All posts tagged: seafood

There is no “r” in the month. But what the hell. The Oystermen, Covent Garden.

As you know, I’m an ostreophile. I love a good oyster (and, no, no chewing, just a push up against the roof of the mouth and a swallow, see earlier posts and please God, don’t cook them), so the opening of “The Oystermen” in Covent Garden just the week before our most recent visit to London put this squarely on the “hit list”. The Oystermen is small, like the Smoking Goat (more of that superb place later), located on Henrietta St just beside Covent Garden Market. Small, as in, maybe 20ish covers? but perfectly formed. Simple, fresh, seafood, trendy, bearded owner and chief shucker.  Not only am I a fan of oysters, I love a fresh boiled crab. I can dissect one with alarming alacrity, even if I do say so myself. Keep your boring, expensive lobsters and give me a good old fashioned brown crab.  I was at home the moment we walked in. I started with the oysters, (natch). Half a dozen, 2 of each type (the FWD can’t cope with the texture *rolls eyes* so she passed). Maldon Rock, Blackwater …

Manhattan-style Clam Chowder, tomatoes, no cream..

So reminiscing about last summer’s trip to New York and a lovely chowder at Pier A, I felt inspired to rustle up a Manhattan Style Chowder. To me a Chowder always has milk or cream in it but in New York it was all about the tomatoes. It seems the addition of tomatoes instead of cream is not historically without its own controversy… apparently by 1939 it had become so contentious that one State Representative, a certain Cleveland Sleepe, introduced a Bill in the legislature attempting to make the addition of tomatoes illegal. However, after a panel of Chowder connoisseurs at a competition in Portland declared the traditional New England Chowder the epicurean champion, the Bill did not pass and the Free World is still free to add tomatoes to its chowder, and so am I. Delicious.

Poke at Black Roe, Mayfair

Well, I won a Twitter competition. I have won a few things on Twitter, a couple of books, some vouchers. This time I won the opportunity to join Black Roe in London’s Mayfair for a tasting evening. So, here’s the thing, I wasn’t able to attend on the evening due to a family illness so I thanked Black Roe and suggested they offer the prize to someone else. They didn’t take me up on that but instead offered us a complementary meal in April. And so it was that we headed to London last week for a bit of shopping, to check out my Daughter’s work placement, mooch around Borough Market and enjoy lunch at Black Roe. A big, big, thankyou to Black Roe for generously extending the prize to include all 3 of us. Black Roe is a Poke restaurant (no, I didn’t know either…. it is pronounced “pokey” btw). Poke is a traditional Hawaiian raw fish salad and Black Roe has its own dedicated Poke bar where the chef prepares the fish from …

Corned Beef Hash and Clam Chowder – Come take another walk with me, down to Battery Park, NYC.

And another Huge Breakfast Back to New York and check out this breakfast. Astro’s American Diner in Mid-Town Manhattan. Just around the corner from our Hotel, we found this old-school breakfast joint. Astro’s has been on 6th Ave and 55th Street for over 30 years, we stumbled across it looking for an early breakfast (it opens at 6am) and we were the first customers in. Not knowing the patch we just hoped we had chosen wisely, but not to worry, within half an hour the place was completely full, so clearly the locals knew its charms. Seems to be largely family run by New York Greek/Cypriots and if you are hungry and heading for a heavy day of sightseeing, this will set you up nicely, and the coffee is strong enough to stand a spoon in and just keeps coming.              Husband had the (huge) corned beef hash, with eggs –  and managed to finish it, Daughter had the waffle and Canadian-style bacon and I had the pancakes, American bacon and two eggs, over-easy …

Aw Shucks, do you swallow or chew? Oyster season is upon us……

I know, I know, sorry. But, hey there is an “r” in the month and, love them or hate them, the oyster season has started and I can’t help but get a bit giddy. I am a big oyster fan, so I thought I would dedicate this short piece to the briny, slimy, tasty and expensive joys of new season oysters. So, in the best tradition of food blogging –  here are 6 things you may or may not know about oysters  (“pearls” of wisdom, you may say):- 1 There are only 5 main types of Oyster, but there are 100s of varieties and their shell, shape and flavour change mostly according to the very specific area and type of water they inhabit. Oysters are always “local”. If you are in the UK, go for Native if you can, rather than Rock (but both are good). Most types of Oyster (apart from deep sea ones) don’t make pearls. I know, bugger isn’t it? 2 I am an “ostreaphile” – an oyster lover. Get me. 3 …

Old Tales and Fresh Lobster at Cafe Fish, Tobermory, Isle of Mull

One of my oldest friends lives on Mull and Mull is an awful long way from here. It is remote, it is wild and beautiful, spiritual and unspoilt and on the evening we arrived by ferry from Oban on the mainland, the water was as still as a millpond, there was no breeze and the sun was slowly setting, it was quite something. This was my second visit to Mull, and a first for the Scottish husband and daughter. Mull is one of the largest and most populated of the Inner Hebrides. (the photo above is not  mine, I will replace it when we download some!) We booked into our fabuously pink hotel in Tobermory, the island capital (population 700) and after a glorious evening walk we ate there. Mull, and indeed Scotland, is renowned for its seafood so I started our short stay with langoustine, of course (and I’ve slipped in the kippers that I had for breakfast the next morning..).   The eating highlight was booked to be Cafe Fish on the pier. …