I'm thrilled to be on the panel of expert judges for the East Anglian Daily Times Suffolk Food and Drink Awards. Every year the judging gets harder with the quality and range of food and drink produced in Suffolk being ever more impressive. Keep an eye on #SAFA website for the categories. In the meantime if you fancy being a category sponsor let us know.
Took dad for a drive to see his favourite east coast fisherman - Dean Fryer - one of Rick Steins food heroes. All fishermen are heroes in our minds - up at 2am seven days a week in good weather, with no guarantee of any income. We bought sea bass, rock eel, a lobster and some small dover sole. Within twelve hours of being caught the sea bass were on the barbecue.
We were introduced to this gorgeous Venezualan Diplomatico rum at Victualler in Wapping. Well worth a visit if you like organic, biodynamic, raw and natural wines. A lovely enthusiastic owner who is happy to share his knowledge too!
Cameron ate a hot dog with a knife and fork, there was that famous bacon sandwich incident and now we are coming out of Europe what can we look forward to in the food-meets-politics scene? I'm off to Lidl before they run out of stock...
As I was so well behaved at the opening night of Giggling Squid I was invited back to review dinner. I took Scarlett who has been to Thailand, travelling extensively and returning with tales of delicious food. Bury St Edmunds folk are always very good at supporting new restaurants and four weeks on from opening it was packed on a Thursday night. It got a big thumbs up from both of us both for food, service and atmosphere. We sat at the back of the restaurant by the bookshelves which are full of second hand books so between courses we got stuck in to a little reading...
- Caramelised Mango Cake £4.95
- Moo Ping £6.50
- Seafood Streetfood £7.50
- Mint and Lychee Sorbet £4.95
- Squid Gra Pao £14.50
- Tamarind Duck £14.50
Critically acclaimed Moro has little sisters and now we have one of them - Morito - living at the end of our road. With Brawn at the other end of the road I have hit the foodie jackpot for restaurants moving to this area of London, although at suffolkfoodie we rarely have deep enough pockets to go there more than once. Give me the pie and mash shops for dedication to service (about a hundred years of it) and value (still £3.50 for a home made lunch) But award-winning Moorish cuisine, rooted in Spanish and North African influences is hard to ignore, and the owners of Moro - Sam and Sam Clark - were locals once, they lived in the area too. So we booked our table, starting with three glasses of sherry (not each - there were three of us) advised by a waitress from Jerez, and quickly into a starter of dakos - a salad of tomatoes and soaked rye bread with fresh cheese, olives and anchovies. We then went through the tapas: octopus with fava puree, a succulent turbot steak with sherry vinegar and paprika, salt cod with purple potatoes, rabbit deep fried to a dry crunch with rosemary and moscatel vinegar, labneh with chillies and broad beans, and beetroot sweet herb borani with walnuts. It's all about the fresh quality ingredients and the interesting flavours here. The dessert we shared was filo pastry with gum mastic labneh and rhubarb. All of this and a glass of wine each amounted to £40 a head including service. I think we can afford to go back.
- beetroot, sweet herb borani and walnuts £6
- labneh, chillies and broad beans £7
- chicarrones - crispy pork belly £7.5
- dessert - filo, gum mastic labneh and rhubarb £7
- starter - dakos, fresh cheese, olives and anchovies £6.5
- salt cod, purple potato, quail egg and alioli £12
- the salt and spices on the table when we arrived
- turbot, sherry vinegar and paprika
My kind of festival with an inflatable pub full of gin. Also a curry tent, an East Anglian beer tent, plus a baps and wraps stall. It starts on Friday 17th June at 5pm and from noon on Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June. There'll be other entertainment including an inflatable obstacle course, bungee racing, crazy golf, lawn games and a kids bouncy castle. There is live music too.Entry is £5 per person (under 3's go free) & includes all activities & unlimited squash for the kids.
Last time I ate at The Tickell Arms in Whittlesford there was a sign on the door saying 'no long haired lefties'. That was in 1981. Nowadays the pub is part of the CambsCuisine Group and is much more accommodating. Dogs are welcome (in the pub) and long haired lefties are allowed in too. I ate duck breast with pearl barley, roasted red onions, parsnip puree and port sauce. Very good it was too!
This week we had a sneak preview inside Bury's newest restaurant The Giggling Squid. Prosecco was flowing at the opening party and canapes included this delicious salt and pepper squid. We loved the decor. Lots of orchids on a back drop of hand picked drift wood with atmospheric lighting. Upcycled mirrors and a huge bookcase of over 2000 books from the local Oxfam for those that fancy a browse. We are going back to sample the menu which includes seafood, street food and simple rustic Thai food all made in house. We are not sure if all the food is going to be elaborately garnished but loved watching the fruit and veggie carving at the opening party.
The perfect pre-drink drink. Drink on a hot summers day, after cutting the grass. Mix the French bitters with pilsner or a wheat beer for a perfect apertif. Or nip to Duck Soup in Soho and enjoy with a plate of green beans, anchovy, soft boiled egg and sour dough crumbs.
Darsham Nurseries. The best and most interesting breakfast I have eaten for a long time. Shakshuka ... baked eggs in spiced tomato and pepper stew with feta cheese and lots of lovely fresh herbs including my favourite dill.