On the menu: Chia pods; chocolate; Butler's Wharf; Bistro Bruno Loubet; Govino's glasses
Samuel Muston is deputy editor & food editor of The Independent Magazine. He writes a weekly food column – On the Menu – which appears in The Independent on Friday and i on Monday. And also travel and general features. Follow him on Instagram at @smuston
Thursday 15 August 2013
This week I've been eating... Chia pods
Have you ever tasted virtue? I only ask because I have – this week in fact. It came in a little pot with a spoon in the lid and was called a Chia Pod.
I'd eaten chia seeds once before, for a piece about people who eat only raw food, which meant that the marketing person's warning that they "look a bit like tapiocca" fell on deaf ears; they actually look like a pullulating mass of frogspawn.
Still, there are people who swear by them, and not just rawies. Models and athletes, apparently, can't manage to get up in the morning without a few shovelfuls of the stuff – they are, after all, high in protein, fibre and omega 3.
What, though, do they taste like?
Well, you quickly get over the frogspawn thing and end up getting a kick from the crunch of the seeds. Taste-wise, they are pretty neutral, though they absorb the blueberry tones nicely. Virtue, in this case, has to be its own reward. £2.59, thechiaco.com.au
It has been a week of chocolate here at The Independent. We've barely been able to move for the stuff. We were just getting over the launch of Hotel Chocolat's new range of savoury products – white chocolate horseradish, anyone? Cocoa gin, maybe? – and then Baileys Chocolat Luxe trundled along. The wrong-side-of-the-sheets child of standard Baileys and, seemingly, a huge Belgian chocolate bar, it tastes like a molten chocolate in a glass. Less amusing is Prestat's Knickerbocker glory – it looks like a pensioner's nightdress and it tastes like one, too.
As London's biographer Peter Ackroyd is fond of reminding people, the word "Thames" is derived from Sanskrit term for dark. Only thing is, "the dark river" ain't so dark any more, being assailed, by a thousand lights. Not between 6 and 15 September, though, when the four restaurants in Butler's Wharf will be shutting off the power and serving diners by candlelight on a long table on the riverbank. Three courses, cocktail and coffee for £35. Booking line: 0207 940 1833
Eat all about it
Oh, but if all chefs were as Bruno Loubet, the ebullient Dordogne- born chef-proprietor of London's Bistro Bruno Loubet and the Grain Store at King's Cross. Considered the "chef's chef", he's been feeding London's dining classes since the 1980s – and, lord, let him continue. Unlike most chefs of his stature – a flighty bunch, they – he's putting his spatula where his mouth is with his latest plan for the Bistro.
He'll is serving a special menu composed of dishes featured in his latest cookbook Mange Tout, through until the end of September. All the encouragement anyone needs to get cooking, surely? bistrotbrunoloubet.com
There is something jarring about drinking wine out of plastic glasses – doubly so if it's a decent bottle. But needs must when the sun is shining. There is a happy medium, though: Govino's re-usable, rather shapely plastic glasses. That's this weekend's picnic sorted. From £10, aroundwine.co.uk
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