Ognisko Polskie – The Polish Hearth Club

Champagne vodka cocktails

Champagne vodka cocktails

Being ushered in through the Georgian townhouse doorway of the Polish Hearth Club feels a bit like joining an intellectual’s literary soiree in mid-19th century Warsaw. I felt bereft without a cossack hat and furs as we entered on a cold December night, but the warmth within fully made up for it, as we were greeted by a towering, glittering Christmas tree and a fireplace sideboard for a reception desk. Continue reading

Galeto, Brazilian street food in Soho

Caipirinhas - classic and with acaiOn a once rather drab corner opposite the Crown and 2 Chairmen pub on Soho’s Dean Street, where straw-covered Chianti bottle two-bit spaghetti house Il Siciliano used to sit, is now a rainbow riot of colour in the form of Galeto.  A shiny new and ultra-eager ‘Brazilian Street Food’ joint, Galeto is named for the famous “little chicken” – its signature dish, a classic from the favela food stalls imported by the Portuguese to Brazil in the 70s according to the appropriately street-foody, recycled, brown paper menu. The offering is simple, the menu tiny, the staff all smiles and Latin flourishy friendliness. Continue reading

Cervejaria Ramiro – Lisbon, Portugal

crabs

Get crabs in Lisbon. Yep – it’s an oldie but a goodie!

On a recent 48-hour jaunt to a wedding in Lisbon, I was finally able to indulge in the sheer joy of visiting a seafood zenith made (slightly more) famous by the notorious Anthony Bourdain, my kind of Chef. Cervejaria Ramiro – thronging with well to do Lisbonites on 3-hour, proper lunch breaks – is a place where Lobsert is king, his minions are prawns the length of a small baby and angels are oysters and spider crabs stacked to the ceiling. Continue reading

RIAD FARNATCHI – GOURMET OASIS IN MARRAKECH’S MEDINA

ImageYou’d be hard-pressed to beat a first night in Marrakech with dinner at Riad Farnatchi. As an introduction to the Riad lifestyle in general – these private Moroccan palaces converted to guest-houses, of which the city boasts over a thousand – Riad Farnatchi compels the senses with a full-blown whammy of exotic plushness. As per my request, the Chef also didn’t hold back with an assault on our taste-buds of Marrakchi classics, liberal with the spicing and rich on the best bits of the animals…

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Caxton Bar & Grill at St Ermin’s Hotel

ImageThis is one of those “London is full of surprises” moments. In the relatively subdued and in-betweeny neighbourhood of St. James’s Park, which on this particular Saturday was prey to a marching black and white army of anti-Badger Cullers, sits the shiny newly refursbished, very smart and elegant St Ermin’s Hotel – once a notorious meeting place of secret agents and spies, now the third aquisition by Marriot’s “Autograph Collection” of independent, upscale hotels. James Bond meets interior design – my kind of den, really. And within this dazzling den, quietly ticking away, is the absolutely delightful Caxton Bar and Grill.

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Koffman’s at The Berkeley

Koffman's at The Berkeley

Koffman’s at The Berkeley

Dining at Koffman’s is a bit like eating in the ante-chamber of a giant billiards room in a London gent’s townhouse (because I’d know all about that, you see). The edgy feeling that behind one of the doors, is a bustling, incredibly fun dining establishment bursting with vim, vigour and gluttonous diners throwing claret down their gullets by the carafe-load. Continue reading

Weekend in Food – April 19 2013

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Strozzapreti with Sicilian prawns and butternut squash – Cucina Asellina

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