Le Deuxieme, Covent Garden

A strangely calm European brasserie in the middle of Covent Garden, Le Deuxieme is one of the smarter restaurants in the area. A sort of pushing the boat out type of place, you know. For special occasions. And pay days. And theatre trips.

 

The dining room is understated. Bijou. White. Not all white everything, but mostly. Each table has a tiny plant too, so you know that this is a fancy kind of place. No one is under any illusions. Plants = fancy.

 

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The menu isn’t quite as French as the name initially suggests, although there are of course snails with lashings of garlic butter available, if you’re so inclined. (The wine list is very French-biased, though).

 

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To start we chose the Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Chorizo (£8.50). The scallops were excellent – perfectly cooked and great with the Cauliflower Puree and Chorizo… but is £8.50 a bit expensive for two scallops and two slices of chorizo? I think it may be…

 

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Our other choice was a Warm Salad of Smoked Bacon, Black Pudding and Potato with a Soft Boiled Egg (£8.50)The warm salad was an odd one, kind of a fry up in salad form, something for the furiously unhealthy salad-eater. Strangely tasty, but a little greasy.

 

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A main course of Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Courgette Tempura, Pineapple and Mango Salsa (£17.50) was chosen mostly because it sounded completely different to anything else on the menu, and it was quite an unusual thing, really. It scores points for presentation – pretty isn’t it?

 

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The Pineapple and Mango Salsa tasted like summer, if summer had tiny bits of chilli floating about in it. The dish was let down slightly by tempura that didn’t quite have the required crunch, though.

 

Boy opted for Roasted Rump of Lamb with Gratin Dauphinois, Mint and Port Jus (£19.50), and was presented with a huge serving of perfectly cooked melt-in-the-mouth lamb and perfect Dauphinois. It didn’t taste at ALL like summer, but I’ll be honest, I was a bit jealous of this one.

 

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The service (from our waiter) was faultless on our visit, although I have heard a few grumbles about surly staff when dining later in the evening (particularly post-theatre dining). However there was something a little troubling about the place, service-wise, and that, I’m afraid to say, was down to the scruffy chap I presumed to be the manager.

 

Although the restaurant was half empty, this silver haired monsieur insisted on standing bizarrely close to our table and staring at us for much of the meal. Off-putting, to say the least. Perhaps he thought we were attempting some kind of upmarket dine and run. A great injustice! I was far too full to run, anyway.

 

Tip: Try it out for a fraction of the cost with the fixed price menu, £14.50/16.50 for two/three courses. Le Deuxieme is also suitable for pre and post theatre dining.

 

The Verdict: Although pricey (really very pricey) the food at Le Deuxieme is fantastic, and the location is good. It was all let down slightly by the manager, though. Please would someone tell him it’s rude to stare.

 

 

7/10 

 

££££

 

ledeuxieme.com

Le Deuxieme on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Review: Hootananny Brixton

Have you ever been in a pub and thought to yourself… what this place needs is a shitload of passive aggressive people, sweating profusely and jumping up and down to the sounds of some kooky rock band that never quite made it but wholeheartedly refuses to give up…?

 

You HAVE? Fantastic!

 

Let me tell you about Hootananny, Brixton’s weirdest (i.e. worst) night out.

 

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So, What’s It Like?

Like a pub, designed by someone who hates pubs. One half of this grime-encrusted netherworld is really very much like a good old public house, it’s got a snooker table and everything.

The other is more of a school assembly hall, with a stage at the end. Massive velvet curtains too, harbouring small colonies of undiscovered species. There’s also a bar, but it’s been carefully hidden behind a monstrous crowd of slobbering drunks, so you might not see that.

Outside there are many marquees, and street food vendors selling some sort of garlic coated pizza thing, presumably in an effort to add a smattering of halitosis to the rich and varied scents drifting about the place.

There are also patio heaters, conveniently placed in the centre of the marquees, threatening to sizzle the skin off of anyone brave enough to attempt to pass them. So that’s fun!

 

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Don’t Miss

The toilets. Seriously, these funky-smelling things would give the good old festival toilet experience a run for its money… but that’s not even the best bit! The toilets at Hootannany also come with LIVE MUSIC!!

Here entertainment is provided by the attendants, who delight in screeching the most indecent of lyrics, stopping every so often to shout at you to hurry yourself up. Who doesn’t love to pee under pressure?

 

 

Will I Get In?

Hootannany Brixton reckons itself as some of member’s club, delusions of grandeur so hysterically funny you’ll forgive me for taking a few moments just to compose myself.

As you enter mysterious people in a hut whip a few quid from your desperate, nervous little hands, then glare at you as a strapping security guard frisks you to within an inch of your life. Only then are you presented with Hootenanny’s special membership card, which apparently gets you money off when you come back.

Why you would return after experiencing Hootannany once, though, is anyone’s guess.

 

 

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Will I Find Love?

No. You won’t. Because within minutes of being granted entry to this entirely tragic arena of awfulness you’ll feel so utterly dejected you’ll consider throwing yourself in front of a bus, before deciding that actually just going home would probably take the pain away.

 

 

 

Who Goes?

  1. People who hate music.
  2. Failed bands.
  3. People who want to fight you.

 

 

The Verdict:

Absolutely not.

 

 

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Hootannany
95 Effra Rd,
Greater London
SW2 1DF

020 7737 7273

Belvedere Opens Legends of the Martini Exhibition

When it comes to alcoholic tasting experiences vodka may not be the first drink that comes to mind, but premium vodka brand Belvedere are set to change all that with a new exhibition this summer – Legends of the Martini!

 

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Opening on the 1st August 2014, Legends of the Martini is an all sensory experience exploring and celebrating the iconic cocktail. Head to the Royal Academy Senate Rooms, Burlington Gardens to enjoy a curated experience which will take you on an interactive journey through the evolution of the martini, from gin through to vodka, meeting glamorous and enigmatic characters from popular culture that have made the martini famous along the way. The experience will explore the evolution of the martini and its significance in the life of each of the legends.

 

A selection of cutting edge names in photography, set design, film and music have been commissioned to re-interpret characters or ‘legends’ from history associated with the martini.

 

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Guests will be invited to match a list of legends including Elizabeth Taylor, Ernest Hemingway, Kate Moss and of course, perhaps most famously, James Bond, to a piece in the experience, based on one of the characters.

 

Still life photographer Jess Bonham, who has created work for likes of Kenzo, Vogue, and Twin Magazine, is working alongside set designer Gemma Tickle (Elle, GQ Style, Wallpaper*) to create a selection of still life images for six of the legends. Film maker Chris Read who has created films for Adidas, Dr. Martins and Kenzo has reinterpreted one of the legends through film and concept house band Let the Machines do the Work, who have recently toured alongside Booka Shade, have created a musical score based on one of the legends. Poet Greta Bellamacina (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Tatler) has created the accompanying imaginative text and Set Designer Carrie Louise (Vogue, Another, Vanity Fair, GRAFF) has designed the exhibition.

 

Curator Tory Turk said: “The martini cocktail has had many manifestations throughout its development, and now holds a distinct image within popular culture. Its connotations evoke an invitation to a sophisticated lifestyle and Legends of the Martini opens the door into this world.

 

“From the roaring 20s, past the swinging sixties, through the 90s to the present day, it will highlight characters who have been known to enjoy a martini (or two) in their time.”

Guests also have the opportunity to purchase tickets to the accompanying tasting bar where they can sample three flights, or miniature versions of martinis on arrival, showcasing the variables of the martini including: Shaken vs. Stirred, a choice of vermouths, Wet vs. Dry and different garnishes.

 

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The sessions that will last for an hour and fifteen minutes and will run from 5pm-10:30pm Monday- Thursday, from midday- 10:30pm Friday and Saturday and midday- 5pm on Sundays. Larger versions of guest’s preferred martini variation, alongside special martinis inspired by the legends will then be available to purchase.

 

Claire Smith, head of mixology and spirit creation at Belvedere Vodka said: “The martini is one of the world’s most iconic drinks, it is steeped with history and glamour, yet is extremely divisive. We want to demystify the drink, helping people work out which martini suits their palate and teaching them that there really is a martini to suit everyone.”

 

The curated part of experience (exclusive of the tasting session) will also be open to the public free of charge from 10am-10pm daily and a pop-up martini bar selling a selection of Belvedere martinis will also be open outside the entrance to the experience from 6pm-10pm daily (excluding Friday).

 

Belvedere Legends of the Martini Experience (includes curated experience and tasting)

Friday 1st August- Sunday 31st August

Royal Academy Senate Rooms (Burlington Street entrance)

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD

Opening times: 5pm-10:30pm Monday- Thursday

Midday- 10:30pm Friday and Saturday

Midday- 5pm Sundays

 

Tickets are available from: www.belvederevodka.com/martinilegends for £15.

TUMI Opens Flagship Store on Regent Street, London – Designed by Dror Benshetrit

Leading travel brand TUMI has opened a flagship store on Regent Street, designed by Dror Benshetrit.

 

The shop itself is a glamorous giant of a store, combining glitzy LED lighting and polished metal fixtures with wood detailing. Decor includes walnut-finished wooden fins, with seaforth marble plank floors, laid in an asymmetrical pattern, tying the colour palette together. And that’s where we trotted off to to discuss the latest collections with GQ’s Online Fashion Editor Nick Carvell. Here he is!

 

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“We took a holistic approach, consistent between the product, interior, design and absolutely everything that is a part of the brand’s DNA,” said Dror Benshetrit.

 

“When you look at a TUMI bag, there’s a lot of logic and reasoning behind the design. Whether you’re creating a bag or a store, you’re designing for that same customer. We wanted to add a sense of hierarchy within the space to provide a seamless experience—moments where the consumer is guided towards what they’re looking for. TUMI customers know exactly what they want.”

 

 

NEW DESIGNS – LAUNCHED JUNE 2014

In addition to a whole new shop, Tumi has just announced the arrival of its new summer range, including more improvements to its core Alpha 2 travel collection – which boasts no less than 14 patents! Upgrades include newly designed 360° wheels, recessed into the body of suitcases to give a lower center of gravity, stable multidirectional navigation and a roomier interior compared to carry-on bags with surface-mounted wheels.

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COLOUR

The spring/summer 2014 collection spotlights three classic neutral colours: Black, Espresso and a colour blocked Grey/Orange.

 

JONATHAN ADLER

Another bold new addition to the brand is a collection launched in collaboration with American potter, designer, and author Jonathan Adler. Known for his use of geometric patterns and bold colours, the collection reflects his spirit of irreverent luxury and is both playful and practical.

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Adler’s iconic prints and cheeky sayings land on TUMI’s best-selling styles. In true Adler fashion, the assortment makes a statement! “Are We There Yet?” is my personal favourite…

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CANINE COMPANIONS

Of course man’s best friend must also travel in style, and for this reason Tumi has launched a new collection of contemporary accessories for man’s (and woman’s ! ) best friend. Collaborating with Berlin-based pet accessories label Cloud7, the four-piece collection is comprised of smart, durable design solutions for stress-free travel with pets. TOO CUTE.

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While taking flight, four-legged companions can enjoy a ride in the duffel style Flight Bag. Designed to fit under the airline seat, the plush bag is enhanced with a main zip compartment that reveals a spacious interior, complete with removable and washable wool lining, interior leash and a pop-up lid that allows your pet to peek its head out. It’s also functional – the shoulder strap doubles as a lead!

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Lightweight in design, the Travel Bed is a versatile landing pad whose slim profile allows it to be easily packed into a suitcase or carried by hand by holding onto its soft, leather top carry handles. Available in both small and large sizes, features of the Travel Bed include wool padding and iconic elements such as a leather co-branded luggage tag, monogram patch, and leather tab details with Velcro® closure. When it’s time for a meal or water break while on the go, a stylish, practical and compact set of bowls will help serve this up.

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The Travel Dog Bowl unzips into two portable bowls for your pet’s food and water and also comes equipped with a water-resistant lining. Crafted from TUMI’s signature Anthracite material, a leather monogram patch is applied to stamp your furry friend’s initials, letting other pals know when they’re barking up the wrong travel case.

 

Visit TUMI on Regent Street to see the whole collection of travel, business, women’s, lifestyle and tech accessories.

 

TUMI,
211 Regent Street,
W1B 4NF 

Website: www.tumi.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/tumitravel
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tumitravel

Recipe: Peanut Crunch Superfood Salad

I love peanut butter in a psychotic, terrifying kind of way. I’m one of those people that could just dive head first into a jar of a Monday evening and merrily while away a few hours swimming about in it. So when the idea of eating something that tastes even slightly like peanut butter and may also be a tiny bit healthy came to me, I just had to share it. 

 

This crunchy, tangy salad is inspired by Thai flavours and goes perfectly with a nice cold glass of New Zealand Sauvignon – see full details of my preferred choice, Astrolabe Awatere Sauvignon Blanc, at the foot of the recipe, or find out more about wine pairings here.

 

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Peanut Crunch Superfood Salad

Serves 4

Time: 25 minutes

 

For The Dressing:

  1. 1/4 cup good peanut butter – smooth and crunchy are both fine
  2. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  3. 2 tablespoons water
  4. All the lime juice you can get out of one lime if you squeeze really hard
  5. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  6. 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten free if possible)
  7. 2 tablespoons runny honey
  8. 1/4 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  9. 1 teaspoon salt
  10. 2 garlic cloves
  11. 1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled
  12. Fresh coriander – to taste

 

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For The Salad:

  1. Leaves of your choice. I used a bag of ready mixed beetroot salad from Waitrose, because I’m terribly lazy, but by all means pick your own lettuce, cabbage, rocket etc!
  2. 3 Carrots – use your peeler to make them into thin ribbons
  3. 1 Cucumber
  4. 2 Spring Onions (you can also get ready prepared ones to make it extra quick!)
  5. More fresh coriander
  6. Handful of peanuts

 

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You could also add:

Meat! Chicken, Tofu, Prawns or any seafood you fancy. Just season and grill it before you’re ready to serve.

 

Method:

1. Roughly chop your garlic and ginger.

 

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2. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in the most powerful blender you can get your hands on.

 

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3. BLEND!

 

4. The dressing can be made ahead of time – so refrigerate it until you need it if you’re not using straight away.

 

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5. Chop your salad items into any shape you wish. If you want the salad extra crunchy scoop the seeds out of your cucumber, too.

 

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6. Stick your preferred meat item on the grill, or oven bake. I grilled a chicken breast on this amazing invention called the Optigrill – you just press the chicken button and wait for a beep!

 

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7. Present the salad beautifully on your plates, then top with meat, sprinkle lovingly with peanuts and a drizzle of the dressing.

 

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8. Pour yourself a large glass of Astrolabe Awatere Sauvignon Blanc, sit back and… enjoy!

 

 

Pair It With:

Astrolabe Awatere Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand

 

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Made by the highly regarded winemaker Simon Waghorn, this New Zealand Sauvignon would go perfectly well with many a seafood dish, but this time I was looking for a more unusual pairing – and that’s how the Thai salad idea came about.

I was inspired by a recent trip to Peter Gordon’s Kopapa, where New Zealand wines hold their own against a big, bold menu of fusion dishes, many of which have Asian influences.

This, like most Sauvignons, is an assertive wine, with intense nettle, lime and basil flavours, passion fruit scents and concentrated rich exotic guava and passion fruit flavours.  It’s the perfect match for the big flavours of this salad – rich and tangy with a bit of kick!

 

Astrolabe Awatere Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand is exclusive to Waitrose. You can get yourself a bottle by clicking right here, or view the full Waitrose Cellar selection here.

Astrolabe Awatere Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough, New Zealand is also available as part of the ‘Ultimate Cellar Wine Case’ - perfect if you’re after a tasting tour. The case includes a hand-picked selection of wines, chosen from 1,200 bottles by Waitrose’s wine buyers. 

The Rum Kitchen, Soho

Located in Carnaby Street’s shiny Kingly Court, this is the second Rum Kitchen in London town. The first one’s been open for a year or so and has already attracted His Royal Highness of Wonderment Mr Prince Harry.

 

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Less a restaurant, more a beach shack bar that screams unashamedly of its love for rum and sunshine, this place is all about fun, food and good times.

 

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The bright brains behind the Rum Kitchen have brought the Bahamas to the city, with blue and white pastel beach hut planks, random patches of sun-faded corrugated metal and odd little trinkets that *might* have been picked up on the beach. The music’s great too, it’s like a party… with dinner.

 

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The cocktail menu is a hefty book of a thing, filled with some of the loveliest cocktails in town, most of which are under a tenner. Definitely try the Grog, a deadly concoction of lime, ginger beer and plenty of rum. Served in a little enamel mug this one’s guaranteed to bring out the Jack Sparrow in you. Whether or not that’ll be a good thing, though, remains to be seen.

 

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Whilst it’s not technically Caribbean, the Rum Kitchen’s Mojito is one of the best I’ve ever had – and I suppose that’s down to the quality of the rum. It’s so good it’s likely to turn your brain into marshmallow and leave you a slurring, stuttering mess before the night’s out.

 

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Want something more authentic? Mama’s Guinness Punch should do the trick – over-proof rum, condensed milk and Guinness mixed with spices, chocolate bitters and served over ice.

 

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The menu is a sort of Anglicised take on Caribbean classics – apparently London palates can’t handle the real deal. But before you get all outraged and angry about this try the ‘toned-down’ swamp sauce. I did, and immediately accepted my palate’s fate as an absolute wuss. This bottle of scotch bonnet LAVA lulls you into a false sense of security, looking just like our good friend Mr Ketchup. But don’t trust it. A tiny dab onto my tongue and I lost all sensation for the duration of the evening. A whole mouthful could likely kill a man.

 

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Anyway, warning over and done with, we’ll move onto the food. We tried the shack’s signature Jerk Chicken Thighs (£8.50) – crispy, crunchy and moist with a bit of bite… but not too much bite! Served with extra jerk sauce for those braver than me, and pineapple slaw, which is like cole slaw but more exotic.

 

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We also had a Jerk Chicken Supreme (£13.50) – grilled chicken breast, sweet potato and yam mash served with jerk gravy.

 

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The Soft Shell Crab Burger (£11.50) was a monster of thing, towering several feet into the air. The spicy tamarind sauce, ginger aïloi and guava-lime relish added to its gravity-defying brilliance.

 

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The final choice was a Jerk Fried Chicken Burger, served with scotch bonnet garlic mayo. And the world’s BEST sweet potato fries (£3), served in a small bucket.

 

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rum kitchen

 

Several cocktails later we stumbled out onto the streets of Soho, feeling like we’d just spent a week on a desert island.

 

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The Verdict: The only bad thing about the Rum Kitchen is having to emerge into the real world afterwards. Seriously, it’s that good.

 

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10/10

 

The Rum Kitchen, Soho website: therumkitchen.com

The Rum Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Brazilian BBQ at Cabana

Cabana is to Brazilian food what Wahaca is to Mexican. The Covent Garden restaurant may look like it belongs in a shopping centre, but it’s been painstakingly decorated so that it *sort of* conjures up images of Rio – if you squeeze your eyes really shut and drink a fair bit of that Caçaha stuff.

 

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There’s plank flooring, poster-lined walls and banquettes upholstered with recycled jeans which apparently come from São Paulo favelas… (that’s slum to you and me). It’s a fun, relaxed place perfect for families or groups of friends.

 

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The menu is also incredibly allergy-friendly. Gluten free dishes are clearly marked on the menu, and Cabana even serves up gluten free dough balls with cheese and garlic butter ‘pao de queijo’, and gluten free pulled pork sliders – music to many a gluten free ear, I’m sure.

 

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The Guaca-Molho (£3.95) did not live up to expectations – too much lime, but the national snack of Brazil, Pao de Queijo (£3.95), was wonderful bite size pieces of cheesy, buttery goodness. There are no calories in Cabana.

 

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Main courses centre around the Brazilian BBQ in the middle of the restaurant; colour-coded skewers are loaded with everything from marinated chicken thighs or chimichurri rump steak to giant portobello mushrooms with haloumi.

 

The Chicken Super Salad is served with a skewer of Spicy Malagueta Chicken (£10.95), and can be made even spicier should you wish because there’s a massive bottle of the stuff in the middle of the table. If you do you’re brave indeed.

 

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The Pulled Pork Sloppy José was also on the fiery side, thanks to another generous helping of Malagueta Sauce. We thought the portion a bit mean, but it tasted great.

 

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There is, of course, a veritable mountain of Caçaha cocktails to choose from at Cabana too. Red Tail Parrot was a strange mixture of muddled fruit purees and Prosecco which only really succeeded in tasting of sugar… like drinking the alcohol-soaked souls of a thousand gummy bears.

 

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The Classic Caipirinha (Brazil’s national drink) was much better (as it should have been!) This one’s made with muddled lime, sugar and the sugar cane based liquor that is Caçaha. Tastes sort of like a Mojito really, but more powerful. The Passion Fruit Caipirinha was great, too.

 

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The Verdict: Really good value, nice relaxed setting. Order the addictive Pao de Queijo and a Caipirinha or two.

 

Gluten Free: Gluten free dishes are all clearly marked on the menu and include things you’d never expect! Look out for this symbol here… no idea what it’s meant to be.

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7/10


££

Cabana on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Life After Masterchef – An Interview with Adam Handling of Caxton Grill

The fancy St James restaurant they call Caxton Grill has recently launched a new à la carte menu, created by their very own Masterchef Adam Handling. Since appearing on the show late last year Handling has been hard at work on the menu, which pays more than just lip service to the ‘Field to Fork’ movement.

 

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We caught up with the newly-minted celebrity chef to quiz him about the inspiration behind the new Caxton’s card – and life after Masterchef.

 

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WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO SINCE MASTERCHEF?

It’s been an absolute whirlwind since it aired late last year! There have been a number of competitions that I’ve taken part in and I’ve recently been named as British Chef of the year by the British Culinary Federation which is a huge honour. I’m currently taking part in another competition where I’ve been called through to the next round so I’m preparing for that alongside launching a new a la carte menu which equals a lot of fun but a lot of experimenting for me.

 

Venison with Cauliflower and Pear

Venison with Cauliflower and Pear

 

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR NEW-FOUND FAME? DOES A CAREER AS A TV CHEF BECKON?

Honestly I am overwhelmed by the positivity and the response that I’ve received to everything that I have done- everyone that I have spoken to and had contact with has wished me every success in everything that I do and are fully supportive of me which is fantastic. As for a TV chef- who knows? Never say never!

 

Scottish Salmon

Scottish Salmon

 

WHAT’S THE ETHOS BEHIND THE DISHES YOU CREATE AT CAXTON GRILL?

I love dishes that are big on flavour- I’m all about clever flavours working together and creating surprising combinations for my guests, my style is evolving and for my new menu I’m using more Asian flavours which are an absolute passion of mine. The style of cooking is having the “wow” factor for my dishes and using all of my toys in the kitchen to emphasise this.

 

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

 

TELL US HOW YOU WENT ABOUT CREATING CAXTON GRILL’S NEW A LA CARTE MENU

I wanted to strip back flavours and create dishes which were simple but big on flavour and visually stunning. The preparation takes a little longer but the ultimate flavour combinations are so worth it.
WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-TRIES ON THE NEW MENU?

I’m biased… but all of them! The new appetiser snacks are amazing… the perfect entrée to meal & the Chef’s G&T using dill is to die for…!

 

 

Try Adam Handling’s new menu at Caxton Grill

Caxton Grill, Bar & Terrace
2 Caxton Street
LONDON
SW1H 0QW

Tel: 0800 652 1498

caxtongrill.co.uk

TV: I Wanna Marry Harry

I-Wanna-Marry-Harry

Every so often I come across a TV programme so utterly distressing it envelops me in a little fuzzy cloud of gloom.

The last time this happened it was the result of a troop of fake-tanned nitwits marching about proclaiming themselves to be representatives of Essex. A county which, I’ll have you know, is not exclusively inhabited by people so startlingly stupid they deserved to be chucked head first into a well.

But it’s happened again. And this time I fear the situation may be even worse…

Dinner at Kopapa, Seven Dials

Kopapa is a sort of fusion (aka fridge raid) restaurant from the man behind the highly praised yet slightly pricey Providores in Marylebone.

 

The New Zealander is famed for his eclectic cooking, bringing together ingredients and techniques from far flung corners of the globe and putting them on tiny little plates in London town.

 

Kopapa is a little edgier than most of its surrounding restuarants, and is bizarrely loud. Something which, on my first visit for an obscenely hungover brunch, I found entirely horrifying. At dinner time though it didn’t seem so much of a problem.

 

We chose a selection of small plates to share. Roast hake, piperade & a fried quail’s egg (£8.50) was my favourite, my opinion slightly influenced by the adorably small egg. “So cute!” I squealed… I know, I’m embarrassing.

 

kopapa

Roast hake, piperade & a fried quail’s egg

  

The deep-fried Urfa chilli & sesame salted squid (£7.00) was served with sumac aïoli, because what exactly is the point in ordinary aïoli? This tangy, lemony spice created an aïoli unlike anything I’ve ever tried before, it went perfectly with the squid.

 

kopapa

The Kopapa Dinner Menu

 

kopapa

Urfa chilli & sesame salted squid

 

A highlight was the Beef tartare, anchovy dressing and smoked beetroot (£8.50). This dish packed more than just a punch. Two punches, I’d say. We were dangerously close to becoming full when it appeared, but once we tried it we soldiered on through without so much of a whimper.

 

kopapa

Beef tartare, anchovy dressing and smoked beetroot

 

I wasn’t entirely convinced by the Lime-cured salmon, hijiki, braised endive & orange dressing (£7.30), and that’s coming from someone who’d gladly exist on a diet of cured salmon alone… The orange was maybe a bit too much for this one to handle.

 

kopapa

Lime-cured salmon, hijiki, braised endive & orange dressing

 

We also had a portion of scrumptious skinny fries with rosemary salt & garlic (£3.95) to share. I mean it, these fries are truly scrumptious.

 

The dream was shattered a little when our desserts arrived, though. We ordered a Chocolate & sea salt caramel sundae, tamarind ice cream & popcorn (£8.00), which the waitress described as “a love it or hate it dessert”. It certainly was that… and I’m afraid to say we weren’t on team Sundae.

 

kopapa

Chocolate & sea salt caramel sundae, tamarind ice cream & popcorn

 

The Peanut butter parfait with Original Beans 75% Piura Criollo chocolate délice, salted caramel sauce & chocolate crumble (£8.50) wasn’t bad, but it was incredibly rich, possibly a little too rich considering the serving. We struggled to finish half of it, definitely one for sharing.

 

kopapa_11

Peanut butter parfait with Original Beans 75% Piura Criollo chocolate délice, salted caramel sauce & chocolate crumble

 

Service was faultless, and at the mere hint of a complaint about the ice cream it was removed from our bill so swiftly we felt a bit guilty for grumbling at all.

 

kopapa

The Damage

 

The Verdict: Fantastic fusion food in a great Seven Dials location. Order the roast hake! Don’t bother with the desserts.

 

8/10

 

£££

 

Square Meal

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