Now that it’s been about six months since I’ve moved to London, I’ve noticed certain eating and dining themes:

The pop-up restaurant and bar. Like Meateasy at Goldsmiths Tavern that came and went. And now Frank’s Campari Bar that’s only open until the end of summer.

Haloumi. People in this town can’t seem to get enough of this cheese, grilled. I’ve seen it at every barbeque, traditional sandwich stands, swank gastropubs and corner shop.

Tea towels. They are everywhere, in every kind of store, appropriate to whatever they sell in the shop, be it screen printed imagery of London, kitschy designer art or the royal family. You would think that they were a nation of people obsessed with hand drying dishes.

Ginger beer. I can’t get enough of this non-alcoholic drink — it’s like ginger ale on caffeine (more on that in a future post). Could ginger beer be the secret ingredient to a Dark and Stormy?

I may be going out on a limb, but I’m putting shakshuka on this list. Nevermind my first taste of shakshuka was served to me as a heaping mess in a reheated Tupperware a few months ago. It was something I had never eaten before, something that was between a ratatouille and moussaka with baked egg. I was more impressed with saying the word shakshuka than actually eating it, but that’s probably why the word stuck. It’s just a fun word to say, shakshuka.

The second time I ate it was at Ottolenghi when my sister came to visit. As a contributor for the Guardian, chef Yotam Ottolenghi is well-known in these parts. His recipes in the paper are easy, accessible and best of all, veggie-centric. Much have been made about  his latest cookbook ‘Plenty;” even the LA Times reviewed it when it came out in the US. I think his recipes would be brilliant, using California produce.

Anyway back to the shakshuka. This had some of my favorite components: baked runny egg, crusty bread, tomato-basil Mediterranean flavors. All served on a breakfast griddle.Yum! And better yet, I can replicate it using Ottolenghi’s own recipe! Weee!

The only thing missing in my flat though, is an individual-sized griddle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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