It is so busy at work these days, I decided that unless it is an amazing experience, I would not be bothered writing about it here. Aulis at Fera is certainly one worth spending the time for!
There have been too many chef’s table on offer in London lately and to be honest, I am not particularly excited eating in a busy kitchen. Aulis is different. It is a Chef’s table in a private kitchen within the professional kitchen at Fera at Claridges, a 2 Michelin Star restaurant famous for its creative and natural take on modern British cuisine. The chefs who prepared the meal are from the development team of Fera, and the dishes are yet to be offered in the menu of the restaurant outside. Yes, we are guinea pigs in that sense and what a pair of happy guinea pigs we have been!
Beautiful and glamorous as it is, Claridges always feel a bit too formal and restrained. The journey from its main entrance, through Fera’s reception, dining area hall, via the professional kitchen into the compact private kitchen full of gadgets set the scene to something more playful and experimental.
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During meal time, you see the queue before you can see the shopfront of Koya. What is the crowd magnet? Fresh Udon.
Koya is one of the few restaurants in London where you can get this white beauty at a reasonable price. It is served in 3 different ways: Hiya-Hiya (cold Udon with cold sauce to dip), Hiyashi Udon (cold Udon with cold sauce to pour) and Hiya-Atsu (cold Udon with hot broth).
Koyo’s Udon is fantastic! As it was fresh, it was less starchy and more chewy than the pre-made ones. It is as good as what you can find in Japan. Serving Udon with cold dipping sauce is pretty common in Japanese restaurants here in London. In Koya, you can have it plain, in sesame sauce, with tempura. Koya’s dipping sauce has sesame and spring onion (see photo above). It had a hint of sweetness but it was not too salty. It is a great complement to Udon. A light batter was used for our prawn and vegetable tempura. It is a nice difference.
I was fascinated by Hiya-Atsu as I never had noodles served this way before. Though it actually makes perfect sense as this is the best way to make sure the Udon will not be overcooked by the broth by the time it is eaten. At home, we always run cold water through hot noodles when they are ready to stop it from over-cooking. Continue reading >>