Some recent purchases.
Last week saw the inaugural edition of Sunday leftovers and I was chuffed with the response, in particular to the comment that it was “like a trashy mag, but with food and cats”. I’m glad to be filling a hole you see; trashy mags are what you think you want on a long train journey/in a doctor’s waiting room/lying sick on the sofa, but in reality they just induce a feeling of complete and utter loathing for the human race, or at least a certain subset of society. What is most annoying however, is that they leave a spot un-hit; you still yearn for a trivial fix but have nowhere to turn. Food and cats will never let you down (if you’re a dog person by the way, just replace the word ‘cat’ with the word ‘dog’ in your head). So here we go again.
Gymkhana this week. Wow. I used to have a regular and enjoyable debate with a friend about whether or not ‘posh Indian’ could be a thing. I didn’t think it could, and at first I thought Gymkhana had proved me wrong, which would be all well and good of course, but then I realised, it’s not ‘posh’ at all, or at least it’s not trying to gussy anything up. There is no trying too hard; no stacking; no smearing; no dismantling or deconstructing, everything is just done a hundred times better. The muntjac biryani has been the talk of the town since they opened and despite myself, I ordered it. Stunning. Easily the best biryani I’ve ever eaten, each grain of rice so utterly buttery perfect I actually laughed out loud. I hear they have a ‘rice man’. Fair bloody play to him I say, and a cracking great high five. A tip, FYI, is to stop the staff from breaking into that pastry crust for you at the table, if only to save you shouting ‘WOAH WOAH WOAH!’ across the restaurant like I did. Everything I ate was brilliant but special mention to the crab for being simply a bowl of brown and white meat, with pepper and a shitload of ghee. I wanted to run off with it. Everything seemed to contain a shitload of ghee at Gymkhana actually, which is perfectly alright with me.
The muntjac biryani doing its best Elmo impression. Crab lurks in the background.
Burger and Lobster launched on the 5th Floor of Harvey Nicks on Tuesday, and I was up there like a ferret up a trouser leg. My conversations at Burger and Lobster always go like this:
Me: “Hello. I’d like a martini please, not too dry, with a twist. Thanks”
Staff: “Would you like gin or vod..”
Me: “GIN!! GIN GIN GIN!!!!”
Staff: “Would you like me to explain the men..”
Me: “LOBSTER ROLL PLEASE THANKS”
That’s basically the entirety of interaction needed at Burger and Lobster, unless I have run out of martini. I know exactly what they do best and that is why I have the same thing, every single time. It’s one of the best sandwiches in London without a shadow of a doubt, so if for any reason you find yourself stuck in Knightsbridge losing the will to live, nip into Harvey Nicks for the lifesaving combination of hard liquor and crustacea.
Discovery of the week goes to the Shanghai lamb noodles at Silk Road. I challenge you to find any food more satisfying than a hand pulled noodle. The lamb has had the same treatment as their lamb shish, which means it’s all about the cumin. The sauce is HOT, too, the kind of hot where you want to stop because you fear the dawn but you can’t because you’re hopelessly hooked. I will never not order this at Silk Road.
Another exciting discovery was that the Turkish Food Centre (in Camberwell at least, not sure about other branches) is stocking both red and green Georgian plum sauces. You may know that I properly fell for Georgian food when I visited the country last year. It’s familiar and yet so unique; I long to return. If you can’t get to a TFC then it’s available online and I have a recipe here which uses shitty unripe supermarket plums. It tastes great, honestly. A fantastic match for pork.
In other news, I made about a million flatbreads, which are fabulous with eggs and yoghurt, or about any Middle Eastern style dip you can imagine. I also made a hundred squillion swirly borek, but that’s a story for next week, being as it is long and at this very moment in time, a little painful to recall.
Za’atar flatbread with poached egg, yoghurt, and Turkish chilli.
What’s that you say? Where’s the cat picture? Okay, here’s one of Chas snuggling up to his favourite blanket. I feel the same way about my dishwasher.