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Friday, 16 June 2017

PADSTEIN THE EMPIRE






Rick's Very Own Pub



Rick's best mate Chalky's Bite Beer



Rick's Pint O' Giant Prawns



Rick's Scampi In a Basket



Busy Grabbing The T-Sauce



Time For Chalky's Feed ?



Chalky's Empty Bowl



Rick's Circling Rain Clouds



Rick's Brasserie's Pudding



Rick's Brasserie's Books by Rick Stein



Rick's Cafe Breakfast



Rick's Flat White




Rick's Mexican Eggs




Rick's Bacon Bap Scrum Down.


Rick's Patisserie


Rick's Big Breakfast with Rick's Beans on Toast - just seen


Rick's Oysters & Cocktails


Rick's Cheese Selection


Rick's Private Wine Tasting



#53 Here Comes Herbie


Play It Again Rick


On an ordnance survey map Padstow, the rather quaint, picturesque fishing town in North Cornwall is still named Padstow. However in recent years and to those who have been witness to the Rick Stein effect, the fishing town's name has colloquially morphed into Padstein, a cheeky reference to Rick Stein's multi-million pound brand building exercise.

There is an awful lot of Rick and an awful lot of Mr. Stein permeating through this once sleepy fishing village. Perhaps it's a question of balance, but the boy has clearly done well. The one time mobile disco entrepreneur and nightclub owner, (known for its freeze dried curries and eventually shut down by the police, due to regular brawls with local fisherman)  has clearly found his A-game in the kitchen.  Although, the Cornish nationalists in particular, have not always approved of his empire building. 

The experience itself, as out of towners visiting Padstein, was somewhat interesting to say the least. The local taxi driver collecting us from the station, also turned out to be Rick's personal driver and casually told us all about Rick's colourful private life. It then seemed somewhat confusing on arrival to Stein's bed and breakfast guesthouse, to find greeting cards from Rick and Jill, his first wife and business partner.

On arrival, we sampled Rick's Cornish Arm's pub with his pint of prawns in a beer handle, and bedded down into Rick Stein linen. We biked the camel trail and ferried over to Rock and wondered how many fish and how much seafood Rick Stein had consumed in his own lifetime.

There was even a Stein's fish and chips restaurant, just a stone's throw from Stein's Seafood restaurant. Even though we were possibly suffering Steinmania, we still popped in and cycled off with our fish and chips in our very own basket, to enjoy the Cornish sunset. 

On our first evening in Padstow, we visited Stein's Seafood restaurant for a special 44th birthday celebration dinner. It was memorable for the rather bulbous and big chested Welsh maĆ®tre d, who seemed somewhat confused by his own decision to serve the wrong wine and then our apologetic discovery of finding enough sand to build a sand-castle, in our queenie scallops. This he resolved rather wonderfully by the kind offer to "be our guests" and welcome us back the next night for a complementary dinner sat plumb at the bar, with both the head chef and head barman's extra personal touch, showering us with oysters tabasco sauce and cocktails.

The only one possible disappointment for those might like to class themsleves as Rick Stein aficionados, was that Rick and his little mate Chalky the Jack Russell, were nowhere to be seen. The clue to that was perhaps 10,000 miles aways. Should you fancy a bit of far flung real Rick, you could always jump on a big bird and head over to Rick Stein at Bannisters, in Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia. 




Thursday, 12 June 2014

KIRAZU




Asahi Black Beer for Table Number 2



Takoyaki, Osaki Street Food Coming up...



Fresh Market Sashimi, Agedashi Tofu, Steamed Scallop Salad



Seabream Sashimi & Miso Soup



I'm Hung On You, Mr Salaryman



Blackboard Cravings



Menu Bins



To soy or not to soy



Seaweed Salad and sesame bean sprouts


#52 Danny La Rue


Japanese Tapa Tapa Tapas

When running to meet my kind partner for a surprise dinner at Kirazu I wasn't expecting to find this traditional Obanzai cuisine (Kyoto home style cooking) on the very doorstep of London's Chinatown.  Placing refined Japanese  foodisms into touristy Chinese territory doesn't seem to gel as both have a distinct mindset towards showcasing their Asian offerings. 

Kirazu - translated as SoyBean in Kansai district Japanese - is lead by head maestro Yuya Kikuchi. He will blow you away with his skilled Fugu food license, or Blow Fish cooking to the lesser initiated. It requires a craftsman's skill to be awarded this trusted license which involves serving up, what would be a poisonous fish - in the wrong hands. Yuya likes to grapple with a blow torch and will carefully flame up plated delicacies to the exact half millimetre as part of his honest honed craft. The Obanzai concept is essentially conceived to let all the ingredients sing and fortunately there are no Japanese budgerigars on the menu.

Taking its own restaurant name as inspiration, Kirazu's menu utilises the Soybean for its staple ingredients - soy sauce, tofu and miso soup, living up to the healthy diet doctorate of Japanese cooking contributing to your prolonged longevity. Unfortunately the time waiting for the dishes to arrive may take years off you, unless you get lucky. *Please read on.

Kirazu is a tiny space that requites an intimate familiarity with your fellow diners. This was accentuated when we were mistakenly presented with the food they had already ordered. We happily tucked in but after eventually realising the error - due to lost in translation glitches from an eccentric maitre d - we did feel a touch guilty as it really was a delicious selection. Plate proportions are intentionally small, a la tapas and this gaff would be best avoided by any passing hippopotami with hangovers who like to end the night feeling bloated. 

On the plus side you won't find any Chinatown tourists hogging the buffet and spinning a round table at 47 Rupert St.





Wednesday, 23 April 2014

SKY DINING




Sky Dining



Gyoza Debutantes



Rolled Up Seating



The Rice Bowl



Place Setting



Beetroot Pudding




#51 Tweak Of The Thumb


Homemade & Handmade Japanese Culinary Art.


It's not every Easter Monday you have chance to dine up high with the clouds and admire  an ever changing London skyline, observing the elements as they swoosh on by. You don't need to dine in the Hutong restaurant on level 33 in the Shard to have such amazing views. Though vertigo sufferers be warned.

Especially if you are lucky enough to have Ian + Rie as your friends. Ian is a clothing designer of some incredible natural talent, though many will not have heard of him. For a man with his rare atelier skills he is amazingly humble, friendly and generous with his time. Ian knows intuitively how to enjoy life and live-in-the-moment with Iyengar yoga a constant in his life. Ian is well loved, always smiling and places importance on nurturing the everyday simple things in life that are important to cherish. 

Rie is an amazing Japanese cook, though in her unassuming manner, this culinary skill is simply a little hobby. Rie is also an incredibly skilled sculptor of Art-jewellery. Her work is so intricate and mesmerising it is hard to define. One of Rie's Snow Leopards might take 3 months to complete.

Dining with Ian + Rie is quite an experience. Certainly equivalent to any fine dining establishment in Japan with an array of beautiful Japanese ceramic beakers, bowls and earthenware. With such artistic hand skilled elements you can feel yourself slowing down, breathing deeply and sampling and tasting every bite.

We were served Rie's delicious handmade Miso soup with Silken Tofu, Cashew nut Gyoza, Agedashi Tofu and Ginger Marinated Eggplant. Washed down with a St.Peters Brewery Honey Porter Ale we had handily brought with us.  The relaxed low to the floor conversation was finished off with a Cinnamon & Orange Cake and a Japanese Beetroot Jelly with Cocoa and Chocolate that gleamed the most amazing dense hue of colour. 

Perfect.







Thursday, 29 August 2013

PADSTOW ROCK Fish & Chips




Padstow Look Out Towards Rock



Ready To Land The Catch Of The Day



Line Caught Apparatus


Moses Footpath To Rock



  Fish Shoals Made by Tyre Imprints On Boat Trailers



Boarding Tiny Ferry To Rock



This Is Rock 



John Dory In Beef Dripping Batter



Rick Stein's Fish & Chips



Sunny Lookout For Ice Creams



Roskilly's Ice Cream,
Apple Crumble & Mint Chocoholic



#50 Bung Hole


Fish & Chips Rock n' Ice Cream Roll


It's a fishing hub par excellence, so there seemed only one thing to do in Padstow. We grabbed a skirt of Fish & Chips from Mr Steins and a tub of his finest mushy peas and boarded the tiny ferry crossing to Rock. 

On the way home we took to our pedals and wheeled along the Camel Trail and treated ourselves to a scoop of Roskilly's  Apple Crumble Ice Cream and Mint Choc chip.

We then gave ourselves a pat on the back.

For a job well done.




Monday, 12 August 2013

THE ST IVES PASTY





The St Ives Cornish Pasty



Bernard Leach Studio Pots



Bernard Leach Potters Wheel



Bernard Leach Found Stool



John Bedding Pottery on Shelf



Shigeyoshi Ichino Pottery




Barbara Hepworth Two Bronze Forms



Barbara Hepworth Inner Sphere



Barbara Hepworth Weathered Stone



Barbara Hepworth Courtyard Sunroom



Barbara Hepworth Studio Overalls



Barbara Hepworth Little Stones & Succulents


#49  Rise And Shine


Pasty, Bernard & Babs. 


Everyone loves a pocket lunch when out foraging for Pottery and Sculptures, or as was once the local Cornish tradition, off to your day job as a Tin Miner. 


The genuine "Cornish Pasty" we savoured was purchased from Pengenna pastiesPrepared by hand, to be shaped like a 'D' and crimped on one side, before being baked on the premises - the quality hallmarks of a fine pasty makers reputation. We could see why the Cornish Pasty now has Protected Geographical Indication status from the European commission and accounts for 6% of the Cornish food economy. 


You can learn how a genuine Cornish Pasty is made here. The reigning world championship pasty winner is Billy Deakin who missed last years prize giving ceremony as he had to go home to walk his dog 'zero'.


Our prized pasty was off to see the wonderful Bernard Leach Pottery Studio and fab Barbara Hepworth Museum & Garden . It then strolled along via the Wills Lane Gallery the St Ives Ceramics Gallery and immersed itself into the local art & ceramics scene at the Belgrave Gallery, New Craftsmen Gallery, Porthminster Gallery and Fernlea Gallery. Oh and an unexpected off-piste visit to Paul Vibert's unique hidden gallery of stacked bundles of art.

With our Cornish Pasty in tow, it seemed fitting that Bernard might have enjoyed a Pasty or two while throwing pots, or for Barbara to have munched on a pasty for her afternoon tea, when carving sculptures.


This blog gives thanks to the founders of The Genuine Cornish Pasty, for creating the St Ives day tripper's Favourite Thing To Eat and also as an endless supply of convenience food for the mob-handed pasty snatching seagulls.







Favourite Places To Eat

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