I don’t do restaurant reviews on this blog because, well, you don’t need me to tell you all those Michelin starred restaurants in town are really good. Or that restaurant with the overwrought plating and pretentious mission statement is all style over substance. Or that balti place is just another balti place. If you’re into food then you know what you like and you don’t need a score out of ten from me*. So you don’t need me to tell you that Rossopomodoro in Selfridges is the only good pizza joint in Brum. That could be the shortest restaurant review ever, if this was an actual review, but it’s not because Rossopomodoro closed today and you don’t review restaurants that don’t exist. That would be nonsense. Continue reading
Get in the sea 2015
In the interest of balance and because I know people love to read about the negative, here’s a lighthearted stream of mild invective to end the blogging year. If you read other food blogs, you would think it was incredibly hard to write openly and honestly about bad food experiences. I don’t have a problem with it. It’s my firm belief that if you don’t have anything nice to say about bad dining then you should say it or it’ll stay bad. In the sea goes this lot… Continue reading
My favourite restaurants of 2015
They say the stomach has a separate brain, neurones that control it independently from your actual noggin. If it could speak then maybe it would disgorge this stream of wonderful culinary memories from the year gone.
Here is a list of my top dining experiences. See what I’ve been cooking up in 2015 in my companion blog.
Copenhagen, noma vs hotdogs
Central Texas BBQ – 36 hours in the smoke
Standing in line in the baking Texas sun, slowly turning into lizards, necks getting redder. The free beer gets absorbed and sweated out in seconds. But you’re not alone, the line is around the block. All for a taste of some of the best BBQ in Austin. If queue length is testament then the 4 hour waiting time for Franklin BBQ makes it the best in town. Thankfully Franklins was closed when I visited Austin and the 2 hour wait in line for La Barbecue seemed like a cinch in comparison. We had 2 days or 36 hours to eat and experience as much BBQ as possible and had no time to waste. Continue reading
Backyard Brummies at Grillstock Bristol 2015 – KOTG Report and Rub Recipe
My buddy Nick “Professor Brisket” Loman and I started the Backyard Brummies 4 years ago in an unusual fit of bravado. It went something like “Let’s do a BBQ competition, I mean how hard is it to cook competition BBQ?” It turns out it’s pretty straightforward to do, all you have to do is turn up with the right equipment and drink lots of beer. But to do it well takes some luck, determination and a plan. The plan this year was to keep doing what we do with ribs and brisket and try not to mess up too bad on chicken and pulled pork. Here’s how the plan went down. Continue reading
Carters @ Loaf
The news had come in this Monday that Carters of Moseley were number 87 in the National Restaurant Awards 2015. Along with Purnells (88) they alone from Brum were recognised by their industry peers. Of course Brad and Holly had been invited to the award ceremony but had to decline because Carters were popping up at Loaf Bakery and Cooking School in Stirchley. It had been coming, after talking about it for a while, a collaboration between the two was well overdue. I was lucky enough to get to design and cook the menu with them.
A full set of photos from the evening can be found on this link.
Hanoi Old Quarter, noodles, herbs, calamansi and a squatting guide
Still digesting. It’s been almost a month but the other worldliness of the streetfood in Hanoi’s Old Quarter takes some processing. Four nights and nearly forty dishes later I think the surface has been scratched, just need any slight excuse now to go back and dig deeper. I’ve been cooking at home trying to understand, recalibrate my palate so I can communicate and reinterpret with the ingredients I have available in the UK. Underlying everything is one simple concept, freshness. Vibrancy is an oft used term in describing food. The dishes and produce in Hanoi will make me think twice about using “vibrant” again for anything less! Continue reading
UK Burger Battle 2
Belated photos from the last UK Burger Battle 15th Feb on this clickity link here (perfectly safe for work).
On the night London posse Gone Burger beat local beef slingers The Flying Cows in the diners and judges vote. Well done guys, their burger was a classic chargrilled pattie in a sesame seed bun. It was well seasoned and the simplicity of it won over the diners. The Flying Cows burger looked fantastic but the pulled pork did nothing for the burger. The beef itself was superior tasting but really under seasoned. A shame because a local win would have been great!
Another fabulous event from Ahmed and the team, so good it won the readers award for best event in Birmingham on designmynight.com. The next one is 26th April and you can get your tickets here.