Eastbourne Eatery Favo’Loso

Day 7 of the Boy George tour, and we’d done a long overnight drive from Skegness to Eastbourne.
The last meal we had was a very nice fish and chips on the front at Skegness from an establishment called “Tony’s”.
The fish was very fresh, and the batter extremely light, almost like Tempura, but the only thing that blemished what would have been a great seaside fish supper was the fact that the fish, chips and mushy peas were all served in a big pile on a polystyrene tray which resulted in the peas somewhat soggyfying (is that a word?) both the chips and the bottom of the fish. A far better option, in my opinion, would be to serve the whole thing in paper, so as to maintain some separation between the constituents, and also enable the diner to salt and vinegar the fish and chips seperately to his or her own preferred degrees.
That meal was at 5.00pm however, and nothing but a few pistachio nuts (courtesy of Bob the merchandise chap), were consumed on the bus that night, so by the time we reached Eastbourne at 9.00 am the following morning, there was a small degree of urgency to find a favourable spot for breakfast.
Myself, John (the guitarist/MD), George and the aforementioned Bob embarked on this quest, and mere 1 minute walk from the theatre, we came across Favo’Loso, a large bright establishment with an attractive outward aspect, promisingly labelled with the signs “Cafe” and “Foodhall”.
I knew immediately, seeing the food coming out of the kitchen, that this was good stuff.
The toast was thickly sliced, soft fresh bread (no Mother’s Pride here), the bacon was perfectly grilled, and the sausages were the smallish fat butchers type with clearly discernable small herbs – more often than not, a sign of a quality sausage in my experience.  The grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and hash browns also looked great (plus the fact that a choice was given between fresh grilled or tinned tomatoes).
The rest of the menu exhibited a wide variety of home cooked style fayre, and there was also a sizeable collection of desserts and ice creams on offer, some of which, including a pretty much perfect looking apple pie, are pictured below. I myself opted for 2 poached eggs, bacon, beans and hash browns. (See below) The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, with a nice soft yolk, but firm white, and the bacon was obviously good quality dry cured back. I also took a picture of the large handsome ham and cheese omelette which was ordered by Bob.

While we were ordering, we discovered, that by amazing coincidence, the proprieter (who’s name is Paul Newman by the way) is the cousin of Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook who’s daughter is George’s Goddaughter…. Small world (but I wouldn’t like to paint it! ….. John Themis’s joke, not mine..)

There was also a gem of a boxing anecdote:
While we were discussing George Foreman grills, I mentioned that I once had an email from George Foreman, after I emailed him to say he should have included himself on a list of the top 10 heavyweights of all time which he compiled on his website (and omitted himself from). He’s also a big jazz fan, so I mentioned the fact that being a boxing fan and a jazz musician I had a particular appreciation of his work. I was of course thrilled, when he sent me a reply straight back with a thanks and a self effacing quote from the bible, advocating the benifits of humility. At this point George mentioned that he had met Muhammed Ali in the late 70’s. This took place when he had attended a party at the restaurant owned by former British Light Heavyweight world champion John Conteh, at which Ali was a guest. Ali came in surrounded by huge security attendants and entourage.
Somehow George apparently managed to get through them and, popping up in front of Ali, shook his hand and expressed the fact that his Father was a huge Ali fan.
At this point Ali looked at George (who was dressed in full makeup and regalia) and said “are you a girl or a boy?”, to which he recieved the reply “I’m a boy”.
“Well”, said Ali, “you’re a pretty boy…”

Favo’Loso is 19-24 Carlisle St, Eastbourne.

Breakfast in Brighton

I’m always on the lookout for places like this whilst on tour.
We arrived in Brighton very early this morning on the Tourbus after an overnight drive from Birmingham (day 3 of the Boy George tour).
About 10.30 I decided to wrench myself out of my bunk and take a walk on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny morning in search of some breakfast / brunch…. or whatever you want to call it (as it’s my first meal of the day, technically it’s breakfast, but I had something more commonly recognized as lunch fayre).
I walked round the corner from the Brighton Dome which is tonight’s venue and came across this establishment.
It had a wide variety of authentic looking Italian sandwiches, as well as pizzas, croissants etc for a pretty reasonable price given the fashionable surroundings.
I opted for a chicken scallopini and mozzarella ciabatta which was served hot, straight from the pannini grill. Definately no microwaves here.
The bread was fresh and very well toasted, and the chicken scaloppini (or escalope) was nice and hot with crispy breadcrumbs. The mozzarella was at that nice stage between being melted inside and slightly burned where it had oozed out of the sandwich.
But really, the thing that won me over here is the fact that when I ordered a tea, it was served in a nice big mug, with the bag still in, a teaspoon, and a small jug of milk, so I could brew it to my own preferance.
I know this may sound incredibly petty, but badly served tea is one of my pet grumbles whilst on the road.
From the annoying continental European habit of presenting you with a cup of warm water, with a teabag on the side (and often omitting the milk) to the British misdemeanor of selling you either a very small cup for an overinflated price, or getting the beverage served in a badly designed metal teapot that leaks half he liquid down the side and onto the table when you try and pour it out, in my experience it’s actually quite a rare thing to be able to purchase just a nice big mug of tea.
All of this cost me quite a reasonable £5.40
Anyhow, if anyone is in Brighton and looking for a light meal, I would definately recommend this one.
The address is 24 New Rd, Brighton.
Also, apologies for the half eaten sandwich pictured. Only remembered to photograph after I’d started tucking in…

Won’t be doing much cooking over the next couple of weeks, but…

I’m going to be away doing the Boy George UK tour for the next couple of weeks, so won’t be doing much cooking at home, but have loads of stuff archived which I need to write up, so will be taking laptop on road and doing that.

Also will mention any interesting restaurants we visit on tour…

So keep watching this space.. 🙂

Quick dinner last night….Prawn Madras and a Saag Gobi (spinach and cauliflower curry)..

Was very tired yesterday, but also hungry and had some veg to use up, so I rattled this up in about 30-40 mins.

For the prawn Madras I followed basically the same method as my chicken Madras recipe apart from obviously using prawns instead, which I only added to the sauce for the last 10 mins.

For the saag gobi I simply fried some mustard seeds in hot oil till they began to splutter, then added 1/2 onion, 2 cloves of garlic and a small piece of ginger (all chopped of course), 1/2 tsp tumeric and 1/2 tsp cumin, fried that round, then added 1/2 bag of spinach and a couple of handfuls of cauliflower florets.

Then I added a couple of tablespoons of natural yoghurt, a bit of water and some salt and left it to cook down, covered for 15-20 mins, removed the lid and simmered until it had dried up a bit.

Was a good, quick and tasty dinner…..

A spinach and mushroom dhal

This is a quick and easy dhal to make.

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams red lentils
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 Cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 piece thumb sized ginger chopped
  • 1 long dried red chilli
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 10 chesnut mushrooms (or 3 portabello mushrooms)
  • Boiling Water
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

Chop half the onion, and place in a pan with the lentils, ginger, garlic, tumeric, red chilli and salt. Cover with boiling water and bring down to a simmer. Cover the pan.

When the lentils are cooked, chop the spinach and add to the lentils. Cover and simmer until the spinach has wilted. If to watery, simmer for a few minutes open.

Pour 1 tbls of vegetable or sunflower oil into a frying pan and turn the heat up.

Slice the remaining half of the onion, and slice the mushrooms into thin slices.

Put the mustard seeds and cumin seeds into the hot oil. They should spit and splutter.

After about 30secs add the sliced onion, and fry until browned well. Then add the mushrooms.

Fry until the mushroom is soft then pour the whole contents of the frying pan into the dhal, stir, and serve immediately.

Nice, cheap Parisienne bistro….

I’ve played 4 times at the New Morning club in Paris over the last 4 or 5 years, and the last 3 times have gone to this bistro round the corner.

I was there a couple of weeks ago with the great Marlena Shaw (here’s a clip of the gig), so I decided to do a quick post about it in case any other musos reading this were playing at the New Morning.

It’s open early (ie. before dinner) and it’s cheap, so perfect for hungry musicians on tour. More importantly, the food is very simple, unpretencious, and very good indeed.

Couple of photos below are a breaded chicken escalope and a ham and cheese omelette.

It’s the Le Duc D’Enghien Brasserie on the corner of Rue d’hauteville and Rue d’engien. Turn left out of New Morning, walk up to the next crossroads, turn left and the place is 200 yards or so on left.



Farmers Market haul

Since (at time of writing) this is a relatively new blog, and I have loads and loads of photo’s recipes etc etc from before I started this, I thought I’d put some of the stuff that I’ve been amassing over the last couple of years up.

Here’s a photo I took after a trip to a local Farmer’s Market in Autumn 2009. From the top left there’s:

Braeburn apples, a marrow, bunch of organic carrots, a fresh savoy cabbage, A Hubbard squash (used in making the Winter Soup Diary), a bunch of fresh radishes (or should that be radish?), a free range corn fed chicken, a rolled shoulder of pork, some enormous portabello mushrooms, a fresh wild rabbit (used in making the rabbit curry video on YouTube), a brace of Partridges, some honey cured ham, some smoked salmon, a venison and game pie, and a rabbit pie.

Took a few weeks to get through all that, but it was well worth the trip.. 🙂