Back in July 2021 when I was working in (what was then) a very quiet London I went to the Leather Lane street food market and after queuing in the rain had a delicious Brazilian Samba Box.
Though since then I have been to the Leather Lane street food market many times, I hadn’t had a chance to repeat the experience. Mainly as there is a lot of choice in the market and I like to try different things, also, the queue for the stall is often very lengthy.
So on a return visit to Leather Lane street food market I decided I would have another Samba Box. I joined the queue and waited, no rain this time, and the queue moved quite fast. I chose the chargrilled chicken thighs which were served with Rio rice, black beans, coleslaw and lettuce. I also had some additional halloumi with my dish.
It looked great and was very tasty.
The chicken had lots of flavour, but this time was a little dried out compared to my previous visit. I liked the salad and the rice was nice as well I had mine served with chimichurri which was a nice accompaniment.
I really enjoyed the whole box and it was so nice to have something, fresh and tasty.
I was in London and staying at the Fox and Goose close to Hangar Lane. This is a Fullers Hotel and is part of the same chain at Drayton Court, which I have also stayed at.The restaurant is in the older part of the hotel, as the hotel bit is now a new build at the back.
When I was staying at the Drayton Court Hotel I had some excellent meals. The Fox and Goose had a slightly different menu than the Drayton Court, but there were similarities.
For my starter I went with the Laverstoke Park Farm Mozzarella with Isle of Wight tomatoes and pine nut pesto.
It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, the amount of lettuce was surprising.
The mozzarella was nice and fresh, and I also liked the pesto.
There was some heritage tomatoes, but it was also a little too chilled for my liking. As a result it wasn’t as flavoursome as I think it could have been. I certainly felt the tomatoes lacked flavour.
Though I have coffee from Coco di Mama quite regularly, it is generally not a place I choose lunch from. Not that I’ve had bad food from there, on the contrary I’ve enjoyed eating lunch when I’ve being there. I think the reason is that there are quite a few choices in the area (of our office) so with that many options, I rarely frequent a single place. However it is the best place for coffee close to the office.
Having little time to get some lunch, the first place I ventured to was Pret, however they were doing well and only seemed to have tuna salad left on their shelves. I decided to head to Coco di Mama, as I thought if I can’t get a salad, I will have a pasta pot.
They were quite scarce on salads as well, my colleague nabbed the last chicken caesar salad. I looked over and went for the vegan nourish and flourish salad pot.
This was mixed leaves, with orzo pasta, tomatoes, mixed seeds, peppers, radishes and other ingredients. I had a balsamic vinegar dressing with it. I also bought a bread roll to go with it.
This is a very simple salad, that is quick and easy to make.
I take a ball of mozzarella and break it into pieces. You could cut it, but I think tearing it allows the broken edges to capture the dressing. Then add some sliced tomatoes. I like using heritage tomatoes if I can get them, but at this time of year I try and get a fully flavoured tomato. I then add some basil leaves, tearing the bigger leaves in half. I then dress the salad with some olive oil, white wine vinegar, and then season with salt and pepper.
I was staying at the Doubletree Hilton in Ealing and was eating in the hotel restaurant.
I decided to go for a salad for dinner. I chose the heritage beetroot salad with caramelised walnuts, lime juice honey dressing, rocket and grilled halloumi.
I have to say that this was an excellent salad. I liked the thin slices of beetroot and the lime juice honey dressing added sweetness and sharpness. The caramelised walnuts were probably a little over caramelised for my liking, but added crunch and sweetness. The grilled halloumi wasn’t great and I have had better halloumi in other salads. Having said that the overall combination of the salty halloumi, sweet walnuts and dressing and beetroot was really tasty. The different slices of heritage beetroot were great, the candy tripe beetroot having a different flavour to the traditional purple beetroot. The only thing I would say was that for a main course salad it was smaller that I expected. I would probably have added more mixed leaves to bulk it out.
Alongside I had some freshly oven baked bread.
I expected to get a couple of rolls, but was impressed with the quantity and variety of breads in the basket. It was supposed to come with some olive oil and balsamic glaze, but all I got was the butter. I didn’t managed to ask about this, but I was happy with the butter. Most of the bread was tasty.
I did enjoy this meal, salad and bread are two things I really like.
This recipe for a cauliflower salad was inspired by a dish I once had in a cafe in Wapping Wharf (sadly now closed).
Take some fresh cauliflower and cut it into thin slices, I usually use about a third of the cauliflower when making the dish.
In a bowl add some mayonnaise, a splash of olive oil and half a teaspoon of curry powder. The olive oil thins out the mayonnaise making it easier to coat the cauliflower slices. The curry powder adds spice and warmth to the dish.
Stir and coat the cauliflower slices with the mayonnaise mix, do this gently so you don’t break the cauliflower too much. I also add some unsalted cashew nuts as well to the salad. Season with salt and pepper.
Looking for gluten free versions of wheat based dishes was always challenging, but becoming less so.
We have always enjoyed the prepared salads from M&S, but alas most of them contain gluten.
I had been looking for a pack of gluten free couscous for a while, so when I saw a pack of Clearspring Organic Corn Couscous this looked like a solution.
It was really easy to prepare I added 100ml of stock to 65g of the dried couscous and left for five minutes. I then used a fork to fluff the couscous. I added some diced cooked Mediterranean vegetables and seasoned with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.
I was really impressed, it had the texture of couscous and worked really well.
I was over in Dublin for an event and was staying at The Spencer Hotel. A dinner was planned in the restaurant and I was intrigued to see what we would be having. What was nice, was that we could choose from a menu of options.
For my starter I went with the Chicken Caesar Salad. This was crisp baby gem leaves, smoked bacon, crunchy croutons, poached chicken breast, parmesan shavings with classic caesar dressing. It was a nice caesar salad, though the chicken was a little bland. I think if I was cooking it, I would probably have served it with hot chicken, probably griddled, rather than poached.
For my main course I had the Ribeye Steak with chips. There was a delay in getting my food out, compared to the rest of the group, as there had been a mess up in the ordering (or I suspect someone else decided to have my steak instead of their sea bass, probably forgot what they ordered! When it did arrive, the steak was cooked well and I enjoyed it. I did think they had cooked the steak in an interesting way. It was medium-rare, as requested, but the outside was well cooked, a little too much for my liking. Having said that I did like the dish.
Desert was a trio of desserts, and they were nothing to write home about, so I won’t.