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16 March 2014

A Week in Food and Drink

A week ago, I was enjoying the last meal of my New York trip: a lobster and shrimp roll at the Ocean Grill on Columbus Avenue. I've had a fair amount of other food and drink fun this week in London, though. Here are a few of the things on this week's menu.


1: Ocean Grill's lobster and shrimp roll.

2–3: On Thursday night, I went to Honest Burgers with some friends from work to try out this month's special burger: the Brew Burger, a collaboration with BrewDog, which comes with Comté cheese, beer-candied bacon and beer-fried onions, as well as the usual medium-rare-as-standard patty, and rosemary-salt chips (£11.50). It was juicy, meaty and delicious. Although I don't like to drink beer, there were some really nice flavours coming through in this burger. The special used to include a special BrewDog beer for a few more pounds, but fortunately for me — a non-beer-drinker — they had run out of beer. Instead, I opted for a house cocktail, involving Boxer gin, apple and cucumber. Refreshing and delicious.

4: When I go to New York, I like to bring back some coffee beans and this time, I bought a bag of Brazilian Monte Cristo coffee from Irving Farm. I had a couple of pourovers with this variety while I was out there — how could I resist a coffee that had peanut butter in its tasting notes? — and have been enjoying the coffee in my Aeropress at home this week.

5: Regular readers will be aware of the SoLoDo Running Club my friends and I have, which ends with a stop at St John Bakery on Druid Street for a post-run doughnut. But I had heard that St John might have an SE1 rival, in the form of Bread Ahead in Borough Market. I tried Bread Ahead's caramel custard doughnut with salted honeycomb topping and the rumours are true: it was epic. The most pleasure you can have in SE1 for £2.50. Go to their stall in the market early to avoid missing out.

6: When I walked past Free State Coffee in Holborn yesterday afternoon, I realised that I still hadn't tried the coffee there. As it was such a lovely sunny day today, I walked over and enjoyed a V60 pourover in their sunny Southampton Row café. A full review of Free State will be up on my blog next week.

7–9: Last night, a group of us went to The Happenstance, near St Paul's, to celebrate my friend's 30th birthday. Like its sister restaurants, which include The Folly and The Fable, The Happenstance offers excellent and creative cocktails and tasty food in casual-cool surroundings. Surprisingly, given its City location, the prices are also very reasonable. I had a strawberry and lavender mojito (7) and also tried the 'skinny superfood collins'. I didn't care about the skinny or superfood properties, but gin, basil, raspberries, blackberries and lemon juice is my kind of cocktail. My main course was one of the specials: roast salmon with roasted baby gem, crushed baby potatoes, peas and sweet chilli sauce (8). It was beautifully presented, very tasty and, at £12.95, good value. For pudding, I couldn't choose so I shared the pudding shots (9) with my friend. These consisted of small portions of the chocolate brownie with strawberry ice cream, the knickerbocker glory (chocolate ice cream, honeycomb and cherries) and the white chocolate crème brûlée. Delicious!

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