“Can we have the tasting menu and swap all the meals..?” A Review of Copper & Ink SE3

I might have reviewed Copper and Ink before, but they are so lovely, persistent through lockdown, constantly encouraging us via twitter, and enduring Uber disasters that they were due a re-run.

And I’m very glad I revisited… They are COVID-Measure-Mega, screens, signs on the door about masks away from the tables – and simultaneously polite and welcoming, dispelling the eating out in a pandemic nerves.

`We had tasting-menu crisis. Basically the tasting menu looked perfect, but so did the whiskey baba, orange and bitters ice cream, with sherbet. (SOME restaurants DO know how to maximise their menu word allowance when coming up with a dish). I mean, opening with whiskey was always going to go well for this dessert. Then we noticed we actually couldn’t eat one of the dessert menu items and asked if we could swap. They really did it. We love them. We got exactly what we wanted. (This was the beginning of a one-sided relationship).

This was now a no brainer, there were no items on the entire two pages that we couldn’t squeeze into the evening, which opened with porcini with herb gnocchi, aged Parmesan foam and cep powder.

These sort of dishes are like mini adventures. Let me try mushroom with the foam, followed by gnocchi with foam… now all three at once… ah, my dish has disappeared some how.

The next course was glazed langoustine tails, razor clams, fennel relish and cucumber ketchup. That’s four iterations to play with.. er… I mean sample in a dignified fashion. It was at this point, that I started to release that my plan of not eating all of each dish, to facilitate completion of the tasting meal, was actually, not a plan.

Here’s the pistachio biscuit, raspberry jelly and pistachio cremeux… Looks aside, I’ve been to many restaurants that ‘look’ as elegantly designed, but few taste as good as they do at Copper and Ink in terms of flavour combinations and quality of execution . (I’m not just saying this because I justify my chaotic homemade cakes with the fact they taste good)

After filling up on a host of complementary flavours and works of art on a dish, I sat back musing on how a germ could possibly reach me from anyone in the restaurant, visualising the little spikey cell floating about and smashing face first into a screen. Nope. There was no way it could reach me unless it developed opposeable thumbs and ambi-turning in this restaurant that’s succeeded in being safe and cosy at the same time.

Have you pre-ordered my novel “Helen and the Grandbees” yet? https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Alex+morall&ref=nb_sb_noss

Out on October 28th!

Book Cover for Helen and the Grandbees

The Betrayal of the Cafetiere

When my eyes were bedazzled by the glossy nespresso machine in the cooking shop where we were on holiday, I wasn’t thinking of myself as being unfaithful. I was unaware I was betraying my humble cafetiere, and the workday faultless barista service of Pret a Manger.

But when I came home from my holiday high and lay awake thinking about it, what actually was wrong with my cafetiere, a masterpiece of a gadget, simple effective and marvelous in providing good coffee? And if I bumped into a regular Pret baristas on the street, how would I explain that I would no longer be a daily visitor despite their pret-trademark charm and efficiency (cappuccino with no queues), and coffee with a good bite.

The only single reason I could come up with for buying a Nespresso (after I had bought one) was to be in the little club; to get something better than you had that you didn’t know there was anything wrong with in the first place. This is what really troubled me, nothing was ‘fixed’ by the Nespresso machine. But the stakes were raised.

I will admit that the one thing that is massively improved by the machine is being able to steam the milk – something that no other milk frother comes close to. And ok, I will save money by neglecting Pret.

I am still trying to find an expresso with the bite of Pret in the 23 capsule options, (otherwise known as grand cru- my teeth are on edge) and when compared with the really good coffee stakes of Blackheath, there doesn’t seem to be a flavour that matches the rich coconutty blend from Black Vanilla and Chapters, or the cindered Volcano blend from The Scullery. Can any one point me in the right direction? I find myself comparing notes at work, and day dreaming about which coffee I will have next. How kitsch this will seem in twenty years time, like black forest gateaux and prawn cocktail.

The letter of introduction to the starter pack assures me that regular partaking of the different options will improve my palate. Cheek.

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Have you pre-ordered my novel “Helen and the Grandbees” yet? https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=Alex+morall&ref=nb_sb_noss

 Don’t wait for publication date… there might be a run on books by then!

Book Cover for Helen and the Grandbees