVER DISCOVER DISCOVER MORE MORE MORE www.smeg50style.com www.smeg50style.com www.smeg50style.com
060 TRAVEL: MANCHESTER | 066 BOTTLE SHOP | 073 SEASON’S EATINGS 085 THE DIGEST | 090 THE SELECTOR | 098 DECONSTRUCT
— PART 3 —
EXCESS “WHAT TO COOK, WHAT TO BUY AND HOW TO PREPARE FOR A WEEK OF MADNESS” SEASON’S EATINGS, 073
THE NORTHERN COURTER MAIN COURSE Far from looking to Londonâ€™s food scene for approval, Manchester is doing its own thing. Neil Davey finds a city at the peak of its powers
Photograph by ###
N SATURDAY 15 June 1996, the IRA detonated a bomb in the centre of Manchester. It was, apparently, the biggest bomb ever on British soil and caused some £700m of damage (around £1.2bn in today’s money). Remarkably, while 212 people were injured, there were no fatalities. In fact, the biggest victim was the Arndale Centre – which, at that time, was perhaps the ugliest, most loathed shopping centre in the UK. The fact that the bomb took out the hated shopping mall, and forced a redesign of the city centre, means you’ll often hear it described as “the best thing that ever happened to Manchester”. Sadly, while it’s a great soundbite – and no doubt accelerated the process – it’s not strictly true. (Plus I suspect Sir Alex Ferguson has something to say about who or what is “the best thing that ever happened to Manchester”.) Before the IRA stepped in, Manchester’s planners had already begun reimagining their city, a programme that’s still forging ahead today. While it’s evident in the architecture – this is a city that’s as good at reinventing its historical properties as it is at dazzling new builds – the real clue is the food and drink scene, which is as healthy as anywhere else in the UK. “The evolution of the food and drink culture in Manchester is exciting, but not surprising,” explains my friend and local food writer Adam Whittaker over a pint
at Port Street Beer House, a great bar that’s one of the city’s biggest supporters of craft beers and small breweries. “For several years, businesses have seen the potential and invested here. Bars like this are a superb example of the quality of product available on almost every street. There’s a brewery, bar or food place opening on an almost weekly basis – and most are independent.” This includes a number of London
exports. Dishoom is rumoured to be heading up north in 2016, and Iberica and Hawksmoor are already there. For the latter’s co-founder, Will Beckett, the choice of Manchester for its first non-London restaurant was an easy decision. “We picked Manchester largely because we enjoy spending time there,” explains Will. “There are various places where we could make money, but if we’re going to open a restaurant somewhere, we want to be excited about going there regularly, and Manchester’s got an amazing energy about it.” Will’s right. Some of us have an image of Mancunians sulkily hating ‘that there London’ while simultaneously looking to it for approval or inspiration, but there’s little evidence of chips on shoulders (insert your own curry sauce gag here, if you absolutely must). This is a city capable of doing its own thing very well indeed. Plus, given its still-affordable property, decent public transport (you’ve got to love a tram), friendly people and a fantastically walkable centre, perhaps it’s London that should be sulking. Over the next few days, there’s some stuttering, and a dash of quantity over quality
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Hawksmoor’s Sunday roast; London export Iberica; the restaurant’s Spanish deli products; Salford Quays; the exterior of Tarriff & Dale
THERE’S A NEW BREWERY, BAR OR FOOD PLACE OPENING HERE ON AN ALMOST WEEKLY BASIS – AND MOST ARE INDEPENDENT
– and good luck if you want to go out for dinner after about 8pm on a Sunday. But, for the most part, the food is terrific. From Port Street, we wander to Tariff & Dale (located, unsurprisingly, on the corner of Tariff Street and Dale Street), a groundfloor bar and basement restaurant set in the sort of old industrial building found all over the city, with bare brickwork, functional tiling and exposed pipes and vents. It’s straight out of a Russell Norman wet dream. The sausage roll is very good, the wood-fired sourdough pizzas are crispy and chewy in equal measure, while the mushroom pie – with a brilliant booze, butter and umami gravy of cooking juices and cava – turns out to be one of the best dishes of the trip. There’s similar quality at neighbours The Whiskey Jar (great classic R&B playlist, one of the best collections of ‘brown water’ I’ve seen outside the Deep South) and El Capo (thoroughly decent Mexican, with a fun bar), although it’s hard to beat the gleefully filthy joys of Twitter favourite and Northern Quarter legend Solita. It’s infamous for its extreme dishes, such as the aptly named Once In A Lifetime burger (two six-ounce
patties, pulled pork, crispy bacon, shoestring onions, buttermilk chicken strips, monterey jack cheese, house BBQ sauce) but it’s not all about the quantity. We go ‘light’ (ha!) with wings (excellent), a ‘pulled-pork sundae’ of buttery mash and moist meat (brilliantly wrong) and cheeseburger spring rolls which: a) are surely the pinnacle of the dirty food movement; and b) I find myself longing for on an almost daily basis. It’s not just ‘new’ Manchester that impresses though. In Chinatown, Thai supermarket Siam Smiles is the unlikely provider of some of the best Thai →
FROM TOP: Sushi from Antipodean restaurant Australasia; the restaurant’s bar; the outdoor terrace at Great John Street Hotel
mugging,” she tells me. “Now…” She gestures around where we’re sitting: a great and busy little café called Teacup Kitchen on Thomas Street, a road now dotted with smart bars and eclectic restaurants. It’s bright and airy, with an appealing menu, 30-odd varieties of tea and massive slices of cake, and a poster on the wall reveals that it’s owned by Mr Scruff, the DJ. When someone like that can open somewhere like this on a street that used to be a no-go area, that’s when you know Manchester has changed – and is continuing to change – for the better. f
Photograph by ###
WE STROLL TO THE MARBLE ARCH FOR “BEER TAPAS”, SHARED HALVES OF EVERYTHING LOCAL ON DRAFT
food I’ve eaten in the UK, and it’s with tingling tongues and broad smiles that we stroll a little out of town to The Marble Arch for what we swiftly come to call “beer tapas”: shared halves of everything local on draft. Given the support for craft beers pretty much everywhere, from local pubs to the bar at the charming Great John Street Hotel, this becomes quite a challenge. Manchester does have a slightly ‘blingy’ reputation and, yes, there’s more than a hint in some places – such as Australasia, a Pacific Rim fusion restaurant located under a glass pyramid by the Armani store. Yeah, that screams bling (as does the interior), but even then service is charming, and there’s some great cooking here: its tempura is superb, plus the wasabi – Kentish grown – is fresh and literally breathtaking. Close neighbour Manchester House is described to me by a local friend as “the best restaurant in the city”. It’s certainly impressive, and endearing: as well as chef Aiden Byrne’s exquisite and clever eight- and fifteen-course tasting menus, there’s a couple of big, no-nonsense steaks on the menu too. My wife joins me for the last few days of exploration. As a University of Manchester graduate, she’s keen to see how the city has changed, and is beyond stunned. “30 years ago you didn’t go near this area for fear of
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GOOD DRAM IT ‘Tis the season to be jolly. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up our favourite festive tipples, so if you’re not in the Christmas spirit yet, you soon will be PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON
You can’t argue with centuries of tradition, and there’s never been a better time to be a whisky lover. Here’s to the best of the new-oldschool malts. 1 BOWMORE ‘THE DARKEST’ 15YO, Islay. Finished in sherry casks. 43%, 70cl; £53.95, thewhiskyexchange.com 2 GLENGOYNE 15YO, Highlands. Distilled from air-dried barley.
43%, 70cl; £43.95, thewhiskyexchange.com
distillation. 50%, 70cl; £42.95; thewhiskyexchange.com
3 KILCHOMAN MACHIR BAY, Islay. Matured in bourbon casks and finished with sherry butts. 46%, 70cl; £54.99, selfridges.com
6 GLENFIDDICH ‘THE ORIGINAL’, Speyside. Based on the world’s first single malt whisky. 40%, 70cl; £84.95, thewhiskyexchange.com
4 TAMDHU 10YO, Speyside. Matured in oak sherry casks for a decade. 40%, 70cl; £34.45, thewhiskyexchange.com
7 BALBLAIR 1999, 2ND RELEASE, Highlands. Pineapple cores on the palate. 46%, 70cl; £59.25, thewhiskyexchange.com
5 BRUICHLADDICH ‘THE CLASSIC LADDIE’, Islay. Made using trickle
8 GLENFARCLAS 15YO, Speyside. Rich and sherried. 46%, 70cl; £59.99, selfridges.com
matchmakers to thinking people
UK Dating Awards 2015
Winner: Matchmaking Agency of the Year Founder’s Award: Mary Balfour for 30 Years Service to Dating
Matchmakers for thinking people Voted Matchmaking Agency of the Year founded in a Bloomsbury bookshop 1984
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MD Mary Balfour
We’re the secret in town. MD Mary Balfour founded in abest-kept Bloomsbury bookshop 1984
founded in a Bloomsbury bookshop 1984 We’ve matched tens of thousands of busy professionals over the last 30 years. You read THE NEW STATESMAN. You’re single. Your future soulmate may be on our books right now!
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Call us any day before 11pm for full details and a friendly discussion
2 1 3
Craving something after Christmas dinner? Try these digestifs on for size 1 MERLET C2 COGNAC & LIQUEUR DE CAFÉ, Cognac, France. Coffeeinfused cognac, best enjoyed in sweet coffee cocktails or neat over ice. 33%, 70cl; £36.47, masterofmalt.com
2 STELLACELLO AMARO LONDON, Bethnal Green, UK. Herbal liqueur – try neat or in a negroni. 23%, 50cl; £28, cravedlondon.com 3 LINIE AQUAVIT, Hagan, Norway. Classic Scandinavian aquavit matured at sea, infused with caraway, dill and fennel. 41.5%, 50cl; £36.99, selfridges.com
Good old cider, our favourite kind of apple juice
2 HAWKES URBAN ORCHARD CIDER, London, UK. Made with country and city apples, fermented
3 PILTON KEEVED CIDER, UK, Somerset, UK. Classic West Country cloudy cider. 5.5%, 35cl; £9.50, cravedlondon.com 4 WILCE’S MEDIUM CARBONATED CIDER, Herefordshire, UK. Bright, clear sparkling cider. 6%, 50cl; £3.30, selfridges.com
1 3 2 4
Photograph by ###
1 MAELOC SIDRA SECA, Galicia, Spain. Dry cider made in the Celtic style. 4.5%, 330ml; £1.99, selfridges.com
with champagne yeast. 4.5%, 330ml; £TBC, harveynichols.com
The Harrods Winter gift card – which can be loaded with any amount from £10 to £10,000 – is the ideal present for everyone on your list this Christmas. Please call Corporate Service at Harrods on +44 (0)20 7225 5994 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If the festive period fills you with terror, fear not. We’ve created a last-minute survival guide, filled with inspiration on what to cook, what to buy and how to prepare for the madness
In association with
The turkey supplier on creating a positive environment for birds With the value placed on ethical sourcing soaring by the day, it’s heartening to know some suppliers are guaranteeing their animals a happy Christmas before they end up on our plates. “Turkeys are very curious, and easily bored, so we give them lots of stuff to play with,” says Gressingham’s Mark Bloom, who looks after some of the turkeys available at Waitrose. “From the time they arrive as day-old chicks, they have the best of everything: during the day they’re out in the paddocks, where they want to be. “This year, we’ve planted areas with wild flowers and lots of natural cover, and they really enjoy ranging about in there. The bronze breeds are traditional and slow-growing, and are very close to the original wild turkeys, so they really thrive in a free-range environment.” Waitrose Turkey Parcel with Pork, Gingerbread & Apricot Stuffing, £35/1.6kg is fully prepared and simple to carve; waitrose.com
SUPPLY & DEMAND
We hear from producers and buyers behind some Christmas favourites, and discover how their products embody the festive spirit
LECKFORD ESTATE Wookey Hole Cave-Aged Cheddar from Somerset “The cave-aged cheddar from Wookey Hole is set to add theatre to cheeseboards around the country this Christmas,” says Jan Maish, Waitrose’s product developer. We don’t know about you, but our festive cheeseboard could do with a bit of drama – it’s a bit wooden at the moment. (Sorry.) “The truckle of cheddar is wrapped in muslin and matured in caves at the southern edge of the Mendip Hills near Wells in Somerset. Perfect for maturing cheese, the temperature of the caves is a constant 11ºC all year round, and the high humidity is ideal to stop the cheese drying out during
its maturation storage. The result is an individually wrapped cheddar truckle, still in the muslin it was matured in. This is homegrown produce at its best.” Waitrose Wookey Hole cave-aged cheddar, £10/600g; waitrose.com
The Waitrose-owned wine producer on buying British “We were thrilled with how popular the maiden vintage of the Leckford sparkling wine was,” says Waitrose’s English wine buyer Rebecca Hull on the supermarket’s brand new English wine, produced at its farm in Hampshire. “We’re really proud that our investment in English winemaking has paid off – it’s the perfect way to celebrate this Christmas.” ’Tis the season to toast, and what better way than to keep it close to home? Leckford Estate Brut is available for £29.99 at 57 Waitrose shops and waitrosecellar.com
ON THE DAY
MAKE ENDS ME AT
PORT IN A STOR M
BAC K F OR PUD
Waitrose continental platter, £17
Fonseca LBV Unfiltered Port, £18.99
Fancy a change from the usual starter? Prawn cocktail getting a bit predictable? Mix it up by kicking things off with a cured meat platter – just the thing to get your appetite going. waitrose.com
Don’t even pretend you won’t be breaking out the cheese at some point after Christmas lunch. This LBV (late-bottled vintage) port is a syrupy-sweet, classic example. selfridges.com
Georgie Porgie’s Orange & Cointreau Christmas Pudding, £13 Undiscernable, spicy Christmas pudding flavours not for you? Fear not – grab this orange and Cointreau version instead. cravedlondon.com
H AM IT UP Heston from Waitrose Stuffed Gammon, £13.99/1kg You could spend hours fussing over just the right glaze for this year’s gammon, but your secret’s safe with us if you don’t. This horseshoe gammon joint is finished with tangerine and ginger glazes. waitrose.com
MINI SIRLOIN STEAK AND CHIPS
An insanely simple canapé by Social Pantry’s Alex Head. Bite-sized, and no cutlery needed SET T HE ’TONE Nudo Olive Oil Panettone, £20 Instead of butter, the socially enterprising Nudo uses oil from trees you can adopt in its olive groves in this beast of a panettone. Perfect light breakfast or teatime fare. amazon.co.uk
O MATTER HOW lovely edible flowers can make a canapé look, we appreciate that all some people really want is steak and chips,” says Alex Head, founder of Clapham café Social Pantry. All we know is if we turned up to a party greeted by these, we’d be very happy indeed. “You can serve different dips with this canapé, from horseradish cream to a mustard mayonnaise – the choice is yours...”
1 Cut the potatoes into matchsticks and par-boil in salted boiling water for 1 minute. 2 Drain and lay the chips flat on a tray and chill for 30 minutes. 3 On a high heat, sear your steak on all
INGREDIENTS To make 12 canapés ◆◆ 1 9oz sirloin ◆◆ 200g potatoes (King Edward
or Maris Piper) ◆◆ 1l vegetable oil
sides, cook rare and leave it to rest. 4 Heat a vat or a wok full of vegetable oil to 175°C and fry the chips until golden brown and crispy (you can tell when the chips are done as they float to the surface). 5 Slice the steak lengthways and wrap around the chips. Serve up and enjoy the compliments! socialpantry.co.uk
G REAT SCO T
CASE T HE J OINT
SPAR K L ING F ORM
Caorunn Gin, £23
Tipplesworth cocktail case, £185
Luc Belaire Brut Gold, £29.99
Scottish gins are getting their feet on the ladder at the minute, and this one shows why – botanicals include bog myrtle and heather. Serve in a G&T with an apple slice. waitrosecellar.com
Emergency entertaining? Short but impressive fly-by visit? Tipplesworth’s cocktail cases pack in everything you need for a martini or an old fashioned on the hop. tipplesworth.com
Sparkling French wine at Christmas? Whatever next? Luc Belaire’s sparkling chardonnay from Burgundy (not Champagne) will have you toasting the season in style. selfridges.com
SPIC E OF L IF E Waitrose Signature Spice, 40g, £1.49
Photograph by ###
The taste of Christmas in one easy tub? Sign us up. The Waitrose Signature Spice blend includes cardamom, tangerine oil, allspice, cloves and more. Use it in everything. Everything. waitrose.com
INGREDIENTS ◆◆ 150ml coconut oil or frying oil ◆◆ 360g kale flower sprouts (or
...but not as you know them. Poco’s Tom Hunt shares his killer recipe, with orange and cardamom
ALE OR FLOWER sprouts are a new discovery for me,” says Tom Hunt, head chef at modern tapas restaurant Poco. “They’re a cross between Russian red kale and Brussels sprouts. They’re wonderful steamed or boiled, but when you fry them something really special happens: they go crispy on the outside and become marvelously gooey on the inside. This recipe hits all the spots for Christmas, and feels very seasonal.”
1 If you are using regular Brussels sprouts, cut into them into quarters but not quite down to the stalk so they stay in one piece, and pull the leaves out a little. 2 Heat the oil in a deep, narrow pan until hot but not smoking. 3 Carefully put the sprouts and orange pieces into the oil. Turn every now and again to ensure they cook evenly. 4 After 3-5 minutes, when the sprouts
Brussels sprouts) ◆◆ 6 cardamom pods, seeds removed
and ground ◆◆ ½ orange, sliced into 5mm pieces
and cut into quarters ◆◆ Zest and juice of ½ orange ◆◆ 2 tsp Turkish red pepper flakes ◆◆ Salt and pepper
begin to get crispy and coloured, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and put them on a paper towel to drain. 5 While hot, dress the sprouts with the orange juice, zest, cardamom seeds, salt and pepper, and one teaspoon of red pepper flakes. 6 Serve on a plate immediately with the other teaspoon of red pepper flakes sprinkled over the top. pocotapasbar.com
W HAT’S I N THE B OX? Berry Bros & Rudd Christmas hampers, from £35 What to buy for the oenophile in your life? We think a Christmas hamper from legendary wine stockist Berry Bros will do the trick. bbr.com
M AK ING T HE C U T
G RAT E E X PE C TAT IO N S
Alessi K Block, £94
Waitrose Parmigiano Reggiano Grater and Olive Oil, £15
For the chef who has everything – apart from an Italian-designed, Japanese-influenced wooden knife block, that is. Everything you need for sushi and more. alessi.com
This gift set is genuinely useful (especially as the wooden block catches the gratings), and just the right size to wrap up. Perfect. waitrose.com
A flavoursome way to use up leftover turkey, from Atul Kochhar of Michelin-starred Benares
INGREDIENTS ◆◆ 1kg of cooked turkey meat,
diced, kept warm in a steamer ◆◆ 400g basmati rice, boiled or
RY AS WE might, we just can’t seem to nail an entire turkey at Christmas lunch. “Turkey being a big bird, it is almost impossible not to have leftovers after Christmas Day,” says Benares’s Atul Kochhar, who was forced to try his hand at leftovers on the insistence of friends and family. “Ever since I landed in England, I have been invited around to friends’ houses on Boxing Day rather than Christmas Day – I almost always got invited to use my culinary skills to ‘réchauffe’ the leftover turkey. The sauce and rice has to be almost cooked, the turkey to be reheated and mixed with the rice and sauce, garnished and served at once.”
steamed to just done, kept warm ◆◆ 3 tbsp vegetable oil ◆◆ 2 cloves ◆◆ 2 bay leaves ◆◆ 1 star anise ◆◆ 1in piece of cinnamon stick ◆◆ 1 tsp cumin seeds ◆◆ 4 medium-sized onions, thinly sliced ◆◆ 1 tbsp minced garlic ◆◆ 1 tbsp minced ginger ◆◆ 1 green chilli, minced ◆◆ 1 tsp turmeric powder ◆◆ 1 tsp coriander powder ◆◆ ½ tsp black pepper powder, freshly crushed ◆◆ 1 tsp aromatic garam masala ◆◆ 4-6 medium size tomatoes, blended to a paste ◆◆ 200ml coconut milk ◆◆ Salt, to taste ◆◆ 2 tbsp coriander leaves, freshly chopped
SM OK E IT U P H. Forman & Son Scottish smoked salmon side, £39.95 Fancy a bit of luxury? This side of cured salmon will have your mouth watering. Alternatively, it’d make a great gift. formanandfield.com
1 Heat oil in a pan, add cloves, bay leaves, star anise, the cinnamon stick and cumin seeds. 2 As the spices crackle in the heat, add sliced onion and a pinch of salt, and sauté until golden brown 3 Stir in the ginger, garlic and chilli and sauté for 2 minutes. 4 Add the turmeric, coriander, black pepper and garam masala powders, sauté for 1 minute and add tomatoes.
HANSEN’S HACKS Essential time-saving tips for using leftovers this Christmas, courtesy of chef Anna Hansen of The Modern Pantry
5 While stirring, bring to a simmer, cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then add coconut milk and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. 6 Check for seasoning. 7 When ready to serve, stir the turkey into the sauce and heat for a minute, add rice and mix lightly. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with cucumber raita. benaresrestaurant.com
◆◆ “Use leftover roast pork to make spring
rolls: wrap the pork up with beansprouts, chilli and coriander and some hoisin sauce. Serve with The Modern Pantry’s Tomato Chilli Sauce.”
R E L ISH T HE M OM E N T Rosebud Preserves Beetroot & Horseradish Relish, £3.40 And to accompany your side of salmon? Beetroot and horseradish are both natural matches – why not have them together? rosebudpreserves.co.uk
◆◆ “Break Christmas cake up into pieces and
mix through some softened, store-bought vanilla ice cream, then serve with a shot of espresso or sweet sherry poured over.” themodernpantry.co.uk
Weâ€™ve been making our
S OF T CRUNCH Y SE A S A LT FL A K E S using the same artisanal methods since 1882.
THE MAGIC TOUCH Want to elevate your Christmas drinks to a new level? Add a dash of Teisseire sirop for sophisticated serves with flair, inspiration and unbeatable taste. We'll drink to that…
FRAMBOISE COOLER ◆◆ 150ML MINERAL WATER ◆◆ 15ML TEISSEIRE RASPBERRY
Est . 17 2 0
FRUIT DE LA PASSION ◆◆ 150ML MINERAL WATER ◆◆ 15ML TEISSEIRE PASSIONFRUIT ◆◆ 5ML LIME JUICE ◆◆ 1/2 A PASSION FRUIT
OR 5ML PASSION FRUIT PURÉE Using a wine glass, add Teisseire Passion fruit, fresh passion fruit or passion fruit purée, lime juice and mineral water. Top with ice.
◆◆ 5ML LEMON JUICE ◆◆ CRUSHED RASPBERRIES Using a highball glass, add Teisseire Raspberry, lemon juice and mineral water. Crush raspberries with spoon, add to glass and top with ice.
ADD TEISSEIRE TO DRINKS WHEN YOU NEED TO GIVE THEM A TOUCH OF SPARKLE, FROM RICH CARAMEL TO ZINGY CITRUS
FRAISE DE CHAMPAGNE ◆◆ 130ML CHAMPAGNE ◆◆ 15ML TEISSEIRE STRAWBERRY ◆◆ FRESH STRAWBERRY Cut strawberry into thin slices, skewer with toothpick and set aside. Pour Teisseire Strawberry into a champagne glass, top with champagne and garnish with strawberry on rim of glass.
SPARKLING CITRON ◆◆ 150ML SPARKLING WATER ◆◆ 15ML TEISSEIRE LEMON ◆◆ 3 DASHES ANGOSTURA BITTERS ◆◆ 10ML LEMON JUICE ◆◆ 2 SLICES OF LEMON Using a highball glass, add Teisseire Lemon, Angostura Bitters and lemon juice. Top with sparkling water, lemon slices and ice.
GIN BLUSH ◆◆ 50ML GIN ◆◆ 100ML TONIC ◆◆ 15ML TEISSEIRE PINK
GRAPEFRUIT ◆◆ 2 SLICES OF LIME
Add gin, Teisseire Pink Grapefruit and tonic to rock glass. Top with ice and garnish with lime.
MONACO ◆◆ 10ML TEISSEIRE GRENADINE ◆◆ 1/2 PINT LAGER Pour the Teisseire Grenadine into a half-pint glass and top with your favourite lager.
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Buy online at Leiths.com, call 020 8749 6400 or email email@example.com.
All your winter food and drink news – including a pop-up the likes of which London’s never seen before MAIN COURSE
ALL BAR TWO
Photograph (Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale) by Rob Lawson
They’re finally off – after eight years at the top, bartending team Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale have left The Langham hotel’s Artesian shortly after it won Drinks International’s World’s Best Bar award for the fourth year running. The two will be working together on one or more as-yet undisclosed projects. “It’s been an incredible pleasure and privilege to lead Artesian for the past eight years,” said Kratena of his departure. “Even though we will miss our team, Simone and I are ready to pursue new challenges.” Hot on the heels of the news of Kratena and Caporale’s departure, The Langham has appointed a new head bartender in the form of Phillip ‘Pip’ Hanson, who arrives after five years as beverage director at Marvel Bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota. artesian-bar.co.uk
Michel Roux Jr’s hallowed Le Gavroche is probably right up there on any selfrespecting food lover’s bucket list, but now it’s going to get just that bit harder to make a reservation: from February 2016, the restaurant will be closed to the general public on Mondays. Instead, it’ll be available for private and corporate hire – and it’ll also be hosting a series of unique popup events, starting with ‘The Next Generation’, when Roux and his daughter Emily will be cooking together at Le Gavroche for the first time. Other exclusive offerings will include experiences with previous Roux scholars, bespoke wine events and tastings from Le Gavroche’s head sommelier, David Galetti, and his team. As well as offering the chance to collaborate on this unique event series, the initiative was also devised to give the staff at Le Gavroche more time outside the kitchen. And that’s one more reason to love Michel Roux Jr. le-gavroche.co.uk
Foodism was surprised this month to receive a bottle of ham and mustard-flavoured gin from Sipsmith (before we started to ponder what an excellent dirty martini it could make). But it all fell into place when we heard the distiller was starting the Worshipful Company of Sipsmiths – consumers pay for one of three tiered memberships, and in return get sent the best of the brand’s trial gins every quarter, infused with everything from mince pie spice to truffles, as well as other perks. sipsmith.com
SHUCK MY LIFE
The news everyone’s been waiting for. Richard Corrigan – restaurateur, influencer and chef – has been awarded the title of Oyster Champion of the Year 2015, sponsored by Cloudy Bay wines and Wright Brothers. The awards, held at Boisdale Canary Wharf in late November, pay tribute to the farmers and chefs flying the flag for British oysters. Corrigan owns Corrigan’s Mayfair as well as oyster and seafood bar Bentley’s, and is by all accounts a bad mother shucker.
In among all the new gins flying out of London distilleries, there’s a quiet, boozy revolution happening north of the border, too. First there was Caorunn, and now another Scottish gin is being talked about as being up there with the best of them: the Botanist, distilled in the heart of whisky country in Islay, features nine classic botanicals and 22 local Scottish herbs and flowers. thebotanist.com
WINE UP MERCHANT
Remember Amazon, that one-time online bookshop? Well it sells a lot more than that now, and its latest venture into food and drink is the Fine Wine Store. Every bottle in the new range is award-winning or has garnered praise from top wine critics, meaning you’re guaranteed not to get a dud. Ours is a 2009 Opus One from Napa Valley – cheers. amazon.co.uk/thefinewinestore
The rise of crowdfunding doesn’t just mean small businesses getting off the ground – it also gives people with higher profiles the chance to strike out, without pressure from backers with their own agendas. One of our favourites of recent times is Nuno Mendes’s attempt to revive the vaunted Viajante, this time in a Victorian warehouse in Wapping, with £1.75m sought. The prospect of the return of a classic, as well as genuine food lovers owning a share of the business? Sounds good to us. seedrs.com/viajante
Photograph (Nuno Mendes) by Louise Haywood-Schiefer
You hear a lot about foraging these days, but how much of it’s actually done outside of the restaurant industry? Loads, if the Urban Foraging Society has its way. The collective, set up by the brothers behind London restaurants The Shed and Rabbit as well as Nutbourne vineyard in West Sussex, aims to educate consumers on the benefits of sourcing your own herbs and ingredients from the countryside’s natural larder. Expect regular meet-ups, foraging trips and essential tips on finding your own produce. @gladwinbros
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TEN NOT OUT
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The beautiful room at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe; dishes showing the creativity and flair in chef patron Chris Galvin and head chef Tom Duffill's French-inspired menu
Galvin's Bistrot de Luxe may be ten years old, but it's as fresh and luxurious an eating destination as it ever was
HEN CHRIS AND Jeff Galvin set up the French brasserie-style restaurant Galvin Bistrot de Luxe in 2005, they couldn't have predicted the success it, along with their other restaurants, would have. But what is it that makes their first
ITS ABILITY TO DELIVER HIGHEND COOKING AT AFFORDABLE PRICES IS SECOND TO NONE
restaurant so iconic? With more than 30 years' experience between them, the brothers' ability to deliver high-end cooking at affordable prices is second to none. The menu also makes full use of local and seasonal ingredients, sourced in part by the brothers themselves, to make sure the menu showcases the best the seasons have to offer. Walk in there for lunch or dinner today and you'll find the service, in classic brasserie style, is is still relaxed and unobstrusive, and the ethos behind the restaurant and its menu hasn't diverted course from that which made its name ten years ago. And, after all, why change a winning formula? â—? For info: galvinrestaurants.com
We all pay a high price for London’s heaving bar and restaurant scene – bouts of chronic, appetite-killing indecision. The foodism team is here to help, with our pick of the places you should be eating and drinking in right now… 90
1 1 Lina Stores 18 Brewer Street, W1F 0SH
With its striped awnings and tiled exterior, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped back into the 1950s when you enter this Italian deli. Lina has been in Soho since 1944, when Lina herself came over from Genova. 70 years later, and this pictureperfect store is still importing authentic Italian produce, making fresh pasta, cakes and sandwiches on site and offering a tightly curated selection of cured meats, cheese and antipasti. 020 7437 6482; linastores.co.uk
A few of our favourite delicatessens, from Nordic cool to German sausages
BEST OF THE REST 2 Sourced Market
4 Deli X
St Pancras International, Pancras Road, N1C 2QP
156 Deptford High St, SE8 3PQ
Originally a food stall, Sourced Market’s first shop in St Pancras fuses the idea of a farmer’s market with a convenience store, connecting Londoners with suppliers who adhere to the highest values of animal husbandry and sustainable, ethical sourcing. It’s now crowdsourcing for new sites in Marylebone and Victoria.
You can peruse the shelves of this Deptford hotspot for produce that’s been sourced from local suppliers – we’d recommend taking an empty bottle with you to fill with its punchy extra virgin olive oil.
020 7833 9352; sourcedmarket.com
3 Summer with Monika 67-69 Pitfield Street, N1 6BT
This Swedish-influenced deli takes its name from the eponymous 1950s cult movie – you can’t get much more Scandicool than that. As well as an incredible selection of open sandwiches, cakes and juices, you can sit in the windows and scoff smoked salmon and potato salad. 020 7253 8631; summerwithmonika.com
020 8691 3377; @DeliXLtd
5 German Deli 3 Park Street, SE1 9AB
5 Bratwurst, currywurst, bockwurst, knackwurst, leberwurst, weisswurst... You’ll find the majority of the above at the German Deli in Borough Market, which imports food directly from Deutschland. 020 8985 8000; germandeli.co.uk
BEST OF THE REST 2 Wringer & Mangle
4 The King of Ladies Man
The Old Laundry Building, Sidworth Street, E8 3SD
5-9 Battersea Rise, SW11 1HG
A bar and restaurant in a former industrial laundry, Wringer & Mangle is the latest venture from the owner of Hoxton Gin, which means a bloody great cocktail list. As for the food, chef Oisin Coyle has racked up experience at Terroir and Skylon before this.
The Breakfast Club on Battersea Rise has all the usual trappings of our favourite brunch spot, plus the quirky addition of a laundrette. If you look closely at one of the walls, it’s actually a secret sliding door leading to a 1970s-style bachelor pad.
020 3457 7285; wringerandmangle.co.uk
020 7078 9630; thekingofladiesman.com
3 Machine No. 3
5 Chinese Laundry
271 Well Street, E9 6RG
107 Upper Street, N1 1QN
Craft beers, biodynamic wines, cocktails and charcuterie belie the humble origins of this new local joint, but a trip to the loo will quickly remind you of its past life as a dilapidated laundrette: the original washing machine covers now adorn the bathrooms. 020 3222 5119; @MachineNo3
You won’t find typical takeaway dishes here – the menu is based on street food and home cooking from mainland Northern China. We’ve got our eyes on the cocktail list, which focuses on baijiu, a Chinese white spirit. 020 7686 6847; chineselaundryroom.co.uk
Bars and restaurants in reclaimed laundrettes. In London, you say? Surely not. Wash your mouth out
3 1 Coin Laundry 70 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QP
Chicken kiev goes posh – with handforaged wild garlic and 4 a secret breadcrumb blend – at this new addition to Clerkenwell’s iconic old-school haunt Exmouth Market. It’s not the only 1970s British pub staple to get a very 5 welcome makeover, either: prawn cocktail, trifle and lamb faggots are just a couple of other good old nostalgic dishes you’ll find on the menu. The drinks list is equally retro, with grasshoppers and snowballs, as well as Soda Stream cocktails. The retro laundryinspired hangout also has a common room-style basement space hosting a regular programme of events including book clubs, pop-up shops and club nights. 020 7833 9000; coinlaundry.co.uk
1 Oldroyd 344 Upper Street, N1 0PD
Tom Oldroyd was chef-director of the Polpo restaurant group, where he worked for five years, overseeing the launch of eight of the company’s restaurants – the menu for the original Polpo in Soho was his handiwork. The food at his own restaurant is mouthwatering – think crab tagliarini Provençal with brown crab rouille and cured Welsh veal tonnato – and we’re big fans of the cocktail list too, which Oldroyd devised alongside Ryan Chetiyawardana of White Lyan (which came 26th on this year’s World’s 50 Best Bars list). 020 8617 9010; oldroydlondon.com
THAT’S A FIRST Hail to the chef-patron. Here are our top picks of top chefs running their first restaurants
Photograph (Lyle’s) by Per-Anders Jorgenson; (Typig Room) John Carey
BEST OF THE REST 2 Lyle’s
Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
20 Savile Row, W1S 3PR
It didn’t take James Lowe long to establish his first restaurant, Lyle’s, as one of the most talked about in London. It opened in spring 2014, and was awarded its first Michelin star this October. Why, you ask? We’d wager it’s because of Lowe’s common-sense approach to modern British cuisine, and a vibrant menu featuring dishes such as raw Hereford rib with cured mullet roe, and lamb sweetbreads with yoghurt and baby gem lettuce.
After a long and successful post at City favourite L’Anima, Italy’s Francesco Mazzei has been given his own kitchen – the newly renovated Satoria on Savile Row.
020 3019 0880; theninthlondon.com
020 7534 7000; sartoria-restaurant.co.uk
London cottoned on to Selin Kiazim’s skills after her successful pop-ups, and the menu at her new restaurant celebrates her TurkishCypriot heritage, with a global influence that comes from spending her formative years under fusion maestro Peter Gordon.
020 3011 5911; lyleslondon.com
worked under Michel Roux Jr, Marco Pierre White and Eric Chavot, to name just a few.
4 The Ninth 22 Charlotte Street, W1T 2NB
The Ninth is so-called because it’s the ninth restaurant chef-patron Jun Tanaka has worked in, but the first one he’s owned. Tanaka has
5 Oklava 74 Luke Street, EC2A 4PY
020 7729 3032; oklava.co.uk
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BEST OF THE REST 2 The King & Co 100 Clapham Park Road, SW4 7BZ
This Clapham favourite prides itself on using its kitchen residencies to deliver great food cooked by passionate people. January will see a whopping double residency from Dogtown London and Slap & Pickle, who’ll be battling it out to prove whether the hot dog or the burger is the king of street food. 020 7498 1971; thekingandco.uk
3 The Three Compasses 99 Dalston Lane, E8 1NH
Dalston favourite The Three Compasses
hosts regular games nights and even hosted a weekly Game of Thrones watch-along for the show’s last series, so it’s no surprise that the food here is based on a series of rotating residencies. The latest, Claw, uses crabs from Start Bay in Devon in its signature burgers. 020 7923 4752; @3compasses
4 Job Centre 120-122 Deptford High Street, SE8 4NS
Hipsters are slowly starting to trickle south of the river, as evidenced by this formerjob-centre-turned-trendy-pub in Deptford. Weekends are where it gets interesting: there’s
a ‘kitchen hijack’ on Friday and Saturday nights – previous occupants have included Colonel Tom’s Gumbo, the Cheese Truckers and Sticky Beaks. 020 8692 6859; jobcentredeptford.com
5 Hat & Tun 3 Hatton Wall, EC1N 8HX
High standards with a bit of quirk – that’s exactly what you’ll find at this refurbished Victorian boozer. Its kitchen residencies for the new year are still hush-hush, but we can tell you they’ll be worth waiting for. 020 7242 4747; thehatandtun.com
These boozers have handed over food duties to London’s best and brightest pop-ups 1
1 The Old Queen’s Head 44 Essex Road, N1 8LN
020 7354 9993; theoldqueenshead.com
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We do love a good-looking menu, and Lucky Chip’s brightly coloured offering at The Old Queen’s Head is no exception – although that might be thanks to a killer burger line-up that includes the Woody Harrelson (portobello mushroom, aubergine and pepper) and the El Chappo (aged-beef patty, smoked bacon and blue cheese). Lucky Chip’s residency is still going strong, complemented by a cocktail list that includes a gingerbread sazerac and a cranberry and elderflower collins.
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BEST OF THE REST 2 Flat Iron
4 Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte
17-18 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH
18-20 Mackenzie Walk, Canary Wharf, E14 4PH
Great steak for a tenner? Thanks to an emphasis on seam butchery and mastery of a less glamorous cut, that’s what you’ll find at Flat Iron, whose 250-cover restaurant has just opened in Covent Garden.
An oldie but a goodie; diners go here to enjoy just one meal: green salad with walnuts dressed with mustard vinaigrette, followed by steak frites that’s served with a sauce made according to a top-secret recipe.
020 3475 3331; relaisdevenise.com
3 Balls & Company
5 Mussel Men
58 Greek Street, W1D 3DY
584 Kingsland Road, E8 4AH
Oo-er. The name makes us giggle, but we have to admit – the gourmet meatballs from this Soho restaurant make us weak at the kness: Wagyu beef; pork, ricotta, parmesan, basil and sage; quinoa, beetroot and feta; this is a restaurant with serious balls. (Sorry.)
The Mussel Men started out with cousins Robin Dunlop and Colin Thwaites shucking oysters while dressed in kilts at events. Fastforward a few years, and they’ve gone from serving moules frites in a travelling trailer named Salty to a permanent venue in Dalston.
020 7851 6688; ballsandcompany.london
020 3490 9040; musselmen.com
These restaurants prove that sticking to what you know is nothing to be ashamed of 1 The Potato Project
27 Noel Street, W1F 8GZ
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The new breed of single-dish restaurants are slowly but surely attempting to take over London’s food scene, and the humble potato gets a serious gourmet upgrade at new Soho restaurant the Potato Project, where you’ll find jackets packed with everything from an all-day breakfast mix to raclette cheese with roasted artichoke and smoked ham hock, cheddar and piccalilli. Thought the sweets would provide respite? Think again: even dessert is made of potatoes – sweet potato cheesecake with a granola crumb is a prime example. Elsewhere, a great list of sides includes a half-loaded avocado, a buttermilk and root vegetable slaw and a salad made with seven types of tomato. We didn’t even know there were that many.
PROUDLY SERVING THE DA L YP S RE V ISNTGE A TH B E SPTR O UU SD RE IM KE S BEST USDA PRIME STEAKS
3 3 6 - 3 3 7 T H E S T R A N D , W C 2 R 1 H A | 020 7395 3450 | S T K H O U S E . C O M 3 3 6 - 3 3 7 T H E S T R A N D , W C 2 R 1 H A | 020 7395 3450 | S T K H O U S E . C O M STK
LIQUID GOLD: The most expensive honey in the world has a sweet price tag of €5,000 per kilogram, making it costlier than gold. The optimistically priced ‘Elvish’ honey is extracted from 1,800m-deep caves in Turkey.
SWEEEET: Aside from eating it, honey can be used as a natural antiseptic, in beauty products and – perhaps best of all – to relieve hangovers (the fructose helps process alcohol). Winnie knew a good thing when he saw one...
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It’s sweet, it’s sticky and it’s got all manner of uses, from spreading on bread to soothing sore throats. This month, we take a closer look at honey, the original superfood
STICKING AROUND: Honey has some impressive historical credentials. Early evidence of humans hunting for it can be seen in a cave painting in Valencia that is around 8,000 years old. It’s also name-checked in the Bible.
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We hate to see good food go to waste. So when we found ourselves with some leftover figs and juices recently, we turned them into a tasty new yogurt called Left-Yeovers! 10P FROM EACH POT GOES TO FARESHARE, THE CHARITY FIGHTING HUNGER AND FOOD WASTE FIND OUT MORE: YEOVALLEY.CO.UK/LEFT−YEOVERS
Foodism Magazine - Christmas special - London food and drink