One of John’s favourite meals of the whole summer has to have been at this restaurant on Tooting High Street. The restaurant is called Dosa & Chutney (dosanchutny.com), and as the name suggests specialises in south Indian dosa, with a vast menu of other dishes from the same area. We first visited for lunch on our wedding anniversary, despite having decides to have a light lunch to prevent us ruining our celebratory dinner that evening. We were definitely glad we visited.
The menu consists of a range of South Indian dishes, some better known than others, alongside classic Indian curries. We decided on a masala dosa with chicken and a mutton kottu. For those of you who do not know, a dosa is similar to a pancake, and made from a fermented batter of rice or dhal and kottu is a dish made from chopped up roti, mixed together with spices, meat and egg. Both dishes are usually served with a curry sauce, dhal and raita.
Our meals were delicious, the dosa was crispy and the filling spicy and full of flavour. The kottu was better than any we have had before. Both dishes were filling and very tasty. The sauces were great accompaniments to the dishes.
John spent the rest of the summer asking to visit this unremarkable looking restaurant for every meal. Needless to say, he is definitely a fan. We did return again a few more times and were not disappointed. This restaurant comes highly recommended.
So before returning home to England for the summer, I have been reading a lot about charcuterie trends and particularly those British charcuterie companies using British meat and locally techniques. I came across a company called Cannon & Cannon (www.cannonandcannon.com, @cannonandcannon) that use British meat to make cured and dried meats. They also run a ‘meat school’ that runs classes on sausage making, bacon curing etc. I was very sad to learn however that the school does not run courses during the summer holidays.
The more I delved into these companies, the more I realised that charcuterie in Britain is returning to our tables and with quite an impact. I was desperate to taste some of their exciting products.
So, one of the first stops once we returned to England was Borough Market (boroughmarket.org.uk, @boroughmarket), “As London’s oldest food market, it has been serving the people of Southwark for 1,000 years, and that extraordinary heritage is an important part of its appeal.”. The market describes itself as “First and foremost a source of genuinely exceptional produce. Many of the Market’s stallholders are themselves producers: the farmer who reared the animal, the fisherman who caught the fish, the baker who baked the bread. Other traders have built their reputations on seeking out small-scale artisan producers and bringing their wares to Borough” (boroughmarket.org.uk)
As you can imagine I was very excited when we first headed over there. It was a whirlwind experience, having never been before. The market traders sell cheese, meat, fish and produce from around the world, some of interesting and curious description – particularly the ostrich burger and crocodile steaks. It has kept its historic image, which adds to the whole experience. We arrived around 10am which gave us the chance to walk around before it became uncomfortably busy.
I really enjoyed wandering around the different stalls and finding out about the origin of the produce and the stories behind the products. Some stalls I recognised from reading about them before hand and from my Twitter explorations, others were nice surprises.
Here are a couple of the photos I took, more to follow shortly.
Early on in our visit, we came across the Cannon & Cannon stall. I was very excited to taste a variety of their different dried sausages and particularly the less common flavours and meats including duck and venison. As you can see from the photo below we bought a selection of sausages and I couldn’t wait to get home and try them out. We ate them with cheese and bread, and also added them to some cooked dishes. The flavours were delicious and were great on their own and in other foods. We also found a stall selling the freshest and most delicious buffalo mozzarella that arrives from Italy on a regular basis. That was one of our favourite purchases and one you will see in another post soon.
I did return to Borough Market before the end of the summer and definitely will do again in the future. It was a fun trip all round.