Friday’s Feast

I don’t often write about a day in food, but last Friday I ate entirely out of the house – apart from my breakfast porridge, from which I find it very hard to be separated. I had such contrasting reactions to the food I ate that I thought it merited a post, so allow me to revisit all the flavours and tastes whilst attempting not to feel sick.

I was rushing into London so didn’t have time for lunch and my appetite was somewhat dampened by the humid weather inflamed by traipsing around the city. I didn’t want anything heavy so just popped into Abokado on St. Martin’s Lane.

I had wanted to try Propercorn’s Worcester Sauce and Spicy Sundried Tomato flavour since I saw a giant pack in Whole Foods and luckily Abokado had them in stock. This may sound like a strange combination, but if you like Worcester Sauce and a little kick to your popcorn, this is definitely the way to go. They were absolutely delicious and I finished them in about thirty seconds, standing outside the National Portrait Gallery, whilst tourists stared curiously at my ferocious eating.

However the most pleasant result of stepping into Abokado was the free frozen yogurt I was offered upon purchase of my popcorn. It was fat-free and natural flavour but was swirled with raspberry compote which made a fruity refreshing difference, making it the perfect palate cleanser after my popcorn.

Later in the day Mum, Brother and I were struggling to find a yummy fish place in the Regent Street area which would cater to three rather different fish tastes. Without a reservation, this proved incredibly difficult, as the streets of Soho heaved with sweaty pint-clutching workers. We settled, exasperated and sweaty, upon Cote, which we had tried once or twice before and remembered as being okay. At that point we were too hungry and exhausted to care.

As it turns out, we should have cared more; the food was mediocre and lukewarm, clearly microwave-heated seconds before it arrived at our table. The fougasse was scalding at first, however lost its warmth before the three of us had our second bites. My tuna nicoise was nothing special, but I would have expected substantially more for £12.50. Mum couldn’t finish her salmon fishcakes – the potato:fish ratio is notoriously difficult to perfect, but it really shouldn’t be. Having said this, the service was very good, with our waiter removing the fishcakes from our bill after noticing Mum had struggled with them.

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As we trudged out onto Wardour Street into the sticky heat, I luckily remembered we were near a place I’d been wanting to try for a while and that had the potential to cheer up our evening. Gelupo ice cream stands on Archer Street, opposite Bocca di Lupo, its sister restaurant. The queue reached the back of the store, but it moved quickly and we barely had time to deliberate  flavours before it was our turn. I went for the Bonet, a mix of chocolate, rum, coffee, caramel, vanilla, amaretti biscuits and egg white – the most indulgent combination I have ever tasted – and the Kiwi, Gin and Elderflower, a refreshing and delightful contrast. For £3 I got a decent amount of delicious ice cream and a wafer on top, which makes everything better. We sat outside and drank in the last moments of the sunny evening before heading on the tube home.

Friday taught me several lessons about eating out. Always accept a free frozen yogurt sample. Never eat at Cote. Never forget to make a reservation for dinner on a Friday night. And, most importantly, always rely on alcoholic ice cream to make an evening just right.

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