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Dish of the month

Just thinking of ways to keep the board a bit livelier. I'm not sure we can keep up with the way Manhattan does this but perhaps if all the regular posters gave a brief description of the best dish they'd tried this month we'd have a rolling record of a snapshot of great food across the UK.

Ideally it should be a dish that a visitor could try - not to rule out supper clubs/specials etc but aiming for it to be a guide. I'll kick off with two

1. Koya, Onsen Tamago. So simple, just a poached egg in a cold broth but with wonderful flavour. Stunning. And the rest of the menu isn't bad.

2. Moti Mahal, Katli. Aubergine stuffed with vegetables with two chutnies. So simple but incredible preparation of vegetables.

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  1. Worth a try, MiT. October hasnt been a brilliant month for eating but here's mine. I see you have already cheated on the "dish" of the month by mentioning two, so I'll do the same:

    1. Northcote (Langho, Blackburn) - beef cheeks, wild mushrooms, spinach, mashed potato (from the set lunch menu - bargain Michelin food for £21)

    2. San Carlo Cicchetti (Manchester) - orrechiette in a tomato/nduja sauce. A Manc place that Jay Rayner actually liked!

    1. Nice idea!

      1. Ritas Dining - (Dalston, London) - chicken roll - I know very hyped up but honestly was blown away by this (a drink or two beforehand may have helped) - amazingly crispy exterior / juicy chicken / mayo with perhaps a hint of fennel - very very tasty

      2. Bincho Yakitori - (Soho, London) - Ox tongue Kushiyaki - great depth of beefy flavour, very juicy, good soft texture with some bite.

      1. On the assumption that, with exceptionally rare cases, posts here are going to be in London and not the rest of the UK/Ireland, might i suggest folk post the district of London their restaurants are in - just to help those of us who only visit the capital as, erm, visitors.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Harters

          Good idea Harters.

          Koya (Soho)
          Moti Mahal (Covent Garden)

          (never understood why CH stops you editing your posts after a certain amount of time)

          1. re: ManInTransit

            If nothing else, it prevents trolls amending their posts to make them look innocent to later viewers after they've been attacked for trolling. "Nah, not me, guv, just look at my post" - a regular issue on a non-food board I use (who would have thought military history could ferment such discontent)

        2. Not living in London puts me at a disadvantage, but for this month, I'd have to say the broad bean fritters at Nopi (Sort of Soho?) are at the top of my list.

          5 Replies
          1. re: zuriga1

            Spaghetti vongole at Da Piero (Irby, Wirral) - pretty much nailed the archetype. So simple, and so simple to get wrong.

            1. re: helen b

              I think I'm going to try Da Piero for my birthday next month - I've been meaning to go for ages, and spaghetti alle vongole is one of my favourite things. I see from the menu it's not served in a tomato-based sauce, but in the simpler (and more traditional?) way with parsley and garlic - is it a big hit of raw garlic? It's just that if I have a load of raw or semi raw garlic I sometimes end up feeling very sick ...

              1. re: Theresa

                There was lots of garlic, but just cooked...it's 'proper' vongole so literally just clams, parsley, garlic, tiny hit of chilli, lemon and oil tossed through al dente pasta. No tomatoes, or cream. Gorgeous!

                Was also really tempted by the sausage pasta, and there was an orichiette (sp?) dish with chard too.

                1. re: helen b

                  I also had the spaghetti alle vongole when I went and it was so lovely. My husband's tuna steak was also great.

                  1. re: helen b

                    Speaking of sausages, Piero does an absolute cracking simple dish of sausage & lentils. Yes, I know - but these are sausages he makes himself and they're just fab.

            2. [Bristol] Wilks (Chandos Road) - fresh black figs & fig compote, orange panna cotta, thyme ice-cream.

              1. 1. Dabbous (Fitzrovia - London) - Peas with mint - a pea revelation of sorts - the highlight of an abridged tasting menu we had - other than this dish I couldnt figure out the fuss

                2. Duck & Waffle (Liverpool St, London) - bbq-spiced crispy pig ears - I could eat about 3 bags of these in one sitting - they trigger strong memories of bacon flavored snacks of my youth

                1 Reply
                1. re: NYLONDave

                  The chilled hispi cabbage at Dabbous was my second favourite dish of the month; perfectly cooked, and the slight bitterness of the cabbage offset by the tangy mayonnaise.

                2. 2 dishes but both from the same place.

                  Bukowski Grill ( Brixton Village Market, Brixton, London):

                  Chips- fat crispy chips with pillowy soft insides. Smelt and tasted (though better crispness) like
                  chips from the chippy growing up. That'll be the beef drippingh they're cooked in.

                  Southern Fried Chicken Livers- Nice crispy spiced coating. You're getting ready for chicken but It's perfectly cooked livers, tender and still a little pink.

                  1. I would plump for the Green Beans with chilli and garlic from Firecracker - a chinese in Westminster - delivery . Dehesa courgette flowers stuffed with embrillo (?) cheese drizzled with honey. Tried this dish at barrafina but dehesa chose a better cheese and a more interesting honey. With crisp white wine it was very special.

                    1. What a great idea for a thread, I'll be sure to check the December version when I'm back for Xmas :) Can I suggest you put the month in the title to help people find the most up-to-date?

                      They do a dish of the month thread on the Toronto board too, but there they pick a dish and people try different version all over the city and report back. Grilled cheese seemed like an odd choice to this Brit...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: gembellina

                        I did think about that but I'm not sure we have enough regular contributors to manage it. Might be worth a try if this thread gets going each month.

                      2. Cool thread.

                        Trinity (Clapham, London) - Celeriac and truffle soup. Intensely aromatic and creamy. The baked celeriac was presented in its salt crust vessel, which was brought to the table and cracked open for serving.

                        1. Yoğurtlu adana kebab from Mazi on London Road in Croydon. Lamb cubes cooked to the bare minimum over a charcoal grill, then mixed with pieces of fluffy Turkish bread and covered with a rich, tangy tomato and yoghurt sauce. I love the way they cook their lamb, but this particular kebab preparation is my new favourite. The knifework on the accompanying salad is good, too; paper-thin slices of onion, red cabbage, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and parsley.

                          I didn't take a photo, but here's one of their lahmacun from earlier this year: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kake_pug...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Kake

                            Love it - I've cooked the Claudia Rodin version, and had it a few times as iskander kebab in Turkey, but that's with kofte meat rather than lamb cubes. I love that the bread usually has melted butter poured over it.

                            1. re: Kake

                              Was the adana kebab minced not cubed?

                              I really like the adana at Best Mangal, West Ken, somehow very moist without being too greasy. The one I had at Mangal Ocakbasi, Dalston was dry in comparison.

                              1. re: damien76

                                Whoops, sorry, yes — I'm being confusing. Adana kebab is minced meat, shish is cubed. Mazi do both yoğurtlu adana and yoğurtlu shish. I prefer their shish, but the one I had this month was actually adana, so I thought I'd best nominate that to stay within the rules!

                            2. Mussels with nduja at Elliot's Cafe, Borough Market, London. The broth for this is simply amazing - deeply savoury and delicious mopped up with sourdough bread.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: greedygirl

                                More details, please GG.

                                I have a half full little jar of nduja sitting in the fridge and I think I may have just found what I want to use it on. Is it a veggie or fishy stock for the broth - with the nduja stirred into it?

                                1. re: Harters

                                  I have no idea! I got the impression it was the nduja that had given the broth it's immense flavour when combined with the brine from the mussels. I'd try making a classic moules mariniere and adding the nduja.

                                    1. re: Harters

                                      Forgot to say - replace celery with fennel.

                              2. 1. Le Champignon Sauvage, Cheltenham - Breast of wood pigeon. So tender you can cut it with a butter knife. The rest of the Chef's menu is delicious too but the wood pigeon was for me a revelation.

                                2. Fat Toni's Pizza, Stroud - Wild mushroom pizza on D'Ischia Sourdough Base. This is a new place opened up by the former Sous chef at Calcot manor along with his brother and their father who hails from Tuscany. Authentic with great ingredients. Much better than Franco Manca in London.

                                1. 1. London Foodie's Japanese supper club - these are quite well established and dates promoted in advance on his blog so hopefully it fits the criteria! It was the meal as a whole but my favourite dish was a cod & seafood nabe. Great value too - 4 starters, main and pudding for £38. Full write up on my blog.

                                  2. The veggie samosas from the Gujerati Rasoi stall at Broadway market. I love their full range of food but this was all I had this month.

                                  1. Starter at 10 Greek St: fried polenta with girolles, burrata and truffle oil. Earthy and tasty for a cold autumn day. (the plum bellini was pretty good as well!).

                                    And the Royale with cheese at Lucky Chip, although I have this every couple of weeks so not sure it qualifies but is always a highlight.