I’m off to Berlin tonight where I’m meeting up with my best friend Emma (who’s flown in from Sweden). I’m so looking forward to a whole weekend of quality time with my bestie as well as discovering Berlin, try good restaurants and have a cocktail or three.
Have a nice weekend!
Since Barrafina opened its second restaurant a two minute walk from where I work I’ve been there for lunch a few times. Last time I went with two colleagues and we had a lot of lovely food. So much that it was rather laborious to walk back to the office after lunch.
We started off with Jamon bellota and pan con tomato; actually one of the best pan con tomato I’ve had both in and outside of Spain. Perfect amount of garlic and the bread resists the wetness just enough.
Then we had these lovely crab croquetas.
And the tortilla with caramelized onions. So yum!
And extremely crispy smoked cod fritters with tartar sauce.
The fried artichokes was another favourite; so crispy and served with a lovely mayonnaise.
I can never resist the goat’s cheese stuffed courgette flowers with honey. Mmm…
And these ribs were delicious!! Good combination of salty and sweet in the sauce and the meat just fell off the bones. We also shared a pork belly with crackling and white beans with morcilla that I forgot to photograph, it was nice but the ribs were just amazing!
Although we were extremely full we couldn’t resist to share a plate of churros with cinnamon sugar and chocolate sauce. The perfect ending to a fabulous lunch!
Barrafina, 10 Adelaide St, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4HZ
I’ve been wanting to make soufflés for a while now and when I was at home for Christmas I finally did. With my very knowledgeable mother by my side. But I needn’t have worried – it wasn’t hard at all. And it is so satisfying watching the soufflés rise in the oven through the oven door.
The original recipe called for Grand Marnier, but we didn’t have any and therefore substituted it with another liqueur; St Germain. It didn’t add that much flavour though, but there was an elderflower hint at least.
Lemon sufflé with elderflower liqueur, makes 6
50 g butter
80 g plain flour
200 ml milk
3 egg yolks
6 egg whites
80 g caster sugar
100 ml St Germain elderflower liqueur
grated zest from 1 lemon
softened butter and caster sugar for the ramekins
icing sugar for dusting
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and incorporate it into the melted butter using a wooden spoon. Add milk and sugar and incorporate it on low heat until the batter is smooth and easily comes off the sides of the pan. Leave to cool.
Thereafter mix in the egg yolks, liqueur and lemon zest. Beat the egg whites to a hart foam and fold them into the mixture.
Butter the ramekins thoroughly and coat them in caster sugar. Fill the ramekins (all the way up and make sure the surface is even).
Bake in 200C for 12-15 minutes; until they’ve risen above the ramekin edge and are golden brown on top. Keep an eye on them through the oven door.
Remove the soufflés carefully from the oven, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.
Even though I don’t live in central London I am more than pleased with the restaurants near where I live. Boma have nice burgers, just like Joe’s Brasserie and the best pub ever is just around the corner (all three places are actually within a 4 minute radius!).
There’s also a lovely one starred pub with amazing food a 10 minute walk north, and if you walk the same distance in another direction you have lovely Claude’s. And now there’s another addition; Eelbrook.
Caroline and I had dinner here on a Saturday night at in January and had a lovely meal! We started with pig’s head croquetas that were utterly delicious! As was the little crab tartlettes with beurre blanc and chives which I loved.
We also shared a portion of smoked eel, with beetroot, apple, mustard and horseradish.
Then it was time for our mains. I had bavette with broccoli rabe, trompettes and wild garlic butter. Very simple but absolutely perfect.
Caroline’s pork chop with lentils, leek and romesco sauce was equally amazing!
What a great addition to the already mentioned restaurants! This is definitely a little more up-scale than some of the others but the cooking is consistently very good and quite homely so it really works for a neighbourhood restaurant.
Eelbrook, Eel Brook Common, New King’s Road, Fulham, London SW6 4SE
This is actually my first encounter with orzo, the rice-shaped pasta, but definitely not the last. I like the texture and flavours of the creamy goat’s cheese contrasting the zesty punchy gremolata is fantastic. Recipe courtesy of Swedish food blog Matrepubliken.
I only made one change to the recipe, and that was to swap chèvre for softer goat’s cheese as I am not a fan of the rind on the chèvre.
Orzo with goat’s cheese and gremolata, serves 4
2 finely chopped shallots
800 ml chicken or vegetable stock
400 ml orzo pasta
100 g chèvre or soft goat’s cheese, in chunks
salt and pepper
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
100 ml olive oil
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, pressed
salt and pepper
Mix the ingredients for the gremolata and set aside. Fry the shallots in 1 tbsp butter without browning. Add the orzo and half the stock. Cook on low heat while stirring continuously (like when making risotto). Add more stock bit by bit. Once cooked add some butter, salt and pepper. Stir in the goat’s cheese. Plate and serve with a dollop of gremolata.
On the Sunday in Stockholm Carina had booked brunch for us at Berns Asiatiska and Emma and myself will be for always grateful. It was such an amazing brunch for three sushi lovers like us!
Look at this. We queued a few times by the sushi bar to fill our plates; the sushi chefs were definitely kept busy. There was tuna, salmon and scallop sashimi which were all very nice but the scallop sashimi was absolutely fantastic!
There were also plenty of maki rolls and they were also utterly delicious. The nigiri were just as amazing. This is the best sushi I’ve ever had in Sweden!
Here’s my first (of several) plate(s). It looks like a lot, but we’d been out the night before and the rolls were actually not too big which meant we could eat more.
Even though we loved the sushi there were plenty of other foods to try as well so we did a proper lap around the restaurant. The asian flavoured oysters with coriander were delicious.
The dumplings were nice too, but I could have done with some more flavours since I love dumplings. There were also lots of other nice food such as ribs, nudel salads, spring rolls, stews etc. They really covered everything.
And the pudding buffé was just as nice. This picture shows about a third of it. I prefer sushi over dessert any day but still had to try two small pots, the lemongrass crème brulee was nice but far too rich for me after all that food but a pixie pot of yoghurt mousse was perfect to end the meal.
Berns Asiatiska, Berzelii Park, 103 27 Stockholm
When I was in Sweden for two weeks around Christmas my mother and I cooked a lot. For Christmas Eve, dinner parties and dinners just for the family. We usually splurge when I’m home but on a regular Wednesday it’s sometimes nice with just regular (albeit still delicious!) food so one day we made our own burgers.
Sure, if you make the burger buns and all the condiments yourself it’s time consuming and a lot of effort, but if you just make the burgers it’s easier than making meatballs as all you need to add is plenty of salt and pepper. Instead of making buns we fried some nice bread in butter and put the burger on top with some cheddar, mummy’s homemade pickled gherkins, mayonnaise and ketchup.
Homemade burgers, serves 3
300-400 g ground brisket
plenty of salt
butter and oil for frying
3 slices bread fried in butter
mayonnaise (preferably Hellman’s)
ketchup (preferably Heinz)
Mix the minced beef with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Shape into burgers with wet hands. Let a frying pan become really hot and add the butter and oil to it. Fry the burgers on high heat, a few minutes on each side. Lower the heat and fry the burgers until so rare/well done as you’d like them. Leave to rest a few minutes before serving.
Spread some mayo onto the bread, add the burger, cheddar and pickled gherkins. Serve with ketchup.