It’s Chocolate week! Around the UK tastings and events from the UK’s best chocolatiers are underway. To celebrate Gaucho restaurants have launched an chocolate inspired menu and recently I was lucky enough to attend an exclusive preview at the Gaucho Piccadilly.
Gaucho’s Chocolate Week will see the British love of chocolate combined with Argentina’s renowned beef and Malbec to create a memorable dining experience.
The first part of the evening entailed us being introduced to Malbec family of wines by Gaucho sommelier Ian O’Reilly before going on to taste them with different flavoured chocolates.
The first chocolate we tasted was a 70% dark chocolate chosen to highlight the classic match between Malbec and chocolate. The bitterness of the chocolate was countered by the sweetness of the tannins that Malbec is so famous for. The second chocolate was coffee and vanilla flavoured and was chosen to extract the oak influence of the Vina Patricia Malbec. The final and most controversial choice of the evening was the violet flavoured chocolate. Malbec is extremely well known for its floral characteristics with violets always present. The violet chocolate was chosen due to its strong character. It highlighted the Malbec’s ability to tone down the strength of the chocolate whilst the chocolate lifted the floral side of the wine. I have to say out of all the chocolates I enjoyed the Coffee and Vanilla most for its silky feel on the pallet.
After this it was time to eat and boy we were in for a treat! The first course of braised beef cheeks with lamb sweetbread popcorn in almonds and breadcrumbs, humita and chocolate jus was delicious, for me there was just the hint of the chocolate which worked well with humita.
The next course was slow cooked pork belly, white chocolate and vanilla mashed potato and chocolate chilli pork. I was worried the chocolate would be overpowering but it complemented the pork beautifully and chilli gave the dish a nice kick.
The menu ended on a high with a gorgeous desert of white chocolate mousse with milk chocolate crumble, fresh and frozen fruits and almond praline served with a glass of Zuccardi Port Malbec. I polished off every bit of the desert and the zucardi provided a perfect blend of sweetness to compliment the white chocolate moose.
The Gaucho’s Chocolate Week Menu costs £65pp and is available at all 14 Gaucho until Saturday 20th October so hurry!
Trying to find a really good Indian restaurant has been a mission of mine for a while. The last memorable Indian restaurant I had been to had been about 5 years ago, so when I received details about an Indian in Clapham I didn’t raise my hopes too high. Clapham Tandoori is based very close to Clapham Common station and has been serving up traditional Indian cuisine to south Londoners for over 40 years.
I took my friend Miss Mint along to review their dishes, coming from Bradford Miss Mint knows how to spot a good curry. When we arrived on a Tuesday evening the restaurant was quiet but slowly started to fill up before we left. Clapham Tandoori is a family owned restaurant and the reception we received made us feel right at home. Our waiter was friendly and attentive and made sure that we got what we needed.
We started off by ordering some Poppadoms which came with 4 massive dips. This should have been the first indication of the portion sizes at Clapham Tandoori which are definitely on the generous size.
For our main courses we went for the chicken pasanda, chicken bhuna and sag aloo served with bread and pilau rice. This was my first time trying the pasanda and I was really impressed. The dish was creamy and rich and the chicken was succulent. My friend Miss Mint was equally impressed with her bhuna and we both agreed that we both would visit Clapham Tandoori again. Miss Mint more likely than myself as she is a local, so I suspect she will become a regular to the restaurant. We both finished eating with smiles on our faces and stuffed bellies.
So now I have a favourite Indian. If you find yourselves in the area do pay them a visit, you won’t be dissappointed!
So it seems that all I have done lately is eat, eat, eat! Not that I am complaining, I do love food… Good thing I have taken to cycling to work everyday otherwise I would probably have to change my nickname to chunky girl ha! Anyway recently I went down to London’s biggest food event The Taste Of London in Regents Park. It was my first time attending the event and we were blessed with a pair of VIP tickets which meant a friend and I got to slink around the Laurent Perrier tent sipping on Champagne, and eating as much as humanly possible. We had a fabulous day and here are some of things we did and ate.
Enjoyed some lovely glasses of Laurent Perrier Champagne….”lovely!”
There was a long queue to try The 5 Star Burger which was apparently put together by five Michelin star chefs.
As you can see it was definitely worth the wait, and it taste divine! All the money raised was donated to Action against hunger.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I absolutely love dim sum! So I was very excited to spot Ping Pong showcasing how they make some of their delicious dim sum.
We were entertained by some fantastic musicians including Josh Osho and Sadie and the hotheads.
Lots of London’s amazing restaurants were cooking up a storm:
I recently had the pleasure of dining at Dstrkt London in Piccadilly Circus, a club, bar and restaurant that has become a bit of a celeb haunt. It was my first visit to try their Spring Menu and I was pleasantly surprised by how good the food was. This coupled with their extensive cocktail list makes this place somewhere that I think is worth a visit!
As I entered the rather dramatic doorway and gave my name to the very glamorous receptionist, she showed me downstairs where I was met by another glamorous assistant who took my coat and showed me into the lounge bar.
While waiting for my friend to arrive at the bar I got the chance to sample one of Dstrkt’s lovely cocktails, which had a lovely floral scent and fruity taste. Once my friend arrived we were led to our table to begin our culinary adventure! Dstrkt’s unique selling point is its small dishes which are perfect for sharing. Now, I must warn you that the Dstrkt Spring Menu is no mean feat, this menu was a mammoth 12 dishes each paired with wine. By the time I had finished I practically had to be rolled out of the restaurant!
I always judge a restaurant by the state of the bread that they serve and Dstrkt’s selection of bread passed the test, fresh and spongy, we had to stop eating it all before we even had our first dish.
This is what we ate:
Our first course consisted of two dishes the Yellow fin tuna and caviar blini. The tuna was tender, moist and had a lovely Umami flavour.
This was served with a glass of Viognier 2011
Off to a great start we were continuously impressed by the array of dishes that followed:
Final course of dessert, my favourite had to be the pannacotta with raspberry flakes that were slightly sharp and tangy.
Looking back, I can’t believe that I ate all of this! However I enjoyed every minute of it. If you’re up to the challenge then please visit DSTRKT London, 9 Rupert St, Leicester Square, London W1D 6DG
London’s Mega food festival is back! Taste of London will be taking place in Regents Park from the from the 20th to the 23rd of June. Visitors will have the opportunity to savour dishes from 40 of London’s hottest restaurants, see world class chefs live on stage and explore fine food and wine from top producers. If you’re passionate about good food and produce then this is the event for you!
Feast on food from some London’s hottest new restaurant’s, including stylish Sushisamba, trend setting Duck & Waffle, and Peruvian hot ticket LIMA. Also back by popular demand will be favourites such as Le Gavroche, Gauthier Soho, Club Gascon, Benares and Tamarind.
Also following on from their successful restaurant pop-up Electrolux will be putting on an array of events to tantalise your taste buds.
Electrolux Chefs Secrets offers participants the amazing opportunity to pick up hints, tips and techniques from a Michelin star chef, by taking part in a hands-on cookery session participants can pick up kitchen secrets as well as learning the benefits of induction and steam cooking.
Electrolux Taste Theatre, will host demonstrations from some of the world’s best chefs including Tom Kitchin, Michel Roux Jnr, Raymond Blanc and Gary Rhodes. The chefs will be creating gastronomic delights on appliances from their new Inspiration range.
The Electrolux Mobile Academy, will host interactive Q&A sessions, book signings and demonstrations from celebrity Michelin Star chefs, Electrolux product experts will also be on hand to answer any questions and offer advice on how to achieve the best results from your appliances
Also for those of you who are wine lovers Champagne Laurent-Perrier will be hosting wine tastings to help you choose the right wines to pair with your food.
From the guys who brought you Patty and The Bun comes a chicken-themed Sunday Roast in Soho on afternoons throughout April. The menu, created by ex-Hix chef Terry (Batman) Edwards – and costing £30 for 4 courses – consists of chicken dippers, tea and dumplings, spineless chicken and truffled chips before ending with some ‘good ole’ egg soldiers.
Another set of guys are hosting a chicken pop up during lunch times and dinner during the week at The Endurance. Mother Clucker is the brainchild of a New Orleans-born chef, the deliciously named Brittney Bean, who aims to bring a bit of Southern fried chicken comfort to us Brits. The pop-up will be serving twice fried free-range chicken marinated in a sweet tea brine and coated in buttermilk. Hmm…yummy!
Mother Clucker is at The Endurance until Sunday 28 April. Lunch 12-4, dinner 6-10. Reservations accepted for lunch only.
The Dante Fried Chicken Experience
Dante Fried Chicken is back! The American chef – DFC comes to London to launch his new Book Ride or Fry: The Dante Fried Chicken Experience on Thursday 4th April, at 18 Hewett Street. The Book Launch will be followed by an Exhibition and After Party.
+ There’ll be Sock-it-to-me fried chicken with signature DFC apricot sauce on the night so make sure you get down early!
Dante Fried Chicken will also be collaborating with Shay Ola from The Rebel Dining Society and Death By Burrito with a guest chef residency at Death By Burrito, cooking up an exclusive dinner menu from Thursday 11th April to Saturday 13th April, with an all day brunch on Sunday 14th April to celebrate the closing day of the exhibition.