Emily, our Online Content Coordinator headed to Taste of London at the weekend, and here’s her report from the event…
The Corner Room: – Sea Bass Ceviche with Green Chilli and Fennel
Taste of London 2012 encapsulated the city’s celebratory approach to food in all forms; from many diverse cultures and in various guises – it truly was a manifestation of London as a ‘foodie’s melting pot’.
Whilst a majority of the nations festival-goers flocked to the BBC’s slushy Hackney Weekend, the aforementioned ‘foodies’ of London town gathered en masse to immerse themselves in a fabulous culinary world of secrets and to sample some of the finest fare available in London.
Highlights included a myriad of Michelin-starred restaurant pop-ups, such as Atul Kochlar’s sleek Indian eatery Benares, as well as a dazzling host of favourite destinations from celebrity chefs – notably Jamie Oliver, Gary Rhodes and Gordon Ramsay.
The weekend also featured afternoon and evening tutorial sessions with gastronomic legends Wolfgang Puck, Raymond Blanc, Theo Randall and Michel Roux Jr, to name but a few.
As for us, we made a bee-line for the VIP room to quaff some much-needed Laurent Perrier Champagne and plan our stops. Sufficiently watered and charged to taste all that Taste of London had to offer we made a start on the restaurants.
On our way we sampled some splendid grub from sophisticated Italian hub Bocca di Lupo (Charcoal-grilled cuttlefish with courgettes, gremolata, lemon and Pantelleria capers), Opera Tavern – the sister-restaurant to the home of Spanish Tapas Dehesa – (Cornish mackerel escabeche with Saffron, Pickled Cucumber, Radish, Fennel and Olives) and Michelin starred Chef Jean-George Vongerichten’s South East Asian Spice Market (Spiced Chicken Samosas with Coriander Yoghurt as well as Roasted Cod with Malaysian Chilli Sauce Thai Basil and Celery).
We enjoyed not one but two crab salads from trendy neighbourhood favourite Pollen Street Social (Crab salad with avocado purée and sweetcorn mousse) and Notting Hill’s Brit hotspot Kensington Place – where we also indulged a rather decadent Strawberry Screwball with fudge – (Paignton crab, asparagus & samphire salad).
Finally – as if we weren’t full enough – Champagne connoisseurs Laurent-Perrier treated us to a bespoke masterclass with florist Ercole Moroni, who guided us on a taste sensation through the marriage of food, edible flowers and Champagne – which concluded spectacularly with a dessert consisting of a molten sphere of white chocolate that – once drowned in hot strawberry syrup – dramatically imploded into a dreamy strawberry mousse; make no mistake we floated home in a blissful haze of chocolate and bubbles.
However, by far the highlight of the day was a sensational – and affordable – Sea Bass Ceviche with Green Chilli and Fennel from the informal wild card The Corner Room at Bethnal Green Town Hall & Apartments by Nuno Mendes. The star of the Ceviche was a fragrant and more-ish Coriander Oil, which perfectly complimented the characteristics of each component of the dish.
We loved it so much that we had to come up with our very own recipe. The addition of mint in our recipe really lifts the whole Ceviche and heightens the stunning flavours of the sea bass, coriander oil and fennel.
Try our Recipe for Sea Bass Ceviche with Fennel, Mint and Coriander Oil below:
Sea Bass Ceviche with Fennel, Mint and Coriander Oil
For the Coriander Oil:
Makes roughly 150ml
120ml Rapeseed Oil
30ml Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
½ small clove garlic, finely minced
40g fresh coriander leaves (around 2 large handfuls)
You will need an old jam jar or re-sealable bottle. Follow the instructions below to sterilise the jar and make the Coriander Oil.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Wash an old jam jar and lid in warm water and rinse.
Place the jam jar and lid in the oven for four or five minutes to sterilize.
Place the coriander leaves and the minced garlic into a food processor and blitz to a roughly chopped consistency.
Remove the jam jar and lid from the oven
Measure out the oils into a jug.
With the processor on a low setting, pour the oil in till the ingredients are well incorporated and the oil begins to thicken slightly.
Place a frying pan on a medium to high heat and gently fry the oil for two to three minutes till the green colour deepens.
Remove from the heat and using a sieve, strain the oil back into the jug. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze the oil out of the blitzed coriander into the jug.
Pour the oil from the jug into the sterilized jar and seal.
For the Sea Bass Ceviche with Fennel, Mint and Coriander Oil:
1 whole sea bass, gutted, filleted, skinned and pin-boned
60ml coriander oil (4 tbsp)
½ fennel bulb, finely shaved
40g fresh coriander leaves (2 large handfuls)
1 large sprig fresh mint leaves
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
50g edamame (frozen soy beans)
1 tbsp pickled sushi ginger
Set aside and allow to cool.
½ clove garlic, finely minced
Zest of 1 small unwaxed lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Ask your fishmonger to gut, fillet, skin and pin-bone the fish for you.
To prepare the fish, wash and pat dry the sea bass with kitchen paper. Slice into ½ cm slices (width ways). Put into a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate.
In a saucepan, bring 150ml water to the boil and add the frozen edamame beans. Allow to cook through on a medium heat for four or five minutes. Strain through a colander and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl mix the finely sliced fennel, red chilli, minced garlic, coriander leaves, mint leaves, pickled ginger pieces, sea salt, black pepper, 1 tbsp coriander oil, zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ lemon. Gently toss the mixture together with your finger tips, cover with cling film and refrigerate.
In a small ramekin combine the juice of 1 ½ lemons with 1 tbsp coriander oil, a generous pinch of sea salt, cover with cling film and refrigerate.
A few minutes before you are ready to eat. Pour the lemony liquid onto the fish and gently turn the fish in the juices to ensure that it is coating every piece of sea bass. Cover again and refrigerate for four minutes.
Remove the fennel and coriander salad mixture and after a few minutes gently lift the fish into the bowl, adding most of the lemony juices. Add another drizzle of the coriander oil and a generous pinch of sea salt to finish. Gently toss through your fingers to amalgamate the Ceviche. Serve onto two plates and garnish with coriander and a drizzle of coriander oil.
This is stunning devoured immediately with a piece of crusty, hot-buttered Ciabatta bread and a glass of Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne, £36.50 at House of Fraser
Spice Market: Roasted Cod with Malaysian Chilli Sauce Thai Basil and Celery
Kensington Place: Paignton Crab, Asparagus & Samphire Salad
The Corner Room: – Sea Bass Ceviche with Green Chilli and Fennel
Opera Tavern: Cornish Mackerel Escabeche with Saffron, Pickled Cucumber, Radish, Fennel and Olives
Bocca Di Lupo: Charcoal-grilled Cuttlefish with Courgettes, Gremolata, Lemon and Pantelleria capers
Pollen Street Social: Crab Salad with Avocado Purée and Sweetcorn Mousse
Our Favourite Market Stall