Ivy Market Grill, Covent Garden

They had no tables left to book for lunch at the Ivy Market Grill in Covent Garden, but I knew they always keep a few spare for walk-in customers, and do not let people book the outside tables.  I took a chance and arranged for my friend and I to meet there at 12 noon. […]

Roast half leg of lamb

I roasted a half leg of lamb after first cutting slits in it to insert slices of garlic and rubbing it with large crystals of sea salt. I gave it 25 minutes per half kilo plus another 15, making 1 hour & 15 minutes to have it pink. I roasted par-boiled potatoes in goose fat […]

Prawn and bacon quiche

Left over from the previous night’s barbecue were 3 skewers of prawn and vegetables and a rasher of bacon. The shortcrust pastry was made from 4 oz of plain flour, a heaped spoon of oat bran and 2 oz of goose fat. It was lined with cheddar cheese, then in went chopped (cooked) bacon, prawns, […]

Bright Courtyard Club

I returned to the Bright Courtyard Club in Baker Street.  It is up-market Chinese.  On my previous visit I had a special three course crab menu, including Alaskan king crab.  This time with two friends we shared a dim sum basket and then crispy aromatic duck with plum sauce and spring greens.  Both were first […]

Chassagne-Montrachet

The meal included Brussels paté, lemon & basil crusted cod fillet and strawberry & stem ginger Eton mess, and the wine went with it very well.  It was Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Chenevottes, 2006, a white Burgundy. Depending on exchange rates, it currently costs about £55 a bottle in the UK, though I’m sure Jesus College […]

Lunch at the Ritz

The Ritz hotel restaurant has to be among the poshest in London.  I had lunch there, starting with terrine of goose liver and going on to Bresse duck for the main course. Both were excellent, but the raspberry and elderflower soufflé with yoghurt sorbet took my breath away.  It was the best I’ve ever tasted, […]

Homemade sourdough bread

My friend Sam makes sourdough bread from scratch, even preparing his own natural yeast using wholegrain rye flour and water over several days, skimming off some and replenishing with fresh rye flour and water. This creates a ‘starter’ and contains bacteria and a little alcohol, which give the bread its distinctive sourdough taste. He makes […]

Chorizo and feta quiche

It was a bold idea, but it didn’t quite work.  I made shortcrust pastry and lined it with feta cheese for a change.  Then came thick slices of chorizo, plus chopped onions and some creamed spinach. Egg and milk, of course, and seasoning, and 40 minutes in a 170 fan oven.  But the two strong […]

Manicomio in Chelsea

Manicomio in Chelsea is always good. For an outdoor lunch there I started with the cured Piedmontese beef, which was good, then went on to their Portland lobster ravioli with tomatoes, marjoram, chilli & garlic. It was the beat I’ve ever had and easily held its own alongside a Sicilian red wine.  It was cooked […]

Half leg of lamb

It is among my favourite roasts because it comes out so sweet.  I score the outside and insert slices of garlic.  Then I brush with sunflower oil and rub rosemary onto the outside, and finally crystals of salt from Blokhus in Denmark.  My cooking time in a 160 fan oven is 25 minutes per half […]

Rare roast beef at Balls Brothers

There’s a branch in Buckingham Palace Road, just across from Victoria Station.  I chose the rare roast beef sandwich, which comes on brown bread with beef tomato, watercress and horseradish sauce. I asked for mustard as well as horseradish. It was good, chunky with beef, but way too much bread for my tastes. I’d prefer […]

Loch Fyne’s Smokehouse Ashet

Loch Fyne restaurant serves a starter called “Smokehouse Ashet.”  It is for sharing between two persons and contain 3 salmon dishes.  There is traditional sliced smoked salmon, chunks of cold smoked salmon, and bradan rost, a cooked steak of salmon.  It is served with peppercorns and brown bread.  All delicious!