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 . . . →10 Burgers 1 day
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
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
We got off to a shaky start at Restaurant Wollerich in Sint-Oedenrode. When entering the restaurant it’s almost impossible not to notice how dirty the carpet is; a once deep pink faded in patches, with dark stained areas and what appear to be cigarette burns. We were well seated by a friendly waiter but upon asking for champagne, were served Veuve Clicquot in chipped champagne glasses; Veuve Clicquot is my least favourite champagne and in my opinion a lazy choice for a house champagne, the chipped glasses were a sloppy mistake.
We were presented with a limited a la carte lunch menu, despite being promised on the phone that the full menu was available. After some discussion were given the full menu, but we’d now been in the restaurant for 35 minutes, drinking bad champagne from chipped glasses looking at a dirty carpet; in this respect the damage had already been done.
. . . →Restaurant Wollerich
When I was invited to attend the Ben Spalding dinner @CriticalCouple HQ in London, it seemed almost rude to not extend my stay and sample a little of what London had to offer. Although my memories of the weekend will always be overshadowed by the intense, passionate cooking and mad genius of Ben Spalding at both his restaurant and at chez CC, I have nonetheless eaten a lot of great, non-Ben food and met some really, really nice people in the process.
It’s shame that I left London to the backdrop of so much violence and pointless, self-defeating behavior. But I will try to record here the details of what was one of the finest culinary weekends I’ve ever experienced.
It was almost a race to get to Roganic, Ben Spalding’s restaurant in Blandford Street, London. My plane was landing at 9.25 which gave me two and a half hours to check into my hotel (actually . . . →A Weekend in London