Facing the Spitalfields market is a restaurant that's been open since 2003 Initially a bakery; you can still see the bakery sign on one side and the open kitchen on the other.
Tonight we were gathered around to celebrate the award ceremony of FoodieHub world's tastiest feasts. More than 50 food bloggers from the four corners of the globe gathered for this special ceremony which happens once a year the weekend before the World's 50 Best Restaurant award is handed out.
- Ox heart, dandelion and pickled walnut.
- Roast bone marrow, parsley and shallots.
- Purple sprouting broccoli, duck egg and anchovy.
- Whole roast suckling pig.
- Baked white fish, roast fennel and aioli.
- Eccles cakes and xxx cheese.
- Ginger loaf and butterscotch sauce.
The restaurant has been setup to welcome 60 guests. Wooden tables set one next to the other facing the white wall that would host the projection. A plate, two forks two knives and a lobster spoon as well as two glasses with a white table napkin.
- Montmains 1er cru 2009, Domaine des Malandes, Chablis
- Chateau Lamothe-Cissac 2009, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux
The award ceremony started by an introduction made by the two owners. Old but fresh and funny, the two men made us smile, starting the night with a touch of English humor.
- Best sandwich on earth: Joseph, for the Shawarma, Lebanon
- Most authentic restaurant on earth: Samm in Madrid
- Tastiest pizza on earth: Pepe in Grani, Naples
- Tastiest vegetarian dish on earth: Misal Pav, Mumbai
- Tastiest BBQ on earth: Austin Texas, beef ribs, USA
- World's best burger: Bleecker Black, London
- Tastiest dumplings on earth: Sheng Joan Bao, Shanghai
- Tastiest curry on earth: Balti, Birmingham England
- Tastiest steak in the world: Dons de la Nature, Tokyo
- Tastiest Chinese restaurant on earth: Sek Yuen, Kuala Lumpur
- Tastiest breakfast on earth: Machaca Valle de Guadalupe, California
- World’s Tastiest Fried Chicken: Willie Mae’s Scotch House, New Orleans
- The world's best fast feast: Austin Texas beef ribs, USA
- Appetizers started landing on the table. A plate of radish and endives with their sauce and another plate of fried pig skin fingers with tarragon mayonnaise. I'm falling in love with those pig skin things, but you can't imagine how fatty and greasy they are. They look fine until you grab one. The fat explodes under every bite in such a style. That's not something one can eat every day.
- Bone marrow is so bizarre. Big pieces of bone cooked as is and topped with sea salt. Inside is a gooey mix that's so bizarre indeed. Rich in nutriments and flavors combined, but that's something surely not for the faint hearted. I had one then decided to have another to understand its content more. It has a white area another pink one, both gooey and watery. There nothing much about the taste I could describe but anyway, we had to try it.
- The bread, on the other hand, was great, even better than many bakeries in the French capital. Pain de campagne with thick envelope and moist heart; when toasted it becomes addictive.
- The duck eggs: That's as bizarre as the plate before. Huge duck eggs cooked for three minutes only keeping their heart soft and liquid topped with slices of anchovy all together laying in a bed of purple, sprouting broccoli. The broccoli is tasty, served warm while the egg is cold. Nice taste, but nothing super exceptional to it. The anchovies add a very strong flavor to the mix and you have to be an anchovy fanatic to accept it. Bizarre, innovative, a must try, but I won't order it anytime soon.
- The pig is fine. A bit dry on the inside, but its skin is so crunchy that it can be enjoyed as chips. We sixty foodies enjoyed a whole pig cooked as it should be; I would have added some sweetness, some apples or a long lasting marinade. As for be fish, it was undercooked to my taste and offered zero flavors. I couldn't finish my plate. I should invite those guys to Beirut to enjoy some food fish.
My favorite part of the night was when Andy Hayler came in, the famous man who has visited every single Michelin started restaurant in the world. I was happy to see this man live and hopefully to do the same challenge he did.
Time for dessert:
- An Eccles cake, sometimes also called Squashed Fly cake is a small, round cake filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter, sometimes topped with demerara sugar. A large ball, very heavy and topped with sugar is filled with a mix of currant, toasted on the bottom making it crunchy but a bit bitter. I loved this creation, especially the cheese that comes with it and the ice cream. Puff pastry, sugar, currants, yellow cheese and ice cream; what a combination.
- The ginger loaf was awesome! A dark colored cake that looks simple but offers an exquisite epic flavor of ginger. A cake served warm with butterscotch sauce on the side, a sweet and juicy cake that made me smile.
A great party it was, but I can’t say the same about the food. Plates which were way too complicated and without flavors, that lacked finesse and taste. They’re fine, but there was nothing exceptional about them.
How great it is to be in a room with 50 foodies from around the world. A night I’ll remember.