Sunday, 10 January 2016

Brunch & Lunch at The Delicatessen x The Dairy - Sunday Roasts at Blacklock - Photos

Happy New Year one and all! Around about this time last year, I put up a mega 2014 Highlights post. Hopefully a 2015 edition will emerge at some point, but until then, it's business as usual. Food, drink, travel, photography, and a huge backlog.

That said, there are couple of new things to report before we get to some Christmas leftovers. First up, I'm happy to report that Map The List : London is now a lot easier to use on Google Maps (if you have a Google account of some sort).

You can now overlay saved maps on Google Maps which means that you can access them quickly (minimal loading time) on your smartphone or your browser. All you have to do is click on the little star next to the Map The List : London title on the map below. Map The List : London should then appear in your Google Maps, under either "Your Places" or "My Maps". Let me know if you have any problems with this.

P.S. If you are planning trips to Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, New York, Toronto, Chicago, Minneapolis, LA, San Francisco, Portland (OR), or Seattle, I have maps for all of them too! You can find travel snaps on Instagram by looking for the #MattTheTrips hashtag.

Secondly, for the last few months, I've been quietly working with a small group of foodie friends on a new website called London Cheap Eats - - headed up by the wonderful Leyla Kazim. It's an insider guide to eating out in London for £8 or less, and the website goes live TODAY (January 11th)! All will become clear once it has launched, but you can get involved by following us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, and by signing up for the newsletter on the website!

Robin Gill and co. are responsible for three of London's finest restaurants - The Dairy, The Manor, and Paradise Garage. The original outpost, The Dairy in Clapham Common, is well known for its use of fresh ingredients, many of which are grown on the rooftop; so it wasn't a big surprise when they opened up The Delicatessen next door. 

From Tuesday-Friday, you can drop in from 8am (for next level bacon rolls) right through to 7pm (for whatever's left, plus a couple of craft beers). On a recent lunch visit, we demolished one of their generous £6 Salt Beef Sandwiches (#londoncheapeats alert!) plus a portion of Chef de Partie Laoise's comforting Lamb Hotpot. Every day, there's a different hot lunch special that comes in around the £6 mark. They are open at the weekend too, but I'll get to that...

Salt Beef, Smoked Bone Marrow Butter, Pickles, Mustard, Fresh Sourdough

Roast Brassica Salad with Cauliflower, Romanesco & Spinach

Laoise's Lamb Hotpot

Laoise's Lamb Hotpot

If you are lucky, you might grab one of the al fresco tables (in the soon to be heated front garden), but everything is designed to be taken away. Before you leave, you should stock up on rooftop honey, and I strongly urge you to get a fresh sourdough roll with some of their smoked aubergine dip - hard to beat.

Starship Enterprise bread?

Balcony Bread from The Delicatessen

Now, at the weekend, The Delicatessen is still open, but in an exciting development, they are now running a brunch next door at The Dairy, for walk-ins only, from 10am to 12.45pm.  With Fields and Brickwood round the corner too, locals have never had it so good!

Ella and I went along for the first brunch service in December last year and briefly had the whole room to ourselves - an unfamiliar situation as The Dairy books up weeks in advance for dinner.

The Dairy in the morning

The Delicatessen Brunch at The Dairy

The Dairy

Janine's Ketchup - available to buy in The Delicatessen

You can keep it simple with The Deli's smashed avocado, or homemade jam on Guinness soda bread, but one dish should always be prescribed - a comforting, moreish bowl of spiced butterbeans and chorizo, with Tilly's Farm soft egg, hollandaise sauce, and sourdough crumb. No chewing required. Wash down with Mimosas and a coffee. The homemade hazelnut granola with poached quince and yoghurt is also rather delicious. Grab a friend or two and go and see for yourself!

Spiced Butterbeans & Chorizo, Tilly's Farm Soft Egg, Hollandaise Sauce, Sourdough Crumb


The Delicatessen & The Dairy -

5-16 The Pavement, Clapham Old Town, SW4 0HY

The Delicatesen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you don't make it out of the house in time for Sunday brunch, a massive roast is a pretty strong backup plan. They don't come much bigger (or better) than the offering at Blacklock in Soho.

As with the regular menu, your best bet is to go "all in" for £20 a head (minimum 2 people). On Sundays (from 12pm-5pm I believe), this entitles you to an absurd amount of beef, lamb and pork, roasted over English oak, plus a tonne of outstanding duck-fat roasted potatoes (almost as good as your Mum's), a mammoth Yorkshire pud, heritage carrots, sprouting broccoli, and your own personal jug of bone marrow gravy. 

Oh yeah, and two sides. Because all of those other things are trimmings, not sides. We chucked in a rich cauliflower cheese, and some roots and gremolata. That is obviously enough food for two, but there are also tempting starters of grilled bone marrow with horseradish, and wood roasted scallops with black pudding, if you fancy yourself as a competitive eater. Good luck to you.

Grilled Bone Marrow with Grated Horseradish with 

Cauliflower Cheese

All the meat

All the meat and all the trimmings

£5 Negronis, smartly chosen beers, and affordable wines all add to the fun, pushing the spend per head north of £30, but you won't need to eat again for a couple of days, and it is Sunday after all. The only thing that's missing is Mum The List's rhubarb and apple crumble.


Sundays from 12pm-5pm

Blacklock Sundays -

The Basement, 24 Great Windmill St, Soho, W1D 7LG

Square Meal

Blacklock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

To finish, here's a photography round-up of the last month from Matt The Tumblr and Instagram. Click on each photo to see the original post.

A Maida Vale cocktail from Peg + Patriot's new menu

A visit to Peg + Patriot to check out their new cocktail menu

Redchurch Brewery taproom in Bethnal Green

Breddos Tacos at Street Feast x Foodism party

World of Zing's Travel Cocktail Pack

Poached Pears with Ricotta and Hazelnuts from Park Road Kitchen

Lock, Stock... at Lucky Liquor Co. in Edinburgh

Cocktails at Devil's Advocate in Edinburgh

Mirror selfies at Brewdog Edinburgh

Pact Coffee on Balcony Brews

Agile Rabbit in Brixton Village

Smoking cocktails at Three Six Six in Battersea

Canon vs Canon with Ella at Three Six Six

Epic £4 Falafel Wrap from Goulston Street Market

The Understudy on London's Southbank

Soft Launch at Le Bab in Soho

Mum The List Dessert #1

Mum The List Dessert #2

Decking Drinks at Christmas - The Grosvenor

Sourdough pizzas at Flour to the People in Battersea

Balcony Booze goes to the dark side

Bokeh at South Pole Saloon

South Pole Saloon in Brixton

Craft Beer Co. Brixton

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Hour Glass - The Fir Room at Piquet - Brunswick House

Today on the blog - a quick round up of some fine eats from last week:

Wednesday 25th November - The Hour Glass was refurbished and reopened as a pub and dining room a few months ago by Dave Turcan and Luke Mackay, who also own Brompton Food Market, a highly-rated food shop and deli near South Kensington station. The ground floor pub is a traditional boozer - a nice place for a pint and a bar snack, though the beer selection is behind the times. Upstairs, you'll find Chef Luke Mackay's dining room, a calm and cosy space for unfussy, upmarket pub grub.

I only had 60 minutes to spare at The Hour GlassAside from being mathematically and thematically pleasing, this was a good test of their lunchtime efficiency. I just about managed to get through bar snacks, starters and a main, though an Uber was required to get me to my next destination in time.

Bar snacks arrived in no time. The pick of the bunch, unsurprisingly, were the Rare breed Cumberland Scotch egg and the Rare breed herb & pancetta sausage roll. Add in Triple cooked beef dripping chips and some Montgomery Cheddar Welsh Rarebit and you probably wouldn't need to order anything else.

Starters also impressed. Wood pigeon with pickled quince, black pudding and toasted hazelnuts was a quartet of our favourite foods, smartly combined, and Potted Rabbit with Bacon Butter, Toast & Gherkins was full of flavour and generously portioned.

By the time my Flat iron steak with dripping chips, bone marrow gravy & watercress arrived, I was looking at my watch - my fault not theirs. But I couldn't leave behind those chips. Or anything else on the plate for that matter. I'm so often underwhelmed by mains after exciting starters, but this was glorious. Shame I had to wolf it down! [Don't pretend you would have eaten it any slower]

So I departed, leaving Dad The List and our foodie friend Chris to enjoy dessert at their own pace. They were so full up at this stage that they shared a delicious pudding of blackberry and almond tart with crème fraîche. This was a first for them as they are more likely to order two puddings each than admit to being beaten.  The other two puds on offer were buttermilk pudding, damsons and honey, and chocolate & porter cake with cornflake ice cream and honeycomb.  As he wrote this after a light breakfast on a freezing morning, Dad the List cannot imagine how he failed to sample all three!

The Hour Glass -

279-283 Brompton Road, SW3 2DY

Mon-Sat 12pm-11pm / Sun 12pm-10.30pm

Square Meal

The Hour Glass Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Thursday 26th November - Allan Pickett's Piquet arrived a couple of months ago, and handily picked up 4 stars from Fay Maschler not long after opening, and a great review more recently from Jay Rayner:

"...energetic, with an ear to the ground" - **** Evening Standard

"Piquet is terrific..." - The Guardian

Fay & Jay were referring to the downstairs dining room, which is only half of Piquet's premise. On the ground floor, you'll find The Fir Room where I spent most of an evening last week. Both levels show off Allan Pickett's combination of English and French cuisine, but The Fir Room is a more relaxed affair, perfect for a quick bite at lunch, sharing plates with friends, or even just a drink at the attractive bar.

We worked our way through some taster plates from The Fir Room's menu - photos you see below don't represent the larger portions that you would receive! Highlights included:

- Piquet Charcuterie Board - Rillette, Terrine, Ham, Coppa, Toast & Pickles - £12.00
- Le Piggy Burger - Smoked Patty, Pulled Pork, Streaky Bacon, Chips - £10.00
- Pork Crackling, Picked Crab with Espelette Pepper - £7.50
- Plancha Cooked Mackerel, Horseradish Cream - £6.50
- Pigs Head Croquettes with Sauce Gribiche - £5.00

Pork Crackling, Picked Crab with Espelette Pepper

Pork Crackling, Picked Crab with Espelette Pepper

Piquet Charcuterie Board - Rillette, Terrine, Ham, Coppa, Toast & Pickles

Pigs Head Croquettes with Sauce Gribiche

Pigs Head Croquettes with Sauce Gribiche

Le Piggy Burger - Smoked Patty, Pulled Pork, Streaky Bacon, Chips

Le Piggy Burger - Smoked Patty, Pulled Pork, Streaky Bacon, Chips

The standout plate (or rather bowl) was a comforting Casserole of Cod Cheeks, Baby Squid, and Haricot Blanc which would set you back £9.50 in The Fir Room, or £16.50 downstairs. It prompted several cries of "Please Sir, I want some more".  In this case, Sir was GM Alain Morice, a charming host and knowledgeable sommelier who kept us in line with several fine wines (and a sherry):

- Casa de Passarella, A Descoberta Branco, Dao,2014
- Santiago Ruiz, O'Rosal Albariño, Rias Baixas, 2014
- Ivo Pages, Me Gusta Tu, Tempranillo, Catalunya, 2013
- Gutierrez Colosia, Amontillado Seco, Sherry

There's plenty to enjoy at The Fir Room, and I hope to return soon for the full dining experience downstairs, especially when you can get 3 courses for £19.50 at lunch and pre-theatre.

The Fir Room at Piquet -

92-94 Newman Street, W1T 3EZ

Mon-Sat 11am-11pm / Sun closed

Square Meal

Piquet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Monday 23rd November - Speaking of great value lunches, there aren't many better than those on offer at Jackson Boxer's Brunswick House in Vauxhall (whose "weekend lunch" I mentioned a month or so ago). 

Two courses for £16, or three for £19, 12pm-3pm, Monday-Friday, surrounded by all manner of mirrors, chandeliers and decorative elephants? Don't mind if I do. Be sure to look around LASSCO's rooms and cellars if you have time - I got a a bit snap happy as you can see.

Mirrors and lighting at Brunswick House

The menu changes regularly, but this is the sort of high-calibre food that you can expect:

- Squid, Charred Leek Puree, Confit Lemon
- Ox Tongue Pastrami, Radish & Capers
- Chanterelles & Smoked Egg Yolk

- Hake, Buttermilk Potato Puree, Bottarga
- Dexter Skirt Steak, Red Cabbage, Cauliflower & Yeast
- Salt Baked Celeriac, Parmesan Butter & Grellot Onion
- Roast Pumpkin, Marmite Butter

- Chocolate & Walnut
- Ardrahan, Quince, Thyme & Orange

The superb staff are always primed to expand on the economically described dishes. My standout dishes from lunch, in greater detail, would read as follows:

- Squid Noodles Sautéed in Coriander & Lime, Purée of Grilled Leeks and Squid Ink, Confit Lemon, Onion Ash

- Chargrilled Dexter Skirt, Yeasted Cauliflower Purée, Buttered Cavolo, Red Cabbage & Apple Mustard

I'm not sure which I'd prefer to see on the menu, but I'm always happy to have a chat with servers when they've got all the facts and more up their sleeves.

Squid, Charred Leek Puree, Confit Lemon

Chandeliers at LASSCO's Brunswick House

Chandeliers at LASSCO's Brunswick House

Hake, Buttermilk Potato Puree, Bottarga

The Cellars at Brunswick House

The Cellars at Brunswick House

Dexter Skirt Steak, Red Cabbage, Cauliflower & Yeast

A grand room at Brunswick House

The Cellars at Brunswick House

Glorious food, beautiful surroundings, great service.
3 courses for £19.

Brunswick House -

30 Wandsworth Road, Vauxhall, SW8 2LG