Has it really been 3 weeks since my last post?! Wow! Well you will have to excuse me as I have just literally landed back here in Bangkok after a wonderful 3 week holiday to England, France and Portugal and whilst I may not have been keeping you all up to date, that’s not to say that I haven’t been enjoying lots of delicious food on my travels! To keep things straightforward I will post separate blog posts for England, France and Portugal so you can see for yourself exactly what I have been up to!
Whilst I will be writing up a full post on Duck and Waffle http://duckandwaffle.com/ in the coming weeks, here is a little glimpse of the outstanding food we enjoyed when we ate there in mid August. Chef Dan Doherty’s food draws inspiration form around the globe, from English influenced goats curd and beetroot to Spanish octopus with chorizo, lemon and capers and Asian influenced “Egg an Bacon” with thin slices of melt in the mouth pigs head with sriacha and devilled eggs. These were the first two dishes we enjoyed when we had lunch there, delicious smoky “Coal Charred Aubergine” with cumin, garlic, sumac yoghurt and naan and impossibly sweet, juicy “Bacon Wrapped Dates” stuffed with Linguiça Portuguese sausage and Manchego. I loved the fun, informal yet impeccably smooth service and atmosphere and could happily have eaten everything on the menu – Duck and Waffle is simply unmissable if you are visiting London.
Our next lunch was at the relatively newly opened City Social http://citysociallondon.com/ just across from Duck and Waffle in Tower 42. Operated by Jason Atherton they have a crack team in place from executive chef Paul Walsh (ex Savoy Grill and Royal Hospital Road) to GM Andy Downton (ex Savoy Grill, Claridges and more) and a beautiful Modern European menu in place. Again, a full blog post is on its way but in the meantime here are the delicious bar snacks we started with; unbelievably moreish “Goats Cheese Churros with Truffled Honey” and perfectly spiced “Pulled Pork Empanadas” I think this was the meal of the holiday for my dining companions P, K and J and it is another unmissable London restaurant in my books.
Chiltern Firehouse is undoubtedly one of the hottest London restaurant openings of recent months and as a huge fan of Nuño Mendes’ cooking I was thrilled to be able to snag a coveted reservation while we were in the UK. The vibe in the restaurant was certainly electric, and there was some flawless cooking on display which I will elaborate in once I get around to writing up the full post but here are the bar snacks we started with ; “Crab Doughnuts” essentially light choux pastry puffs filled with crab salad, “Cauliflower and Truffle” creamy truffle dressing with crisp cauliflower florets for dipping into it and crunchy “Chicken Skin” which reminded us of Japanese style chicken karaage more than the crisp chicken skin we had expected but was delicious all the same.
As we were flying off to France at around lunchtime my mum kindly made us this amazing full English breakfast before we had to head to the airport. Butchers choice sausages, homemade by our local butcher in Sandridge, back bacon, farm egg, roast vine tomato, mushrooms and black pudding. I do not eat breakfast like this very often which made this even more of a treat and I was glad we were able to show my friends what a proper full English should be like!
Here are two more homecooked meals from my return, both BBQ’s (although strictly speaking the first was a Braii as it was with South African friends) but both pretty different. The “Braii” was at my friends J & S’s house with a whole gang of us and included cured meats to start then all the salads you can see in the picture as well as potato and mustard salad, steak, lamb chops and sausages.
The second was at my parents house where we started with Pimms, homemade guacamole and crudités followed by BBQ tiger prawn skewers, a whole pork loin with my Mums secret recipe BBQ sauce, more butchers sausages, honey and orange glazed chicken, baked potatoes with Roquefort butter and my two salads; Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s carrots in harissa with cumin and a fig, walnut and Forme D’Ambert salad with honey from Lucas Hollweg. BBQ’s are such an integral part of English summer I was lucky that the weather was good enough on both our chosen days.