The Dumbwaiter had his first introduction to Indo Nepali cuisine this week at the XX/VI pop up at Picture Marylebone. The concept is that of young chefs, Aaron Thomas and Joe Allen, who share a passion for the cooking of the region and pay homage to Aaron’s heritage. Beginning with a tamarind sour; a tart, punchy yet delightful cocktail, The Dumbwaiter was treated to dishes such as roasted hispi cabbage with bombay aloo sauce and grilled mackerel with coconut and Exmoor caviar. The highlight though had to be a dish of Kheer; a rice-pudding style dish – thick warm and unctuous, with pistachio sorbet drizzled on top. With cooking like this, The Dumbwaiter sees a bright future ahead for these boys.
Tucked away in an unassuming suburb of the gastronomic centre that is Edinburgh lies the aptly named Edinburgh Food Studio. Part research lab part consultancy part restaurant and all parts brilliant idea, The Dumbwaiter enjoyed the sort of meal here that quite possibly wouldn’t occur in land of avoided eye contact and tutting that is London. Seated at a communal table of Lothian gourmands as passionate as they were rowdy - all heartily discussing the virtues of Scottish produce – the talent of the founders and their Noma backgrounds shone through readily. Turbot with local sea buckthorn as well as a bergamot and olive oil sorbet were particular highlights.
Anthea Stephenson’s menu at the recently relaunched Polpetto leaves very little to be desired. Whilst dining there on Tuesday Lazy Susan would have readily eaten the entire menu and particularly enjoyed flashes of Stephenson’s time spent in The River Cafe. One of the highlights was thinly sliced ox tongue with salsa verde and pine nuts, another, the Delica pumpkin salad with treviso, walnuts and sheep’s ricotta. A carafe of smooth Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and perfect service made dining out as good as it could be.
Tucking in and taxidermy don’t seem like natural companions, but a dinner last week at Fortnum & Mason to celebrate the work of artist Hannah Horton (her eviscerated and preserved animals are amazing) hit the creative and the culinary spot. Chef Jackson Boxer served up dishes inspired by the taxidermied langoustines and octopi on display – this elegant plate of baby iceberg with almond slivers and crisp fried baby prawns was fab. The arty crowd crunched them down whole.
Since opening, Berber & Q has been making waves in Haggerston with it’s exciting charcoal-grill cooking and respected wine-list. The Dumbwaiter had not yet been to their sister restaurant, Shwarma Bar in Exmouth Market, so was delighted to receive an invitation to DIRT, their pop-up series featuring wines poured by esteemed sommeliers and wine makers. Alongside the restaurants own Mattia Bianchi, Stefano Colombo and Yukiyasu Kaneko were dispensing a range of delicious natural wines and alongside small dishes of smooth garlicy humous and zesty sea bream crudo. The proof was in the pudding that some of the great and the good of the East London food scene were in attendance, and by all accounts having a jolly good time.
Breakfast with a view is how The Dumbwaiter would describe his experience at the Brasserie of Light this week, but there was more to focus on than just a gigantic, sparkly 24-foot diamond-encrusted Pegasus. An all-day brasserie serving British classics and Internationally inspired dishes, Brasserie of Light is the latest offering from Caprice Holdings, with input from Damien Hirst and Martin Brudnizki. This art deco space is sure to capture the imagination of diners