I’m getting better at going to blogger dinners. I start to see familiar faces and it’s so much fun getting to know more and more people in the industry! And to eat with people who understand the importance of good lighting and nailing a great shot before you tuck in.
Oh, and you get to chow on incredible food. Everyone wins in these situations!
Today’s dinner was at Talli Joe. I like to do a little research on places before I head to them, and this restaurant looked amazing. Tucked in Soho, it’s relatively new and I think I’ve walked past it a couple of times without giving it a second glance. Well, today changed that for sure.
I was very late since the Central line had shut (on the underground, if you’re not a Londoner!), and because of that, an Uber was 924010137x (okay, not exactly that, but something ridiculous). Even though it was rush hour, the bus was my only option. And a bus in rush hour suuuuucks. Especially in Soho.
But I made it, walking in whilst the Chef was giving a little spice tutorial. He was talking about the main spices involved in each of his dishes.
We had a menu planned out for us already, and each dish was made for the spices demonstration to show us. While it was still light outside, it was perfect to steal the dishes to photograph and show you exactly what we were having (not having dark blurry pictures to edit makes me excited on a new level).
First up, the absolutely crazy-delicious Truffle Ghee Kulcha. It’s naan stuffed with cottage cheese, brushed with truffle ghee. An absolute must-order in my eyes!
Then, the Messy Thokku. Organic egg pickle with Andhra spices and puff roti.
Sounds a bit odd, but actually delicious.
The Kale Chaat was also delicious. It’s their version of Delhi street food, with crispy kale, potato, pomegranate and sweet yoghurt.
Oh, and here’s all the things I couldn’t eat. But the rest of the bloggers (who better to trust than a group of food bloggers?) said that it was all lip-smackingly good.
Especially these Devilled Quail Egg, which is a crabmeat Scotch-egg with tadka mayo. I wanted this one so bad.
And there was the Chicken 21. The name comes from the fact that it took the chef 21 times to perfect this recipe. It’s stir-fried chicken tossed with South Indian spices & curry leaves.
Apparently this was especially good – the Talli Macchi, grilled red mullet with orange soaked in Old Monk rum.
And this was my personal sidekick that made it into the photos, the Amma’s Special. Gin, fresh cucumber and coriander, lime and sugar.
Check this beauty with everything together…
Pictures for DAYS.
After the photo-taking was over, we settled down into our seats to actually eat something.
To start things off, we had a Shrimp Rasam Shot, which is shrimp poached in South Indian tomato broth.
Well, that’s what everyone else got at least. I got a shrimp-less one.
Hurraaaah for just tomato broth…
It was still refreshing though! Not a drink-every-last-drop kind of thing, but still a great flavour to start the meal.
One thing I didn’t photograph by the window was the Gol Baari Kosha Mangsho. Inspired by Gol Baari of Kolkata, it’s lamb roast on the bone and luchi.
Everyone tucked into that one. I had a little bit of the puffed carb on the side.
As we were drooling over absolutely everything, the (absolutely lovely) chef came round and let us sniff the spices.
What are we missing? More cute cocktails?
Say hello to the Masala Punch in this adorable teapot and cup. It’s saffron infused gin, assam tea, jaggery syrup, lime and spice.
As we were winding down, we got a couple of sweet plates (they say to never say no!) to cool our tastebuds (mine were absolutely sweating from the mild spice, I need to train myself up again or I’ll be an embarrassment of a half-Asian).
First was the Berry Malai, which was baked yoghurt and seasonal berries. I wasn’t so keen on it, because, well, yoghurt and berries? But it was actually seriously good! Bad Bianca for being judgmental.
The last of the plates was someone’s personal favourite, the Black Gajar Halwa – Heritage black carrots with salted peanut brittle. Carrots for dessert? Oh yesssssssss!
Fantastic spot for some Indian food in Covent Garden. Sharing plates and cocktails equals a big thumbs up!