Saturday, 7 May 2016

10 Course Tasting Menu Dinner at Sat Bains.




Duck Egg with Pea Sorbet


Scallops with Dal Samosa
Aged Beef


Goosnargh  Duck

Rice Pudding


Chocolate Cake

White

Chicken Liver muesli



Sign  by Sat Bains

 














This dinning opportunity was from our son, and daughter, John and Catherine.
It was a wonderful 2015 Christmas present from them, how lovely, this is our 3rd time to dine at Michelin stared restaurant experience from them,
Having a Food blogger, teaching Korean cookery time to time and so called foodie as mother, it was a fitting presents from them.
 
Sat Bains was voted as the Number 1 restaurant in Britain in 2015, I was so excited to have taste his creation.  
Since he made very slow cooked duck egg with green pea shoots and pea sorbet at the Great British Menu since then his fame has rocketed .
 
Grey and rainy day to drive up to  Nottingham , traffic was very slow , took more than 3 hours from leaving M25, Finally arrived .  It looks like nothing I’ve ever imagined, just literally middle of nowhere and side of the very busy road.
 
Whoever visiting here has to be only for the food, not for the beautiful countryside or being in a nice country hotel. 
Just simply for his food.
 
It is a very odd set up and also a very confident set up, I like his confidence, It tells us, my food will talk loudly.
 
The room was neat and has a good taste all round, and all very thoughtfully done.   Not too showy but just nicely done .
 
Still rainy, Car park seemed filled up by early evening as it is Friday evening after all.
 
Before the dinner we all had a welcome glass of Champagne at the bar and had a small talk with sommelier, Laurent  whom I met at the Sake sommelier competition  a few month ago. He asked me bring my own kimchi to show to Chef, Sat Bains.
 
His special duck egg was not include in 10 course tasting menu but we could order it if we wished to.
I had to have this famous egg dish and liked to judge myself , we ordered one for share .
 
Looking at the menu all dishes indicate what kind of tastes are in the dish, sweet, salty, bitter, sour and Umami.  It shows he got a big impression to Japanese food during his trip to Japan a month ago, I am following his Instagram.
Starts with wild garlic  soup , very green and had strong garlic flavour,
Very slowly cooked ( 4 hours ) duck egg with pea shoots and pea sorbet, I can see how all critics were mad about this , nothing I had imagined , rich egg with fresh pea shoots and cold smooth green sorbet  makes me smiling, all contrast taste seemed just right strangely.
 
1st was scallop curry, perfectly cooked scallops and tiny dal samosa.
What a good idea, adding his Indian heritage food was smart and most of all tasty .
 
2nd, Chicken liver muesli was a surprise, a mind blowing dish.  Frozen liver pieces with dry frozen milk, wow ! Just like eating crunch breakfast.
 
3rd,  Potato cream cheese and Exmoor caviar. Perfect combination, smooth and
soft bite of salty caviar.
 
4th,  St, Gorge’s  , aged beef  tartare, flavour of beef was die for.
 
5th,  Kohirabi  tagliatelle  with green house pesto,
 
6th,  Goosnargh duck with parsnip, pear, black olive was best for us. Deliciously pink and pear was a perfect match.  Rich sauce and parsnip , this dish was our high light !
 
7th,  The crossover
 
8th  Rice pudding , apple. sake. I am not a fan of rice pudding being an Asian , rice pudding is odd concept, but this pudding was melt in my mouth. Hint of sake makes special.  So smooth.
 
9th,  Chocolate, this one was so airy and sweet, just like eating feather or even air .   Adding miso instead of salt makes interesting  flavour .   Loved  it.
 
10th.  White.  All made from milk, ice cream, milk flakes ,  very a clever desert.  Everything with different texture with milk, mind blowing
 
All washed down with good red wine, we opted to have just red wine than mix with white. It was a good choice.
 
We may not come back here next week or next month not only because its price but also distance , but it was one of our best food expierience!!
 
I wonder what he will be cooking next 10 course tasting menu?
I really respect chef who can create this kind of dish with deep thinking behind.
Who does not agree Cooking is Art .
 
Next morning breakfast was interesting, offered 2 course,  porridge and egg dishes. What a good thinking.
Small bowl of porridge if you wish, but we had full English and Chorizo with eggs, nice bread and good strong coffee, these are we need for journey home.
 
 
I was told, Kimchi tasting session with chefs will be around 10am, meet up with Chef, Sat to taste my Kimchi and their kimchi.
I was worried this session, as soon as sommelier said chefs do make their own kimchi and we will compare with mine, after all they are the professional chefs working with Michelin 2 star chef.
 
When  he brought my kimchi, and I cut and ask chef, Sat to taste kimchi liquid first and kimchi itself.
As soon as he tastes mine, he said wow,” this is different level altogether”.
So fresh and tasty. He said he never had kimchi like mine, sparkling and zingy but so fresh taste.  He could not believe my kimchi is fermented.
Well , A lots of people thinks kimchi has pungent fishy smell and unpleasant. But whoever makes it they made wrong not blanced spices and fish sauce in their kimchi.
What a comment !!
 
We tasted theirs, but somehow it looks very dark not red, too salty.
 For me it was not kimchi, just fermenting Greens.
He was so impressed by mine, even he asked me come back teach them how to make kimchi.
Wow, It can not be better than this can it?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Trip to NYC in March 2016.





This trip to NYC was my 4th to the city but I have not been for nearly 9 yeas now. I am expecting a few changes but I am confident I will be fine.




I am planning to visit a few new restaurants , like David Chang, Ssam bar, Noodle bar, Mario Batali's  new food emporium, Eatly , new face of Ground Zero so on.


This trip is my treat to see my elder sister and my niece who is a Korean diplomat in UN.


Flight is full , but luckily my next seat was a friendly young man who lives in NYC  we got to talk this and that, discovered he knows one good modern Korean restaurant in Broadway, called Barn Joo.
We loosely arranged to have lunch while I am in NY, as he knows its manager very well. I could not resist to find out .






Arriving in JFK was easy but I had to wait for nearly 2 hours to go through immigration. All the  stuff seemed unfriendly with stern faces.


Arriving in my niece's flat, just cross road from UN  building was such a surprise, what a address to have, well,  high flying Korean diplomat deserve this, I think.




Looking at Easter river and UN is on the right, truly a room with view ( rather a flat with view).



Sunday we all walking to the Greek Restaurant, Ethos 59, Food were familiar as we lived in near Athens for 5 years in middle of 1980s, stuffed vine , octopus , grilled fish, like a good home cooking with friendly service. But nothing special or stand out.








Monday, 21st, March, decided to buy my new compact camera at B&H in 9th Ave,13th Street, walking from 1st, 48th street was not going to be easy but I needed to do this, to getting familiar street of NYC. luckily it was sunny cold fresh day.


Arrived at B&H it was the  exactly I remembered 9 yeas ago, super organized and security minded mega shop.
Bought small compact my chosen camera and plenty of advice and show me all new things in the camera, they do take customer service to highest level.
Even my name was in their system after 9 years  since my last visit this shop.



Sunny Manhattan with cold breeze was quite pleasant for my adventurous day in NYC, bought jeans, local sim card for my phone, looking around and having coffee, talking to New Yorkers at Bus station so on.
.


Tuesday, my sister and I went to Metropolitan Museum. 
 Entrance fee was a kind Donation system, pay as you wish up to $25 per person, what a good idea!!  I could have paid only $1 but paid $10 for two of us. I can not help thinking  London Museums should use this for the visitors to generate much needed art fund , why not ??






Too big to see in a day, went 20C art rooms and even then too much, Most of all every room was donated by the Art loving rich American citizens their life long art collections to the Nation. How honourable way of thinking, Their name will live forever with art !!
 British rich should do the same, at least who loves art !




Sunny day again, walk down to the Central park and sat for while as New Yorkers do. Having a large park in the big city like New York or London is a saving grace for the people who live in the city.
 I love  Central Park for its style and accessibility and rocks.

East river view from flat




UN


Noodle Bar

Noodle bar Kimchi

Noodle bar Ramyeun


Sculpture in UN


Sea Urchin Bibimbab at Barn Joo

Ground zero

freedom tower , Ground Zero


Add caption


Oyster Bar at Central Termina








Wednesday, my much expected David Chang's noodle bar 13th, 2nd Ave. lunch, having read about the queue for a bowl of noodle in this , we left early to be the first, arrived 11:40, one group even beat us, we were very respectful 2nd in the queue for 12;00 opening.
It is very narrow and small than I expected, very casual , soon room was full with noise, guessing most of them are tourist and possibly so called foodies.
We order Chang's signature Ramyeun, pork broth and for my sister Miso chicken Ramyeun and small bowl of kimchi.
My expectation is very high in these , for years I was reading  about his creations, made kimchi in the world food map after made his version of Bossam.
After all he has Korean parents but parents are actually Korean Japanese.
I think his love of Ramyeun  come from  his upbringing.


Ramyeun 's noodle was very nice , curly and slightly chewy but broth was too rich my liking and quite salty. belly pork on the top was nicely cooked and tender,
When Kimchi  was arrived , I was so surprised its casualness , just like put in without any thought. looks not appetizing nor nicely plated.
Taste was worst, so salty and chewy which I hate about these characteristic bad kimchi taste  ( due to brine too long or salt quantity was not right, too much salt, this brine process is most important and difficult)


I wonder this is one of bad patch ?  Even who does not know much about kimchi, this one can not be the taste they would like.


After kimchi, I have no desire eat anything else, left with huge disappointment in my  heart. I expected much much more.
London Rayeun is much better, even without kimchi.
On the way out  saw, Ssam Bar and Milk Bar. no queue at the Ssam Bar, tempted go in but I am to full with Ramyeun. perhaps, next day.




Afternoon, Visiting UN head quarter arranged by my high flying diplomat niece for UN, we could be able to see all corners of conference cntre, even main one.
I always thought, UN does not work for solving World problem due to their nation's interest rather than looking at a bigger picture, meant well  when they founded, Just very expensive A Talk Shop.
All head of country talk, never solve world problem it seemed. How can it be ?




Having talked to my niece, I have to agree to her point. UN is best for small and poor country , Best for these counties' voice can be heard, other wise these poor countries' opinion never mattered or helped by rich and powerful nations.










Thursday ,  J.  Weng whom I met in the flight informed me, he made a booking at Korean up market restaurant in Broadway, Barn Joo for Lunch.


Left home early to  have a look at Mario Batali's Food emporium Eatly near by.
Took the Bus with Metro card just like locals.
Wow what a shop. everything in one roof , even 4 restaurants, coffee , ice cream bar, kitchen ware, and nice fresh vegetables, cheese.
Enviable concept , I think it will work in London too , all Italian food lovers would flock in these mega shop much better than anything in London .






As usual I went kichen shops nearby, whenever I travel I never miss to discover some local kitchen gadgets that is my hobby. bought a few things for my sister.








Arriving Barn Joo,   has impressive entrance hall, more like Korean village house. Manager Park was expecting me with broad friendly smile. Good to see house is nearly full even it is not weekend., a good sign .
.


I like to see more their creative side of dishes than just typical Korean dish , after all I can do at home any day.
Start with bean paste and tofu soup, Kimchi jeon , and sea urchin Bibimbab. What a treat!!
Never had sea urchin Bibimbab, very  luxurious.Bibimbab indeed and taste goes very well .
Bibimbab is anything goes , if you can afford why not?
I really loved this topped with mountain veggies and chopped sesame leaves, they are a heavenly match and soy sauce seasoning rather than spicy gochujang based sauce.  very good choice by the chef.


Mega Brazian susi , was huge, more tuna fish than rice, I can see why New Yorkers would love this. Less rice, more fish means an ideal healthy diet  dish
It was lovely experience to dine here. I can see how Korean cuisine is getting more high end now, a few chefs try to create Western style of Korean food in New York it seemed right for the city. Why not?










Friday, my niece hired a guy to drive around NY. Our first stop was Ground Zero, new memorial building was superb, fitting site and names of victims were around all over water fall, moving sight.






On to the Brooklyn, a smart looking town with stylish houses, not like Manhattan, relaxed atmosphere with style,  our Italian pizza lunch was uneventful nor tasty , but  too salty clam pizza and rather mean undija pizza.




Next , Chelsea food market, very clean and  organised market and full of tourist, rather modern market that London Borough market, could not resist to oyster stall.  had 6 , but nothing special for me. I am simply an oyster fanatic.




Lastly brief visit High Line, garden created with abandoned old rail way, What a good idea, I know London is making Garden Bridge after this.






Our final visit was Korean Town in New Jersey,   Wow!! I never seen like this huge super market with mounts of Korean foods and fish , Vegetables, fruits, more than I have seen in Seoul. You can get any Korean ingredients and more.


Korean restaurant near by. so busy , famous for soft tofu stew . Just like in Korea, they brought 10 different free side dishes,  Banchan, with main,  I do miss this kind of dining out, efficient, generous portions and most of all tasty like in Korea. Well I do not think London , even New Malden.




Saturday. nephew, YJ invited us Lunch, Japanese grilled meat restaurant , U Gak in 51st. more like Korean bulgogi restaurant than Japanese. Had a wonderful selection of beef, grilled at the table.




Sunday was cold and miserable. as my niece's birthday , I made simple Tiramisu as her birthday cake.






Monday, my final day  as my flight is late evening I had plenty of time to do my last shopping and visit  my one of favourite place, Central Terminal oyster Bar.
Still cold breeze  , after my shopping at Sacks 5th, walk down with my sister Park lane to the grand building, Central Terminal, most impressive  train station building , I think.


I love this station ,high ceiling and beautiful painting ( stars )  narrow and long  impressive windows,  bustling with travellers , they all seemed eager to be somewhere .

One day I love to take train from this station, how romantic!!!
My favourite oyster bar is in this basement.
As soon as we went down, still empty seats are at the Bar, nothing seemed changed , it was 36years ago I came  here with my husband, it was our honeymoon, since then whenever I am in NYC, I have to be here.


Oyster and clam chowder are must have. Had  6 combined oyster by chef's choice, 2 New York, 2 Seattle, 2 Main.
My preference was Seattle, by size, Main by taste.


I am so glad I have done this, It was just like visiting an old friend. How could I leave not seeing my oldest friend!!


My one regret was not visiting Strawberry Hill in Central park to pay my respect to John Lennon, for his music and life .






Hope I will visit NYC soon. Then I can do more food and culture things.


























































Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Spicy Beef Soup ( Yukgaejang (육개장)


Spicy Beef Soup  ( Yukgaejang. 육개장)

 

This beef soup is very hearty and warm soup for winter but also popular in the Summer season in Korea.   Specially when you lost appetite to any bland foods due to the Summer Heat.

Traditionally this soup is made with brisket beef , but brisket is not widely available in Britain ( Local butcher or Super market), I  use short rib of beef or, with oxtail, it makes better  deeper and rich stock  from bones, much wholesome soup as a main dish.

I sometimes make like Vietnamese Soup, Pho. Adding thinly sliced raw skirt beef and cooked rice noodle .

 

Ingredients:

2- 3Lt. water

Half  mooli ( long white radish ( daicon)

1 onion, 3 carrot. 3 celery sticks. 1 thumb size of ginger, 3 garlic( skin on),

1 dry chilli, 10 whole pepper corns, dry 1 sheet of kelp ( your palm size), 4 dried shitake mushrooms.

3-4 leeks, 100g of Korean dried fern shoots ( optional) and soak in the warm water for 2 hours.

1 pack of bean sprout, 1 bunch of spring onion,

1 tbs of Korean chilli flakes, 1 tbsb of sesame oil.

 2 tsp of crushed garlic.

3 ( 10cm long) short rib of beef or  800g of meaty oxtail.

 

Method:

 Trimmed  meat , cut off all excessive fat and put in the roasting pan and put in the oven, grill  until meat is brown both side. ( this helps to remove fat)
  1. Cut all the vegetables, mooli, cut 5ch thick, cut onion in half, carrot and celery , 5cm long and put in the pressure cooker with browned meat, add water, and rest of dry ingredients except kelp.
  2. Boil for 10 minutes first then reduce the heat ,simmer for 1 hour to 1hour 30 minutes  ( no longer) until meats are just tender to pull off from the bone. Do not cook too long, meat can be tasteless. ( if you do not use pressure cooker, it takes longer, 2 hours, check the meats)
  3. Take out meat and pull off the meat ( or shred), set aside, put back  bones into the  cooker add dried kelp and simmer another 30 minutes.
  4. Pour stock to the another big pan but save mooli , discard rest of vegetables and spices.
  5. Skim the fat ( if any) and cut cooked mooli thin strip 1cm by 5cm set aside.
  6. Cut leeks thin strip 10cm long by 0,5cm thick, soaked fern shoots ( if you have) cut 10cm and add to the pan with crushed garlic and boil until vegetables are cooked, season with Korean light soy sauce .
  7. Chop spring onion set aside as wash bean sprout as well.
  8. Quick boil rice noodle , wash ,drain set aside to ready for plating..
  9. Make chilli paste: in a small pan put sesame oil and when it is hot ( do not burn) add chilli flakes and stir quickly add 1 tbsp light soy sauce and 3tsp toasted sesame seeds. Stir and put in the small dish .
  10. Plating: put shredded meat noodle and add boiling hot soup add handful of  bean sprout and spring onion , then serve with chilli paste.
  11.  Serving chilli paste separately is a good idea, they can control spicy level.

 

Hint: if you wants make like Pho style, just add thinly sliced ( against grain , makes tender) skirt beef before adding hot soup.
You can add cabbage kimchi if you wish when you eat.

This soup has deep flavour as I cooked with bones. Meat is tender not chewy like brisket, I do prefer short rib and oxtail meat. They are much tender, moist, and has a rich flavour than brisket

 


Ready for cooking


Plating ( rice noodle, cooked meat and raw beef)

Add soup and  spring onion

Add chilli paste and kimchi ( soup 1)


Add bean sprout and spring onion ( soup 2)

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Our Family Festive Food 2015.

Duck for Roasting


Table setting for the Christmas lunch


Seafood medley
Grilled king prawns, lobster and charred spring onion

Roasted Duck




Our Family Festive Food 2015
 
I love Christmas food planning more than cooking itself. As a family, we have heated a debate about what will be our Christmas Lunch menu -- especially what will be the main course. Which meat? Which bird?
 
We had roast Turkey for more than 20 years. But not having a big family to feed even small turkey seemed too much. We then tried goose for a while.

Eventually, we decided on roast duck for our 2015 Christmas main course and the question became if one would be enough to have sandwiches on Boxing day?

After endless discussion, I made an executive decision to have duck two ways.
Roast duck and slowly roasted duck leg spring rolls.
 
My festive food planning and cooking starts in early December. I do enjoy this thought process more than anything else. It never fails to excite me thinking about our family festive food planning and cooking. Talking and drinking for hours.

The stages are:

  1. Make cranberry sauce
  2. Prepare duck gravy and freeze
  3. My own stuffing (sage and onion based but with pine nuts, cranberries, chest nuts plenty of smoked bacon and good sausage meat) freeze without bread. On 23 December, I took it out of the freezer and baked with herbs, bread and butter. So delicious
  4. Make spicy mixed nuts
  5. My own bitter chocolate blocks. With ginger chilli , pine nuts, sea salt
  6. Keep smoked salmon in the fridge during the festive season
Our Christmas Eve main course was stuffed and baked monk fish tail, followed by seafood pasta.
 
2015 Christmas Lunch  Menu

Starter:
Grilled lobster tail and king prawns  in chilli, garlic butter. Served with pickled cucumber ribbons and toasted bread (sough dough bread)

Main:
Roast duck with rosemary, ginger and orange
Roast potatoes
Creamed leeks, sprouts (quartered) with bacon and chestnuts
Mini sausages wrapped in bacon
Mini duck’s leg meat with plum spring rolls
Gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce
 
Dessert:
Fruits (strawberry, blackberry, melon) with raspberry coolie
Vanilla ice cream
 
New Year's Day 2016 dinner
 
Starter:
Grilled king prawns in chilli, garlic butter with char grilled pakchoi.

Main: Roast beef of sirloin (cooked nicely medium rare)
Roast potatoes and roast cauliflower with spices
 
No dessert was served: we are not keen on dessert specially at Christmas pudding, we like to have nice fruit salad with ice cream. After festive feast no one like to have sweet, only strong coffee with my bitter, nutty chocolate block.




Christmas lunch






Sunday, 6 December 2015

Sake Sommelier Competition 2015 in Britain.

One of Finalist from Hong Kong 


Semi finalist

Sake barrel for the ceremony

The winner of Sake sommelier 2015





Opening Ceremony of Sake Barrel by the 3 Finalist.
















When I was asked to attend to the Sake Sommelier of 2015 competition in west London, naturally I was surprised, because I did not know Sake Sommelier is available . I used to like warm Sake with Korean festival foods but in recent years all seemed ice cold and became very expensive and not widely available at the local shops or even super market





Decided to attend to see , when I arrived at Millennium Hotel in Knightbridge all atmosphere seemed rather intense ,
Already they selected semi finalist, five Sommeliers  after long morning session, including written test, tasting so on.


 Talking to the guests in there, surprised by the most of them are already wine sommelier and took the Sake sommelier courses as well. Even qualified




Five semi finalist are all wine sommelier and even the  head wine sommelier at famous Sat Bain restaurant were among them.
From Hon Kong, Spain , Germany, India , so this is truly international.

I did not know so many kind of sake are produced, dry , medium, sweet , just like wine. And grade of rice shaving and of course water quality as you think in Scotland  whisky!!




The finalist  were, Spanish, Indian and Hong Kong Chinese, it looked covered well all over the world ( nearly)
Their final task was recognise the sake brand and region, and blind food match , manner of recommend sake to the customer and waiting and service skill.
3 Asian dishes were served to match with Sake but I could not help to thinking why has to be just Asian food, surely they has to spread to the other kind of food like French, Italian, British so on even Indian . after all they like to makes world food appeal  !!


After long process winner was a Spanish who worked at Restaurants in London for a long time.
Breaking Sake barrel ceremony was quite dramatic, and jolly to taste with floating edible gold flakes, a bit dry and little sweet  tone in the back of my taste bud. , I think it was  fitting final ceremony. Glad to have seen this.




I might take Sake course in 2016, if I can find a time, just course , it would be good to match my Korean food I cook.


Finalist:


MiguelA.Hernandez , kouzu, UK
Laurent Richet, Sat Bains with Rooms Uk
Venkadesh Thanga Mariappan ; UAE
Joshua Kalinan Sinnathamby ; Singapore --Singapore Air line
Randy Au Tsz Fung : Sake Fever ,  Hong Kong
Alexsander Bayer :  Japanese Embassy, Germany






ISAKE international: www.isake.co.uk






 





Sunday, 29 November 2015

Memory lane trip to the North west of England


Fish and Chips at Magpie, Whitby

Smoked salmon with sour cream ice cream




Sausages at Cowman's  in Clithroe
Whitby


Yorkshire sculpture park

It has been our annual trip to the North of England in late Autumn for a few years now, as my Husband was born in near Clithroe , Lancashire ,and his parents were lived there all their lives, it is always nice to visit his childhood home town and listening his memory of t places and food.
Amazingly a lot of places are still standing still and not changed at all. Such as butcher, wine shop and pubs .
 
We love this kind of a short break with no plan, drive , stop and eat as we wish through  beautiful country road in the North west of England. 

This year we visited Yorkshire sculpture park to see Art in the wild field. Luckily Henley Moor's exhibition was still on, Seeing all familiar long bodied and small face sculptures in the field was such a great pleasure. Walking through Autumn coloured field with this huge but beautiful art works, Wow!! 
Amazing feeling ! grateful and thinking art is for every one not just for the chosen few.
Ulls water Lake


 


 
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
   


Wild mushroom with poached egg

Calf's liver with mashed potato at Free Masons

Lobster tail at Free Masons


Whitby was a surprise for me, somehow I thought Whitby is busy fishing port with not much expectation or charm, but it was such a pleasure to find small but rather charming port with nice walkway along the water. Loved to see all the nice looking and inviting fish restaurants. has to eat at the legendry Fish and chips , Magpie. even out of holiday season , was quite busy, with local customers which means still has good food .

Of course we had to have fish and chips , oyster and crab salad. fish and chips was good with crispy but thin batter, cooked very well, nothing worst than thick batter with over cooked fish and chips.
Magpie's reputation will be carry on for a long time, If they cooked like this.


Finally checked in the nice charming Country hotel near by and had  long drinks at the bar by the log fire ,  needed after this long drive,  thinking drive to the Lakes in the early tomorrow morning.


Rainy cold Autumn morning to drive to the Lake district was not an ideal but we were looking forward to see small Ulls water lake. we were there many years ago, windy wild ,cold weather makes more dramatic scene I was expecting. It was when we arrived at the lake after drove through long and winding narrow road with rain, it was worth it. Loved this kind of dark side of scene, grey sky black mountain on the side, autumn leaves are on the tree, what a view! Loved it.


After scenic Lake side drive, we checked in another country Hotel near Clithroe, which was Neil's old local when he was an young 20 years old man, Now this local pub and inn became very stylish Country Hotel, comfortable and very modern , large  room and spacious bath room with such a style.


Still rainy , as usual we explore to his old home town Clithroe. old wine shop still there, huge wine cellar in the basement, Cowman's butcher, still making one of best sausages in the North, nearly 50 kind of, some unusual but  we love their pork  and Cumberland sausages. As usual bought 1 kg each to freeze at home. Down to the my favourite hard ware and kitchen shop, Dawson's. I am coming here for 33 years now, whenever I visit to the North, always something to buy there, such a nice kitchen shop.
Drive to Whally, actual Neil's family had a  cottage for a while , small village with nice little independent shops. My husband did not forget to mention, one ice cream shop made best ice cream in the world but sadly this time it was gone, now became very expensive boutique,  walked to the Whally Abby, where my mother in law's ash was buried.
Very emotional moment for us.






Finally we arrived Neil's childhood home in Wiswell, Free Masons which became one of best pub restaurant in the Country, ( once ranked no. 1 in the Good Food Guide) it was his homecoming, His dad also had run this pub 50 years ago for a few years and all family lived here, as soon as we got in , he said it looks nearly same except bar is the other side, he seemed at home, and even proud be in his old house which became well known pub. they offered the guide tour as well. so welcoming,


Menu looks very good  , priced as best  pub restaurant's price as London. But I was surprised to see miso butter, kelp, and even kimchi mayonnaise. How strange to see these kind of Asian culinary words at the little village pub in the corner of Lancashire. I was very curious ,decided meet the head chef to ask .




We had Smoked salmon with sour cream ice cream, very unusual combination but elegant dish. actually sour cream ice cream goes so well with salmon, specially salmon is thick cut not like paper thin , capers and lemony sauce, lightly smoked salmon  with cold cream.  I will steal this idea . biting salmon with cold ice cream was sensational !


My husband main was calf's liver and mashed potato which looked like rather liver steak than thin piece of liver, when he cut ,it was lovely medium rare, what a good idea ! It was more like fine dinning dish,   Neil said it was one of best calf's liver dish he had.




Mine was grilled lobster with new potato, perfectly cooked.




Finally I had chance to talk to the head chef, Steven Smith, even he invite me to the kitchen, he said he makes his own kimchi, and make kimchi mayo for the prawn tempura dish. I know a lots of Japanese restaurants in London serve kimchi and kimchi mayo but never expected in the Lancashire. But why not? The world is getting smaller and world food travels fast too.
How pleased to see Korean food travelled well to the North of England .


Dinner at Free Masons was our high light , what a lovely surprise.












FreeMasons, Wiswell


Last day we had lunch at Tree Fishes near village which has a good reputation, owned by well known chef, Nigel Haworth. very smart pub.


 Had Lancashire hot pot which is Neil's favourite comfort food , I often make when the weather is cold.
Tender lamb meat with buttery potatoes and sharp red cabbage pickle, it was perfect meal  before the end our memory lane and foodie trip.  Specially sky was grey and rainy !
We are already looking forward to make this trip next year but would like to make it longer.




















  

 

 




Lancashire hot pot at Three Fishes




















FREEMASONS: 8Vicarage Fold, Wiswell, Lancashire,  BB7 9DF
TEL: 01254 822218


Three Fishes