1. Best meal in London in 2008: Whole oxtail at Hereford Road. This was something I had never eaten before and I was a complete convert – succulent meat literally falling off the bone to expose the bleached carcass of the tail.
2. Best meal outside London in 2008: Tapas at Nou Manolin in Alicante, Spain as much for the experience as for the quality of the produce used. Perched at the bar, sipping on sangria while munching on croquettes and mini bocadillos of fillet steak and garlic butter, life seemed like it could not get much better.
3. Worst meal in London in 2008: Taberna Etrusca. This mediocre Italian restaurant prepares food without love or even care and worst of all is actually fairly pricey. I am still having disturbed memories of the half cold steak served with congealed cheese on top.
4. Worst meal outside London in 2008: Yolki Palki in Moscow, Russia. In Yolki Palki’s favour it was cheap in a city where nothing is. However the fake rooster on the balustrades should have been a giveaway that our meal was not going to be good. The vegetables which were meant to be accompanying my chewy pork were nowhere to be seen and I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth.
5. Cookbook of the year: Ottolenghi: The Cookbook. I love the food at their cafes and now I can try to recreate it from this lavishly produced book from which the recipes actually do work. Check out this amazing recipe for Fresh Berry Tartlets.
6. Total number of posts: 106. Who knew I had so much to say!
7: Most far flung reader: whoever it is who semi regularly checks in from Angola – I salute you.
8. Most disturbing search term used to get to Gourmet Chick: A draw between “Donna Rosa Porn” and “Kinds of Pakistani goats”.
On my wish list for 2009:
Giaconda Dining Room, Soho – once the “two arm” chef has returned for the full menu.
101 Thai Kitchen, Hammersmith – a recommendation from Limster on Chowhound, that I still have not got around to.
Da Aldo, Soho – as recommended by London Eater.
The Fat Duck, Bray – for obvious reasons.
The River Cafe – Hammersmith – again, for obvious reasons.
Lantana cafe, Soho – for a little piece of Australia, and because I have been following the Scrambling Eggs blog about its creation.
The Berkeley, Knightsbridge – for Pret a Portea as recommended by Londonelicious.
Taqueria, Notting Hill – as this is so close to my flat that it is incredibly remiss that I still have not been there.
St John’s, Smithfield – for a whole suckling pig (needs to be for a large group and booked in advance!).
Morocco and Iceland
Thanks for reading and here’s to more good food in 2009.