I love it when some great food goes with a great service surprise. What goes with mackerel I thought to myself this morning, other than horseradish, lemon or wasabi. We are an English restaurant after all.
Before I got on my bike to ride the 45 miles up to London from my ranch in the country, I went into the garden to see what I could use - elderberries, raspberries, rose petals. Anf then I saw a beautiful array of fresh lavender with bumble bees a-buzzing.
'Watch out little bumble bees' I cried as I grabbed a handful of lavender and stuffed it into my rucksack.
After the god awful journey up the motorway through the Blackwall Tunnel, I roared into the kitchen (after parking my bike) full of my usual joie de vive and derring do.
A muggy and warm day calls for ice-cream. Not your Heston Blumenthal 'Egg & Bacon Ice Cream', but your Lionheart Jordan 'Vine Cherry Tomato & Lavender Ice Cream'
The girls on the floor decided to play a game with the customers - they described the special and just said there was a secret ingredient that they weren't going to divulge until the dish appeared. I chose toasted oats to pane the mackerel (floor, egg and breadcrumb), then pan fried the fish in frothy brown butter served up with a cherry tomato salad, buttered new potatoes and our secret ingredient - a ball of our ice-cream on the side.
Great reaction - the girls sold loads, the customers talked about it and loved the combination. That's what I love about every new day.
The only thing - I now have to write the recipe out and send it out to a group of customers. And do I have the time? Not when the Guvnor wants menus for next January, and all the boring paperwork - the only down side to running a busy London restaurant kitchen (hey ho).
Time to move on. Another day awaits, and we're off to the new Framer's Market at Broadgate early in the monring to see what we will see.