It seems every time i travel to London i eat very well in very nice restaurants, but i always come home and end up watching other people posting pictures of epic burgers and wishing i could try one/all of them. And what bothered me was that, given the choice, would i ever opt to go for a MotherFlipper rather than say, Roganic? If i ever ended up at Goodmans, would i really turn down a fat steak for a burger? Something had to be done…
When this article was posted in the Evening Standard, i started joking with Ant (@gubgub08) that we should eat them all in one day, thus killing all the birds with one burger binge stone. Due to a quiet (unemployed) period in my life i had the time & motivation to do it, Ant had the burger addiction and a couple of days extra holiday and so it was arranged, i would fly in on a Tuesday morning and leave on Wednesday afternoon.
We edited the list slightly, Hawksmoor needed to be booked which was impossible because of the uncertain time schedule, the Burger & Lobster is supposedly overpriced and the temptation to go for lobster was too great. We added Goodmans (glad we did) and MeatMarket (not so glad), and set up an order & travel schedule… 11 hours of travelling around London and eating burgers…
In the end we were able to form a top 5:
- AdCod – This was simply the best and most harmonious burger, everything worked perfectly. A side of macaroni & cheese was also perfection.
- Joint second for Goodmans (best tasting actual burger, personally didn’t enjoy the tomato) and Patty & Bun (this was the ninth burger and i wolfed it down, amazing bbq sauce)
- Honest Burgers – great small burger served with rosemary fries, a dolop of sticky caramelised onions brought everything together very well, the meat patty was slightly under seasoned
- Lucky Chip – a double cheeseburger (don’t know why we went for the double?), great burger & bun but too much sauce, scrapped some off and it was much better…
The other 5 burgers we can’t easily rank, The Ship was certainly towards the top and Meats Market and Liquor towards the bottom. But in any case, here are the burgers in the order that we ate them…..
Warning, this post contains swearing (mostly “fuck” and “cock”)
To make a Holy Fuck Kiev you will need to make a Holy Cock (Holy Fuck butter), this recipe makes more than you need so there’ll be plenty left for spreading on lovely warm bread.
For the Holy Cock:
300g butter at room temperature 100g Holy Fuck 1tbs sea salt crystals
For the Kiev”
1 chicken breast per person Panko breadcrumbs Salad and homemade mayonnaise to serve.
To make the Holy Cock, Whip the butter and salt in a stand mixer until light and fluffy, turn the mixer speed to low (so as not to splash) and pour in the Holy Fuck, keep mixing until well combined.
Spoon onto a large sheet of cling film and shape into a large cock shape, wrap well and chill until needed.
To make the kiev, lay . . . →Holy Fuck Kiev
Over a long and excellent dinner last August, Dino Joannides relayed a recipe from the great Italian chef Roberto Pisano for Spaghetti con bottarga a secco, or Spaghetti with dried mullet roe. At the time I was fascinated by the method and the strict way it should be carried out, and although I vowed to try it I was unsuccessful in finding anywhere locally and the idea kind of fell by the wayside.
However, after the One night in London dinner last week I suddenly found myself in possession of a nice lobe of some of the best bottarga available from the Melograno Deli, weighing about 120g. Excitedly, I brought it home and over the weekend I set about making this dish.
I asked Dino if he could send me the recipe, but he insisted on a phone call to ensure I understood the . . . →Spaghetti con bottarga a secco
EDIT; the total raised for Action Against Hunger by One Night in London was £806.08!
So it’s all over; 6 months of planning culminated in a whirlwind of restaurants, black cabs, knives, langoustine mass-murder, bread dough’s, booze, blood and burns… But at the end of it all, there were 32 happy diners and many tired but happy cooks and servers. If you want to read about how One night in London came about, check part 1 of this post.
After lunch at Roganic on Saturday, we headed over to The Chancery to get a tour of the kitchen and restaurant, have a quick beer and grab what we needed to do prep that night at Keith & Lolli’s. We took a cab over and started on the unenviable task of dispatching the live langoustine from Rex goldsmith.
. . . →One night in London Part 2
My only regret about my last trip to London was that i only had the six course menu at Roganic. This time I happily opted for ten courses, but the funny part is now, looking at the print out they gave me at the end of the meal it seems we had a total of seventeen courses (counting the amuses as one course and bread as one course). Joking with Ben Spalding on Twitter en route to the restaurant, he said he was going to “stuff me like a little piggy”, and he did…
We were welcomed with a glass of sparkling English wine from (I think) Kent, they chose it in a blind tasting with Champagnes and indeed it was very good, a curious kick from a little added pinot blanc to the grape mix. We had two amuses, the first was smoked cream cheese with squid ink crisp bread and caraway seeds. Lightly smoked, lightly creamy, nice contrast . . . →Roganic Revisited
When I started planning a London Supperclub about five months ago it was to be a small dinner for about twelve people, maybe in a restaurant, or any place that would take me. When Zak from the Chancery got wind of my plans, he immediately offered his entire restaurant and kitchen and himself to help in whatever way he could… This obviously opened up a lot more possibilities and the number of seats at the dinner went first to 20, then 30 (now 32), and it was obvious I’d need help to pull this off.
Enter Dan (@FoodUrchin), we met during my last trip to London and shared a sweaty hangover over a bowl of chilled soup at Jose. A few emails were exchanged, some light Skyping, and the deal was done… Luc & Dan @ The Chancery; One night In London was born.
Once we announced our intentions on Twitter, we quickly recruited some more help; Both . . . →One night in London Part 1
Six months ago i wrote this post on rolled and roast pork belly but in the last couple of months i’ve been perfecting my rolling technique, crackling and serving method.
There are three components to the dish; the pork, the hot sauce and the cheesy rolls. The cheesy rolls are a Dan Lepard recipe which can be found here. I follow this recipe, leaving out the mustard and instead of shaping into torpedoes, shape into about 8 large rolls of 150g each.
For the pork:
A nice chunk of pork belly, mine was 2.3kg Sea salt Pepper dried thyme and garlic powder to season For the hot sauce: 6 tomatoes 2 red peppers 2 red chillies Bunch of coriander 6 cloves of garlic 1 onion
To prepare the pork, lay it skin side down and remove any loose bits of meat and fat, also cut away any of the meat . . . →Roast pork belly with hot sauce and cheesy rolls
Last Sunday i tried to help some people make small dinner rolls in real-time via Twitter. Since the actual tweet along a few people asked for the recipe so here it is…
You will need:
400g strong white flour
300g lucwarm water
7g dried yeast (this is a little bit too much but it tends to come in 7g packs, easier to use a whole one than save it)
1 tsp each of dried herbs you like; rosemary, sage, thyme, or spices like cardemon seeds, aniseed etc.
Using the handle of a spoon, mix all the ingredients together; clean the bowl down, cover with a towel and rest for 10 minutes.
Next; generously oil a work surface and your hands. Pull the dough out . . . →Tweet-along rolls
Six months ago i had a bread roll in a restaurant which has haunted me ever since. Normally I might eat something and figure out right away what is in it and how it’s made and if I enjoyed it, recreate it at home and enjoy it again, but this bread roll eluded me.
The restaurant in question was Roganic and the roll was their very special soft pumpernickel roll, served warm with whipped butter and Maldon salt; heaven, and technically impossible to make.
The pumpernickel rolls at Roganic (at the front)
What makes pumpernickel bread so unique and impossible to turn into a soft roll is the cooking process involved and the chemical reactions that take place; Pumpernickel is a 100% rye bread, leavened partly with a sour starter. It’s baked for anything up to 24 hours at a low temperature, this converts much of the starch into sugars which turn . . . →Roganic style soft pumpernickel rolls
Restaurant Treeswijkhoeve in Waalre was the perfect choice for long, boozy lunch. One of the few restaurants open on a Sunday for the whole afternoon, and with a Michelin star to their name, they provided the perfect place to relax and not have to cook on the day after a Supperclub.
But none of us were quite prepared for what was to come during the four hours that we were there. Chef-owner Dick Middelweerd personally served plate after plate of exciting food, matching classical flavors with contemporary style and presentation. He passionately described every dish and it was clear that he loved what he was doing and was so proud of his creations that he needed to tell us about them in person… I know he isn’t the only chef to do this, but it seems he’s already been doing it for some 19 years.
. . . →Restaurant Treeswijkhoeve