Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Negozio Classica

154 Regents Park Road,
Primrose Hill,

W and I needed to find a place for an early dinner and this is one of her favorite Italian spots in her neighborhood, so off we went. Aside from snacking on some fabulous Parmesan (which, by the way, is one of my new favorite cheeses to eat on its own - I keep forgetting how good it is, NOT grated onto things), I had this amazing bundle of food, wrapped up in thin slices of courgette. Since there is no online menu I can't find out what exactly it was I ordered. Apologies for my lack of memory and for the hideous picture above, all I can say is that it was so tasty that I couldn't resist blogging it anyway.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Little Georgia

14 Barnsbury Road
N1 0HB

P and I went to the Estorick Collection, an museum that specialises in modern Italian art, and I was surprised by how much I liked some of the etchings of Giorgio Morandi. But looking at art always makes me hungry, so luckily we had planned to go to Little Georgia for dinner afterwards. A met us there so we were able to share more food - and we proceeded to get a small meze platter (consisting of those amazingly colorful piles of salad above) which comes with the most amazing cheese-stuffed bread (khachapuri?), and some blini stuffed with pork and cheese to start. Other people have raved about the unusual flavors of Georgian food and the freshness of all the herbs used in the cooking, and I will just say that I concur. I could have just the meze and blini for dinner, I think, and skip all the mains. Of course, when P and A and I eat together, we never skip mains, so there was also a beef stew, a garlic chicken stew and some lamb kebabs, all of which were nice, but just not as nice as the starters. P's already been back, and I'm sure I will be there again soon, stuffing my face full of the loveliest salads ever.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Chocolate Birthday Cake

So I got a cookbook for my birthday at work a couple of years ago - the GoodFood cookbook, to be precise. When it came time for my coworker's birthday, I thought it would be a nice touch to make a cake from the book. But little did I know that my baking skills were not quite up to the level required. This cake is a bastardization of the chocolate curl cake in the book - there was absolutely no way I was going to be trimming the cake with chocolate curls and stripes - so what I ended up with was the messy cake above (but it still tasted pretty nice, though it could have been more moist...)

Chocolate Birthday Cake
Adapted from the chocolate curl cake recipe in the GoodFood cookbook


For the cake:
200g self-raising flour
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
200g caster sugar
200g butter, softened
4 eggs
1 tbsp milk
6 tbsp apricot jam, warmed (I used strawberry as it was what I had on hand)
Sprinkles or whatever else you want to decorate with

For the chocolate cream:
150g bar dark chocolate
142ml tub double cream


1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan. Grease a deep  round 20 cm cake tin. Beat the flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar, butter and eggs together until everything is mixed, then stir in the milk.

2. Spoon into the tin, level the top, then bake for 45-50 minutes. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.

3. Split the cake in half and sandwich back together with half the jam. Brush the tops and sides with the remaining jam.

4. For the chocolate cream, break up the chocolate. Bring the cream almost to the boil, then, off the heat, stir in the chocolate until smooth. Cool until spreadable, then spread over the top and sides of the cake. Add sprinkles or decorations if using.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Apero @ the Ampersand Hotel

10 Harrington Rd

P & N and I met Lady E at her hotel in South Kensington, the Ampersand. Inside is a restaurant called Apero, which does a surprisingly reasonable dinner menu of small plates. There must have been something on their menu involving salmon roe as that is clearly what I had in the picture above - alas it is not on their website. I also had a dish called English guinea fowl, mushrooms, bacon and sherry, which came in an adorable little copper pot and was so much fun to eat (says the girl who loves nothing more than to demolish small birds). Of the other things ordered, one of my favorites was the Burrata & beetroot, olive oil crisp bread - it was so generous and creamy and fun to share. While I wouldn't go out of my way to get back to Apero, it will certainly be on my list of places in South Kensington - you could do far worse and feel far more robbed than coming for a meal here.