Monday, 24 October 2011

Sunday Roast: Hawksmoor

Hawksmoor does great steaks and cocktails, I would say the best in London, but how does it fare when cooking the classic of British cooking le rostbif (incidentally they only do le rostbif, rather tha le rostlamb or  le rostpork, so don't go if you fancy something else)?  The thing is they know meat, but a great roast is a lot more than that, I would almost, but not quite, go as far as to say that the meat is secondary to trimmings.  Thankfully with a yorkshire pudding the size of a flying saucer and bone marrow and onion gravy of unlimited refills up their sleeves they are doing very well indeed.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Mama Lan

For me hearing the combination of Beijing street food and Brixton market is pretty much like putting crack and a crack pipe in front of a drug addict at this point.  My favourite place to eat in London with some of my favourite food from when I used to be fun and travel a lot (wistful sigh... also please no comments that I never used to be fun).  Mama Lans also has the benefit of being setup by a blogger, so obviously its getting immediate points, it's also a family mother and daughter enterprise - so all very positive and cosy.  So how was it?

In short pretty good.  The cold slow cooked beef came in thin slices with a good star anise flavour as well as a lot of other warm, autumnal spicing, very nice and tender, still moist enough despite the fact that chilling has a drying effect on meat.  The pickles were great, and the dumplings were good.  It was especially fun watching them being hand rolled infront of us the whole time we were there, given the counter puts you practically on top of the kitchen.  The only dissapoinment was that despite the filling being good the dumplings were pretty underseasoned.  At this point, however, I think it's fair to put that down to teething problems given Mama Lans had only been open for a couple of days.  I will definitely go back and try this place again.

Brixton Village: Kaosan

Kaosan has been getting a lot of good press lately.  Brixton Village has made it into the Standard, Jay Rayner has review Kaosan specifically, it's loved on Chowhound.  Sadly when I first went there I was a bit underwhelmed.  But then I had Larb Gai, a combiation of toasted rice, minced chicken and coriande, which is fine, but not the most exciting thing in the world - this Saturday the Moo Ping pork skewers marinated with sugar cane, and stir fried pork with holy basil turned me around completely.