Month: October 2010

Lantana – the best brunch in London?

The Greedy Diva recommended Lantana when we met up shortly after I had visited her hometown of Melbourne. I told her how impressed I was with the breakfasts, brunches and cafe culture in Australia and how frustrating it is to come back to London and not have great food like that widely available. Put it this way, there isn’t a Starbucks on every corner over there. I was in Australia for a month and in that time visited Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Most of the places that I ate served delicious food and I didn’t have a bad meal (apart from the Vietnamese that some of you may have read about). I was excited by the fact that most places, even little convenience stores sold what appeared to be delicious, delectable homemade banana bread and (I am told) great coffee. Two places that really stood out for me were Fringe in St Kilda, Melbourne and The Food Pharmacy in Dunsborough. Above is French toast with fruit compote and creme fraiche at Fringe. Being a food …

Duck Egg Lemon Curd Cake

Why have I never used duck eggs in my baking before?! I tried Clarence Court duck eggs in a lemon curd cake over the weekend and I have to say, I’m converted! A sponge baked with duck eggs is lighter, fluffier and richer than a cake baked with chicken eggs. The duck egg yolk has more fat than a chicken egg (which makes the cake richer) and it’s white has more protein (meaning fluffier when whipped). I decided to bake a simple lemon sponge and I filled it with lemon curd. The result? Try it for yourself! Ingredients 200g self raising flour 200g golden caster sugar 200g unsalted butter 4 duck eggs (I substituted one duck egg for one chicken egg) zest of one lemon 1 tsp baking powder 2 tbsp milk Method 1. Pre heat oven to 180degrees c 2. Cream butter and sugar together 3. Sift in the flour and add all of the other ingredients. Whisk together until the batter is smooth and creamy 4. Spoon into a cake tin and bake …

Sunday Upmarket Ethiopian lunch

I wish that the UK had a better street food offering. I have heard rumours of great street food in countries such as Brazil and Canada and even though I haven’t been lucky enough to visit those places, I truly believe that their offering is better than ours. How many times have you succumb to the dirty ‘illegal’ hot dog smell that wafts your way after leaving a club at 2am? Similarly, how many times have you had no choice but to purchase a dodgy cardboard burger when at an event? One of the most ridiculous I’ve ever seen is a burger van in the B&Q car park at the weekends. What?!? Surely there could be something tastier to cater for these DIYers food needs? The best street food I have experienced has been the Mexican trucks that frequent the pavements in New York. I was in my element when, after a few cans of ‘Pabst Blue Ribbon’ at Union Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I was able to drift out to the terrace and purchase …

Koya

Saturday wasn’t the best day. I had been out to the Rizla boat party on Friday evening and not made it to bed until gone 3am. I awoke at 9am, trudged to the supermarket to buy a few missing ingredients for my chocolate, pecan and caramel brownies for the Great Brownie Bake Off, organised by Louise from The Chocolate Consultancy at Look Mum No Hands. I never made it… my brownies burnt so I retreated to the sofa for a nap. At about 4pm, my stomach started rumbling and as there was no food worth cooking in the house, I decided that I would head into Soho to satisfy my hangover. Polpetto sprung to mind at first but I decided against that as I didn’t want my first visit ruled by my need for stodge. So, Koya it was. Don’t get me wrong when I say that this is the perfect hangover food – because it is perfect all of the time. This was my second time dining at Koya and my second time ordering …

Beef and spinach curry with spring onion cakes

My new thing is cookbooks. I’m a 23 year old girl and I’d rather sit at home reading a good cookbook and cook a delicious meal than go out clubbing. Am I old before me years?! I don’t care – I’ve had my fair share of ‘fun’ over the years and now I just love devouring a delectable book page by page, picking out recipes that I want to recreate. So I was a VERY happy bunny when Stephanie Alexander’s ‘Kitchen Garden Companion’ landed on my doormat. I do have a garden, although it doesn’t get much sunlight. In fact, it pretty much doesn’t get ANY sunlight due to the massive (albeit beautiful) trees surrounding. The best I have is a (sort of) ‘roof terrace’. What I really mean when I say ‘roof terrace’ is a flat gravelled roof that we occasionally use for sunbathing in the summer. We are just in the process of refurbing an old bedroom and making it into a kitchen and the ‘roof terrace’ is accessible through that kitchen widow. …

Peter’s Yard, Edinburgh

I have a real craving for cinnamon at the moment, much to the amusement of my workmates and it has reminded me of a breakfast that I had when I was in Edinburgh a couple of weekends ago. One of my workmates lived in Edinburgh during her uni years and sent a few recommendations before we embarked on our 3 day trip. One of those suggestions was Peter’s Yard. So naturally, we decided to head there for breakfast. It ended up being a pretty late one and we didn’t want to eat too much as we had a hefty lunch planned at Petit Paris. We opted for a delicious Cinnamon bun and a lovely pot of tea to go with it. My friends ordered a flat white and cappuccino, which looked too delightful not to capture on film! The cafe itself was buzzing and full with very, very cool looking couples, yummy mummies and university students. The high ceilings made it feel very light, airy and modern (very Scandinavian). The food looked fresh, the salads …

An evening of Canadian inspired food

Three months ago I cooked Pancakes with Blueberries and Maple Syrup for breakfast. I wrote a post and the day after I was contacted by Nim from the Canadian Tourism Commission inviting me to an event that she was planning at L’Atelier des Chefs where food bloggers and writers could cook a few dishes using Canadian ingredients or inspired ingredients. This line of the email particularly got me ‘maybe you haven’t really thought before about Canadian foods or the culinary scene in this vast country so hopefully it would be an opportunity to find out more.’ She was right, I certainly had never thought about what constitutes as Candian cuisine – except obviously for maple syrup and I really did want to find out more. I wasn’t sure what to expect, partly because I had never been to L’Atelier des Chefs and party because I had no idea what foods we’d be cooking… although I was pretty sure that pancakes and maple syrup would be involved. The evening started with a range of freshly prepared …