Sunday, 5 July 2015

Balvenie Whisky Masterclass

Scotch in the summer

Balvenie Whisky, a single malt Scotch from Speyside Scotland might not be the biggest selling or the most in demand Scotch Whisky brand in the world, but it has a cult status within the Whisky community due to some creative and playful elements in making the whisky from malt master David Stewart, one of the longest serving malt masters in the world of whisky. At Taste of London in Regent's park, The Balvenie has teamed up with Roux at Parliament Square by the legendary Michel Roux Jr to demonstrate how whisky works with food. Head chef Steve Groves has come up with some mouthwatering dishes using ranges of Balvenie whisky.

Saturday, 4 July 2015


Brunch in the city

Home-made ricotta and honey

Foxlow, by the ever popular and successful The Hawksmoor group seems to be on the right track with its casual format, a second Foxlow has just recently launched in Stoke Newington, Church Street. Judging from the location and price positioning, the group is rolling Foxlow out as a mid range steak restaurant chain and Hawksmoor would remain as a premium steak chain. Foxlow launched its brunch menu last year and this was my second time to try it, and it is surprisingly a lot cheaper than its standard menu with some creative dishes and classic brunch items with a "Foxlow makeover".

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Copita del Mercado

Fabulous Spanish in East London

Copita del Mercado

Excellent Spanish food at an affordable price is hard to come by in London, places like Barrafina and Cambio de Tercio are top class without a doubt but price wise is also at a premium. So when I discovered that Copita del Mercado has a great deal on Book a Table website I wasted no time, at less than £20 for a 3 course plus a glass of cava it seemed like a real bargain. Normally meal deals result in less quality dishes but having carefully studied the menu, the choices from the deal are the same as their regular menu and the group's other two restaurants have already got Michelin bib gourmand for many years, so surely Copita del Mercado is capable of delivering some quality Spanish cooking.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Noob's Summer gin guide

Top crafty brands for the gin lovers

1) Gin Mare

A very savory gin with plenty of Mediterranean essence, a wonderful gin for food pairing.

Gin Mare is produced in a small fishing village on the Costa Dorada in Spain using botanicals all sourced within the Mediterranean area. Arbequina olives, basil, rosemary and thyme add to the commonplace botanicals to produce this Mediterranean styled gin. The savoury, herbal elements are immediately evident when tasting neat.

RPP: £40

2) Monkey 47

A much more fruitier and sweeter gin compared to your standard London dry style, Monkey 47 is a very sippable gin.

This much sought after gin is made with no less than 47 botanicals, including lingon berries and, somewhat unusually, cranberries. It is made in very small batches, in a small custom made still, at a distillery based in an 18th century mill in the Black Forest in Germany. It was created by Alex Stein and Christoph Keller and inspired by Montgomery Collins who first produced a gin in the Black Forest in the 1950s.

RPP: £40

3) FEW Barrel 

A gin for brown spirits lovers, the additional ageing method gives the gin a touch of oaky and spicy flavour. 

Made using un-aged whiskey (white dog) FEW's Barrel-Aged Gin is subsequently matured in oak barrels to create a truly game changing craft spirit. Exuding subtle notes of fennel & peppery spices, while a smoky smoothness from the charred barrel permeates the juniper, this barrel-aged spirit tastes like gin, but has the maturity of a bourbon.

RPP: £40

4) G Vine

A French gin distilled from grape spirit, resulting in a dry and floral gin with a smooth finish.

The delicate craft contributes to the unique and sophisticated, yet light and smooth taste that is inherent to G'Vine. From the first taste, G'Vine is delicate and floral, evolving into spicy warmth with an extremely long finish. The subtle aromatic vine flower, together with the grape spirit, softens the traditional juniper taste inherent in most gins. G'Vine is unique because it is made from grape neutral spirit, smooth and well balanced in the mouth.

RPP: £32

5) Caorunn

A Scottish gin using wild Scottish botanicals, it has a delightful fresh aroma and works extremely well in a G&T.

Infused with hand-picked botanicals, inspired by Celtic tradition. Created from the Celtic landscape. Caorunn is a dry and crisp, aromatic taste adventure with a long dry finish. Perfectly clear like pure Scottish water. Fresh, floral, citrus, slightly spicy and aromatic. Clean, crisp, sweet, full bodied and aromatic. Invigorating, long lasting, refreshing, crisp and slightly drying. Caorunn gin is infused with five celtic botanicals, including the fabled rowan berry with six traditional botanicals including juniper berries, orange peel and coriander seed.

RPP: £28

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Wine, Summer and cocktails

Roberson Wine

The beauty about cocktails is that you can be creative and mix with anything, it is not just restrict to spirit, you can also use wine, cider and even beer! Summer is here and the experts at Roberson Wine want to show you that you need not restrict your love of wine. Roberson swear you can make some delicious cocktails using wine and have created this new visual listing their favourites for this summer season. Go classic and try using a red wine in a Spanish Sangria or go classy and make a Kir Royal with chilled champagne. The possibility is endless!

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