Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Emil - Dortmund

Have you ever eaten Veal? You might have, you are a bunch of adventurous food loving experimenters after all. I was always told that veal was quite possibly the worst meat in the world, unspeakably cruel and a horrendous thing to support by eating.

I've got a horrible suspicion that I ate veal last week.

The light (and the photo) was poor but since this spectre of doubt has crept over me, I have done some research and come to the conclusion that, yes it probably was veal and no it probably wasn't the good kind. Now I have to live with myself. My only saving grace is that, according to Wikipedia, the really, really bad kind has been banned since 2007, so I feel that rather than hiding away in shame and contrition maybe, just maybe, I can talk about it here.

Ooh, it was bloody delicious... all juicy and lovely. So soft and tender, it was like eating a pork chop but all beefy instead. Mmm, the plate was seasoned well with a great crust and the salad was nicely mixed if a little astringently dressed. My dining companions all ordered side dishes but I refrained knowing that additional carbs would only serve to push me off the wrong side of the culinary knife edge that is awake vs. asleep. Veal as it used to be is clearly a 'very bad thing', and it's higher welfare diversification have gone some way to dispelling that. But from where I was sitting, that was one goddamn great steak.

But we've got ahead of ourselves. First there was this:

A tomato-y type amuse bouche that my German colleagues scoffed at but I, being the obviously more travelled edible explorer tucked in. it wasn't great. Couscous isn't much at the best of times and I would hesitate before giving it away as a mark of your quality of cooking, even if it was for free. Bland and tomato sweet both at the same time, the best thing about it was that it was gone quickly.

Then the starters, these were quite interesting. Big cakes of raw meat (very German) with a quails egg, were placed next to weird wasabi mousse cheese cakes (as far away from German as I could imagine) with a quenelle of quince or fig paste (not sure on the translation and also not sure on the German heritage). These were not bad actually, and I enjoyed them - less so the wasabi cheese cake which had as much wasabi in it as my shoe. 

But finally, the talking point of the whole evening was, according to my Continental brethren, a joke so funny that it went on for hours. Literally hours. Seriously. All night. 


'nuff said.


Monday, 8 December 2014

Jamaica Patty Company - Leicester Square(ish)

Good grief, is it Christmas again? How quickly do the seasons change as here we are again, mobilising the family into a weekend of Christmas cheer that usually kicks off our Holiday season. We are a little early and a little thrifty this year due to the packed nature of our December 2014 but nevertheless, we were determined to have as much Christmas Spirit as possible.

As ever, we attended a West End Show (Billy Elliot this year - a little unexpectedly sweary perhaps but thankfully that went straight over the Childs head), but unfortunately that left no cash left for proper grubs (boo!). Not to be dismissed from our annual trip without any new experience however, I took a stand and dived into the Jamaica Patty Company for some Jerk chicken to warm up the cold afternoon.

Despite being a very disconcerting colour and a suspiciously familiar shape, the patty was really rather good. The colour clearly came from some kind of sweet potato which had been blended into the pastry in some kind of diabolical alliance but which was totally delicious. The chicken filling was warming but not hot and the taste of the jerk was certainly there even if it wasn't as fiery as I would have preferred. That said, the spice blend was still punchy and so tasty that Mrs P and the Child both had a few bites as the pasty-ahem-patty was passed around.

Their menu isn't exactly busting at the seams but there were quite a few options including curried goat or ackee and saltfish which I would like to try although that said,I've had saltfish before and found it very... salty. I have no idea if there are any more of these (a quick Google says not) or if any more are planned but I can certainly recommend having a go at this one. for 4 quid in central London, this is a decent snack to keep you on the go.