Sushi Samba, The City – revisited

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One of my dear American friends, Erin, moved back to her beloved US or A at the end of August. I was away most of that month and I missed her leaving do so to be able to say goodbye properly we squeezed in one last dinner with two more friends, before she left. Since we wanted to give Erin a proper send-off we booked a nice restaurant I have only been to once before, and the other girls not at all; Sushi Samba.

Last time I came here I had a great time and really enjoyed the evening although the level of the food was a bit inconsistent.

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We started our meal with a nice bottle of Sancerre and some plantain crisps and dip what we all enjoyed.

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The sashimi was lovely too. I had the same as last time; yellowtail sashimi with yuzu and black truffle oil, and it was just as nice this time.

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Amy is not a fan of sushi so had some nice beef incredibly crispy calamari – both very good.

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We also had some Peruvian corn as a side to share. The kernels are bigger, lighter in colour and a bit chewier than regular corn. The taste also differs; it’s slightly less sweet but still very nice.

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I couldn’t help but order the Sasa rolls, a real favourite of mine. They come two per portion so you don’t have to be greedy like me and have one portion to yourself. They are delicious but one per person is totally enough as they are quite filling! But absolutely lovely! Erin loved them too.

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The sushi came out last as it takes a while to make but it was definitely worth the wait. Last time here it was actually the sushi that was a bit disappointing but I clearly ordered the wrong thing or the chef was having a bad day, because the sushi we had this time was marvellous! My favourite was the Sushi Samba roll (left) but the Sao Paulo and Yoyogi rolls (all on the platter) were great too!

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It literally was our last evening together (sob) so we asked our kind waiter to take a photo of us to remember it by. And then we couldn’t help ourselves and took some silly selfies in front of the amazing lit-up tree on the terrace.

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Sushisamba, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Dinner at Evans & Peel Detective Agency, Earl’s Court

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This place has been around for a while, I know, but my first visit was this summer. Amidst holidays, heavy work loads, birthdays etc. four girls managed to get together for some food and drinks. The place really look like a hardboiled PI’s office in the 30s in America and when stepping into Evans & Peel Detective Agency you’re greeted by a receptionist to whom you present your case. While you wait for the detective to do some background checks you’re welcome to wait in the bar/restaurant – the hidden room behind the reception.

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The restaurant is dimly lit with candelabras on every table and the space gives off a prohibition era vibe. We started our evening with a bottle of prosecco, served in coupe glasses and then moved on to some food.

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Two of the girls wanted to be healthy and thought salad and chips would even each other out whereas me and Amy couldn’t resist the sliders. We had three to share, a beef each, which was the best, and one chicken so share which was quite good too but not as good as the beef. We also had some chips (very good) and a creamy mac ‘n cheese (yum). The salad actually looked really good with crispy leaves and corn on the cob.

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After dinner we settled on cocktails instead of pudding and we all had a different one. Mine was with elderflower and gin (I think), and it was delicious and not too sweet.

I really like this place; the 30s vibe goes through everything, the drinks are fun and different, the food good, the setting great and not to mention what a great idea it is!

Evans & Peel Detective Agency, 310c Earls Court Road W.8, London SW5 9BA

Elderflower crème brûlée with biscotti

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The pudding at the crayfish party was one of my favourite puddings; homemade crème brûlée. This one was flavoured with my homemade elderflower cordial and served with crispy biscotti (and some chocolates and Swedish pick ‘n mix) and went down a treat with ice-cold homemade limoncello.

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Fläder crème brûlée, serves 4

300 ml double cream

150 ml elderflower cordial

50 ml caster sugar

6 egg yolks

some more caster sugar 

Bring cream, cordial and sugar to the boil, Leave to cool a little. Beat the egg yolks lightly and add first some of the cream mixture and then the rest. Divide between pots/ramekins and bake in 100C fan oven until just set, about 35-40 minutes. Leave t cool completely and keep in the fridge until serving. Before serving cover the top with a thin layer of caster sugar and use a crème brûlée burner to create a crisp sugar layer on top. Serve immediately, decorated with a strawberry, and biscotti on the side. 

Biscotti, makes about 20

Adapted from Delia’s recipe.

110 g plain flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

a pinch salt

25 g ground almonds

50 g whole almonds (skin on)

75 g golden caster sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add ground and whole almonds and sugar. Mix thoroughly and add the egg. Mix with a wooden spoon/using your hands to a smooth dough. Place on a floured surface and roll into a 28 cm long roll. Place the roll on a lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes in 170C oven. Leave to cool completely.

Reduce the heat to 150C. Use a serrated knife to cut the biscotti into slightly diagonal slices about 1 cm wide. Place on the lined baking tray and bake for another 30 minutes, until golden and crisp. Leave to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.  

Homemade elderflower cordial

A recipe for elderflower cordial in October when the autumn has properly hit London doesn’t seem very seasonal (and it isn’t), but I made a batch in June that I keep in the freezer and use for various desserts when I want to bring summer back, if only for a moment. And since I am about to post one of these recipes tomorrow, I thought it would be nice of me to provide this recipe as well.

Of course you can use store-bought cordial, Belvoir, has an excellent one. But considering how easy this is to make I urge you to try it next year when the elderflower is in bloom.

This recipe is from one of my mother’s many cookbooks, unfortunately I don’t remember which one but it is a tried and tested recipe that requires very little work. The cordial is uncooked which means it doesn’t keep for very long in the fridge, so pour it into small plastic bottles or zip-lock bags and keep it in the freezer instead. When defrosted it keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Elderflower cordial, makes about 1,5 litres

35-40 elderflower clusters

3 lemons, sliced

1,5 litres water

1,5-2 kg caster sugar

50 g citric acid

Clean the flower clusters and place in a large bowl/bucket (that fits in the fridge or other cool place). Add the lemon slices. Bring the water to the boil and dissolve the sugar and citric acid in it. Add the syrup to flowers and lemons and stir. Leave to cool and cover with cling. Keep in a cool place (like the fridge) for 3-4 days. Stir a few times a day. Pour through a fine sieve and into bottles and freeze. Fresh/defrosted cordial keep for 3-4 days in the fridge. 

Note: Picture borrowed from gourmetodling.com

Crayfish party! (Oh yeah)

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A few weels ago my flatmate Daisy and I decided to host a proper Swedish crayfish party. And I’m so glad we did because it turned out really well! We were an eclectic mix of nationalities but everyone was super psyched up about eating crayfish and drinking snaps. Thanks guys!

It was a Friday night and when we waited for everyone to arrive we sat outside as it was a mild evening and had some Prosecco and some Pimm’s with elderflower and blackberries (with lemonade and club soda) and had a few nibbles. One was Swedish crispbread topped with a herring and egg salad. Very Scandi and for those not fancying herring we also had crostini with tapenade.

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As you can see we had proper crayfish knives and crayfish hats!

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With the mountain of crayfish (at the middle of the table) we had a Västerbotten cheese quiche which is a must at every crayfish party. (Thanks Ocado for having that and lots of other goodies in your Swedish shop!) The quiche was decorated with lumpfish roe, creme fraiche, chopped red onions and dill. We also had bread, cheese, cream cheese with caraway, honey and dill, wild garlic mayo, saffron mayo and new potato and girolles salad and a regular green salad with radishes and avocado.

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It was such a fun evening complete with crayfish peeling tutorials form the Swedes, snaps songs and lots of laughter. We also had pudding very late at night but it was so good I think it deserves its own post.

Herring and egg canapé, makes about 25

200 g (1 tin) matjes herring, drained and roughly chopped

3 hardboiled eggs, chopped

1/2 jar red lumpfish roe

chopped dill

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2-3 tbsp creme fraiche or soured cream

crispbread

Mix all the ingredients, season to taste with salt and white pepper. Break up the crispbread and place a dollop of the herring mixture on each piece. Decorate with dill.   

Saffron mayonnaise

200 ml sunflower oil

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

a large pinch of saffron

2 tsp warm water

lemon juice

salt

white pepper

Mix saffron with warm water. Add half of the saffron water to the egg yolk and mix a little before starting mixing in the oil, drip by drip at first and then in a gentle pour while using a stick blender. Season with lemon juice, add the remaining saffron water and season with salt and pepper. Leave for half an hour before serving (for the flavours to develop). 

New potato and girolles salad, serves 8 on a buffet

1 kg baby new potatoes, boiled and cut in half

200 ml (2 handfuls) girolles

salted butter for frying

1 garlic clove

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

sherry vinegar 

olive oil

salt, pepper

chopped parsley

Fry the girolles and pressed garlic in butter. Season. Put the onion slices in a bowl and cover with cold water for 5 minutes. Drain. Add the onions and girolles to the potatoes. Add a nice olive oil and some sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Season to taste. Add chopped parsley and serve. 

And the winner is…

msk

Two weeks ago I announced a giveaway on the blog in collaboration with Inntravel. The competition ended at midnight and it is now time to announce the winner!

As you can see here, a random winner was picked by random.org and it is…. *drum whirl* LYLA! You are the proud winner of a fabulous My Sweden kit and a guide book to West Sweden! Congratulations!!  You will be contacted by email shortly.

Thank you all for taking part!

 

Dinner at Brasserie Kungliga Posten, Malmö, Sweden

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This is a delayed review since my Sweden visit in August when I visited the newish restaurant Brasserie Kungliga Posten in Malmö with a bunch of friends.

The restaurant is situated in what used to the an old post office but is now a swish brasserie instead. The interior is cosy with sofas as well as chairs to break up the large space, which works well.

When we visited in the height of summer, albeit on a Wednesday evening, the restaurant was fairly quiet, which actually surprised me as Swedes tent to eat out more when they have time off. The menu was very summery and simpler than the regular menu. The salmon tartar (above) was perfect summer food with cool and fresh flavours.

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Also the mozzarella with tomato salad and toast was nice and fresh.

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And the charkuterie board nice with pickled small onions, cornichons and four types of charkuterie.

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The menu offered some smaller and some larger plate, without being divided into starters and mains, so some in the group had two starters or shared a starter and had a maincourse and the hungry ones had a starter and main, which worked really well.

Also the maincourses were nice; the cod (above) was perfectly cooked, the pork with Asian flavours really nice and the flank steak with bearnaise sauce and fries also really good.

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But I wasn’t bawled over. Probably because I didn’t expect a summer menu. Everything our group sampled was cooked very well and the flavours were there, so we had a great evening, but as a foodie it was too close to what I cook myself at home.

So I look forward to visiting again and trying the regular menu and see what the kitchen can do. The summer menu definitely showed potential!

The staff was friendly and helpful and the wine list very suitable for the type of restaurant it is!

Brasserie Kungliga Posten, Posthusplatsen 4, 211 20 Malmö