The Most Important Meal of the Day

A review of Boulangerie Jade SE3 on the Blackheath Standard

http://www.boulangeriejade.com/welcome

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the opinions of nutritionists. Breakfast is really the most important meal of the day because it is the downright most funnest. At what other time of the day can one  eat cake and pastry as a main course, or instead choose spicy eggs, or maybe all of the above because there are no rules on courses, all washed down with the biggest of coffee bombs, because you don’t have to worry about caffeine keeping you awake?

Or maybe you choose cereal. I don’t judge you. I I feel pity.

Boulangerie Jade in the Blackheath Standard understands breakfast with its  suitably diverse menu leaving you flummoxed (and hungry) for a good chunk of time while you debate whether you are going down the savoury route or the sweet route.

I went for the Mackerel tartine.

Mackerel Tartine at the Boulangerie Jade on Blackheath Standard

I’m a big fan of mackerel me. This was pleasant, and different, which is what I’m always looking for, but maybe not full of the huge flavours i was craving. There was horseradish as promised in the accompanying creme fraiche, but only just. and only discernible after having a good glug of water to clear the palate.

Another time I’m trying that considerably unhealthier sounding toulouse sausage roll. Here was my husband’s choice:

Service from our initial visit has upped its game. Losing the frosty looks if you glance at a waitress about your twenty minute delay on your eggs, and the arrival of bacon that does been cooked to the beer mat consistency plus the constant implication that your presence is generally really really annoying being welcome improvements. So the harsh trip advisor status may yet improve.

My only disappointment was the constant promise that the cakes (from the Jade bakery) were on their way. It has to be said, Jade cakes are very very good cakes – all the ones I have tasted. They were on their way through out the whole meal. They were still on their way when we had to give up and leave and go about their business (with a sourdough loaf of course). Not all of my business is sitting in coffee shops you know.

Fun from the foodie festival,

My tickets to Blackheath foodie festival were courtesy of ABK-Beer Events sellers of beer and pretzels.

So this is an odd blog to write… because I always think of you guys reading this to decided where to visit next in Greenwich… but I’m guessing you’re going to have difficulty getting back to the foodie festival to check out these recommendations until next year. Or find out where the foodie festival moves next…

Savories were my favourite in the whole visit. Absolutely perfect was the Caribbean stall’s jerk chicken which was delicious and according to my husband who brought it home from me to tempt me into the festival when I wasn’t well (just call him the pied piper healer of Greenwich) was prepared very healthily, and my husband don’t lie, he don’t!

Caribbean food at the Blackheath foodie festival

 

 There’s only one way to tackle a foodie fair… full of no end of exciting options. And that’s to have a three course meal with drinks, followed by shopping. That seems to be the only way to feel that you’ve made the most of your ticket without feeling rather ill. So for starters we had oysters and (despite this being brunch) champagne. These stalls were rather cleverly set out next to each other, leaving me sitting in my arm chair, one glass in each hand, trying not to warm it, whilst waiting for the oyster queue to go down. The oyster stall sold both farmed and natural oysters, proving that the latter are far superior… and I feel a bit sad that I can never ever eat farmed oysters with the same enjoyment again (or at least until next month…)

And the Indian street food was fantastically delicious. 

Sweet things were focussed on special diets.. a lot of gluten free. Having many celiac friends, I am happy that there are an increasing amount of options available to them… but I’m not sure that there were many options at all for non-special-dieters. There was the occasional pretty traditional cake stand, that (as is so often the case) failed to live up to its chintzy promises in taste and I ended up going for the bubble waffle ice cream store… a great idea of turning an actual bobbly waffle into a cone and filling it with ice cream. Sadly the flavour combinations promised much, but the delivery was not far off from school canteen fare.

 The other disappointment of the day included the rather arch shop sellers in the Greek olive stall though. They were determined to pack large orders into bags, despite being asked to do smaller, racking up a bill of £30 on lemons and olives that were mouldy by the end of three days. I should have walked away.

But we had lots of exciting flavours from this cheese store. Aged mozzarella, and hard goats cheese that we took home and finished off far too quickly, along with this Spanish crisp bread that may well be intended to be eaten dry, but was particularly delicious with proper butter.

Cheese and Crackers

Venice isn’t Local , but…

 

So, this is not a local food review, but having recently returned from an anniversary trip to Venice, here are some food photos to enjoy…

Exotically dressed pasta, in Italian, rather than English sized portions:

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Pasta at the Guggenheim

Every guide book told us to go to the fish market early in the day as the boats came in to get the real fish market experience. Whatever. We reached there at 10am. It was stunning, although we were laughed at for taking pictures.

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Delights at the Fish Market

…And Cafe Florian on St Mark’s Square is apparently the oldest coffee house in Venice, and is full of beautiful (if kinda gaudy) interiors. The catch is, there are too many people in there to see anything but the ceiling. And you have to eat quickly to avoid being herded out by a door man.

The tea, affogato and (not very Italian) sacher torte were however delicious.

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Sacher Torte and other Treats at Cafe Florian

“Shopping ain’t my bag” A Review of L’orchidea

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“Shopping ain’t my bag” A Review of L’orchidea by blackheathcoffeeshops A Review of L’Orchidee in Westfield Shopping ain’t my bag, so you will not be shocked to learn that I have only just visited Westfield in Stratford despite its proximity … Continue reading

What I hoped to find in Masala Mart I did find in Masala Mart

Screwfix, Plumbase, Masala Mart. They sound like they are all from one conglomerate, don’t they? They certainly all sit in the trading estate in Ramac Lane Charlton. But there is one name in that which doesn’t make me feel like I am in boredom land (unless re-furbing the house which is hardly a regular occurrence). Can you spot it? No? Er, this is a food blog, and you can’t eat pipes…?

I have been planning to go to Masala Mart for a while. I thought I would pop in while my husband was buying something really useful from Screwfix. But the Wholesale part of the title was putting me off. Eventually my husband offered to make reconnaissance mission and just asked them if they were a supermarket too. They said that they were and they seemed to think this was a daft question, but at least we got the answer.

Now what I hoped to find in Masala Mart was exactly what I did find in Masala Mart, a treasure trove of spices in proper sized packets at considerable better value than Ocado was prepared to offer. 10g of something 1.79 for 10g at Ocado, but 100g is 1.39 at Masala Mart. I’m always looking for flavour. I’m always looking for something different. I knew there was a pretty good chance I’d find it here.

It’s a quirky old place, like stepping back into the supermarkets of the 80’s, with sellotape for closing plastic bags, and little dips in the counter for the wire basket, which was weighing us down by the time we reached the tills.

And there are some things that Ocado just don’t stock, like multipurpose seasoning which has been invaluable in my cooking of stews. It makes the most ‘really shouldn’t have tried that in the slow cooker recipe’ taste good. (although I will admit that I since saw msg on the label which has put be off a bit). And I was thrilled to get gnarled ugly black cardomon pods, in addition to the green. The experimental purchase was of the Indian sweets which I have had only a couple of times in my life. They very obliging offered a ‘mixed pack’, leaving us to eat the very rich, tablet-like sweets over a very long period of time.

The challenge now is finding decent sized spice jars, I need one that can hold 400g of cinnamon sticks that only cost… Recommendations welcom

Clash of Clans Online Hack and Cheat

A steamed bun is hard to come by

La-Mian & Dim Sum of Greenwich market, you have a fight on your hands, nestled there to close to Jamaican jerk chicken, Mexican food, and churros (oh, those churros). But I have to say a steamed bun is hard to come by, and in my experience, rather hard to re-create at home (Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals offer a valiant attempt!) so I can see that you are holding your own…

I don’t know why steamed buns are not more famous at LMDSGM (I am going for an acronym here, as I can see that Dim Sum is a food, but not speaking Chinese I can’t see how to shorten the name any other way). It is such a great combination, the slight sweetish white dough around chicken things mushroom and spices. On the day I tried it, it would have been a slightly less dry combination had I remembered to pick up some plum sauce.

It is rewarding experience to see the food cooked in front of you in the space of a square yard, although I think I made this man a little shy when I took the photo.

We ate the steamed buns on the steps in front of the Cutty Sark and followed it up with roast duck on a bed of sticky rice. This was great duck and great rice, but over all a bit dry. It had been coated with sauce that failed to slip under the duck to the rice, and there was a delicious chutney in one corner which wasn’t nearly enough for the whole dish. Some more veg than two halves of a pak choi would also helped a bit.watch movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children 2016 now

Service was hard to comment on. We ordered, they cooked straight away, they said “here we are”. The only thing that slowed us down was our impatience to tuck in.

Life is best lived by ending a meal with your favorite bite.

Le Bouchon

Both of my favorite meals in France were eaten in rustic restaurants, with people drinking wine from elegant carafes, and Le Bouchon absolutely aims to channel this image in it’s bijoux location opposite the Mary Evan’s picture library. It’s pretty successful in doing this actually, especially on a Sunday evening where a singer and a guitarist strum whimsical French and English tune and the sun streams through the windows. We had not eaten before arriving and we knew that we would have to order food to accompany any drinking that needed to be done.

We anticipated cheese and ham platters, but what was a delight to find was that Le Bouchon offered a choice on every element of the platter. You could pick your own cheese and deli meat, each detailed on the menu and you could have as much or as little as you liked. We both ordered tapenade, which arrived with the equivalent of a small loaf of bread each, with dark rich olive dip that was hard to put down. Next came the cheese (with strawberry jam) we’d chosen Comte*, mature goats’s cheese, with a creamy depth that went well with the jam, and the best: a spongy and richly flavoured Ardechois bichonne, encased in mould. The meats were duck saucisson and Bresi (cured beef, smoked for 8 weeks), both curling on the edges with dryness and herbs.

 

 Now, since childhood, my mother has wisely ingrained in me the truth that life is best lived by finishing any meal with your favorite bite. This presents challenges when there is too much food, like in cream teas when you don’t actually have room for the spectacular looking cake at the top of the cake tray, after your sandwiches and scone with clotted cream. But Le Bouchon presented a different challenge…. It was not possible to decide which bite to end on. In fact, I relegated the Comte as ‘first finisher’, but I regretted it… with its extra dryness and maturity reminding me that this was not just any old version of one of my favorite cheeses. Having assigned Ardechois bichonee as the cheese finalist, the whole assessment had to be reconsidered in the light of the saucisson. My husband suggested that the Bresi was the best of the two, I committed to believe him and not think about it anymore at risk of frying my brain with the decision, and totally forgetting about the tapenade.

We ate all of this with a Bordeaux, and my husband had a St Chinian, Languedoc. Now, I have to remind you this is not a wine blog, but we both found the Bordeaux to be great alone, and less good with food, and the opposite with the wine from Languedoc. Yes, we sipped from each other’s glasses in order to know this. Every other table had a carafe, which looked temptingly romantic, but we just don’t drink enough to justify it. This didn’t cause the slightest of problems for the bar who opened fresh bottles for each of our glasses, and then resealing them immediately with a resealing machine.

The only flummoxing thing about Le Bouchon was the existence of ‘cake of the day’ on the menu. Cake is not the first thing I think of to complement wine (although, now I come to think of it, an olive oil polenta lemon and thyme cake might just do the trick) but my brain is hardwired to default cake as the most desirable item on any menu. But there was no further cake information to be found. There was no cake on the tables around us, or in a display stand or written on the blackboard behind me. It’s rare, but I looked around for a sign of cakeness for a few seconds, and then forgot all about cake amongst the wine and the deli.

*Sorry, I do not know how to add French accents on my keyboard. French accents abounded at Le Bouchon, though. Adding to the authenticity.