Loose Cannon at the Punt Yard

When I visit the Punt Yard in Cambridge’s Quayside, I often seem to order their “Loose Cannon” pizza.  It features tomato sauce, mozzarella, Wiltshire ham, wild mushrooms, olives, oregano, and I always put some chilli oil on it to give it even more spice. It’s a big plateful, and I often cut the edges off […]

Frittata

I made myself a rather nice frittata. It took 4 eggs, whisked up with half a cup of goats’ milk, two big spoons of yoghurt and some cream. I put in bacon pieces, chopped red and green peppers and onion, plus seasoning. Crucially I lined the oven with a piece of baking parchment cut to […]

Seafood bisque

A seafood bisque is a creamy stew of crustaceans, typically lobster, langoustines, crab, shrimp and crayfish. It’s a way of using up ones that are imperfect or not considered good enough to market. Typically the crustaceans are sautéed in their shells before being strained and cooked with cream and spices. The word ‘bisque’ may have […]

Bavette at the Loose Box

A most welcome dish has been added to the menu of the Loose Box in Horseferry Road, Westminster. It’s a Hereford bavette steak, served with skin-on fries, roasted tomato and rocket garnish, and a peppercorn sauce. It’s very nicely done, served in thick slices and medium rare, as I asked. It went superbly with the […]

Steak on a stone, or not

Steak & Co, just off Leicester Square, offers steak you cook yourself on a hot stone.  They supply it in raw slices ready to cook, with side dishes. Most diners choose this, but I prefer to receive it cooked, because then I can have it medium rare, difficult to achieve in thin slices on a […]

Mixed fried seafood

One thing they do very well in Nice is fritto misto, a mixture of seafood lightly deep fried.  This one had lots of squid, prawns, sardines, and some unidentifiable small fish.  Most of it was served whole, leaving the delicate job of extracting the bits you don’t want to eat.  Very good with homemade tartare […]

Salad Nicoise

I was at the Cafe de Paris, just outside the Casino at Monaco. Their salad Nicoise was certainly ample. It had big chunks of tuna, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, anchovies, tomatoes, olives, capers, and of course lettuce. It went well with a Provence rosé wine.

Ivy Market Grill

The Ivy Market Grill is a fairly recent discovery for me. It’s very close to Covent Garden and has outside tables for warm days.  The menu is actually closer in style to the nearby Delaunay than to its parent Ivy, but it’s very good. And the bar is spectacularly large and decorative.

Just desserts

I was at a Vice-Chancellor’s Circle reception and tour at Cambridge’s Botanic Garden and Sainsbury Laboratory.  We saw some of Darwin’s specimens from his Galapagos trip.  Afterwards there was a champagne buffet lunch of sandwiches, plus some mini desserts, great looking and great tasting…

black lobster ravioli with crab

Cicchetti’s Italian restaurant on Piccadilly is a great discovery.  I like to sit at their long bar with a friend and sample their tapas dishes.  This time I had their black lobster ravioli with crab, done with tangy tomatoes in a tomato sauce.  It was outstanding.  The service was helpful and informative, too.

Tomato tart

The base is puff pastry rolled into a rectangle.  I use ready-made puff pastry because it’s too labour intensive to make my own.  I score an inner rectangle about three-quarters of an inch in, and spread green pesto inside it.  Then come the chopped tomatoes, the torn basil leaves and the crystals of sea salt. […]

Lamb, tomato and basil quiche

I make a quiche as a way of using up leftovers.  In this case I had cold sliced lamb I cut into pieces of about half an inch across.  After lining my dish with shortcrust pastry, I put strips of cheese to cover the bottom, then the pieces of lamb sprinkled with rock salt.  I […]