Canteen proves a hit

February 28, 2017

A belated congratualtions to all concerned with last Friday’s Canteen street food event at the LCB depot in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter. This felt like a real breakthrough event for city’s  food scene – I don’t have stats but there must have several hundred people over the night enjoying some really fine food and entertainment. The atmosphere was buzzing, even if the music was little loud inside for old codgers like me, and the food traders all seemed to be getting plenty of custom. I enjoyed a Cambodian chicken and sweet potato curry from Canoodle but there was a wide range of stuff available which I failed to write down – rest assured there’s choice  and it was all appealing.  This free event is set to continue every last Friday of the month from around 5pm onwards.

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Cured continues to impress

February 17, 2017

As promised earlier this week, a quick mention of the new regular menu at Cured at Brewdog. I make no apologies for again enthusing about the food offering – it really is a treat. There is a renewed focus on the platters  – gorgeous collections of cured meats, pickles, chutneys, salad, bread and more along with matched tasting of Brewdog beers.

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The Punk IPA-cured maple bacon and the burnt barley brisket remain and are joined by salmon cured with beetroot and German rauschbier and thinly-sliced duck breast cured in soy, honey and porter. Today I had a platter with the latter two and they were divine  – the salmon taking on a light smoke from the beer, the duck having tremendously complex flavours, like a super-sophisticated version of a Christmas gammon.

The platters come with a plethora of lovely items from samphire and fennel slaw to moreish parsnip crisps, an outstanding sweet and mild apple piccalilli and beautifully sweet and savoury thyme and honey butter.  At £9.50 including beer tastings this is a fantastic light lunch for two people, or £19.50 for all four cures plus two sides  (such as buttermilk fried chicken, sweet potato fries or duck lollipops with black forest glaze) you can feed a small crowd.

Elsewhere on the menu there’s something new for vegans including Southern Fried Seitan (wheat gluten that here does a passable job of mimicking chicken) and for veggies there’s the likes of parsnip and tarragon wontons with chilli jam or a caramelised onion, feta and aubergine bun.

Do get along  – and note that from 26 Feb they will be serving Sunday lunch from 12-6pm. Expect roasts,  but done their own way.

 

 

Valentine’s at Cured

February 15, 2017

Last night I broke the habit of a lifetime and dined out on Valentine’s night. In truth that habit was possibly more  do with having been single than because I was desperate to avoid poor food served to desolate couples going through the motions.

This year not only have I entered coupledom, but I saw the opportunity for something a little bit different with the Valentines menu at Cured at Brewdog. I’ve enthused about Martin Powdrill’s work before and was confident that this would be a evening without the usual  cheesiness.

Upstairs at Brewdog is  a cool space with something of a warehouse vibe and there was a relaxed feel for the evening which saw six couples served the same menu at the same time. Tickets were £29.50  (though thanks to my Great Food Club card there was 10 per cent off) and included a welcoming cocktail  – in our case hoptails which were both sublime, mine a framboise beer with bourbon, lemon juice and raspberries, hers combining punk ipa with kraken rum, which brilliantly brought out the grapefruity character of the beer.  These came with canapes of Cured’s marvellous stout-cured salmon.

First course was a couple of apple bhajis, nice and crunchy on the outside, rather intriguingly gooey on the inside and matched creatively with a dab of sweet hazelnut paste – lovely.   Then a really good pea veloute with cured ham hock.  This had a perfect texture and great layers of flavour – there was some close-textured but light and springy beer bread with hoppy and malty notes served with it.

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Main course was soy and maple cured duck breast – a good rather than outstanding item that also seemed to have Korean spicing going on somewhere and a delicious sour berry compote. The accompanying sauted savoy and boulangere potatoes were perfectly done.

Desert saw us sharing a very rich chocolate and raspberry mousse, a bit too rich for her ladyship, topped with some underpowered ginger cream and three brilliant raspberry bon bons. Putting three such lovelies on a desert designed for sharing between two seemed to be asking for trouble, but naturally I did the decent thing and settled for just one.

We finished up with homemade coffee flavoured Turkish delight – a nice alternative to the by and large unwanted late night caffeine hit of an espresso.

A very pleasant and laid back evening that showcased a competent kitchen that has a highly creative edge.  Cured will be launching a new menu soon  – more info in due course  – which sounds like an excellent excuse to try if you’ve not been  or to go again if you have.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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