Monday, 28 September 2009
When I lived in NYC, one of my frequent Sunday brunch destinations was the Vegetarian Dim Sum House on Pell street. I was a vegetarian then, but even if I hadn't been this place rocked. You'd have to get the timing right otherwise you'd have to join the ever increasing queue of people wanting the same thing: impecable dim sum of all shaped and sizes. My dining partner and I would systematically work our way through the entire list from start to finish back to start again over several meals. We even saved a copy to rate the ones we particularly liked/disliked.
Fast forward quite a few years and now that Kelsie and I living in London I've been hoping to resurrect this tradition. Lucky for me, World Foodie Guide has done a stellar job of providing a list of the best dim sum places London has to offer.
On this particular Sunday we had organised a reunion of sorts as our dear friend Cat was on her way home to Aberdeen via London, our other friend Kim has recently moved to Londonm as has our friend David and Jorge who happen to have moved quite close to where we are in Crouch End. We were also joined by Marco, another Aberdonian transplant.
The best thing about going for dim sum with such a large group of people is that you really can try everything on the list in just one go! And that's exactly what we did. Unfortunately i wasn't as systematic as i was in the past, and couldn't really tell you what all the dishes were. But they were delicious indeed. And we're hoping to organise another dim sum fest really soon.
Here's a selection of Kelsie's photos from the afternoon:
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Sunday, 6 September 2009
As you know, Kels and I take turns each month choosing where we're going to eat out. For September Kelsie wanted to try out Clerkenwell. We already know there's a ton of great restaurants there. The tricky bit, as usual, was narrowing the list down to one choice. Kels did pretty well, and managed to come up with a shortlist of 2 places.
The first, unfortunately was closed. But we're definitely planning on going back when they're open. If you've eaten there let us know what you think!
We had a nice meander up to Kels' second choice, The Peasant. It was a pretty dull day when we went last Saturday. The sky was awash in grey, there was a cool breeze blowing, the streets were mostly empty, and it felt like summer was definitely shut for the year. Perfect conditions to hunker down in a warm, welcoming pub like the Peasant. Our server was from Carluke up in Scotland. We had a nice convo about the weather (of course!) as well as some of the best bacon that comes from his hometown.
To start we opted for a pint each of their guest ales. They have a pretty extensive beer list which i look forward to exploring next time we go. Unfortunately i have totally blanked on what we had. But they were nice. The menu had some interesting dishes on offer, definitely not your average pub food. (Is this what gastro-pub food is like?) I honed in on the Ploughman's which two people could share as a starter. Kelsie chose the roasted cod on cabbage with a poached egg and a hollandaise-like sauce.
The ploughmans was everything i'd want and more: properly grilled bread, generous wedges of Somerset cheddar, hefty slices of ham hock terrine, home made piccalilli, marinated beetroot and a nicely dressed salad. The ham hock terrine was a definite inspiration, as was the piccalilli. I'm going to try both at home to see if i can recreate.
Kelsie's dish was less inspiring. Everything was well cooked and presented, but it wasn't a wow like the ploughmans was.
We both had desserts that in hindsight we didn't need to order. I opted for New York style cheesecake with fresh berries, and Kelsie chose Bannoffee pie with ice cream. The pie and ice cream were served on slate which, when the ice cream started melting didn't seem like the right thing to serve it on. The cheesecake was ok. Base was too thick and the texture was heavier than i prefer.
Total bill for ploughmans, cod, 2 pints, 2 desserts, 1 double espresso and 1 glass of oloroso + service came to £53.
Would we go again? most definitely!
The Peasant / 240 St. John's Road / 0871 332 9046