I’m so, so sorry to everyone that has expressed an interest in coming to the planned event on 28 May. Unfortunately for personal reasons I have to postpone the event to a later date.
I do hope to be able to offer another date soon. I’ll post an announcement here as soon as I can.
Thanks for your understanding.
Beautiful sunshine has been flooding into our dining room for the last couple of weeks. The central heating has been turned off. The garden is bursting into flower.
I feel it’s a good time to hold another pop-up restaurant event at my house!
The last one I did, at Sparks Yard in Arundel, was a full-size restaurant affair, and was a huge success. But not ideal for all my friends and customers in and around Haslemere. I’ve been looking at suitable venues nearer to home ever since — and I still am. It’s not easy to find the right place.
Meanwhile I’m impatient to try out some of the new dishes that I’ve been working on recently, so I’ve decided to try and organise something on a smaller scale. I’m proposing Saturday, 28 May.
I’d like to know how many people would be interested in coming along on that date. It will be my take on Asian food (sorry, not peanut nor gluten free). A contribution of £35 per person would be much appreciated for an amuse bouche and a three course supper. BYO.
I will have tables of six and eight — but if you’re happy to share, I can easily accommodate smaller groups. Please let me know if you would like to come, and how many in your party, by using the contact form, rather than leaving a comment below. At this stage it is just an expression of interest, not a firm booking. I do need to have a minimum number to make it practical — so I may need to come back to those who have said they’re interested to tell you that it’s been postponed. I hope that won’t happen!
I’m really looking forward to hearing from you.
I’m delighted to report that my planned Tuscan evening is happening next Saturday, the 8th of June. Thanks to those of you who have booked: I’m really looking forward to cooking for you.
While discussing the event, a number of you told me that you’d also like to come for an Asian evening. So I’ve decided to go ahead with the other date that I had mentioned, the 6th of July, but for an Asian meal rather than Italian.
And I have one table for four (or six if you don’t mind squashing up a little!) still available.
Here’s the menu for the evening:
1. Ma Hong – slices of pineapple topped with Asian flavoured minced prawn and mint
2. Krupuk – Indonesian rice crackers with coriander coconut chutney
3. Young papaya and green mango salad with light peanut dressing
1. Ikan Acar Kuning – fillets of mackerel in turmeric sauce with cucumber, carrots and shallots
2 Perkedel – potato cakes with herbs
3. Nasi Goreng – Indonesian fried rice with green chilli, basil, shredded omelette and baby anchovies (ikan bilis)
1. Es Teler – iced mixed fruit: a delicious mix of avocado chunks, young coconut flesh, and jack fruit in a sweet coconut and condensed milk juice
2. Black sesame seed wafer
The price is the usual £25 a head, which includes an aperitif, and coffee or tea. Bring your own wine.
Please let me know as soon as possible. Call me or email, or send a note via the contact form.
I guess it’s not surprising that I’m asked for Asian food for most of my jobs. But, if you know my cooking background, you’ll understand that I miss traditional Italian home cooking. Cucina casalinga, as it is known, is the essence of Italian cuisine, and even in Italy you find it more often in people’s homes than in restaurants – even though every Italian laments the fact!
I’m convinced that many of my friends that know me through my cooking would enjoy a real Italian casalinga meal. Now I have a booking for one of my ‘pop-up’ restaurant evenings (‘Dinner at Mine‘), and I’m inviting people to make up two more tables. Here’s the offer:
I’m cooking a typical Tuscan three-course family meal on either Saturday 8 June, or Saturday 6 July, and I’m looking for two groups of four or six people.
Antipasto. Bruschetta tricolore: peperonata, baccelli e pecorino, ricotta e parmigiano.
(Starter. Three types of bruschetta (in the colours of the Italian flag): topped with roasted peppers, broad beans with pecorino cheese, and baked ricotta with parmesan cheese.)
Secondo Piatto. Agnello in umido, con patate di primizia e carcioffi.
(Main course. Lamb stew, with new potatoes and artichokes.)
Cost is the usual £25 per person. Bring your own wine.
What I’d like to know is if you would like to book a table for four or six, and which of the two proposed dates you can make (and if you could do either). As soon as I have enough people to go ahead on one or other of the dates I’ll get back to you and confirm the booking. And who knows, if I get enough interest I might do both dates!
I do hope you are interested in coming. I think you’ll find it different to the average Italian restaurant! Please let me know as soon as possible. Call me or email, or send a note via the contact form.
I planned months ago to escape England for a few weeks in horrid January to travel back to Indonesia. Firstly, to visit my family, secondly, to learn more about my mum’s cooking and lastly, to travel a little bit with my old friends from school who are all very much into food and eating. Therefore, many places and varied types of food were visited, tasted, commented on, and copied but there was still a lot more missed because of time and waist availability! Next trip beckons…
A typical food from Jogja/Yogyakarta – GUDEG – jack fruit based stew with all the trimmings (chicken, egg, tofu) cooked in thick spicy coconut milk.
My friends and I were taken by a local driver to a well known Gudeg place on the day we arrived In Yogyakarta or Jogja (Central Java). The only snag was that this place only starts taking orders from 10.30pm-ish. We got there a good ten minutes before opening time (and we thought we were early!), but the queue was already a kilometre long – and that was just outside this private house. As we got closer to the door, we realised that there was also a queue inside the house, and there were only three people serving these hungry people! They were serving in a typical Javanese way, i.e. very, very slow and with no pressure whatsoever. They were all very charming and friendly, joking kindly to the punters. I wished then I’d had a good lunch that day as we landed in Jogja at around 2pm. It was a long time before supper!
It was worth the wait in every sense, even though some of the trimmings had finished by the time we got to the front of the queue and it was just before midnight. We sat on a mat on the floor as there were not many tables and chairs available: the owners just spread bamboo mats in their sitting area and around the patio in the garden. We finished eating and took notice that there were people still in line inside the house. Surely there couldn’t be anything else to eat. Then we realised that they were University students who were quite happy to eat whatever was left at a very discounted price. This local food cannot be kept, especially as many people still don’t own refrigerators, so as soon as it’s ready, it has to be consumed. It takes ages to cook this, then for the food to develop its flavour, hence the opening time!
The queue and queueing
The next day we searched for other things that would remind us of our childhood.
Markets! Open air markets… they are now much more orderly and controlled, but still sell food that we remembered. Street food, cemilan (nibbles or small snacks) can be found everywhere. I find it difficult to differentiate snacks and main food as my people and most Asian people eat all day long and you can eat whatever you fancy at any time of the day. I miss this style of living!
Street food and vegetable market
Another typical restaurant and dish in West Java. This dish is called Nasi Uduk, all on one plate. May look a bit intimidating, but yummy.
I’ve been back home for over a month now, and my trip back to Indonesia already seems like a distant memory. But at least I can keep the memory alive in my kitchen!
If you are keen to taste Nasi Uduk and/or other Indonesian/Asian cooking at my house, please let me know. See ‘Dinner at mine’.