Rocket & Rye, Cowbridge

Roast octopus, red pepper, tomato, green sauce

I rarely write about a restaurant if we visit on its first day open, but at Rocket & Rye, the experience and skills of John and Ceri Cook meant the team hit the ground running from the moment the doors opened, and we had an absolutely wonderful meal with friendly and helpful service. Based in ... Read more »

Top Twelve Dishes at Bang Bang Oriental

Chinese dumplings, from Xi Home restaurant in Bang Bang Oriental Food Court, Colindale, North West London

Bang Bang Oriental is a shiny, bold South East Asian food court in Colindale, North West London a successor to Oriental City, which closed down almost a decade before. With over 20 vendors to choose from, it can be hard to make a choice so we’re here to help with our top twelve dishes, and more. ... Read more »

Buttermilk Pudding with Sharp Fruits

Buttermilk Pudding with Sharp Fruits

I’m a sucker for a pannacotta and a posset both, so this buttermilk pudding recipe – a cross between the two – is a winner of an idea from Ed Smith’s Crave. Served with either sharp stewed fruit or white balsamic vinegar-marinated strawberries, and crunchy crumbled amaretti biscuits, this dessert needs to be made several ... Read more »

Lamb Chops with Cacio e Pepe White Beans

Lamb chops with cacio e pepe white beans

This best way to describe this Lamb Chops with Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper) White Beans recipe from Crave by Ed Smith is rainy day comfort food. Offering the satisfaction of deep umami flavours with a cheesy and creamy character, it provides a great mixture of textures and flavours. This is the kind of ... Read more »

Garlic Pepper Butter Prawns

Garlic Pepper Butter Prawns

From the Spied and Curried chapter of Ed Smith’s Crave: Recipes arranged by flavour, to suit your mood and appetite, these garlic pepper butter prawns are cooked in a rich, butter sauce flavoured with black pepper, chilli, turmeric and mustard seed. After a quick 15 minutes in a simple marinade, the dish takes just 2-3 minutes ... Read more »

Crave by Ed Smith

Cover of Crave by Ed Smith

Are you one of those people who skips straight to the last page of a whodunnit? Do you read a cookbook review in frustration and haste, skimming the background blurb to find out whether the book was any good or not? Did I love it, did I kinda like it, is it already in the ... Read more »

Eastern European Summer Blueberry Soup

Summer Blueberry Soup

Cold berry soups are a taste of childhood for many who grew up in Eastern Europe, as did Zuza Zak, author of Amber & Rye: A Baltic Food Journey. Zak’s favourite variation uses ripe blueberries, though you can use any fresh summer berries you like. This sweet “dessert soup” can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a ... Read more »

Potato Latkes with Smoked Sausage & Spinach

Potato Latkes with Smoked Sausage & Spinach

Similar dishes of grated potatoes shaped into a pancake and fried exist right across Europe from North to South, East to West. Some, like these Eastern European latkes use egg to bind the ingredients, whereas others, such as rösti and hash-browns don’t, but the love of grated fried potato is very widespread. In this simple ... Read more »

Greta’s Gran’s Lithuanian Potatoes

Greta’s Gran’s Potatoes with Kefir and Summer Vegetables

This delicious summer vegetable salad hails from Lithuania, and is one of those dishes where a handful of simple ingredients – potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions, and radishes along with kefir and dill – combine into something more than the sum of their parts. The recipe is shared in recently published Baltic cookbook Amber & ... Read more »

Amber & Rye: A Baltic Food Journey by Zuza Zak

Amber and Rye by Zuza Zak book cover

It’s interesting how one book can expose a huge gap in my food knowledge that I didn’t know I had. Amber & Rye is subtitled “A Baltic Food Journey – Estonia · Latvia · Lithuania”, and to my chagrin, I opened it with no idea at all what to expect. Zuza Zak helpfully prefaces the ... Read more »