Sunday, 20 May 2018

Brat

Basque-inspired cuisine 




Whole turbot

If you ask me what is my favorite type of cuisine, Spanish would be high on the list and food from the Basque Country, the northern part of Spain is what I consider the temple of high-quality cooking. From rustic pintxo bars to high-end fine dining restaurants, I just got nothing but love for Basque cuisine. Brat by Tomos Parry is a Basque-inspired restaurant opened in early 2018, and it has already gathered plenty of love from the food critics, and judging from the menu online, it does appear plenty of the items can be related to Basque and I was interested how does it compare to the real deal.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Flitch of Bacon

Essex's finest




mackerel, dill, mustard

Where do I start with The Flitch of Bacon... If you have been following my blog, you would know I am a massive fan of chef Tim Allen's cooking. First, at Launceston Place in Kensington, followed by The Wild Rabbit in the Cotswold, both pretty much gained Michelin status instantly thanks to Tim and his wonderful team. The Flitch of Bacon is his very first owned restaurant in Essex, which happened to be pretty close to where I live. So of course, a visit to support The Flitch of Bacon was high on my agenda. The restaurant spit into a bar and dining area, with a back garden that also has its own bar and BBQs, which make it a far-cry from Wild Rabbit's super posh setting. The dining room currently only offers a la carte menu, but we were lucky to be offered a special tasting menu to sample some of Tim's latest creation.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Stem by Neo

Experimental flavours



Grilled Large Black pork chop, Romano pepper and Cornish mussels

Stem is a brand new restaurant by Mark Jarvis, a chef, and restaurateur who also owned Anglo in Farringdon and Neo Bistro in Mayfair. Personally, I am a big fan of Neo Bistro, which is just down the road from Stem. I enjoyed its simplicity approach, using fine British ingredients with a modern but a rustic feel to it. The presentation of the dishes are not fancy but they deliver bags of wonderful flavours. Stem, however, is a totally different beast, the pricing is more up-market and the approach is far more creative and experimental. It has a tasting menu, as well as a pretty small a la carte menu with some fairly ambitious ingredients combination. 

Friday, 20 April 2018

The Coach Marlow

Slick and edgy gastropub 


Whole Stuffed Rotisserie Quail with Black Pudding and Moilee Sauce

Tom Kerridge is the chef of the moment right now, gaining mainstream success with TV appearances and book launches, he is well on the way to becoming one of the biggest chef names in the UK. His flagship restaurant, The Hands and Flowers in Marlow is a 2 Michelin starred pub, the only pub in the UK with such acclaim. I drove pass Marlow but without the time to sit down for a proper sit-down meal, so his other gastro pub The Coach, just down the road was a perfect solution for me. The Coach is a Michelin starred pub with limited tables and a long counter sitting area facing the kitchen, serving pub classics with a modern edge in small plates format, diners are encouraged to order 3 - 4 dishes per person.

The Hinds Head

Heston's gastropub



Scallop, artichoke, hazelnuts, smoked bacon

Heston Blumenthal surely is a household even for none foodies, his flagship restaurant, The Fat Duck, holds 3 Michelin stars and is perhaps one of the most talked about fine dining restaurants in the UK. However, at over £300 per person ahead before drink and service, I run the risk of not be able to pay my bill on time! Joke aside, Heston actually got a pub next to The Fat Duck, which offers modern British gastropub food at a much more reasonable price. With a Michelin star to its name, The Hinds Head is a good alternative to The Fat Duck to experience Heston's offering in a much more casual, relaxing setting.