I am not a food critic by any means and I don’t really like cooking that much but I do like eating out and I love trying different cuisine. So when I got the chance to go along to a pop up restaurant the other night and try food from the Basque region cooked by Quentin Smith I was quite excited. However, storm Doris nearly stopped us getting to Quentin Smith’s Spanish evening in Clerkenwell Green. After two and half hours of waiting on platforms and alternative trains we made it to the Clerkenwell Kitchen cold and windswept!
However after a welcome glass or two of Marta Passio Reserva, Cava 2013 (Catalunya), the journey was soon forgotten. The place had a nice buzz to it with people chatting and enjoying the tasty Para Picar of Padron Peppers, Almonds and Olives and the tantalising smells coming out of the open kitchen.
The meal started off with Chicken Romesco and Pintxos which were gorgeous and accompanied by Terras Gauda, Albarino 2015 (Riuas Biaxas). Quentin had obviously spent some time paring up the food with great accompanying wines and this kicked things off beautifully.
Following the chicken was a fish course of Hake, Sofrito, Courgette and Chorizo Crumb, served with Basa, Verdejo 2015 (Rueda). The fish was cooked perfectly and the sofrito had a lovely fresh flavour accompanied some punchy chorizo.
After this we were treated to baby gem lettuce with beetroot and orange which had a clean fresh flavour and led us nicely to the richer Iberia Pork Cheek with celeriac, pickled apple, and charred leek. This was so tasty! I have never had pork cheek and it just melted in your mouth. To accompany this we had a red called Casa Castillo Jumilla, Monastrell 2014 (Murcia).
Finally for desert it was Poached Pear with Ginger Jelly and Bienmescabe ice-cream. This desert was amazing, it was coupled with a desert wine call Abbazia, Moscato D’Asti 2015 (Piemonte). I don’t usually go in for desert wines but I couldn’t believe how nice this was, and how well it complemented the desert.
The evening was a real success and so lovely to be able to taste authentic food from the Basque region of Spain. We can’t wait for Quentin Smith’s next Q2U evening – watch this space!