“Foodie Bucket List” Dinner at Racine with Kenwood:
Guest feature by Natalie York.
I’m not sure what would be on my foodie bucket list, Christmas trifle definitely, and maybe dinner at Tonkotsu, it’s such a matter of personal taste I imagine coming up with something to please everyone would be a nightmare. But that’s just what Kenwood have attempted, a list of the top 50 foodie experiences put together by a panel of experts and launched at a dinner at number 19 on the list: Racine. Features of this gastronomic bucket list included trying Asian street food, having proper fish and chips and making your own jam.
Obviously in a room full of chefs, bakers and bloggers everyone was competitively totting up and comparing their scores, I ranked a solid 36, and dinner by the marvelous Henry Harris was created to tick a few more off the list. As we stood around, chatting and drinking champagne we were served tiny little lamb kebabs and portions of haggis on toast. I think the lamb represented number 4: eating marinated, barbequed lamb and the haggis represented, well haggis I suppose, although it tasted better than the versions I’ve tried in the past, flavoured strongly with rosemary and olive oil.
As we sat down to start the meal properly we were promptly served hot steaming bowls of fish soup with a plate of Gruyere and crisp-bread which was eagerly shared out round the table. The soup was delicious, rich and savoury, almost meaty with a slightly grainy texture offset by the quickly melting cheese.
After this we had several boxes ticked at once as plates of gravalax, dressed crab and fried mackerel were passed round. Each element was delicious individually with the sweet cured gravalax a particular highlight but the real star of this dish was the garnish of shaved pickled cucumber which managed to taste somehow Japanese and Scandinavian at the same time.
Next came a true English classic, which seemed slightly alien in Racine’s meticulously French environment. A huge piece of pork belly, cooked to melt in the mouth perfection and topped with a solid slab of crackling. This was utterly delicious, and even though I was, by this point, almost uncomfortably full I still found that there was very little left when they came to take the plates away.
Of course one universal truth is that however full on entrees you might be, there is a separate part of the stomach reserved for dessert. So when we were served plates of golden brown bread and butter pudding with ice cream and raspberry coulis I didn’t have much of a problem with tucking in. Soft and almost molten on the inside and crunchy on the top the pudding’s sweet, vanilla flavour was perfectly undercut but the sharp, tangy raspberry.
So there it was, a beautiful meal that showcased much of what is brilliant about being a foodie in Britain today. Looking through the list I was reminded of how privileged I am to have experienced what I have and also how many exciting new things I’ve yet to try. Many thanks to Kenwood and Racine for the invitation to this event. Do check out Kenwood’s list if you haven’t seen it yet and see how many things you can tick off, for me I’m looking at number 38, bring on the Scotch eggs!
239 Brompton Road,
LONDON SW3 2EP