Wednesday 24 October 2012

Figgy pudding (and figgy starter!) at 10 Greek Street

Whilst my boyfriend was working away in the good old US of A for the past fortnight, I made the most of my faux-single status by block-booking my diary with girlie dinner dates. Just like Carrie Bradshaw, there's a group of like-minded ladies that I regularly meet up with in the City - but the difference is that our stomaches are the only thing we care about satisfying!

We've all been so busy with our own projects lately that we realised at least two months had flown by since we'd last all gossiped together over some good food. I'd been whizzing all over the country organising meet and greets like this and this, Guila had been celebrating her beautiful wedding day in Italy, Laura had launched Digest magazine online, and Selina had hosted a Mauritian secret supperclub in Brixton.

In SATC, the girls were always hunting out the hottest new bars to be seen drinking Cosmopolitans in. Similarly, we're always keen to experience the capital's latest culinary offerings, and have our own little black book crammed with restaurants and supperclubs that have set the blogosphere ablaze.

At the top of our hitlist was 10 Greek Street in stylish Soho - which I'm certain would have been Samantha Jones' spiritual home, had the ladies swapped New York for London. Whilst queuing is du jour in many of the most notable new eateries, we aren't fans of hyperthermia-chic so agreed to arrive early - being rewarded for our eagerness with a table near the entrance to this intimate diner.

Poor Selina had all of our sympathies after being forced to bail out at the last minute with a sickness food bloggers we can imagine nothing worse than not feeling well enough to eat anything! She and I had recently chewed the fat whilst grazing on tapas in Copita, but it was a real shame that she would miss our latest "food adventure". Obviously we promised to take plenty of extra photos of her behalf and tweet them immediately, so that she didn't feel left out!

This dinner involved a number of "firsts" for me...

1) It was the first time I had tasted burrata, a version of mozzarella made using cream that has an incredibly soft consistency. Once the outside "shell" of the cheese ball has been broken, it literally oozes across the plate!

The buttery flavour of the burrata contrasted perfectly with the sweet ripped flesh of the fresh fig that it had been served with on top of a crisp slice of bruschetta. The hint of chestnut in the honey drizzle provided an additional earthy flavour and prevented this decadent starter from being too sickly.

2) My girlie dinner date at 10 Greek Street was the first time I had ever opted for two starter-sized portions instead of a main course. Don't get me wrong, the larger plates sounded fantastic and looked exquisite as they were delivered to the neighbouring tables - especially the Welsh black beef roast for two people to share! But there were just too many tempting starters to decide between, so I resolved to follow the dining style from my recent sejourn in Spain by sampling a couple of the smaller servings.

Clearly I wasn't the first person to have followed this tactic, as our waiter asked what order I'd like my starters served in; when my second course arrived I was surprised to discover it had been dished up onto a larger plate so as to avoid looking out of place alongside my companions' mains. This touching attention to detail is no doubt part of the reason for 10 Greek Street's popularity - as well as the excellent quality of their ingredients and skillful cooking by the chef!

My partridge breast with butternut squash and sage both looked and tasted like the definition of Autumn on a plate - soft roasted amber vegetables, iron-rich fawn spinach and juicy pink game, united by a deep savoury sauce and woody tones from the crunchy fried sage. I would have happily tucked into a larger helping of this delicious dish, but the smaller size did have the additional advantage of ensuring I had enough stomach space left for pudding...

3) This was the first time that I had eaten a fresh fig, as opposed to the chewy dried version found in Morrocan markets and Christmas hampers. In fact, I enjoyed it so much on my bruschetta starter that I chose a fig-focused dessert as well, instead of my usual favourite of tiramisu!
Caramelised slices of delicate fruit acted as the impressive centrepiece to a exquisite cheesecake with a crumbly base and silky vanilla filling, all combined together with syrupy chestnut honey into heavenly morsels. The cheesecake was rich without being cloying, and acted as the perfect finish to my well-matched menu.
As we wandered back through the city to our homes in the various suburbs, our thoughts had already turned to which restaurant from our wishlist we ladies needed to bag a table at next. But 10 Greek Street impressed me so much that I feel it deserves a second date soon...after all, I still need to try out their main courses!

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