Sunday, October 2

New York Street Food: Korilla BBQ

So if you read this article the other day, maybe Korilla BBQ would have caught your eye. I happened to be near where they park their truck on Mondays, and I had their bulgogi burrito one week and their pork tacos (below) the next. Korilla, according to their story, is “a portmanteau of Korean and Grill.” Yeah, kind of. Except what’s the a doing on the end? As far as I was concerned, it was about a gorilla, maybe a Korean one, but their mascot appears to be a slightly angry version of Tony the Tiger. According to Wikipedia, “the tiger replaces the lion as King of Beasts in cultures of eastern Asia, representing royalty, fearlessness, and wrath.” OK, fine, and I guess that explains the cartoon tiger’s scowl. It doesn’t explain why you get Korean BBQ served inside a burrito or tacos, but that’s kind of besides the point. What matters is that it/they are delicious. The burrito’s kind of small for $7, but actually I don’t even know what $7 is worth anymore. That was a lot of money for lunch when I was a lad, but it seems pretty normal in New York now, and it is good, though not a patch on Luardo’s on Whitecross Street in London. It’s fun to get kimchi in a burrito, and the sticky rice and bulgogi were delicious, but I just missed the black beans and guacamole. The tacos, on the other hand, were outstanding. You get three of them, and they are double-wrapped to make sure they don’t disintegrate under the weight of all the meat and goodies you get on top. That thing on the left is a spicy and delicious pickle – it’s huge! These tacos aren’t enormous either (about two big bites each) but they’re extremely satisfying. If the orange van with the tiger and the dudes who all talk like Leo Fatzpatrick from Kids while they blast trance music under an overpass and treat your lunch like a new designer drug that’s going to blow your puny mind and the three tacos for $7 came by once a week, I’d definitely eat there often.

The van:

The tacos:

Really good.

Monday, August 8

Wedding vs Ottolenghi

Some very dear friends of ours got married recently, and some of us were lucky enough to be invited. So we went. And lo, it was nice. But before that, Lucy and I went to Ottolenghi with some other friends - huzzah!
Lucy tucked into a suitably mustardy welsh rarebit, topped with a poached egg so handsome it should have been a European prince, accompanied by some kale. It didn't last long...
Naturally, I went for the biggest thing on the breakfast/brunch menu - the cannellini bean stew, featuring some pretty ace chorizo n bacon, plonked seductively atop some white toast and served with yet another amazing egg (fried), accompanied by (and this was the selling point) some bastardly brilliant black pudding! Yes!
Obviously, we had a pretty good time. And so did our brunch companions, Willow and Anders, who definitely ate things, I just don't remember what they were. But just look at their pretty faces - does it look like they're not having a good time?
Exactly. Ottolenghi, we salute you. Oh, and Sam and Helena - congratulations x

Sunday, August 7

Bhajis that look like mythical beasts: 4

The saga continues:

(Hint: it’s asleep.)

Wednesday, July 13

Dirty Breakfast

One of our number is getting married soon, and on his stag we made sure that there were a minimum of 2 eggs per person per day, with equal amounts sausages and bacon. Sunday recovery mode:

English mustard on everything is the way forward...

Wednesday, July 6

It happened again...

So I'm 'Home Alone' again. And, once I'd finished crafting ingenious booby-traps and slapping my hands across my face in an adorable fashion, it was time to make myself another stupid dinner.
Todays lonesome feast consisted of an eight sausage toad-in-the-hole, served with roasted potatoes and leeks cooked with garlic and fennel, together with a red wine and mushroom gravy.
Pretty low key for a one-man-meal I'd say.
This evening's meal was sponsored by several episodes of Deadwood (the finest TV show ever made - fact) and, of course, 'red wine'. Super.

Friday, June 24

Strangely Soft Focus Supper

So everyone went out without me. Again. As usual, I took my revenge by having an awesome dinner all to myself. Take that, fun-havers!
Clams with pine-nut and garlic picada, oysters rockefeller, and home made french fries.
Not as beige as it looks cheese selection with super sticky onion relish.
Throw in half a bottle of pink wine, half a bottle of red wine, and a book about Caribbean politics in the sixties, you've got yourself a party. At least it's what I call a party. A very quiet party.

Tuesday, June 21

Happy Midsommar!

Today is my favorite day of the year. I wish I were celebrating in Sweden. Since I’m not, I tried to find some appropriate food, but I don’t like herring and there were no meatballs or salmon or new potatoes to be had, so I settled for venison-and-wild-boar sausages and one of my favorite beers, Nils Oscar’s God Lager (good lager):


Thursday, June 16

Happy BoomBloomsday!

This was my lunch:

Roast beef sandwich with a Yorkshire pudding as the bun (yes there was horseradish).

Scotch egg as big as my fist:

With a still-runny yolk. So. Good. All the odd things people pick up for food.

Sunday, June 12

Bhajis that look like Delicious Burger Pub!

Yes, though I have been continuing to assiduously snap pics of bhajis on my lunch break, perhaps we’ll give that a rest for a bit...

The other week I ate this:

Everything about this burger was delicious, from the bun to the chips. And look what it had inside it!

These were not mushrooms from a tin. No, they were lovingly sautéed for my delectation.

I’d spent the entire three-day weekend painting the same two rooms (ineptly) and was in no mood to cook. This was exactly what I wanted. Cosy pub, delicious food, good ale ... what more do you want? They even have rooms above the pub if you can’t face going home.

The Rose and Crown, Stoke Newington

Thursday, May 19

Bhajis that look like mythical beasts: 2.5

OK, it’s not a bhaji, but it’s still pretty cool:

And, check this out:

Eh? Eh? Yeah, I thought so.

Wow. Who knew lunch could be this much fun?

Tuesday, May 10

Wednesday, March 30

A Birthday Night Out

What feels like a billion years ago, but is actually just a couple of months, Scott and I went out to celebrate his birthday. Why it's taken this long to say anything about it, I'm not sure, but as it was one of the best evenings ever we wanted to share it, even if this is now ridiculously overdue.

Thanks to the wonderful world of twitter and some very hearty recommendations, we finally arrived at our choice of resturant, and a tip for a place to have a pre-dinner drink.

So, we started the evening at the excitingly secretive Whitelock & Grace, a fantastic new addition to Bristol's drinking establishments located next to Clifton Down railway station. They do serve other drinks, but our priority was trying out their exciting cocktail menu, which is both reasonably priced and tasty delicious. A double whammy of greatness. To top it off, they're really friendly and chilled out. We were sad to leave after a fairly short stay, but also very excited to move on to the eating section of the evening, especially as we had booked a table at Flinty Red, a hop, skip and jump over Whiteladies Road to Cotham Hill.

An evening of delicious food and wine ensued - we decided to push the boat out and enjoy several courses. In fact, one of the best things about Flinty Red is that there is a range of sizes of course and you can have some dishes in different sizes. The other best thing about it (apart from the delicious food) is that Flinty Red is co-run by the wine merchants of the always excellent Corks of Cotham (just up the road) - going to a restuarant where you are happy to ask for wine recommendations, nay, seek them out, was a new and extremely pleasing experience. And let's just say, they knocked it out of the park everytime.

Amazing goat curd, quince, celery leaf and walnut salad - great combination of textures and flavours

We enjoyed many foodie delights. To start we shared Anchovy toast (fishy and buttery deliciousness) and grilled monkfish liver (delicately cooked and served with spring onion which nicely balanced the richness of the fish), which was accompanied by a glass of Lambrusco (a discovery we made before Christmas at Corks) for Scott and a glass of Weisser Burgander for me. We then moved on to Innes Goat Curd w. quince, celery leaves & walnuts for me (which I think was actually my favourite, such a perfect combination) and gnocchi with rabbit for Scott. The carafe of Massaya went very well with both. After our middle course we had another, consisting of veal onglet (Scott) and chesnut & squash ravioli (me) for a main course (annoyingly I cannot remember the name of what we drank, but it was excellent - a red, but not too dark or rich). Then came the cheese, a rich and creamy Bleu des Causses with quince jelly and a good strength and piquancy of blueness, washed down with a glass of Negromara. Seeing as we'd come this far, we said yes to pudding and ended the meal with Affogato with PX (the ice cream was maple & walnut)....not to mention a nightcap (or two) at our new friends, Whitelock & Grace. The hangover the next day was definitely worth it.

Saturday, March 5

Bloody Salad

Right. At the risk of sounding like the biggest tool in the toolbox, I am writing this blogpost on an iPhone. Which means: a) I'm so cool and b) This post is like tuning in to Knife 'n' Spork LIVE. Like we're actually living in the freaking future or something.

Anyway, here's the salad that we're troughing for lunch RIGHT NOW. I'm actually putting the phone down and eating a forkful between each sentence. That was a good one. The salad is pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty easy to make: blood oranges (like, soooo seasonal), watercress, feta, pistachios, croutons on top and a dressing made from the orange juice and olive oil. Last forkful. Good. Now I'm off to make love to a robot. All hail the future.

Thursday, February 24

A day trip.

A little over a week ago I went to visit my good friend and fellow Sporkmeister (you bet I wrote that) Bob in little old London town. Bob will have you believe that he eats only biscuits and, having seen the inside of his fridge, I can confirm that this is frighteningly true. Why hasn't he died yet? Lord only knows. Anyhoo, while I was around, I made him stuff his big face like any normal person would, and I think he enjoyed it. The highlight of the weekend started off on a trip to Brick Lane and a visit to the endlessly awesome Beigel Bakery. If you've never been there, you're wasting your life. Exhibits A and B:

After all that excitement, it wasn't long before I needed a drink. And some lunch. I know that for some the bagel itself would've counted as lunch, but still. In the words of Gordon Gekko: Greed is Good. And I'm pretty sure he was talking about lunch when he said it too... Right? Anyway, after some shuffling around, we went to the mega-awesome Carpenter's Arms for a refreshing beverage, or five:

The Koestritzer was a new one on me, and I feel like I've made a friend for life. Vedett is always a winner, and it's nice to see things like the Anchor Steam Beer available, especially alongside so many other fine drinks. That Caribbean rum was pretty cheeky too. However, not wanting to let Gordon Gekko down (he wasn't there) we naturally had to have a bit of tuck, and this we did in style. Colchester Oysters, Escargot, and a very fine meat/cheese board were our weapons of choice, and we ate every last bullet. Right down to the, er, handle? I don't know.

Stonking. Even old Biscuity Bob was having a whale of a time. Just look at him:

Ooh, the excitement. This was more food than he'd eaten all month. For real. For his is the wild life. Anyhoo, having dined like greedy fat kings, we toddered on down the road, stopping for drinks hither and thither in our effort to reach a late night whiskey bar who, by the time we got there, wouldn't let us in. Ah London town. You sure are a wild one.

Sunday, February 20

Diary of a morbidly obscene biscuit addict


I have been going through a wildly experimental phase, pushing the boundaries of biscuit eating to the very limits of time and space. I have been on a supersonic journey and have returned with the following knowledge.


Ha! Controversy!

I tried to do a bit of research but stopped after one lazy Google search. Turns out it’s all down to the Americans making biscuits wrong right from the off. When they realised that their versions of biscuits weren’t actually all that nice they had to try again. But they couldn’t call them biscuits, they’d already screwed that up and so the cookie was born.

I am going to claim right, here right now, as a self appointed biscuit expert, that cookies are just big biscuits. Yeah Maryland, you’re not cookies, you’re just biscuits, or by my logic only small cookies, which are called biscuits. So says I. And I reckon I’m right. Right?

Enough of this high-brow biscuit existentialism! To the point!

I have recently got into the terrible habit of buying Sainsbury’s white chocolate & raspberry cookies. Casting my eye over biscuit shelves across the land I must conclude that these are possibly the most unhealthy biscuit items ever. Basically a wonderful combination of soft cookie dough, annihilated raspberries (to ensure no goodness remains) and great globs of white chocolate (the only kind of chocolate that doesn’t actually have any chocolate in it!).

Fig 1. These are they. Bloody gorgeous!

If you could describe any food stuff as being comfortable, it would be these cookies. They are so delightfully soft that I just want to get loads of them and make a cookie bed. I would sleep and nibble in equal quantities. I would be a slothful glutton and a fantastic genius to boot. I would start a church of cookie and biscuit disciples will worship at the altar of the little round baked consumables. I of course would never attend and maintain that wonderful air of mystery, and besides by that point I will need to be crane-lifted out of my cookie bed and you’ll see me on the next series of Britain’s Biggest Loser.

And on a side note, they come in packs of four. Which means you have to eat all four. Preferably one after the other in a violent and rather unpleasant scoffing action.

Thursday, February 17

The Pasta Papers: II

I would eat pasta every day twice a day for the rest of my life. You know, if I had to. I’m not Stanley Kubrick. Or whoever that director was who ate one dish every single meal until he was sick of it and then switched to another. My memory is failing me and so is the Internet, but I could swear I read it in the New Yorker. So if someone wants to read every issue from about 1996 to 2001 to check, I’d be very grateful.


Here is another pasta dish I ate about four months ago but I’d eat it again right this second if the farmers’ market was in town, even though I just had two enormous bowls of pasta and am feeling a bit sick:

Where the heck did those place mats go? It’s like I’m on safari! In my house! Also there are mushrooms.

But not here! Because I ate them all!

So. Insanely. Good.

I really can’t remember what I did, since I just discovered that I ate this meal in September. But I probably sliced some garlic and sautéed it in some olive oil and then chucked in the sliced mushrooms until they were nice and done and then BAM! fresh parsley and lots of black pepper and parmesan. So good.

Sunday, February 6

The Eggpire Strikes Back!

It happened again. This time I've gone for little tiny quail's eggs, and I lovingly gave each little guy an eggy bath before he was coated in bread crumbs. It made for a crumbier, crunchier, yummier egg all round. There was still some assistance, this time from my mum, as well as time for meat goggles and another losing attempt from Emmett to gain some Scotch goodness. In your face, dogman!

Saturday, January 29

The Triumphant Return of Quality Meats

On the third of December 2010, I left a butcher's shop with tears in my eyes. This is not a normal occurrence. Having lived in the Bedminster area of Bristol for a number of years, I'd long been a fan of North Street's finest butchers, named for its owner, Bob Wherlock. Quality meats, excellent service, reasonable prices, this was the place to buy your bacon. And then something bad happened.
Bob was retiring. Frank was going too. Fortunately, Ken planned to stay on and help the new owners settle in. At least there would be new owners. The mantle was being passed on, a sad thing, but also a sign that everything was safe. Top notch pork pies could still be had. And bacon. And black pudding by slice. And then something terrible happened.
The deal had fallen through. The handover was due to happen on Saturday the fourth of December, but somehow, on the evening of Thursday the second, the deal had gone sour. One of the new guys was pulling out. The feast was over. I went in that Friday unawares, hoping to buy something for lunch, maybe meet the new guys. After a brief chat with Ken, I came out with as much meat as I could carry, and a damp cheek. And I wasn't the only one. By close of play the next day, the butchers had received dozens upon dozens of cards, gifts, and good wishes from literally hundreds of saddened shoppers. 
Christmas deposits were refunded, the shop was cleaned out, the shutters went down.
And then a great thing happened.
All of a sudden, in late January, a small sign went up. Re-opening soon! Then another appeared. re-opening Thursday 27th January! Oh happy day!! Oh dreadful job! I had to wait until today, Saturday, two whole days after it's rebirth before I could get down there and witness it for myself. And thank the lord it was all true. There I was, 8:30 Saturday morning, back in the queue, only to be served by Bob himself, helping out for a spell while the new guys find their feet. And it seems like they're gonna do just fine. Eager, friendly, funny, and with the same great products available, they're gonna fit right in.

In celebration of their return, I treated myself to a slightly comical amount of food. But as an example, have a peek at this picture perfect porterhouse steak, purchased this morning, eaten this lunchtime, together with the note explaining my strange early morning absence.

Sirloin steak, rare, onion rings, fat bread and butter,  fresh made Coleman's English mustard.