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Dining out is one of my great pleasures in life. I love to discover new places and return to favourite haunts.  The places that I write about have one thing in common: the love of exceptional quality ingredients brought together in an inspiring and delectable way.  

Caillebotte

 

On a recent trip to Paris, C. and I tried a new restaurant a stone’s throw from Montmartre.  The 9th arrondissement is a busy Parisian neighbourhood with lots of delis, artisanal bakeries, cafes and little eateries.  Even more perfect, it was a short walk from the place we were staying.

 

For my birthday, C. surprised me by taking me to Little Pollen Street Social.  I had heard and read about this restaurant on different occasions and was intrigued. Only good things had been said about the place and different sources had mentioned that their puddings were amazing.  Pudding?  That is a good start in my book.

the dairy

 

Last week, C. and I went to The Dairy in Clapham for the first time.  I had been warmly encouraged by a local who said that it was almost impossible to get a table on the weekend.  She was right.   The earliest booking for a Saturday night was a month and a half away...  So I opted for a Tuesday night instead.  The Dairy was opened less than a year ago in a small, unassuming space on the main stretch of Clapham Old Town.  I have walked past it numerous times without even noticing it (it is that small).  So when a friend mentioned that it was a little hidden gem that the locals were keeping to themselves, I had to try it. 

Yotam Ottolenghi is one of my favourite chefs of all time. He is Israeli-born and his cooking is typically influenced by the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Asia. His cooking is imaginative and bold; the finished product, striking and succulent. His large platters of food are vibrant and daring, yet familiar and comforting, and his wonderful dishes are always lip-smacking good! I am the happy owner of all of his cookbooks and have visited most of his eateries. Here is my little introduction to Ottolenghi's cooking.

 

Every so often, a new restaurant surprises me. Grain store is one of them. It is by no means close to home but good friends who live out of town were up for trying something new. So we did.

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