Around the world (a greedy few weeks)

A combination of a gland infection, my stag do (and the subsequent mild alcohol-induced brain damage) coupled with some rather mixed reviews from friends as to the point of my blog have been the prime causes of my recent hiatus.  Fear not dear reader – I am now back in full health and have planned a quiet week in order to actually get some cooking and blogging done.

Despite the various maladies that I have been suffering from of late, I have as usual managed to squeeze in some very good eating and the last few weeks have had a particularly international flavour with Thai, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese and Brazilian on the menu.  I won’t describe them all but here are the highlights:

As well as restaurants I have enjoyed some utterly fantastic home entertaining.  I adore going to friend’s for supper or having dinner parties at home and they are always fun occasions however a recent Mexican feast particularly stands out.  We were served delicious Sopa de Lima which was absolutely bursting with flavour, followed by the most amazing chicken mole which instantly transported me back to our wonderful holiday and first time we tried this unique sauce in Puebla.  It has all left me desperately hankering to go back to Mexico – I could just eat all day there!

All of these delights were preceded by the most awesome home made guacamole (I used to think I made the best but I have been beaten!) with absolutely perfect balance of creamy avocado and piquant chilli. This was served with a selection of jalapenos and pickles and all washed down with amazing tequila.  Typical Brit that I am, I innocently enquired as to the whereabouts of the lime and salt (the traditional accompaniments I am sure you will agree) when I was presented with a rather large measure!  I didn’t realise Tequila even could be sipped but this stuff was superb (in fact a bit too good – we got through quite a lot!). We also enjoyed pulled pork with pickled onion (not the English type) and red rice.  Such a memorable evening – my only concern about the whole thing is how on earth I am ever going to be able to recreate a feast of such epic proportions when we return the hosting favour!

The Feast!

Other recent treats included a banquet for two at the Royal China on Fulham Road.  This was an extra special treat as the fiancés dislike of Chinese is directly proportional to my passion for it. As I had been ill and he is so wonderful he was desperate to take me for a nice treat to cheer me up even if that meant his least favourite food.  My virus did not seem to have any effect on my appetite (sadly as the belly continues to expand at an alarming rate – and before you ask I am not pregnant – I checked!!) and I ordered so much food that the waitress told us with some alarm that she thought we had chosen enough after!  So much food arrived on the table that the poor non-Chinese food liking fiance’s eyes bulged in horror.  Prawns in garlic and chilli salt, smoked chicken, pork ribs, seaweed and ‘hairy prawns’ followed by Peking duck and pancakes etc, followed by vegetables in garlic sauce, special fried rice, chicken in black bean sauce and Kung Po prawns, Followed by (yes this is just for two people, well one and a half really!!) fruit and a delicious coconut jelly style sweet.

Just the warm up - course one of four

I don’t know why I almost don’t want to admit this as I feel I am somehow following the hype but it has to be said that Royal China really does do the best Chinese around.  Rest assured you that the feast (and doggy bag I took home when we finally ran out of steam) was a great tonic and the next day I was fully recovered from my horrid lurgy.

The following night this stomach stretching excess was repeated all over again, this time at Prezo, a Brazilian style meat restaurant.  The premise is that you are given a little card, red on one side, green on the other.  As long as your card is displaying the green light, a constant stream of roasted meats are served cut from a sort of sword they have been roasting on by the passing ‘Passadores’.  I made the fatal error of arriving hungry and piling my plate so full at the salad bar with rice, fried plantain and all sorts of other treats that I did not leave sufficient room for the meat.  Luckily this is the kind of restaurant you go to for an all night scoffing session rather than a quick bite and I got a second wind a little later on.  The absolute highlight for me was the beef ribs – cooked to perfection with a lovely crisp outside and melt in the mouth meat. 

The meat roaster!

And finally we travel to India (by way of Kentish Town) where we supped upon an absolutely delightful Goan fish curry – the flavours were perfectly balanced- it was spicy without being overpowering despite the fact our hosts admitted that 16 green chillies had gone into the mix. I will ask for the recipe and post it shortly. 

I hope that whistle-stop tour around the world has tickled your taste buds!  Until next time….

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4 responses to “Around the world (a greedy few weeks)

  1. Dear Cos I,
    You have made me so hungry with all this! Also, could you tell me what those Mexican dishes are? I am not familiar with them (i.e. Supa di Lima and chicken Mole) Thanks.

  2. Mole is an amazing sauce originally from Puebla in Mexico – it is made up from twenty (or sometimes more) ingredients and there are many regional variations. Ingredients include cinamon, chile, onion, garlic, sesame, clove, anise, cumin and many others but the most important ingredient that sets it aside from other sauces is the dark chocolate. Mole paste is quite hard to find in England but there are some specialist websites you can order it from.

    Sopa de Lima is something we had a lot in the Yucatan province of Mexico – it is extremely refreshing and tasty in the heat. It is basically chicken soup but cooked with chilli, coriander and lots of fresh lime – I will try and make a batch and post the recipe i the next week or two. Thanks for your comment!
    (Pau – I hope that is all correct – I am not a Mexican food expert – just a big fan!)

  3. This blog is a wonderful idea. Please can you review Royal China in Mayfair, Yauatcha in Soho and Bombay Brasserie in South Kensington! I need to remeniss with some old favourites now I am living in Sydney!

  4. I would love to – are you offering to sponsor me!!??

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