Tag Archives: Duck

22 North Street

12th June 2013

I have taken a while to write this post, and that’s because my time recently has been taken up by my least favourite activity – moving house.

Now that I am resettled, I can get back to business!

One of my lovely friends, A, recently got engaged.  J sent an email round to all the girls – she had decided to organise a surprise celebration dinner for her.

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I bought this card from a little shop on Islington                                     High Street

The restaurant she chose is perfect for special occasions, because you can book the private room downstairs.  This room is tucked away, with the door disguised as a book shelf (quirky), and you can play your own music using the iPod dock provided.

It’s called 22 North Street, and is located at No. 22 North Street (surprisingly), Clapham Old Town.  The website is here.

Some of the girls arrived early to decorate the room – A was arriving later, under the impression she was going to the cinema.  The décor downstairs is old school kitsch, so heart shaped balloons, confetti and bunting fitted in nicely!

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When we heard A was near, we got the bubbly and gifts at the ready…

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And after we’d all kissed and hugged hello – it was time to get down to the food.  There is a set menu offered for private dining, which changes regularly.  They’ll also do other set meals (like Roast, or Chateaubriand!) which you can ring up and ask about.

Here’s a peek at our set menu.

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I went for pate (I can’t ever resist pate) and the red snapper tacos.  I also took photos of the other choices that were made – so read onnnnn (said in the voice of Marcel the Shell).

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The chutney was perfect with the rich meatiness of the pate.

The goats’ cheese starter looked like this –

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Moving on to mains…

The tacos were the bit I was most excited for, and they didn’t disappoint.  The fish was fresh and delicately flavoured, and the taco itself was crispy but not greasy.  I would have preferred more pineapple-chilli salsa to be provided, as it ran out quite quickly (too yummy!) and then the dish lacked a little moisture.  But overall, still great.

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The conversation was flowing; we pulled our mini crackers and popped the party poppers…

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The lamb burger with halloumi was a popular choice.  I love halloumi – it’s so pleasantly salty. 

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My food envy was for the duck leg confit, which came with lentils and a cherry sauce.  Cherry goes really well with duck – it also works as a glaze.

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And while I usually don’t like ordering chicken in restaurants, as I tend to think it’s something you can do quite easily at home – the chicken breast looked very appetising indeed!

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None of us could manage pudding, which was a shame.  The cheese board especially was beckoning.  However, we did manage to chat and drink until the staff needed to go home.

I tucked this feather into A’s card – it’s from a 1950’s hat and I bought it at a vintage shop in Angel.  Something old, and something blue!  I thought it would be pretty tucked into her garter, or just kept in a wedding scrapbook.

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It was a great evening – congratulations again A!  

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The Ship

26th April 2013

I always rather think of The Ship, Wandsworth as a bit like Facebook in person.  You’re bound to bump into someone you haven’t seen for a while, and it has a nice familiar feel.

On a weekend with good weather, it’s heaving.  The crowd spills out around the beer garden, people sit on tables – it’s a lot of fun.  There’s an outside BBQ serving fab burgers and you can watch the river as the day goes by.

With all of this, I’d somehow managed to never try the restaurant inside.  I’ve been missing out! The food is fantastic.

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                                                               The beer garden sits right on the Thames

To get to the restaurant you walk past the big bar and into a cosy, comforting space at the back of the building.  The kitchen is open and you can see all the fresh food being plated up.

There is an à la carte menu, but also ‘Pub Favourites’ which are written up on boards – this is good news if you’re a classic fish and chips or pie lover!  The mains on the menu vary between about £12 – £17, and then it’s a bit more for steak.

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I was starving, so I was pleased when some bread arrived without prompt. The butter was deliciously rock salted on top.

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So now I had to challenge my indecision and make a choice about what to eat… I was torn between Fish Pie and Duck.  Duck won – but only on the condition that I could order a Scotch Egg to start.  O thought this was weird, until he tried it.

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Woweee check out the runny drippy egg.  Just what I needed to kick off my meal.

The official title of the Duck was: Seared Duck Breast with Spring Onion Mash, Wilted Bok Choy and Blood Orange Jus.  Happily, The Ship have actually written a blog post with the recipe – so if you want, you can recreate it yourself!

The real winner for me was the combination of the spring onion mash and the sauciness of the jus.  It was one of those dishes where you need to get a bit of everything on each forkful. The duck was very tender.

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O is a boy, so he wanted steak.  It turned out to be an epic choice.  Ribeye Steak with Braised Shallots, Red Wine Jus and Hand Cut Chips.  (300g of manliness.. there is a 400g option as well and I think I’d have to fast for a day to take that down).

Just look at it!

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Cooked perfectly to order, O was pleased (and so was I because I got to eat some).

Sadly, we couldn’t stay for dessert.  But I will definitely be back – you should go too.

Here is the website, if you need any more information.  

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The Ship on Urbanspoon

Duck & Mango Salad

22nd April 2013

It was a lovely sunny weekend in London, and so for dinner on Sunday I felt like making something summery.  It’s got to that time when the extra hours of daylight in the evening are making a big difference and I start wanting a glass of wine outside rather than an early bed time with extra blankets…

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Quick, easy to make, delicious – those were the key words when it came to FDT (Food Decision Time). I do love an acronym.

Ingredients required:

  • Bunch of spring onions
  • 1 x cucumber
  • 1 x mango
  • Salad leaves (a bag of mixed leaves from the supermarket will do fine)
  • Hoi Sin sauce
  • Crispy aromatic duck (I used half a duck)

These ingredients make enough salad for 3-4 people, depending on how hungry you are.  I made salad for 2 people, and used the leftovers for packed lunch.

Please note the duck is where the ‘easy to make’ comes in to play!  I ordered mine from a Chinese down the road.  This way you get the duck hot and perfect, ready to add to your salad.  The Hoi Sin will probably come with it as well.  However, if you’re organised, an alternative is to buy one of the ‘Ready to Roast’ aromatic ducks from a big supermarket – I know Sainsbury’s do a good one.

So, step 1 is either (a) Order half a duck from your favourite Chinese, or, (b) Pop your duck into the oven, following instructions as to temperature/time.

You then have about 30 – 45 mins (depending on cooking/waiting time) to rustle up the salad.  I’d estimate the actual salad preparation takes about 12 mins so you can use the remaining time to enjoy a beverage of your choice.

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           Beautiful glasses from Anthropologie

Chop the cucumber into small cubes and toss with the salad leaves. Chop the spring onions – some into discs, and some lengthways into thin strips.  Chuck the discs into a frying pan with a dash of olive oil and cook till slightly golden around the edges. You can then add both the cooked and raw strips of spring onion into the salad.

Now cut up the mango into cubes.  Cutting fruit is something I am not brilliant at! If you’re so inclined, you can watch a video on how to cut up a mango like a hedgehog here.  This will give you pieces of a size that I think work well for the salad.

Add the mango to the salad and serve on to plates.

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When the duck arrives or is ready, shred the meat using two forks.  Again, not something I’m brilliant at!  But if cooked properly, it should fall off the bone quite easily and there should be lots of nice crispy skin.

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Pile the duck onto the salad portions, and mix in a little.  If you ordered the duck and it came with salad, you can add this too (more cucumber and spring onion never hurt anybody!).  Then drizzle the salad with Hoi Sin sauce – keep a light hand as you can always add more later and you don’t want the taste of the mango to be overpowered.  No other dressing is really needed, because the cucumber gives the salad lots of moisture.

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Enjoy!  If the weather’s fine, why not eat outside?  I think next time I’ll also add a sprinkling of sesame seeds.