- The ingredient: sage and onion stuffing
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That last bit of steaming is what peels back the shells nicely as they dry. Not long just untill you start hearing the extremely delicate little popping sounds, at that point put in your water which will woosh in a mighty steam vortex so stand back. LOL, I bought some new quinoa last week, a different brand. I bought it in America, as I was there for a few days.
Complete flop sadly. I used exactly the same cooking method as before that gives me beautiful quinoa, fluffy and light as couscous.
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My tentative deduction is that not all quinoa is equal. Once you find a good one stick with it. The American one had larger grains four times the size. I tried twice with the new stuff and it failed. Edible but not lovely, the grains appear to be cooked but not opened? Tonight Im going back to the old one definitely but will try altering my methods to get the new one working. Maybe I washed too much? Always variables. I do know though that the new one I nibbled straight from the packet and the grains are a chewy and empty, maybe something in that as the tiny ones are hard and crunchy like poppy seed.
That could be a cultivation issue or a freshness issue or a size issue. I suspect freshness. The good one was grown in Peru the sludgy one was from Bolivia, that might also be entirely inconsequential of course but different rainfall, fertility, growing seasons etc would make a difference absolutely. That difference could be it, though or the ine just needs more cooking. We shall see. Thanks for your feedback! Actually, the correct pronunciation of quinoa is kee-NO-ah, at least in the original Spanish.
In Spanish, o-a are separate syllables, and the next to the last syllable of a word that ends in a vowel is accented. Great information and recipes. It was sort of mushy. Thanks so much for the tip. And no mess in the pan! No more mushy quinoa for me. It turned out perfect. I used uncooked quinoa and my turned out very mushy extra water still in there. I tried again with a 1 to 1 ratio and it came out perfect. I live in CA do you think its a weather difference? Hi Michelle! Thank you for the excellent cooking lesson.
I will be trying the recipes…esp a salad. I had a lot of quinoa given to me. Thanks again. Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I love the texture! I added a little bit of olive oil, some freshly chopped oregano and freshly grated romano cheese. Just enough without being overpowering. My go-to recipe. Will experiment more next time. I cooked the quinoa according to your directions and it turned out perfect. Instead of 2cups of water, I used 1cup water and 1cup of chicken stock.
The flavor was so rich. How dry should the quinoa be before you put the lid on? It was very wet after 5 minutes, not fluffy at all. So how dry should I be looking for? Hi Rebecca, the water should be pretty well absorbed. I hope that helps? How much water are you using? First time making quinoa and it was a hit with everyone… thank you for base and all different recipes!
I had made some chicken in the crockpot and used the broth to cook the quinoa using your recipe and it turned out…. Does altitude have an effect on this recipe? We live at ft. I cooked tri color quina according to the recipe and I believe it needed more water. Hi Sean! It could. How much water do you think you needed extra? Dear Kate, Your recipes all look amazing. How could I lower the sodium content. Warmest regards, Lauren.
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My quinoa issues solved. This is my new go to way to make quinoa. I make up a batch and then add it to everything…a sprinkle on my soup, a handful in my salad! Thanks for the technique! Tried this to night as an alternative to rice with a nice prawn curry. We cooked it exactly as you said and it came out lovely and we both enjoyed it so no more brown rice for me. When I was in Peru, I used to have a quinoa drink for breakfast. Yuo can get it on the street there. Can you help me figure out the recipe for it? Whenever I cook the quinoa in water, it falls to the bottom of the glass.
Let me know ow it goes if you figure it out! This worked great. Followed the instructions exactly and it came out perfect. Used the quinoa to make salads in a jar. Layered in a wide mouthed mason jar…. Keeps for five days in the fridge. Another trick that works I have found out besides the last steaming with the lid on, is to fry the quinoa. So if you are still having problems try it. No idea why it works but it does. About five to ten minutes depends on your pot size and the amount of quinoa. Then add your cold water. It will whoosh as the pan is hot.
Leave it cook until all the water is gone but the quinoa is still wet. Lid on and let it steam the rest of the way. This is guaranteed to work with most quinoa even the lazy kind. So a bit like what you do with rice at the start of making a risotto but fry a bit longer. I just love dressed quinoa.
The ingredient: sage and onion stuffing
Little lemon juice , seasoning, parsley, fried garlic and its oil……heaven. Even better spiced up with something like Kashmiri chilly powder. Poured over cooked prawns if you eat them, or halloumi cheese, aubergine…. Always delicious. It makes a fantasticaly easy bed for anything too. What could be easier! Of course I will be reaching for the spices, Mexican this time to cook the burgers, these will be cooked gently in olive oil so there is enough to flavour the quinoa bed beneath in delicious spicy warm oil sprinkled with cheese………absolutely fantastically easy. I love your sundried tomato idea because those are just my kind of flavours too.
Also anything Middle Eastern, Indian all the flavours are so easy to lift your quinoa to another level entirely. Pinch of this dash of that, herbs. Think I can base an entire weeks cooking on just one lemon. Thanks for the great ideas Kate. My quinoa always turns out mushy. Had to leave a quick message to say thanks! Cookie and Kate receives commissions on purchases made through our links to retailers. All rights reserved. Our cookbook, Love Real Food, is here! Scale 1x 2x 3x Ingredients 1 part uncooked quinoa e. Instructions Rinse the quinoa: Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh colander and rinse under running water for at least 30 seconds.
Drain well. This step removes any bitterness on the outside of the quinoa caused by naturally occurring saponins.
Chefs' secret ingredients: turn dinner from basic to brilliant | Food | The Guardian
Combine the rinsed quinoa and water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat a bit to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the quinoa has absorbed all of the water, about 10 to 20 minutes small amounts of quinoa will be ready closer to 10 minutes; larger amounts between 15 to Reduce heat as time goes on to maintain a gentle simmer. Remove the pot from heat, cover, and let the quinoa steam for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Notes Serving suggestions: I love to stir a drizzle of olive oil and clove of garlic into warm quinoa for extra flavor.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag cookieandkate. Facebook Twitter Pin It. By Kathryne Taylor Vegetable enthusiast. Never miss a new recipe Subscribe to our email newsletter! Enter your email address Comments Leave a comment below: Cancel reply Your comments make my day. This method works great!
Thanks for letting me know. Wonderful, Judy! Thanks for your comment. Came out right the first time thanks!!!!! Thanks very much for the information. Am using the quinoa in my vegetarian chili! And yet for all its flightiness, when the scene finds something it loves it holds it dear, staying stubbornly loyal. And there have been wider changes, too. Will he be able to match the standards set in the past?
Yes, it turns out, and then some. Ideas fly in from everywhere and the flavours are consistently beyond the run of the mill: Tokyo turnip, Belper Knolle, rose tea not, it should be noted, all in the same dish. After a lovely light main of gnocchi and white asparagus the meat-eaters were having chicken with wild garlic and foie gras , the pre-dessert, which included a Crozier Blue ice cream of extreme delicacy, was further evidence of a man in charge of his material.
Although those cycling home should perhaps just stick to the delicate home-made Limoncello, which arrives as a courtesy with the petit fours. Five years in the making and after a month delay, Bob Bob take two has finally opened its doors. And though there are similarities to the Soho outpost, this is not a duplicate.
Twenty-four chandeliers and more than 1, lightbulbs create a soft glitz. Here they are translated to match the French bistro set-up: presser pour Champagne , a button that quickly illuminates the correct table number on the ticker tape of LED numbers that dance along the four walls of the dining rooms when a customer calls for bubbles.
Refreshingly but not altogether surprisingly given the price tag tables are not turned and guests can stay as long as they like. Escargots en persillade are perfect, pungent with garlic and vibrant with grassy parsley. Then, just press for Champagne. Two hundred of the bottles on the wine list are served up to Methuselah size six litres to you and me.
But for those not fussed by the fizzy stuff, there are also 50 vintages of Armagnac brandy, starting in — and vintage ports that go back to As restaurateurs go, Corbin and King are a pair you know you can rely on. Their best-loved joints — including The Delaunay , Colbert and The Wolseley — all offer the same old-school elegance, unfaltering service and top-notch food — often woven in with a whimsical historical narrative too.
Their latest opening is no different. Running the gamut of cosseting French classics, the menu is free from any pretension or gimmickry. Mains are hearty: duck breast on a bed of lentils; beef in various incarnations braised, perfectly-pink steak or a thick peppered fillet and haddock goujons with a bowl of tangy tartare sauce for dunking. Another triumph for Corbin and King, this is a place that works just as well for a casual weeknight supper as it does a full-throttle splurge. This, their second opening under the same name, is spearheaded by their daughter Lara whose taste is as spot on as that of her parents and was originally intended for summer While a wine cellar, florist and deli did make it to Covent Garden at the end of last year, the bar and restaurant have finally landed.
Along with flower installations and festoon bulbs, there are wrought-iron tables and chairs both inside and out , huge vintage chandeliers, Murano glassware and simple posies of freshly cut flowers. Because, while this pretty courtyard is set to be the most sought-after outdoor spot of the summer, will a second Petersham steal some of the magic from the original? This is a tourist neighbourhood after all. Start with technicolour heritage radishes dipped in spicy crab, or buffalo mozzarella with shelled broad beans, mint and chilli.
Next up: perfect green pasta parcels of ricotta and nettle and marjoram — all in a sauce so deliciously creamy you could eat it by the spoonful; or saffron gnocci with Cornish mussels and a sprinkle of spring flowers. Hake is served with fresh peas and al dente asparagus. And a Haye Farm chicken breast is seriously succulent, accompanied by Mayan Gold potatoes and mousseron mushrooms. For pudding a smooth slice of just-wobbly custard tart is delicately flavoured with spiced honey and the famous chocolate mousse with Zisola olive oil ice cream and honeycomb has survived the journey from Richmond.
Head to the bar next door, La Goccia, for its Garden gin and tonic, zingy with fresh pea flavour and a basil tonic and served with a small plate of skinny salty zucchini fritti. If you can get a table outside this summer, go. White-tablecloth-clad, multi-course-tasting-menu restaurants often have the hallowed atmosphere of a convent cloister. But in the formal dining room at Xier they do a clever thing to avoid this, by playing a stirring classical score that seems to increase in intensity with each dish. This is the first solo venture for Naples -born Carlo Scotto, who trained under Angela Hartnett at Murano and claims to be breaking the mould of Italian chefs in London by not cooking Italian food.
Instead he puts the focus on British ingredients — many of them organic, sourced from the Rhug Estate Organic Farm in North Wales — in his modern-European cooking style. In an another clever move, the ground floor of the restaurant is a more low-key, drop-in affair, serving hanger steak and tuna tartare to locals who might not always fancy starched linen and table scrapers. Yet every now and again it is worth going upstairs to that soundtracked dove-grey dining room for the full fireworks of the course tasting menu. Scotto is a well-travelled chef, and throughout the menu there are hints to the stamps on his passport: palate-cleansing pine and lemon water that he created after a trip to Scandinavia ; smoky Espelette pepper from the Basque Country sprinkled on the butter to smooth over the steaming loaf of potato sourdough; Japanese yuzu giving a citrus kick to a brilliant dish of red prawn crudo with raspberry and caviar.
He is also, it seems, a man who likes to play with flavours, pairing rose-cured salmon with foie gras, rhubarb and Bromley apple. And it works. Black cod in caramel miso with perilla-infused oil gives a satisfying umami hit; beef cheek with bone marrow and apple and date puree is both refined and rib-sticking; while pigeon is served with earthy beetroot, purple potato and a hazelnut crumb. Another Scotto invention, fizzy grapes that pop in your mouth to leave your tongue tingling, accompany a tangy Swedish cheese. Needless to say, it might be a push to finish the petits fours.
And then a big-hitting Pinot Noir from Ad Hoc Cruel Mistress in Western Australia , with a touch of spiciness and notes of berries, cherries and even leather from its eight-month fermentation. A multi-course menu that gets better with every dish. And with this new postcode comes a shift in tempo: whilst the original Frog in Hoxton is full of bearded hipsters and drum-and-bass beats, Adam Handling Chelsea is small and intimate, with herringbone parquet floors, open fireplaces and tasteful modern art on the walls.
The menu whips through seasonal British delights: scallop ceviche with sour-sweet green tomato and crunchy kohlrabi, dainty butter-poached langoustine tails and soft veal sweetbreads with an absinthe-green pea and morel sauce. Amongst the puddings, the standout was a plate of white chocolate ice cream , basil and tiny balls of pressed icy cucumber, sprinkled with sorrel granita at the table. It sounds bizarre, but the reality was a unique and mind-bogglingly delicious mix of flavours that doubled up as the perfect palate cleanser.
Not for everyone, but Handling has to be applauded for his originality. Belmond have done a very clever thing by bringing in a big-shot name like Handling and a young, unpretentious team to support him. With its roster of young-gun chef residencies, hugger-mugger wine bar P. Franco has quietly sent ripples — and then waves — through the London food scene since opening in a former Chinese takeaway in Clapton in And now that nod to the Far East has become a deeply reverential bow as they open a third outpost, Peg, deep in outlet-store-land near Hackney Central.
While the dishes at P. Franco and Bright might encompass pasta, Chinese noodles and hearty plates such as Dexter beef and horseradish, at Peg they have kicked off with a menu that pins a flag firmly in Japanese cooking by focusing on yakitori-style grills. The tiny corner space is more wine bar than restaurant , with high stools, tabletops made of recycled yogurt pots and a straightforward choice of dishes to share. The only fish grill is a juicy hunk of wild trout served with the kick of a chilli and blood orange relish.
Low-intervention wines and small producers get top billing here. Wines by the glass have the interesting addition of an orange variety alongside whites, reds and sparkling. But really everyone is here for that all-natural wine, with the staff delivering a steady stream of bottles filled from taps at the back of the room.
This is somewhere to come and graze rather than gorge, and to sink a few bottles of biodynamic white from Burgundy. Our brand new London's Best Restaurants newsletter is sent every Friday lunchtime.
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Sign up now. Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke are the odd couple of London dining. Clean-cut Boxer, with his rolled-up jeans and Belstaff jacket, could be the fourth member of the Klaxons; Clarke, with his tattoos and braided ginger beard, looks like he just stepped out of a Finnish metal band. Orasay, their third major venture together, is another big departure, and not just geographically. This new neighbourhood joint was named after Orosay, the tiny Outer Hebridean island that Boxer has holidayed on with his family since he was a child.
Gorgeously textured Isle of Mull diver scallops, served on a shell, are on the umami side of sweet with pureed celeriac and earthy caramelised shiitake cubes. The textures and flavours are similarly pleasing in a cleanly flavoured beef and tuna tartare and a rich, crispy-topped brill fillet with a buttery sauce of leeks, purslane and tiny cockles. A Shorthorn rib, shared at the next table, is huge and food-envy-inducing. There are more than 40 wines on the back, with seven on rotation. No gimmicks, no fads — this is a neighbourhood restaurant for grown-ups, and all the better for it.
By Toby Skinner. Now, the team have brought the hotspot to London, losing Lokanta meaning restaurant from the name and opening as just Yeni meaning, aptly, new on Beak Street in Soho. There are two floors, making the space pretty big in Soho terms. The basic premise is refined Middle Eastern flavours. Things kick off with an amuse bouche — a dumpling, filled with aubergine and served in a rich, burnt orange broth is flavourful and, if anything, makes you hungrier — which is a good thing. Then follows the bread: warm, freshly made sourdough with smoked butter. So things are already looking good.
We tried the baked feta: served with a glazed honey on top that made a satisfying, creme-brulee style crust on a bed of sauteed samphire, and the snow pea salad — the chilli kick and crunch from the apple were brilliantly refreshing next to the rich, creaminess of the cheese. For mains, the vine leaves are roasted and filled with springy, salty halloumi, chickpeas and labneh, making for a much lighter supper than you might expect in a Turkish restaurant.
The stand out, though, is the roasted beef ribs — pulled, melt-in-the-mouth beef with a deep, meaty flavour sitting on a hunk of sourdough that has become gloriously soggy with the juices. We were told on arrival that Civan Er had selected three wines from the extensive list that matched the menu we were choosing from brilliantly, one Italian white wine, an orange wine and a Greek red wine. We opted for the white Ribolla Gialla Stocco Italian: it was soft, floral and dry.
The real extravagance arrives by the bucketload on the plate. It turns out that the other dishes are pretty wonderful, too — starting with the sharing bites: a mouthful of oozing Welsh rarebit is topped with pickled onions take our advice: if there are two of you, double up ; ham and pig-jowl croquettes are packed with flavour and complemented by piccalilli; and the bread with soft-whipped whey butter is a simple crowd-pleaser.
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It would be remiss for you not to order the beef for main, but other highlights include cod with fennel and artichoke and Iberico presa pork with leek and apple. Along with the potatoes, a side dish of broccoli and smoked yogurt is a real winner. This mini Mayfair joint is still top dollar, and these days you might even be able to snap up a table. Plus, it has some of the most genuinely friendly service in the business.
And here he has liberally spread purple velvet and gold, intricate embossed details, smoked mirrors and more prancing peacocks than Paris Fashion Week. Well, the chef is Tony Fleming, who came here from Angler at South Place Hotel, where he won a Michelin star for his impeccable seafood, preaching mainly to an expense-account congregation. And puddings are inventive takes on reassuring Brit classics, such as rhubarb and custard with ginger-spiked crumbs, and apple mille-feuille with brown-butter ice cream.
Make time for a drink at the bar before heading up to your table. The team have delved deep into the cocktail almanacs for some recipes, and made their own mead for the Diligence, which is mixed with Marsala. In the restaurant, there's a strong list with several half bottles and Coravin wines by the glass. And, of course, that Champagne trolley. Ever-so-slightly ridiculous but fun and quite a grand-occasion place — though the set lunch is a rather good deal.
By Rick Jordan. Arboreal connoisseurs will doubtless be able to sniff the air and identify English oak or cedar. Lemon sole can be insipid, but here is a humdinger, flaky and sticky and fresh, accompanied by a simple bowl of smoked potatoes. There are some unusual but memorable combinations such as a bowl of cockles in chicken-liver sauce, and meaty oysters fire-roasted with seaweed — another highlight is spider crab, cabbage and fennel, the liquoricy notes riffing well against the crab meat.
And toast the chef with a salty-fresh laverbread Martini, made from Welsh seaweed. Brat is no upstart but an accomplished, full-bodied restaurant in the newly resurgent Shoreditch. You may spot faces such as Henry Holland here, but keep your eyes on the turbot. Read about more of our favourite restaurants in Shoreditch.
The look here is retro, perhaps harking back to the s when Soho was known for its Italian hangouts now sadly just a handful remain, including Bar Italia and I Camisa on Old Compton Street. Walk past the shelves stacked with colourful bottles of liqueurs and settle in at the Formica counter to watch head-scarved chef Masha Rener and her team at work in the open kitchen. A self-taught cook, she sold her agriturismo business in Umbria to come and lead the new venture in London. And London is all the luckier for it. Kick off with antipasti of prosciutto from Parma not too wafer thin so it has a bit of bite , fat little aubergine polpette with sticky tomato sauce, and radicchio and puntarelle salad with anchovy dressing.
The pasta is handmade in the deli every day as it has been since and push-biked over to the restaurant. Try to order at least two pasta dishes, even between two, as they are excellent. Finish up with crumbly cannoli stuffed with ricotta and dipped in pistachio nibs, and lemon sorbet topped with a peppy shot of limoncello.
All-Italian aperitivi are mixed up in the little cocktail bar downstairs: Americanos and Negronis come in chunky glass tumblers, the Italicus Sour gin, bergamot liqueur and nettle syrup in a delicately stemmed Martini glass. Modelled on Barcelona 's classic Cal Pep, Barrafina created classic tapas- gooey ham croquetas, salt-cod fritters, pan con tomate - like nowhere else, winning a Michelin star in the process and helping set the trend for informal, no-reservations places with serious kitchen clout.
Sabor takes its DNA straight from the home country, adding Andalucian tiles to original wooden flooring: on the ground-floor level is the open kitchen, long restaurant counter and standalone bar, with a sweeping, iron-railed staircase leading to the asador upstairs, which has long communal tables and Hades-like grill. It's all so authentically Hispanic that at 10pm there were two five-year-olds still up eating with their families. Ah, the food. Nieves has gathered recipes from all around Spain , Castile to Galicia , and downstairs plates include popcorn-like baby squid and prawns with fried quail egg, rabbit dumplings, meltingly soft Iberican ham, and a just-set tortilla of Jerusalem artichoke and jamon.
The croquetas with black trumpet and truffles are crispy grenades of oozing savouriness. There's a resident fishmonger with all sorts of scales. Upstairs in the asador is Nieves' pride-and-joy grill and larger plates for expansive evenings or Sunday lunch. The empanada gallega - tuna pie with squid-ink - is a pie to out-pie the best steak-and-kidney.
Suckling pig flies over, trotters outstretched, its Caramac-coloured crackling making like a porcine crema Catalana; seared octopus is fluffy soft. Plates of garlic-studded lamb ribs arrive, with the advice to eat the tomato first, then a slice of chorizo; a simple bowl of potatoes come smeared with paprika.
Go to Seville and the best way of judging which tapas bar to try is to spot which has the most screwed-up paper napkins on the floor - if this was in the Macarena barrio you'd barely see the tiles. The drinks menu takes a similar region-hopping approach. We've been quite spoiled recently with bars serving good sherries and vermouths, but there are still surprises to be had.
Start with a tumbler of straight Vermu La Cuesta from the tap, then try a cloudy cava, fresh txakoli, or one of the eight Spanish gins. For pudding, try a Cruz del Mar: a blend of oloroso and Moscatel that's delightfully spicy with vanilla notes. And if you like Bailey's, then try the Habeilas Hailas from Galicia. Teaming hot-ticket Dabbous once again with bar manager Oskar Kinberg, as well as super-impressive wine shop Hedonism Wines, based just around the corner, this new opening is a three-storey, industrial-chic space with tons of natural light pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
On the ground floor is casual restaurant GROUND, serving seasonal, British-sourced dishes, as well as an in-house bakery that supplies the tasty goods for the Aussie-inspired breakfasts. Dabbous trades in relatively simple food done really well — and that shines through here. Toasted asparagus, grilled langoustines and charred octopus all feature here too, as well as a dish of chestnut parcels in duck broth, which is full of big flavours and has a wonderfully silky-smooth texture.
Upstairs, on the tasting menu, the steamed ikejime turbot using a Japanese fish-butchery technique is cooked to glistening perfection, served in a sauce made from the bones; tail-to-gill cooking at its best. Other highlights include the roasted king crab with camomile honey, slow-roasted goose with birch sap and barbecued Herdwick lamb.
As HIDE shouts about having the largest wine list in London, you can expect to be well looked after by one of its 15 sommeliers. Thanks to the collaboration with nearby Hedonism Wines, there are more than 6, bottles on offer — they must be employing wine runners to whizz them around the corner to your table. The drinks list includes the Green Park Cabaret, made with BarSol Pisco, rhubarb, pink peppercorn and soda, and the refreshing Summer Solstice with Ketel One vodka, melon, shiso and olive oil. And while Scully is obviously well-versed in Middle Eastern flavours, he takes new influence here.
The chef, who was born in Malaysia and grew up in Sydney , has a heritage that is part-Chinese, Indian, Balinese and Irish; he also found time to work in Russia. And so his menu inspiration really does come from all over.
But the star of the starters is an arepa a sort of corn-flour tortilla, deep-fried and sensationally seasoned with aubergine and a beautifully light labneh — we could have happily grazed on just this. Crispy baby artichokes come with a tangy black-shallot aioli, and Dorset snails on a bed of garlic kimchi are buttery and soft, not at all chewy.
For pudding, the frozen-ginger marshmallow with rhubarb is wonderful, as is the deeply indulgent caramelised white chocolate, which tastes like a sort-of burnt dulce de leche, with grapefruit to cut through the sugar. Start with a Basil Smash, a refreshing gin-and-lemon cocktail.
First came Primeur , which set up shop in a former motor garage in Canonbury and served up impeccably sourced, Italian-inspired small plates and natural wines with such infectious enthusiasm that people have been known to trek here from south of the river. Then came Westerns Laundry , in an obscure corner of Highbury, which did the same thing, albeit in a former launderette and with more fish, and was one of our restaurant highlights of The idea behind the bakery was to encourage the use of chemical-free grains — working with an ethically minded farmer in France — which are milled daily to make a beautifully rounded harvest line-up of raisin bread, sausage rolls, financiers and cinnamon buns.
The team care deeply about where every element comes from, with ceramics at Westerns commissioned from small-scale Cornish potters and meat from a farming collective in Yorkshire. The only grumble is the smaller tables can barely cope with the size of the plates. A place that takes its food seriously but has fun with it — and with its twinkly candle lights at night this is a lovely place to graze on autumnal flavours.
So modest, so cool, so refined. Even the entrance — with a simple 'F' to signal its existence while a subtle 'Frenchie' spelt in tiles lies at your feet — is small, chic and unassuming. The long, thin interior continues the theme, merging New York and Parisian flavours in the low lights, exposed piping and subway tiles for a 'smart s train carriage' sort of vibe. Creative, rich and French-infused — if we were to sum the dishes up in three words. The bacon scones with maple syrup and cream are an unexpected showstopper, likely to stimulate moans even before your mains.
Duck foie gras, lamb ragu, Duck breast, pork — each is served in seemingly delicate portions whether for starter or main event. Stamina should be reserved, however, for pudding — just a little trio of sweet options to choose from, plus a full dairy of cheeses , obviously. There are wine bottles everywhere here — not just behind the bar but lining the banquettes as well. Non-drinkers should try the olive-infused tonic — apparently it reminds our waitress of her home in the South of France every time she smells it.
Go for the intimacy, the food, the sexy je ne sais qois. Also — try the lunch and pre- and post-theatre menus; they offer many of the same dishes for half the price. In those ever-increasing foodie circles, a new restaurant from Yotam Ottolenghi is greeted with the sort of squeal of excitement usually reserved for an Abba-inspired film sequel or a cockerpoo puppy. Rovi — the name is taken from its Fitzrovia location — is a big, bright space that eludes any over-riding influence, and therefore will look just as fresh in five years.
The first thing you see as you walk in is the horseshoe bar, where you can also order from the full menu from atop a mosaic-patterned stool. Well, to borrow a title from his back catalogue, plenty more.
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Start with crumpet lobster toast, set to rival the crab donuts at Chiltern Firehouse, served Asian-style with a dipping sauce of kumquat and chilli. If you see plates bearing curious melon-like curves of yellow, these are the corn ribs, and you should order them. The hot tomatoes are slathered in yoghurt and warmed with chilli, to be scooped up on hunks of sourdough. The squid and lardo skewers are as soft as fresh pasta; the Jerusalem mixed grill sounds like an Israeli fry-up but instead is a plate of bite-sized, flame-tanned chicken thighs and offal, mixed with onions and given Pop Art colour with pickles and relishes.
The intriguing celeriac shawarma will just have to wait for a return visit. The cocktail list here is as creative as the food menu, drawing in spices, floral ingredients, vermouths and house shrubs of the vinegar variety rather than the garden, made from leftover wine. The Violet Nebula is a nice spin on the Aviator, with lavender flower and fava water making a vegan sour foam, while El Chapo is a smoky but light mix of mescal, fernet branca, maraschino and honey, the tumbler seasoned with chilli that will make you want to lick the glass. But the tears were short-lived as it was to be replaced, pronto, with Sorella: Gill's take on a neighbourhood Italian restaurant.
Aesthetically, there aren't too many changes: the same roughly exposed brick walls, industrial pendant lights, twine-and-nail-art stag's head; although the previously sombre grey awning has been replaced with a fresh blue. The menu has flown south, riffing off Irishman Gill's time spent on the Amalfi coast - sandwiched between stints working under Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc - where he worked at two-Michelin-star Don Alfonso , set high in the hillside between Sorrento and Positano.
It's all set up traditionally, Italian style: cicchetti - nibbles of fried Nocellara olives and unforgettably rich truffle arancini - followed by antipasti, primi and secondi. Antipasti might include plates of house-cured pork and fennel salumi, month aged prosciutto Marchigiano and black-pepper coppa served with tangy 'our farm pickles'.
Or there are slightly larger dishes of jersey-milk ricotta mixed with crushed black olives and parmesan, scooped up on hunks of semolina sourdough, or delicate mackerel crudo , served with a fresh tang of salsa verde. Primi aren't quite as pretty, but they are deeply satisfying, especially the hearty pork and 'nduja tagliatelle.
And when we visited, secondi - served family-style - featured gorgeously pink Yorkshire venison and beautifully flaky pollock. Naturally, the new wine list is all-Italian: three whites and three reds - including a zippy little Sicilian Sauvignon and an intensely gluggable Primitivo-and-Negroamaro blend from Puglia — available by the glass and carafe. The team also make their own limoncello, a world away from the sickly treacle-sweet, canary-yellow bottles mistakenly brought back from Duty Free.
With Sorella, Gill confidently puts himself in that line-up and creates a worthy successor to The Manor. If you are coming with a gang, request one of the two bespoke tables, which are inset with menus from all over the world, hand-cut into beautifully ornate petals by artist Robi Walters.
Kerridge put a call-out on social media for people to send in menus they had saved from memorable occasions, including one from a burger bar in Japan where someone proposed. The rotisserie angle features a number of times on a menu that bigs up British classics such as fish and chips and roast chicken — but given the stellar Kerridge treatment, of course. Another highlight is the loin of venison, pink and plump with a delicious black-pepper cottage pie on the side.
It arrives tall as a tower, topped with gingery parkin, alongside a herby pouring cream made from blackcurrant leaf and a zingy lemon sorbet. Start pre-dinner with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, or an English sparkling number at the marble-topped, mosaic-tiled bar. Assyrtiko Thalassitis, a white wine from Santorini , is a crisp choice with a fishy starter, and the Zweigelt Steiermark from Austria gives a hit of cherries with any of the meat mains.
With dessert, try the syrupy Sauternes, which tastes of honey and saffron. Big and buzzy with brilliant staff, this is the smartest new restaurant to make an evening — or afternoon — of it.