Monthly Archives: July 2010
To avoid backlogs in postings and writers blocks I’m going to start doing some quick combined notes about where I’ve been eating this month. July started and stayed hot which called for lots of alfresco dining.
In London I met with friends at a neighbourhood indian restaurant called Salaam Namaste just off the Grays Inn Road. We were led here by the great Toptable app on the iPhone. Service was incredibly friendly and food was interesting and well prepared. We took advantage of the 30% off deal so was a great deal. I had a mixed kebab starter and a lamb shank special as the main. There are a few outside tables if you want to eat alfresco. 7/10.
I also ate in Glasgow whilst I was there on business at The Ubiquitous Chip which I have eaten at many times before each time the meals were innovative and well cooked. This time was no exception. I had langoustines as my starter which were sweet and meaty. For my main course I had the Marinaded Haunch and Loin of Galloway Venison, Potato and Onion Rosti Cake with Rhubarb, Red Cabbage, Green Peppercorn and Drambuie Sauce which was stunning. 3 courses costs a very reasonable £40. We splashed out on a bottle of Frogs Leap Zinfandel from Napa Valley for best part of £50 but it was well worth it. 9/10
Mid July it was festival time and I was off to Wireless Festival to enjoy the eclectic delights of Pink and LCD Soundsystem. Festival food is notoriously bad and Wireless is no better. The food is cooked for speed not for flavour. I went to one of the noodle bars and ordered spring rolls with chow mein. The spring rolls were all batter and the noodles were just boiled, slicked in oil and raw onion and garnished with a splash of soya sauce. They went straight in the bin. I guess I should have just stuck to burgers 1/10
Also ate at: Byron (8/10), Sade at Exmouth Market (7/10), Santore Exmouth Market(8/10), Necco Exmouth Market (7/10), The Milestone Sheffield (1/10) Awful, just awful.
Wandering around London post visit to British Museum I managed to find my way to Hanway Street near Tottenham Court Road and came upon the Han Kang Korean Barbeque. Outside, a friendly woman who I took to be the owner was changing some signs on the window but ushered us in. Inside was quite a small room furnished in dark lacquered woods, our table had a large metal disk in the centre and a small metal door to the right of it. How exciting! Fiddling with the top it opened to reveal the barbecue inside each table and the little door led to a gas tap to get things going. Sadly, I was told that the barbecue is only available during the evening so we would need to stick to the main menu. I’ve only had Korean food once before in Las Vegas. I think I enjoyed it. One thing I do remember was the smell in the restaurant which was quite pungent. ‘Kimchee’ my uncle informed me. It was a very heady smell. Mouth watering but also somehow dirty and wrong, like a truffle. I watched a programme showing how they made Kimchee a year or two later and they appeared to be burying a kilner jar containing cabbage into the ground. I was intrigued.
Kimchee was on the menu and I ordered a side portion of that along with a beef bibimbap for me and a beef and mushroom rice dish for my friend. I was advised to upgrade my bibimbap to the dolsot bibimbap as it is served in an oven hot bowl which crisps the rice up whilst it is being served.
A range of Korean beers were available along with wines and sake but sadly the wines weren’t available by the glass but on request I was given a western wine menu. Whilst we waited for the food to arrive we started becoming more and more annoyed by the two Americans on the next table. Their voices started loud but got louder and louder as they feverishly discussed their fellow work colleagues for the benefit of the whole room. Glaring didn’t help, neither sadly did the arrival of food as they somehow managed to keep up the same pace of shouting while eating their food.
Food arrived shortly after, my bibimbap was amazing, beef, rice, raw egg, spinach, mushrooms and cucumber sizzling in the stone bowl.
The waitress insisted on finishing off the preparation and stirred the mixture together mixing the ingredients thoroughly. The egg remained semi raw and added a nice glossy feel to the rice. All in all it was very good though the outside of the rice could have been crispier but perhaps this is due to the temperature of the stone bowl.
Next time I will go back in the evening so I can play with the gas taps.
16 Hanway Street, London, W1T 1UE
Telephone: 020 76371985