Tuesday, 20 May 2014

What Joanna Ate Top 3 May 2014

It might now be mid-way through the month, but here are my top three eating/drinking favourites and tips for May:

Asparagus – At Borough market a couple of days ago, there was a stall only selling bunches of the green spears.  It’s definitely the time to get hold of British asparagus.  It goes especially well with anything buttery/creamy/cheesy/eggy, like Hollandaise sauce, or simply steamed and used in place of soldiers in a dippy egg.  My favourite way is actually griddled or roasted, with a gentle charring on the outside.  Before using, just bend the spear, and discard the woody end that naturally breaks off.

Sourdough – I’m now the proud parent of a sourdough starter.  I just need to make sure I don’t kill it.  It’s a lot of responsibility, with the feeding and all.  I went to a half day course at the recently opened Bread Ahead school in Borough at the weekend, and will be ready to bake my first loaves this weekend.  May will therefore be all about sourdough bread – more photos and thoughts to come.

Peg & Patriot
Typing Room and Peg & Patriot – After the end of Viajante (with chef Nuno Mendes off to Chiltern Firehouse), the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green has a new restaurant.  Lee Westcott’s menu offers a tasting menu (six courses for £55), or a la carte, including a snack section with delicious sounding bites like courgette and basil profiteroles and crispy fish skin.  I asked for a menu nicely when at the hotel’s new bar Peg & Patriot (by Matt Whiley), which is a brilliant spot for cocktails.  They distil their own spirits, with innovative mixtures – my favourite was the Barley Legal, with burnt pineapple rum, buttered banana, barley, cultured coconut and lime.  It’s what a Pina Colada would be when it grows up.

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