Food News & Reviews: pork belly; kitchen knives; soup club; Christmas hampers; blended whiskies

 

This week I've been eating...old spot pork belly

A pinkish slice, slightly sweet from the molasses reduction, as long as your forearm and 2cm wide with a top of ruler-like crackling which snapped with a poke of the knife. Undoubtedly the highlight of the changing weekly four courses (plus snack course) set £39 menu at the Young Turks neon-adorned pop-up above the Ten Bells pub in London's Spitalfields. Before that, after too long a wait on a chair that may have been used in The Spanish Inquisition, came a parsnip, oat and pheasant creation which looked beige but tasted divine – the creamy oats against the paper-thin parsnips slices created a pleasing texture contrast (the leitmotif of the Young Turk's cooking here). The first course – grilled leek, dried scallop and a chewy red seaweed – was interesting rather than particularly fine; the chewy seaweed squashing the other, daintier, flavours. Wine is gently priced, starting at around £20. theyoungturks.com; the pop-up runs until 29 January.

Cutting edge

On the face of it, collecting kitchen knives seems a pretty niche preoccupation, and that's to put it charitably. But when you see the knives sold by the Japanese Knife Company, it would be a hard foodie heart that didn't beat a little quicker. The hand-made Aogami knives, commissioned by the owner Jay Patel from fourth-generation makers in Japan, are the perfect meeting of form and function, light in the hand, made from ultra-hard high-carbon Tungsten steel and, if Patel is to believed, able to cut a tomato into 150 pieces.

From £99, japaneseknifecompany.com

Bowled over

We've had supper, pudding and even sausage clubs, so why not a soup club? That's the thinking behind Devon farmer and soup-maker extraordinaire Rod Hall's latest venture. The man behind Rod and Ben's soup has opened the barn at his Bickham Farm for monthly meetings where enthusiasts can thrash out those pressing soupy matters of the day, like is leek really a good match for celeriac in a winter soup? Rod will be on hand to ladle out the advice. rodandbens.com

Box clever

It's always been a mystery to me as to who actually buys Christmas hampers. Undoubtedly they have a certain pyrotechnic luxury but, really, how much stilton and pickled relish does one household need? Kudos to SeeWoo then for creating two affordable hampers. Rather than heavy English fare, they're packed with East-Asian treats, ranging from every day things like soy sauce to more exotic items like crushed yellow beans and Sau Tao noodles. Plus they even throw in a wok, for good measure. £49.95, seewoo.com

Mine's a double

Purists may sneer, but blended whiskies are increasingly making their presence felt at the top end of the whisky market. The new honey-hued Johnnie Walker Blue Label has a sophisticated fruity palate and an earthy nose. Worth a look if you're after an extra-special christmas present. Though be warned, it comes in at a cool £129. thewhiskyexchange.com

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Recruitment Consultant (Graduate Trainee), Finchley Central

    £17K OTE £30K: Charter Selection: Highly successful and innovative specialist...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    Day In a Page

    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
    Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

    Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

    Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

    But could his predictions of war do the same?
    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

    Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

    Young at hort

    Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

    Beyond a joke

    Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

    Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

    A wild night out

    Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

    Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

    It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
    Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

    Besiktas vs Arsenal

    Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

    As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

    Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

    The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

    But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

    Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

    Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment