On the menu: Grain Store: Smashing Plates: warm fizzy; beer cocktail; chocolate teacakes

Food news & reviews

This week I've been eating... corn and Quinoa with pork belly

Kingsley Amis famously said that the only critical tool anyone needs is the word "good" and variants thereof (running from 'bloody good' to 'good' to 'no good' to 'absolutely no bloody good whatsoever').

Making full use of the Kingsley scale, I'd say that Bruno Loubet's latest restaurant, Grain Store, in London's Kings Cross, is very bloody good indeed.

To watch the big Bordeaux-born chef at work in his "exploded" – read: very open – kitchen is to observe a master craftsman. His "veg-centric" dishes are little self-contained worlds of loveliness; taut, poised and clever.

At Grain Store, Loubet inverts the usual meat-main and veg-side formula. So the menu speaks of "corn and quinoa tamale... .with pork belly". The soft, meaty pillow of pork is here a mere addendum to the bulbous tamale with its nutty content pouring out – and, you know what, eating it, I couldn't be more pleased. grainstore.com

Greek diet

Maria Elia is not as other chefs. For she is both very talented cook – formerly head chef at Joe's, stints at El Bulli and Arzak – and also a very nice person (rarer than white truffle, that combo).

So excitement reigns here at the prospect of her new cookbook, Smashing Plates.

A paean to her heritage (her father is Greek-Cypriot), it's a beautiful book, stuffed like a sausage with pictures you just want to lick.

It traverses the whole broad sweep of Greek food with its sections on small plates, sharing plates, salads and sides and sweet things. £20, Kyle Books

Zingy? Erm...

It might have taken four long years of research, but Coca-Cola has finally pulled it off.

Consumers in Japan will soon be able to buy... a warm carbonated drink (no, you don't have to leave it out in the sun).

Canada Dry hot ginger ale, which contains ginger extract and apple and cinnamon, goes on sale in October and remains at a constant temperature no matter how it's stored.

It is undoubtedly a very clever, very impressive feat and all that stuff, but question is: who exactly wants to drink a can of warm, fizzy, ginger ale? Four years well spent, guys.

Top tipple

Two pieces of foodie news from the GQ Awards.

The first was unsurprising. Jason Atherton, shouty man, but fine cook, won the award for best chef. The second, a surprise: I fell hard and deep for a beer cocktail. Rémy Martin sponsored things and supplied the booze.

Its R&GQ – 35ml Rémy Martin, 20ml lemon juice, 15ml lemongrass and ginger syrup, topped with ale – is a particular triumph. Or at least it seemed it at 1am.

Chocs away

Peyton and Byrne's chocolate teacakes may owe very little to those things your gran used to eat – but, my god, they're good.

A milk chocolate biscuit base, gooey pistachio centre, a Tunnock's-like marshmallow filling and a diaphanous skin of rich white chocolate – what's not to like? £3, peytonandbyrne.co.uk

ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
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