In a search of finding the best meat in London I went and visited Natural Kitchen in Marylebone. On my way I discovered really cool wine shop – Social Wine & Tapas.

 

It’s an exclusive wine shop belonging to Jason Atherton restaurant group. Ask for a retail wine list. It’s just amazing. From Turkish, Lebanese and Syrias wines to freaking nice skin-contact naturalist like Josko Gravner, Radikon, Tom Shobbrook, Gut Oggau, Zampaglione to wine world classics, smaller ones and bigger names.

Just 5 min walk from Social Wine & Tapas is Natural Kitchen. It was founded in 2007 just as organic retail shop. Now you can find many through London, mostly as casual dining places, delis and cafe’s. Locations

The Marylebone one has his butcher’s ”section ” next to open room organic supply shop and cafe-deli style eatery. They sell a wide range of high quality free range & organic meats, sourced directly from small traditional farms giving full traceability.

Sirloin steak is a cut from the back of the animal. From 3 sirloin parts top sirloin is the most prized from the rest.

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How to cook it: Medium 3 min from each side. Since sauces, stocks and condiments are really important when I’m cooking, I found really nice gravy produced by Kents Kitchen (http://www.kentskitchen.co.uk). Lamb and beef gravy is always in my fridge.

I have lot of friends who are vegetarian. I discovered that vegan food world is astonishingly good and diverse. But still I have to admit that I love well prepared meat. Farming, ethical and environmental meat production and consumption are sensitive topics. The one and most important thing when buying meat never to buy from superstores, bulk retailers and frozen meat.

#ethicalcarnivore

http://www.thenaturalkitchen.com

Met Sashi Moorman and Jamie Kutch. Great Californian wine producers.

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Roberson Wine held a Sandhi and Kutch wine tasting. Finally I got to meet Sashi Moorman, winemaker of Sandhi. For couple years I have followed Sandhi and finally moving to London gave me a chance to taste the wines.

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Sandhi is a small Californian producer focusing on select vineyards from the Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County. It was founded in 2010 by Rajat Parr, Charles Banks, the former owner of Screaming Eagle, and esteemed winemaker Sashi Moorman.

Sandhi is dedicated to making wines of finesse, mineralogy, acidity, structure and balance. Wine achieves power and beauty through the seamless integration of these qualities, and this is the inspiration for Sandhi.

For reds and whites they use neutral barrels and concrete vessels and employ small amount of new French oak. All white wines go through light fining and filtration. All wines are wild yeast fermented.

Still I have to admit the entry level Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2013 is just amazing. All others from St. Rita Hill, Sanford & Benedict, Bentrock were great and differed a lot from each other. Another favourite was Bentrock – just only 6 year old vineyard has unique location, close proximity to the ocean produces low yielding high quality grapes. Wine shows great potentiality and has intensely concentrated classy and sublime fruitiness.

Next to Sandhi’s Chards tried Kutch vibrant, balanced Pinot Noir’s. Jamie Kutch is great example how dreams can come true. Wine was literally a hobby for him, a second life, next to being a NASDAQ trader in New York. His Pinot Noir’s were balanced, reflecting deep ripe dark cherry character, full of earthiness.

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Pleasure in classic French cuisine, the very best one – Le Gavroche **

My recent restaurant experience was many many weeks ago. Since my dear friend Marko Mägi is working there we used a great opportunity and visited that great historic restaurant.

Now the one who does not know about Le Gavroche, has to make few clicks on webpages and the grandiose history with famous culinary names will open and one of the kind story will be told.  This is a perfect place for a Sommelier to work, breath and experience high level of restaurant life. I’m so proud and happy for him.

Since the moment we stepped in, it all seemed like we entered into well written play. I can recall that feeling..

First all guests are welcomed and directed to the bar. Duval-Leroy Cuvee Femme 2000 was served as complimentary. All the people I met were sincerely welcoming. What is more enjoyable when you (from the hospitality) find yourself in relaxed atmosphere, not fake or pushed around. What an an amazing start it was.

We chose our menus in the bar, while we were enjoying our canapés and champagne.  After a while we were directed into -1 ground floor into (epi)centre of the restaurant.

Overall the atmosphere was dim, rich, classic and personal yet letting room for privacy. Predictable classical service standards were flawless. Oh dear lord, how I enjoyed it. My mind was resting while I didn’t have to worry about anything. Just enjoy the company and the creation of M. Roux. I’m not a snob, but that was heaven I tell you. No single mistake – not that I was looking for some or what so ever. But for me it worked like a swiss clock. I felt like my brain was taken over, and my only duty was to enjoy every mouthful. And I did it.

We went for few dishes. My choice of the dishes were:

For the starters we each had to have ‘the one and only’ Soufflé Suissesse

Following with

Duck Foie Gras pan fried, roast red onion with apple and quince, parsley condiment, duck jus with xeres vinegar

Grilled fillet of Galloway beef, boulangere potat, braised celery, wild mushrooms and red wine souce with shallots

And there was a whole different journey with wines. We had a 3 different blind tastings served and surprised by Assistant Head Sommelier Sandra.  I must say once we were very close but mostly we were fooled and tricked by utmost trickster wines ever.

Here are the wines:

With first wine each all had different opinions: Sauvignon, Ribolla, Chardonnay etc. To our surprise it was a blend of all – Vintage Tunina! Chateau Pradeaux was chosen to company our mains. This was a true  trickster one- we all could define Syrah character, but we could’t catch  the warmth of Mourvedre. Very simple and good example of that region were we all have visited but just could ‘d pin it. We were tricked and big times. We felt fooled but very happy.

The service was immaculate and elegant. Food was ridiculously delicious, mind taking and wines were amazing.

On youtube you can find many nice videos of Le Gavroche:

If your subscribed to Decanter magazine, then you probably noticed that M. Roux has started to publish recipes.

Michel Roux mushroom agnolotti

http://www.decanter.com/food/recipes/

Thank you Le Gavroche team for the great experience and thank you, Marko!

Salute!

 

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