On The Menu: Yum buns; Dom Perignon; Potted Fish Company; French & Grace; astronaut ice cream
This week I've been eating...Yum buns
I've always said – to anyone concerned enough to listen – that I don't like street food. Well, I like the food – it's just the street part I'm not so keen on. The standing; the rain that seems to start after the first bite and causes me to eat my food while spatchcocked up against the side of the van, trying to stay under the awning; the inability to drink alcohol as you eat (admittedly there are some exceptions to this) – it all combines to make me think of it as a bit of a palaver.
Or at least it did. For I've changed my mind. The reason is Yum Buns, which, although out of action until 26 May, is usually found at Eat Street in London's King's Cross (Wednesdays) and Broadway Market (Saturdays). You may have guessed that they sell buns, but probably not that they're steamed rice buns, slit open, stuffed with roasted pork, and topped off with onions, chillies and oodles of sauce. They're so good I'd put up with the rain. yumbun.co.uk
For wine lovers – champagne lovers especially – 2003 was a peculiar year. The spring and summer seemed to switch. Chardonnay crops failed, oenophiles held their breath, and cellar masters predicted disaster. Unlikely as it seems, though, some houses used the conditions to their advantage. One of them is finickety Dom Perignon, which is touting its 2003 as one of their most food-friendly, and darkest (the ad has a moody shot of a bottle by David Lynch). Interested? You can try the wine and tasting menu at Birmingham's Simpsons, Bristol's Casamia and Claridge's in London. £70, domperignon.com
Well worth it
I'd like to be able to recommend the Potted Fish Company's Old English Potted Crab and Smoked Mackerel with Horseradish to you as the perfect addition to your picnic or something to serve with crudités and white wine on an early summer evening. But as summer seems to be dragging its heels this year, I'll just content myself with telling you that it's not only very pleasant, it's worthy, too – 10 per cent of the profits are shared between cancer and young people's charities. £3, sainsbury.co.uk
Take a peak
French & Grace's new cookbook, Kitchen & Co, is one of the prettiest to come out this year. Living up to its subtitle, "colourful home cooking through the seasons", it's chock-full of arresting photographs of the pair's folksy, easy-to-make dishes. And what dishes they are. Divided by season, the book showcases the best of the cooking you'd find in their well-regarded and very yummy restaurant, French & Grace, in Brixton Village. Expect things such as harissa beans with chorizo, egg and feta, and one-pot tarragon chicken. £16.99, kylebooks.com
The big freeze
I know this is gimmicky and a little daft, but I've fallen for the mint-choc-chip astronaut's ice cream sold by Edu-Sci. It may have more in common with the inside of an Aero bar than a Mr Whippy but the freeze-dried block, crunchy on the outside and a little softer inside, is quite fun. Maybe I'm biased, though: I always fancied being an astronaut. £3.99, astronautfood.co.uk
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