On the menu: Casa Negra's beef ribs; AeroPress coffee maker; London Fashion Week food; Raymond Blanc; Jammie Dodgers


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Indy Lifestyle Online

This week I've been eating... beef ribs

I can't be wholly sure, of course, but I suspect that the ribs on sale at Casa Negra may have been extracted from some sort of pre-historic monster. How else to explain their size? I have never, in my entire 26 summers of life seen so much meat on a bit of cow – it's like a mini tower block.

Meat is not the only thing they do well at Shoreditch's Casa Negra, the little sister of Soho's 2012 buzz restaurant La Bodega Negra. Their cocktails pack quite a wallop, too – but it is with the meat they excel.

Skirt steak, sliced, covered in habanero sauce, is finely textured and with a blowtorch char. But it is those ribs that are the big deal.

They reminded me of the ones I tried at the Memphis Barbecue Festival in May; the meat soft and rich and giving, but not quite ready to fall from the bone without the surgical application of a fork. The only criticism: it was, perhaps, a little too big. casanegra.co.uk

Coffee break

Invented in 2005 by the coffee-loving tycoon behind the Aerobie frisbee, the AeroPress has become the toast of the US barista set.

It's now plunged its way to Britain. It looks like a fat syringe – and sort of is one. Stick the chamber on top of your mug, add a spoon of coffee, some hot water, and stir.

Slowly depress the plunger to compress the air in the chamber, forcing the coffee through a filter paper into the cup. It's quicker than a cafetiere and easier to clean. Moreover, I can attest that it offers a smoother, richer brew.

In fashion?

There may be two weeks before models start teetering down the runway for London Fashion Week, but the spurious fashion-food link-ups have begun in earnest.

And so, imminently to the supermarket shelves, comes the Müller Light toffee yoghurt by Giles Deacon, which seems to be rather like the standard stuff but with a fancy top.

That not enough to sate your fashion thirst? Well, you could always head to Buddha Bar in London's Knightsbridge, where, throughout September, you can have a skinful of the "Kate Moss" cocktail, a punchy mix of elderflower, champagne and vodka.

Cartoon chef

Behold, he is reborn. Everyone's favourite French chef, Raymond Blanc, features in a new iPad app ... as an earthworm called Henri.

Blanc is not seeking recourse through lawyers, however, as it is his son, Olivier, who created the character.

Blanc junior's app, voiced by Simon Pegg, follows Henri's journey around a vegetable patch and aims to teach children about where food comes from, while encouraging them to help out in the kitchen. £2.99, iTunes


The news that the company behind Jammie Dodgers is up for sale for £350m yields some interesting facts.

I had no idea that the biscuit which guided me through childhood was named after The Beano's Roger the Dodger. Or, more pertinently, that it is owned by, er, a Canadian Bank...