Is there anything as rustically beautiful as an Oyster?

A review of the Oyster and Steak Bar in Waitrose Canary Wharf.

I know you don’t come here for reviews of supermarkets, but even if you find them very boring you will be in them very often. It’s not reasonable to expect me not to have an opinion no them when I eat from them so frequently.

I think we were shopping in John Lewis, which was why we ended up in Waitrose Steak and Oyster Bar. We were entangled in a rather expensive affair about the wrong type of wine glasses in the right boxes at a till on the upper levels that made us want to sit down and relax relatively soon.

To be honest, the view when coming to sit down was a little grubby. This was a late lunch, but it seemed that no one had cleaned up before the visitors preceding us. The menus were also a little wrinkled. The other disappointing thing about the menus, was the lack of a steak and oyster combination. I mean, maybe steak and oyster isn’t ‘a thing’, but it becomes ‘a thing’ in your head when you go to a bar that is called a steak and oyster bar. There was a degree of surf and turf, but it featured lobster rather than oysters.

So we ordered 6 oysters to share. Followed by steak. This seemed the only appropriate response to the crisis.

Is there anything as rustically beautiful as an Oyster? If I tried to paint one with photographic perfection, it would still look like I had messed up the paints.  And these oysters were pure seaside. I always put the proffered lemon or chilli on them, and then decide that really they are best eaten just alone.

There was a veerrry long wait for the steak. Perhaps the chef had read my review of Cau and thought that he should charcoal my steak to be sure not to receive the same verdict. We could see the chef breaking open packets of Waitrose steaks to cook. I had thought that there was a good range of sauces, and went for chilli and garlic butter, with just a little regret that I did not choose tarragon butter as my husband did. However these arrived as discs of butter (yes, they had said butter) and I think that sauces would have been vastly superior. But both steaks were excellent.      Who can account for the amount of daytime champagne drinking that occurs at a steak and oyster bar? Is it the oysters have a knee-jerk relationship with champagne. (Oysters don’t have knees, so this doesn’t make a lot of sense). I really wanted champagne myself, but I have learned that day time drinking is not for me and on this occasion my sensible side won out.  

  Just so you know, the wine glass debacle has resulted in me having white glasses and red glasses. This feels a little too snobby for me, really and I am still trying to come to terms with it.

The genius of the mosaic cake was the invisible chocolate chunks

A Review of Hazev, South Quay

Hazev ain’t so far away, guys, over in South Quay on the way to Canary Wharf. And you should go to Canary Wharf every now and then, on the DLR and stuff. In fact we ended up here when we spotted that our meal in Greenwich would be providing insufficient calorie-to-food-satisfaction when it came to dessert, leaving us to fill the cake shaped hole that the starter and main course had built for us.

We have been to Havez before – the restaurant bit, and the food was delicious, served in enormous portions and full of textures and flavours by hospitable waiters amongst opulent decor. And we had peeked at the deli next door, which seemed to be full of cakes with similar benefits.

To be blunt, the deli was full of savoury dishes that made us wish we had not already eaten in Greenwich and unusual non-alcoholic sweet drinks that kicked the virgin bellini from Papa Charlie to the ground. We had tea to accompany our cake though. There were a lot of cakes to choose from and many of them newbies in my cake eating experience, hence it was a tough choice that cake decision. Ultimately we homed in on
Hazev pie.

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This was made of cinnamon, apple and whole almonds that kept their crunch. All of this was case in a soft cakey pastry and while I love buttery shortcrust pastries, cakey pastry does have its place and Hazev pie is definitely one of those places. The second choice was mosaic cake.

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I can’t tell you what made me choose this , because the look of it was unfortunately close to refigertator cake or rocky road, both of which take fundamentally awesome ingredients and ruin them. But I shouldn’t have worried about the mosaic cake. The genius of the mosaic cake was the invisible chocolate chunks that made the texture of the cake spot on.

We’ll be back just for drinks some time.

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You all keep asking where the pictures are.

You all keep asking where the pictures are. And I’m meant to be an artist so there’s something wrong, right? Here i present my Q&A, questions posted for the artist by the artist on the subject of: “Why no pictures?”

Why would an artist use a standard header picture from wordpress?

What can I say? I have one visual part of the brain, and one wordy part of my brain, and never the twain shall meet. (yes – pendants, I know that’s a misquote.)

Fortunately for a food blogger, my wordy part of the brain connects well with my eating side. Frankly if my eating side did not connect well with other things, I would struggle with most every day tasks.

Why don’t I paint a picture of Blackheath and use it as my header?

Because dear reader, Blackheath is twee. This is not an insult to the village that I love to pop into (quite regularly as you may have noticed from this blog), but this is not the sort of art that I do. Maybe one day I will see an angle or a light that suits my style actually on the heath, but this is yet to occur, and even if it does there is no guarantee it will work as a header or suit my blog. See my commentary on my painting of the Champs Elysees at http://alexpaintings.com/#/europe/4537246510 for my philosophy on how I paint something already famous or definably beautiful.

If you’re still not happy, I’m sure I have Constable’s phone number around here somewhere for you.

Surely I should do a montage of all my paintings or photos of the village as a header.

No.

Sorry, you wanted something more verbose? Well, let me put it this way: if you find any montage anywhere that you think looks nice – not to mention arty, fun, draws you in, adds value… please post the link in the comments below and I will see if they will sell me the copyright.

I promise that I will try and upload an iphone pic to any further reviews.

Short version of this blog: My writing isn’t good enough for you? Go buy yourselves ladybird books.