On The Menu: Parlour; Opera Tavern; Dude Foods; Sous Chef; Roti Chai


This week I've been eating...fun foods

If you're bored with sombre, humourless restaurants then the newly renovated Parlour just north of London's Notting Hill might put a smile back on your face.

The cocktail list boasts sweet mixes that taste just like dessert (try a Not-in-Hill which is like sipping a lemon meringue pie). The delicious bread is freshly baked with maple syrup and their popcorn chicken is simply deep fried bites of breadcrumbed chicken but it comes in a bowl alongside real pieces of popcorn. It's all in the details, see.

Their beef pie is one of the finest I've tasted and it arrived looking like Desperate Dan's dinner: delightful. For dessert, the waiter torched meringue at the table to recreate Wagon Wheels, the school-time treat. If it all sounds a bit kitsch for you they have plenty of serious dishes such as salmon fishcakes on offer. But that would be ever so boring of you.


Small plates

Since opening in 2011 the Opera Tavern has been a go-to place for modern tapas. The restaurant is one of three owned by the Salt Yard Group, run by Sanja Morris, Simon Mullins and executive chef Ben Tish, who pretty much pioneered the small-plate concept.

Now, the group are releasing their first cookbook, a beautiful volume featuring some of Tish's best-loved recipes. There is truffled macaroni, mini Iberico pork burgers and some fine stuffed courgettes. Perfect for your new year dinner parties.

£30, Piquillo Publishing

Man eaters

Some people like junk food, get over it. That's the mantra of the Dude Foods website – a persuasive one, I'm sure you'll agree – a one-man homage to salty sat-fat combos. Still, some of Nick (the dude)'s creations look rather wonderful. Take the chicken and waffle wings for example, or the bacon weave grilled cheese sandwich. Yes, the latter does actually replace bread with woven rashers of bacon. See it to believe it.


Puff on this

Food in January. It's problematic. The rich delights of December (if you've even got any mince pies/ turkey/port left) would make anyone feel liverish. And anyway, we're supposed to be on a health kick. One way to put some vigour into dull but important healthy food like fish is with this nifty stovetop smoker by Camerons, from Sous Chef, our favourite one-stop web shop for culinary kit. Just £59 means you'll never have to endure plain steamed fish or chicken. There's also the bonus of looking like a pro as you whisk off the lid to waft around the smoky scents from within.

£59, souschef.co.uk

In the club

Roti Chai, the Indian restaurant in central London, is running a series of supper clubs during 2013. The first two on 14 and 21 January offers the chance to eat in the restaurant for £19 for two courses or three for £22. Dishes will include Amritsari stuffed kulcha and each dinner will have a different geographic theme.


Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Arts and Entertainment
Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey
Bafetibis Gomis of Swansea City is stretchered off at White Hart Lane
Jerry Seinfeld Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
peopleSitcom star urges men to be more supportive of women than ever
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
footballLouis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United and Wenger can still spring a surprise
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Arts and Entertainment
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Life and Style
love + sex
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot