Showing posts with label gluten-free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gluten-free. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Dinner at Indigo, One Aldwych Hotel

Carry on from the post about the marvellous The Lobby Bar Spring Cocktail menu, after a couple of hours sipping excellent drinks in beautiful surroundings. We were directed to the mezzanine where Indigo Restaurant is located.

This building is steep in history. It was sold to The Daily Telegraph, Inveresk Paper Company. After becoming home to some well-known illustrated magazines such as Illustrated London News and The Tatler.  It housed the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Works, Prudential Assurance Company, Lloyds Bank and a very famous London Brasserie known as the Aldwych Brasserie. 

The building has been altered over the years. With its Grade II listing, it was eventually sold to independent private owners who created the One Aldwych Hotel.  

We enjoyed the lift ride; it's all mirrored with coloured lights. I've seen many selfies on social media taken in that same elevator.

Indigo, the restaurant overlooks The Lobby Bar. It's decorated in muted colours and comfortably elegant furniture with an informal atmosphere. Once seated we started with champagne!  Why not?  


Sipping our champagne we had a look at the menu. Indigo's menu is seasonal; it's gluten and dairy free! Not that you would notice, the dishes are so well executed, light and full of flavour. The menu has been expertly put together by Executive Chef Dominic Teague.
I love the Salad suggestion on the list, where it's possible to create your own salad from a selection of item and dressings.

The Samphire bread tasted amazing, and great texture served with extra virgin rapeseed oil.
For starters we had hand-picked Dorset crab, potted shrimp, pickled mackerel and fresh marinated salmon that came extra  - this dish was fresh, light and flavoursome - Fantastic start to our meal.

Pan fried Brixham skate wing, a small mountain of prawns, ice wine verjus - perfectly cooked.

Tender and juicy loin rabbit braised shoulder, wet polenta- one of my favourite things to eat, and fresh wild garlic leaves complemented this dish exquisitely.

Samphire bread

hand-picked Dorset crab, potted shrimp, pickled mackerel and fresh marinated salmon that came extra

Pan fried Brixham skate wing

loin rabbit braised shoulder, wet polenta and wild garlic

 excellent fries 

Dessert, great portions the perfect ending to our meal

Caramelised banana with custard & bitter chocolate sorbet

Valrhona chocolate mousse with cherry sorbet & pistachio meringue. The waiter told me this was the best chocolate mousse in London.

I also noticed that the table next to ours ordered the fruit Pavlova for two to share - It looks spectacular!  I didn't dare to snap it.
The service on the night was outstanding.
a substantial dessert: Valrhona chocolate mousse with cherry sorbet & pistachio meringue

Caramelised banana with custard & bitter chocolate sorbet

Coffee and tea

Indigo is open for:

6.30am to 11.00am
Monday to Friday
6.30am to 11.30am
Saturday & Sunday

12pm - 2.45pm
Monday to Friday

Dinner5.30pm - 10.15pm
Monday to Sunday

One Aldwych Hotel
London wc2b 4bz
Tel: +44 (0)20 7300 1000

Until next time why not join me on  InstagramTwitter and Facebook…X
Disclosure: I was a guest at  Indigo for review purposes. All views are my own
Square Meal Indigo - One Aldwych Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 25 September 2014

apple and rosemary bread and butter meringue

apple and rosemary bread & butter meringue

Top of Form


British food forthnight  2014 started over the last weekend. It's a celebration of British produce, food, drink and the harvest season through out the land.  During the next two weeks British fare is being promoted across all sectors of the industry from caterers, producers, retailers and local shops.  
'The word “harvest” is from the Old English word hærfest, meaning "autumn". It then came to refer to the season for reaping and gathering grain and other grown products.The full moon nearest the autumnal equinox is called the Harvest Moon. So in ancient traditions Harvest Festivals were traditionally held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October'
To celebrate British food, I put together two traditional recipes together bread and butter pudding and meringue with a herbal twist.

Apple and Rosemary bread & butter meringue recipe

makes : 4-5 ramekins


½ loaf of wheat and gluten free bread

2 apples of choice and in season

1 cup (200ml) of dairy free cream

2 egg yolks

1  vanilla pod

1 star anise

2 cassia bark

1 sprig of rosemary

4 tbsp (tablespoons) caster sugar

2 tablespoons of butter (dairy-free)

sugar and butter for greasing and dusting


2 egg whites

4 tbsp of caster sugar


1) in a small pan, gently heat the cream until comes to simmer(small bubbles to the surface), switch off the heat and add the star anise, cassia bark, and a sprig of rosemary let it steep for at least one hour. Let it cool completely, drain it. Add the vanilla seeds. Mix well. Reserve.

2) grease 4 -5 individual souffle ramekins with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Reserve.

3) pre-heat the oven at 150C, low temperature.

4) cut the bread to fit into the ramekins

5) With a sharp knife cut the apples in half. Remove the core and discard them. Slice the apples.

5) In the prepared ramekins, Intersperse slices of bread with sliced fruit to completely fill the ramekins.

5) in a bowl mix well the egg yolks, cream and sugar, pour over the ramekins filled with bread and apple.

6) place the ramekins in the oven in a water bath by place the ramekins in a large baking tray. Carefully pour some boiling water into the tray, close the oven and bake for 30 minutes.


Meringue topping:

1) beat the egg whites in a clean bowl mixer, for 5 minutes till they are nicely fluffy and stiff peaks.  slowly add the 3 spoons of sugar

2) pipe the egg whites onto the cooked apple ramekin

3)Take the ramekins back to the oven and bake for another 20 mins at 150C

For sometime I needed a new mixer and a new blender, the lovely people at Viking Direct send me a Tefal mixer and blender combo to review their service and products.  Viking is an online office supplier.  They also sell kitchen equipment for the home and office as well as household goods.  I am delighted by the Tefal mixer and blender combo:  great design, robust and sturdy.
Disclosure: I was given the Tefal mixer and blender combo by Viking.  I received no further remuneration. All views are my own.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Allergy awareness week UK and dairy-free vanilla ice cream recipe

Our lives revolves around food. Everyday life, events, special occasions, simple get together with friends almost certainly is going to involve food and drink.

Unfortunately,  it is not so simple if you are a food allergy sufferer. It can be a mission  reading  all labels, endless special requests at restaurants and warnings to family and friends before gatherings. The impact on social life can be quite daunting.

Once a medical curiosity, now a days food intolerance and allergies are taken more seriously. With the advance of science, diagnoses and testings have increased dramatically. Allergies and intolerance can vary from nuts, dairy, gluten, wheat, eggs, seeds, fish, fruits to any particular ingredient or produce and in different levels.

Supermarkets  chains and health shops have come a long way. Majority have a free-from section with lots of ready made meals to lovely non-diary chocolate treats. 
If you have a food allergy or intolerance…
Tell people as much as possible with right level of detail, but don’t expect them to turn into an expert overnight.  Bring your own food with you- strange but better safe than sorry and it actually shows consideration. You won’t be putting an extra burden on your host. Don’t make a scene, specially in a restaurant, be polite and precise, if they don’t know what’s in a dish, don’t eat it. 
If you know someone else has a food sensitivity…
Ask for information, take it seriously, find out the level of intolerance, don’t put yourself under unnecessary stress, make sure that they have at least one dish they can eat. Celebrate, negative attention is unhelpful.

I found out that everything has a replacement.
Some years ago I decided to go on a complete detox after a very festive Christmas and New Year celebrations. I cut out all dairy, wheat, gluten and alcohol from my diet during three months. I never felt better in my whole life. By replacing  products like milk, wheat flour,  for  other ingredients I found an effortless way to sidestep them. I didn’t loose weight, but my skin was clear and smooth like porcelain.  My  hair was  extra silky and shinny , my nails was very strong and my eyes sparkled !  I felt like a completely new person, I had a glow about me. Friends would come up to me and ask if I had any cosmetic work done.  My mind was clear. I didn’t stress and I knew the answers to everything.  I would wake up at 5am and get through the day  with lots of energy and  enthusiasm.  By  8pm was I so tired, my eyes so heavy it would close and I couldn’t fight to stay wake. No alcohol  taking allowed either. I remember  one evening I had a small glass of white wine, I felt sick. I carried  on  with the detox.  Eventually, I invited a friend for lunch at mine and the whole meal was free from diary, wheat and gluten, she didn’t noticed it.  On the third month I decided that it was time to end the detox and slowly, very slowly I introduced diary, wheat, gluten back into my everyday meals.  I ended it because I am not an allergy sufferer and  as far as I know I am not intolerant to any food.  I missed my social life.  That was my experience, every one reacts differently to certain diets.
Below:  couple of simple and  friendly baking experiences I wanted to share to help anyone who is either a sufferer or who knows someone who is. Another recipe: Pao de Queijo - Brazilian cheese breads are gluten-free

Vanilla ice cream – diary free
Makes: approx. 650ml
1 & ½  cup soya milk (300ml), if allergic to soya use almond milk
3 tspoons of vanilla extract or real vanilla pod
4 large organic egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar (90gr)
1 & ½ cups dairy free cream, I used Oatly(  (300ml)

1. Add the soya milk to a pan over low heat till almost simmering, add 3 tspoon vanilla extract, reserve a bowl beat the egg yolks and the sugar till the sugar has dissolved.
3.add the slightly warm soya milk on to the egg mixture, stirring all the time.
4.transfer to a clean pan and stir over very low heat, without letting it boil, the mixture will thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon.
5.strain through a sieve
6.stir in the diary free cream thoroughly. If you have an ice cream machine, follow the instructions, if not... in the covered container and freeze for one hour, beat the ice cream and place in the freezer, repeat this process twice more and freeze overnight. 

Adding flavouring:
rose water:
2 tablespoons of rose water to stage 6.
Tip: don’t add to much as it will taste soapy.

Adding flavouring:
rose water version

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