Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

The Prince William Henry, Southwark, London   1 comment


Pub #2167:

With an early curtain at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Jackie (print shirt in the lower left of the bar photo) and I struggled to find a decent place to eat.  Knowing the water front only has chain restaurants as barely affordable options, we drifted around and finally settled on the Prince William Henry for some pizza, the featured item on the menu.

Verdict: soggy.  We both worked the pizza business before and both recognised, immediately, that the pizza oven was not hot enough.  The dough should sear to crispness immediately, insulating itself against further burning while the top bakes a few minutes longer.  If there are a lot of vegetables (such as on Jackie’s), the exuded liquids should be drained by tilting the pie about 30° while holding the disk on the peel.  Tsk.

In a rush and disgusted by the food (too much cheese and bland sauce, as well — inexcusable), we finished our bottle of wine and fucked off to the theatre…forgetting to photograph the exterior.  It looks like the Google Maps streetview, below, except it has been rebranded “the PWH,” which I can only imagine means “Pizza Will Horrify.”



Posted September 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Pubs

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Reina Grill, Headington, Oxfordshire   Leave a comment


It’s all about the romance with Reina Grill’s small lamb döner kebab.  Friday was my first chance to go here for a lunch since it opened a few months ago.  I didn’t notice the couple getting to First Base when I shot the photo so inflamed with passion for the explicit dining experience before me.  Needing a little more privacy, we left to find a bench near the bus stop.


Posted September 16, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Kebabs

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Smithfield Market 150th Anniversary   1 comment


Been sick a few days and Jackie has been off on holidays for a few, so we were both itching to escape the house despite the sudden cold-and-rainy snap.  The weather didn’t really suit the Notting Hill Carnival this time around, so we opted for the Smithfield Market 150th anniversary do.  The lion, above, is a detail on one of the ornate iron gates to the meat market (seen below).



I’ve been all around this joint, but neither of us has been inside and it didn’t disappoint.  However, we WERE disappointed to have missed the Sausage Dog Parade on Saturday (but I’m sure they’ll do it again for the 300th anniversary).



Butchery is the name of the game, here, but it isn’t a trading day.  One trader taunted us with a carcass and some fabulous, aged standing ribs:



Speaking of butchery, this is the site where William Wallace, having been dragged behind horses from the Tower of London roughly ½ mile away, was hung, drawn, and quartered 713 years ago this week.

“They can take our Sausage Dog Parade but they will never take our free…hang on…what are you doing with that gallows, y’ wee lad?”



With me recovering and J cold-natured, we stuck to the covered bits more so than the rest (although I met some lovely people into fermentation at one of the tents near the Wallace Memorial).  There were musical acts but the people-watching was the real show.



Of said musical acts, I enjoyed the Fish Police more than any of the others.  You should seek these guys out (although I  believe they have a very limited touring range):



Sauerkraut   1 comment


I haven’t made sauerkraut in a while and didn’t have a crockery suitable for it when I got a hankering for Reuben sandwiches a month or so ago.  My cravings will not be ignored, though.  Here’s what happened.



I spotted the jar in one of the charity shops we scoured on the Isle of Wight and bought some bags of marbles in the toy department of our local department store (John Sanders, a fabulous shop).

The marbles were there to weigh down the veg in the fermenting broth and needed to be contained.  This would normally be done in a sheet of cheesecloth or tighter muslin but I have been carrying around the headscarf I used to keep my hair off food in the Mellow Mushroom I used to work at — the original, on Spring Street but covered by the parking decks of the IBM Tower a few weeks after I shifted my pie-spinning skills to the Dugout — from late 1985 to early ’86 ever since (and, with very little hair to worry about any longer, it seemed time to find it a new purpose).  I boiled it a couple of minutes with a piece of ClO2 tablet then rinsed it with more boiling water to clear the chlorine.



I bought an unusual shaped cabbage (that the green grocer in Ruislip Manor, for some reason, felt the need to assure me was Turkish).  Once rinsed, it was ready to shred.

As I put this into a bowl, a handful at a time, I scattered salt on it as I have done in the past.  However, I have recently taken up sea salt and I’m really not calibrated to its larger granules ( I mention this because the first taste at the end of a week and a few days is a bit saltier than normal … some fermenting friends I made at the Smithfield Market 150th Anniversary celebration suggest measuring it to 1.5% w/w and I will try that next time around).



So, for those mystified by the technique…take a handful of shredded cabbage with a good dusting of salt (even measured, it is more than you think is prudent the first go) and really manhandle that shit.  Crush it like it broke your heart and don’t stop until it starts to bleed a bit of water.  Grab another handful, salt it, and do likewise.  Add some carrot or beets or sliced turnip or really anything (this batch has a couple of carrots, two minced garlic cloves, and an Italian’s pinch of carraway seeds).

Once everything is in the bowl, abuse it some more then scoop and firmly pack each handful into your jar.  Once it is all packed in, press your bag of marbles firmly on top.  There should already be some liquid, but push down on it every 6-8 hours for 1-1½ days until all the veg is under its own released juices (see the pic at the top of the article for what this will look like).

Check every day or two (you might have to skim some mould but that’s harmless).

Take out a little after 7-10 days and keep in the fridge until you’ve eaten it all.  The batch might last 6 weeks (if you are stingy) and continues to develop as it matures.  Delicious, and it carries bacteria that really boost the gut microbiome (if you are so inclined as to worry about such).



Like I said, this batch is a bit salty so the Reuben will have to wait but it is SMASHING on a straightforward roast beef sandwich.  And, as a side with eggs and toast.  Or, by itself.

The Driftwood Beach Bar, Sandown, Isle of Wight   Leave a comment


Pub #2149 and Fish & Chips #187:

Lunchtime and the tide was rolling in at Sandown where the day’s walk was considered a success because I found one of the elusive Edward VIII Postboxes.  We needed a break, anyway, and what could be better than a beach bar for fish and chips?  (Hint: the answer is, “nothing could, sir.”)  The Driftwood was also near a bus stop back to Ryde, and so it was to be our venue.



The sun kills, but the indoor seating just didn’t seem right.  I got a bottle of pinot and ordered the treats while Jackie scrounged for, and found, a table in the shade.  After the overindulgence of the day before, this was a relatively light lunch (a concept our bar compatriots might want to consider).

Fish and chips always tastes better by the sea, even when eaten off a plate like some sort of posh git.  I think it has to do with fighting off the gulls which brazenly attack given a moment’s loss of focus.  Highlight of this stop was watching one swoop on a little girl and snatch a chip from her fingers about 6 inches away from her mouth.  Fun.



Kebab King, Oxford   Leave a comment


Outstanding.  The work canteen had something dreadful and the one at Biochemistry was even worse.  I decided to try Kebab King for the first time in years (since before the Kebab-per-Week Challenge that prompted this thread and this map) and was pleasantly surprised.  Eaten on a fairly quiet — for tourist season — stroll past the Oxford Castle, meat and chips were almost exactly what the weekend recovery called for.


Posted July 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Kebabs

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Best Kebab, Hillingdon, Middlesex   Leave a comment


“Fending for ourselves,” for supper happens when our schedules aren’t going to overlap well enough to justify cooking for two.  Jackie usually eats better than me on ‘fend’ nights but we both eat relatively shittily compared to when I cook.  Friday, I chose a döner meat with chips from Hillingdon’s Best Kebab eaten al fresco near the Oxford Tube stop (toward Oxford) in Hillingdon.

It was alright and the ‘small’ was too much for a mortal to finish (with medium and large options on the card).  Knowing that a funeral parlour stands nearby gave me the will to try, though.



Posted July 23, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Food, Kebabs

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