Polpetto | Berwick Street

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Polpetto Berwick Street

Earlier this month I visited Polpetto on Berwick Street with some old work colleagues. The restaurant, owned by Russell Norman, serves Venetian small plates off an ever-changing menu.

Note, this isn't 'Italian tapas' the food is specifically Venetian, which is it is significantly different from the other cuisines of North Italy. The most common dish of the region is polenta, which is cooked in various ways from fried to baked - whilst dinning at the restaurant I tried a creamed polenta which was extremely comforting on a rainy day. As the region contains both mountain and coastal areas, both seafood and grilled meat can be found alongside traditional dishes such as risotto, Bigoli and ravioli.

Polpetto Berwick Street Polpetto Berwick Street

After ordering 4 plates each to share, we were impressed with how quickly the dishes came out of the kitchen. The waiter served our vegetarian dishes first, followed by fish, the meat and finally dessert.

The beetroot and goats curd dish was the star of the show for me alongside a slow baked hen's egg - remember to order plenty of focaccia as there'll be lots of sauce to lap up. 

We finished the night with a shot of Stellacello Pompelmo, a grapefruit liqueur influenced by the citrus flavours associated with traditional Italian Limoncello.

Polpetto Berwick Street Polpetto Berwick Street

Polpetto Berwick Street Polpetto Berwick Street

I enjoyed my evening at Polpo, especially due to the good company I was in, and thought the staff were extremely up-beat whilst the food was fresh. However, although the dishes were very good, I didn't get that 'wow' feeling throughout the night, and once the bill came I thought it was overpriced for what is was...

Would I go back? Absolutely, it's good honest food - but only after pay day.

Bourne & Hollingsworth | 1940's London Bar

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bourne and Hollingsworth is London’s original speakeasy bar. Located on the corner of Rathbone Place in the heart of Fitzrovia, the bar is named after the nearby ‘Are you being Served’ style department store, which formerly stood on Oxford Street.

Traditionally, speakeasies were places for illegal boozing that came to prominence during the Prohibition era in 1920s America. But ever since, they have taken on a mythical status: teacups brimming with gin, suave jazz musicians and a glitzy, retro dress code.

I was invited to Bourne and Hollingsworth last week to try their new menu of seasonal cocktails, and decided to bring my dear friend Martin along. Situated in a street-side basement, the bar has an atmosphere that rests comfortably between a gentleman’s club and a 1920s tearoom.

 With floral wallpaper, frilly bowed-empire lampshades, lace tablecloths and doilies, the vintage decor made the bar a cheery place to spend an evening.

The current cocktail list at Bourne and Hollingsworth features unusual cocktails served in teacups and vintage champagne glasses. Their summer cocktail menu has been specifically designed to focus on an retro British flavours and ingredients including Dandelion and Burdock, Spiced Honey Whiskey and Quince Liqueur. We'd recommend the 'Storm in a Teacup' and 'Peardrop' cocktails (I wont list the ingredients as don't want to spoil the surprise!).

 I was told the bar was the first to host themed events such as Blitz Party and Prohibition that led to the development of many other brands, including The Chap Olympiad, Rev JW Simpson, Kitchen Party, SS Atlantica and Wyndstock.

The bar is holding it's own Blitz party on the 19th September, where guests are invited to enjoy bustling music, fortifying cocktails and a good old dash of British spirit. With the aim of recreating the wartime glamour of 1940s London,  the venue will be transformed into a wartime air shelter complete with a swing dance hall, live music stage and bunkers. Discover more info here.

Onken's Urban Fruit Grove

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Onken Greek Style Yogurt

Last week I was invited to an Urban Fruit Grove where yogurt grows on trees...

To celebrate the launch of its Greek Style Yogurt range, Onken created an indoor orchid filled with cocktails, mythological Gods and pictures made from yogurt, aptly located in Soho's Greek Street.
Onken Greek Style YogurtOnken Greek Style Yogurt

Onken Greek Style Yogurt

The new range brings delicious fruit flavour combinations including Rhubarb & Ginger, Lemon & Raspberry and Apple & Cinnamon.

We particularly enjoyed the Rhubarb & Ginger flavour: the hint of ginger adds an undertone to the tart rhubarb - a marriage made in heaven.
Onken Greek Style Yogurt
Onken Greek Style YogurtOnken Greek Style Yogurt
Onken Greek Style YogurtOnken Greek Style Yogurt

My Favourite Foodie Places Around Waterloo

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

  GONG the shard  

Located next to London Bridge station, The Shard has an amazing view of the city. GŎNG, on level 52, is the highest bar in London and offers a peaceful escape from the city's bustle - perfect for sunset cocktails and late-night drinks. 
The Table Southwark The Table Southwark

With a focus on sourcing quality British ingredients, The Table on Southwark Street is THE place for breakfast. With an all-day brunch menu including waffles, corn fitters and eggs Benedict, I couldn't think of a better place for breakfast.

Hixter Bankside Hixter Bankside

For those working nearby, Hixter Bankside (Mark Hix's Chicken and Steak restaurant), offers an amazing early bird menu from £9.95 including steak tartare and steak sandwiches - don't skimp on the fries, they're the best bit!

 Laithwaites Wine  Laithwaites Wine

Looking for a tipple to take home? Laithwaites Wine, a stone's throw from London's Borough Market, stocks a huge range of wines, spirits & whiskies. Ask about the white port they stock - you'll be blown away.

 Cafe 171  Cafe 171

Located on Union Street in Southwark, Cafe 171 is a hidden gem. Serving fresh, seasonal food from the heart of Jerwood Space, a leading rehearsal venue for theatre and dance, the space is a sanctuary on rainy days.

No-Fuss Lemon Meringue Tart

Monday, August 24, 2015

easy Lemon Meringue Tart 

I have to admit I'm not a good baker. In fact, I'm pretty terrible at making desserts. 

Faced with the prospect of a three course dinner party at the weekend, I roped in the help of my friend David to help me tackle pudding. 

I was recently sent a jar of luxury lemon curd, so decided to make a lemon meringue tart (using ready-made ingredients isn't cheating - it's resourceful, right?!).

lemon curd
lemon curd

We made a pastry case (I followed this recipe) however mine came out rather cracked/dry so if recommend you to buy a ready-made one if you're not a keen baker. 

We filled the case with zesty lemon curd and added dried lavender (remember lavender is potent, so start with a pinch and work up from there).

[TIP - I recently learnt that fresh lavender can be substituted in most savoury recipes that call for rosemary - just use twice as much lavender as rosemary.]

easy Lemon Meringue Tartlavender and lemon

The hardest part of the recipe was the meringue - after separating eggs and adding sugar/vanilla paste, David spent hours whisking the mixture in 29 degree heat as we didn't have an electronic whisk (somehow I don't think he'll be making it again...). 

We finished the tart by piping the meringue over the filling and lightly toasting the outside with a blow tourch.

And voila, a sweet sign-off to our main meal whipped up in no time at all.

Lemon Meringue Tartproud Lemon Meringue Tart