Two girls, London, Fortnum & Mason, Tim Anderson.

Two girls, London, Fortnum & Mason, Tim Anderson.

I was trying to think of a witty title for this post, however due to twiddling brain power after a very muddy festival with a toddler, that was the best I can come up with. And it’s accurate!

So a month ago (this post should’ve been published a loooong time ago) my friend V and I took half a day off for Tim Anderson’s extraordinary 5 course dinner hosted by Pipe Dream Restaurant. Please go to their website and have a look, it’s a very interesting idea where everybody can run their own restaurant. For one night at least. And they’ll help you. Anyway, MasterChef 2011 winner Tim Anderson was cooking there for 3 nights, and I just had to go!

We first went to Fortnum & Mason for a foodie look around. After a quick sushi at itsu I felt more human and we marched on to F&M, with me being distracted by the wonderful Burlington Arcade (the first shopping arcade built in 1819), and V being distracted by an art display in the Royal Academy of Art.

I have never been to F&M before, and the moment I stepped in I felt like I’m in Harrods! It’s not a bad thing in any way, it’s just that sort of out-of-your-league feeling that they impose on people… or maybe it’s just me. But I love it! I also love going into expensive shops and looking at clothes/shoes/handbags that I’ll never buy, but that’s another matter. Because in F&M, I can afford to buy a jar of jam (my weird addiction in a food shop) and some very pretty looking chocolate.

We had a good look around, and we had a natter over a tea and cakes in the tea room. It seems like a good idea at the time, but then we had to queue for it, and the cake was massive… and really we were just not that hungry. Also considering we had a 5 course dinner waiting for us in 2 hours time… But, it was always good to have a sit down, people watch and talk about everything and nothing.

And then we had to dash off to Southgate for Tim! We must’ve spent 10 minutes trying to look for the place since it is actually called Maze Inn!!

The food:

Monkfish Liver Slider
Matcha, Umeboshi, Ponzu

– It was brilliant, matcha and umeboshi had a very distinct flavour but it all ties in together!

Bar Snack Scallops
Watermelon Gazpacho

– Another brilliant dish, crispy light battered scallops and the most refreshing gazpacho are my favourite of the night.

Cola-Braised Pork Belly
Butternut Squash, Various Vegetables, Miso Mustard, Dashi

– Cola-braised meat is all so familiar to me as I was obsessed with cola-braised chicken wings in my teens, but this takes it to a whole new level, and goes really well with the butternut squash and miso mustard. Genius.

Walnut Molasses Cake
Peach and Sake Jelly, Camembert Custard

– Now… I’m not so sure about this. The cake was lovely and so was the jelly, but cheesy custard was pushing it a bit too far for me. However if you leave out the custard, I think it’s an outstanding dessert! Peach and sake! Yum!

Cashel Blue, Montgomery’s Cheddar, Wigmore
Shiitake Oatcakes, Fennel and Ginger Conserve

– I forgot to take a pic!!! Gutted. But the shiitake oatcake was soooooo nice and I managed to eat a few even though I was stuffed to the absolute limit. But the very nice taste of shiitake keeps coming back to haunt me on the train… I should’ve have run…

The verdict:
What can I say? Oh my! The dinner has got to be one of the finest, most delicious I’ve ever had. Hmm maybe I’m a bit unsure about the dessert, as V was telling me something that shouldn’t be discussed whilst eating jelly. But it was a good laugh so that balanced it out I guess. The running to train station with seconds to spare obviously wasn’t a good idea either, I felt quick sick for a good part of the journey back… but all in all, it was a brilliant, brilliant day out and all we seem to do was {eat, run, look at food} on repeat. I can do that again!

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