Dumpling Feast at the Chinese Food Festival

Considering the enchanting weather we’ve been blessed with lately, with threatening cloudy skies garanteeing the wonderful alternance of pouring rain and roasting hot sunshine, you’ll have to come up with a pretty good excuse to convince to get out of the house.

Hint – Chinese food is an excellent one.

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

Which is how last weekend, I found myself by the River at the Chinese Food Festival, sampling all the goodies from London’s best Chinese food stalls and restaurants.

Obviously, there were noodles…

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + WhiskyDumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

Steamed buns.

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

Stir fry.

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + WhiskyDumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

And my favourite – dumplings.

And not just any dumplings – Ugly Dumpling!

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

Judging by the queues, I’m not the only one smitten with them!

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

I popped by the Lee Kum Kee stand to grab the best dim sum dipping sauce

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

… and commandeered a table to enjoy my loot with the most amazing views!

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

Foodies could also get an introduction to the basics of Chinese cuisine courtesy of the School of Wok and learn how to make a very simple Szechuan chicken stir fry – perfect for those rushed midweek dinners!

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + WhiskyDumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

And of course, all the secrets to dumplings folding!

Not that there’s much of a secret – seeing it done is helpful, but in the end, is all about practice.

Dumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + WhiskyDumpling Feast at London's Chinese Food Festival • Cake + Whisky

… which I definitely need more of.

Not that it’s really a problem as more dumpling folding means more dumpling eating – totally fine by me!

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Dumpling Feast at the Chinese Food Festival

Where to celebrate Bastille Day in London

Allons enfants de la patriiiiiiiiiiiie, le jour de gloire est (presque) arri-vĂŠ!

And by ‘jour de gloire’, I obviously mean Bastille Day, the most French of all days. 

It’s understandably less of a grand affaire this side of the Channel, but there still are a few special events happening in London so you can eat your fill of croissant and oh-la-la to your heart’s content!

Bastille Festival at the Borough Market

Bastille Day London - Bastille Festival at the Borough Market

The recently-reopened Market will be full of joie de vivre as, for the 10th year running, the venue is hosting a free festival to celebrate the fabulous fête nationale, along with Better Bankside and Français Du Monde.

Expect all sorts of French delicacies. There will be red, white and blue macarons, crepes and croissants of course, but also traditional waiter’s races, bi-lingual storytelling, Parisian folk music, and petanque playing.

There will also be a special, French themed free demo with Luke Robinson, who will re-work french classics in his own contemporary style.

All you need for a dÊlicieux day!

Terrace BBQ à la Française at Bon Vivant

Bastille Day London - Bon Vivant's BBQ

Fresh fish, burgers and pork chops will be given Bon Vivant’s signature French twist, with classic crème brulée and cherry clafoutis for dessert. Plus, those who come dressed in their best Breton stripes will receive a complimentary glass of rosé. Vive la révolution!

Book here

Bastille Day at Brasserie ZĂŠdel

Bastille Day London - Bastille Day at Brasserie ZĂŠdel

This year again, Brasserie ZÊdel is having a Bastille Day bonanza on July 14th. From 5.30pm onwards, diners showing up in a stripy blue & white Breton top and a beret will enjoy a complimentary three-course menu with wine and coffee.

Moustache optional but highly recommended!

T&C & more info here

PAUL’s croissant giveaway

Bastille Day London - Paul's Croissant Giveaway

French family-run artisan bakery PAUL is offering free freshly-baked croissants at all PAUL bakeries for customers wearing blue and white stripes who declare ‘Bonjour PAUL’ at the till (takeaway only).

Those who dine in Le Restaurant de PAUL Covent Garden or Le Restaurant de PAUL Tower 42 will receive a complimentary glass of bubbly and box of six irresistible mini macaroons when dining from the a la carte.

More information & bookings here

Pastis cocktails at La Poule au Pot

Come celebrate Bastille Day at La Poule au Pot in the utmost French way, with a glass of pastis!

On July 14th, the Belgravia restaurant will be serving creative twists on the popular anise-flavoured spirit and aperitif, such as the Perroquet with mint syrup.

A lot of my favourite regional French dishes, such Rabbit with mustard sauce, Coq au vin and Bouillabaisse also all feature on the menu!

T&C & more info here

Where to celebrate Bastille Day in London

A Taste of Summer – The perfect G&T

When life gives you Summer, you better have G&Ts at the ready!

Introduced by the army of the British East India Company in India, Gin & Tonic is the perfect drink for when the weather’s hot and the sun is shining.

A Taste of Summer • Pink Gin and Tonic • Cake + Whisky

Zesty, refreshing and -most importantly- super easy to make, which is just as well, because in that heat, the least there is between you and a cold drink, the better.

A Taste of Summer • Pink Gin and Tonic • Cake + Whisky A Taste of Summer • Pink Gin and Tonic • Cake + Whisky

G&Ts are the ultimate no-sweat cocktail -1 part gin to 3 parts tonic (better measure to taste), with a squeeze of lime for good measure (and extra freshness).

A Taste of Summer • Pink Gin and Tonic • Cake + Whisky

It’s the perfect drink to make for one or a crowd – just make it in a pitcher, pour over ice and go wild with the garnishes.

A Taste of Summer • Pink Gin and Tonic • Cake + Whisky

From the classic citrus twists and wedges, to delicate edible flowers, cucumber ribbons ‘a la Hendrick’s’, fresh herbs a little sprinkle of cracked black pepper…

That’s where the magic of the humble G&T truly is – it’s so simple, yet there are so many possibilities.

A Taste of Summer • Pink Gin and Tonic • Cake + Whisky

That said, I can’t ima-gin any better version than the pink gin and tonic below!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:13]

Want to brush up on your botanicals? Besides its limited-edition Taste of Summer cocktail menu (including the above Pink Gin and Tonic recipe under the lovely name of ‘Lavender Vida Loca’) , Drake & Morgan is offering a series of complimentary mixology masterclasses at selected bars & restaurants across London.

The ultimate chance to learn the tricks of the trade whilst sipping on classic and contemporary creations!

Masterclasses will run from 6-8pm according to the following calendar:
31st May – The Happenstance – Ocho Tequila with Jesse Estes
7th June – C&B devonshire Terrace – Gobernador Pisco with Chris Dennis
14th June – The Otherist – QuiQuiRiQui Mescal with Melanie Symonds
21st June – C&B Lime Street – Gin Mare with Sarah Moorhead
28th June – The Refinery CityPoint – Capucana Cachaca with Tom Blay
5th July – The Happennstance – Ocho Tequila & QuiQuiRiQui Mescal with Tom Blay
19th July – C&B Devonshire Terrace – Campari with Joseph St Clair Ford

To book your place, please email stuart.cambell@drake-morgan.co.uk & let the good time be-gin!

A Taste of Summer – The perfect G&T

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry

There’s no better feelling than that of discovering a new favourite place when you weren’t looking for it. You’re walking down a road you’ve walked down a thousand times before, and then you noticed it. It looks nice and welcoming, so you push the door and get in.

And before you know it, you end up at that very place 3 nights a week, or more if you happen to have visitors/good excuses.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

I have a feeling that’s what’s going to happen with me and The Vestry.

Previously a vestry within St. Sepulchre’s Parish, The Vestry is a new wave wine bar a stone’s throw away from Smithfield Market. And basically the perfect local.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

It’s big enough so there’s always a table available for you but intimate enough to feel a bit like home. It’s beautifully decorated, with plenty of dark wood and charming retro touches. The staff is adorable. The drinks selection is on point. And so is the local-focused, seasonally-led menu.

And as if that wasn’t enough, The Vestry also hosts regular food & drink sampling evenings and masterclasses where you can meet their favourite suppliers.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

Given that whiskey is one of my not-so-secret weaknesses (the clue’s in the name, really!), I simply had to make it to the Hudson Whiskey tasting, hosted by global brand ambassador Tony Vanaria.

From the wish to create a climbing ranch to opening New York state’s first post-Prohibition distillery via many a creative production techniques (including the fantastic ‘Sonic maturation’), Hudson Whiskey’s history is just fascinating.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

One of the pioneer of the craft American whiskey wave, the brand takes pride in their rather unconventional roots, sourcing the best local ingredient and trial-and-error-ing their way to make the best whiskey.

And they’ve done rather well for themselves.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

It all started with Hudson’s Baby Bourbon, the first New York-aged whiskey since Prohibition – and New York’s first bourbon ever. Made with 100% Empire State corn, it’s a Bourbon in all its glory. Sweet, woody, smoky, with mellow notes of vanilla and caramel.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

Just the ticket for a state-of-the-art Old Fashioned!

Big Apple Cocoktail with Hudson Whiskey | Cake + Whisky

Delightful also in a Hudson Big Apple cocktail. Super easy to make too: in a tall glass, pour 35ml of Hudson’s Baby Bourbon over ice. Top with cloudy apple juice and a few dashes of orange bitters. Garnish with an apple slice and voilĂ !

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

If you’re more of a Manhattan or a Sazerac kind of person, Hudson’s rustic and spicy Manhattan Rye will be right down your alley. This was my favourite and I can’t wait for my next trip to Gerry’s to add one of the brand’s adorable little bottles to my spirit collection!

There’s also a blended Bourbon, made using a unique four grain blend, and a few special blends making the most of some ‘happy accidents’.

Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry | Cake + Whisky

If you’re not sure which one’s for you, I recommend you make a beeline for your local Young’s pub and try them all. Or better yet, go to The Vestry. And if you spot me in a corner acting as if I’d always lived there, come say hi!

A great local, a great drink & a new friend… doesn’t that sound neat?!

The Vestry, 117 Charterhouse St, London EC1M 6AA
Hudson Whiskey Tasting at The Vestry

‘Eat Like A Brit’ quiz night at Roast restaurant

Anyone that has ever met me will tell you: I can speak about food for hours. Days. Probably even more.

So when Hotjoint invited me* to battle out in an evening of fierce food quizing alongside some of London’s greatest food minds, I simply couldn’t say no.

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Coined “Eat Like a Brit”, this evening of drinking, eating and tougher than you’d think culinary questions was held at British restaurant Roast.

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Famous for its British-focused, refined cuisine and incredible views over the Borough Market, it’s hard to imagine a venue more suited for a night of mind-fencing and foodie-friend making!

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by this all-nose-no-tail (yet rather charming) chap!

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

And wine.

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky 'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Loads and loads of wine!

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

After greating a few known faces, being introduced to as many friendly new ones and a healthy dose of animated chatter (‘where have you been eating lately?‘ ‘oh, was that good?‘… You know how it goes!), it was time for us all to check if we knew our Stilton from our Stichelton & our teacakes from our crumpets!

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

But then again, with the bribe of amazing British-ingredient-led canapĂŠs coming alongside each question, getting us started really wasn’t too hard!

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

There was Rare roast beef, horseradish cream and beer pickles

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Queenie scallops in shell with braised ox cheek and carrot mustard (this one was my fave, and not only because I knew which UK island is famous for its scallops!).

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

We wandered around the Beef Carpaccio with beetroot and mustard seed yogurt for a while, pondering what ‘beeturia’ was (and secretly hoping we could get our hands on seconds of the canapĂŠs!)

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

Before moving onto Feta & Olive skewers with cucumber and mint

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

And finish of beautifully with Bread from BreadAhead Bakery and School.

There was also some Neals Yard cheese and mini pudding, but well…

'Eat Like a Brit' quiz night | Cake + Whisky

… my interest was clerly somewhere else!

And by that, I totally mean wondering where the ‘Rhubarb triangle’ was (as well as debating where in London to find the best Mexican food).

In the end, my team didn’t win, but we all went home with plenty of food trivia to wow our friends with. And -more importantly- a few new friends that will actually want to listen/share your dedication and queue for a long while for a plate of Padella‘s pasta!

Want to join the fun next time? All you have to do is email Hotjoint info@hotjoint.co.uk and tell them to keep you in the loop!

*I attended the ‘Eat Like A Brit’ quiz night as a guest of HotJoint but all words, pictures and unconditional love for sourdough my own.

‘Eat Like A Brit’ quiz night at Roast restaurant

Christmas Dinner in an hour – Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

The countdown to Christmas has -almost- officially begun! Only 25 days to go!

Which means it’s about time to get organised so you don’t run around like a headless chicken trying to hit the stores in quest of the perfect present / the necessary bits to cook up a worthy feast, plus getting it all wrapped, cooked and appropriately festive a few hours before the whole family rings the door bell.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

I’ve been there and I wouldn’t even wish that on my worst enemy.

Luckily, this year, I’ve had a bit of help from the expert es Super-Duper-Organised-Christmas, Katherine Frelon, whose Hall of festive fame includes a detailed plan on how to cook Christmas dinner in an hour.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

And while I’m still working on the one-hour-feast, I’m already well under way when it comes to edible presents, thanks to a little push from Mrs. Frelon herself and the kind folks at the Borough Market who recently invited me over for a little preview of Katherine’s demo sessions.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

We drank mulled cider, nibbled on festive treats (read: all the dried/candied fruit that were really meant to go into making said treats) & got a headstart on making all sorts of edible treats to be enjoyed by your nearest and dearest.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

First things first: the secret to Katherine’s mulled cider.

Because you’re definitely going to need some hot, liquid form of encouragement to get through the mountains of organisation and prep any Christmas feast requires.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

The one and only secret is home-made ‘Christmas spiced fruit bombs’. Aka mixed fruit and spices, wrapped up in tea bags and infused into your choice of hot drink for an instant festive hit!

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Christmas spiced fruit bombs (makes 24):

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, thinly pared without pith
  • 1 orange, thinly pared without pith
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 10g cloves
  • 20g crystallised ginger, crushed
  • 1 nutmeg, smashed into pieces
  • 10 juniper berries, smashed with the back of a heavy knife
  • 80g dried blueberries
  • 75g dried cranberries
  • 80g dehydrated strawberry or raspberry flakes
  • 24 x 10cm squares of muslin
  • Undyed cotton string

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

1. Place the citrus peel on a lined baking sheet and leave in the oven set at 60C-80C until the peel has dehydrated, but not coloured, so at least 60 minutes or more depending on the moisture of the peel.  Alternatively leave the peel overnight in a warm airing cupboard or by the Aga if you have one.

2. When the peel is cool chop it into small pieces and add to a bowl with all the other ingredients. Stir to combine well.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

3. To make the bags place approximately ½tsp of the fruit spice in the centre of each piece of muslin, gather up the corners and then twist and tie up each bundle securely with string. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

4. To make a serving, place one bag in a mug and pour over boiling water (or use boiling apple juice / cranberry juice / red wine / cider…) and leave to steep for 5 mins, then remove the bag.

To make a big batch, place one bag of mulling spice in a heavy bottomed saucepan with 2l of your choice of liquid, place on the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Remove the bag and serve the cider in heatproof glasses or mugs.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Next up, an absolute festive must-have in the form of a gorgeous Crimson Christmas Chutney.

Sweet and sour, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful cheese plate. Presented in Kilner jars decorated with pretty ribbons and handmade labels, it also makes for a great gift.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Crimson Christmas chutney (makes 1.5kg)

Ingredients: 

  • 1.2kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 700g cranberries
  • 400g soft dates, stoned and chopped
  • 4 clementines, zest and juice
  • 500g soft brown sugar
  • 2tsp ginger, peeled and grated
  • 30ml ruby red port or cherry brandy
  • 3 cloves
  • 7cm piece cassia bark
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 10g flaked sea salt

1. Place all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer for approximately 60 minutes, until all the ingredients are soft.

2. Bottle in sterilised jars, seal and ideally leave to mature for a few weeks.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Last but not least: CHOCOLATE! Because what’s even the point of Christmas if not as the number one excuse to have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, eh?

Katherine’s jewelled Borough bark is super simple treat to make and the ultimate oh-gosh-I-have-no-present-for-[add the name of any last minute guest here] present.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Just melt, stir and swirl to achieve a dramatic edible gift for friends and family. Plus you get to lick the spoons, so it’s definitely a winner!

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Jewelled Borough bark (makes approx. 600g)

Ingredients:

  • 250g good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 350g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 150g Turkish delight, chopped into small dice
  • 40g green unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

1. Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. Remove from the heat and repeat the process with the dark chocolate.

 

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

2. Spread the dark chocolate onto a lined baking sheet to a thickness of 5mm.  Drop spoonfuls of white chocolate on top, and swirl the chocolates together with a skewer to make patterns.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

 

3. While the chocolate is still molten sprinkle over the pistachios and Turkish delight and lightly press into the chocolate so they set firm. Chill until set, approximately 60 minutes.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

You can also jazz up the bark with your favourite dried or candied fruits, nuts, coffee beans or even liquorice if you dare.  Or try some heat and spice with crystalised ginger, chilli flakes and crushed cardamom.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

To package as gifts break the bark into large pieces and wrap in parchment paper with a pretty ribbon, fill a glass jar or a clear bags, or place in a pretty box and wrap with tissue paper.

Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Want to get a piece of the – Christmas prep – action?

Katherine will be in residence in the Borough Market Demo Kitchen (in the glass market hall) throughout December showing the shortcuts to the most amazing Christmas meal without spending days in the kitchen.

Throughout her demo sessions, Katherine will be focusing on the following topics, so make sure you come down to the Borough Market for tones of festive tips, a little nibble (and maybe a headstart on the grocery shopping too, ’tis the best place for it after all!) on the following dates:

1st December – 12.30-2pm – Edible Gifts.
8th December – 12.30-2pm – It’s all in the planning.
15th December – 12.30-2pm – The final countdown: 60 minutes in the kitchen on Christmas Day.

*All Borough Market demo kitchen sessions are free for all to attend. I was invited by the Borough Market to attend a preview of Katherine’s demo sessions, but all pictures, words, opinions & love for that iconic foodie spot, its legendary traders & tendancies to compulsively eat any fruit/nut/candy I can get my hands on my own.

Christmas Dinner in an hour – Katherine Frelon Christmas residency at the Borough Market

Market Porter Supperclub

A few months ago, I made the decision to make the difficult step to step away from supermarkets and find alternative solutions when it comes to buying food.

I wanted better ethics, better quality, and most importantly, I wanted to stop giving my money to corporations and instead, support local, independant people dedicating their life to improving the way food is produced and sold in the UK.

Market Porter Supperclub

“When we started Market Porter, we did it because the stuff we were buying in the supermarkets just wasn’t cutting it. We knew that there were people out there who were doing it better. People from across the UK who’ve made it their life’s work to care and get a kick from producing food that is so much better than just edible. People who deserve to get their produce into the hands of the wider British public.”

Needless to say, Market Porter’s moto resonates pretty strongly with me.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

You can take my words for it. Market Porter carefully selected produce is as good as it sounds.

But then again, you don’t have to.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Instead, you could let pictures of a recent dinner I attended do the talking…

Market Porter Supperclub

For their first-ever supperclub event, Market Porter teamed up with Young British Foodies 2015 Chef of the Year, Adam Rawson, for an unforgettable 7-course tasting menu, showcasing meat, cheese, charcuterie and chocolate from independent producers across the UK.

Market Porter Supperclub

The lovely Table CafĂŠ restaurant, a champion in its own right when it comes to commitment to impeccable sourcing and quality British ingredients made for the perfect settings for the great British wonders to come…

Market Porter Supperclubmarket-porter-supperclub-16

Starting with a few super-local cocktails highlighting the complexity and versatility of Jensen’s Old Tom Gin, a beautiful spirit brewed in small batches using only traditional gin botanicals based on recipes from the 1840s.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Paired beautifully with Square Root fantastic soda range.

market-porter-supperclub-18Market Porter Supperclubmarket-porter-supperclub-19

All mixed expertly in front of an eager crowd, with results definitily going way beyond expectations!

Market Porter Supperclub

The London Collins (Jensen’s Old Tom, bitters, Meyer lemon soda).

The perfect balance between sweet and tart, and one that will steal any fresh, citrusy cocktail lover’s heart.

Market Porter Supperclub

The Britain’s Finest (Jensen’s Old Tom, Cocchi di Torino, Maraschino, orange bitters) was a bit more unexpected and possibly even better.

Market Porter Supperclub

Basically a gin cocktail masquerading as a whisky drink and doing so well at it it’d steal a great scotch’s thunder any day.

Market Porter Supperclub

Meanwhile in the (open) kitchen, Chef Rawson’s team were busy chopping, roasting, baking and making the most of Market Porter’s incredible offering.

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Starting with a beautiful dish of Soft Highland Brie (from Highland Fine Cheeses) with oats, smoked russet apple and nasturtium.

Market Porter Supperclub

Now, as you already know, I’m the worse French person ever and I don’t actually eat cheese, but I took it upon myself to at least try this beauty (tough job eh?).

Market Porter Supperclub

And you know what? I LOVED IT!!

I was so subtle, and very un-brie like. Sweet and comforting, with every ingredient (crunchy, tart apple cubes, piquant nasturtium leaves, super textural oat granola and a caramelized apple puree so good I could eat bowlfuls of it at a time) bringing something to the table to make this simingly simple dish so much more than the sum of its elements.

Market Porter Supperclub

The next dish was the one I most had my eyes on: Pork cheeks (from Lakehaven Farm) with chervil root, shallot and watercress.

Market Porter Supperclub

A cheap, often under-estimated cut of meat that can proove so rewarding when cooked right.

Market Porter Supperclub

Which is just what Chef Rawson’s team did and it was love at first bite for me & absolutely everyone at the table.

The meat was super tender and juicy, yet there was a freshness to it I really didn’t expect from that dish.

Quite a brilliant surprise & a great reminder that underrated cuts are definitely worth a second look.

Market Porter Supperclub

Dorset air-dried beef (from Capreolus Fine Foods) with potato, rosemary and enoki mushroom.

Not quite as much of a crowd-pleaser than the previous dish, but possibly the most interesting one on the menu.

Market Porter Supperclub

Charcuterie is a difficult, demanding ingredient to work with as it’s so strong in flavour and tends to overpower any other produce it’s forced to share the plate with.

Pairing it with dashi & mushroom, which have similar, deeply umami flavours to that of cured beef, accentuated those notes, making the whole thing a challenging, yet fascinated dish.

Market Porter Supperclub

Roast chicken (from Merrifield Farm) with leek, Cornish blue (from Cornish Cheese Co) and tempura eel.

Market Porter Supperclub

Not my favourite dish (the blue cheese was very subtle, but I’m still not the biggest fan of the slightly flour-y texture).

The eel tempura was fantastic though, a bit like super fancy, complex-tasting chips. Simply divine.

Market Porter Supperclub

The last savoury dish, Gammon (from Lakehaven Farm) with egg, pineapple and chips, was highly anticipated, if only because unlike the rest of the menu, everyone sort of knew what to expect.

Market Porter Supperclub

Or at least, we all thought we did.

But of course, it wasn’t quite what anyone expected…

Market Porter Supperclub

Thick, salty gammon, crispy matchstick fries, rich orange egg yolk, chargrilled pineapple & HP brown sauce, it was all there in the plate, yet it couldn’t have tasted more different from the pub classic.

A refined, adult take on a childhood favourite and the ultimate nostalgia dish!

Market Porter Supperclub

The thin borders between sweet and savoury were further explored with the next dish, an ode to Ocelot‘s incredible Hebridean sea salt chocolate.

(seriously guys, if you’re into Lindt’s sea salt chocolate, get your hand of this one IMMEDIATELY, it’s THE BOMB!!)

Market Porter SupperclubMarket Porter Supperclub

Much like the chocolate itself, the cookie & cream-inspired dessert, featuring a vibrant chocolate custard with cookie & cocoa nib crumbs and milk sauce, was deeply salty and savoury.

An absolute triumph if you ask me.

Market Porter Supperclub

Last but not least, alittle play on the iconic Custard Cream biscuit, served with a ganache mixing custard cream filling with Creighton’s white chocolate and balanced with tart preserved orange bits.

The ultimate indulgence to finish of a beautiful meal championing British finest ingredients.

Market Porter Supperclub

Sadly the pop-up was a very, very short affair (only two days with tickets selling like hotcakes), but a little birdie told me that there might be more coming up in the future, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

And in the meantime, I strongly encourage you to treat yourself to a bar of that fantastic sea salt chocolate & a few more things from Market Porter incredible selection of amazing goodies from local, independant producers.

Meat, cheese, charcuterie, chocolate (and even a few Christmas goodies), they have it all and from what I tasted, I can voutch it’s all top notch quality and taste, right to the last morsel.

25/05/2017 edit – Market Porter has had a bit of a makeover and are now Heartier. They’re still the same friendly Market Porter bods, only better & heartier!

Market Porter Supperclub