Monday 15 April 2013

Pick n' Mix: Part 3

3-Cup Frogs Legs
Bao London has, as yet, no permanent home but they've been appearing all around the place. Serving Taiwanese snacks, I first came across them when I went to a dodgy old pub in Dalston. There, we ate the best pork buns I've come across (better than Momofuku's, even). Braised pork belly is shredded and stuffed into a soft bun, garnished with pickled vegetables, coriander and crushed peanuts. The second time round at Pacific Social, they even had their own holders. 3 cup frogs legs are inspired by a traditional Taiwanese dish, the three cups being soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine. These ones (above) had the lightest, crisp batter and an intense sweet and savoury sauce. 

Pork Bun
Someone is obviously very good at frying as the soy milk fried chicken was light and greaseless. A salad of pomelo and other crispy bits was a good palate-cleanser and kept the scurvy at bay. They will be at the Gherkin on the 25th (lunchtime) and King's Cross on the 26th, with Kerb. Keep an eye on their twitter stream for other pop-ups: @bao_london

Tozino jamon
It was hammering it down with rain the first time I ducked into Bar Tozino on Maltby Street market. Looking something like an abattoir, huge hams hang from the ceiling, slightly swaying and the wood-heavy room is lit with red bulbs. Hams down one end are set up to carve from, and a black board lists their price. We spent a very enjoyable half hour slurping on sherry and gulping down expertly sliced Iberico jamon with a couple pieces of pan con tomate for good measure. 

Bar Tozino, Lassco Ropewalk, Maltby Street, London SE1 3PA. (Cash only)

Chicken kara-age burger
I was invited down to Tonkotsu on Dean Street to try out the new chicken kara-age burger. These are currently only served at sister restaurants Tsuru Sushi (Bishopsgate, SE1 and Mansion House - see link for address details) and are priced at £4.95. Sweet, sesame seeded brioche buns encase juicy fried chicken thigh meat. The meat has been marinaded in something magic as it is so flavoursome. Some lettuce and a smear or three of mayo complete the burger, but I strongly suggest you add some of Tsuru's famous 'eat the bits' chilli oil. Fairly mild as chilli oils go but so tasty nonetheless.

Soho Ramen
If you can't get to a Tsuru in your lunch break then Tonkotsu's Soho Ramen is pretty sexy too. This is a clear chicken and pork broth, served with a marinated egg and a gorgeous lightly smoked piece of haddock, topped with a little lumpfish caviar in a bed of properly springy, home-made ramen noodles. The above was a baby bowl (I had just eaten a burger...) - full size is £11.

Tonkotsu, 63 Dean Street, London W1D 4QG (no reservations)

Gizzi's Cottage Pie
I went to Gizzi Erskine's dinner at The Drapers Arms last week. A huge dinner for 60-odd people, Gizzi cooked recipes from her new cookbook, Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts. Happily it was the latter side she was cooking from. Looking completely unflustered despite cooking for so many (and served all at the same time!) we were treated to salmon tartare with chilli and rocket, amazing beetroot-pink devilled eggs, roasted chicken with truffled gnocchi and this cottage pie with bone marrow chimneys. Rich and indulgent, had I not stuffed myself so silly on the starters I'd have stolen the whole lot. We all got a copy of the book to take home with us and I immediately got stuck into making the tuna tartare on crispy rice recipe. 

Tuna tartare on crispy rice
It's a terrible picture - my housemates were not keen on waiting - but it basically consists of sashimi-grade tuna minced up with spring onions, mayonnaise, sriracha (a Thai garlicky chilli sauce) and sesame oil, left to marinate for an hour. You cook up some seasoned sushi rice and leave it to cool, then pack into blocks with oiled hands and fry in butter until browned. You're left with crispy rice blocks that you pile the tuna on top of (once cooled a bit). I went left-field and additionally topped it with ikura as I bloody love ikura. Crispy rice is a  beautiful revelation. The book is really great - you can buy it here


Ayot said...

All of that foods look nice but can you make a label on each pictures to make it clear which one is you describe about. I just little confuse to find out.

Anonymous said...

All this food looks amazing! Now craving a pork bun, looks so good. Yum!

FoodNerd x

Catherine said...

Informative post, thanks. Ayot, each dish is described underneath its picture.

Hollow Legs said...

Ayot - your wish, my command!

Food Nerd - it was SO good.

Catherine - pleased you liked it.

Mr Noodles said...

I want BAO!

Susan said...

That tartare looks ridiculously delicious. I'm with you on the ikura, nice touch.

Sally said...

If you like the crispy rice you should go to Sapporo Ichiban restaurant in Catford. They do a "sushi pizza" which is unlike anything I've ever eaten but might be where Gizzi got the idea from!