The London Fox | Currently on sabbatical in New York City

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ABC Kitchen

Tucked away anonymously in the streets of Flatiron is a blank door and walking along 18th street, you wouldn’t notice anything special among the stores and office blocks. Unless of course you are the London Fox, who’s sense of smell is so sharp that he picked up the scent of a delicious resto about 10 blocks away.

I’ve been to ABC Kitchen for brunch a couple of times before and the only thing that stood out for me were 1) the amazing decor and 2) the quite delicious juices. The food was nothing to write home about.

I had a friend in town (AGAIN!) and decided to take them here for lunch. On a weekday afternoon, ABC is filled with yummy mamas and suits. It is surprisingly full for a lunch spot (although I am told tables are hard to get hold of here generally).

There is a very extensive menu on offer, and a three course prix fixe option is also available. The food here is slightly leant towards Italian with splashes of typical New York offerings of burger and kale.

I opted for the three course menu (rude not to) and picked the beetroot with yoghurt to start, ricotta raviolo in pork stew and grape tart. My companion had the veal meatball pasta. Everything was delicious.
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Three course delight

20131010-183918.jpgVeal and pasta

Seriously good. The beetroot was mixed with a balsamic glaze over Greek yoghurt and topped with fennel. An odd but winning combination. The pasta on both mains was perfectly cooked, something that I have found American-Italians seem to get right all the time (I have been to Italy a lot, and believe me, Italian food in New York is way better). My pork ragu was out of this world. Oh, and the grape tart was a perfect thing to share at the end of a satisfying lunch. My only complaint was that the veal meatballs were a bit over seasoned.

If you’re ever in the area and see a gray, run down door with no sign, head inside and get some lunch!

ABC Kitchen
18th&Broadway

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The Bar With No Name

Too many times has the Fox seen people pretend to be someone they are not, only to falter at their efforts and end up appearing uncomfortable in their own skin. That’s why the first rule of the Transaction of Love is to ensure you are having a good time. Pick a place you will enjoy, crack the joke that you will find funny, be yourself, damnit and the rest will follow.

One of my favourite London hang outs is the bar at 69 Colebrooke Row. I don’t think anyone knows the name of this place, but it has a great big Martini sign outside. Hidden away in a corner off Upper Street, this is a tiny, delightful speakeasy serving great cocktails with the widest of smiles. I will always have a good evening here.

The waitress, tall, blonde and French lures us to our seats. We each take a menu from her slender, diamond encrusted hands which we squint to read due to the ungenerous lighting. A piano sits in the corner yearning to be played. Next to it is the bar, behind which two bearded bartenders shake up gorgeous looking concoctions. The tiny room is packed with Islington’s most handsomely dressed, a couple of whom sit on the steps leading up to the washrooms due to a lack of space. Condensation drips from the windows to the beat of the jazzy rhythm that fills the room. The waitress returns as soon as we are settled, bringing glasses of water and takes our order.

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Usually I pick the Spitfire, which is no longer on the menu. I have no idea what is in it, but it is delicious. It is kind of a light cider, quite sweet with a tinge of sour. This time round, I picked the Avignon, which I believe is cognac with a splash of camomile liqueur. It was great. My guest chose the Apple and Hay Bellini of which I had a taste, but can’t remember if it was any good.

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Conversation flows as easily as the martini in this bar. I always find myself excited at the prospect of coming here. There are also snacks on the menu for the fiendishly peckish, and those who don’t drink cocktails can choose the beers or wines available.

The waitress returns, as beautiful as ever. She fills our glasses with fresh water and asks us if we wish for any more drinks. What great service.

69 Colebrooke Row
N1 8AA

Easter weekend dumplings

The London Fox likes to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city of London sometimes and head North, to his home, to be fed by his parents and rested in a tranquil suburban neighbourhood. This Easter weekend seemed like a perfect opportunity for this, especially when dumplings were on the cards.

I wrote about my love of dumplings before in my visit to New Cultural Revolution. I’ve yet to find something that beats homemade dumplings though.

The best thing about this is that my parents make everything from scratch. Including the skin. I got involved in the assembly process (wrapping the packets) but there is a lot more to it. Once the dough is made, it is rolled and small knobs cut which are in turn rolled into circular discs. The filling (we had a mix of pork, Chinese chives, garlic) is then placed on the disc which after some origami-like folding and pinching, results in the dumpling.

The dumpling assembly line

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An assembled dumpling

Once wrapped they stand in line on a big board which get plopped into a pan of boiling water.


Atteeeen-shon!

And then they are ready to eat. We dip them in a sauce made of soy sauce, Chinese vinegar, garlic, fried onion, coriander, chilli oil and sesame oil. I’ve probably missed out a lot of the ingredients, but maybe one day, I’ll actually post a recipe.

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Nom Nom Nom

Hello world

Hello world.

There’s nothing better than new discoveries. Of new places, new skills, new ideas. Having settled in London for a couple of years, some of my new discoveries will be documented in this blog. If nothing else, it will make the days go quicker…