Friday, 28 August 2009

Bar Snacks and the Power of Twitter

Today, after a quiet spell (the post-Ibiza mood is not really conducive to open source communication), I asked the Twitter community for their thoughts on bar snacks. You see, we are preparing to launch our new place, The Draft House, on Northcote Road (sexy logo above) and I have been stuck in a bar food black hole. The very phrase bar food for me conjures up awful images of deep-fried frozen spring rolls with an over-sweet chilli dip. And yet we all know that at its best it can make your entire evening.

So thank you to (in no particular order and without your @s) exromana, aforkful, eatlikeagirl, stefanchomka, tiffanymurray, circeplum, shar13, antimega, smokeynlentils, msquaredcomms, mathildecuisine, piebot, luce28, jamesbackhouse, summerlp and last but not least lulupho. Some of your suggestions were downright odd (stewed cheese? I mean STEWED CHEESE?? - ok, ok you know who you are...are we talking fondue here?) but most were inspirational and I look forward to inviting all of you to a pre-opening tasting of these with thirds of fine ales, lagers, stouts, wheats etc etc.

So here we have the complete list which preserves anonymity and - sic - I give the spelling as I received it:

  • chargrilled chorizo with olives and lemon
  • Crab/chilli/lime in filo or Moroccan brique pastry. Or spicy, minced lamb w/ mint on mini flatbreads
  • something fishy like posh fish fingers or whitebait. Mini sized meatballs with a little spicy kick
  • pakoras (partclrly good w ale), bite-size samosas, coxinha de galinha w spicy sauce. good ol' chips w paprika&chili pwdr
  • husband: liver and onions, venison/wild boar sausage and mash. Are these snacks? Pakora. Prawns+Garlic. Off for lunch now
  • Good fishcakes -Thai or otherwise- not rubbery ones or ones made with too much potato at 17 quid. Squid, baby or grown.
  • anything that involves decent, hot chorizo. So you can get drunk and ruin perfectly good clothes with bright red grease
  • triple-cooked chips with romesco. Just invented it and WANT SOME! (Fee to usual address)
  • am I right in thinking draft house is a new venture in northcote road? sardines;duck egg;anchovies on toast, welsh rarebit.
  • hello! chorizo croquetas, scotch quail eggs, really good crackling, plates of jamon or similar
  • Mussels, Scotch Eggs, Fish Sandwich (bajan flying fish sandwich style), good chips
  • Croque monsieur, any kind of 'Quiches' and savoury tarts
  • A good lentils soup in winter
  • Deep fried artichoke hearts are classic American bar food.
  • chorizo, whitebait, boquorones (hot?), little cheesy things of any variety
  • Chilli and salt crusted calamari
  • a decent bowl of salty chips, pork pie. Rarebit and scotch eggs a must i reckon
  • Scotch eggs, rarebit, fresh sratchings, sausage rolls: just your basic cuisine minceur, really...
  • Buffalo wings. I'm addicted to the spicy little buggers.
Oh dear, I can't find the STEWED CHEESE post. Maybe it was just a dream...

See you at the Draft House in October.


ps If you're on Twitter I heartily recommend that you follow the above-mentioned contributors...


  1. From antimega, with apologies from myself for mocking his excellent thought. I promise to eat nothing else for the rest of the week:

    "stewed cheese = old fashioned cheese on toast. check the old menus of the Cheshire Cheese."

  2. I've always thought cheese on toast was the perfect bar snack, especially come 11pm.

    I'd go for whitebait over posh fishfingers though, they remind me of All Bar One.

  3. I didn't realise you posted it on twitter; I replied to your facebook status!

  4. The whitebait at the Hand & Flowers were good.

    If I can't have my stewed cheese, what about poutine rolls?

  5. scrummy list.
    i'm in there, too, but nameless :-(

  6. Exromana, I do apologise...was entirely unintentional. Have edited you in.

  7. ps as you can see, it's the littlest of things in life which make me happy. x

  8. So cross I missed that question on Twitter since talking about food is my second favourite thing.

    The croque monsieur suggestion is genius. When was the last time you had a proper, buttery, gooey, toasty croque in dear old Blighty? Also croque madame of course.

    I know it sounds dull and retro, but a really proper, creamy taramasalata with really proper hot from the oven flatbread is a beautiful thing.

    A great pub on Dog's Bay, south of Clifden in Connemara, used to do what it called stuffed mussels - basically fat mussels served on the open half shell covered with breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic and butter and grilled. Very like snails, now I come to think of it. No one ever ate anything else from their entire menu. It was stuffed mussels and a pint of Guinness or bust. O'Dowds, I think it was called. (Distant part of my misspent youth.)

    A really spicy salt and pepper prawn always makes a girl happy.

    And what about serious French frites instead of those ghastly fat floury chips that gastropubs think so charming? The really thin crispy salty ones that you get in Paris.

    A good tabbouleh is lovely, and if you can find someone who can make keftedes that are not dry then preserve them in aspic and keep them forever.

    Stopping now. Hallucinating slightly as have a virus and am typing this from my sickbed.

    Wish you all the best of British luck. xx

  9. I believe you are referring to one of my all-time favourite pubs: O'Dowd's in Roundstone, just a few miles from Clifden. Have spent many a happy afternoon in their drinking 'glasses' (halves) and eating oysters and mussels. So yes, the mussel-idea is a great one and many thanks

    Readers, take note - TaniaKindersley: woman of taste and judgement.

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