Archive | August, 2011

East India butter shortbread with clotted cream

30 Aug

I really wish I could have a butter and clotted cream shortbread with my tea now. But I can’t because I ate them all.

I was sent a packet of Butter Shortbread with Clotted Cream by the East India Company a couple of weeks ago and as soon as I opened the packet and started munching on the biscuits, I knew I was in trouble. I adore shortbread but even more so when it contains clotted cream. Unfortunately, I have a REAL taste for anything creamy and buttery.

The biscuits are pale in colour and slightly chewy. At first the texture reminded me of biscuits that have just started to go stale but I realised quite quickly that the clotted cream makes them chewier than usual. Apparently they were a favourite of Queen Victoria and go great with afternoon tea. I wouldn’t know if they do because I ate them all before I even had a chance to think about afternoon tea.

The packet that they come in is pretty too and I would definitely not shove it to the back of the biscuit cupboard. The plate design, according to the small print on the back, is typical of 18th Century art and craft influences. It’s delicate and ornate and I really like it.

The company also has a fascinating history. I had a great insight into this when I read Kavey’s blog recently.

At £5.25 for 150g packet, they’re a little bit on the expensive side. And although they probably wouldn’t be a permanent fixture in my biscuit tin, I’d sure buy a few and get them out along with my best tea set for special guests.

Meatballs at The Quality Chop House

25 Aug

One of my earliest memories of dining out in London, before I even dreamed of moving here, was my dad taking my brother and I to a Victorian dining room in Clerkenwell to eat a roast dinner for lunch. I can’t remember what the restaurant was called but I walked into the dining room, with it’s high ceilings, and was surrounded by men in suits talking business while drinking ale from metal tankards. I was infatuated. I loved the setting – the old wooden pews, the creaky floors and of course the food.

So I was delighted when I was invited to the launch of Meatballs at The Quality Chop House last night. The Grade II listed building was built in 1870 and has operated as a restaurant for almost 150 years. Many times have I walked past and marveled at the building but never stopped to wonder what was inside. The Quality Chop House was traditionally a working men’s chophouse and was later favoured by the kind of businessmen that I mentioned earlier. But, after closing down in 2010, it was bought by Hugh Fowler (the man responsible for Wendy’s in the 80′s and more recently Hamburger Union) and the rest is history.

Step inside the restaurant and take in the surroundings. Although the building underwent a major refurbishment in the 1980′s, many of the original features have stayed the same. The beautiful but ever so uncomfortable oak benches, oak tables and ornate castings are still standing. Look to the back of the room, next to the kitchen opening and see a photograph of the previous owners. The lady in the middle of the picture (now in her 90′s) was one of the first guests to dine at Meatballs this week. I imagine she wonders what on earth a ‘slider’ is but I’m sure that she is also very proud.

Which brings me onto the food and drink. I ordered one of the blueberry gin and tonics (£5.95) to start with, plus a bowl of bread and olives (£2.95). The bread basket consisted of focaccia and mini brioche buns, which are also used for the sliders on the menu. Diners have a choice of 5 different meatballs, three sliders, a meatball burger, a few salads and a range of sides. Upon closer inspection, I realised just how cheap everything is. Three meatballs will set you back £3.95, three sliders (mini brioche bun burgers) cost just £5.95 and the sides range from £2.45 to £3.95. The salads are a bit more costly with the most expensive being the spinach and bacon at £8.95 – but who goes to an establishment called Meatballs and orders a salad?! Everything on the menu (except from the ice cream) is made on the premises.

We ordered a selection – three sliders with a mixture of fillings (pork, beef and ricotta with tomato sauce and Greek lamb with cucumber, dill and yoghurt sauce), the vegetarian courgette balls with a mild curry sauce and an extra ball of chicken with a caperberry sauce. An extra, or bonus ball as they are called will set you back £1 each.

For sides we ordered egg pappardelle and the pearl barley and tomato risotto. I was very intrigued by the pearl barley side as I have been cooking with it a lot recently (See recent recipes here and here)

The brioche buns are an absolute delight, light, fluffy and buttery. Pair them with a ball of meat and you have a winner. The beef and lamb were slightly on the dry side, both could have done with a tad less cooking but the flavours were fantastic.

I wasn’t sure about having a single chicken meatball in a bowl, I think it would have been better in a slider. But luckiy we had the bowl of pappardelle to eat it with and together they were delicious.

One of my favourites was the pearl barley and tomato risotto. It was absolutely divine – the pearl barley had a slight crunch and the tomato sauce was tangy. There was also a very welcome couple of slices of melted parmesan sat on top.

After sharing all of our savoury dishes, we were pretty full but that certainly did not deter us from ordering a chocolate brownie ice cream sandwich with hot chocolate sauce and a malt chocolate milkshake for dessert. The pudding arrived and my smile dropped a bit when I saw the size – I thought it looked pretty small and as I was sharing, I thought I’d walk out unsatisfied. How wrong I was! We tucked in and were both immediately in heaven. The crunchy and fudgey chocolate brownie, encased in warm chocolate sauce and cold vanilla icea cream (and proper ice cream too) was one of the best desserts I have had in a long time. The malt chocolate milkshake could have been a tiny bit thicker but it too went down a treat.

We were given a goody bag as we left, which contained a beatutiful bottle of blueberry gin. Giddy, full and with a smile on my face, I walked to the tube station already planning my return visit.

Meatballs also do takeaway, so if you work around the area, be sure to try it out. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Meatballs at The Quality Chop House opens to the public on Friday 26th August.

Food For Think was a guest at Meatballs at the Quality Chop House.

tarte au citron recipe

23 Aug

Who doesn’t like a good slice of tarte au citron? The buttery, flakey pastry with the rich, sweet and tangy wobbly middle. Pour some double cream over a big slice and that’s me done. I’ll tuck myself away in a corner for a few minutes so no stray forks can interfere, while I enjoy every last morsel.

But despite there being a few decent shop bought alternatives out there, home made is definitely preferable. Having never made one before, I set out to do just that on Sunday. What I didn’t realise was just how long the process is – I completely understand why people shove one in their supermarket trolley. Not only is it 10 times quicker, it’s also around the same price. But nothing compares to home made (if done well of course) and it is oh so satisfying to see the golden pastry and wobbly lemony filling come out of the oven almost perfect.

I got my recipe from Lindsey Bareham, who wrote a piece about the delightful dessert after being inspired by Marco Pierre White’s 1987 ‘Harveys’ version, back when he was head chef. However, it wasn’t Marco that introduced us Brits to the queen of tarts, it was no other than the Roux brothers at the beginning of the 80′s. Who better to introduce this than the masters of pastry themselves. I have tried the tart both cold and at room temperature and I definitely prefer the latter. The flavours shine out more – but you can always add a drizzle of cold double cream.

If you’re thinking of making a dessert soon, I can’t recommend this enough. But it’s not for the time conscious. This dessert is one that needs love, care, attention and a good few hours. I thoroughly enjoyed my therapeutic time in the kitchen, but I enjoyed my slice smothered in cream much more.

Serves 6 to 8
Prep 35 min plus 1 hr chilling
Cook 1 hr plus 1 hr cooling

Ingredients

For the pastry:
250g plain flour plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
150g butter plus an extra knob, cubed
75g icing sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk

For the filling:
4 large unwaxed lemons
5 large eggs
150g caster sugar
200ml double cream
Double cream

Method

For the pastry:
1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl with the salt
2. Add the butter and rub it into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
3. Sift the icing sugar over the crumbs and mix
4. Lightly whisk the whole egg and egg yolk and add to the crumbs
5. Bring everything together and knead slightly. You can add more flour if needed
6. Form into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour
7. Heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4
8. Grease a 22cm by 2.5cm deep flan ring with the knob of butter and dust with flour. Shake the excess flour out and place on a baking tray, lined with a baking sheet
9. Dust a work surface with flour and roll out the pastry to make a 28cm circle
10.Roll the pastry over the rolling pin and place over the prepared flan ring, pressing to neatly line the ring, leaving a 1cm overhang
11.Roll your rolling pin over the flan case to cut off the excess. Cover with graseproof paper and fill with ceramic baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes
12.Separate one of the eggs required for the filling and lightly whisk the egg white with 1 tbsp water. Paint the cooked pastry case with beaten egg white to seal. Plug any holes with leftover pastry. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Lower heat to 150C/gas mark 2.

Filling:
1. Juice the lemons through a sieve to make approx 175ml and stir in the zest
2. Whisk 4 eggs and the reserved egg yolk with 150g caster sugar, continuing until the sugar disappears
3. Lightly whip the cream and stir it into the eggs. Add the lemon juice and zest.
4. Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake for 45-60 minutes until the tart is just set but still slightly wobbly in the middle.
5. Leave to cool for an hour before removing from the tin
6. Dust with icing sugar and serve with double cream!

Win a Francis Francis X7.1 coffee machine!!

22 Aug

To celebrate the arrival of the month long pop up Galleria illy in London, I am offering one lucky Food For Think reader the chance to win a gorgeous Francis Francis X7.1 coffee machine (worth £199), courtesy of Espressocrazy.

X7.1_front_rossa_copia

Now, I know that this is a good little piece of kit. I have recently been to a few photo shoots at Georgia Glynn Smith’s house and she has one in order to provide her guests with delicious coffee. It’s easy to operate, simply pop in an illy coffee iperEspresso capsule and press the button. The milk frother on the side is also very good, considering the size of the machine.

After runs in Berlin, New York, Milan and Istanbul, Galleria illy will run from 13 September – 16 October. It’s free to get in and you’ll be able to enjoy a programme of gastronomy, art, literature and design events.

I’m really looking forward to popping along and learning a trick or two from the Università del Caffè illy baristas. I’ll be there mid September so I’m sure I’ll be able to share what I learn with you afterwards! You can book a coffee masterclass, just go to Espressocrazy.

Four ways to enter the competition below:

1. Mandatory. Like the Food For Think Facebook page here and leave a comment on the wall to say that you have entered

2. Second chance to win. Tweet this text exactly as shown – #WIN Francis Francis X7.1 coffee machine #prize RRP £199 @foodforthink http://www.foodforthink.com Pls RT

3. Third chance to win. Follow @foodforthink on Twitter and Tweet to say that you are entering the competition

4. Fourth chance to win. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us why you NEED the Francis Francis X7.1 coffee machine

Competition ends on Monday 5th September at midday. Open to UK residents only.

Good luck!!!

Melt in mouth meringue recipe

11 Aug

If you have read my blog in the last few months, you will know that I have three gorgeous chickens on my roof who provide me with fresh and delicious eggs daily.

Since only two of us in the house eat eggs, we sometimes get a bit of a glut, as you can see.

Eggs

So we’re forever having to come up with ways to use more than just one or two eggs at a time. Someone suggested I make meringue but I wasn’t keen on the idea at first – I would rather tuck into a big slab of cake or a delicious brownie than a light and fluffy meringue. Then again, I had never made them before so decided to give them a go.

As our eggs are very small, I would recommend using Bantam eggs. If you are using hens eggs, use two less than I have stated. I was so pleased with how they turned out – they have a beautiful golden colour due to the fact that I used unrefined golden caster sugar and unrefined golden icing sugar.

Eat them with fresh and cream berries, or be naughty and sandwich two together with Nutella (that’s what my boyfriend did!)

Ingredients

4 bantam eggs, separated and at room temperature (you can either discard the yolk or add them as extra to scrambled eggs)
75g unrefined golden caster sugar
75g unrefined golden icing sugar

Method – Pre-heat the oven to 100degrees Celsius

1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper
2. Place the egg whites in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk on a medium speed until soft peaks form
3. Turn the speed up and gradually add the cater sugar, bit by bit
4. Sift the icing sugar in bit by bit and fold in gently with a spatula or large metal spoon
5. Spoon onto the baking sheet in equal portions and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes
6. Enjoy how you wish!

Pan fried lemon sole with samphire and parsley butter

10 Aug

Samphire is everywhere at the moment. I had it with fish at three different restaurants last week and I can’t get enough if it. So when I was getting my fish from the Waitrose fish counter at the weekend, I was very happy to see a pack of the delicious green edible plant sat next to the fish. I chose two filets of lemon sole and grabbed a pack and a lemon to go with it.

I was very looking forward to my Monday evening dinner but was left slightly disappointed with the samphire. I followed the cooking instructions on the pack but the stalks were quite hard and a small amount was inedible. Only a very small amount though so the meal was not ruined. I can’t expect cooking with a new ingredient to be perfect first time, so as with most things, practice makes perfect!

Ingredients

2 skin on lemon sole fillets
1 garlic clove
1 red chilli
2 knobs of butter
4 tsp fresh or or frozen parsley
90g samphire
Salt and black pepper to season
Juice of half a lemon

Method

1. Make the parsley, garlic and chilli butter by placing into a food processor and blitzing until smooth. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
2. Preheat a pan on a medium heat for the fish – season the skin of the fish with salt and black pepper.
5. Melt a knob of butter in another pan and place the samphire in to wilt. Cook on a medium heat for 4 minutes, or until soft. You still want a little bit of a crunch.
6. As soon as the samphire is in the pan, place the fish skin side down into the other hot pan and season with black pepper. Cook for around three minutes, add the parsley butter and a squeeze of lemon and flip the fish over to cook on the flesh side for 30 seconds.
7. Place the samphire on the plate and top with the fish.
8. Serve with buttered potatoes and seasonal veg – yum!

Maille pop up supper club

8 Aug

I have had a battle with mustard over the years. After trying that powdered English stuff that used to be popular about 20 years ago, I abstained from putting myself through the misery again. That is until someone persuaded me to try a dollop of Maille mustard with a salad a couple of years ago. I didn’t love it straight away but it was a lot more pleasurable than my first experience.

I was invited to the Maille mustard pop up in Shoreditch, which was hosted by Ms Marmite Lover a few weeks ago and couldn’t say no – partly because I wanted to try the new range, which includes honey mustard and mayonnaise with a hint of mustard and partly because I was allowed to take a guest and my boyfriend is the biggest mustard fan.

We turned up to Spitalfields market on a Friday evening and I was surprised to see a small pop up located just in front of the main entrance. It looked beautiful and featured stained wood with beautifully packaged Maille products decorating. The boutique was inspired by those of Paris and Dijon and gave us diners a real insight into the world of mustard. We were seated around the bar and offered a ‘Mustardy Mary’ to start us off. I couldn’t drink this – despite one of my favourite foods being delicious, juicy tomatoes, as soon as I put the juice version to my lips, a slightly unpleasant gag takes place. So I had to apologise and make my excuses.

We were also treated to a Gravadlax, honey mustard and red endive canape before the cooking got underway. It was totally and utterly lip smackingly beautiful – I would probably go so far as to say that it was one of the best canapes I have ever had. The honey mustard is the newest addition to Maille’s mustard range. I’d love to try it glazed on roast chicken – the thought is making my mouth water a little bit.

Next up was a whole artichoke. Now, I don’t think I was the only person that had never tried it before – there were a few confused faces around. Luckily, Marmite showed us how to eat it – slather the Dijon mustard on the bottom, place your chops around it and get the fleshy bit out with your teeth. I was in heaven – what a simple but delicious dish.

The main arrived and I was pleased to see smoked haddock with wholegrain mustard, cheese and Asian greens. Smoked haddock isn’t usually one of my favourite pieces of fish but it was tasty. The mustard and cheese worked so well together. Simply smother the fish with mustard, add a sprinkle of cheese and bake it in the oven.

I was a bit nervous about the dessert – Mostarda tutti frutti ice cream with berries, mint sugar and mustard candy floss. But all worries were diminished when I placed the spoon in my mouth. I particularly enjoyed the candy floss and just loved learning that Marmite has her very own candy floss machine. Who else?

As if dessert was not enough, we were also treated to a fantastic cheese board with Moustardier, Charollais, Langres, Comté and palmiers.

I had a great evening – the wine flowed, my fellow diners were lovely and we had a good old laugh. Maille has a large range of mustards, sauces, vinegars and mayonnaise, which you can see here.

Malmaison London – hotel and brasserie

8 Aug

Malmaison hotels ‘dare to be different’, or so they claim. I was intrigued before my stay and wanted to see how. Upon entering the dimly lit and darkly coloured reception area, I got the gist of what was to come. A rude painting hangs above the stairs that go down to the brasserie and the black and red decor sets the scene.

photo

I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge kingside bed, plasma screen TV, CD and DVD player in the room. The hotel staff had even left two bars of Flake ‘allure’ on the bed. The bathroom was sleek but there were no stand out features – except of course the toiletries that you are encouraged to use and take home with you. The fact that they provide you with a bottle of massage oil tells you a little bit about the ways in which the hotel group ‘dares’ to be different.

We arrived at the brasserie for dinner and perused the menu. Due to the location (Farringdon), I imagine that the biggest customers are business men, which is probably why it wasn’t busy on a Friday evening. I turned the menu over and saw that Maldon Oysters are one of the suppliers, but became confused as I turned the menu over again and they were nowhere to be seen. I asked the waitress who told us that they are suppliers but they only occasionally have them on the menu. She went away and returned 5 minutes later to tell us that the Fox & Anchor a few doors down (a traditional London watering hole with a boutique hotel upstairs, also a part of the Malmaison group) had some in the kitchen and they would be sending six over especially for us. Now that’s service for you.

Alongside the Maldon Oysters (£2.30 each), we also ordered the seared scallops (£7.95) for starter, which were lovely and tender. We weren’t so sure about the raisins in the cous cous but overall it was a pleasant, delicate dish.

For mains we ordered the pan fried sea bream with samphire special (£16.95), alongside the Donald Russell aged entrecôte steak (£20.95), which I ordered medium rare. Samphire has become very fashionable of late – I have had it a few times at restaurants recently and even cooked with it at home. The samphire that came with the sea bream at Malmaison was slightly too salty. It’s a sea vegetable so is naturally very salty but I imagine the chef probably added extra. It also wasn’t as crunchy as I would have liked but the fish was delicious and cooked perfectly. The steak was just slightly too over done for me – it was pink in the middle but I would say it was more medium-well done. Nevertheless I enjoyed it, especially the rich herby béarnaise sauce that came with it in a beautiful little copper pot.

We shared a rocket and parmesan salad and a portion of chips (£3.50 each) with our mains and both were good. The chips were not piping hot when they arrived at the table, which is always a bit of a bug bear of mine but the rocket salad was delicious. It was great to see a bottle of Monti sabini vorroni olive oil on our table – we drizzled a bit over the rocket salad to top it off.

Despite being pretty full, we ordered a white chocolate cheesecake (£5.95) and an affoato (£3.95) to share for dessert. The cheesecake arrived and I was a little disappointed. It didn’t look homemade (I forgot to ask whether it was made in the restaurant kitchens) and it wasn’t as creamy and tempting as other recent cheesecakes that I have eaten in restaurants. The macerated raspberry that was on the side was a bit too tart for me. Overall, not a winner. The affogato was delicious and the ice cream had beautiful specks of vanilla pod in it.

As if we hadn’t already eaten enough food, the cheese trolley made an appearance at the end (£8.50 for a selection). Oh dear I thought. We had a small selection of Epoisse, Golden Cross, Marual and Soft bath. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them, but particularly the Golden Cross Goats cheese. I love cheese trollies and I was so happy to see such a well stocked one at the Malmaison Brasserie. The waiter was also very knowledgeable and a pleasure to listen to.

After a very comfortable nights sleep in the large air conditioned room, we wandered down to the Brasserie for breakfast (included in the price of the room at weekends) and it was full so we had to wait 20 minutes for a table. When we were eventually seated, a pot of tea and a cup of coffee were brought over to us straight away before we ordered the waffle with nutella and grilled banana and eggs benedict. I had to ask for the nutella when the waffle arrived but it came shortly after, melted in a copper pot. Delicious. The eggs benedict was also very good, extremely moreish and actually just the right size for breakfast.

After a quick read of the newspapers provided by the Brasserie, we handed our key back to the receptionist and left – full, satisfied and rested.

Malmaison also has a private dining room, The Butchers Block. Read about London Eater’s experience here.

Food For Think was a guest at Malmaison London.

Superior Doubles from £265 per night.

Brasserie de Malmaison on Urbanspoon

Santa Maria Pizzeria

4 Aug

Is Santa Maria REALLY the best pizzeria in London? I first heard about it in Time Out when it was voted the best. I have been three times now and can safely say that whilst it is up there, I prefer a couple of other London pizza establishments.

Each time I have been, the service has bothered me a little. I have never experienced service with a smile, which is very important to me. I don’t like to be made to feel that the waiting staff don’t want you there, or see that they don’t even want to be there themselves.

This time I ordered a Santa Bufalina pizza (Tomato sauce, Buffalo D.O.C. mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, parmesan, and fresh basil – £8.75). I usually order the San Daniele (Italian mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, Parma ham, wild rocket, shaving of Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil – £10.95) but decided that I wanted a change this time, partly because I’m not overly fond of the grated Parmesan that they add to the top of it. My boyfriend stuck to the usual and opted for this one.

So far, this post has been a little negative hasn’t it. But, I have to say that there are plus points about Santa Maria. It is based in the leafy Ealing suburb in a cute little unit with an outdoor seating area. There is a large wood fired pizza oven in the back of the open kitchen, which cooks the pizzas extremely quickly so you know that you can pop in for a quick tasty meal. The base is delicious, thick, doughy and has those lovely little bits of charcoal on the bottom from the wood fire oven. The pizzas are also HUGE, which is great if you’re a hungry lass like me.

I can’t believe I am saying this because I am the biggest cheese lover in the world. From asking for extra cheese at pizza hut as a youngster to putting a whole ball on my home made pizzas, I love my cheese. But there was just too much of it on my Santa Maria pizza. The big blobs were also about 2 cm thick and we walked out of the restaurant feeling a bit queasy. Next time I think I’ll have to ask for less cheese – never before has this happened.

Santa Maria Pizzeria
15 St.Mary’s Road
London
W5 5RA
0208 5791462

Santa Maria on Urbanspoon

Bistro du Vin Soho

3 Aug

The Du Vin Group is expanding. And fast. The first stand alone restaurant opened in Clerkenwell at the beginning of the year and now, opposite the sumptuous Dean Street Townhouse on Dean Street, the second stand alone bistro from the Du Vin group stands proud.

I entered and walked past the cosy pewter topped bar and booth seating through to The Salon at the back to meet the group that I would be dining with. I was invited along with a few fellow bloggers to sample the menu.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a large venue with high ceilings and a New England style decor. The open plan kitchen is enticing and the many empty bottles of wine that decorate the room add to the bistro atmosphere.

We started the evening with a Chase Summer Berry Fruit Punch (£9) before moving over to our table. I perused the menu and was fully aware that I could roll out of there if I wasn’t careful. So I opted for 4 Maldon oysters (£3.50 each) to start, followed by the 250g Galloway & Short Horn Cross Fillet Steak (£30). The oysters were delicious but I feel I got a bit of a raw deal with the size – they were tiny. Still, it left lots of room for my steak. Cooked on the very fashionable Josper Grill, my medium rare steak was a thing of beauty and was quickly devoured.

The menu is simple but all dishes comprise of fantastic quality ingredients cooked very well. The emphasis is on locally sourced seasonal produce, which is why the menu will change regularly. Bistro du Vin is the very heart of the ‘Homegrown & Local’ ethos that is employed by all Hotel du Vins across the country.

The sides were also delicious – my favourites being the velvety smooth, utterly creamy mash potato (£3.50) and the heritage tomato and red onion salad (£3.50). The green tomato on my plate was a thing of beauty.

I can’t remember who it was but someone suggested that we get a couple of portions of bone marrow (£3) to share. I’ll try anything so I was game. The only bad thing was I was pretty full so the richness of the dish was a little too much for me. That’s not to say I didn’t like it – I think I would have preferred it if I hadn’t have eaten a huge steak before hand.

The dessert menu came and I was so very pleased to see chocolate tart with Chantilly cream (£6.50) staring out at me. The Belgian waffle also looked like it would go down a treat but in the end the chocolate tart won out. While we waited for our desserts, we were treated to a tour of the delicatessen style Cave au Fromage, which is run by Eric Charriaux of Premier Cheese. In the beautifully designed walk in fridge is a range of 70 cheeses, which have been carefully chosen from a range of over 600 and will change seasonally. Eric asked us if there were any cheeses that we did not like and I put my hand up and said that I don’t like blue cheese. I’ve only ever tried a few but have been disappointed each time. So of course Eric made me try one of his blue cheeses. I put it up to my mouth, took a small bite and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t like the bitter ones that I have had in the past – it was creamy and quite enjoyable.

I flitted between the cheese and my chocolate tart. The pastry was rich, crumbly, thin and utterly buttery. The chocolate rich, bitter, creamy and topped perfectly with three fresh raspberries and a line of Chantilly cream.

I am not by any means a cheese connoisseur but I can say that the goats cheese with saffron honey was a hi light. The hard Comté was also a delight. And at £12.50 for as much cheese as you can stomach, I think it’s a pretty good deal! Plus, if you want to take some home with you, all of the cheeses and cured meats in La Cave au Fromage are available to purchase.

Bistro du Vin has it all. It is the perfect for meetings, a few cocktails with your girlfriends, a glass of fine wine with a work colleague or a special treat.

Food For Think was a guest of Bistro du Vin.

Bistro du Vin
36 Dean Street
London
W1D 4PS
0207 4324800

Bistro du Vin on Urbanspoon

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