If you missed the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it three-day pop up from fodder in June, fear not, the boys are BACK (but not for long!)
The third in the Borough Wines & Beer Chef Development Series, Ollie and Michael celebrate all things wild and seasonal with a brand new, exceptionally good value set menu, which builds on their experience from working in the Fera at Claridge’s kitchen. Forty-five quid gets you seven superb courses which just build and build, getting better and better. If you can, do try and sit with a view of the kitchen – it’s great to see these guys working the kitchen whilst having fun.
The boys may have learnt the ropes at Fera, but have been given a playground at Borough Wines. That’s not to say they don’t take things seriously – you wouldn’t believe how much prep goes into each dish on this menu. But without the constrictions of Fera they are able to showcase lesser known cuts and unusual ingredients in inventive ways. On Monday’s & Tuesday’s they make their way around London foraging for seasonal ingredients which grow in abundance in the most unlikely places. Prep takes place all week and the pop up takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. A pretty good (read: fun!) work/life balance for a chef.
You’ll be seated at long tables, family style (quite literally, I was sitting next to Ollie’s very proud mum!) but portions are most definitely high end. We started with a little sweetcorn and mushroom combo – let me tell you, we don’t even LIKE mushrooms but we loved this – some sort of wizardry had clearly gone on.
Lamb nuggets served in crispy batter with rosehip ‘ketchup’ and fermented turnip ‘mayo’ came next. How does one go about making rosehip ketchup you ask? Good question! Turns out at Fera they have a machine which does it for you, here the boys painstakingly prepare them by hand (which is itchy!). Thank you for the effort boys – the little splodge was delish. We’d mentioned in passing that we were ravenous so the boys fried up a few extra nuggets for us – I don’t reckon you’d get that at Claridge’s.
Drawing on their little black book of excellent producers who they’ve worked with over the years, next up was a beautiful piece of Cornish cod with sea vegetables in buttermilk from fishmongers Moxons, who work with day boats in Cornwall to source sustainable fish as well foraged sea veg.
The most spectacular piece of beef (from The Butchery, of course) had been cooked in beef dripping for a wonderful richness, alongside peppery nasturtium.
Desserts are sophisticated and not overly sweet, particularly the blackberry with homemade (!) sour cream and fig leaf. We couldn’t find fault with any dish and would happily sneak back before the end of the month to catch the boys, one last time (although stay tuned, we have it on good authority that they’ll be popping up South of the river next!)
As well as a fantastic wine flight (£34) which focuses on low-intervention natural and organic wines, there’s also a really exciting beer flight (priced at just £17.50) which showcases some really exciting flavours from local producers and is the best beer/food pairing we’ve come across. Both include an English Rosehip Spritz to start and then an additional five glasses.
Everything is served on bespoke plates from local ceramicists, including Salutations Studio, Common.Objects Studio, Lazy Glaze, Victoria Bridal and Anna Beam (all of whom are members of Hackney ceramics studio Clay Collective) as well as Kana London. Even better, if you fall in love with them, as we did, they’re all available to purchase at the pop-up. Hurrah! Good luck making that rosehip ketchup though.
Running Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 – 30th September at Brewery Below, the nano-brewery and event space at Borough Wines’ Essex Road (Islington) shop.
Tickets for the seven-course fodder tasting menu cost £45 per person and can be booked here: