Saturday, 16 July 2011

a taste of thailand at l'atelier des chefs, and burgers

Brilliantly, a full nine months after Kendra gave Brian and myself our combined birthday present, today we finally manage to take advantage of her plentiful cornucopia, viz a morning cooking Thai food at L'Atelier des Chefs.

Partly this has taken us so long to organise as we just haven't bothered (okay, mainly because), but the Byzantine booking system added on at least two months, and then we had to find a non-challenging meal for the B-Dog. Given his well-documented negative-love for shellfish, I was pretty surprised we ended up doing the Thai course, as a quarter of our meal consisted of mussels and fishcakes. That menu in full: Thai fishcakes and mussels in Thai green sauce, Thai Green Curry and pineapple upside-down cakes.

It was quite a good set-up. The kitchen was just big enough for the 25 people in there, the ingredients were pre-laid out (although we had to peel, chop and de-beard), and the chef was really useful and interesting. Although not an amazingly in-depth cookery course, it clearly caters for the swift-cooking of easy-yet-really-tasty-meals, I did take some things away from it:
  • I feel pretty good about de-bearding and cooking mussels;
  • I've got a good idea about creating an amazing Thai Green Curry paste;
  • I now know never never to allow Brian to make any sort of quenelle - his OCD can't take the strain.
Here we are doing various cooking-y things:

Cooking fishcakes:

The green curry paste, pre-blitzing:

Fishcakes and Thai-Green Mussels to start anybody?

Brian and a china leaf of curry:

The quenelles that almost killed Brian:

Replete with Thai-goodness (and loaded down with saucepans, mixing bowls and celebratory aprons), we complete our birthday-thingy with a trip to Brian's new pub, The Warrington. Ignore the Ramsay bit, cos it it ain't no Ramsay pub now, but you should deffo go because inside is amay-zing. It was supposed to be a special brothel for the clergy in the Victorian era, and it really feels lush and Roccoco. I can easily imagine snuggling up next to the fire, with a hearty whiskey or a real ale.

Even better, by the time we get back the girls (and small boys) are in need of both a walk and some food. The day's deluge means the most we can expect is a brief trip to Hyde Park to convince ourselves it's cocking chucking it down, and then a swift run to the pub for a burger-based lunch.

Cooking? Pints? Brief walks? Pints? Burgers? More pints? Hurrah for us! If only it was my birthday again *sigh*. Only three months to go...


  1. Tell Brian the quenelle looks wonky

  2. You don't even want to know about the batter for the pineapple upside-down cake...