Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Coffee @ Ridleys, Dalston Lane, E8 / Kedgeree

Today could have ended up being one big, fat disappointment. A possible job that I have been working on for the last 3 days had the rug pulled from under it this afternoon which was rather frustrating. However, I think the day was saved by the following 3 things:

1. Nature.
Isn't it amazing. I love seeing flowers in the city and I love Silver Birch trees. For our (now postponed) wedding I wanted to get a Silver Birch log chopped into thin slivers to make drinks mats for everyone. Oh well, it was the thought that counted.

Silver Birch Tree.

Pink thing.


2. Yet another new Coffee shop.
I can't quite believe it but its true. I officially live in the epicentre of Coffee shops in E8. I've been sucked into a sort of Coffee Bermuda Triangle. After finally hearing about the job that died a slow and painful death, and then releasing all my pencils on crew, studios and gear I realised it was 3pm and I hadn't had any lunch. I know, unbelievable.  So my small heavy friend and I lugged ourselves up the road to Coffee @ Ridleys on Dalston Lane.

Now, I have to admit that it doesn't look like much from the outside and you could easily go past it without noticing it, BUT it really is much more interesting inside.

Fancy Ceiling lights.

Display of various random stuff. I love random stuff as much as I love nature.

Exceedingly comfy sofa although not ideal for a pregnant customer. I struggled somewhat getting up out of this chair when it was time to leave. I think I'll sit on one of the stools next time. Or make sure I go with someone else so they can pull me up.

Coffee machine and large selection of CRISPS.

Once again I have to apologies for the poor standard of photography which really doesn't do this sandwich any favours at all. Not only do Coffee @ Ridleys do hot drinks, fresh orange juice, and a small selection of cakes, they also do quite a wide range of made to order toasties. I opted for the mozzarella, pesto and sun dried tomato one and I don't know if it was because I was so hungry but I can honestly say it was one of the best toasties I've ever had in my life. Ever. Seriously. It was delicious.

So all in all this was a trip out worth taking even though it took me a long time to walk there. Not only was it an interesting place to sit and spend 40 minutes, and the food was delicious, the man that worked in there was an absolute delight. I think when living in London you can get a bit used to mardy shop/cafe staff who all think they are too 'groovy' to make eye contact with you let alone actually serve the customers with any sort of civility (Cat + Mutton, can you hear me?!), but this was a refreshing change. The young man was friendly, polite, smiley, made a delicious hot chocolate AND brought me over a drink of water, without me even asking for one! What service. So, young man in Coffee @ Ridleys, give yourself a big old pat on the back, you are an asset to your employer. With all this in mind I would rate Coffee @ Ridleys a high 8 mozzarella balls out of a possible 10.

3. The Wig made Kedgeree for tea. 
I know this is probably some people's idea of the worst dish ever (fish and egg) but I really like it and its always feels like a fairly healthy meal. It beats Findus Crispy pancakes anyway.

Kedgeree for 2/3 people

Shopping List:

2 x Eggs
2 x Portions of Basmati rice.
1/2 pint Milk
1 x Bay Leaf
Salt + Pepper
Handful of Black Peppercorns.
Various smoked fish. We used a smoked mackeral and a piece of cod but smoked haddock would have been better as that's what you really need to give it the smoky flavour and also slight yellow tinge.
Teaspoon of Cumin.
Teaspoon of chopped Dill.
A knob (whatever that means) of butter.
A small onion, chopped.
A chopped clove of Garlic.
A handful of frozen peas.
A sprinkle of curry powder.
Lemon juice optional.

* Hard boil the eggs for 10 minutes. Once boiled, cool, shell, slice into quarters and set aside.
* Prepare the rice as per the instructions. Once cooked, rinse and set aside.
* Meanwhile prepare the fish by placing it in a pan with the milk, bay leaf, peppercorns, cumin and dill. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. I'm aware it don't look too tasty at this stage... Its not my camera, it really does look like that I'm afraid.

* Once the fish is cooked and starting to fall apart, remove from the heat, drain and remove any skin, the bay leaves and the peppercorns if you want to. Set aside keeping the milk and herb liquid in a jug.

* In another pan melt the butter and and soften the onion and garlic.
* Once the onion is softened, add to this the fish pieces, the rice, the peas and some of the milk liquid. Heat through adding more milk if necessary.
* When all the ingredients are heated though and thoroughly mixed, serve adding the egg on top and sprinkling with the curry powder. Add a squeeze of lemon if desired.

Delicious! (if you like fish and /or eggs).

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