Chowhound is a fantastic website for researching restaurants in new towns. It’s a bit US and Michelin rated cities centric but has a very friendly and useful group of users. This thread is about an epic planned fortnight in Tokyo that unfortunately never transpired. I couldn’t eat that many top meals but it’s great for picking over to find one or two special places.
Great cocktail place from the people behind Purl in Marylebone (another great cocktail bar). Not only do they do some wonderful, weird mixes they can make top versions of classic cocktails as well. Great place to have pre-dinner drinks.
Natto is a food made by fermenting soy beans – the same little beans you are served as edamame but with a stringy, smelly coating. It’s somewhere between disgusting and delicious but certainly interesting – it reminds me of some very strong French cheeses. You can buy it in the UK from the Japan Centre or have a look in the freezer at your nearest world food supermarket.
Link: Natto – Japan Centre
Adding marmite to anything is good in my book and (as long as you don’t go overboard) it adds some real depth to a gravy.
Link: Onion gravy with marmite
Almost every pudding I make is like this as I can’t bake but was a particularly well received variation on my theme. Don’t bother making a custard, just gently warm pre-made custard with some bay leaves before cooling to get the same effect. Given that modification the whole preparation takes half an hour at most.
It’s surprisingly hard to find a good drink late in London. Despite licensing laws changing to allow all night drinking nearly 7 years ago a lot of councils are still reluctant to give out licenses. I prefer hotel bars but there are few good options from the great Londonist.com.
Great popup in the tiny place where Roganic was. The food is simple and single ingredient focused sharing plates. I thought it was fantastic and unlike a lot of recent popups was very well organised with really friendly responsive service.
Link: Pieds Nus