My friends Gerry and Ko have set up a popup restaurant in south London, showcasing their creative talent and delicious food.
The event took place in the London Cooking Project, a community-run culinary initiative in Battersea aimed at fostering budding catering talent in the area.
We signed up and were provided with this tantalising menu.
During a fairly manic pre-Christmas week it was lovely to get a chance to relax and enjoy someone else’s cooking – especially given its sophistication. What a treat!
On arrival guests were provided with a glass of French cider blended with a fruit syrup.
Otherwise it was BYOB, although Ko and Gerry brought back a case of sake from a recent trip to Japan and I was highly intent on trying some.
I chose a dry sake from Hokkaido (where Ko comes from) which went very well with our first course: generously sliced tuna carpaccio with a tongue-tingling garnish of shredded daikon, green apple and fragrant herbs spices. It wasn’t just diverse in terms of its flavours; the inclusion of shiso leaves (perilla) and pink peppercorns turned it into a full-mouth sensation.
Next came a delicious steak tartare, with croutons, edamame, spicy sauce and a raw quail’s egg among other things.
Delicious and light, it was a real treat of contrasting textures, including the croutons which were served inside the tartare.
Next came a delicious lamb dish. Encrusted in pistachio nuts, the cutlets were sat on a bed of aubergine in spicy miso sauce.
A truly international dish, the lime really enhanced and united all of the flavours.
The aubergines were also particularly spicy which I loved.
For dessert we were presented with a trio of sweets. From the left to the right we had a yuzu cheesecake biscuit which was light and refreshing, followed by a matcha green tea Yule log, then sweet adzuki beans with a sweet sake jelly.
The latter was my favourite, with its surprising, light textures.
The atmosphere was also really fun – relaxed and friendly, I made several new friends from Europe and Japan.
I’m very pleased to report that Ko and Gerry will be resident at the Cuckoo pub in Islington from the new year so be sure to check out their food and stay up to date with their work here!