THE MEAL KIT: Homing Pidgin
Mortimer House Kitchen has announced its latest guest restaurant takeover: the guys behind east London’s Pidgin have put together a menu of European-inspired dishes for the ‘Homing Pidgin’ collaboration. James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy’s creations will be prepped and delivered by Mortimer House Kitchen alongside drinks selected by Modal Wines and Black Lines Drinks. The weekly changing three-course menu is available for pre-order anywhere within the M25. Dishes include braised pork belly with kimchi polenta cake with jus and wilted barese; and sangiovese-poached quince with arbequina olive oil custard and beremeal crumble.
THE WHISKY: Aberlour 14 Year
Boutique single-malt whisky Aberlour has added a new bottle to the range. Aberlour 14-Year-Old Double Cask is a whisky so good it won Gold awards before it even hit the shelves. Matured in bourbon then sherry casks, it has a sweet and smooth taste with gentle hints of blackcurrant and citrus. It’s great sipped neat, but that smooth sweetness lends itself to simple cocktails. Winning a double gold medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition 2020, and a gold medal at the International Spirits Challenge 2020, Aberlour 14 is available to buy from Master of Malt and Waitrose now.
THE BEER SWAP: Galipette Cidre
Galipette Cidre is an award-winning French cider brand, made using 100% fermented apple juice. Now available to buy at Waitrose, the cider is produced in northwest France using hand-picked apples and preservative-free recipes that have been passed down generations. The brand celebrates the ‘savoir-faire’ of cider-making by working in collaboration with Les Celliers Associés, the oldest cider apple cooperative in France, which brings together nearly 400 producers in Brittany and Normandy who’ve been producing cider apples for decades. Of the three flavours available, we’re a fan of the crisp and classic brut.
THE SPREAD: Marmite Dynamite
Not content with releasing cheese hot cross buns and flavoured peanut butter, Marmite has created a limited-edition Dynamite spread. The toast-topper is available at Sainsbury’s and combines the umami taste of the famously divisive savoury spread with the warmth of chilli. Designed not to overpower tastebuds on the first bite, Dynamite builds in heat and intensity as you continue eating and is ideal for those looking for a breakfast that packs a punch. We think it works extra well on crumpets and mixed into avocado on toast.
THE DELIVERY: Empire Biryani
Gunpowder has launched a London-only delivery service called Empire Biryani. Dishes are prepped fresh in the morning and delivered the same day. The signature biryani – actually the result of 36 hours of preparation – is steamed on a low heat for several hours until the rice and meat are fragrant and tender. The rice is then topped with shortcrust pastry to bind the flavours and garnished with fresh spices, ready to be heated up at home. For those looking to feast, the team has developed a sharing-sized biryani which feeds up to four. Other standout dishes on the menu include pepper chicken fry, beef boti kebab and paneer butter masala.
THE POST-WORKOUT SNACK: Itsu Protein Noodles
Itsu has launched a range of vegan protein noodles. Available in Sainsbury’s and Ocado, each pot contains over 20g of protein power, soybean noodles and a miso-based broth made in Japan. Ready in minutes, the three flavours available are: Super Sesame, Crackin’ Curry and Mega Miso. With no artificial colours, preservatives, flavours or added MSG – and coming in at no more than 212 calories per cup – the range provides a quick and easy lunch option or post-workout snack.
THE SUPERMARKET COLLAB: Hawksmoor X Ocado
Hawksmoor’s steaks are now available to buy from Ocado. The range features individual prime cuts (ribeye, sirloin, rump and fillet) and larger cuts (prime rib, porterhouse and T-bone). They’re available in the same sizes you’d expect to see at Hawksmoor restaurants, starting with rump at £12 for 300g; 400g ribeye and sirloin both priced at £20; and a 300g fillet at £22. Large cuts are priced per 100g. Each one comes with links to masterclass videos, tips and more from Hawksmoor exec chef Matt Brown, so your steak will be cooked exactly as you like it.
THE SPIRIT: Five Rivers Indian-Spiced Rum
Five Rivers, a launch from the Sanghera Rum Company, is now available to buy in the UK. The world’s first Indian white spiced rum is an ideal addition to your drinks trolley. Made with a blend of Indian spices – think cardamom, cassia, cloves, coriander and ginger – it’s re-distilled to extract the best flavours. Refined from five generations of family rum production near Jalandhar in northern Punjab and made with sugarcane traditionally grown on the Sanghera family farm, the drink is best served over ice in a tall glass with tonic, lime and star anise.
THE LETTERBOX PICK-ME-UP: Koya Mail
Japanese udon specialist Koya has launched an omiyage box, delivering to letterboxes nationwide via Koya Mail. The package contains the restaurant’s signature fresh, hand-pulled udon noodles and dashi, with enough for two generous portions for £14. With a seven-day shelf life, the pairing can be enjoyed together as an authentic Asian snack, or form the basis for something more extravagant, using whatever condiments you have to hand, or the contents of your fridge.
THE CONDIMENT: Firelli Hot Sauce
Owned by the founder of Malfy Gin and Hotel Starlino vermouths, Firelli Hot Sauce is another Italian product to come in eye-catching packaging. This all-natural hot sauce is made in Parma and was designed as a healthier alternative to chilli oil. The sauce offers a good balance between flavour and heat – thanks to its inclusion of Calabrian chili peppers – and works really well with pizza, pasta, eggs, salads and bloody marys.
THE COOKBOOK: Chefs at Home
Over the last year, lockdowns have forced restaurants, cafés and bars across the UK to close their doors and turn off the lights. Long queues at supermarkets and limited ingredients on the shelves forced us to dig into the back of our cupboards for those emergency tins – and the country’s top chefs were no exception. In this new cookbook, 54 leading chefs have contributed two simple recipes they made during lockdown: think Gordon Ramsay's lockdown banana bread, Richard Corrigan's fish pie, and Jamie Oliver's corner shop curry sauce with chicken. All royalties from the sale of the book will go to Hospitality Action, an organisation that offers support to those who work in the UK’s hospitality sector.
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