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Pompette, Oxford: ‘Worth saving up for’ – restaurant review

Sun, 17 Mar 2019 06:00:07 GMT

Oxford’s chattering classes should flock here to eat fine classic French dishes. And chat…

Pompette, 7 South Parade, Oxford OX2 7JL (01865 311166). Snacks, starters, charcuterie and cheeses £4.50-£14. Mains £16-£36. Desserts £6.50-£8.50. Wines from £19

Being a journalist is a licence to ask outrageous questions. A notebook in your hand is a badge. It says: I am not asking you about this sensitive matter because I am nosy, but because my job demands it. Now tell me again, you did what? With whom? And exactly how much Swarfega was involved? Not long after I took over this column 20 years ago, I concluded that a notebook and a restaurant table were the perfect combination. People relax when they are eating well. Then they talk.

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Cocktail of the week: the Irish cold brew | | The Good Mixer

Fri, 15 Mar 2019 16:00:14 GMT

Like an Irish coffee, or even an espresso martini, but way more refreshing: a surefire hit for St Patrick’s Day

Move over espresso martini, the Irish are coming to town – well, it is St Patrick’s Day, after all. This drink is a bit like a Gaelic coffee, but cold, refreshing and devilishly moreish. There’s warmth from triple-casked whiskey, pick-me-up credentials from coffee and velvety balance from the caramel. Serve as an aperitif or digestif: this bestseller from our cocktail list works at any time of day – and especially today, of all days.

Serves 1
50ml Irish whiskey – I use Slane
15ml Kahlúa
10ml caramel syrup
– the kind you get in coffee bars (or maple syrup)
75ml espresso – cold-brew works best
3 coffee beans, to garnish

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Len & Alex Deighton’s Spanish Cookstrips: Crema Catalana

Sun, 17 Mar 2019 12:00:09 GMT

Len: People argue whether the Spanish or the French invented this dish.
Alex: They’re missing the point. Both versions are delicious. Make food, not war.

Len Deighton is the author of the Action Cookbook and French Cooking for Men (HarperCollins)

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From barley risotto to sorbet: Yotam Ottolenghi’s lemon recipes

Sat, 16 Mar 2019 09:30:38 GMT

Lemon with everything, from cake and risotto to sorbet

Those close to me often mock my uninhibited love for the lemon. ‘When in doubt,’ they say with a big glug of irony, ‘add lemon. Zest and juice, a bit of chopped-up flesh and, perhaps, some preserved lemon to round it all off.’ I don’t take this to heart, though: I acknowledge and embrace my habit. Lemon is a fruit of great wonder. If it didn’t exist, someone would invent it and make a killing. What makes it so fantastic is the enchanting aromatic oil in the skin and the fruity-zingy-crisp acidity of the flesh. You just can’t beat the magic of those two coming together, and you shouldn’t really try. So next time life gives you lemons, forget lemonade and make a cake, risotto, sorbet – or just about any other dish with my name above it.

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Passyunk Avenue: ‘A cheese whiz-smeared act of devotion’ – restaurant review | Jay Rayner

Sun, 10 Mar 2019 06:00:40 GMT

Missing the food of Philadelphia? This retro diner in London makes you feel right at home

Passyunk Avenue, 80 Cleveland Street, London W1T 6NE (020 3960 2251). Starters and sides £4-£9.50; mains, including cheesesteak £11-£12; desserts £6; and wines from £19

When I visit Passyunk Avenue, a retro diner on a scuffed backstreet in London’s Fitzrovia, the voice I hear in my head belongs to Josh Ozersky. Josh was a bull-necked, raging mensch of a man, who founded the food festival Meatopia, helped pioneer food blogging in New York via the Grub Street site and ended up as restaurant editor for Esquire. Most importantly, he carved out a niche for himself as the chronicler of what he called, “American vernacular cuisine”. His point was compelling: why should the classics of the American diner be any less deserving of love and scholarship than, say, the so-called cuisine de grand-merè of France?

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‘It’s like a family’: the restaurant staff who stay in the same job for decades

Sun, 17 Mar 2019 12:00:10 GMT

As a photographic project highlights long service in London’s restaurant trade, six stalwarts tell us why they’ve stayed put for all these years

“Very seldom are we who work in the catering industry appreciated for what we do,” says Gino Nardella, master sommelier at London hotel the Stafford. “We don’t get the awards or OBEs, and yet our contribution is great.”

Nardella is one of the subjects of photographer Peter Jackson’s latest personal project, Long Service: London. Jackson heard about a restaurant in Paris with an employee of more than 40 years standing, and thought there must be similar examples in the UK capital. Last summer, he started calling and emailing London restaurants: “If I walked past a place that looked quite old, I’d pop in.”

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Nutritional psychiatry: can you eat yourself happier?

Mon, 18 Mar 2019 08:00:38 GMT

‘What we stick in our mouths matters to our mental health,’ says a leading light in this new field. So what should we be eating?

Felice Jacka’s work showing that junk food shrinks the brain was motivated by personal experience. Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Jacka struggled with anxiety and panic disorders; by the time she enrolled at art school, she was accustomed to regular bouts of depression, too, leaving her “devoid of happy feelings and unable to experience pleasure”.

But in her late 20s Jacka managed to recover and stay well by focusing on her diet, exercise and sleep. The effect was so marked that it inspired her to put her life as an artist on hold in order to dedicate herself to studying the effects of diet on mental health.

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Banana blossom: the next vegan food star with the texture of fish

Sat, 16 Mar 2019 06:00:36 GMT

Sainsbury’s is to include the flower, which hails from south-east Asia, in its ready meals

Following on from beetroot burgers and jackfruit curries, the next star of the vegan “meat” world hails from the gardens of south-east Asia and looks somewhat like an artichoke.

Banana blossom, also known as a “banana heart”, is a fleshy, purple-skinned flower, shaped like a tear, which grows at the end of a banana fruit cluster. Traditionally used in south-east Asian and Indian cooking, it can also be eaten raw and its chunky, flaky texture makes it an ideal substitute for fish.

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Avocad-NO: why does everyone hate the Shepard avocado?

Tue, 19 Mar 2019 02:18:15 GMT

The Shepard avocado is consistently smashed online – and hatred of the green menace intensifies as Hass avocados go out of season

Over the weekend, as the internet vented fierce joy at watching a teenage boy crack an egg on an Australian senator’s noggin, an even more hardboiled take emerged: “Please stop wasting eggs throw Shepard avocados.”

please stop wasting eggs throw Shepard avocados

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Kim-Joy’s recipe for bear biscuits: a cardamom, orange and chocolate delight

Wed, 13 Mar 2019 12:35:03 GMT

In the first of a new weekly series of recipes for the Guardian, the Bake Off star presents biscuits that children will love

These bear biscuits are very simple to make and kids will love the cute factor. You can also play about with the fillings and make different-coloured bears.

Prep time: 15 mins (shortbread), 10 mins (icing), 10 mins (ganache, if making)
Bake time: 10-15 mins
Plus decorating time
Makes: 12

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Gloria, London EC2: ‘Kicks Brexit gloom up the arse’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 08 Mar 2019 10:00:41 GMT

This kitsch, orchestrated chaos is a ton of fun – and the food is unexpectedly very good, too

Gloria is completely at odds with London’s restaurant scene right now. It is lots and lots of hopelessly optimistic, wanton fun. Along a kerb in Shoreditch of a Friday night, around 100 folk were attempting to gain entry to this new Italian trattoria in order to taste “Filippo’s big balls”.

I generally balk at restaurant queues, because they tend to attract all the usual joyless, food-scene suspects: trust-fund types harvesting content for their Vogon poetry blogs, and those foodie couples who are a bit like swingers, in that one of them is much less into it all and would rather be down Turtle Bay. But this was quite a sexy queue, full of messy-haired, pouting, snake-hipped European sorts, all flocking towards the pizzas, pastas, cicchetti and dolci, as well as the well-stocked bar that serves until 2am.

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Jay Rayner: my 20 years as a restaurant critic

Sun, 17 Mar 2019 11:00:08 GMT

Jay Rayner marks two decades as the Observer’s restaurant critic and explains why food writing is about more than what’s on the plate

I am the accidental restaurant critic. It was never my plan, because what fool would nurture an ambition to have their dinner paid for and then be paid to write smartarse things about it? And yet, exactly 20 years ago this month, that’s what I started doing. Two decades later I am still doing it. I have measured out my life in contrived starters and sublime main courses; in hours spent trying to avoid overstrained adjectives and overthought similes, and not always succeeding. I have spent months in the gym attempting to mitigate the impact, and not always succeeding. My body is no longer quite my own.

Until March of 1999 I was a general news and feature writer. Then one day over lunch, with the Observer magazine’s then editor, I was told Kathryn Flett would be moving on from the restaurant column. The thought only occurred to me in that instant. I said: “That’s a job you can’t apply for … but I’d like to do it.”

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Good wines from European co-operatives

Sun, 17 Mar 2019 06:00:04 GMT

At their best the co-ops combine great value and utopian communitarianism to winning effect

Cave de Tain Crozes-Hermitage, France 2016 (£12.79, Waitrose) There’s a tendency to divide wine producers into opposing camps. There’s the big boys with their vast factory-like facilities and marketing budgets. Then there’s the small producers, the self-styled ‘artisans’, that come closest to the pastoral imagery of what a wine producer ought to be. Sitting uneasily between the two is a third group, the co-operatives: groups of growers who pool their resources rather than try to go it alone or sell their grapes to one of the big guys. At times, co-ops have had a bad rap, making industrial wines without the slick branding of the big firms. But when they’re well run, like the northern Rhône’s Cave de Tain, with its range of spicy, authentic syrah reds, they offer a winning combination of good value and utopian communitarianism.

Produttori dei Barbaresco, Italy 2014 (£29.95, Jeroboams; Noble Green) In Europe, co-operatives can have an enormous influence on their local area, acting as a kind of de-facto local vinous government that can shape the way the local wines are made and perceived. That can be useful if they’re as competent as the Cave de Tain, above, whose members have around 70% of the local vineyards in Crozes-Hermitage and Hermitage, and who do much to promote the interests of both names worldwide. The same is true of one of Italy’s finest co-ops, the Produttori dei Barbaresco. The Produttori’s 60-odd members own many of the best vineyards in Barbaresco, neighbour of Barolo in Piedmont, and year in year out they make some of the zone’s very best nebbiolo reds, with the 2014 Barbaresco typically bright, perfumed and pure.

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Yeni, London: ‘Underwhelming dishes and in-yer-face pricing’ – restaurant review

Sun, 03 Mar 2019 06:00:07 GMT

Beyond the front of house team, there is little to delight at this modern Turkish newcomer

Yeni, 55 Beak Street, London W1F 9SH (020 3475 1903). Starters £9-£17. Mains £21-£32. Desserts £9. Wines from £29

Following a major car crash, there’s usually an investigation to work out what caused it. Was it driver error? Or perhaps environmental factors? At some point, the people behind Yeni, a newly opened import from Istanbul to London’s Soho, may wish to conduct such an enquiry. Because right now it really is a pile-up; the sort that leaves debris scattered across all three lanes, and slows the traffic on the other carriageway to the speed of spilt treacle as they decelerate to get a serious gander.

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Drink: move over, Guinness. Mine's a gin this St Patrick’s Day | Fiona Beckett

Fri, 15 Mar 2019 14:00:12 GMT

With a Co Kerry bottle taking first prize for the world’s best gin, maybe it’s time to ring the changes this St Patrick’s Day

I may be showing my age (OK, I am), but I get increasingly irritated by the way the year’s minor milestones have become occasions for massive media hype. St Patrick’s Day was once a good day simply to spend in a Dublin pub, Bastille Day a charming midsummer’s day off for the French, Hallowe’en for carving pumpkins and kids (for kids, not for carving kids). But you get swept up in it, don’t you, to the extent of finding yourself mildly regretful that Aldi sells its shamrock-infused gin only in the Republic, not least because it’s just the kind of steadying drink you need to hand for watching the Wales v Ireland game tomorrow.

Anyway, I’m sure most of you aren’t nearly as grumpy as me and are gagging to celebrate St Paddy’s Day this weekend, but may I suggest ringing the changes slightly and switching from Guinness to gin? That’s not as inappropriate as you might think – gin is booming on both sides of the border, and a couple of weeks ago, an Irish gin, Dingle, from Co Kerry, was named the world’s best at the World Gin Awards. Leaving aside whether you can actually have a “best” gin – surely it depends on your taste? – I must confess that Dingle is very, very good, a proper London gin (it was also the winner in that category), with the addition of less-usual botanicals such as rowanberry, bog myrtle, hawthorn and fuchsia. It also goes well – praise be – with a standard Indian tonic water, so you don’t have to stress about what to serve with it.

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Anna Jones' easy stem ginger pudding recipes | The Modern Cook

Fri, 15 Mar 2019 12:00:11 GMT

An irresistible apple and double ginger cake and a ginger fool with lemon and rhubarb

Stem ginger is one of those magical kitchen ingredients that doesn’t cost the earth and sits happily in the cupboard or fridge for months until needed. I love almost anything with stem ginger in it, but most of all I love ginger cake. I remember a German ginger and apple cake I used to make as a kid, which was just the right side of stodgy. This week I have made a new version, with apples as a foil for the deeply flavoured crumb. With the rest of the jar, I whipped up a fool and added some rhubarb for sharpness and colour, but it’s delicious without it, too.

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Pilchard and pickled onion pizza isn’t junk food | Brief letters

Tue, 19 Mar 2019 17:41:04 GMT

Pizza nutrition | Obituaries v the news | Non-circular walks with a car | Breakup songs

What has pizza done to deserve being listed as “junk” food? (Eat better, feel better, G2, 18 March). It’s a dough made with olive oil, topped sparingly with whatever takes your fancy (my nine-year-old grandson is partial to pickled onion and pilchards on his – which, granted, might raise eyebrows in Naples). Moreover it’s cooked at high temperature without fat. Condemning bread, potatoes, rice and pasta would be as illogical.
Liz Young
West Chiltington, West Sussex

• Once again (18 March) I find that everyone featured on your obituaries pages seems kinder, wiser and a greater contributor to the public good than almost everyone featured in your news pages. Is this de mortuis nihil nisi bonum (speak nothing but good of the dead) or de vivendibus nihil boni dicendum (there’s nothing good to say of the living)?
Sarah Walker

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Four Spanish stew recipes | Nieves Barragán Mohacho

Sat, 09 Mar 2019 07:00:15 GMT

Four warming bowlfuls from the chef at Sabor: slow-cooked beef, fish stew, chicken with roasted red peppers, and lentil and green beans

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Michael Mosley on drinking in moderation

Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:00:42 GMT

It’s not all bad news, despite what the papers say – a glass or two of what you fancy can be beneficial to body and soul

There have been quite a few studies recently that demonstrate the benefits of wine consumption, particularly red. Despite the many criticisms saying alcohol is bad for you, a consistent body of evidence shows that a modest amount of wine consumption is associated with reduced risk of heart disease.

For one randomised control trial carried out in Israel recently, a group of non-alcohol drinkers with raised blood sugar levels were asked to drink water, or a glass of red wine, or a glass of white wine, every evening for two years. At the end of that period, the people who showed the most benefit were the red drinkers, followed by the white wine drinkers, followed by the water drinkers, in terms of the impact on their cardiovascular system, as well as on their sleep. The researchers also did genetic tests and found that those who were slow alcohol metabolisers – which meant the alcohol hung around in their system for longer – were the ones who got the most benefit.

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Anna Jones’ frozen fruit recipes | The Modern Cook

Fri, 08 Mar 2019 12:00:45 GMT

Reach for frozen fruit for a quick pudding fix: instant berry ice-cream and cherry clafoutis

We are entering the hungry gap – that time of the year when the winter roots and bright citrus that have kept us going through the cold months run low and the green of spring is still a little way off. Time to reach into my freezer for fruit I froze at the end of the summer – or for pleasingly affordable bags of frozen fruit from the shops – to brighten up sweet stuff until the first of the berries arrive in spring. Arguably, a few recipes actually suit frozen fruit better than fresh – the cherries for this clafoutis seem softer and sweeter, as do the berries for the instant ice-cream. In this case, necessity truly is the mother of invention.

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Inside the impossible burger: is the meat-free mega trend as good as we think?

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 09:00:37 GMT

Makers of animal-free products aim to revolutionise the very idea of meat – but is their hi-tech approach really the answer?

I bit into the Impossible Burger and was immediately filled with awe. I lifted my head to the bartender and, with my mouth full, croaked: “This is vegan?”

I was just coming off two long days of hearings at the US Department of Agriculture, where the future of food was discussed in great detail but taste was scarcely mentioned. Now, sitting at my favorite New Jersey bar, eating something satisfying that nothing died for, was a relief.

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Best vegan restaurants in the UK: readers’ travel tips

Thu, 08 Nov 2018 06:30:05 GMT

With influences ranging from Van Gogh to Asia, these vegan venues serve up arty as well as delicious food – on beaches, buses … and in an underpass

Bundobust is fast becoming a Leeds institution for food lovers of all persuasions. Everything is veggie, and a large proportion of the menu is vegan, with an easy vegan sharing menu for two a great way in. From the okra fries dusted in black salt and mango powder (genius) to the chole dal and masala dosa, its south Indian street food, craft beer and Asian-inspired cocktails are a winning combo. With dishes from £4-6.50 it’s also easy on the wallet, so you can try a bit of everything.
Laura King

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The flexible pescatarian: salt cod croquetas with jalapeño and lime mayonnaise recipe

Sun, 17 Mar 2019 01:32:08 GMT

It requires a bit of preparation, but this fish meal with tangy sauce makes for a tasty meal

Salt cod is cod fillet that’s covered in salt to draw out moisture and preserve the fish, giving it a long shelf life. It’s a popular ingredient in hot countries, and was traditionally used in the days before refrigeration.

It needs to be rehydrated and de-salted before use, which takes around 24 hours.

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Don't throw out those avocado stones: add them to your spice rack

Sat, 05 Jan 2019 06:00:11 GMT

Grate them as you would nutmeg to give a bitter twang to a variety of Mexican dishes, including this mole sauce

Avocado stones are an intriguing addition to the spice rack, and can be grated, much like nutmeg, to give a bitter twang. They’re also thought to contain nutrients that help lower cholesterol, as well as antioxidant properties, but take such claims with a pinch of salt: scientific studies are still in their early stages.

Mole is a flavourful Mexican sauce with 25-35 ingredients, and avocado leaves feature in many recipes. Instead, try a grating of avocado stone, to balance the sweetness. Usually served with meat, it’s also lovely in tacos with crushed avocado.

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Meera Sodha's recipe for vegan Creole rice | The New Vegan

Sat, 09 Mar 2019 10:00:12 GMT

A sweet and smoky one-pot rice dish that’s great on its own or as a side

After leaving university, I went on a road trip across America’s Deep South. I passed through cotton fields in Virginia, witnessed fainting goats in Tennessee and drank moonshine in North Carolina. The final stop was Louisiana, and the thing I loved the most (even more than the fainting goats) was the hickory smoke smell in the air and the deeply delicious food, from po’boys to gumbo. Today’s dish is inspired by a Creole jambalaya, a sweet, smoky and moreish one-pot phenomenon.

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Len & Alex Deighton’s Italian Cookstrips: Cappellacci di zucca

Sun, 18 Nov 2018 11:00:03 GMT

Len: Pumpkin pasta is no fad. This recipe dates back to 1584.
Alex: It’s the reason the Ferrarese are nicknamed “magnazoca” - pumpkin eaters.

Len Deighton is the author of the Action Cookbook and French Cooking for Men (HarperCollins)

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Rachel Roddy's recipe for creme caramel

Mon, 18 Mar 2019 12:00:08 GMT

A proper creme caramel should be ‘like sinking into a comfortable chair’

While the creme caramel at Trattoria Da Cesare al Casaletto may be the best in Rome (so good that an Arab princess once offered to fly Leonardo, the owner, to her palace to teach her chef how to make it, but he couldn’t go), the one I enjoy most is at our local pizzeria, Remo. It’s not so much about the creme caramel itself (which might be packet mix), but more about the whys and wherefores. It’s most likely Friday night and the end of a long week, we don’t have to cook, the noise of the place feels celebratory and the seats are so tight that kids can’t wriggle around. We’ve already eaten fried salt cod and rice supplì with mozzarella hearts, a pizza each with a side order of puntarelle (bitter leaf salad with a rowdy, anchovy-and-garlic dressing), drunk at least a litre of red wine and now find ourselves in need of pudding.

While some people don’t like to share puddings, or scorn those who have just a spoonful, I appreciate both – you get to taste a bit of everything, or satisfy that need for a full stop of sweetness. The options at Remo are half a dozen: fruit (pineapple frills in winter, watermelon fans in summer), tubs of ice-cream, jam tarts or three things that wobble: crema catalana, panna cotta and creme caramel. All three are slightly grainy, slightly too firm and, to be honest, only slightly good. They are never inverted in the middle of the plate, but sometimes they are exactly what you need.

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Georgia on my plate: a culinary journey in the Caucasus

Sun, 09 Dec 2018 11:00:14 GMT

No lesson in the complex art of Georgian cuisine is complete without a toast or two, says our writer on a tour of the country’s mountains and cities
Suzanne Moore in ‘mind-blowingly gorgeous Georgia’

“This is a crazy Georgian situation,” says Ketino Sujashvili, with a hint of theatrical relish, as a dozen different crises flare up in her kitchen all at once.

I’ve just arrived at Ketino’s guesthouse in Kazbegi, northern Georgia, for an informal cooking class – the plan is to make khinkali, the soupy minced-meat dumplings prized in this spectacular region of the High Caucasus mountains. It begins smoothly enough, with the women in Ketino’s kitchen creating a space for me at their table, clearly amused by this lanky Irishman eager to learn the secrets of Georgian cuisine.

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How to make kedgeree | Felicity Cloake’s masterclass

Wed, 13 Mar 2019 12:00:11 GMT

A step-by-step guide to a British classic

This quintessentially British breakfast dish started off life as khichdi, a soupy, Indian mixture of lentils and rice embraced by the British Raj thanks to its passing resemblance to porridge. Rice aside, fishy kedgeree has little in common with the original, except for, as Sri Owen puts it, also being ‘good for invalids or those with hangovers’ – and for brunch, lunch and dinner, too.

Prep/soak 30 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 4

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Who are Britain's best wine retailers?

Sun, 17 Mar 2019 12:30:08 GMT

Bad news from Oddbins is offset by the rise of specialist indies and supermarkets upping their game

Oddbins is in trouble again, having called in the administrators after a terrible Christmas trading period. It’s sad news for those of us who retain a deep affection for the eclectic chain where they learned to love wine. All the more so since, in recent years under the supervision of master of wine Ana Sapungiu, the stores were once again full of a diverse range of interesting, well-priced wines.

The news isn’t all that surprising. The company has always seemed a bit rickety and never, under a succession of different owners, quite able to buck the long-term trend that has seen off its high street rivals, from Unwins to Victoria Wine, Threshers and Bottoms Up.

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Yotam Ottolenghi’s bean recipes

Sat, 09 Mar 2019 09:30:09 GMT

You need to start with dried beans if you want that special texture

In the tinned versus dried beans debate, I go for the former to save time, but only when they are going to get a long cook with other ingredients – in a soup or stew, for example. But when flavour and texture are called for, I always go for dried. The key to success is in how you treat them. Much like you and I, every variety of bean has different needs: some require a little extra love, such as a good overnight soak, whereas others demand little more than a rinse and a quick cook. Prepared correctly, the result is a pot of beautifully cooked beans flavoured with your chosen aromatics and seasonings, making a wholesome yet frugal addition to any meal – minus, of course, the tin.

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Joe Trivelli’s new winter vegetable recipes

Sun, 17 Mar 2019 05:59:02 GMT

Simple ways to transform basic ingredients into something really special

I tend to rely largely on pulses and other dry-store ingredients as winter has its curtain call, but as keen as I am on soft Italian overstewed vegetables, here I have taken a fresher approach – hinting at my longing for food with spring in its step.

Without using anything more exotic than the contents of my winter veg box – beetroot, carrots, potatoes – I have injected the flavours with new life: almost acidic winter tomatoes, a kick of horseradish, the punch of some good vinegar to awaken and restore.

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10 great-value restaurants on Latin America’s 50 best list

Wed, 14 Nov 2018 06:30:09 GMT

From a Buenos Aires spot where greens rule to a ‘house of pig’ in São Paulo, our writer offers a personal selection of affordable restaurants on Latin America’s latest 50 best list

Elaborate tasting menus and fine dining dominate the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list but it’s a different story with the Latin American edition of the awards. The top spot for 2018 did go to Lima’s Maido for the second year running (15-course menu £103), but further down the list there are plenty of restaurants offering great cooking at much more affordable prices. Here are 10 of the tastiest bargains around.

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Rachel Roddy’s recipe for vegetable polpette | A Kitchen in Rome

Mon, 11 Mar 2019 12:00:11 GMT

This unbeatable antipasto is simplicity itself: just mashed veg, egg, cheese and bread, seasoned, dipped in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried to a crisp finish

The best way to arrive at Trattoria Cesare from the centre of Rome is to ride the number three tram round the sweeping ring road that severs old and new Monteverde, to the end of the line at Casaletto. Once you get to the terminus, turn to face the way the tram has just come from and look right. At the start of a narrow road is a small, bright yellow sign saying Cesare al Casaletto.

There are many reasons I like Cesare: its unassuming location (if it wasn’t for the sign, you would think it was a block of flats); its vine-covered courtyard (which makes it sound quaint, though it isn’t); the ordinarily smart decor and attentive owners; the way the Venetian blinds send slants of light across the room, which then bounce off the coloured water glasses; the wine list full of good bottles at even better prices; and, of course, the food – especially the antipasti.

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Is the hunt for a white chocolate Creme Egg making Britain’s kids obese?

Tue, 19 Mar 2019 14:49:20 GMT

Cadbury’s Easter promotion has been criticised for encouraging children to eat hundreds of chocolates – and then there’s the row over their attempt to get kids active

Name: The Creme Egg hunt.

Age: The season starts in January and runs until Easter.

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Gravity-defying dessert, $195 mac’n’cheese and Beyoncé’s guacamole: the tastiest food TV

Wed, 29 Aug 2018 14:17:21 GMT

There’s plenty to satisfy your food-based telly cravings in the week between Great British Bake Off episodes. Here’s our pick ...

While everyone was busy being distracted by all the prestige drama, streaming services have quietly built up a giant stockpile of food shows. With CNN’s Anthony Bourdain documentary not out for at least another year, and the next episode of the Great British Bake Off almost a whole week away, here’s a list of all the food shows you should be watching instead.

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Pineapple pulling – how a new way of eating the fruit became a global sensation

Tue, 12 Mar 2019 17:42:16 GMT

A video showing someone pinching each cell and tearing it away from the core was a revelation on social media. But there’s a catch …

Name: Pineapple pulling.

Appearance: Satisfying, easy, yum.

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Thomasina Miers' recipe for clams with wild garlic and nut picada | The Simple Fix

Mon, 18 Mar 2019 12:00:08 GMT

Might clams be the original fast food? Try them Catalan-style, with a white wine and wild garlic picada

When it comes to fast food, clams take the crown. There’s no fussy prep needed and they’re cooked in minutes. Here, I’ve given them a Catalan spin with a bread and nut picada to thicken the cooking juices, flavoured with chilli and wild garlic (which is now in season). If you can’t get your hands on any, fry a couple of garlic cloves with the bread instead, adding chopped parsley for colour and flavour.

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What to do with leftover pasta | Waste Not

Sat, 09 Mar 2019 06:00:13 GMT

How to repurpose excess cooked pasta in salads, frittata or this enterprising leftover spaghetti ‘lasagne’

A portion of pasta is hard to quantify without scales, hence the invention of the spaghetti measurer, an instrument that measures it by the circumference of the bunch (you can also measure one portion in the neck of a small plastic water bottle). If you’re weighing out dried pasta, allow 75-100g a portion. I’m a lover of leftovers, so rarely weigh my pasta, and often cook extra deliberately to eat the next day.

If you have excess cooked pasta that the kids refused to eat or because you simply made too much, toss it with a little olive oil and refrigerate in a sealed container. It can then be reheated in sauce, stir-fried like noodles or eaten cold in salad. For brunch, try a spaghetti frittata: crack two eggs into a bowl of cold spaghetti, season and tip into a medium-hot, oiled pan. Cook until the egg is set on the bottom, flip, brown on the other side and eat dusted with paprika. Or, for dinner, try a comforting leftover spaghetti lasagne.

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Vivi, W1: ‘Gargantuan, gorgeous, sterile’ - restaurant review | Grace Dent

Fri, 15 Mar 2019 10:00:11 GMT

Well-presented, old-fashioned, but overpriced pub grub for the casually opulent

Restaurant land is in a tangential state. Dozens of new openings have been cancelled, heavily delayed, hazily scheduled or, by contrast, brassily rolled out in the most opulent manner ever.

If post-Brexit food-shortage rumours become true, at least I, as “an expert”, know of some incredible new multimillion-pound pleasure palaces, such as, say, Vivi, where I can perch under a Vibeke Fonnesberg Schmidt plexiglass chandelier at a metallic bronze, curvilinear bar and survey the hungry rioters outside. “Let them eat caviar vol-au-vents,” I will decree as the masses enter the building, George Romero zombie-style, making a complete mess of the sublime, art-deco marble flooring and the salmon-pink, leather horseshoe booths, before they remove my entrails.

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How to cook the perfect lamb tagine | Felicity Cloake

Wed, 06 Mar 2019 12:00:20 GMT

This much-loved Moroccan stew is an adaptable dish, here made rich and sticky with fruit and spice to complement tender, slow-cooked lamb

The Moroccan tagine is a stew named after the conical earthenware vessel in which it’s traditionally prepared, but it’s more of a concept than a dish, really, embracing everything from courgettes to camel hump. As devoted Archers fans will recall, the tagine itself, as much a portable oven as a pot, is not the easiest thing to store, so Jennifer Aldridge may be relieved to hear that, according to Nargisse Benkabbou, most modern Moroccans use a casserole instead.

As Benkabbou explains in her book Casablanca, there are four main categories of tagine, regardless of the main ingredient: mqualli, with olive oil, turmeric, ginger and saffron; mhammer, with butter, paprika and cumin; mchermel, with herby, garlicky chermoula; and one with tomato, cumin and paprika. “Each can be customised with seasonal vegetables, dried fruits, preserved lemons, olives and nuts”.

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