London is full of the most wonderful foodie experiences throughout the year and I have set myself the aim of visiting one a month and eating out. I want to meet new and exciting chefs and taste some of the brilliant food being cooked around town. I love seeing how other chefs put menus together and my January choice didn’t fail to impress.
Chef and author Oliver Rowe collaborated with Alex Hely-Hutchinson of 26 Grains to put on a brilliant evening at the wonderfully stylish Calvert 22 cafe in Shoreditch. So, on a bitterly cold Friday evening, I ventured along with Charlotte, Social Pantry’s marketing manager, for a fun night out east.
When we arrived I was struck by the pure simplicity of the table setting. Fresh flowers and effortlessly stylish tableware allowed the food to take centre stage. The food itself was divine. The menu emphasised the strengths of both chefs, subtly combining Alex’s favoured grains with Oliver’s seasonal ingredients. In short, each course was memorable and overall it really hit the spot.
On The Menu
Millet and Beetroot Cakes with Stilton & Pickled Fennel
Pear, Jerusalem Artichoke and Roast Garlic Salad with Carawy, Rye Crumb, Tuorog & Pink Radicchio
Braised Fennel-Seed back Ribs with Wheatberry and Red Cabbage Salad, Pickled Apple, Sour Cream & Dill
Beetroot Frangipan, Apple and Oat Tart with Toasted Buckwheat & Honey Ice Cream
Highlight dish: The slow cooked ribs were to die for. It may be a cliche, but these ribs really did melt in the mouth and literally fell off the bone. Oliver himself describes them by licking his lips whilst making sucking noises. I agree!
Takeaway: I thought the combination of quinoa, beetroot, blue cheese, and fennel was a great idea and I’m going to work it into my canapé menu soon.