I did mention Sri Lanka right?! Many thanks to Nic (Sharking for Chips and Drink – 19 Travel Tips For First Time Travellers To Sri Lanka) for grabbing a beer with me before the trip with a couple of helpful suggestions. I must say though, it wasn’t the most inspiring travelling I’ve done, but there could be a reason for that….
It might seem as if we’re taking on a much more “Travel-Themed” direction to this blog, but it’s not been intentional. I can’t imagine either of us will have much time to be doing a lot of travelling in the coming years so I think we’d best get it over and done with now shall we?! This most recent journey had me away in Pakistan and Sri Lanka for 2 weeks for a wedding and a good bit of general “travelling”…
I am now writing this several weeks “anno trumpini” and this tip was made many days “before trumpini”, when New York was still one of the most ethnically diverse food cities in the world. Arguable claim, given the efforts of the current “leader of the free world”, but I feel like recent new-comers to the scene (of foreign-descent of course!) such as Cosme and Sushi Nakazawa will be well-supported by their established neighbours for the foreseeable future. For now though, how about a quick run down of a few places to hit when in the Big Apple for a couple of days….
Roll your brain back to French-lessons many moons ago - “stahhhge”, although I don’t know if that helps. After an aggressive end to 2016 (personally and professionally), I took a few weeks to wholly clear my head – no phone calls, no e-mails and a A LOT of planning time to myself away from life and it’s daily intricacies. As part of this time out I dropped an e-mail to my ex-head chef team at Deuxave to spend some time in the kitchen as an extra hand. I then realised…who else outside of the industry even knows what a stage is??...
Before going we had to book a couple of restaurants, so bookings at jaja berlin, a small-plates offering served alongside some pretty tasty wines, by an equally small but amazingly gracious team. Reservations at Industry Standard were miraculously acquired and their small plates (notice the trend that is taking over the world!) is now considered one of “the most exciting eateries Berlin has seen in modern time”, per Berlin Food Stories. Both restaurants are based in the ultra-hip Neukölln (think Brixton’s international mix meets Shoreditch’s bare-bones approach to trendiness) which is also home to probably the most insane late-night dessert/bar concepts I’ve ever been to; Coda. Let’s get this clear it is a dessert-bar, not a late-night “pastry shoppe”. Uber-cool and decked out in black and concrete, A made sure we found our way here down some dodgy-looking alley-ways, and it was really worth it. Flavour pairings were wild, as were some of the drinks, presentation was on point and the team were all chilled and amazing. Order the cicharrone popcorn…and then a second!! The standout dish for me was…get ready for it...milk, fig & anchovies….let it sink in!
Now that the season of festivities, gluttony and exhaustive family-time has now passed, we thought we’d let you in on a little trip we took to Berlin right in the middle of the December to see what makes the Christmas markets so special in one of the architecturally youngest cities in Europe…
During our opening week we received a visit from one of London's notorious food critics. This was the result. 2 stars was not what we were hoping for but it's a tough and subjective industry where opinions can be difficult to take sometimes. A wiser man than either of us noted the following:
1) The fact that a food critic would even want to come to eat at a pace that is, as yet untried by most, should be something to be proud of
2) We've got a great following and nothing but hard work will get us moving back on the path we were on
This has been one of those headers that we’ve had in the back of our minds for a while now and we always seem to find a way to bump it along the chain. Finally, I’m pulling on my flak vest (I can only assume there will be massive out-cry here!) and try to explain what it is that ACTUALLY creates something from nothing by turning the mundane in nature to insane through nurture…
Earlier this week on the blog I promised a video of Iran showing you some of the sights and foods of the country. As relationships with the Western world continue to progress I can only hope that this, and your own general interest, has sparked some excitement to visit this vast country. Oh yeah, I also owe a list of noteworthy restaurants to stop in on don’t I?!...
Back in August, A was kind enough to share his experiences during his time in New York while on holiday. Now I’ve had my own little break in Iran, a first for me, allowing me a chance to meet another side of my wife’s family. From Tehran to Shiraz, I’ve felt it apt (without any pressure or arm-twisting from A) to share my food-experiences from a country working hard to bring in a new wave of curious tourism….