Blood Orange Granita at Gelupo

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[with peanut butter ice cream on top]

Bocco di Lupo, the Italian across the road is spectacular. I went for a birthday and loved it. And its head chef, Jacob Kenedy, happened to do Philosophy of Science with me at university. Gelupo is its gelateria, and offers traditional and modern flavours for every palette.

“This was, excuse the pun, bloody delicious”

We were here for the blood orange granita, which for the uninitiated is a bit like a slush puppy – or rather, a slush puppy is like it. Shaved ice with liquid flavour, poured over and enjoyed with a spoon and straw. This was, excuse the pun, bloody delicious. The sharp, rich, complex sweetness of the blood orange makes for a refreshing, tangy and almost spicy dessert. Rather than being bland and watered down, it is mega-flavourful. And it’s so bloody red you’ll want to dye clothes with it!

20/100 of the best dishes in London

Venison Puffs at Yauatcha

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Okay, a confession. I’ve been to Yauatcha a couple of times before and I like it. In fact, I really like it – for high class dim sum I’m unsure it can be beaten. But – here’s the confession – I think the puffs tend to taste like mini-Cornish pasties.  And not in a good way. So to go there just to eat my last favourite class of nibble there seems a bit mad.

“So, basically, these were a revelation”

So, basically, these were a revelation. The sweet, thick gravy with melting deer meat was (yes really) a bit like a Cornish pasty, but in a good way. These were almost confection, with crisp, crumbly pastry comfortingly complemented by a tangy but warm filling. I’m not about to go back just for them, but with the other tasty treats in store at Yauatcha, I’d happily order these with a meal. Which will make Cornish pasty loving other half very happy!

30/100 of London’s best dishes

Fish and chips at Poppies

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They certainly have the decor in Poppies. Presumably, when this place opened its location, just off Commercial Road, placed it firmly in the heart of run-down East London. It has kept its heritage, with photos and Cockney Rhyming Slang expressions around the all (perhaps trying a bit hard).

“I was surprised it had been selected”

The fish and chips – good sized portions; I was surprised given complaints online – was fresh, a little expensive, and probably along the best I’ve eaten in London. Share the mushy peas between two! Among, however, is right, I reckon, and to be honest I was surprised it had been selected as one of London’s best dishes. The decor and staff might make it one of the best meals / locations for a quick bite out, but the dish was not anything amazingly special. The Sea Shell in Lisson Grove, or even Fish Club would give the food a run for its money.

60/100 best dishes in London.

Smoked Mackerel Paté

Okay, so it’s cheating to use a recipe from the Guardian’s ‘Hot to cook…’ series, since they’ve already scientifically identified the perfect ingredients and method (!), but in this case there’s a slight tweak, as who can buy fresh horseradish in the UK? Even Waitrose staff insist ‘it’s the same as red radish’. Ahem. I should go to an ethnic food store, who will no doubt have loads of the stuff. But in this case, I substitute horseradish sauce.

Smoked Mackerel Paté
 
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Spread on bread, lettuce, dip at a picnic, etc.. Delicious!
Author:
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 hot smoked mackerel fillets
  • 150g cream cheese
  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp horseradish sauce
  • Lemon, to serve
  • Handful of dill, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Skin mackerel fillets and flake 2 of them into the mixer.
  2. Blend with the cream cheese, crème fraîche and horseradish sauce until homogeneous.
  3. Flake rest of fish, and mix in along with the dill and black pepper.
  4. Serve with lemon wedges.

Flatbreads

Hat tip to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for the basic recipe for these flatbreads. In fact, I think once you’ve tasted them you’ll never want to suffer supermarket pitas again!

The only part of the recipe that presents any real difficulty is that you need to dry-fry each individually  and giving them even 3 minutes each does take a little time. But they’re fairly low maintenance, so you can get on with a few other jobs at the same time.

Flatbreads
 
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Serve with dips, such as hummus, salsa, broad bean dip, smoked mackerel paté, or use to wrap falafel, salad, etc., or even for fajitas.
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 4-8
Ingredients
  • 250g plain flour (I haven't tried bread flour, but maybe I'll have a go one day)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 150ml warmish water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Sift flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the salt. Add the water and oil and mix to a dough. (Kenwood dough hook works fine.)
  2. Knead on a well-floured surface for five minutes until smooth and elastic, then cover with a large bowl and rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Roll into a sausage shape, then slice into 8 portions.
  4. Roll out to 3mm thickness on the floured surface.
  5. Shake off excess dough, then lay in a non-stick pan on a medium-to-hot temperature.
  6. When the dough starts to puff up (a minute or two) flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Each side should develop brown patches.
  7. Serve warm.