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

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

MEATMission in Hoxton

   A trendy-gritty burger bar with a creative menu and sinful atmosphere. A sister of Meat Liquor, MEATMission excels at ‘the dirty burger’ concept. Expect greasy, gluttonous, satisfying burgers in good quality buns (or wrapped in lettuce if requested) to the backdrop of dark decor and an imposing musical selection (you might find it too noisy but I enjoyed it).    Their drink selection is also … Continue reading MEATMission in Hoxton

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

The Beet Up Vesper Martini at the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town 4/5

Behold, the oddest blog title I have ever produced! But you will see what I’m talking about in the bar review below.    I award the above-mentioned cocktail bar 4/5 for its variation on the classic Vesper Martini. Given the strict criteria of my Martini Ratings I could only offer full points upon trying a proper classic martini but if I offer my review in word form … Continue reading The Beet Up Vesper Martini at the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town 4/5

Bamboo Charcoal Peanuts

   I think I’ve previously mentioned my interest in black-coloured food, prompted by the 1989 Peter Greenaway film “The cook, the thief, his wife and her lover” in which the chef declares that he charges double the price for black-coloured items on the menu because they resemble death. To eat death is therefore to cheat death, thus giving the diner an additional sense of pleasure … Continue reading Bamboo Charcoal Peanuts

An early Christmas present of olives

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… …Nine million olives and an EU fishing quota’s worth of anchovies. When it comes to serving olives with martinis I have two favourites: Nocellara olives, which I describe here or Manzanillas, especially ones which have been stuffed with anchovies and tinned in brine. I would never normally order anchovies but the first time … Continue reading An early Christmas present of olives

The Gibson Martini

Very simply, this is a classic martini garnished with a pickled onion. It’s one of my favourites: simple but strikingly different. The somewhat blurry history of the drink indicates that its traditional recipes and potential inspirations are varied and many. In reality the history of most great cocktails is hazy and difficult to recall – testament to the effectiveness of the cocktails themselves. Here is … Continue reading The Gibson Martini

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