Food corner

"... there’s no despair in a seed. There’s only life, waiting for the right conditions – sun and water, warmth and soil – to be set free. Every day millions upon millions of seeds lift their two green wings."

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Entries in London (19)


Paper plate dego

“Any dinner that ends with dancing on the tables is a success in my books!” said my sis when we woke up, heads throbbing, after the first London edition of the Paper Plate Dego. Agreed, but there are so many other reasons why this dinner was a success that to solely single out the dancing is to do a massive disservice to the chef.

‘Dego’, for those of you who don’t speak Aussie, is short for degustation. (If you find yourself stuck in the outback, a good rule of thumb for words over 2 syllables is to chop off all but the first and stick an ‘o’ on the end: avo, servo, dego and so forth.)

But why the paper plates? It started out with a lack of crockery and now the name has stuck, so why not? It means less dishes to wash and, in a neat play on words, Chef Sam’s twitter handle can also be read as ‘paper plated ego’.

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Yak and Yeti

When I was invited last week to review the new branch of Yak and Yeti in Finsbury Park I have to admit that I was sceptical. I needn’t have been; my experience proved the old adage that you should never judge a book by its cover. 

From the outside Yak and Yeti looks like a chain and in a busy strip of mostly independent restaurants, I am more likely to choose somewhere that looks original. The décor doesn’t improve much when you step inside, but the service and food more than make up for it. All the staff are extremely knowledgeable about the food and very passionate about the dishes from their native Nepal.

Two of the waiters recommended the momo lamb, so we thought we had better try that. Good choice! It was the most interesting dish we had. Momo is a typical Nepalese street food that epitomises the mix of influences on Nepalese cuisine from its neighbours, Tibet and India.

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The height of good taste

One word: surreal.

This time yesterday I was suspended from a crane quaffing white wine waiting for a Michelin-starred three-course meal cooked by this guy:

In the sky.

Yes, really. 

Daniel Hutchens (Speyside Glenlivet), Jacquie Bance de Vasquez and Leigh Farmer
(Sustainable Restaurant Association)

I was invited to attend London in the Sky by the good people at Speyside Glenlivet. They were also responsible for keeping me sober - important at this dizzying height. (I am a klutz and a dropped knife, fork or glass is a regular occurrence when I dine with wine; much more dramatic at 100 feet!)

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Pollen Street Social

“I just love dining like this. It’s fabulous isn’t it?”

Yes, Mum, isn’t it? I do hope she remembers quite how much she enjoyed it. The venue was Pollen Street Social and she was referring to the tasting menu.

“I love that it just comes and you just don’t have to think about it. And everything is so well thought through.”

Yes, I quite agree. Hold on, aren’t I supposed to be writing the review?

For our birthdays my dearest Dad let us choose a restaurant in London to spoil ourselves in. I sent him a list of suggestions in various price ranges and was pleasantly surprised when he responded with this:

“I had a look at the Pollen Street Social site. It has some very good drinking to be had for under 50 quids a bottle. I didn't think it looked too pretentious and the tasting menu at 80q's sounded OK. I don't know how it compares with the others you mentioned … so go for whatever floats your boat.”

Permission to do the tasting menu and a £50 per bottle budget for wine. Sold! To the salivating girl on cloud nine.

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Truck Stop

A couple of weeks ago I went to Truck Stop with my Mum and a friend, Shaun. It is a summer street food event at Canary Wharf organised by Street Feast and Tweat Up to bring together “over 20 of the UK’s best food trucks”. (There were probably 21, and of varying quality, but who’s counting?)

The pick of the bunch appeared to be the kimchi burgers from Kimchi Cult, judging by the line which at peak hour snaked all the way across the site and back again. I didn’t try them; after an hour wait you are only going to be disappointed.

We arrived early, which was lucky. It was massively oversubscribed so lines got out of control from about 7pm. Fortunately we had already started on the trucks we were most interested in.

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