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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gorilla Jerk at the London Particular

Lots of chilli peppers
Mixology magic by co-owner Kanji Kohanda
Pitmaster Nick Balfe prepping on New Cross Road
"Kingston Roulette" peppers
Ox heart, baby gem and scotch bonnet ketchup
Sweet corn and pimento butter
Grilled sqid, cauliflower and palm
Jerk pig's cheeks, red onion and pickled pineapple
Smoked yoghurt, sorrel punch and raspberries
Chocolate, caramel and malt bomb
LOCATION: Gorilla Jerk supper club at The London Particular, 399 New Cross Road, London
CATEGORY: Barbeque, pop-up, Carribean, British
DRINK: Elderflower mules (lots of them) and Luna Sicana "Luna Y Sol" sparkling white
WE THINK: We are great fans of this cute little South London cafe and try to pay a visit whenever we're in town. This time, the talented and handsome former Brunswick House head chef and Clove Club gang member Nicholas Balfe was doing a pop-up supper club inspired by Carribean barbeque. Co-owner Kanji Kohanda was working the bar, producing some very tasty elderflower mules made from elderflowers hand-picked in a local London park. The food, prepared on the New Cross Road sidewalk amid wet London June winds and constant traffic, was quite the success and included a beautiful starter of ox hearts topped with delicious scotch bonnet ketchup (which we want as a staple in our kitchen), delicious squid and pig's cheeks and a refreshing smoked yoghurt dessert, all finished off by a chocolate, caramel and malt bomb. Boom!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Eating great food with Copenhagen hipsters at Fortunen

Amusing our bouches with cava and popcorn sprinkled with spirulina
Rock crab with celery
Soft-shell crab slider with teardrop cherry tomato
Crispy tiny Danish fjord shrimps
Oysters - with frozen cucumber (left) and sherry vinegar
Very yummy bread and butter
Roasted breast of lamb with golden beets and spiced sheep's milk yoghurt
New potatoes with onion and Vesterhavs cheese
Ice cream on a stick with caramel and roasted chocolate
Licorice with buttermilk ice cream and pine shoots
LOCATION: Fortunen, Ved Stranden 18, Copenhagen
CATEGORY: Danish, Nordic
DRINK: Petit-Chablis 2011 Domaine Sainte Claire, sparkling water
WE THINK: Abounding with young, good-looking Danes, and incredibly delicious and inexpensive food, this new place (opened today by the people behind Bakken and Dyrehaven and with the previous headchef from Fiskebaren) is already our new favourite casual dining spot in Copenhagen. The menu is small, simple and intended for sharing. The starters are finger food snacks like the crispy teeny fjord shrimps (possibly our favourite dish this evening and one of the best snacks we've had in a very long time) and the delicate celery and rock crab raviolis. We might have made a mistake by not also trying the spicy duck wings, which the guests across our communal bar table were gnawing on with delight. Following 4 snacks and expecting to squeeze in desserts, the two of us could only try a couple of the main course sharing plates but there were many others that looked enticing--like the crispy lemon sole with pea shoots and mussel cream. We loved our succulent lamb breast with super tasty golden beets and baby carrots and the plate of tiny, springy new Danish potatoes with soft onions and cheese. We finished off the meal with another favourite of the evening: a licorice dessert with sweet licorice crumbles, pine shoots and silky-smooth buttermilk ice cream. We're excited that there are so many new restaurants in Copenhagen which are riding the wave of the post-Noma renaissance in Nordic food, but doing so on a surfboard instead of a super yacht...or instead of a very, very expensive canoe...if that makes any sense. This place is happy, delicious...and cheap. Back for more soon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

$2 tofu and other good stuff in the East Village

"Liang Pi"
cold noodles with gluten, cucumber, beansprouts, cilantro and spicy sauce

"Tiger vegetable salad"
Scallion, Jalapeno, chinese celery and cilantro

Spicy cumin lamb burger
"Chang'an Spicy Tofu"
Silky tofu in chili oil soup with cilantro

Pork Zha Jiang hand-ripped noodles
View to kitchen and Liang Pi noodle assembly station

LOCATION: Xi'an Famous Foods, 81 St Mark's Place, New York
CATEGORY: Chinese, North-east Chinese, Xi'an food
DRINK: water
WE THINK: This is one of the few restaurants we've found outside of China that serves our favourite noodle dish in the world: Liang Pi cold noodles. Although they are not nearly as good as the ones you get in China (e.g. here), at $4.50 / portion we have happily become regulars at the East Village branch of Xi'an Famous Foods, a tiny spot with 12 stools and very fast service. Other good things on the menu include the Zha Jiang noodles (ask for spicy!) and the comforting cumin lamb burger. And how about a bowl of spicy tofu for $2?!! More please!