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Masterchef Pop-up Restaurant

A few months ago, I received an email about the one month Masterchef Pop-up Restaurant and Bar happening in London. Basically, several Masterchef winners and contestants were going to be cooking food every week over the course of a month (Mostly October 2014). Each week was featuring different chefs, and Tom and I decided to go and check it out. We do watch pretty much every iteration of Masterchef in the UK (some of the ones in other countries are a bit over-dramatic), so I chose a group of chefs that I remembered being really good: The 2012 winner (Tim) and runner-ups (Sara and Tom). I also opted to get the tasting menu that consisted of two courses from each of them.

So we arrived. The venue was the 10th and 11th floor of the Blue Fin Building near the Tate Modern. The bar was on an outside terrace with a few drink selections available. We started with Bloody Marys, but unfortunately, they were a bit lack-luster and the celery was a bit wilted. We also had some Pimms and I had a G&T. They drinks were okay, but nothing great. Also because the terrace is outside on the 10th floor, it got quite cold quite quickly, and it soon became obvious we weren’t dressed well enough. We tried to see if there was an indoor bar in the restaurant, but we were turned away. Luckily, they told us about some indoor seating someplace, so we got a drink to bring there where we could be slightly warmer.

At 7:30 we could get seated, and they presented us with a complimentary glass of champagne which was a nice touch. We were told that there’s an open kitchen area were we could look into the kitchen, so we decided to take a look before dinner. We did get to see a glimpse of Sara and Tom working, but Tim seemed to be missing that night. The venue itself is quite simple, but they did try a bit to make it a bit nicer than just a standard cafeteria-style area. We ordered some wine to go with the first two courses (champagne) and settled in for our meal.

We opted to get a bottle of champagne to go with the starters. They were serving Laurent Perrier, and while it’s not the best champagne available, it is always tasty and enjoyable. The first starter was a confit salmon with micro greens and lemon. And the flavor was really nice, but the salmon was a bit overcooked. The second starter was rabbit. And the rabbit was probably the best course. The tureen is really delicious, and I really enjoyed it, so with the first two courses down, I was really looking forward to what else there was to come. Although the fish was overcooked, the flavors seemed nice. We also managed to get quite a few bread refills. There was a white roll and a rye roll. Both were really great. Apparently other tables were offered a rosemary potato roll, but I think those ran out quite early on.

We now switched to a barolo for the mains. The wine was quite nice, so we were happy about that. The first main was fish again, and unfortunately, it was quite disappointing. The broth it was served in was really tasty, but the fish itself was incredibly overcooked. The mussel that came with it was also really terrible. The only saving grace was that the scallop was cooked well, but overall the course really lacked quite a bit. The fourth course of pork belly was tasty, but again wasn’t amazing.

For dessert, we got a half-bottle of the Tokaji. Again the wine was really tasty, but the two desserts were a bit disappointing. The first one of mango and passionfruit with candied olives isn’t an original flavor combination for me (we had something similar last year at Pollen Street Social), but the red sorbet it was served with was really tasty. The S’mores was also really disappointing. I was hoping for something really gooey and delicious, but it was just kind of boring. Since Tim is an American, I was hoping he’d get this course right, but it really wasn’t very exciting. The gold popping candy that came with it was really good though.

The service was a bit spotty as well. Even though our server Amber was really nice, she didn’t seem to know what she was doing. Even though she claimed we were her top priority table, it really didn’t feel that way. We also talked to one of the organizers of the event when she came by our table and when we were leaving. She asked us how it was, and given how much wine I had been drinking, I wasn’t shy in telling her that it was quite disappointing. The food was nice, but not great, and the execution of the dishes was really lacking as several courses were overcooked. Given there were 100+ diners there for tasting menus, it’s clear that it was just too many people to handle. Maybe a lot of them aren’t experienced with that kind of food, but I was expecting a lot more. So when we were asked if we’d come back if they did it again, I had to tell them no. That I enjoyed the experience of having food cooked by Masterchef contestants, but the execution and the set-up really let them down. It’s all a learning experience I’m sure, and maybe they can improve, but for £65 a head, there are far better places in London I could be eating dinner.

So overall the experience was interesting. I’m glad I went to try something new and experience some previous Masterchef contestants’ food. (Although the meal we had in Cornwall at a restaurant of another contestant was far superior to this.) I can’t say it was the best food I’ve had, but it was fun. So, for me it was a definite three star experience. I hope that they manage to improve things over the next few weeks, and maybe it will improve quite a bit if they decide to do it again.

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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Restaurants, Travel

 

Booze (but spherified)

For Christmas this year, my parents gave me two molecular gastronomy kits: One for alcohol and one for food. To be honest, most of the chemicals in the kits overlap considerably, but the recipe DVD included is specific for the kit. One Sunday, Tom blurted out that we should attempt to use the alcohol kit to make some booze. And hey, it was a Sunday, so why not?

We opted for the spherification recipes. There were two ways to do it. The recipes to make the caviar (small balls) had you add the sodium alginate to the liquid you were spherifying and make a calcium lactate bath. The larger balls added the calcium lactate to the liquid and use a sodium alginate bath.

For the larger balls, we decided to make some pomegranate juice balls and some lime juice balls. The basic procedure is to add the calcium lactate to the juice, blend it with a hand blender, pour the juice into a mold and freeze the juice in the mold until they were easy to handle. That sounded fairly easy, so we did the pomegranate juice (with a few pomegranate seeds frozen inside for good measure) first, then while it was freezing, we moved onto the caviar.

The caviar balls were to make a fancy Gin and Tonic. You took the tonic and mixed it with blue curacao, added the sodium alginate, blended with a hand blender and dropped it by a pipette into the calcium lactate bath. The blue curacao gives it a nice blue color, but we couldn’t find any, so we opted for some green melon liqueur and some raspberry liqueur to make green caviar and red caviar. We also left some with just tonic to give some comparison. It’s a pretty tedious process. There’s a lot of pipetting to get a small amount of balls. But we stuck to it. The recipe then called for the tonic balls to be added to gin and a slice of lime. Then drink.

The caviar didn’t work so well. First blending the tonic water with the sodium alginate caused a ton of bubbles. It made it hard to pipette. I think it might be better to make the tonic a bit more flat before attempting to make at home. The liqueur didn’t really do much either. They also got quite gelified, so they were like little spheres of tonic gel. It also is incredibly strong to drink straight gin with a few tonic balls, so we ended up adding tonic to the drink as well. Overall, while it makes a cool effect, I think the smaller balls might be better left to the food preparation.

Once we had some frozen pomegranate juice, we put the lime juice with the calcium lactate in the freezer. We attempted to put a few of the frozen juice balls in the sodium alginate. It seemed to work okay, but if one burst, the bath really started gelling up. It wasn’t pleasant. The bath was also incredibly viscous so it was hard to handle the balls. Turns out later after looking things up online that you should use distilled water when making the sodium alginate bath. If there’s calcium in the water (and in London, there’s a lot of it), it really makes a viscous bath that is hard to deal with. However, we did manage to get a few pomegranate balls out and had a couple of delicious pomegranate martinis with them.

The lime balls worked out a bit easier. I’m not sure if there’s something in the pomegranate juice, or what, but we got several really nice lime balls that Tom put into margaritas. The only issue is they sit quite low in the glass so you had to pick them out and burst them in your mouth every once in awhile during the drinking so you wouldn’t end up with them all at the bottom.

Turns out though, that the lime balls work great for shots. Put them in the bottom of a tequila shot and you have your lime already for you at the end. It may be my new favorite way to do the shots. If you mix some water, salt and soy lecithin, you can also make a salt foam to put on top which takes care of the salt. These shots are definitely going to make an appearance at our next party. The nice thing is that you can make up the frozen lime juice early and the balls seem to stay intact for quite awhile soaking in a water bath after they’ve been spherified, so you can make them in batches and not worry too much.

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Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Molecular gastronomy

 

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Slow-cooked Ox Cheeks

Now that the summer is over, I have a lot more time to mess around in the kitchen. (And it’s a lot cooler! Cooking in the summer, especially this summer, leads to unpleasant extra heat in the house.) I’d been chatting with a friend about ox cheeks and how good they are, and I’ve been eating them at one of London’s finest barbeque trucks. So I decided what better way to try to prepare them than to cook them sous vide.

Whenever I decide to cook something new, I always search to see how others have prepared it online. Almost every website said cooked at 82 C for 8-9 hours. Okay that’s fine. However, I’m not always sure why these sous vide recipes call for such high heats. I mean, I could just braise the ox cheek in a nice red wine and some beef stock to create a soft, delicious ox cheek with a ready made gravy. Isn’t the point of sous vide cooking to go “low and slow” and to be able to cook some of these tougher cuts of meat really well and still keep them medium rare? I think so. To be fair, 9 hours is pretty slow and 82 C is pretty low, but it’s not low or slow enough for me. I finally found a recipe that kept the cheeks at 55 C (medium rare) for 3 days. This sounded ideal for me, so I went for it.

Not being sure how hard the meat would be to handle when I was finished, I opted to sear them first, then freeze them for a bit to solidify the juices and make it easier to vacuum seal. Luckily, I was also making braised lamb shanks for Sunday dinner, so I just coated them in flour, salt and pepper and seared them in the same pan to give the shanks a bit more flavor. I also threw a couple of rosemary thyme sprigs into each of the bags. Once they were sealed, and the temperature was right, I popped them in the water bath to bathe away for three days. There was a bit of a worry when we were out on Tuesday night and part of the city lost power (quite close to our house as well), so I was worried that we had lost power and the previous two days had gone to waste, but luckily we were spared from the power cut and the cheeks continued on their three day cook.

When they were done, I took them out. They looked and smelled marvelous. I took the small amount of juices left in the back and reduced them in a pan with a bit of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and Lancashire sauce that we had received recently as a gift from some friends. Apparently there are other shires in the UK that have a sauce besides just Worcestershire. Who knew? I served the sliced (and perfectly medium rare) cheeks on some potato rosti with a bit of the reduction and a side of steamed sugar snap peas.

They tasted divine. They were so soft you could cut them with a butter knife. The sauce added a nice boost, but was really unnecessary as the ox cheek really has an amazing flavor on its own. It’s definitely something I’m keeping in my repertoire as it’s quite easy, as long as I plan ahead. It would also go great with some fondant potatoes or creamy mash as well.

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Posted by on September 27, 2013 in Sous Vide

 

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Lisbon: The Port Wine Institute and Belcanto

Our last port of call on our cruise was in Lisbon. A few days prior, we had been lamenting about the poor food quality on board the ship, and we started looking for fine dining restaurants and places to go to satisfy our foodie cravings. Unfortunately, in other ports we either didn’t have enough time to go to some of the places we really wanted or they were closed (Sunday is not the best day to be spending a whole day in Spain).

Luckily, we hit Lisbon on a Tuesday and Belcanto was open for lunch. However, we had a bit of time before our reservation, so we headed up to the Port Wine Institute to try some port and relax with a drink. At 11:00 am. Yes, we’re those sort of people. We walked through the streets of Lisbon (which is absolutely gorgeous by the way), and ended up on a hill where there was an amazing view of the city. This area was also directly across the street of the institute so it was conveniently located for us.

The institute is a pretty spectacular place. The green carpeting and comfortable seating really make you feel welcome and invited in. The service is a bit slow at times, but we ended up trying several different port wines while we were there. We started with the standard late bottle vintage (LBV). While these may not be as nice as the vintage ports, those were not available to try by the glass. However the ones we tried were nice, and we ended up picking up a nice 2003 LBV to take home. Next, we moved onto the tawny ports. Tom has never been a fan of them, but he figured if there was a place to find one he liked, it was at the Institute. Turns out, he likes old tawny ports, as he had a 1961 that was out of this world. It was actually a Colheita which is a single vintage tawny, so nicer than your standard one. That port wasn’t available in the bottle, only by the glass, so we tried a few others and ended up with a 1967 Colheita to take home. We also picked up a vintage port because we could.

At the restaurant, we opted for the tasting menu. It was six courses, and we asked about wine pairings, and they had one that had a glass with every course or one with every other course. There was no question as we opted for the full pairings. They were also all Portuguese wines which really made the meal special. I missed a picture of the first amuse bouche (consisting of a trio of olives), but got photos of everything else. The next amuse bouche was something that looked like a ferrero rocher, but turned out to be a bit of foie gras pate in a shell. Delish. It was served with a bit of a crispy cod thing. The last amuse bouche was barnacles! Barnacles! I’d never had them before, but was very impressed.

For the actual meal, the first course was a display of shellfish that looked like the ocean. The shellfish was all very tasty and the presentation was spot on. Course two was pickled fish with a beetroot an onion sauce. The fish was really soft and tender, and the beets were a great match. The wine for this course was spectacular as well. Course three is the dish that apparently got them their Michelin star this year. It’s a slow cooked egg with gold leaf and truffles. It was absolutely heavenly. Next was mullet with a liver sauce (made from the same mullet!) served with gnocchi to represent the sidewalks of Lisbon. Fifth was a course of suckling pig belly served with a sauce they painted on! There were also crisps in an edible bag served on the side. There was a pre-dessert of a frosted raspberry with wasabi. Interesting flavor combination and delicious! Last we had the mandarin. It was a mandarin foam inside of a mandarin jelly with sorbet and mandarin slices. One of the best desserts I’ve had in awhile. It was served with a sweet white port, and we realized we were missing out not trying sweet white port before (we had only had dry white and were not fans).

After lunch, we ended up walking around Lisbon looking for some of the wine we had just drank at lunch. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much luck, but we picked up a few other bottles of wine to bring back home and try. I didn’t get to see much of Lisbon, but I loved what I saw. We also picked up a couple of Portuguese tarts to have for later. Lisbon (and probably other places in Portugal) is now on my list of places to return to in Europe.

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Travel

 

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Casablanca (and Moroccan food)

One of the things I love about traveling is getting to try all the authentic local cuisine. When we went on a cruise recently, and it went to Casablanca, we knew we needed to find a good local place to have delicious food. Some of my friends who had been on a trip to Morocco recently had mentioned that Moroccan food can be hit or miss depending on the restaurant, and since we only had one day, we knew we had to find a good place to go.

The restaurant we chose was Restaurant Imilchil. Apparently Imilchil is a small town in the center of Morocco, but for food purposes, I was more concerned about the taste experience. As we sat down in the restaurant (and we weren’t even sure it was open because it seemed empty and closed) we perused the menu, and it was all in French and Arabic (as you’d expect in Morocco). Unfortunately, we didn’t bring enough British Pounds to likely cover the meal, so Tom had to run off to a cash machine to get some local money. Apparently the restaurant owner followed him (either to make sure he found it or he was coming back, we really have no idea). It did give me a bit of time to get some shots of the beautiful dining area as well.

We weren’t too sure what to get, so the owner recommended the salad, a chicken tagine and some couscous to share. It sounded perfect, but I had eaten at Moroccan places in the States, and I had a delicious sweet and savory pie made out of chicken and fruit wrapped in pastry and covered with cinnamon and sugar so I definitely wanted one of those. I managed to explain somehow what I wanted, and he said “Pigeon pastilla”. Apparently pastilla is what I wanted and it’s made out of pigeon (instead of chicken) so I was even more excited by the thought.

The salads that we had were fantastic. I can even describe the flavors on my palate. Definitely Moroccan and delicious. (And unfortunately, I was so hungry I forgot to get a photo.) The pastilla was heavenly. The pigeon was well cooked and had that liver-like taste that I love about it, but mixed with almonds and Moroccan spices. The sugar and cinnamon on top just added to the sweet and savory combination that I’ve learned to love. The tagine was actually my least favorite part. It was nice, but it could have been better. There were bits of liver in it that were nice, but the sauce and overall flavor was a bit lacking. An American traveler also came into the restaurant, and he had the lamb and prune tagine which may have been better. The couscous was a bit wet for my taste, but the vegetables on top were fantastic. Plus under the vegetables was a nice braised piece of lamb that was quite delicious. So overall, the restaurant was well worth our research and planning, and I would recommend it to anyone who happened to find themselves in Casablanca. The owner also suggested some Moroccan wine. We were intrigued and love to try wines from different places, so we had a bottle, and we were pleasantly surprised at how good it was. We may have to try to find it in the UK!

Unfortunately, Casablanca itself wasn’t that nice. It’s a bit dirty, and definitely doesn’t have the romantic feel you’d expect (but most of that is because of the Hollywood movie). We walked around a bit, and came across the market, but most of the stalls were closed. (Possibly just while we were there, but who knows?) We ended up there on a Friday and since that is the day of worship in Islam, it could be the reason why it just wasn’t that exciting around town. I had already found out that the giant and beautiful mosque on the hill was closed to visitors on Friday (unless you got there really early, and that was unlikely for us to do) so there was a lot of stuff we just didn’t get the chance to see. Honestly, I’m not sure I’d go back to Casablanca, but I’m glad I went. I even picked up my own tagine to cook in at home, so I definitely need to have a Moroccan night. Including making that delicious pastilla!

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Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Travel

 

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Make-your-own Ramen Burger

Food trends are interesting. The major cities usually get them, and often the start of a food trend is NYC. One of the biggest food trends is the Cronut. According to the website the shop opens at 8:00 am and if you want a good chance to get a Cronut, you need to arrive by 6:00 am and wait in line for 2.5 hours. 2.5 hours? Are you kidding me? I hate to queue for an hour let alone that long. These Cronuts better be Manna from heaven given the way you have to wait to get them. Luckily, these food trends seem to spread, and since the word Cronut is trademarked, they just call them something different. In London, we’ve seen several different types of Cronuts (or Cro-doughs, or Dossants or whatever people want to call them) and luckily the queue for these don’t seem to be quite as bad. (At least at some places and for now.)

One of the newest NYC food trends is the Ramen burger. What is this you ask? Well it’s a burger sandwiched between a Ramen noodle “bun”. Sounds interesting, and when I pointed it out to some friends, we all wondered about how quickly something like this might take to come to London. Another friend pointed me toward a video that shows you how to make a Ramen bun, or there’s this recipe that shows how to make a Ramen burger as well. That’s the bun down, but I don’t know, the idea of just slapping any old burger and cheese on this burger seemed liked something that was added as an afterthought, so I decided to gourmet it up a bit and go full on Asian-style Ramen burger with a duck burger instead of your standard beef and American cheese. This included using Miso in the “bun” and making some crispy caramelized onions to go on it. I also opted for using Hoisin sauce as a condiment for the burger. I served it up with a salad with miso dressing (Sweet white miso, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil) and some oven baked chips (although if I was doing it for company, I’d probably do my own in my new deep fryer.).

I have to say it went extremely well! On some level, I miss having the bread encasing the burger to soak up the juices, so the Ramen burger gets a bit messy, but tasty. And it was my first attempt, and it did seem like a lot of work. When I mentioned to my Guinea Pig Tom (as a home chef, your partner is always your test subject for trying new things) that I wasn’t sure it was worth it, he commented that he really liked it, so maybe it was just me, or maybe I just need to find a way to kick it up a bit more on the Asian scale. The only complaint he had was that it was massive, so I definitely need to find a way to scale it down a bit.

Ingredients:

(For the bun)

  • Ramen noodles (I ended up using one package per “bun” so I used two packages in total)
  • Eggs (Again, I used about one egg per “bun”, but I didn’t use all of it at the end)
  • Sweet White Miso
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Buttered ramekins
  • Parchment paper

(For the burger)

  • Two duck breasts (skin off)
  • About 100g of streaky bacon
  • Powdered ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste

(To assemble)

  • Emmental cheese
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Gem lettuce
  • Crispy fried onions

To make the bun:

  1. Cook Ramen noodles according to instructions on packet. Once cooked, refrigerate for approx. 15 minutes to cool noodles.
  2. Whisk eggs and miso (Sorry I don’t usually measure things so mix what you think is good).
  3. Add egg mix to cooled noodles. Once mixed, portion into buttered ramekins and press down. Place parchment over top of noodles and place smaller ramekins (or something equally as heavy as seen in the video: cans or whatever) on top of parchment to compress noodles. Refrigerate for approx. 15 minutes.
  4. Heat a mix of grapeseed and sesame oils in a pan on medium to medium-high heat. After noodles have been refrigerated, slowly invert the ramekins into the pan and shake slightly to remove the noodles. Let cook for about 5-6 minutes per side in order to get crisp. Once finished save the oil to fry the burgers in.

For the burgers:

I must warn you that I have a kitchen full of lovely kitchen gadgets. If this is too much work for you, or you don’t have the gadgets, feel free to prepare any sort of burger you choose to go with it. I really thought duck would be nice so I went for it, but a regular burger would probably be good as well.

  1. Cut up the duck breasts and bacon into chunks. (Since most of the fat is under the skin, using the bacon adds a bit more fat to hold the burgers together). Using a meat grinder on the largest grind, grind the chunks of duck breast and bacon. (If you don’t have a meat grinder, I’ve been told that you can use a food processor but you might not get quite as nice of a grind. Or you can be meticulous and chop up the meat by hand. Your choice.)
  2. Add salt and pepper (to taste) and powdered ginger and mix. Form into two patties (although you could probably get away with three or four smaller ones given how massive mine were).
  3. Cook them in your favorite way to cook burgers. Mine is to seal them into vacuum pouches and cook them in a water bath at 57 C for an hour. This ensures the duck is a perfect medium rare pink in the middle. I then sear them for about a minute on each side using a medium-high heat in order to get a nice charred brown outside. I like to cook them this way, as the hour cooking time for the burger gave me enough time to prepare the buns, and by time the buns were finished so were the burgers!

For the onions:

  1. Heat a pan on medium-low heat.
  2. Thinly slice an onion (I like to cut mine in half and then slice them into half moons).
  3. Add a generous amount of olive oil (or olive oil mixed with butter) to the pan and add the onions.
  4. Slow cook them for about an hour

To assemble:

  1. Start with a bottom “bun”
  2. Add some onions and lettuce
  3. Place a burger on top and some cheese.
  4. Add the hoisin sauce
  5. Place the top “bun”

Voila! You have a ramen burger. I actually put the cheese on the top bun in order to let it melt a bit since the bun was hot. I also might recommend putting the lettuce on top of the burger as it did make the burger slide around a bit, but really the ordering is up to you and what you like. And really, if making your own burger meat is too much work, just use whatever you like. I wanted to give it a bit of an Asian flare, but beef (or chicken) with a teriyaki sauce glaze would probably be equally as tasty on a Ramen bun. And any toppings you want would be nice as well. A fried duck egg on top would probably be delicious too! The nice thing about burgers is that they are customizable according to your tastes.

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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Burger

 

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Borough Market, London

Living in London is an amazing experience. There is so much to see and to do. One of my favorite places to go is Borough Market. It’s a lovely market experience full of booths, stalls and shops selling all sorts of fresh and wholesome ingredients. They also have hot and cold food available to eat while you’re there, so you can have a delicious lunch there as well.

They even have a website (http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/).

One downfall is that the full market is only open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. While I have managed to play hooky from work and show up on a Thursday or Friday, Saturday is clearly the most convenient day to go. Because of that, Saturdays get packed. Like super-packed. I’m not the biggest fan of large groups of people winding their way through small areas, but I do manage to survive a few trips out there. Needless to say, the best time to go is in the morning before the crowds set in, but even showing up at 9:30 doesn’t mean there won’t already be a bunch of people milling about and shopping. The last time I went, I met up with a bunch of people to check things out and our ETA was set for 9:30 on a Saturday.

One of the most popular places in the area seems to be Monmouth coffee. We started here on our journey so we could get coffee. Unfortunately, even at 9:30 there is a queue. A long queue. And honestly, I don’t get it. The coffee is perfectly decent, but definitely not worth the wait. In fact, if you want a smaller queue at a place which also sells their coffee, head down the street to Rabot Estate. It’s primarily a chocolate store, but the coffee is pretty good as well. I’ve had quite a few delicious chocolates from here to take home (and it’s part of the Hotel Chocolat family).

I love wandering around the market to see all the lovely food and ingredients. One of my favorite places at the market is Tartufaia. They are the truffle sellers at the market. I’ve only bought real truffles from them once, and they were summer truffles (so much cheaper), but they also sell some amazingly decadent truffle oils and truffle honey. I often stop by to get white truffle honey to take home as it tastes amazing on cheeses.

Speaking of cheeses, there are quite a number of speciality cheeses around the area as well. We stopped by one place that had these interesting swiss cheeses. One of them was quite hard and was flavored with garlic and pepper. For me, it was a bit too garlicky and peppery, and it just didn’t taste enough like cheese. However, there were other cheeses in their stall that seemed amazing and worth trying. Another stall had four ages of Comte to try, one of which has been aged for 36 months (and it’s fantastic by the way). Yet a third stall is full of “drunken cheeses” which are cheeses that have been soaked in some sort of alcohol, and I have bought cheese from them on several occasions. If you’re into British cheeses, Neal’s Yard is nearby and they have some of the best Cheddar cheeses I’ve ever tasted. Want something melty and oozy? Kappacasein has a food cart in the area where they sell delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and Raclette.

Want some bread with your cheese? There are plenty of baked goods as well. There are pastry and bread stalls galore. I’ve had some amazingly thick and delicious English Muffins from here. I haven’t had a bad baked good from the Market to be honest. Or if you’re looking for some nice meats for a charcuterie platter to go with your cheese, there are plenty of hams, sausages and cured meats to be had.

There’s also a plethora of fruit and vegetable stalls around. I also always see a lot of delicious meat stalls. You can get offal, exotic animals, chicken, beef and practically anything you could want to cook! Of course, there are also full sit down restaurants in the area as well.

I have also bought plenty of desserts for either home or to eat there. Again the baked goods abound (I always love seeing all the brownies). But there’s a cheesecake place and ice cream. In fact, the last time I was there I tried some amazing goat’s cheese ice cream. Greedy Goat is my new find, and who knew goat’s cheese ice cream could be so good. I sample the raspberry and chili and it was phenomenal.

But a good meal wouldn’t be complete without good wine, and there is plenty to be found in the area. One of our favorite places to stop and get some amazing Sauternes is Borough Wines. But there are several places around that let you sample the amazing wine and bubbly that they have to offer. Another option is Vinopolis. They have a huge selection of wines and spirits. They had the kirsch I needed to make fondue which was hard to find in the regular shops.

Borough Market is definitely a place to check out if you’re visiting London. I often bring family and friends here, but it’s just an excuse to go. It’s a fantastic place with fantastic food, and I love to make the trip whenever I can.

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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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