It’s quite a trek to Sweden’s latest culinary hotspot, where young (very young) chef Magnus Nielsen does über-rustic, at Faviken – but the scallop served in a burning bush (long story) is totally worth the two plane rides and the long car journey – you can read about Fiona S’s trip in a forthcoming issue of Food & Travel magazine.
The chicken wings at Dabbous
If you think chicken wings are greasy finger-lickin’ trailer-trash fare you should try the ones at London’s hottest restaurant Dabbous. Or rather in the bar downstairs which you can just walk into (hooray!) rather than having to wait a year (yes, up to a year!) for a reservation in the main restauant. Less chicken wings than haute chicken nuggets we suggest you try them as Fiona B did with a Mellow Yellow - tequila infused with yellow peppers in an Ardbeg whisky-rinsed glass.
Wines made in a qvevri
That’s big clay vessels to you. Something Georgia has being doing for, oh, 8000 years. It’s winemaking stripped bare – they use it for fermentation and for storage, a stick pared of its bark the tool for punch down. The wines can age 30 years or more, and the flavours will blow you away - or get you talking at the very least as Fiona S does in her regular wine column for Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine.
We’ve been obsessed by this beetroot-based dip since we tasted it at Morito during the London Restaurant Festival preview back in July. The full recipe’s in the Moro East book but it’s simple enough - boiled beets blitzed to a purée with yoghurt and a little oil, seasoned with crushed garlic and dill and topped with feta and walnuts. Ultimate beetroot dish? We reckon.
The cheesy grits at Caravan
Which we ordered quite independently on separate visits (the Fionas always go for the same dishes, particularly if they involve carbs and/or cheese). Caravan is a new restaurant in the upcoming-but-still-not-quite-there Kings Cross area, reviewed here by Fiona B. Grits, if you’re not familiar with them, are a coarse ground corn porridge a bit like polenta. The Caravan version is flavoured with girolles, pecorino and truffle oil. Need we say more?
Alaska king salmon
Not the stuff you get in the supermarkets, but the fish caught straight from the sea in Kachemak Bay on the Kenai Peninsula. You can see why Alaska native cultures have made it their national dish. And it has more Omega-3s than other salmon species. Sadly Fiona S didn’t have time to go fishing, but you can read about her walk through bear-infested woods in Food & Travel magazine.
Thierry Germain of Domaine des Roches Neuves
There’s nothing like meeting a winemaker in the flesh to rekindle a passion for wine dulled by identikit bottles and cut price supermarket offers. Thierry Germain’s Caberenet-Franc-based reds simply sing with vivid summer berry fruit and his whites are just sensuously lush. Read more about him in Fiona B’s column in The Guardian and on her blog, Wine Naturally.
Every bakery in Santiago de Compostela has one in the window, with its distinctive icing sugar cross. For the real McCoy Fiona S headed to the Benedictine nuns at Monasterio San Pelayo de Ante Altares, one of the oldest buildings in the historic centre of Santiago de Compostela. Ring the bell and they will sell you one packed with almonds for 11 euros.
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