What’s new in the world of food events, pop-ups, products and restaurant openings
Get into the Christmas spirit this Saturday 8 December when chef Ben Tish will be taking over the café at Stepney City Farm. All profits from the day will go to the charitable farm and outdoor learning centre in Tower Hamlets, and visitors will also be able to enjoy the farm’s annual Christmas Market with seasonal produce, crafts, live music and activities. Open from 10am-5pm. Promises to be a fab day out!
Monsieur Le Duck is a new pop-up restaurant which opened last week near Liverpool Street, and brings the food and wine of South-West France to the heart of London. Inspired by the douceur de vivre of Gascony, it offers a simple menu, focusing on duck, chips, salad and great wine.
Burger & Beyond have opened their first restaurant this week. Located on Shoreditch High Street, the burger giant’s signature buns have a bricks and mortar home for the very first time, as well as a bigger menu that includes winter warmers such as truffle nuts, chicken skin, sourdough with bone marrow butter and ’small plates’ such as lamb nuggets with burnt onion dip and shaved rib cap with anchovy butter.
Café Forty One, at the La Suite West Hotel is offering a wide range of festive treats showcasing seasonal showstoppers with a vegan twist. Guests can enjoy a variety of dishes from ‘smoked salmon’ and cream cheese and avocado on rye to zesty quinoa salad with citrus, pomegranate and pistachios. The culinary journey continues with warming Nut Wellington with gravy and mash followed by an indulgent salted caramel, chocolate and pear fondant.
Tried and tasted. From the success of a small street-food stall Greek-born Londoners, Efthymios and Neofyto, now have six venues in London and Bristol, and we love them! Honouring traditional Greek street food, The Athenian in Shoreditch sources much of its produce from independent producers in Greece and the focus is on great ingredients cooked how they would be in Athens. Souvlaki is what it’s all about and alongside the usual meat options, they now offer delicious vegan alternatives. We can recommend the Santorini tomato croquettes Souvlaki wrap with a side of halloumi fries with the signature spicy feta dip, washed down with a bottle of Greek Fix Hellas Beer
Festive treat of the week: Gorgeous crackers from The Ivy available from The Mount Street Deli £50 for 6.
Recipe of the week: Some of the best tasting (and prettiest) mince pies we’ve ever tried thanks to Executive Chef Bryn Williams at Somerset House. Here’s how to make them at home.
Meringue topped mini mince pies
1 packet of pre-rolled shortcrust pastry
2 medium free-range egg whites
100g caster sugar
Mincemeat mix (see below)
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and grease a 24-hole mini muffin/tart tin with butter. Use a 6cm round cutter to cut out 24 circles of pastry. Carefully press the pastry into the greased tin.
Fill each pastry case with mincemeat and bake the mince pies for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the meringue topping. Use an electric whisk to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, then add sugar 1tbsp at a time, continuing to whisk. When the mixture is glossy and forms stiff peaks, spoon into a piping bag with plain nozzle.
Remove the pies from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 140°C, gas mark 1. Top each one with a swirl of meringue, then return to the oven for 10 minutes until golden. Serve warm or cold and store in an airtight container.
For the mincemeat mix (makes 2 kg)
250g suet (minced)
250g mixed peel (chopped)
250g sultanas250g raisins
250g apples (grated)
250g soft brown sugar
10g mixed spice
1.5 orange grated zest and juice
1 lemon grated and juice
60 ml rum
60 ml brandy
40 ml whiskey
Mix all the ingredients together and store in sterile Kilner jars in the fridge. For the first month, mix every 2-3 days.