Chilled scallop canapés with smoked paprika, seaweed-butter and lime

These sound fancy but they were quite easy to put together and can be made in advance, so they’re easy to serve if you’re having a party. Get about one scallop per guest (or two if you want to make it a more substantial dish than just a canapé). I love scallops. My dad was a scallop diver so they’ve never been far away from … Continue reading Chilled scallop canapés with smoked paprika, seaweed-butter and lime

Martini Izakaya Dishes

An Izakaya is essentially a type of Japanese pub that specialises in food to accompany drinks. It’s basically my favourite type of drinks setting. I love the post-work, instantly friendly and relaxed atmosphere, completely free of pretension. Comparable to Spanish tapas or Turkish meze, the Izakaya-way is healthier than simply guzzling down a bucket of booze before staggering off for some fish and chips or … Continue reading Martini Izakaya Dishes

Asparagus skewers to accompany a martini

   This is dead easy.    Asparagus is tasty and a bit of a luxury so it naturally pairs well with a martini. I love its distinctive flavour, visual appeal and most of all, its satisfying fresh and crunchy texture.    My brother and I were having a martini before dinner, but after we had drunk the first one we really just wanted to have … Continue reading Asparagus skewers to accompany a martini

Beef yakitori snacks

   I had a couple of people round for a catch up (over drinks of course). I was trying to think of something quick and I easy I could feed them between martini drinking when I came across some beef mince on special offer at the supermarket. I bought a kilogram and decided to make yakitori, a type of Japanese skewer kebab, inspired by izakaya/yakitori-bar … Continue reading Beef yakitori snacks

The Lorena-san Michelada

This is my Japanese variation of a classic Mexican drink – the Michelada. I have named my version after my friend from Mexico City who introduced me to the concept. It’s not a martini but hey – I can’t drink martinis ALL the time! Plus, summer is coming and this is a great summer drink. It’s very similar to a standard Mexican Michelada, which is … Continue reading The Lorena-san Michelada

More snacks and nibbles to accompany martinis

Here is another selection of savoury snacks I’ve recently served and eaten with martinis. Roasted and salted soy beans. Prawns on lettuce with Peking duck sauce and fried spicy broad beans. You can get a lot of good stuff in IKEA. Fish roe goes well in Swedish croustades. Here are some of the filled croustades, as well as some Japanese nuts and seaweed snacks. Here … Continue reading More snacks and nibbles to accompany martinis

Roka Bar could rock my world with one small adjustment: 4/5

Roka: 4/5 Roka is a lovely Japanese bar/restaurant with a couple of branches in London. I’m not here to review the food, I’m here to review the martini. They had a beautiful array of sakes, shochu and cocktails but with a very slight nudge their martinis could make this place out of this world: They don’t keep the gin/vodka and glasses in the freezer. That’s … Continue reading Roka Bar could rock my world with one small adjustment: 4/5

The Squid Ink and Octopus Martini

    This one goes by many names… The Octopus-tini The Octopussy Martini The Loch Ness Monstini The Nautilus-tini The Maritime Martini The Tako-tini (tako no matini / タコのマティーニ) And finally, the Spectre Martini Add squid ink and octopus tentacle soaked in balsamic vinegar to make an unusual variation of a dirty martini and Le Jacques Coustini.    Get yourself some sea legs by drinking one … Continue reading The Squid Ink and Octopus Martini

Worcestershire Sauce Martini

Yes you read that correctly. This is another slight variation on a classic martini. Just before you pour the martini, smudge a small amount of Worcestershire sauce into the glass. It adds a slightly savoury tinge to the drink which works quite well, especially if you’re looking to whet the appetite for a meal. Below is a suggestion: Marinade a good steak at room temperature … Continue reading Worcestershire Sauce Martini

This post is self-indulgent

Nibbles I don’t actually like the word ‘nibbles’. It sounds frightfully bourgeois. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have something to eat to accompany a martini, especially if it’s been a long day and you’re waiting for dinner. Here are some past examples. The root of all evil: carbs, fat and cheese flavouring, deep-fried. Langoustine with roe. Olives, of course. Nuts. You can’t go wrong with nuts. … Continue reading This post is self-indulgent