Saturday, 4 October 2014

Masterchef pop up

Yesterday after weeks of waiting we got to dine in the Master Chef pop up restaurant located at Blue Fin in Southwark. Soph and I are both huge fans of the show and even watch the Australian, South African and Irish versions so as you can imagine we were super excited at the prospect of the 2013 winner (Natalie Coleman), 2014 winner (Ping Coombes) and 2014 Finalist (Jack Lucas) cooking for us. When we arrived we headed straight for the bar but unusually for us not to grab cocktails but to take in the breath taking panoramic views of London which after being in China we appreciate even more.

We had prepaid for the 3 course 'sharing' super prior to our arrival and we were advised to chose both options on the menu and switch plates with each other half way through. In practise this would have worked better had there of been 2 of everything like the pork bun but we worked with what we got and even Soph who HATES fish tried the mackerel and really liked it!

Left: Natalie's Blow torched mackerel
Right: Ping's pork sandwich

Both dishes were presented beautifully and seasoned really well. All the elements on the plate worked well together and the pork belly had just the right amount of fat to meat.
The mackerel worked wonderfully with the cucumber and buttermilk and even had Soph wanting more...thank you Natalie - might get Soph to a fish restaurant now!!

Left: Ping's Prawn laksa
Right: Jack's Lamb rump & croquette

Ping's dish was well put together and the broth was just delicious. You could really taste the love and care that had gone into making it and when we headed to the open kitchen we caught Ping checking the broth herself to ensure she was happy with it before it was sent out.
Jack's lamb was tasty however a little of the well done side for us. The croquette and garlic mash were the winning elements to the dish but we weren't sure what the burnt bits added.

Left: Natalie's chocolate ganache
Right: Ping's: Parcel of coconut & pandan pannacotta
Both deserts were wolfed down by us both as they were just incredible!
Natalie's chocolate and pears is not something we have tried before and really worked. The textures were very pleasing to the pallet and the hazelnuts added another dimension..we scrapped our plate to get every last crumb!
The first mouthful of Ping's desert was a WOW moment! The sharpness of the lime with the creamy coconut was a taste sensation! The granite (crushed up ice) was delicious and would love the recipe!!

Overall we really enjoyed our evening however would have liked a little more as the idea was to share and sometimes you needed more than 2 mouthfuls to really appreciate the dish! We would have also liked to have sampled more of Jack's cooking. The open kitchen was great as we got to see the talented chefs at work in their home environment - they all looked super relaxed! We ended our evening buying a signed copy of Natalie's book and cannot wait to try her recipes out.

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