Films

 

For various personal reasons I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from Sunday lunch blogging (though not eating). I can still be found on Twitter and Instagram and have a shiny new photography website http://lunchfilms.uk.

 

Oct 2nd, 2016

I’ve been meaning to visit Roka for quite some time now, having heard many good reviews but it was the taste of their ‘Komi smoked pork ribs’ at Meatopia 2016 (FB album) that gave me the final push to make a reservation. Whilst the restaurant group has several branches dotted about London we went for Roka Charlotte Street as the restaurant, in addition to superb Japanese cuisine on the ground floor, is also home to Shochu Lounge, a cocktail bar with an exceptional collection of Japanese whiskies.  We opted for a selection of their signature dishes (menu here) and were not disappointed, a testament to the adage that great dishes begin with great ingredients. Each dish was prepared simply and beautifully presented, with flavours perfectly balanced. Lovely surroundings, knowledgeable and courteous staff, well prepared food and excellent whisky! Well worth a visit.    

Aug 1st, 2016

I’ve had a bit of a blog hiatus this summer as I made a mid-year trip back to Hong Kong, only able to update our Facebook page whilst on the move. Now back in England I thought I'd name a few highlights; Season by Oliver Elzer - French contemporary Michelin-starred dining 'inspired by the transition of four seasons' fresh and far less pretentious than it sounds I would highly recommend their set lunch; great food, good value. Next is ÉPURE, more French food, greater elegance and pretension but still worth a trip. Then we headed to the beach for lunch at Limewood HK, sea view, nice decor, friendly staff, interesting and fresh dishes, great vibe, definitely worth a visit. For first class dim sum with a superb view of Hong Kong look no further than The Sky Boss on 101/F KCC and lastly, for some colonial charm with your cocktails, head on over to Hullet House. This is by no means an exhaustive list, for a more comprehensive round up of where to eat in Hong Kong head on over to Clerkenwell Boy’s Guide. Happy eating!

 

April 24th , 2016

A spontaneous trip to Cromer resulted in us finding this absolute gem of a pub, serving hands down the best Sunday Roast I've ever had. Set in picturesque parklands of Gunton Hall, where deer roam its nearly 1000 acres, you can't help but feel that you've stepped back in time when you arrive at the pebble dashed frontage of the Gunton Arms. Stepping through the doors that image is reinforced by the dark woods and seemingly traditional decor until you start noticing the unusual pieces of modern artwork dotted about; Tracy Emin "I said don't practice on me" neon over the door, Anthony Caro sculpture in the garden and Damien Hirst in the ladies loo. The explanation we later learned is that the pub is owned by art dealer Ivor Braka, a long time friend of chef Mark Hix who also trained the resident head chef Stuart Tattersall. It would seem that Stuart knows how to cook meat and do it well, be it venison cooked over an open fire in the Elk room or local chickens roasted and carved table side from the kitchen. Accompanying the roast was fresh local vegetables, potatoes cooked in goose fat and simply amazing roast garlic bread sauce. A sensational Sunday feast in a super setting. Faultless! (More photos)

 

November 2017
 
 

The Essence of French Cooking Hardcover by Michel Roux Snr.

To celebrate the launch of his latest cook book Chef Michel Roux attended a special event in Ely hosted by Toppings Booksellers, which included a three course lunch at Poet’s House with a menu inspired by Michel’s recipes. I felt for the Head Chef Nick Zwolinsky & his team, not only did he have cooking royalty in his restaurant but had to prepare plates for 60 people that would do justice to this extraordinary book! Well, he did brilliantly, the main of ‘Denham Estate saddle of lamb stuffed with apricot & cumin, smoked pomme purée, roasted shallots & glazed baby carrots’ was fabulous. Though the highlight of the lunch for me was getting the chance to meet one of my food heroes, who proved to be every bit as charming as I’d imagined & passionate about cooking & food. In his book, beautifully illustrated with photos by Lisa Linder, Michel distils a lifetime of knowledge into 100 classic recipes, some with a modern twist. “I do this not because I have to, but because I love it” doesn’t that just say it all.

Each month I invite a fellow food enthusiast to list their top ten eateries. As Network Box Marketing director, bon viveur and dear friend May Chan is visiting from Hong Kong it was too good an opportunity to miss. Here are her top ten choices, unsuprisingly her list sports a constellation of Michelin stars!

  1. Le Meurice, Paris
  2. L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, HK
  3. Quey, Sydney
  4. Wagyu Kaiseki Den, HK
  5. Hakkasan Mayfair, London
  6. The Peninsula HK Gaddi's
  7. Krug Room, Mandarin Oriental Hotel HK
  8. The King William IV Pub, Heydon UK
  9. Golden Leaf Chinese restaurant, Conrad HK
  10. Caprice restaurant at the Four Seasons HK

Plus 10 Honorable mentions:

   

 

Flitch of Bacon, is a gastropub with boutique rooms, housed in a renovated 16th Century Inn in Dunmow, Essex, owned by Daniel Clifford, chef patron of the 2 Michelin starred Midsummer House in Cambridge. With Daniel at the helm I knew that we weren't going to be getting simple pub grub, the menu is well thought out, making best use of local produce & the plates of food guest are presented with are not only delicious but beautifully presented. On this occasion my dining companion & I both chose the Sunday roast, one beef & one pork, the meat was melt-in-the-mouth tender with fantastic flavour, accompanied with perfectly cooked seasonal vegetables & fluffy Yorkshire ( FB photos ). To finish we chose the Pistachio Souffle with Dark Chocolate Sorbet, a dessert we'd enjoyed at Midsummer House & were curious if it would be as good .. it was amazing! The restaurant itself is relaxed with a fun, colourful décor. The front of house are attentive & friendly (they even brought extra gravy without prompting, big plus in my book!) In all I really can’t fault anything. Go, book now!

 

Alan Yau’s Hakkasan, helmed by Chef Tong Chee Hwee, is a major part of London’s elite restaurant scene and is recognized as one of the top 50 restaurants in the world, serving some of the best dim sum you will find anywhere. As a long time fan of Hakkasan Hanway Place I decided to give their new(er) restaurant in Mayfair a try. I dragged along 3 foodie friends for a dim sum lunch and was prepared for a great meal. I wasn't disappointed. They had all the favourites; scallop shumai, har gau, Chinese chive dumpling, duck dumpling plus light and fluffy char siu bao. There were also some dim sum with an added Hakkasan twist, like using venison instead of char siu in the pastry puff and crabmeat siew long bun, their take on xiao long bao, which had plenty of soup and a thin, delicate skin. Magnificent! Chinese cuisine is not usually noted for the desserts but Hakkasan is a delightful exception. I had the coconut and lime tapioca with iced pineapple and warm pineapple beignets - divine! Whilst Louise declared her blackberry and apple crumble soufflé, with blackberry compote and vanilla ice cream, simply the best dessert she had ever eaten. Pricey but worth it! Definite contender for Best Sunday Lunch.