Friday evening was a planned pub crawl (which as ever was downscaled to just 3 pubs) round Fleet St, because the Canadians were visiting. The pubs were earmarked and reviewed at the new Google maps mashup on http://www.fancyapint.com/. In order to create a map with pubs and reviews, I had to capture my own Google map of the area with the pubs shown as Destinations, and the reviews round the side in (sorry to say) MS Word text boxes with arrows. From me to you – the Fleet Street pub crawl map with route and reviews in .doc format (sorry). Everyone liked the map – I might do a few more to have to hand. Mayfair would be good.
We started in the George (something like 231 The Strand) because it was easy to find. Then moved to the Deveraux in Deveraux Court round the corner, finishing at the Edgar Wallace on Essex St. All those pubs are said to be a shadow of their former selves and EJ was taking the piss out of them all looking the same (she’s right though). Good to see EJ and JR (they’re selling EJ’s Peckham flat and have put an offer in on the house of a friend in Upper Walthamstow). The Canadians brought a nice friend with them who does lighting for art exhibitions (including the Tate) and kind of changed my perspective on some things.
Saturday was an early start and an easy nip on the silverlink metro to Sutton House and F&M’s wedding. It was a truly lovely, relaxing day. We had the run of Sutton House during the reception, with harpsichord music drifting down into the cellar where we played with bricks. Then taxis to Frocks on Lauriston Rd who were good to the vegan. Divine mushroom soup followed by an unusually spiced mushroom pilaf with choi sum and mange tout. The cinnamon poached conference pear. Lots to drink and good company. Such a down-to-earth, unpretentious, thoughtful wedding. Then we met the Canadians in Stoke Newington, failed to avoid Ireland beating England in the rugby and ate wonderful Keralan food at Rasa (N16) to which I can hardly do justice, but I’ll try.
For starter we had pickles and chutneys (£2 for 6: garlic, mango, lemon, and mixed veg, pickles and coconut and coriander chutneys) with starter dishes (all £2.75) with:
Plantains, like coconut and spices, are an integral part of Kerala cooking. Plantain slices are dipped in a batter of rice and chickpea flour seasoned with black sesame seeds, then crisply fried. Served with our specially prepared peanut and ginger sauce. Perfect for children and people who prefer non-spicy starters
The tea time snack in Kerala, but delicious at any time. Potato balls laced with fresh ginger, curry leaves, coriander and black mustard seeds, dipped and fried in chickpea flour batter and crisply fried. Served with a moist, creamy coconut chutney.
Vadias are South India’s great treats, crunchy, deep-fried patties made of mixed lentil batter laced with fresh curry leaves, ginger and green chillies, served with coconut chutney. A favourite tea time snack in the family home.
And Bhel mix
Famous Bombay roadside snack made of fresh crispy chickpeas, bhel, sev, peanuts, onions blended in spicy tamarind juice and freshly chopped coriander leaves.
Then mains (see the menu at http://www.rasarestaurants.com/UserPages/menu_resraurants/restaurant_n16.htm for these – I’m getting bored of clipboard functions):
Two rice: tamarind and lemon
Two breads: Paratha andUzhunnapam
Curries and dhosa – Nadan Paripu, Moru Kachiathu Chilli Onion Rava Dhosa and one other curry – I forget.
It was better than I remember it, even, and the staff were careful to point out that I couldn’t have the moru kachiathu or the paratha (unvegan). H&M loved it. And the dears paid. I just hope they were comfortable on the sofabed in the stripped down dining room…