On The Menu: Juicy Lucy; British Street Food awards; Ruinart's flowers and champagne; smoked water; Yotam Ottolenghi
This week I've been eating... A juicy lucy
We're great fans of the burger renaissance that has swept over the capital of late, but every now and then you want more than just beef in a bun. So we were pleased to sample the Juicy Lucy at the opening of The Diner's outpost in London's Gloucester Road.
Although from the outside it might look a little like a veggie burger, it is in fact a pulled pork patty filled with cheese sauce and spicy coleslaw with a tangy, smoky St Louis barbecue sauce held together in a glazed bun. It's big, indulgent and full of flavour and one burger you won't feel any compunction about eating with a knife and fork.
In short, it is like cramming the entire southern BBQ experience into a bun – appropriate for a north London chain heading south (literally rather than metaphorically). Put even more simply, it is delicious and tasted particularly good while exploring the extensive beer menu. goodlifediner.com
Want to know how that pie van in Hull ranks when pitched against the hipster pizza truck you visited in east London? Well, the people behind the British Street Food awards have created an app to showcase the best street and market food around. It will detail the "specials" each place offers and also allow users to spread the word about their favourites and offer their own ratings on the food and the owner. britishstreetfood.co.uk
Flowers and champagne – a happy pairing if ever there's been one. Even happier, though, when the champagne in question is Ruinart's creamy blanc de blancs and the flowers are opalescent white roses. Head down to the Langham Hotel in London for a glass and a stem at the pop-up Ruinart flower stall currently installed in the Palm Court. The bouquet's mix of roses, white bouvardia, jasmine and green trachelium have been chosen to evoke the crisp and fragrant flavours of the champagne. ruinart.com
Smoked water might sound like the most bonkers idea you've heard since no-reservation restaurants. But on a visit to Anglesey last week, it was being touted as the Next Big Thing.
The water can be used as a sort of stock (apparently a supermarket is soon to make use of it in ready meals) or frozen into ice and used in drinks. It's fun as the former, but really comes into its own in the latter where, as it melts, it imparts a smoky character to drinks. Coming to a cocktail bar near you – soon, hopefully. halenmon.com
Not content with being a cook-book writer, TV star and restaurateur, Yotam Ottolenghi has for some months now had an online shop. In addition to lots of desirable bits and bobs from the Middle East, he is now selling a range of organic, biodynamic and raw wines with punchy Middle-Eastern flavour and a strong Mediterranean showing. ottolenghi.co.uk
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