Posts Tagged ‘Lamb’

Because winter is bloody cold in Beijing the Beijingers are devout to their hot-pots.

You crowd into a relatively small restaurant (ours was somewhere off the East third ring practically opposite the Renaissance Capital hotel), sit rather close to a lot of people (we came on GroupOn discount night so you can imagine how crowded it was) light up a cigarette and huddle close to the steaming pot with it’s little lump of burning cinders glowing below and sparks of lit ashes puffing up out of the little chimney and into your soup.

The broth tasted like chicken and had various ‘things’ floating about in it. We were also served a little dish of sesame sauce to dip our food into after cooking it in the hot-pot and drank tea.

I was told that hot-pot must have lamb in it and this is it (just above) cut so finely it looks like parma ham.

We also had some veg to dip in, the above are mushrooms, and some large rice noodles. It would be very humiliating for me to say how many of these slippery noodles I dropped in the hot-pot to be fished out much, much later by more expert chopsticksmen than myself.

The next day, in one of the more touristy hutongs we spotted these brass hot pots for sale. Shame it was a flying visit or I’d have taken one home very gladly!


Read Full Post »

Being back in London and meeting up with all our friends was a delightful home from home and made the last weekend really special.

On Friday evening, after a quick drink on the (fake) grassy bank at the National we headed off to the Swan at the Globe, a Brasserie with a Gastro pub feel (channel faded union jack and pheasant print cushions…) with a stunning view over the Thames and St Paul’s or to quote one of the lovely punters I shared my nosh with ‘That cathedral thing near St Paul’s tube station’….

After a fresh starter of Brixham crab (supporting the fishermen from another sort of home for me!) which could only have been improved by ditching the mayo (why? I ask why put this infamous glop on my food?) I moved on to a delicious tender pink lamb served with provencal veg and olives.

Sadly after all this there was no room for pudding other than a chilled glass of white port!

I certainly recommend booking and as this is a very popular pre-theatre venue  if you are not going to the Globe then avoid the pre and after theatre rush



The Swan at the Globe

Atmosphere: Convivial, bistro chic. Lovely view over St Paul’s and the river

Food:  Gastro pub

Dinner for two: Expect to spend 50 pounds for a starter and a main with a glass of wine

Would we go back? An absolute must for the excellent location

Read Full Post »