On the menu: Chawanmushi; Lily Vanilli; Absolut Originality; Hotel Chocolat; Bistroteque

On the menu: chawanmushi; Peanut Hottie; Keevil and Keevil butchers; Camberwell Love

This week I've been eating...Chawanmushi (savoury custard)

The Corner Room restaurant, tucked away in the white marble splendour of the Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel in London, has one of the most inviting dining rooms I can think of.

The oak floors, wall of pendant lamps and spiral-staircase sculpture leading to absolutely nowhere give proceedings a whimsical air. It’s warm and playful; the sort of place you got to for the type of long lunch that last through to the next morning.

The food is playful too, and sometimes experimental. A dish of “cod gazpacho” came out as slivers of ceviche cod with a snowy dusting of gazpacho granita. A triumph.

Even better was its take on Chawanmushi, the Japanese savoury custard. It is a country garden in a bowl, the custard firm, topped with shiitake mushroom, strips of corn and a little forest of edible flowers. Beautiful food, beautiful place. townhallhotel.com/corner_room

Cakes and ale

Lily Vanilli is just about the busiest foodie I know. She is a graphic designer, she has a bakery in east London, she designs cakes of startling beauty and deep originality and now she’s turned to the bottle: making her own beer.

Working with  the nanobrewery at London’s Sebright Arms (where it is now on sale), she has created a light wheat beer with a distinctly fruity flavour, the result of adding a home-made syrup of English raspberries and gorse flowers to the mix. Who says brewing and cake-making don’t mix? £5, sebrightarms.co.uk

Shot cloth

Typically, designers are employed by booze brands to draw deep on their own inspirations to create new bottle shapes or to jazz up labels. Well, that’s the usual order of things anyway. At Absolut, however, that message seems to have got a bit lost.

Its collaboration with emerging fashion designer Kitty Joseph has seen Joseph design a three-piece capsule collection of clothes which are inspired by the new Absolut Originality bottle, rather than the other way around. It sounds bonkers, of course, because it is bonkers, but that said, I’ve got rather a soft spot for her creations. addyourdrop.com

Choc-o- lantern

It is at this time of year that I like to pick up a  pumpkin and bite into it. Not a real one (well, unless it’s cooked). No, the ones I like are made from chocolate and come in little trays from Hotel Chocolat. Its autumn collection is an absolute cracker. In the interests of fair testing, I cleared my diary last weekend and sat down with a box. Reader, I ate every single one and I can say, hand on heart, that there was not a duff one among them £12.50, hotelchocolat.com

Bistro-on-sea

London restraurant Bistroteque is going on its holidays this weekend. Swapping its usual warehouse for a 30-seat restaurant in a B&B, Broadstairs’ Belvidere Place. It will be serving local oysters, terrines, fish stew and, best of all, loads of champagne to punters at the Broadstairs Food Festival. £60, bistrotheque.eventbrite.co.uk

News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Sport
Robin van Persie scores the third for Manchester United with a perfectly-guided header
footballLive! Chelsea vs West Ham kicked off 10 Boxing Day matches, with Arsenal vs QPR closing the action
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
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

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all