Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental

So let me first start by apologising for non personal pics (google images to the rescue). I'm afraid that at such a fine dining room I didn't think taking pictures was appropriate and I was also worried they (the waiters! Other diners!) would think I'd never been out to dinner anywhere other than Wimpy if I did. One of my dining partners Lucy didn't feel this shame and so was snapping away like a Japanese tourist at Buck Pal (but then she's the kind of gal who wears jeans with contrasting legs - one leopard one black FYI - so is quite used to people looking at her) - anyway I digress.

Heston's 'Dinner' is based on those old classics from centuries past (like Powdered Duck - no, me neither), which are then given the Heston treatment. For instance, my dining partners Holly from Boudoir PR, Charlotte from Missguided, Hannah never-blog, and the aforementioned Lucy Two-legs had the curiously titled 'Meat fruit' to start.

I can't remember which century this is meant to be from but it's basically chicken liver pate dressed up as a satsuma. Now I don't reckon the chef in the 14th (or whenever) century gave his menu the fancy dress treatment (they had jesters for entertainment in those days after all) but you see what I mean when I say it's been given a touch of the Heston's.

I had the appetisingly titled 'Rice and flesh' for my starter which dated from the 11th century (who knew?).

It was rice, calfs tail and saffron which sounds disgusting but was actually one of the tastiest things I have ever eaten, coming in the form of a kind of risotto perfection. I tried the meat fruit too and it was an incredibly rich but delicate orangey chicken liver pate (a bit like terry's chocolate orange for carnivores). Other starters included things like cod throat with bits and bobs, but I'm afraid that's non pour moi as they said in Versailles in the 17thc.

Next the mains: I'm afraid this is where I went for the boring choice: rib eye steak with mushroom ketchup and triple cooked chips as I figured it would probably be delicious and also nothing else really floated my boat as i do confess to being a slight Neanderthal when it comes to strange food. Others had Beef Anglaise which was helpfully translated by the waiter as Beef English (look, we might look stupid but we do speak French ffs). Anyway this was an on the bone beef joint that had been cooked for 50 hours but yet was still pink on the inside. Now, how do you do that - or as Charlotte said, "How'd d'you do that - on a sunburnt man?" Quite possibly Char - wouldn't put it past him.  Anyway that's for Heston to know and us to enjoy.

Finally being the gluttons we are, everyone also had pudding. I went for the cheese selection as I haven't really got a sweet tooth. I can't really remember what everyone else had exactly, although Han's was something to do with rhubarb done many ways. Wouldn't be my first choice but that's just how Han rolls - this is the girl who, after all, once brought in homemade mushroom and almond soup once for lunch. Yummy. Anyway all in all it was an absolutely delicious dine and a total treat so thank you Missguided. That is how to do a press dinner.

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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Babbington House.... Where dreams are made.

For a much needed break...( that magazine wears us into the ground I tell ya.) I headed to the wonderful Babb House with Mother Nellist in Somerset for a long weekend of relaxation. What was supposed to be her Xmas pressie turned out a lot more damaging to her purse than first imagined. But hey.. Only daughter and all that.

Before the obvs food lowdown Here's some pretty things in pictures.

Is it a towel, or a chair? it's both.. Genius.

And the food.... Delish and not even that pricey!

The breakie table

Fruit and muesli ( that I think was actually broken up flapjack) Greek yoghurt and stewed apple.

A Kate Andrews breakfast fave

A Jodie Nellist breakfast fave

A light lunch of Bloody Mary heaven and a fish finger sarnie.

Afternoon tea for two.. The most amazing cookies but I ate them before the piccy

And for dinner

Monkfish with caper dressing and courgette fritters

With a side of honey mustard chipolates... Mother nellist protested at the combo... But I must of got my weird combos from someone. And for only £3 .... I could live on that shit.

All in all a high brow weekend of pampering and relaxation...

Til next time Babbington .....

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Sunday, 26 February 2012

A London Fields Lunch

A little bit hungover from elderflower cocktails the night before and seeing as it was a nice day we decided to take a stroll to Broadway Market for some lunch. Unfortunately so had everyone else. After nearly throwing a whitey by the food stalls to busy and far to bright, we settled on the one with the smallest queue, probs not the best idea but all I could cope with in my fragile state.

Hog roast with rocket salad should of been in a ciabatta but being a wheato that ain't for me....

We washed it down with a couple of ciders, well when in Rome and all that.

All in all a fun outing for all until the sun went in and we got a bit cold.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Chavvy snack, gone posh.

A dedicated post to the turtle adi. His favourite snack pimped up to da max broadway market stylee.

We're bringing retro back.

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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Burgers and Lobsters

Me and Hans were taken to new hotspot burger and lobster by the lovely ladies at our assembly. Freddie tshbshshsbshua and a grumpy Catherine. (I'm not sure shed seen her spiritual counsellor that day.)

Now the new trend of 'too cool for reservations' is somewhat annoying, However we patiently and slightly whingingly waited at the bar. The blow was somewhat softened by the waitress who let me order cocktails 'off menu' and didnt seem to get annoyed when i asked for something 'a bit gingery, minty and vodkery'

And when we were seated, boy was it worth the wait. The menu consists or 3 options, burgers, lobsters and lobster rolls. Dreamy.

Hannah's suggestions to wear our bibs like beards. NB she 32.

The burger with bacon and cheese.

100% the best burger I've ever eaten

Now that's what I all dining etiquette

And the lobster- obvs me and Hannah shared both.

Burger with a side of lobster, what's not to love? My new death row meal sorted.

Although we were fit to burst we thought we had to try the pudding. Once again there was no menu, simply lime mousse or chocolate. We opted for lime, turned out to be the perfect palette cleanser.

All in all one amazing dine. And everyone left happy, even catherine got out of her grump. (she'd earlier called me a transvestite that should wear socks... Ahhhh sweet)

Burger and Lobster you were worth the wait.

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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Trullo Terrific! (Get it?!)

Ok so this was meant to be Sam's Birthday lunch but I was so over excited  (we're talking clapping hands in the back of the car when we arrived and a strop when they sent us away for 20 mins because we arrived too early #totallymyfault) it might as well been my birthday treat. 
Reasons for gluttonous excitement 1) Impossible to get a booking because of rave reviews 2) On Sundays they do a set you have to eat EVERYTHING! Oh and vegetarians are barred from the restaurant on Sundays. No vegan foodies please.
 First up totally delish anti pasta- special mention to anchovy crostini...mama mia!
Next pasta with amalfi lemons- but let me tell you not a sour face in sight (sorry had too!)
 Then roasted duck with roasted potatoes (so good must be the duck fat) and olive alforno. Loads of kcals but worth every mouthful.
Lastly pud usually my least fave part of the meal (#notasweettooth) but this rhubarb and almond upside down cake was the perfect end to a practically perfect meal. 
Only downside it is pricey for home cooked style fair but as far as this blogger (cringe) is concerned Truello was really AMAZING even down to our Made In Chelsea Spencer look-a-like maitre d. Just hope the next visit can live up to the hype.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Val's Day Treat Tea

Late, I know I know... But I've had a lot on my plate #foodpun

As a little treat Snake cooked for me to celebrate Consumer Couples Exploitation Day. He kind of had to considering I bought him gifts and he got me sweet F.A.

Main was fillet of plaice with minted pea purée (m and s cook range - hey, the lads making an effort alright?!) with pan fried scallops, rocket, and cherrys toms on the vine

Just when my normally average tues night dine couldn't get any better Snake made me my nightly hot chocolate, that only he can make, whilst I watched eastenders in my sloppies.

Who needs champagne and fancy restaurants when you've got this level of service in Kozee Kottage?!

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The copy-cat lunch

So after sampling Marcos delights I attempted to make my own frittata. After 2 attempts at buying ingredients, I left my bag at work, wallet, house keys etc. don't ask, we're just not there yet.

Fry up your ingredients, I chose onions courgettes and peppers.

Whisk together eggs, Parmesan and seasoning

Fry up and flip over


Et voila

And the verdict: it looked good, maybe even better than Marcos. But the old saying never judge a book by its cover applies.
It just wasn't as tasty, I have no idea what I did differently, perhaps it was just missing a bit of Marco magic.

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Monday, 20 February 2012

An Annoying Snack

So last night I decided to be organised and send out some "Save The Date" cards for my and Snakes pre-nuptials (did I mention we're getting married?!)
A discussion regarding the kcals in envelope glue started between me and sister Andrews (my sister.... Not a nun). Anyway investigative research on her part showed that according to something on google (The Holy Grail) the glue on an envelope has 17 kcals. FFS!!!!!!!! I'd licked 15 of the b*stards!!!!!!!!

Calorific equivalents include a bar of dairy milk, a McDonalds hamburger or cheese on toast.
Major, epic, highly irritating snack fail. The weddings off.
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Marco the magnificent

We trekked down the stockwell, a bit of a random destination, but any place where you can get a voddy orange and a whiskey for under a fiver is not to be ignored.

And an even bigger draw is that it's home to one of the hottest italians ever!! Javier Bardem who?! Oh wait hes spanish, turns out there aren't many hot Italians after all.

Well Marco Testa is not only super handsome with his new beard but also one of the tastiest healthiest cooks about.

To start with he made:

Chunky guacamole with secret ingredients of red onion and chilli.

The pic doesn't do it justice, super nice with a real kick. With Courgette and spinach frittata.

Quinoa with tomatoes olives feta and Parmesan with added chilli flakes... Tasty and healthy.
And an Italian desert, which I can't remember the name but apparently is Sicilian and brings good luck.

And the supercute chef in his McDonald's style hairnet which is actually a bag of courgettes. Tres chic.

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