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Archive for the ‘FOOD AND DRINK’ Category

pub01

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A.Gold01

A.Gold02

A.Gold03

Yesterday after shopping in Judy’s Vintage Fair and then going through Brick Lane to take new street art photos popped up there, it looked like a nice idea to make a stop in A.Gold, a beautiful traditional British food shop next to the Old Spitalfields Market.

A.Gold in 42 Brushfield Street, is not just a little shop who sells old style jams, candies, treats, some kitchen accessories, good quality coffees, teas, etc, is also a place where you can enjoy a nice cup of Monmouth coffee, a cold bottle of Victorian lemonade or a freshly made sandwich.

Even the sandwich’s taste was pretty basic and nothing special, glad to visit this cozy and old style shop. A.Gold is open Monday-Friday 10.00-16.00 and weekend 11.00-17.00.

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In Turkey, the people is resisting since 31 May 2013 to protect their park, democracy and human rights. Court refused Gezi Park demolition.  Yesterday, thousands went to their park with the court decision and the police attacked them with tear gas, watercannon, plastic bullets.

Resist Gezi Park! Resist Turkey!

Diren Gezi Park01

Poster via #DirenGeziParki

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Buttermilk and bay leaf tart01

Yesterday’s kitchen activity was Ottolenghi’s buttermilk and bay leaf tart using the exact recipe at The Guardian except the bay leaf quantity (used 3 instead of 15).

Because of using 28 cm tart  dish for the recipe of 24 cm, our tart was slightly thiner but the taste is amazing and recipe is quite practical:

For the filling:

285ml buttermilk (one standard supermarket tub)
100ml double cream
15 bay leaves
50g melted unsalted butter
4 eggs
180g caster sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
½ tsp grated lemon zest

For the pastry:
150g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
80g cold unsalted butter, cubed
35ml ice-cold water

First make the pastry. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the butter and, with your hands, rub in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the water and bring the mixture together to form a dough. Stop mixing as soon as it comes together, wrap in clingfilm and store in the fridge for at least two hours.

Meanwhile, put the buttermilk, cream and bay leaves in a medium saucepan. Place on a very low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring all the time, making sure the buttermilk does not boil and split. If you have a thermometer, use it to check that the milk is not going above 70C. Leave to cool for at least an hour (or overnight, if you have time), then remove the bay leaves and stir in the melted butter.

Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Roll out the pastry into a 32cm-diameter circle. Very lightly grease a fluted tart tin that’s 24cm in diameter with a 4cm edge, and line with the pastry. Chill for 30 minutes, then line with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, bake for another 10 minutes until golden, then set aside to cool.

Raise the oven temperature to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and airy. Fold in the infused buttermilk, followed by the flour and lemon zest, and mix gently until smooth. Pour into the pastry shell and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool down. Take out of the tin and serve at room temperature.

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Taste of London01 2013

Since three summers, we are visiting Taste of London, the world’s greatest restaurant festival in Regent’s Park and tasting delicious meals cooked by the best chefs of London.

Previous years we visited Taste of London first day of the event to avoid the crowd of the weekend but this year, because of our Solstice trip to Stonehenge, we went there saturday. Maybe because of choosing the early session, maybe because of the bad (no waaay!) weather it was not so crowded as we concerned.

This year also we headed first to our favorite chef in Taste of London, to Chef Francesco Mazzei’s L’Anima. Then we continued with other meals in other restaurant stands we choosed from the list. After finishing the food tasting we enjoyed our mojito while we visit food sellers’ stands. There, our most delicious find was the half kilo smoked buffalo mozzarella from Fratelli La Bufala (can’t wait to eat!). Windy and rainy day but happy stomacs!

Fettucine with wild mushrooms, Grana Padana Riserva and black summer truffle by L’Anima. Taste of London02 2013

Pan-fried scallops served in the shell with pancetta, red chilli, parsley, capers, lentils di Castellucio and chopped rocket by Theo Randall at the Intercontinental.

Taste of London03 2013

Foie gras and truffle burger by Club Gascon.

Taste of London04 2013

Boudine noir et poitrine de porc, jus à la tomate épicée (pork belly and black pudding, tomato spiced jus) by Le Gavroche.

Taste of London05 2013

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This is the full page advertisement published in NY Times by Turkish people during the resistance of 2013.

What is happening in Turkey01

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Cilek receli01

When we were in our summer house, we picked more strawberries than we can eat each day from our garden and we made jam with some of them.

In Turkey, the best strawberry type for making the jam is this ones which we call Osmanlı (Ottoman), small, sweet and with a powerful strawberry smell.

The recipe is easy. Wash and clean 1 kg of strawberries…

Cilek receli02

Cover them with 1 kg of sugar and leave overnight (or at least 8 hours) in a flat pot to become juicy…

Cilek receli03

Cilek receli04

Next day, cook it in a pan in slow heat. During the cooking process, clean out the foams forming in the surface of the jam with the help of a spoon.

After the first 20 minutes, take the strawberries out with the help of a skimmer for not overcooking them and keep cooking the juice until it gets thick.

Add the strawberries again, add the juice of 1,5 lemon, cook 5 minutes more and that’s it. Enjoy your strawberry jam!

Cilek receli05

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Spring01 2013

Since sunday, the winter is gone and yesterday night, for the first time since months, we had a drink outside of our pub.

Today it’s confirmed and it’s officially spring in our little kingdom. Yaaay!

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Holborn Whippet01

Holborn Whippet02

Holborn Whippet03

Holborn Whippet04

Holborn Whippet05

In one of the underground advertisements, we saw an event named Istanbul Inn London which will take place at the Victoria House in Holborn between 12-15 April 2013. And as two Turks who live in London, today we went to visit this Art&Design  event. Result: Disaster? Dissapointment? Both?

Except few pieces, it was a really poor exhibition and it was hard to understand which part of this event brings Istanbul to London. It was exactly like the degree show of  a university.

After there, we tried our chance to visit Pompei exhibition in British Museum but all tickets were sold out until the end of May and they said that they release only limited tickets daily. Only chance to visit today was at 19.00 o’clock and we gave up visiting the exhibition and walked to Sicilian Avenue to try a new pub we saw several times when we were passing from there.

Holborn Whippet is a new, modern pub which provide craft beers and food. We tried their steak sandwich and Bloomsbury burger. Except the cold chips, the food was good. König Pilsner which we tried also was tasty. We loved their beer taps.

But nobody cared about the amount of empty dishes and glasses at the tables during half an hour. This wasn’t pleasant. The other thing,  first response to our mustard petition, was a quick “Sorry, we don’t have”. When we remind they serve burger and chips and asked again, two minutes later, the mustard was at the table. Why to say “no” first time? Mystery… But generally worth to go and try their beer and food.

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Norman Parkinson01

Today we made a photography exhibition hat-trick with some stops in between. First we visited Dorothy Bohm’s Sixties London exhibition in Proud Chelsea Gallery in King’s Road. Dorothy Bohm, born in 1924 in Konigsberg, came to Britain when she was fifteen and since then she is based in the United Kingdom. The exhibition consist of artist’s black and white photos taken in London in sixties and is open until 28 April 2013.

We don’t like much big chains and since two years we were talking about trying Pizza Express at least once while we live in London but we were choosing always other alternatives. Today, while we were in Chelsea, finally we tried Pizza Express in King’s Road, in a lovely Georgian building where also lived the ballet dancer Princess Seraphine Astafieva between 1916-34. Result: Nice thin pizza but with a poor quantity of topping, the Merlot we drank was good, the service and smiling faces were excellent.

Light from the Middle East01

After making happy the belly and stopped in Anthropologie for a quick shopping, we walked to the Victoria & Albert Museum to visit Light from the Middle East: New Photography exhibition. The exhibition consist of various Middle Eastern artist’s work from different countries, with different approaches and diffrent techniques and open until 7 April 2013 (only one more day!).

After visiting the exhibition we stopped for tea time in Victoria & Albert Museum’s lovely cafe with it’s amazing decoration. Then we jumped on a underground and headed to the last exhibition of the day, Lifework: Norman Parkinson’s Century of Style in National Theatre. The exhibition is covering all aspects of British fashion photographer Norman Parkinson’s (1913-1990) works since thirties until his death and is open until 12 May 2013.

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Postcard Teas01

Postcard Teas02

Postcard Teas03

Postcard Teas04

Yesterday we went to The Tea House in Covent Garden to buy some jasmin tea but the type which we buy normally was sold out. Then we decided to go to Postcard Teas in Dering Street, next to Bond Street and near Oxford Circus, another tea shop which we heard about it before moving to London.

When you compare with The Tea House you find less variety of tea and tea accessories maybe in Postcard Teas but at least the jasmin tea we bought smells and taste really good. Another thing we liked very much about this little elegant shop -and which is missing a lot in The Tea House- , was the attitude and smiling face of the gentleman who helped us to choose our tea. If you are tea addict like us and if you are around Oxford Circus, don’t forget to say hello to Postcard Teas.

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Cottons Islington01

Cottons Islington02

Cottons Islington03

Cottons Islington04

Yesterday evening we went to Cottons Islington, a Caribbean restaurant in Exmouth Market and it was wonderful. The restaurant, the food, the coctails, the music, the service, everything was perfect.

Caribbean Masterchef 2011 Award winning head chef Andrew McIntosh’s each plate was delicious and well presented. Before our bottle of wine, we tried one of their coctails, The Jamaican Mule, a Caribbean classic of Appleton Special Rum, Angostura bitters, fresh lime and ginger beer.

Then as starters we had Callaloo aspargus and goat cheese tart, drizzled with sun blush tomato dressing and Cottons Caribbean mezze platter, salt fish fritter, plantain, Buffalo wings, ribs and garlic and ginger bread.

As mains we choosed their famous curry goat served with rice and peas and sautéed goat fish, in a light coconut lime leaf curry sauce, served with sea food rice. As dessert we tasted spiced pineapple tart with mango sorbet.

And for icing the cake we tasted one more coctail which called “Killer Dopi”. The info on the menu about this coctail made us to choose this one  for closing: This one’s only for the brave. Four different rums, apricot liqueur, Blue Curacao, orange, pineapple & fresh lime juice. Created to turn the living into a “Doppi” that’s Jamaican for Ghost.

Delicious!

Photos: Cottons Islington

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