Dabbous. Foodies crush on them, reviewers adore them, in-flight magazines feature them. This media hype makes Dabbous superbly sought after. When I last checked, they were booked for dinner until March, 2013. Lunch is more accessible, the bar even more so.
Overall, we had a great time downstairs. The bar staff was very friendly and helpful. They must have been bored because they were running through a list of Robin Williams' films including Mork & Mindy, Jumanji, Flubber (I suggested she sees the original), and Good Will Hunting. As we were leaving, I even got some tips from the restaurant manager on how to get a table in the next two weeks. Are you interested as I am?
39 Whitfield Street,
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Hawksmoor - Spitalfield was nearby.
157 Commercial Street
London E1 6BJ
This is the Spitalfield location's bar menu cover. Please note that the upstairs and downstairs menus are different because they have two separate kitchens.
157 Commercial Street
London E1 6BJ
Saturday, August 18, 2012
However, food was my mission. It's always my mission. It's true I was hunting for my friend, but why let a small thing like that sidetrack me from what matters? Here's a colorful stall from Gujarati Rasoi advertising traditional indian food. Bhujia, a fried treat consisting of gram flour, spices, and vegetables, were £1, so I grabbed a quick snack and kept hunting.
My friends were waiting for the above to happen. A band was promoting an event next Saturday using Swing Patrol London dancers. They were taking their sweet time moving to Broadway Market and I was getting antsy. There was so much to be explored here and I was waiting for some sort of parade (note: it wasn't a parade).
At the topmost point of Broadway Market, near London Fields, hang a right for more stalls. My hunger could be sated and I was close enough to the road to hear the band coming. I headed straight to Don Arancini for their risotto balls. Two flavors especially caught my eye - the chorizo, saffron, and chili and the goat's cheese, sun dried tomato and basil. However, there is a deal. If you buy three, it's £3.50 where as one is £1.50. What a great deal! I asked for a suggestion and he went with a new selection, the feta, olive, and spinach. I left happy with my three arancinis and more red onion jam.
It's easy to get sidetracked by Olympic fever and a sign boasting that Usain Bolt ate here. My hands were rather full with arancinis, but they were advertising plantain. I hadn't had those in a while, so I inquired about getting those as a side. This option isn't advertised, but I was informed it would be £2.50. Once agreed, they took a small takeout box and loaded it up with plantain. They were sticky, slightly sweet, and could be eaten with my fingers. I was very happy.
Whereas the parade was lame, the ice cream wasn't. Chateaux Gelato appeared with their bicycle toting frozen sweets. I had to have the orange zest, rosemary, and honey ice cream. A bit of citrus, but something lurking beneath, something herbaceous. Rosemary added a great balancing touch.
I was slowly filling up on savory and sweet morsels. Then this pie shop temped me with their inexpensive mini-pies. One apple and blackberry pie was inhaled.
The Northfield Farm allowed me to stand in front of the grilling hamburgers and sizzling bacon smoke. I would have loved to sample their menu, but I was too full.
Same thing here. I loved Scotch Eggs and they even had a Thai Red Curry Pork Scotch egg, but I passed. I want to consume immediately and not wait. The food was meant to be enjoyed willingly and the full stomach dost protest.
Slices of wild board, venison and blue goat's cheese hard cured meats don't count.
Roast Hog was at the market.
Musicians were playing the blues on the street corner. One of them works at Passing Clouds.
So the market comes to an end. It did wonderful work- providing me something sweet, something savory, and something to keep away drafts (Harris Tweeds, etc). If you're in London, definitely check out this market.
Monday, August 13, 2012
We had a reservation for four persons. I was excited. As the only one Fifteen newbie, my friends ordered the Antipasti Board with seasonal vegetables pictured above. This featured large green olives, creamy mozzarella with olive oil and spices, mortadella, salsami, pickled beets and charred butternut squash. My favorites were the mozzarella, mortadella, and charred butternut squash.
15 Westland Place
London, N1 7LP
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Welcome to the Nightjar, one of London's finest speakeasy-style drinking establishments located a 7 minute walk away from my friends' apartment. I recommend calling and reserving seats. Depending on the day and time there may or may not be a doorperson checking your name against a list.
Regardless, you'll be greeted downstairs. Notice the brick walls, dim lighting, antique devices. An antiquated charm fills the air.
Booth seating beneath swooping art deco birds?
Table seating facing the piano? Live music occurs a few days a week.
Bar seating underneath the tin plated ceiling?
We came for drinks, so without further ado let's begin. We were seated at the the farthest edged table facing the piano. We were waiting for 3 other friends, but we were on time and ready to begin. As I glanced through their menu, I was filled with questions. What is this liqueur? Why is this cocktail named as it is? Is this infusion for real? And I kept glancing back at the bar. Noting my wagging head, my friend just told me to begone.
Even the little breads with chutney relish couldn't keep me from the bar. I asked a server if I could sit at the bar. Since I was in another country, I thought it best to ask. They asked a bartender and I moved seats.
Switching seats did have benefits such as the those two matching delicacies of bacon and jelly. Please notice the playing card labeled "Moby Dick". This cocktail features whaleskin infusion, one item that struck my curiosity. You can also buy the Nightjar card deck for £4. They get their whaleskin infusion from Japan.
Here are some quick Nightjar notes:
1. It's difficult to understand some of the bartenders.
2. Questions are brusquely answered by the bartenders.
3. The bartenders don't want pictures taken at their bar station.
Overall, this doesn't add to a fun experience sitting at the bar. Because questions are hurriedly answered, it was hard to fully understand them through their accents. I understand they have a job to do, but I enjoy this interaction as part of my cocktail experience. Not only am I there to enjoy my drinks and socialize with friends, I want to learn something new and capture these memories in detail.
This is why I headed back to my original table with my Arabic spiced rum drink, The Arrack Julab. Garnished with turkish delight and rose petals it was a headily spiced drink. Now it was a table of 5 which meant much cocktail sampling and pictures. I will try to label the following pictures appropriately, but some might slip through the cracks.
The Moby Dick
129 City Road