On The Menu: Chicken's feet; Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking; Flahavan's porridge oats; Dom Perignon
This week I've been eating... Chicken's feet
Yauatcha, the Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, is a funny collision between east and west. It looks like a nightclub and has a bouncer that wouldn't shame the Minisitry of Sound. But go past him and it's top-flight Cantonese dim sum. The food is impossibly dainty and pretty, so you almost feel bad eviscerating it. But the rewards for the blasphemy are big. The three-mushroom cheung fun is a joy of contrasting textures. Har Gau dumplings came bursting with prawn. And it serves a delicacy I'd wanted to try for some time, having heard its joys enumerated by the Chinese food writer Fuchsia Dunlop – chicken's feet.
They came slow-cooked and spiced, looking like something from pre-history. But the flesh slid from the bone, and once you silence the thin vinegary voice in your head complaining of the texture, they become something approaching a joy. Dont believe me? Try for yourself, if you dare.
I become forgetful at lunchtime, my brain is quite often still at my desk as I walk out the door. This manifests itself in one particularly annoying way: when I pop out, as most weeks I do, to pick up some sushi, I hardly ever remember to pick up chopsticks. No tragedy of course, but it does tend to make for a messy lunchtime. Which is where the new Twin One from Lekue comes in. The set is both a washable knife and fork set – good for the environment – and an easy-to-use pair of chopsticks , which is good for your shirt front, too. £10, jwpltd.co.uk
The best Indian food is often vegetarian Indian food, something not lost on Kaushy Patel, the author of new cookbook 'Prashad: Indian Vegetarian Cooking'. Patel's tiny Bradford curry house was a big hit on Channel 4's 'Ramsay's Best Restaurants' in 2010 and now she's brought together a selection of her tastiest recipes for us all to have a bash at. Some were taught to her by her grandmother in southern India (garlicky purple yam) while others (pea and cauliflower curry) come from closer to home – either way, they're all pretty much unremittingly brilliant. £25, saltyardbooks.co.uk
Oats so tasty
The nights are drawing in and the weather has started to pinch, but there is one consolation: it's time to start eating porridge for breakfast again. But with the stash from last winter long past its best – which to buy? The very best around comes from the family-owned firm Flahavan, which make thick-cut golden Irish oats, which create a porridge of such extreme creaminess and deep flavour that I'd be happy to eat just that for breakfast until next summer. £4.99, tesco.com
The partnership between director David Lynch and Dom Perignon is an eccentric one – but it bears fruit. First he produced an ice-cool video for them, and now he's designed a bronze shield for the marque's 2003 blanc vintage. Possibly the ultimate Christmas gift for the boozy 'Blue Velvet' fan. £130, domperignon.com
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