A long long time ago, I used to write these weekly round-up posts which I called ‘eat & read’ . They were more useful to me, than to readers, it was a place which I linked to pieces I bookmarked. I’ve always wanted to resurrect that series of posts, much breezier to write, because it was not shackled by subject matter. Not an ego thing, it’s nice to just broadcast thoughts to the wind at times, and not bother about how people would respond or use it.
So I get obsessed with certain themes every week, you can loosely follow it on twitter – which I find astounding that people actually do, because it’s mostly just mental noise – this week I became completely enthralled with Jeff Wall’s work. This piece on NYT explains his process and why his photography is artistic treasure (single pieces of his work, sell for upwards of a million quid, easy). I’m a really big fan. Google the invisible man.
And Martin Parr who is a Magnum photographer, and in my opinion, probably the best contemporary British docu-photographer of our time. I ordered his seminal book ‘The Last Resort’ recently. As you know, I love taking pictures, and I spend enough time idolising the masters of the craft.
Speaking of, I’m in the midst of experimenting with film food photos for this blog. Blending film photography with my digital to go with future reviews. I’ve got a couple of rolls with Genie (who are excellent, even with slide scanning) of photos I did in Tosa – a brilliant yakitori in Hammersmith – that I’m hoping I will have returned to me early next week, so I can release the review. Film has a cinematic look to it, great for people shots, not really sure how this translates to food, but we’ll wait and see. I chose to shoot with Kodak GOLD and Portra VC, in case you were wondering.
By the way, if you’re looking for good cameras on a slim-line budget, you might want to start saving some cash for the Fuji Finepix x100. It’s not coming out till March 2011. Very compact, and designed to look like a classic rangefinder. Key selling poinst is the sensor which is not dissimilar to the award-winning Nikon D300, APS-C and a logical fixed focal length, 23mm at f2 (which is plenty fast). It’s beautiful.
So you might have noticed how the reviews have slowed a little this month, but fear not, I’m still a fat bastard. I’m just strapped for time at the moment, I just moved, so I lost about a week’s worth of bingeing, but am slowly building up the buffer again. St John bread & wine, Tosa, Giaconda are all in the queue.
Have you tried 69 Colebrooke Row for cocktails? Tony Conigliaro – the owner – allegedly has a sort of chemistry lab above the bar in which he experiments with his mixes. Some say he is the Heston of the drinks world, I am intrigued of course, and Time Out loves it too.
As you may or may not know, the next issue of my newsletter will likely be centred around Italian restaurants, so many well received places have opened recently, the likes of the Locatelli backed Tinello and the respected Trullo for instance, are all on my list.
Good restaurants, on a budget, for gatherings. Gosh, that’s a difficult one. Especially somewhere for birthdays. It was something that had me stumped, when a friend asked me for recs for a place to celebrate a birthday party. Can’t be too stiff, but not too Hache, got to be cheap, but not too cheap, has to be flexible, but not overly so, chillaxed, but discreet, it’s still a birthday so has to be nice, but not too nice. I threw out the big guns at first, The Ledbury, Goodman, Le Gav, Shiori, Roka …and she furrowed her brow, and then took it down a notch with the well-valued ones, Zucca, Zucca, Zucca..!! which did little to change those brows, and I realised how normal people (let’s face it, you and me, we’re a little too geeky and greedy) have a seemingly alien set of rules when it comes to choosing restaurants. Granted, this is for a birthday party, rather than a more intimate dinner. And offal, actually isn’t to everybody’s liking, so that’s the Henderson derivaties ruled out. Tayyabs. Perfect right? Nope, too East. Somewhere central. Maybe, just maybe Odettes. Too expensive. Galvin Bistro de Luxe then. Actually to be quite honest, I wouldn’t mind a Byron. Subject for a standalone post perhaps. I shall investigate.
So gazing into my little crystal ball, I see another Daddy Donkey mobile springing into the Smoke sometime mid-October, and London Restaurant Festival is actually starting from 4th October and lasting through to 18th. It’s not an exclusive event per se, but more like that the high profile restaurants will be in a sense of heightened frivolity, offering ‘festive’ menus at dumbed down prices. What it really translates to however, is a barrage of press events occuring right now.
Even the Le Caprice group of restaurants are getting their boogie on. Won’t say where.
I’m going to be at the Malaysian Night event occuring tomorrow night (24th) at Trafalgar Square, the idea is to turn the square into a ‘Pasar Malam’ or Night Market (in Malay), so lots of street food, and stalls and that sort of exhibition/fare atmosphere, which I think should be good. Free entry from 3pm to 10pm… so see you tomorrow?
All text and photography on this blogpost is copyright and belongs to Kang Leong, LondonEater.com. If you repost this without my permission, bad things will happen. So please don’t do it.