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

The Henri Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington, 3/5

  The Henri Toulouse Lautrec is no ordinary venue. People travel here from all over the world for its live music performances. It also serves fantastic food. However – the martinis do not hit the mark just yet, but with a little re-adjustment this place could be a cocktail bar with real punch – a Moulin Rouge of south London.    I would struggle to … Continue reading The Henri Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington, 3/5

A Spicy Umami Michelada

A London variation on the classic Mexican drink.    As I’ve said before, I don’t always drink martinis. I also like beer and lager, to name but a few alternatives. I recently wrote about the Mexican drink Micheladas and here I’ve come up with another variation. In its most simple terms, a Michelada contains beer/lager, the juice of a lime, a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a … Continue reading A Spicy Umami Michelada

Korean spinach – Sigeumchi-namul

Annyeonghaseyo.    This is a really tasty, easy and even healthy vegetarian dish that you can serve as a vegetable side, a starter or, most importantly of all, as an appetiser to accompany a martini (obviously). I first ate this delicious dish in Koreatown, Manhattan. Of all the wondrous and unusual dishes I gluttonously consumed that night (my favourite being a gigantic simmered squid, still … Continue reading Korean spinach – Sigeumchi-namul

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

The Laura Santtini Umami Martini

Laura Santtini is a London-based chef with a recipe book that changed the way I looked at food. She describes herself as the genetic equivalent of a Molotov cocktail: half Italian, quarter Persian, pinch of Sephardic and then an English-Irish mix. Her recipe book is full of things you can prepare in a matter of minutes (ie before your friends get to your home via … Continue reading The Laura Santtini Umami Martini

The Argentini (the Chimichurri Martini)

Chimichurri is an Argentine sauce made from parsley, garlic, olive oil, oregano and vinegar. You can make an unusual aperitif by muddling a teaspoon into your vermouth before you pour a classic martini, to whet your appetite before a meal – especially if it’s a Latin American dish; a juicy steak for example. It will work particularly well if the dish you are serving for … Continue reading The Argentini (the Chimichurri Martini)

L’Escargot Restaurant, Soho, London, 3/5

I went with some friends to this French restaurant in London, located on Greek Street in Soho. It was an occasionally perplexing and even tense experience, although the martini I drank before my meal was nice. The staff were friendly and pleasant but there was a strange, intense and even chaotic element to the service. It was difficult to book a table, despite the fact … Continue reading L’Escargot Restaurant, Soho, London, 3/5