*rugenius in food+drink , 10:05

A Dickensian Dinner For Two with Hendrick’s Gin and the Young Turks- 04.12.12

maintenbell.jpg The latest culinary adventure from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw. I never knew i needed tea cups with wine glass stems until now… see what she has to share about her adventure below!

Last night we were invited to a delectable feast of most unusual nibbles and tipples at the pop-up Dickensian dining room above the Ten Bells pub overlooking Old Spitalfields Market in East London. The feast was brought to us by Hendrick’s and The Young Turks, a culinary collective of James Lowe, Isaac Mchale and Ben Greeno. See more photos of the delightful pop-up dining room and our sumptuous meal and cocktails on the next page.

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tenbells-9409.jpg The first cocktail was a Celery Sour created by Jason Scott, Bramble Bar, Edinburgh, but based on a recipe from Tom Bullock’s ‘The Ideal Bartender’ from 1917 (although the original contained no alcohol!).

The drink accompanied a lovely trio of starters: Pear & Lardo, Sea Urchin & Oats and Celery & Lincolnshire Poacher. All were delicious, the contrast between the sweetness of the pear worked perfectly with the strong saltiness of the lardon and the delicacy of sea urchin on the thin oat cracker. Despite not being a huge fan of celery of strong cheese, the poacher combined the two beautifully so that neither taste of overpowering.

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Next up was the St. Germain De Pres, a cocktail created by Nico De Soto of ECC Chinatown, London, a fresh, cucumbery, elderflower and lime juice cocktail that tastes refreshing, cooling and quite green! A lovely complement to the first of the four mains, Crab, Kolhrabi & Sweet Cicely that picked up on the fresh flavors. The next main was a delectable (sous vide?) duck egg served in a smoked chicken broth. The texture of almost melting egg in broth was fantastic! The next dish was a beautiful taste of venison haunch with beetroot and watercress, which was followed by Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt served with Wild Fennel and Blood Orange.

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Next came a complete off-menu delight, an “Amalfi lemonade”, an unexpected and delectable pre-dessert palate cleanser that was deliciously zesty, tart, sweet and sherberty. The flavor was fantastic and texture was indescribable, my best attempt is something like eating lemony, candy-like air!

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The final cocktail of the night was the Martinez created by Prof. Jerry Thomas (c. 1887), a very strong drink with dessert of Hendrick’s, Martini Rosso, Maraschino, Angostura and Cointreau, which accompanied a Beremeal Teacake, a biscuit topped with marshmallow and all coated in chocolate. Delicious and something like the Scottish version of a smore! All in all, a delightful and delicious Dickensian feast!

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