Newsletter 19 January 2011

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News & Events…

1067 Newsletter 19 January 2011Malaysian Winter Market @ Westfield Shopping Centre, 22 Jan

The perfect winter pick-me-up for these dark January days, the Malaysian Winter Market will give visitors the chance to try a wide range of delicious dishes from some of London’s best Malaysian restaurants.  Hungry shoppers will be no doubt be tempted by dishes from the culinary melting pot that is Malaysia, including warming Laksa soups or a traditional Chicken Curry. The market will take place from 12pm until 7pm on the southern terrace of Westfield shopping centre. www.malaysiakitchen.co.uk

Chilli Celebration Menu @ Bombay Brasserie, SW7, 17-30 January

Everyone knows that chillis are great for calorie-burning, so food lovers still on a January diet can eat two birds with one spoon with this special menu that explores the subtle and hidden depths of the fiery fruit!  Available as a £45 set-menu or a la carte, dishes include fried Goan chilli flavoured halibut on a bed of spicy prawns, Crispy chicken strips with guntur chillies and Jaggery & red chilli sorbet.  www.bombaybrasserielondon.com

Burns Night Ideas

Talisker Burns Night @ The Riverside Lounge, E1, 25 Jan

Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky is hosting an exclusive Burns Night bash to celebrate the life of Robert Burns and raise money for the RNLI.  The event will ensure an authentic Burns Night atmosphere with traditional Scottish bands, pipers, food and tastings of different Talisker bottlings.  Tickets are free. Call 020 7025 7592 to reserve your place. www.theriverlounge.co.uk

Burns Dinner @ Boisdale, EC2 and SW1, 17-27 Jan

Quintessentially Scottish restaurant group, Boisdale, will be bringing the Highlands to London this January with their Burn’s celebrations.  Complete with legendary Pipe-Major Willie Cochrane and Brett Findlay reciting the Ode to a Haggis in full period costume, the Belgravia and Bishopsgate based restaurants will boast hearty Scottish set-menus, including roast Macsween Haggis, Aberdeenshire sirloin steak on the bone, and every true Scot’s favourite – deep-fried Mars Bars!  £39.50/head.  www.boisdale.co.uk

New Openings…

Verru, W1

1068 Newsletter 19 January 2011Drawing on his extensive experience from a variety of fine dining restaurants around the world, including Pied à Terre and Maze, chef/ownerAndrei Lesment has gone back to his Estonian roots to create this Baltic and Scandinavian inspired restaurant. Dishes will include Pan fried red mullet, hop shoots, speck, forest mushrooms & beer; and Cocotte of autumn mushrooms, spatzle, lettuce & pea shoots.  The restaurant design sounds equally interesting, with décor that mixes raw brickwork with crackling glazed panels, distressed glass and oak parquet floors to give it a rough and smart finish.  www.verru.co.uk

Cocochan, W1

1069 Newsletter 19 January 2011Created by Donald Storey, former operations director of the super-successful Gaucho group, Cocochan is a new Pan Asian restaurant and lounge bar offering contemporary and classic dishes, drawn from Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisines.  The restaurant is very much about a social dining experience, with seating options of booths, banquettes and round tables.  The menu also keeps to this theme with the option of ‘family style’ sharing dishes such as grills, dim sum and sushi.  Drinks come courtesy of the lively bar area, with a DJ playing world music from 8.00pm, although those after a cosier experience can also take advantage of the discreet snug areas.  www.cocochan.co.uk

QV Bar @ Quo Vadis, W1

Iconic Soho restaurant and members club Quo Vadis, famed as the former home of Karl Marx, has launched a new bar that is open to the general public.  The QV Bar is located on the ground floor of the building next to the restaurant, with drinks taken care of by renowned mixologist Paul Mant.  In addition to the award winning cocktail menu, the QV Bar also has its own food offering, featuring bar dishes such as Salt cod fritters with tartar sauce, Montgomery cheddar & smoked trealy ham toasted sandwich and a QV burger with triple cooked chips. www.quovadissoho.co.uk

Try This Week…

Jamie Oliver Multicook

1070 Newsletter 19 January 2011He’s rescued our children from obesity, he’s trying to save America from sinking under the increasing weight of their junk food loving population, and now you can have a piece of healthy eating inspiration in your kitchen too, with the Jamie Oliver Multicook.  Promising to deliver delicious dinners in around 15 minutes, the Multicook by Tefal uses pressure cooking technology to cook food in very little water at high temperatures. As a result, food is cooked much faster, thus retaining the full nutritional value and preserving the natural flavour of each ingredient.  Traditionally time-consuming dishes like stews take less than half the time and still provide the most tender pieces of meat; it can even cook soups and risottos in under 10 minutes.  Widely available for £99. www.tefal.co.uk

Hale & Hearty Range

1071 Newsletter 19 January 2011Hale & Hearty was inspired by a lack of products for the creators’ wheat intolerant daughter.  However, unlike conventional gluten free brands that rely on refined rice, corn and potato starches, Hale & Hearty creates its deliciously tempting range with a healthy mix of brown rice flour, buckwheat and quinoa. There are over 20 products to choose from, including Choco Jungle Cereal, made from protein-rich quinoa, mixed with rice, corn and a little splash of chocolate; and Quinoa & Rice Penne containing 50% more protein than wheat, barley or gluten; and a range of pudding mixes to tempt the sweet toothed.  www.halenhearty.co.uk

Reviews…

Leongs Legend, W1 & W2

1072 Newsletter 19 January 2011With its wall to wall line up of Asian restaurants, windows filled with luminous red hanging ducks and menus written in languages that I could only guess at, Chinatown is one of London’s few places that I dread to venture into when it comes to dining.  I’m sure there are some great restaurants nestled in and amongst the many mediocre ones, but with so many to choose from, I’ve never really dared to explore.  However, on a number of recommendations, I’m glad to say that my visit to Leong’s Legends was really quite special.

Les Deux Salons, WC2

Say the term ‘French restaurant’ and most of us conjure images of fine-dining establishments with weird and wonderful menus that are best suited to special occasions.  However, in Les Deux Salons, we have found one of those rare restaurants that we could happily eat at pretty much every day of our lives.  The menu provides something for every mood, with a regular selection of traditional terrines, soups and salads offered alongside the varied selection of starters and mains.

(click on restaurant names to read full reviews)