Wednesday 29 February 2012

A Crab In Disguise - Singapore Chilli Prawns

Singapore Chilli Prawns
A selections of ingredients: lemongrass, galangal, ginger, garlic,
shrimp paste,  fresh red chilli, dried red chilli, macadamia nuts, onion
Stir-fry the rempah/chilli paste
Add the raw prawns
Cook the prawns in the sauce
Add the beaten egg towards the end
The sauce will thicken and the dish is ready
Singapore Chilli Prawns

For those who has been an avid follower of my blog will know, a couple of days ago, I suddenly had a craving for some comfort food from my hometown, Singapore. I therefore decided to revisit my nan's Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe. It has brought back an awful lots of memories and kind of triggered an urge to recreate more of my familiar hometown favourites and this is the one of them.

Anyone whose been to Asia would have heard the infamous Chilli crab. It is just as popular, if not more than the Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice. Even Malaysia has their own take on this classic dish. Being a tiny island surrounded by the sea, Singapore have an abundance of fresh seafood and this could possibly be the best way of cooking them. The piquant sweetness just seemed to complement the fresh crab perfectly.

The main components of this tasty dish are very simple; the freshest crustaceans that you can get your hands on, you want them to still be twitching gently if possible but those in a calm meditation state, laying on a bed of crushed ice will also do. Whatever you do, definitely not the cooked ones that you find in most supermarkets; some bottled ketchup (Yup! You've heard it right...KETCHUP!), not the most exotic ingredient or one that you will associated with South-east Asian cuisine but a true Singaporean will never dare to dream of cooking this dish without it. If you ask me, a chilli crab won't be a chilli crab without a few dollop of ketchup in the sauce; of course then there is the chilli sauce, bottled ones will do but you can of course make some up from scratch, I will write up a recipe for a version of my homemade chilli sauce at some later stage.

Every household has their own recipe for this delectable dish depending of whom you ask but provided that you include the ketchup and chilli sauce, all the rest of the ingredients can be included or left out depending on your personal taste. However, a beaten egg at the very final stage is absolutely essential as this is what will give you the signature 'curdled scrambled eggs' silky texture. These are perfect for you to mop up with some fresh crusty bread. We used to fight over the last bit of the yummy sauce and not the crab itself when I was young and it just shows you who is the real star of this dish.

I have to unfortunately prepared this dish using fresh raw prawns as there weren't any fresh live crabs available at the time but these were just as as delicious. My partner, M who is not a massive fan of  having to use fingers when dining even end up sucking the sauce right out of the true Singapore style and that's how we like it!

Next up on the list....Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce.

(Serves 4)


For the rempah/ spice paste:
4 large red chillies
4 large dried red chillies, rehydrated in hot water (reduce or increase the amount of chilli depending on how spicy you like it)
1 stalk lemongrass
1 tbsp shrimp paste
2.5cm length fresh galangal, peeled and roughly chopped 
2.5cm length fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 candlenut or macadamia nuts

For the Sauce:
1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
4 tbsp shop bought chilli sauce
1 tsp sugar
200ml water

For the Chilli Prawns:
20 raw king prawns (I have left the shells on but shelled and devein them if you wish)
2 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
1 free range egg, lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 lime
a small handful of fresh coriander, for garnish
baguette or other crusty bread, to serve


Firstly, prepare the rempah/spice paste. Add all the ingredients for the rempah/spice paste into a food processor and pulse to a paste. Do this in a mortar and pestle if you wish.

Next, mix the tomato paste, ketchup, chilli sauce and water together in a bowl to combine and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. When hot and smoking, tip in the rempah/spice paste and stir fry for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the prawns and stir to mix well. 

Pour in the sauce and allow it to come to the boil, stirring regularly. When the prawn are cooked and has turn fully pink and opaque, quickly add the beaten egg, stirring until the egg is well mixed and cooked, about 1 minute. You should now have a thick, scrambled-egg like consistency, don't worry as this is how it meant to be. Remove from heat, add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, arrange the prawns in a large plate, pour over the sauce and scatter with coriander leaves. Baguette or any other crusty bread is a must to mop up all the lovely sauce.

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Japanese Lotus Root Stir-fry (Renkon no Kinpira 蓮根のきんぴら)

Japanese Lotus Root Stir fry - Renkon no Kinpira 蓮根のきんぴら
Lotus root (Renkon in Japanese)
Beautiful hidden floral-like pattern
Soaked in vinegar water to get rid of any bitterness
Cooking the lotus root
Japanese Lotus Root Stir fry - Renkon no Kinpira 蓮根のきんぴら

Lotus root (renkon in Japanese) is not the most familiar ingredient to most. In fact, unless you reside in the Far East, chances are that you will not come across this odd looking vegetable at all. Saying that, it is now getting more common here in Britain and you can find them stocked in all good oriental supermarkets, normally sold vacuum packed to preserve the freshness.

It is not really a root but the rhizome of the lotus flower. For the Buddhist, it is a symbol of purity as although it's grown in muddy condition, it is consider pure and clean. It has a knobby appearance and look a bit like ginger on steroid. Quite a scary comparison but most apt when you look at it. However, do not let it's hideous exterior deters you from trying this unique vegetable. It has small holes throughout it's length which, when sliced open, revealed the most intricate lattice design like a beautiful blossom flower. It has a delicate and sweet flavour along with a crispy crunchy texture. Absolutely delicious when served raw in a salad. Once cooked, it retain most of its crunchiness and is a great absorber of flavours, perfect for stew or other braising dishes.

For those who has never has the fortune of savouring this truly delectable vegetable, this is a simple way of showcasing this wonderful vegetable to it's full potential. By slow braising it in the sweet mirin and soy sauce, it takes in all the yumminess and what you get is a crisp, spicy and tasty dish.

(Serves 4)


350g fresh lotus root
1 tsp rice or white vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 large red chilli, descended and finely chopped
1 tbsp sake
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sweet mirin
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan


Peel the lotus root and thinly sliced into half-moon shapes. Soak in a bowl of water with the vinegar for 5 minutes to remove any bitterness. Drain and wipe dry.

Heat the sesame oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry lotus root and for 1 minute, until it turn translucent. Add the chopped chillies, sake, sugar, soy sauce and mirin . Simmer for another 2-3 minutes or until most of the liquid has been reduced and you are left with a thick, sticky sauce.

Serve sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds and a bowl of steamed rice.

Monday 27 February 2012

A Blast From The Past - Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice II (海南雞飯)

Food is a magical thing that will instantly transport you to a place that had been laying domant in your memories, tucked away quietly waiting for something to trigger the awakening of these familiar thoughts. Everyone associated a moment or time in their life with food of some kind, whether good or bad. This explains why some will reach for chocolate when feeling low, or a slice of blueberries cheese cake when feeling rather celebratory, maybe that's just me, but like most, comforting food soothes me.

Singapore Hainanese chicken rice (海南雞飯) is, to me, a dish that I will always associate with being back in Singapore. Not least because it is one of the most famous dish from there, but also because it's something that I used to prepare with my nan when I was young, which could possibly be the starting of my love of food, especially cooking. I have made this dish a few months back, but that was a while ago and suddenly, I felt the urge of preparing this once again. I have made a few tweaks and changes to my nan's original recipe, such as reducing the poaching time, adding more ginger and garlic etc, and it worked beautifully.

This is primarily a very simple dish. It involves very few ingredients, but the the poaching of the chicken is where it get slightly technical. And being the star of the dish, you will first have to get you hand on the best quality chicken that you can get hold of. Any low grade battery farmed specimen will just produce a dull and insepid bird. That will make a Singaporean very mad, very mad indeed for ruining our national dish. This domestic fowl will be gently submerge and poach in hot water, not boiling as that will send the poultry into a stage of shock and therefore producing some tough, dry meat. The texture of a pair of rubber boot is not what we are trying to achieve here, thank you very much.You want it to sit gracefully in the hot water bath until it's cooked, not dissimilar to sous-vide style cooking, which led me to believe the French has stole this cooking technique from us. Believe me, this will gives you the most velvety, tender and juicy bird. Well, 5.1 millions people (current Singapore population) vouching for it so that can't be wrong.

In memories of my beloving nan, I have entered this as my signature dish in the FFFY competition.

Latest Update (10/05/12) : I'm pleased to announce that my entry has won the Signature Dish competition.

(Serves 4)


For the chicken:
1 medium chicken, weighing 1.3kg (optional: remove the excess fat from the chest and reserve for the rice)
1 tbsp sea salt
5cm fresh ginger, skin left on, bruised
4 garlic cloves, skin left on, bruised 
3 spring onions
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil

For the rice:
reserved fat from the chicken or 1 tbsp sunflower oil / vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, skin left on, bruised
5cm fresh ginger, skin left on, bruised
1 spring onion
175g rice, preferably Basmati or Thai fragrant
450ml chicken stock (from poaching the chicken)

For the chilli sauce:
6 large or 12 small fresh red chillies
2 small clove garlic
5cm fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tbsp chicken stock (from poaching the chicken)
1 tsp sugar
sea salt


Bring a large pan of water to the boil, enough to submerge the whole chicken. Meanwhile rub the chicken with salt. Gently bruised the ginger and garlic pressing it with the flat side of the knife . This helps release the flavour. Place the ginger and garlic inside the cavity of the chicken, together with the spring onions.

Place the chicken into the boiling water together with the peppercorns, cover with a lid and bring back to the boil and immediately turn off the heat. Leave the chicken covered in the pan for 20 minutes. Turn the heat back on and bring to the boil again; turn off the heat and rest the chicken for another 20 minutes in the pan covered. Repeat this process once more and then remove the chicken after 20 minutes and leave to rest until cool enough to handle. 

Meanwhile, get on with cooking the rice. If using the reserved chicken fat, throw them into a dry pan over medium heat and cook  for 3-4 minutes. Gradually, liquid fat will render out and the fat will turn golden and crispy. Use these to for the next step. Alternatively, heat up the sunflower oil in a pan. Gently fry the garlic and ginger, making sure not to brown them. Stir in the rice and fry for a minute, until glossy and translucent. Add the chicken stock and cook over a medium heat without covering for about 10 minutes. When tiny 'craters' can be seen forming, reduce the heat to its lowest and cover with a lid. Cook for a further 10 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat and leave to rest, covered, for another 10 minutes. After this time, remove the ginger, garlic and spring onion and discard. Fluff up the rice with a fork until it's fluffy and tender. Set aside. 

To make the chilli sauce, put all ingredients into a blender and pulse into a paste. Season with salt to taste.

To serve, carved the chicken as normal and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve alongside with a bowl of fragrant rice, chilli sauce and the mandatory poaching broth. The dark soy sauce is optional but for a true authentic version, it's a must.

Sunday 26 February 2012

A Touch Of Decadence - Ouefs Brouillés (French-Style Rich And Creamy Scrambled Eggs)

Rich And Buttery Scrambled Eggs
Melting the butter
Whisk the eggs with the cooled melted butter
Ready to make the scrambled eggs
Finely chopped chives
Add the eggs to the pan
Cook gently over a gentle heat
Soft creamy eggs
Add  cold butter towards the end
Rich And Creamy Scrambled Eggs

This is not a dish for the faint hearted. The sheer amount of butter mentioned in the ingredients list is more than enough to give one a heart attack, and since we are all extremely health conscious these day, what with all the half-fat cream, skimmed milk and low fat diet etc; it is unthinkable for a recipe to called for a big chunk of butter not least just for breakfast. But there comes a time when a little decadence and pure indulgence is needed. Especially on a lazy Sunday morning when your head is far too sore to do the calories count as you try to recover from the night before. This is exactly what you'll need to give yourself a head start, an adrenaline rush to wake yourself up and prepare yourself for the rest of the day.

I first came across this in a quaint little cafe called Salon de thé Carette in Place des Vorges, Paris. It sells the most amazing patisserie and an impressive selections of colourful and delicious tarts, cakes and macaroons. But what really impressed me was the range of scrambled eggs that was on offered. Plain, with a selection of herbs, with ham, salmon etc. And the portion size were rather on the generous side too. And in typical french style, they were cooked with a lots of butter, but that is precisely what made it so scrumptious and memorable. Since then, I have been trying to recreate the creamy scrambled eggs, whisking the eggs with cream, adding cream towards the end but I think the true secret to achieve a successful velvety creamy texture, is the addition of cold butter right at the very end and beat it in with all the strength you can gather. Serves this with a thick slice of toast  and loads of chopped chives for a perfect Sunday brunch.

We may not be in Paris today, but at least we can bring a bit of Paris into our home with this decadence dish. À bientôt.

(Serves 4)


12 free range eggs (6 for each person, it's meant for brunch after all )
25g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
25g cold unsalted butter
a handful of fresh chive, finely sliced into thin rings
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Whisk the eggs with the melted butter in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt a knob of  butter in a medium, non-stick pan over a medium heat. Do not allow the butter to go brown. Add the eggs and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon regularly every 10 seconds. When the eggs begins to thicken and starts to set, add the remaining cold butter and mix until you get an emulsified  and curd-like consistency. 

Remove from heat and serves immediately while it's still creamy and slightly runny with a generous sprinkle of chopped chives.

Saturday 25 February 2012

A Pancake By Any Other Name - Beef Wellington for Shrove Tuesday

Beef Wellington
Ladle the batter into the pan
Tiny craters starts to form and the edges moving away from the pan
Slide the cooked pancakes onto kitchen paper 
Making the mushroom duxielle
Seared the fillet on all sides to lock in the flavours and juices
Lay the pancakes on the rolled out puff pastry
Spread the mushroom duxielles
Place the fillet in the middle of the bedding
Brush with beaten eggs 
Lightly scored to create a beautiful criss-cross pattern
Beef Wellington or Filet de bœuf en croûte de champinons

I love pancakes and perhaps that's the reason why I love Shrove Tuesday. They are so easy to make and are extremely versatile, and can be found in both sweets and savoury dishes. The traditional lemon and sugar version; French crêpe suzette; spongy American pancakes, drenched in maple syrup and served with crispy bacon; as a cushion for other delicious topping in blinis and even the Japanese have their take on this with their Dorayaki (どら焼き), a sweet red bean paste enclosed pancake delight.

Due to work commitment, I was deprived of this yummy treat for the better half of last Tuesday. All morning, the sweet, buttery scent of pancakes seemed to be following me everywhere I go. But I have a cunning plan, I will give myself a double whammy of this glorious treat by making a Beef Wellington, followed by a stack of pancakes that will be soaked in the oozy and sticky maple syrup straight after work. Why the beef wellington ? Well, because pancakes will be used in the making of this luxurious dish. In order to keep the succulent and butter soft fillet moist and the puff pastry crisp and flaky. Pancakes are lined on the pastry before rolling over the fillet to lock in the meat juices when cooking so that they don't seeped into the pastry, thus making it soggy and stodgy.

Beef wellington utilise one of the most priciest cut of the beef but on this celebratory occasion, this bit of extravagance is definitely worth the expense. It's Pancake day after all!

(Serves 4)


For the Pancakes (makes around 8):
125g plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
1 free range egg plus one yolk
225ml full-fat milk
unsalted butter for cooking

For the Mushroom duxielles:
25g unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
500g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
10g dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in warm water and chopped
1 sprig of fresh thyme, leaves picked
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

500g beef fillet
1 tbsp olive oil
good quality all-butter puff pastry
1 free-rage egg, beaten
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the pancakes, sift the flour in a large mixing bowl with a pinch of salt. Add the eggs and milk and whisk until you have the consistency of a single cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Heat the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat until it start to sizzles. Spread a small ladle of the batter across the bottom of the pan and swirl the pan quickly so that a thin layer batter evenly coat the base. When it starts to set (you should see tiny craters forming and the edges start to come away from the pan), loosen the  edges with a thin spatula or palette knife. Flip the pancake over and cook for another 30 seconds either with the spatula or if you are brave enough, hold the pan firmly and jerk it in a up and towards you digging motion. Stack the pancakes between sheets of greaseproof or kitchen paper while you get on with making the rest. Set the pancakes aside until needed.

For the mushroom duxielles, heat the butter in a pan over low medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cooked for 2 -3 minutes, then add the chopped mushrooms and thyme and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until all moisture have been cooked out and you are let with a dry, crumbly mixture. Take off the heat, season to taste and leave to cool. 

For the beef, heat the oil in a large frying pan and when smoking, seared the beef on all sides until golden brown. Remove and rest for at least 30 minutes.

Roll out the pastry to a rectangular shape that are large enough to enclose the fillet. Lay two pancakes onto, overlapping slightly; spread a thin layer of duxielles onto of the pancakes. Put the seared fillet on top of these, season and then roll an wrap the pastry over the beef to form a tight cylindrical log, sealing the sides with the beaten egg. Transfer the pastry wrapped beef onto a baking tray with the sealed side down. Brush all over with the beaten egg and lightly scored the pastry to create a beautiful criss-cross pattern if wish.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Place the beef in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the  pastry is golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Friday 24 February 2012

There's No Other Way....It's PORKLIFE at The Bull....To The End - 2011 Masterchef's Winner Tim Anderson & Finalist Tom Whitaker

2011 Masterchef's Winner Tim Anderson (R) and Finalist 
Tom Whitaker (L) made an appearance to explain the menu
With kind permission from Copyright All rights reserved by karohemd
Porklife Menu
Little Board : "Hoggis,"pickled neeps and whisky tatties; Crispy brawn 
with Korean chilli mayo; Marrowbone, pea and smoked hock soup shot; 
Fennel and black pudding sausage rolls
Intercourse: Pulled pork soup with Savoy cabbage and butter beans; 
Rillettes of smoked hock on toast with homemade guanciale 
Rillettes of smoked hock on toast with homemade guanciale
Big Board : Slow cooked jowl with fennel cream; Salad of crackling, trotter, 
and ears, watermelon, chilli, peanuts, and fish sauce vinaigrette; 
Spicy andouillette sausage; Smoked slow-cooked belly; served with Caraway 
pretzels, apple mash, parsley root and celeriac remoulade, Belgian ale 
BBQ sauce and gherkins
Close up of the big board
Salad of crackling, trotter, and ears, watermelon, chilli, peanuts, and fish 
sauce vinaigrette
My plates of pure yumminess
Cinnamon sponge, rhubarb jelly, boozy cherries, walnut and crackling praline 
with Vanilla and fennel ice cream
Cleaned plates
Tim's own brew : Old Major - Bock Ale

If you haven't heard of Tim Anderson, where were you hiding in 2011? That was the year the Masterchef series hit supernova. From it being moved to prime time BBC1 to the 7.1million viewers watching Tim Anderson, aged 26, the youngest ever Masterchef contestant to win the title, beating off fierce competition from Tom Whitaker. Throughout the entire series, he has been mesmerising, coming out with the unlikeliest and inventive concoctions, taking inspiration from Japan, American and all over the world. So when I found out that he has teamed up with Tom to form a group on Twitter called Porklife , aiming to celebrate their mutual love of the animal and launching their first ever pop up tasting event, I was quick to follow and subscribe their tweets. The theme for their first event was simple, a rare breed of pig will be sourced and delectable dishes will be created, utilising every part of the animal, nose to tail.

On the day the tickets were released, I missed it and the tickets were sold out quicker than you can say...hold that pork! So when it was later announced that they have added another date to this high in demand event, I made sure that I bought the tickets this time the very minute the tickets went on sale, all thanks to the magic of twitter.

The pop up event was being held at The Bull, Highgate from 7pm -10pm. My partner-in-pork and I arrived 7 o'clock right on the dot. This modern facade pub was festooned with lights, giving a very welcoming glow in  contrast to the gloomy, drizzly evening. Upon entering, we were send off upstair where the area has been booked for this 'nose-to-tail with a pint of ale' culinary extravaganza. The interior of the pub was surprisingly tradition, with wooden floor and chandeliers, and unexpectedly, real live log fire place. Without any hesitation, we parked our weary bodies on the table right next to the open fire, cosy and comforting.

While waiting for the feast to start, we grabbed ourselves a couple of Tim's own bock brew, Old Major. What an excellent choice that was. It has a caramel sweetness, rich and smooth, slightly bitter but all-in-all, truly delectable and easy on the mouth. As we were studying the menu to find out what treats were in store for us, Tim made an unexpected appearance from behind the kitchen and straight across the room in a blink-and-you'll-missed style and just as quickly, he disappeared. By now, it's half an hour since we arrived. We were beginning to wonder about how long it will be before they start serving the food. The room were still half empty so we figured that we will probably have to wait for the rest of the guests to arrive. 

Slowly, the place began to filled up; the even has around 40 tickets and they were all sold out! Finally, at around 8 o'clock, both chefs made a mandatory appearance to explain the event and the menu. Leaving us with what they said joking might very well be their first and possibly last Porklife event if things do go badly for them but all comments, good or bad are welcome. Off they go to prevent our dinner from burning.

The first course appeared not long after. The small board consist of little nibbly treats. The absolute standout dishes were the black pudding sausage rolls, crunchy puff pastry with rich and sweet filling were a joy to eat; so is the little shot of buttery, bright green, smokey pea soup. The smell was divine and it just packed with such intense flavours that the smokiness lingers on long after the shot were consumed. Every last drop were scooped up by the use of my finger, to which my dining partner frowned with disgust.

'But it was finger licking good,' I protested. 

The crispy brawn were coated in a light crispy shell and were tender and almost velvety-like on the inside. However, it was a little under seasoned which was a shame. The spicy Korean chilli mayo that accompanied however were lovely, sweet with a definite kick. As for the deconstructed Haggis or 'Hoggis', the oatcake slightly overpowered the subtle sweet whisky flavour. I do admire the Beni Shoga-styled red pickled neeps or turnips, this is what was apparent in Tim's cooking style, giving a unique global twist to an otherwise, traditional ingredient.

Next on the agenda was the intercourse, and yes, that was the exact word they used to describe this interval course, a pulled pork, Savoy cabbage and butter beans soup and a little rillette of smoked hock and Tom's home cured guanciale on the side. The soup was once again robust and full-flavoured, it has the intensity of a Japanese Ramen soup base, which is notorious for the hours it will take in order to achieve such feat.  The sandwich too were scrumptious. Creamy smoked hock with a slight anisee fragrance, sandwiched between two small slices of toasted caraway bread.

There was a long delayed before the next course. We were presented with some warm plates after the intercourse but the plate swere left empty for quite a noticeable period of time, trouble in the kitchen? Thankfully, a complimentary pint of the delicious Old Major were served to ease the wait. Slowly, big boards appeared one after another, but for some bizarre reasons, they never seemed to make a stop at our table. The smells waffling around the room were just a tortured. While the other guests were munching their way through the selection of main course delights, praising about certain elements, we were still left with an icy cold, empty plate. 

Finally, the big board arrived. What a glorious sight it was. The spicy andouillette (stuffed intestines) were nicely flavoured but a bit too pongy for my liking. The apple mash were smooth and creamy, just how it should be and nicely seasoned. The standout dishes were the smoked sous-vide pork belly, tender to the bite with a rich oakiness, pairing it with the Belgian ale barbecue sauce, it was just simply irresistible; the slow cooked pork jowl were meltingly delicate and wrapped with a sheet of crispy crackling, the combination of the texture were superb. The crackling salad were a tad disappointing. It was one of my most look forward to dish but it appeared to have been pre-dressed way too soon and have lost all that crunchiness. The trotter were too slimy and the ears were too chewy, just don't seemed to work at all. The salad itself though, were refreshing and the additional of the sweet watermelon and peanuts in a salty fish sauce dressing were excellent. As for the lack of crunchiness, I did eventually found a nice piece of crunchy crackling hidden among the pile of smoked slow-cooked belly on the main board to compensate for it..what a delightful treat that was!

After the main course came the pudding. The light, sharp rhubarb jelly was delicate to the palate but the cinnamon-spiced sponge, together with the smooth, creamy ice cream and the crunchy honey-sweet caramel cracklings were just to die for, absolutely perfection. So much so, there were cleaned plate within minutes.

The entire meal cost £40 each plus booking fee, but the generous portions and the abundance of goodies that we get to consumed and taste fully justified this. So was I disappointed in the meal? NO! There might be a few little hiccups but the overall culinary spectacle was sensational. Kudos to both TIm and Tom for completing this mammoth of a task and with such gusto. I can't wait to see what they will come out with next in the name of pork.

The Bull
13 North Hill
N6 4AB
The Bull on Urbanspoon


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