Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Buen Ayre - London

If I were asked what would be my choice for my last meal on Earth (errr…. as I recently was by Qype – see here). My answer would be, a really good medium rare steak, charred on the outside, beautifully soft and bloody on the inside, with perfectly crisp, salty frites on the side and a ridiculous amount of thick, tarragon heavy Béarnaise sauce for dipping. It’s without a doubt my favourite meal. Although to be honest, I don’t get to eat it that often. Good steak is expensive and knowing my own voracious capability for consuming copious amounts of the distinctly unhealthy yet, totally essential béarnaise sauce. I try and limit myself to eating it as a treat every now and again.

Luckily for me, Sunday lunch was treat time, and you can imagine my excitement as I wound my way from Bethnal Green tube to Broadway Market in Hackney and the rather fabulous Argentinean ‘Parilla’, Buen Ayre. Specialising in grilled steak and meat, rampant carnivores would do well to make the pilgrimage to eat here.

The rather unassuming frontage belies what lies behind, and my eyes were instantly drawn to the fantastic, rather rustic looking charcoal grill behind the counter where a chef was nonchalantly cooking beautiful huge steaks

Ordering some Argentinean Quilmes beer (I’d never tried the brand before, it was pretty good), and some red wine, as a group (Seven us were eating, 6 meat eaters and 1 poor misguided veggie), we tried to work our way through the menu, deciding what exactly to order.

Older Buen Ayre hands among us insisted that, the ‘Parrillada Deluxe’ was the way to go. Consisting of a Brazier placed on the table loaded with 14oz of Argentine Sirloin steak, 11oz of Argentine Rib Eye, 2 ‘Argentine style pork sausages’, black pudding and provolone cheese. This selection was for a minimum of 2 people and priced at £23 each. We ordered two of these for six people to share with a selection of salads and chips on the side.

In the meantime, whilst our food was cooked on the incredible looking grill two metres from our table, some bread and Stilton butter was placed on the table. The bread was ok, nothing special - but in conjunction with the Sirloin butter it was bloody delicious, and I couldn’t get enough of it, inspired.

Two smoking braziers were deposited on the table, heaped with some impressively large pieces of steak – (the piece of Rib eye in particular was gargantuan), the sausages, the black pudding and a slowly melting slab of provolone cheese.
Sides of chips with garlic and parsley quickly followed, along with pots of chimicurri dipping sauce (recipe here).

The table fell upon the braziers like a hoard of vultures; steak and sausages were cut into slices for sharing. (As specified, the steaks were cooked exactly medium rare), and plates around the table were soon heaped with food. The Argentinean steaks are bloody delicious, really very good, superbly cooked, the crisp charred exteriors giving way to moist bloody goodness when sliced into.

The chips…well…not too fat, not too thin – perfectly crisp on the outside and fluffy and soft in the middle…they were seriously good. I’ve since found out that they’re bought in – which is surprising, considering how good they were, and leaves me wondering... what the hell do I know?

Anyone who doubted that the two Parillada Deluxe, shared amongst the 6 meat eaters at the table might not be enough to assuage appetites would be happy to note that even the most ardent carnivores were beginning to slacken the pace…in fact, even I was struggling and I’m a greedy bastard of some considerable renown. To underline this fact, once the plates were cleared the whole table declined dessert, and opted for the bill, which considering the quality and quantity of the food we’d just consumed was incredibly inexpensive.

If you like steaks, I can’t recommend Buen Ayre enough. Avoid the footballers wives style bling and naffness of Gaucho Grill. Buen Ayre is where you should be headed for Argentinean steaks.

Buen Ayre
50 Broadway Market
E8 4QJ

Telephone: 020 7275 9900


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Interview for Qype does London.

I was recently interviewed for Qype does London.

So, if it pleases you, go read the interview.....study the photo in detail - ponder what caused me to pull that expression (Hint - I'm off my face from drinking Martinis), and read my answers to such questions as...

Which restaurant would I pick for my last meal on Earth, and what would I order?

What would be my perfect Sunday in London ?

And, find out which place in Essex I'd recommend you visit.

Because basically, I'm obviously tres important and it's essential that you know these things about me, otherwise your life can never be totally complete....... hahaha

The interview is

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream

Everyone owns a kitchen gadget they rarely use, tucked away in the back of a cupboard somewhere, gathering dust. For me, it’s my ice-cream maker… since I bought it a good few years ago; I think I’ve made ice cream maybe five times. So there it sits, unloved and unused. Part of the problem being, is that it’s a cheap one (Ice cream makers fall into two camps – cheap or expensive, there is no middle ground)…I think it cost me about £30 at the time, and you have to pre-freeze the bowl for at least 24hrs before using it, which doesn’t lend itself well to spontaneous ice-cream action.

About a year ago, realising that this was the stumbling block to the creative process – I moved the bowl out of the cupboard to a permanent home in the freezer…yes it took up a lot of space, but if I wanted to make ice-cream it was there ready and waiting to take up the challenge instantly…and then there, inevitably it’s sat for about a year, waiting. …Silently in the dark.

Until just the other day a conversation on Twitter about ice cream makers had me opening the freezer and dragging my unused ice-cream maker towards the light. I’d boldly declared publicly that yes, I shall make ice cream, immediately and not only that, I was going to make salted butter caramel flavour. I’d found a recipe online (Here) I was all set, raring to go,

‘Immediately’ in reality, became the next day…up at the crack of dawn I made my way down the local shop to buy the ingredients needed. It cost me about £5. The thought did cross my furrowed brow that, I could have bought some decent ice cream for the same price and saved myself the effort. But where’s the fun in that? And in any case, mine would be ‘handmade artisan ice cream’ in a flavour that is almost impossible to buy commercially. It would have no nasty chemicals or additives in it. It was worth the cost.

The recipe states that the ice-cream needs 8 hours refrigeration, so I thought I better get started early if I wanted to actually sample some the same day.

First of all, I made the salted praline…heating the sugar carefully in a saucepan, (Caramel, despite looking extremely benign and inviting… just begging for you to stick a digit it for a cheeky sample is actually frigging hotter than the surface of the Sun, and as such; it deserves respect).
It was all going so well, and then I noticed a foreign object in the saucepan…something white…. Had I washed the pan up properly from its last use? And then I realised what it was.
The ‘heatproof’ rubber spatula I was using, to stir the caramel was anything but…. and it had started to melt. Realising immediately that salted rubber butter caramel flavour was perhaps a bit too avant-garde for even the most adventurous gourmet, I decided to bin the lot. I was flustered, it was boiling hot…. I decided to tip the molten caramel onto some greaseproof paper first, and in the process burnt my finger…just a little bit, but enough to make me scream like a girl.

Five minutes later, wiping the tears away from my face, and scornfully washing up the saucepan, I was ready for another attempt.

This time it went exactly to plan, and I soon had a sheet of hardened Praline to break up and scatter into the finished ice cream.
Everything else with the recipe went smoothly, without incident and in no time I had beautiful mocha coloured custard to refrigerate for 8 hours, ready for churning.

Later that day, out it came and in it went to the ice-cream machine, which was already on and churning away (learning my lesson here from a previous abortive attempt long ago, where I’d poured the mixture into a machine that wasn’t running – and it had instantly frozen rock solid, making it un-churnable).

30 mins later, it looked about right – I stirred in the broken shards of praline (which according to the recipe, melt and become ‘gooey’….errr….yum!). And, back in the freezer it went for 3 hours to set fully.

What a time-consuming operation making ice cream is!
But, I guess the question is, was it worth it?

This afternoon, I opened the container and scooped up a beautiful looking shiny ball of creamy coffee coloured ice cream, speckled through with melted, soft specks of praline. I stuck my spoon in for a taste, and oh my God…. it was incredible, rich smooth and intense caramel flavour underpinned by a subtle lip smacking salt tang. Seriously beautiful stuff. Definitely not something you could eat much of in one sitting, it being very rich – but wow. So yes. It’s very much worth the time and effort involved.

If you fancy having a go at this yourself, you can find the recipe I used here on David Lebovitz’s website.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Pork Cheeks

Right now, cheeks are currently the things to cook. (Facial – not arse, I should point out.) Ox and Pork are the usual meaty suspects. It’s a really neglected cut, pretty much unknown to most consumers and therefore seriously cheap to buy. With the added benefit, that it’s packed full of flavour, just needing a slow cook on a low heat to get the most out of it.

Wasting no time in jumping on the cheek bandwagon, a good few weeks back, in a veritable cheek frenzy I purchased a pack of Pork cheeks from my local butcher. He had to disappear out back to get them, (Proving that it’s always worth asking for the cut you want it you don’t spy it at the counter). They were frozen, and I was amazed at how weighty a pack of meat I got for around £3. Bargain or, so I thought.

The Pork cheeks sat neglected in my freezer for some time. The whole de-frosting then long cooking time always put me off making the effort…. Until on a day, seemingly just like any other, inexplicably, I awoke wanting…. No, ‘needing’ cheeks. Out of the freezer they came and I made my preparations.

How to cook them? I own hundreds of recipe books, shelves of the buggers…but can I find a single recipe featuring Pork Cheeks? No.
So… casting my mind back I remembered that
Graphic Foodie had written a very nice recipe on her blog featuring the aforementioned cheeks. This would be my guide.

Assembling the ingredients, I turned my attention to the now defrosted meat – and this is when I realised something was different about my cheeks. Every other food blogger was talking about buying packs of a few cheeks, six or so from (mainly) Waitrose, and the finished articles looked almost like beef medallions. I now realised that I had purchased only two meaty medallions…. And they were essentially un-butchered; still with whole slabs of the Pigs cheek skin attached, complete with bristly hairs. Also, the half inch thick, pink skin looked scarily human, which was a tad off-putting.
Grimacing, but now determined to get my cheeks – I sharpened my best Global knife, and went to work, cutting away in a fairly amateurish and carefree fashion I soon had two nice, neat looking lumps of meat sitting on the worktop – sans fat, skin and hair.

I followed Graphic Foodies recipe to the letter, except that rather than oven bake the accompanying apple, I pan fried apple rings in butter to caramelise them, and served with crushed new potatoes with wild garlic and mustard.

Here’s the Recipe: -

Pork cheeks in Cider. Caramelised Apple, & crushed Wild Garlic and Mustard New Potatoes

Serves 2

You’ll need:-

For the Pork Cheeks:-

2-3 Large Pork Cheeks, trimmed of fat
1 small onion, finely sliced
1tbs olive oil
Knob of butter
400ml dry cider (I used
3 Sage leaves

For the Crushed Wild Garlic and Mustard New Potatoes.

500g New Potatoes
Hand full of Wild Garlic – chopped
Tablespoon of wholegrain or Dijon mustard
Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Apple cored, and sliced into two rings.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Sautée the sliced small onion in olive oil and butter until softened. Add the pigs' cheeks and brown. Add the cider, season and bring to the boil.

Transfer into an ovenproof dish and place in the preheated oven for 70 minutes, turning and basting with the cider regularly. Add 3 sage leaves and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.

At this point, whilst the cheeks are finishing off, cook the new potatoes in salted boiling water, also for 20mins.

Remove the pig cheeks from the oven to rest for 10 minutes

Drain and crush the new potatoes – stirring through the Olive Oil, the chopped Wild Garlic and the Mustard. Taste and season.

Meanwhile, over a high heat reduce the cider sauce.

Pan fry the apple rings with a knob of butter until golden.

Seriously, bloody delicious. The cheeks were superbly rich, meaty and so tender. I arranged the dish in a rather pretentious looking tower, with the apple ring and cheeks on top – it actually looked (I think) superb, and tasted incredible. I’m rarely truly happy about what I cook, but this time I was really pleased, in fact – I’d have been happy to be served up the same dish in a restaurant.

Flushed with my Pork cheek success, I am now the proud owner of some Ox cheeks, and will be cooking them up very soon.
Watch this space.

Thanks again to
Graphic Foodie for allowing me to use, (and slightly bastardise), her excellent recipe.

Friday, 16 April 2010

What should politicians do to improve our food?

Earlier this week, along with fellow food bloggers Helen, Lizzie and Tom, I was asked to take part in a discussion recorded for the Observer.

The Venue – A pub in Kensal Green
The Host – Jay Rayner
The subject - What should politicians do to improve our food?

God help us.

Anyway, for what its worth here I am. Before you view, I’d like to point out that I talked intelligently and at length about sustainable produce, common European agriculture policy, the Maastricht treaty and its effect on food, the plight of our fisheries, global geopolitical issues and a memorable episode where I regaled everyone with an ancient poem on food which I’d painstakingly translated from it’s original Sanskrit.

Unfortunately, the whole conversation was condensed to 5 mins and all I got in to the finished piece was something about Jamie Oliver and a tax on pizzas and coke.

I’d also like to point out, yes I am from Essex – but to my keen ear I fondly imagined that I sound like a bastard cross between James Mason and Prince Charles. Imagine my shock upon hearing myself speak in the imbedded video, and the subsequent accompanying trauma as I realised that…errr…. basically… I don’t, coming off more like Ray Winstone.

A career in radio is not on the cards I'm afraid.


Getting back to the original subject, loyal readers – what do you think?
What should politicians do to improve our food?

Here's a link to the original Word of Mouth page.

Wild Garlic and Potato soup

About this time last year, fellow Essex food blogger, and all round good guy Food Urchin was kind enough to supply me with some wild garlic from the abundant supply he has growing in his garden.

Unfortunately, I never got the chance to actually use it in any cooking. It was the end of the wild garlic season, the plant was small – the few leaves soon shrivelled, and died…the whole thing looked decidedly unhealthy. Unsure at the time whether my gardening ‘touch of death’ was at work, once again, or whether this was just the natural order of things…. I planted what was left, crossed my fingers and tried to forget about it.

Fast forward nearly a year, and spring has sprung, dormant plant life in my garden has burst into bud, blossom beautifully framed by cloudless blue skies is apparent everywhere, birds sing, fox’s play, baby lambs bleat… you get the picture, and best of all – what’s this? My ‘dead’ Wild Garlic has seemingly overnight, grown into a fine looking shrub with an abundance of pungent, beautiful, lush, verdant leaves draped seductively against each other.

With not a moment to lose, and determined to get as much use out of it as possible, I’ve been snipping bits off here and there…. Wild Garlic Mayonnaise as a dip for last weeks Scotch Eggs, Wild Garlic stirred through scrambled eggs for a breakfast, but still I feel like I’m not getting enough out of it, so yesterday I decided to go for broke – strip all of the decent size leaves, and make some Wild Garlic Soup.

A quick search threw up a Tom Norrington-Davies (recipe HERE), which appealed to me (I really have a thing about potatoes in soup – no idea why, but I love them, might be a childhood thing – oxtail soup with boiled potatoes conjuring up fond memories). In no time at all, I had a large heap of wild garlic leaves sitting on the kitchen worktop, and the other ingredients were assembled, ready to go.

Luckily, I had some beautiful homemade stock in the freezer – (seriously, when you next have roast chicken DO make stock from the leftover carcass, it may seem like a pain in the arse at the time (it’s not) – but you’ll be well rewarded for your efforts later). The kitchen was soon awash with the fresh pungent aroma of wild garlic and the gorgeous comforting smell of hot chicken stock.

I served the soup steaming hot with crusty bread from the local bakers, (just for that extra carb overload) and it was delicious. The wild garlic’s very distinctive but subtle taste was complimented nicely by the onions, and the roughly pulped potato and bread added a nice thick rustic texture – the addition of some crumbled dry chilli giving a nice little kick. Lovely stuff, and very simple to make.

I have to add; there is something incredibly exciting about cooking with produce grown in your own garden, especially so with an ingredient like Wild Garlic – which has quite a short season, and is, as its name suggests, a wild plant. It grows all over the place in woodland apparently, but whenever I’ve looked for it – I can never bloody find any. If you can lay your hands on the stuff, either through foraging (with better luck than mine), or perhaps getting some to plant in your garden then do, it’s very rewarding to cook with.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Scotch Eggs - The agony and the ecstasy

When I was a child, I just couldn’t stand Scotch Eggs. The horrible supermarket bought, uniform, mass-produced examples, sporting an obligatory grey sheen around the egg, like a convicted prisoners newly shaved head, about as unappetising as it gets visually, and then when paired with the accompanying aroma of cheap battery farmed cold egg. Hideous. I have no good memories of them at all.

But, in recent years, with the rise of the gastro-pub and a re-awakened interest in British food and its heritage, the Scotch egg is back on the menu, and it’s a million miles away from the supermarket versions of our youth. I guess what has made me re-consider my view is sampling Scotch eggs in a couple of London gastro-pubs which, are rightly famous for their versions. The Michelin starred
Harwood Arms in Fulham serves up a Venison Scotch egg, the bar snack to trump all bar snacks it’s incredible, and deserves all the praise that’s been heaped upon it, and more. Across town in Farringdon, the also rather excellent Coach & Horses serves up a more traditional Pork version, which is utterly gorgeous. I’ve noticed that there are a couple of important similarities between these supreme examples of Scotch eggy’ness, and it’s what holds them head and shoulders above the rest. Both pubs Scotch eggs are the size of cricket balls, and more importantly – they’re served warm with the egg yolk just set, so as you cut into it…the silky, golden yellow yolk oozes gently out…

Is it getting hot in here, or is just me?

As you’ve probably deduced, I’m sold. I now love Scotch eggs, and wanted to try making them at home. Casting my mind back, I remembered that
Gourmet Chick has a recipe on her blog, which she learnt from the head chef at the Coach and Horses himself and theirs are superb. What could go wrong?

Well, quite a bit actually.
After a moderately successful attempt the previous week where everything went right, except that the eggs weren’t soft and the amount of cayenne pepper used made them far too spicy for me (despite putting less in than specified in the recipe), I decided to have another attempt.

This time, I decided to make 4 Scotch eggs and I went ‘off piste’ a bit from the original recipe.

For the soft boiled eggs I decided to use a ‘Delia Method’ – which involves lowering the eggs into salted, simmering water – boil for 1 min…then turn the heat off with the lid on for 7 mins. Then plunging into cold water (This step stops the cooking, and also the grey ring forming).

So far so good, leaving the as yet unshelled eggs aside – In a bowl, I assembled the sausage ingredients:-

250g Pork Mince
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper. (Still too much I think…1/4 tsp?).
1 Tsp Mace
8 Sage Leaves finely chopped
4 shallots, sliced and fried in butter.
3 Tbs English Mustard
Salt and Pepper

And for the coating:-

1 Egg
Splash of milk
Panko breadcrumbs

Ready to begin assembly – I started to shell my eggs, and here’s where disaster struck…the wobbly soft boiled egg, perhaps slightly too underdone was like a thing alive as I struggled to get all of the shell off…. and then it happened, a fissure opened in the white, and the whole thing started to collapse…. But it’s ok, I have another three…. and then the same thing happened to the next one, and in between howling in pained frustration, swearing and spitting like a man possessed…the next one ruptured as well. At this point I was almost having an apoplectic fit…. and then what’s this? Against the odds, one perfect shining beacon of soft boiled eggyness emerges from the wreckage, the sweat and the tears….Hallafuckingeulah! I feel like I’ve just given birth to it myself, and a smile breaks out on my tear streaked face.

Surveying the wreckage of the three ugly mutilated brethren, compared to my one perfect, adonesque like super egg…. I decide that I may be able to carefully reconstruct them.
Setting up a triage system on my worktop, I identify the most seriously injured egg and begin work quickly and silently, piecing it slowly back together…. luckily, the injuries sustained are not fatal; the yolks on all three are intact.

After a tense few mins where I flatten a lump of the Pork mixture, onto a piece of Clingfilm – lay the egg in the middle and use the Clingfilm to help wrap it…before shaping into a sphere with my hands. I eventually have before me 4 Pork mix wrapped eggs, and they look beautiful, the outer layer belying the hideous injuries that lurk within.

Rolling first in the flour, then the egg (beaten with the milk) and then finally the Panko, I coat all 4 Scotch Eggs ready to be deep-fried.
I have a deep fat fryer, but I can’t be bothered to get it out…. so I decide to cook them individually in sunflower oil on the hob. They need to be deep fried at 180C for 2 mins, and I’ve read somewhere that if you drop a stale piece of bread in the oil – it will fry golden brown in 30 seconds when the correct temperature is reached. Not very scientific, but lacking any way to measure the temperature – I go with that.

Judging the oil to be hot enough, I lower the first one in. And it’s instantly consumed by ferociously bubbling oil. 2 mins later, I carefully lift it out…. a deep golden brown.
Into the oil goes the next, and I return my attention to the first one….I cut it in half, and – it appears to be cooked, and the yolk is still runny…it doesn’t look tidy, this being one of the casualties – but it tastes superb and looks right.

I cook all four Scotch eggs, and we eat three of them. All are OK, they taste lovely but all are a bit ‘untidy’…I’m not pleased with the whole aesthetic element…. I put the last one in the fridge.

Morning, a new day…awaking, and my thoughts stray to breakfast I remember the surviving Scotch egg, and decide to finish it.
Cutting through it, I gasp amazed, choking back tears of joy.....the most perfect Scotch egg this side of Scotchland is cleaved open before me. beautiful soft yolk, pleasing construction. I decide then and there that this shall be the ‘poster boy’ for my Scotch egg endeavours, and that’s why you can see only it illustrating this post. The other 3, despite undoubtedly being delicious, lurk in my culinary nightmares – and it would be too cruel to share that image of horror with you.

Sleep soundly dear reader.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Lunch at The Eagle

Despite mentioning the legendary Eagle gastro-pub in Farringdon more than a fair bit on the blog, amazingly, I’ve never actually reviewed it. Which is strange, as I’ve eaten there quite a lot in the past. I’ve been musing on the reason for this omission, and have come to the conclusion it’s because eating at The Eagle consists of pretty much one-dish dining. Lots of big, gutsy, plates of food. No delicate starters, no desserts to speak of. Which makes it a little hard to stretch a post out in the conventional sense.

But, nevertheless it’s one of my favourite places in London to eat. This is the original gastro-pub, the place where the dining revolution started. The battered chairs and tables, the mismatched cutlery and plates, the chalkboard menus above the bar, the unpretentious food that you’ve seen in countless imitators up and down the country, it all began here in 1991. It’s also worth mentioning that The Eagles pedigree is second to none, associated gastro-pubs being the superb Great Queen Street and Anchor & Hope.

Arriving at lunchtime, on a beautiful, sunny Friday afternoon at the start of service, 12:30 on the dot and hoping to grab a table (there’s no booking here, first come, first served being the form). We step through the door into the familiar high ceilinged, battered Victorian pub, flooded with light from the large windows on two sides – a bar running the full length of one side of the room, three quarters of which is taken up with a kitchen directly behind the bar where fat Italian sausages can be seen smoking on the grill, and steaks for The Eagles famous Bife Ana steak sandwich are hissing and spitting as they cook. The chefs and waiters weaving effortlessly around each other in the confined space. The other quarter of the bar is for ordering food and drinks.

It’s packed already, but I spy a small table for two and leap on it. The fantastic smell of grilling meat, garlic and other delights fills the room, and I study the menus chalked above the bar intently. I want the steak sandwich, I’ve had it before and it’s superb…. but too late, a waiter scrubs it from the board before I get the chance – it’s finished already…I look around and it seems like half the diners are munching on steak sandwiches. Cursing, my eyes flick back to the menu board with a new sense of urgency. I can still see the Italian sausages smoking away, on the grill – I know they are gorgeous; they obviously come from the Italian Deli two doors down the street, G. Gazzano & Sons, I’ve bought and cooked them many times at home myself. Today they’re being served with red onion and parsnip mash, Decision made.
‘E’ doesn’t waste anytime and chooses a Bruschetta with Caponota (Sicilian aubergine relish).

Joining the short queue snaking along the bar to order food, I watch the food being cooked feet away, which provokes my stomach into making disgruntled, grumbling noises, it’s my turn – I order and pay for the food and drinks (Pint of Kirin for me…ahhhh lovely Japanese lager)…. and a rather nice White Rioja for ‘E’. I return to the table and wait. Mismatched knives, forks along with a basket of bread and condiments appear…. shortly followed by the food.

‘E’s dish of Bruschetta with Caponata looks incredible, rustic, heaped on toasted bruschetta with rocket scattered on the side. I love the old plate it’s been served on. From the appreciative noises drifting across the table, I deduce that it’s bloody nice…I have a sneaky forkful and have to agree. Lovely.

My trio of fat, grilled Napoli sausages on parsnip mash with red onions is also a great dish of food, no frills, nothing much to look at – but the Italian sausages are thick, meaty and superb. Both dishes being true to The Eagle ethos, simple, intelligent pub grub.

As we eat, dishes are regularly scrubbed from the chalkboards above the bar. By about half past one, most are finished. It occurs to me how well oiled and honed the lunchtime service is, no waste, economical, not many more customers come in after the initial rush (like they could find a spot if they did), lunch is pretty much done in one franticly busy sitting.

Desserts rarely feature on The Eagle menu, apart from rather nice Portuguese custard tarts. In any case, we are now both full, leaving more than happy with a rather nice and relatively inexpensive lunch.

Even after nineteen years, The Eagle is still doing what it’s always done, and very well too. It’s always worth a visit.

Finally, if you fancy re-creating some of the dishes served at The Eagle, as is now almost traditional on this blog - I’ll recommend their cookbook…it’s excellent, one of the best recipe books I own.

The Eagle
159 Farringdon Road

Telephone: 0872 148 4071