A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Tuesday, February 12

St. John Resaurant, London

Well after watching Anthony Bourdain last night in London, I figured its about time I should share our own venture to this famous (but seemingly well kept secret) restaurant!

I have to say this was one of the main things I was looking forward to for our honeymoon... sad isn't it?? Our whole schedule was sent into chaos due to our canceled flight, and we were unable to rebook our reservations at St John. But we were determined, and simply showed up for lunch one day. Lucky for us, there were a handful (like... TWO) tables open in the bar area.

Although this meant we were limited as far as selection, I was happy to see the main thing I was there for, Marrow Bones, was on the Bar menu.

Besides, we were there for lunch anyways, and had not long before finished off a HUGE English breakfast complete with goose eggs, REAL British bacon, and black pudding. So we weren't starving by any stretch of the imagination.

Let me just say how excited I was to be there. I have Fergus Henderson's book.. and have tried cooking many of his recipes, including the marrowbones. You can see my attempt here.

The interior was very unpretentious, with an open prep-kitchen... its so comforting seeing fresh veg being peeled and readied right there in front of you.

At one point a waiter rushed by with a whole roast suckling pig... and I squirmed in envy!
The next time we go... we're inviting a group... including you foodies in the London area I know read my blog! And we're getting one of those!!

So lets get to the good part! What we had!!!!

Like I said, I had the marrow bones.... and of course they were TO DIE FOR. I can understand why this is Bourdain's declared death row meal.

A generous amount of silky smooth roast beef bones, served with home-made bread, a parsley and caper salad, and a bit of grey sea salt to season to your own taste. It was just wonderful. And the staff was incredibly friendly even to this gushing American.. and he patiently showed me the "proper way" to eat it.... even though I already knew how... I just wanted to bask in the experience a little longer. :)

Being the Brit Dave is, he went with a classic Welsh Rarebit. You can tell by looking at this the quality of cheese, and bread that love and care was put into such a simple dish, known by so many names all around the world.

Next time, we plan to book way in advance, with a back-up booking as well just in case of a flight fiasco again! ;-)

I will easily say, even though I've only had this one simple dish there.... it is my favorite restaurant in the world. =) If something as simple as Welsh Rarebit and Marrow Bones can be so spectacular, one can only imagine what the rest of their dishes are like.

Wednesday, February 6

Deep Fried Mars Bar

Nemesis Innards

There comes a point in every foodaholics life that they finally meet their match. Their Arch Nemesis. Gone are the days of "I can eat ANYTHING!". I drag my sad little feet away in defeat.

Who is this mighty foe you ask? Well I will tell you. It is an abomination. A mutant freak "treat" that only men in skirts could conjure.

It is.... the Deep Fried Mars Bar.

I've been an attendant at the Florida Highland Games for about 7 years running now. And every time, I see that stand, "Meat Pies and Deep Fried Mars Bars", beckoning me. During our last visit, I finally mustered the courage to try one.

A deep fried mars bar is exactly that. One mars bar, battered, and deep fried. How is that possible?? Its like some strange Wonka paradox. Like Fried Ice Cream.. but Fried Ice Cream is from Heaven.

Unfortunately, I knew I was going to lose this battle before my teeth even sunk through my first bite. And that bite was unfortunately, the bite that made me abandon any urge for additional bites. And that single bite is the one pictured above. My bite of defeat.

First it was a brief break through an extremely thin crisp of outer batter, but that was where my horror began. For just below the crisp is pretty much runny batter, mush mingled with melted chocolate (magma hot chocolate mind you)... then nougat so soft you are almost surprised when your teeth suddenly touch eachother. But as you try to aid your mouth in its escape, evil strings of glue-like caramel latch on and don't let go. Once free, the mouthfeel I could only imagine is similar to that a dog experiences when given too much peanut butter.

It was all very traumatizing.

Fortunately, my husband is a Brit, and his arteries have grown immune to this sort of onslaught. Anything battered and fried becomes fair game and prized eating.

But for this girl... one bite of one deep fried mars bar is enough to know I've found the highest of edible adversaries.