London: Day 3, Borough Market, Barbecoa, Yashin

On Saturday, I visited Borough Market even though I knew all I would be able to do was stare wistfully at the gorgeous produce (rhubarb, purple sprouting broccoli, heritage breed meats to name a few) but it had been such a fixture of my London life that I had to go.  It was how I remembered it, except for the giant skyscraper that had mushroomed up since my last visit called ‘the shard‘ (sounds like a Stephen King novel, doesn’t it?).  

I bought the obligatory Monmouth latte and then went over to Neal’s Yard where I had a free sliver of Coolea (based on the Gouda recipe but so much better!) and picked up a pot of thick yogurt with poached apple at the bottom for breakfast.  

I lost myself watching a whole side of pork being expertly butchered and resisted the urge to buy a bag of Mini Magoo’s addictive granola from the adjacent stand.
When in London, you must take every opportunity to cross a bridge. I am not really fussy about which one (although the Millenium bridge from the Tate Mordern to St Paul is a favourite). It’s easy to forget that London has the Thames running through it but cross a bridge and you see old and new architecture vying for prominent position in the London sky line. Read more of this post

Rogacki Delicatessen - Charlottenburg

I was still mulling over the decision to move to Berlin or stay put in London when I came across Antonio Carluccio’s article on Rogacki in the Jaime Oliver magazine.  Carluccio was cooking in London way back when you could only by olive oil from the chemists.  I am lying, that was Elizabeth David but eating out options where nevertheless pretty bleak back then.  To see this jolly grand daddy of Italian cooking in the UK get all excited about a deli in Berlin was surprising.

A few months later when I visited Rogacki, I instantly agreed with him!  If this place was in London, it would have already had 6 face lifts, the people serving would all be students that didn’t understand your order and there would be a sushi bar in the front window - maybe with a conveyor belt.  That is one of the great things about Berlin, it’s not in such a hurry to modernize that they throw out the baby along with the bath water!  Shoppers can appreciate an old-timer and although most Rogacki customers were over 50, there were plenty of young people as well. Read more of this post

Rebecca makes Ravioli

Last week we had a new student join our German class at Pro-Log, Berlin.  We all had to re-introduce ourselves for her benefit, we did the rounds and when it was her turn, she said:

“Ich heisse Rebecca, ich bin italienish und ich bin kochin.” (My name is Rebecca, I am Italian and a chef).

My ears pricked right up at that one and when we had our 15 minute break I perched on the seat next to her and started chatting away.  We arranged to visit Wittenbergplatz Market (last week) and Winterfeldtplatz Market (this week) after which she invited me over to show me how to make ravioli.

The minute we entered her cheerful pink kitchen, her pace changed, she began to move with purpose - setting her ingredients down with swift precision.
“Wow, she must be a pro.” I thought. “So how many times have you made ravioli?” I tentatively asked.
“Ravioli? Well, probably 3 times…”
“Hey that is as many times as me!” I thought.
“…a week.” she finished.

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