I write about cake on the blog. Mrs Bugle actually cooks the cake! During her night shifts! All made with finest sourced Blackheath ingredients.
This is why she is a much better wife than I am a husband.
Goes very well with a bit of Laphroaig, especially whilst attempting to moderate 21 comments about lamp posts….
Filed under blackheath, food
A hot tip… They have a mysterious vegetable known as Purslane in season at the moment. I’d never had it before, and didn’t know anything about it, but according to The Smallest Kitchen (a food blog based in Blackheath), it is very easy to prepare, and (I can confirm) is delicious.
It has several other names, which where clearly dreamt up before any Marketing Departments had an opportunity to finesse them: “Pigweed” and “Little Hogweed” don’t give off quite the right image….
I can’t really describe the taste – it is a little bit like fresh baby spinach leaves, but a bit more substantial – anyway, have a read of the recipe, and if you head down to the station car park tomorrow, pick some up and give it a try.
If you find any other unusual forgotten vegetables there, please let me know!
Strada is probably in danger of becoming the current decade’s equivalent of the Berni Inn. They seem to be ubiquitous, cheap, and very popular. However, unlike Berni, the food is quite tasty. It isn’t going to give Chapter Two or Buenos Aires a run for their money, but if you’re knackered after work, and can’t face cooking, it’s perfect for a takeaway.
I know it’s a big evil chain etc etc, and I should probably be endorsing Blackheath’s own Sun Bo, or one of the slightly nondescript Indian restaurants, but they don’t seem to get my custom as often.
Vegetarian tip of the day – they don’t do mushroom pizzas, but they have a special code-phrase that enables a mushroom pizza… “Cotto with no ham”. Last time I tried this, the waitress told me that it was a bit silly to order a ham pizza with no ham, and it would be cheaper to make it from a margherita with extra toppings… Then she checked it, and agreed that the Cotto sans cotto was the cheaper option. The asparagus risotto is nice too.
From their site:
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 12noon till 11pm. Sunday 12noon till 10.30pm.
Telephone: 020 8318 6644
Google Map here.
Provender has finally opened its doors to Blackheath. I went in there the other day for a snoop around. To be honest, I don’t think it was a very fair test, as I popped in a bit late, so all the food was looking a bit tired. I had a coffee and a very nice piece of baklava for £2.80. Not cheap, but not horrendous. Both were good.
The trouble is, there’s almost nowhere to sit – they’ve put the serving trolley thingy right up at the front of the shop, so there are only two stools looking out through the window, and a small table outside.
The food itself looked along the lines of the Indian Lentil Daal kind of veggie variety, not the 1970s Woody Allen movie variety I’d been hoping for (a la Food for Thought)… Having said that, I didn’t try it, and so will make it a mission to go and give it a proper assessment soon.
Have a look, and let me know what you make of it.. It’s up near O’Neil’s.
The Princess of Wales pub is definitely one of the better pubs in Blackheath, but only on weekdays. It becomes a seething hell-hole on sunny weekends, as anyone who lives nearby can testify.
They have a good selection of ales, and reasonable pub food, although they do insist on using white pepper, which, as Mrs Bugle pointed out, is a peculiar thing in this country… Everyone else in the world seems to use ground black pepper for seasoning food, and most places in the UK use it too, except for pubs, which almost always offer that nasty sneezy sandy white pepper.
According to the Blackheath Bugle’s new Blackheath Bible, “Blackheath Village and Environs” by Neil Rhind, the pub was also the location of the first voluntary fire service in Blackheath, after a number of houses burnt down in the 1830s. Before this time, water was often used from the Blackheath Swimming Baths to fight fires.
It was also the location of the first Rugby Union club, according to these plaques, and this handsome fellow.
It has a nice garden at the rear, recently renovated, although they do insist on putting picture frames on the walls outside, which seems a bit strange.
The mysterious shop front next to O’Neill’s pub finally has a sign painted above it, and it looks promising…
“Provender – Vegetarian Vegan Organic”. This encourages a vegetarian bugle! I hope it is as good as Food for Thought, or like a takeaway version of The Gate.
It looks like there is a Provender Delicatessen in Lewisham, so perhaps this is going to be a second outlet. Anyone been to the one in Lewisham?
I went to Chapter Two on Saturday evening. We were planning on going to the Buenos Aires Cafe, having loved it the first time we went, on the Phantom’s recommendation. However, it was fully booked.
Chapter Two’s menu is described as Modern European Cuisine. I’m not sure what that means, but I do know the food was great. There were six of us eating, so we had a chance to try most of the main courses available. The menu was fixed – 25 pounds for three courses. The service was excellent… in a way, a bit too excellent, as though the waiters had a better idea of what the customers should eat than they did themselves. Now, this may be the case, but it did border on intimidation at times!
Despite this, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the place. All other aspects of the service were impeccable – attentive but not too attentive. The food itself was beautifully served, deceptively small (but delicious) portions, and completely filling. The potato gnocchi was outstanding, which as a vegetarian, I don’t get to say very often… In many restaurants it seems to consist of sludgy lumps of undercooked potato sitting unhappily on a plate. Not here. The chocolate dessert was astonishing – soft chocolate fondant on the outside, molten on the inside, with a serving of plum sauce, and a kind white chocolate ice cream.
I’ll go again.
I’d been meaning to write a post about the farmers market for a while, but a post on boingboing reminded me. It is a talk by Michael Pollan, and American journalist writing about the American diet (and Western diets in general). It is very funny, and makes some great points about how to eat well, and how to avoid illness through good food.
Watch it if you have time. If not, I’ll sum it up – go to Blackheath Farmers Market on Sundays! A great quote:
Whenever you go to the supermarket, imagine that you great-grandmother is accompanying you. If she doesn’t recognise what you are buying as food, then don’t buy it.
Your great-grandmother (I imagine) would be delighted with the farmers market. It is held every Sunday from 10am-2pm in Blackheath Station Car Park. There are delicious breads (the rosemary bread is the best), a weird and wonderful mushroom stall, general fresh veg stalls, eggs, butter, yoghurt, milk, chickens – all ready to cook and be eaten. It’s not cheap, but if you only buy what you need it is well worth it.
If you need any more convincing that farmers markets are the way to go – then try “Not on the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate” by Felicity Lawrence.
When you’ve bought your food, you could try one of these lovely recipes.
Photos taken by flickr user Luz-del-la-luna, used under a creative commons license. And I think it should be “farmers’ market”, but it looks like a mouthful…