Meat, Margaritas, Mentaiko Mac'N'Cheese and more on the blog today. Take your pick or read it all:
Friday 20th February - It's Mum The List's birthday! Or it was. And what better way to spend it than on Walk Eat Talk Eat's "Urban Carnivore Tour" around East London?
It all started underneath Roa's Weasel at the top of Great Eastern Street (see, I was listening on the Street Art Tour). There we met Charli, our charming guide for the next 3 hours, and four more hungry Londoners who were starting to get the shakes from forgoing lunch.
|Roa's Weasel outside Red Gallery|
First stop: The Tramshed - Mark Hix's converted cock and bull tramshed on Rivington Street.
We sat ourselves underneath Damien Hirst's formaldehyde cow and cockerel sculpture, and devoured an entire Roast Barn-Reared Indian Rock Chicken with Stuffing and Chips.
It's simple but executed perfectly, and fun for all the family. You can't really go far wrong with chicken and steak. I'll be back, perhaps for some cock'n'bull hash at the weekend, and almost certainly for salted caramel fondue with marshmallows and doughnuts.
Second Stop: Albion - A café, bakery and shop located in the Boundary Building
This was a flying visit to pick up a bag of delicious, luxurious sausage rolls, but we did have time to have a look around at the wonderful array of British produce and baking. I challenge you to drop by and come out empty handed. Why not go all out and buy an entire picnic hamper for £160? Albion is open from 8am til late, seven days a week, so what are you waiting for?
Charli gave us the lowdown on some of the local history before taking us off to eat our sausage rolls on a pile of rubble masquerading as a bandstand. Classy.
Third Stop: The Well & Bucket - a good-looking converted Victorian pub with a 5CC cocktail bar hidden in the basement
Barworks can always be relied upon for great boozers, and The Well & Bucket is no different. I've dropped in before en route to 5CC downstairs and it was absolutely heaving, so time your visit wisely! Mid-afternoon is your best bet for shucking some oysters with an interesting brew or two in peace. We stopped off for some of their magnificent sliders including Blackened Catfish with Herb Mayo and Pickled Cues and Oxtail Chilli Cheese Dog. They are great value at 3 for £8.50.
Fourth Stop: Caboose - an eye-catching train carriage serving slow smoked meats near Brick Lane
If you've wandered through Ely Yard, you've probably spotted Caboose, the street food hangout that has raised the bar by cooking out of a train carriage. You can even book out the cosy, indoor cabin for up to 12 guests for a £30 BYOB 3-course meal prepared right in front of you. Not convinced? It recently reached the #1 spot for London restaurants on TripAdvisor!
We squeezed in to share some boxes of 10 hour pulled pork belly, served with sweet maple slaw, pecans, house salad and pickles. It was glorious. Highly recommended.
Fifth (and Final) Stop: The Antishop - An arty, charitable deli and coffee shop on Brick Lane
We rounded off our rambling food tour with an indulgent brownie from a quirky coffee shop and deli. The Antishop has partnered with CASS school, getting their students to design the tables and chairs that change regularly. They also support the local community by running a "suspended coffee" system which allows you to buy coffee (and food, or even chairs!) in advance for homeless people to benefit from. Any profits from this go to Auction Against Hunger UK.
The Urban Carnivore Tour was a great success, and I've just given you a little taster of it. Charli was a fount of interesting knowledge throughout the afternoon, schooling us on street art, local history, and food in equal measure.
Aside from the five main stops, we also clocked a whole host of places to return to, including Disappearing Dining Club's Back in 5 Minutes restaurant hidden inside a clothes shop, Rochelle Canteen in a converted bikeshed, Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, and the iconic 24/7 Beigel Bake.
We finished up outside the historic Ten Bells pub in Spitalfields before going our separate ways, full of food and fascinating facts.
Urban Carnivore Tour - The Details:
When? Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm
How long? Three to four hours
How much? £62 (or £55 per person, when you book for 2)
Where from? On the corner Great Eastern Street and Rivington Street by Roa's Weasel graffiti near Old Street Station
Where to? The Ten Bells opposite Spitalfields Market, near Liverpool St Station
If you like the look of the Urban Carnivore Tour, why not check out some of Walk Eat Talk Eat's other adventures:
Monday 23rd February - It's hard to keep up with all of the food & drink "holidays" - National Chip Week, World Nutella Day and National Peanut Butter Day all flew by in February. Did you observe them suitably? What about the 22nd February? You didn't forget did you? Because not every day is...NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY.
OK - so I missed it by a day, but at least I celebrated it in style at El Nivel in Covent Garden, the fantastic "all things agave" bar run by Ocho Tequila owner Tomas Estes and his son Jesse.
World of Zing owner Pritesh Mody invited a bunch of us boozy types over to sample a new range of flavoured sea salts from his East London-based contemporary food and drink emporium. And what better way to test them out than as garnishes for Ocho Tequila-based Margaritas?
We made our way through most of the range, particularly enjoying Applewood Smoked, Mexican Chilli Cactus, and Seaweed varieties that worked best with the punchy La Beleine sea salt. Hibiscus and Rose Petal are subtler but still well worth a look. For around £2.50, you can get yourself a 70g pouch to use at home in cooking and cocktails. Larger, bar friendly tubs are also available for around £3. Buy a bunch, whip up a few litres of Margaritas, and get stuck in with some friends.
There's plenty more to get excited about at World of Zing, so have a gander at their website, trek out to World of Zing HQ in Mile End, or (my preferred option) go and chat to Pritesh at Brockley Market on Saturdays or Wapping Market on Sundays.
After all that Tequila, it was time for some late night bites in Soho, and Clerkenwell Boy's Instagram sent us in the direction of Bone Daddies' one-year "popup" Shackfuyu on Old Compton Street.
Shackfuyu (translating to Winter Shack) has temporarily taken over the old Made In Italy site next door to Bincho, and the interiors have not changed too dramatically, with the pizza oven still in use sitting centre stage.
The menu, set to change roughly once a month I believe, is a list of small plates followed by a central meaty number, currently 200g of USDA Beef Picanha with Kimchee Tare Butter. You're going to want to eat pretty much everything, so go hungry.
Here's what I highly recommend:
- Roasted Beets, Shiso, Avocado
- Mentaiko Mac'N'Cheese, Cock Scratchings
- Beef Hot Stone Rice
And here are some more good-looking plates from CB's Instagram feed:
The magnificent USDA Beef was unsurprisingly the star of the show, but the outstanding (and generous) portion of sticky Beef Hot Stone Rice threatened to steal it. I could happily eat those two dishes several times a week. The Mentaiko (Pollock & Cod Roe) makes for an unusual mac'n'cheese topping along with the ever-enticing "Cock Scratchings" but don't be put off - it's one tasty dish. We were unconvinced by the Green Tea ice cream, but I'm told it comes in to its own once paired with the Kinako French Toast
In general, the Shackfuyu dishes are very reasonably priced so you can get yourself a really good spread without breaking the bank, unless you start ordering Koshihikari Echigo beers at £10.20 a pop. They've hit the ground running with a cracking opening menu, so get along quickly before it changes!
|Beef Hot Stone Rice with Goma Butter|
|Mentaiko Mac'n'Cheese with Cock Scratchings|
|USDA Picanha Beef with Kimchee Tare Butter|
|Green Tea Soft Serve Ice Cream|