Newsletter 21 March 2012

16th Century Dining, Whisky Live, Sweet treats plus the latest foodie news and openings!

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News & Events…


The Art of Dining Presents… Vanitas, E9, 27-31 March

1361 Newsletter 21 March 2012After the huge success of past events including ‘Rations’ and ‘Hackney on Sea’, The Art of Dining collective has returned with another one of their experiential pop-up restaurants.  Exploring the theme of Vanitas, a genre of still life painting traditionally from 16/17th Century Northern Europe that depict objects symbolising the transience of life, the futility of pleasure and the inevitability of death, the event will feature a five course banquet and is set in the National Trust’s Sutton House, a beautiful Tudor house built in 1535.  Keeping to the 16th century theme, diners can expect to dig through piles of fruit to embellish their own meal and rip meat straight from the bone. The table setting will be equally evocative, including a centrepiece sculpture built from human skulls, burning candles, decaying flowers and more.  Bring your own Booze, tickets are £45 from

Whisky Live, Honourable Artillery Company, EC1 23-24 March

Short of taking a trip north of the border, Whisky Live is the ultimate destination for Whisky lovers from across the UK.  Visitors will have the chance to taste some of the world’s rarest whiskies from the largest selection ever to be shown under one roof.  Meet the master distillers, attend VIP masterclasses and learn directly from the experts; those of you with a few special bottles tucked away can even have them valued and walk out with a pretty penny.  New for 2012 is the Cocktails section, where visitors will be able to sample modern cocktail culture courtesy of some of the UK’s top mixologists.  Tickets start at £30 at

Japanese Whisky Tasting @ Tsuru, EC2, 27 March

City favourite and home of some great unpretentious Japanese food, Tsuru, has teamed up with the whisky loving duo from to put on an evening that will really get visitors into the spirit of Japan!  Despite a relatively young whisky industry, Japan has developed a reputation for crafting some of the finest malts around, so guests to this event are in for a real treat.  The evening comprises of 5 whiskies paired with different dishes from the menu, including Suntory Hibiki 12YO with Chicken yakitori and Nikka All Malt with Scottish salmon marinated in ginger & sake.  Tickets are £40/person from


New Openings…


Cotidie, W1

1362 Newsletter 21 March 2012Celebrated Italian chef, Bruno Barbieri, has made his first foray into the UK dining scene with the opening of Cotidie in super-swish Marylebone Village.   Bruno’s exploits in the kitchen speak for themselves, having earned the various restaurants he has overseen no less than seven Michelin stars.  Meaning “everyday” in Latin, Cotidie showcases a menu of daily changing dishes in a stylish, yet informal dining room. The spacious restaurant will seat 75 diners whilst an elegant counter bar, seats up to ten guests and has its own menu of cicchetti dishes, designed to complement the extensive wine list.   The a la carte menu includes dishes such as Saddle of crispy suckling pig, caramelised Sicilian blood orange jus, Tropea red onion; and Hazelnut cannoli, warm apple with Nocino liqueur soup, stracciatella ice-cream & star anise.

Cinnamon Soho, W1

With two of London’s most revered Indian restaurants to his name in Cinnamon Club and Cinnamon Kitchen, Chef Vivek Singh has decided on a livelier format for the newly launched Cinnamon Soho.  Vivek, together with head chef Ramachandran Raju, has created an all-day menu that combines modern Indian fare with an unexpected nod to British favourites, with dishes including Sticky desi pork back ribs; Seared sea bass with aubergine-potato crush; and Vindaloo of ox cheek.  The showstoppers, however, are the cheeky range of Indian-inspired ‘balls’, such as the crab cakes and Bangla-Scotch eggs, as well as exotic pies, such as Keralan seafood and rogan josh.  Keeping with the Soho setting, the design and atmosphere is suitably stylish and up-tempo.

Umami, SW7

Named after the Japanese concept of savoury flavours, Umami will provide plenty to tickle the tastebuds with its menu of dishes influenced by the cuisine of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea. Served in two sizes, to taste or to share, tapas-style dishes will include perennial favourites such as chicken satay and Thai fish cakes alongside signature creations like Ikan Bakar (grilled red snapper in banana leaf served with sweet tamarind and chilli) and Ped Makham (pan seared duck with tamarind and mange tout).  The contemporary Asian design of the restaurant should also be interesting, particularly as it has been created with the help of a feng shui master.  Umami @ Crowne Plaza Hotel, 100 Cromwell Road, London SW7 4ER. Tel: 020 7341 2320


Try This Week…


Gabriel Boudier Liqueurs

1364 Newsletter 21 March 2012Whilst the liqueurs generally used for cocktails are the mainstay of any budding bartender’s collection, we’ve never understood why the bottles have to be so ugly.  Just look at a bottle of Bols or De Kuyper to see what we mean.  Fortunately, the people at Gabriel Boudier have bucked the trend with their new range of liqueurs that add a touch of inspiration to any bar.  With over a 100 years of experience of making similar products using natural fruits, sugar and quality spirit, they taste just as good as they look, with a great burst of natural flavour in each sip.  Available in a full range of flavours required for a decent bar, including Crème de Peche and Crème de Casis, they are great for simple everyday cocktails too.  Widely available for around £19.

English Cheesecake Company

1363 Newsletter 21 March 2012Whilst our obsession with cupcakes continues and whoopie pies continue to threaten the establishment, one can’t overlook the popularity of the humble cheesecake as a contender for the best sweet treat.  Take a peek at some of the creations by English Cheesecake Company and we’re pretty sure that your love of cheesecake will be reignited.   Having been trading for 15 years, the London based company now produces around 200 different cheesecakes and cakes exploring every conceivable sweet ingredient combination to provide sensational, mouth-watering treats.  Great as alternatives to traditional cakes and desserts, flavours include everything from Champagne & raspberry to Chocolate fudge brownie and Millionaire’s shortbread.

1365 Newsletter 21 March 2012
Ben & Jerry’s ‘Core’ tubs

These have been lurking around in the cinemas for a little while, but now these outrageously decadent ‘Core’ ice cream creations from Ben & Jerry’s are available to destroy your waistlines in the comfort of your homes!  Each one of the three varieties starts with a soft core of chocolate truffle, chocolate fudge or caramel which is then surrounded by two chunk filled ice cream flavours to create the perfect creamy, dreamy and gooey blend of flavours and textures.  If it makes any difference to your guilt, they are at least Fairtrade!  £4.99 from Tesco.