Want to see some food I ate in England before it got all messed up and eaten? Well of course you do.
Above is an excellent piece of haddock poached in milk, eaten for breakfast at the Bear of Rodborough, in Stroud, Gloucestershire – there’s a poached egg hiding round the other side.
The hotel also has two taxidermied bears in the hallway. This is one of them:
Below is another breakfast, a Bakewell tart I ate for breakfast at the café of the Photographers’ Gallery in, Ramillies Street, London.
My mum used to make Bakewell tarts (Bakewell was only a few miles down the road from where we lived), but she thought the icing was going too far.
In the Photographers’ Gallery there was an exhibition of Polaroids by Wim Wenders. This was one of them:
And below is the suckling pork belly eaten at the enigmatically named 28-50, in Maddox Street, London, which describes itself as a “wine workshop and kitchen” though it felt very much like a fancy restaurant to me.
The waiter said this was the first day the chef had ever had put it on the menu and what did we think of it? I said I thought it was really very good. In fact, I now think it was the best thing I ate in England
But I believe the most unexpected thing I ate was this:
It’s dinuguan – described on the menu of Josephine’s where I ate it, a Filipino estaurant in Charlotte Street, as “Filipino black pudding stew - diced pork with blended herbs and spices cooked in black pudding sauce.”
Now I don’t really know Filipino cuisine and I was far too cool to look it up on my phone but I was pretty sure there’s no such thing as “black pudding sauce” whereas I do know there are many sauces around the world that are flavored and thickened with blood, and this was obviously one of them. I suppose I can understand the need for euphemism but it really wasn’t necessary for a lad like myself
It was wonderful, rich and dark and savory in all kinds ways, some familiar, some unexpected. As for the “diced pork,” well subsequent research tells me that dinguan is a pork offal stew made “typically from lungs, kidneys, intestines, ears, heart and snout.” I can’t swear which of these were or weren’t in the Josephine’s version, but sometimes it’s OK for a dish to keep some of its mystery.