Tuesday, April 09, 2013


 The blog has changed a bit of late - Borough Market was once the focus of my food but it has changed and so have I. Nowadays my quest for fabulous encompasses lots of other places as does my weekly food shop. So, welcome to tidbits - all the other stuff I ate this week!

 We had a light supper at Fernandez & Wells at Somerset House, one of the most beautiful rooms I eat in with its impossibly high ceilings and enormous windows and utterly fabulous selection of mostly pork - hams, salami, chorizo, morcilla to go with a couple of well chosen cheeses, and a couple of  perfect nibbles of grilled padron peppers and salted marcona almonds. With a glass of wine there is no finer way to dine before the theatre. Sadly, the play - The Captain of Kopenik starring the inestimable Antony Sher - was a little less than the sum of its parts.

 Maybe one in twenty padron peppers is really hot - and it's always a suprise!

In our second cultural outing for the week we were headed to the Young Vic for A Doll's House, a play I'd never before seen on stage. We started with dinner at The Anchor & Hope, a place that I have really loved for years for its brillaintly cooked, gutsy British food. There was a time when, if there was a dish I'd never eaten but fancied, I would order it in this pub knowing that it would be the best rendition possible and I could decide if I liked it or not. And now, sadly, it's not so. It has many changes of staff over the years and it feels like the puff has gone. Dinner was perfectly reasonable - the man had sweetbreads with peas and bacon and I had a Barnsley chop with sweet potato - but we didn't come out zinging with the pleasure of our meal. It was the same last time we ate there, and I've heard similar reports from others that have eaten there lately. Shame.

The play, however, was brilliant, if you're in London and can get tickets, I urge you to go. It was one of the best nights at the theatre we've had in a while.

Friday brought with it the possibility of adventure. I had booked  to go to A Balkan Dinner, at the Frog on the Green, an event organised by Foodtrips, a brilliant foodie adventure that creates fabulous holidays I lust after and occasional nights like this. I know nothing of the food of the Balkans but it turns out the unifying elements is yoghurt. Which works for me - I am very fond indeed of a good yoghurt.

Chef John Gionleka stems from Albania, but his family and interests both span the entire region. His love of peasant food is paired with not quite so peasanty technique. John runs "Frog on the Green", the amazing deli on the Nunhead/Peckham borders that was host to us for the night.

My favourite of the night - chicken with a lemony yoghurt finished with hazelnut butter and mint

Globe zucchini stuffed wtih pork and pine kernels was well matched with soured goats' yoghurt

Loved the spring lamb but was almost defeated by the yoghurt gratin

 It was a brilliant evening - the shop had been converted into an ad hoc dining room and a group of fairly random strangers gathered to indulge in this lovely feast with musical interludes between courses.

 Saturday morning I nipped  up to my local farmers market at Oval. There's a good organic fruit and veg stall - the loss of Tony Booth from Borough is what really made the wheel fall off my food trolley, finding a new supply of great veg is an ongoing challenge. Bought potatoes, candy striped beetroot - because how could I resist?! - and probably the final purple sprouting broccoli of the year. Was planning a salad but alas is still too cold.

This is my biggest delight of the week. It's a tofu mould that I had to send to China for as they seem to be unobtainable any where closer than that. I have bought Asian Tofu, largely because I have never been able to buy tofu that comes anywhere near the bean curd flower we eat at Baozoi Inn. It is one of the best things I have ever eaten and it is more seductive every time I try it. So, adventures in tofu coming up!

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