Dinner in Dalston - courtesy of Ben Greeno at The Loft
I like to think I'm an adventurous eater but a schlep to the Kingsland Road for a dinner in Dalston is almost one adventure too far.
On Saturday 20th February however I'd coughed up the cash (£117.50) to join private members club The Loft for a week and in doing so was entitled to a place at the dinning room table with young Brit Ben Greeno in the all but domestic kitchen. Having caught a glimpse of Ben's CV which included 2 stints at current obsession Copenhagen's Noma I was compelled to jump in my car and take my chances. I had no idea who I'd find myself sitting next to nor what was on the menu.
First sigh (of relief) came when I discovered that my neighbours were a riot. Second sigh (of delight) came upon first sip of the thoughtfully and delightfully paired wines and final sigh (of joy) expelled when I realised the meal was going to be worth every hard earned penny it cost. If there's a place left at a future table (and there are only 3 weeks or so left of Ben's residence) then in a musical chairs manner dive in and grab one.
Here's the website: http://theloftproject.co.uk/
And here's the menu - pictures were posted on twitpic as the dishes were placed in front of me - so I snapped them in the dimmest of lights and with an impatience to shove fork in mouth, as delicately as you'd expect from an uptight English girl with a food obsession: http://twitpic.com/photos/SpoonHQ
BEN GREENO AT THE LOFT - 20 FEBRUARY 2010
Oyster in buttermilk & poppy seeds with rhubarb granita
Poached & pickled carrots, chorizo, apple and ham
Cheese soup, ratte potatoes & pork fat
Duck heart salad with lettuce emulsion
Confit salmon with sunflower and mustard sauce
Salt baked beetroot, goat's cheese & gorse flowers
Beef onglet & onion puree
Skyr - Icelandic soft cheese - with aquavit raisins & malt dirt
Sea buckthorn curd, gingerbread & apple vinegar meringues
Poached and pickled pear, toasted oats and brown butter caramel
Final notes - I had never met or spoken to Ben Greeno before, I don't know any of the guys behind The Loft, I am certainly not the PR of anyone involved and I would strongly urge you to keep your eye on Ben Greeno. Last night he proved himself to be a highly talented Brit with ambition a plenty. And sadly for those of us rooted in the UK he's headed back to Copenhagen shortly.