Get Stuffed.

Lunch at Dinner

After a couple months of waiting we were finally on our way to have lunch at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at The Mandarin Oriental. As luck would have it, it poured cats and dogs! But I can assure you no amount of rain or London traffic was going to get in my way of getting to the tasty treats awaiting me!

On arrival in the restaurant you can see right into the kitchen. A line of chef’s work along the pass finishing off each dish before it departs the kitchen into the hands of the excited diner. There were a lucky few sitting at the Chef’s table right in front of the pass with a chef introducing each dish as it came out to them….”one day” I tell myself!

The decor is light with great views onto Hyde Park. On the walls there are retro style lights in the shape of jelly moulds, which to be honest, I was not entirely convinced by these…..Very Heston.

The atmosphere is relaxed; I was worried that it could be a bit “stuffy” and so I was relieved that this was not the case. I don’t enjoy being in a restaurant where you can hear a pin drop.

Onto the important stuff. Menu. Of course Meat Fruit featured and I debated whether or not to order this. Instead I went with Rice and Flesh. A saffron risotto with with calves tail. This was quite a moreish dish, however I think it could have done with a bit more calves tail.

For my main I decided to go with the Cod in Cider with Fired Mussels. The fish was so soft, served with some mussels, spinach and slightly charred shallots which added a sweet smokiness to the dish.

I had already decided on which dessert I wanted weeks before! Brown Bread ice cream with salted caramel. Two things I love in one dish! I am Irish so therefore love brown bread (especially Soda bread) and salted caramel I just can’t get enough of! You need to know that the ice cream is not sweet. It has a malty/yeasty taste, but when this is combined with the salted caramel it is a match made in heaven.

Overall we had a great lunch at Dinner. The experience was very relaxed, the staff were friendly and we never felt rushed. It was quite expensive - about £100 per head - so I wouldn’t go back every week or month! I would recommend that if and when you do go, do not hold back and be prepared to spend the money. The great thing is that when you leave you feel that is was money well spent…..although it might be packed lunches until pay day!

My homemade lemon drizzle cake. A bit messy, but tasted oh so good!

My homemade lemon drizzle cake. A bit messy, but tasted oh so good!

Barnes Farmers’ Market

Last Saturday morning we strolled down to our local farmers’ market in Barnes. The main aim was to get probably one of the best breakfast butties I’ve ever had, but there are lots of other stalls there with equally tasty treats. There is a sushi stall where you can see maki rolls being made; I was quite surprised to see a little girl about 11 years old chomping away on sushi. I know when I was that age I’d never even heard of sushi and there wasn’t a hope in hell that you could convince me raw fish tastes good!

Four cookies for £5.00. White chocolate and cranberry, triple chocolate, toffee and walnut and a classic chocolate chip was the order of the day. Washed down perfectly with a mocha from Weanie Beans.

I am telling you now, if you are going to order a cappuccino or a latte or a mocha, don’t bother with semi-skimmed, skimmed or 1% milk (what is this anyway?!). BORING! Full fat (which by the way only has 4% fat) milk makes the coffee so so much better and for a fact you will not get the same frothiness or sheen on the milk. So the next time you are ordering a skinny minnie latte, think about the pint you had last night or that bottle of wine. Now tell me which you think is worse. Rant over. Getting back to Weenie Beans mocha, it was creamy, coffee, chocolatey goodness. Perfect on a winters’ mornin’ and at £1.50 a cup, much better value than any other high street coffee shop.

Now for the headliner of the morning: The Breakfast Buttie.

This is the most popular stall at the market, there was at least 12 people ahead of us in the queue. But I am telling you now it is worth the wait.

See what I mean!? £3.50 for a bacon or sausage buttie and you can add a fried egg for £0.50. Cooked right in front of us, I practically needed a bib to control my salivating. One of the girls I was with took a shine to the guy cooking all the meat. She named him “Sausage Man”. Apt.

We chatted to “Sausage Man” while he cooked our breakfast, turns out he had a stinking hangover! I asked him how many butties he normally makes on a Saturday morning at the market, he casually answered “about 320”! A man who knows how to handle his meat, even on a hangover. Sorry I couldn’t resist.

I have to say that the best part of the market is talking to the suppliers. There is a man that drives every Saturday from the Isle of White! His stall is full of amazing relishes, mustard and flour. He is always more than happy for you to try a new relish or mustard he has and you never feel obliged to buy from him This Saturday he had a selection of fresh honeycombs. I could not resist.

They put the empty circular pots into the bee hive and the bees get to work and the above pictures are the beautiful end result. Golden, gooey and delicious. You cant beat a bit of Mother Nature’s work.

So I encourage you all to find your local farmer’s market. For the delicious food and also for a bit of education on where your food comes from. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find your own “Sausage Man or Woman” while you’re at it.

Meat Liquor

Saturday night took us to Meat Liquor on Welbeck Street. We did make the very silly decision of going to the restaurant at about quarter to nine….yes there was a queue, quite a long one.

One of the managers came out while we were all standing there to assure us we would be seated as soon as tables came free and he also reiterated their strict door policy of no skipping. If one of your mates turns up late, he/she has gotta join the end of the queue….I wonder if the guys in front of our group heard the message.

After 45 minutes of pressing our noses against the window, we finally got a table.Whoop.

Drinks? Yes please. For the Liquor part of the evening I ordered a “Wagon Girl” cocktail. A gin based cocktail with some honey and grapefruit juice (mark me if I am wrong, my memory ain’t what it used to be). I  did find this cocktail a tad sweet. One of my friends ordered an “Alabama Jam”, Southern Comfort with apricot jam, she loved it! A bottle of Argento Malbec was about £15.00, this I was happy about as I do love Argentinean wine. There are no wine glasses, just empty jam jars!Drinks service was a bit slow and we decided to order our second round of drinks when the first ones arrived.

The food menu was what I expected - burgers, fries, chilli dogs and wings. I would strongly recommend ordering the deep fried pickles! The batter was not too heavy and they came with blue cheese sauce. Yum.

For my main I ordered a Double Bubble - 2 beef patties, cheese, and pickle. All burgers are cooked medium rare and don’t come with a side order. Don’t expect plates! Burgers and fries come out on a tray and we all had to sort out who ordered what, which was slightly annoying because I nearly ate someone else’s food. Kitchen roll is provided on each table, yes the kind that you use at home, and this was my plate. To be honest this didn’t bother me, and if anything adds to the experience of dining at Meat Liquor. It feels a bit rough’n’ready!

My burger was delicious. Juicy and moist and the bun had a lovely sheen?! Does anyone know how they get their buns to look so good?! No pun intended….honestly.

Double Bubble in all it’s glory after I gobbled half of it.

Double Bubble £7.00

Fries £5.00 (you can probably share between 2 people)

Wagon Girl £7.50

Argento Malbec £15.00 ish

Burgers here are very good, but they need to speed up service. Especially when you have queued outside for about 45 minutes! You don’t want to have to wait 15 to 20 minutes for your first drink to arrive.

Will Get Stuffed go back? Yes. At quarter to nine on a Saturday night? No. But that’s probably our fault for showing up late.

Our first review……!

On Saturday evening we’re going to Meat Liquor. I’ve only ever read/heard great things about this top notch burger joint.

Meat Liquor is brought to us by the same team behind Polpo and Polpetto.

Review of Meat Liquor to follow on Sunday!

If you have already been to Meat Liquor please let us know your thoughts!

The Get Stuffed team