On Tuesday The Dumbwaiter had the pleasure of accompanying the high and mighty of the wine trade to the launch of REBEL Pi, a brand new Roussanne ice wine from Canadian entrepreneur Jackie Fast. Though the notoriously tricky to produce wine doesn’t enjoy much of a reputation in the UK, Jackie – who is currently gracing TV screens on The Apprentice – is determined to turn this around. The campaign was set in motion with a private dinner starring REBEL Pi alongside a beautifully matched menu from Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.
Foley’s has undergone a few tenures of different Head Chefs in recent memory but The Dumbwaiter feels their latest is certainly leading from the front. Sakorn Somboon has composed a small plates focused menu with Asian inspiration that has all the favourites you’d expect; Tuna Sashimi, Gyoza and Tempura. Crab Salad with a variety of seaweeds and sea vegetables was a particular highlight.
Lazy Susan was a judge at the World Cheese Awards in Bergen last week and after the winning fromage was crowned, she hotfooted it over to very cool hole-in-the-wall pizza place Hoggorm. It’s owned by acclaimed chef Christopher Haatuft and the food, cooked by his right-hand-man Lars Brun Halvorsen, was spectacular – a fermented pineapple and bacon reinvented the kitsch classic, and lamb leg and liver with kale and goats cheese was a grown-up gourmet treat. Great natural wine list too.
In amongst the capital’s ever changing restaurant scene, there’s always somewhere new and exciting to try. The challenge then is to get people to come back, and there are few offerings as high up on The Dumbwaiter’s list as the Scratch menu at Skye Gyngell’s Spring in Somerset House. Exemplary cooking and service in complete tranquillity, and all for the eye wateringly good value of £20 for 3 courses.
With so many spaces to explore in the new Coal Drops Yard The Dumbwaiter took a tour around the expansive corner taken over by the Harts Group. Starting with tuna tostadas and Baja fish tacos at Casa Pastor, The Dumbwaiter ventured outside for classic al pastor tacos, short rib tortas and rotisserie chicken, before settling into The Drop with a glass of 7 Fuentes. The Dumbwaiter enjoyed getting a sneak peak of the new photos soon to adorn the walls of Casa Pastor taken by owner James Hart himself from his travels in Mexico.
Gunpowder has ventured across the river and has now opened a second site in the Tower Bridge development that plays home to the Bridge Theatre. The Indian restaurant is a lot larger than the original with two floors. The Dumbwaiter ate there on Sunday to try out their special brunch menu that included the rather epic dish of whole Kashmiri duck with ginger, aloo Bukhara and walnuts.