A Taste of Made In Oldstead
There are some new pleasures to be enjoyed with the current world situation. Seeing that your favourite takeaway, that fancy restaurant you've always fancied (but their tables are never available) or indeed, ones never heard of, instead, can all come to you.
I've just taken delivery of this expected but unbranded box. Unbranded but for some logo'd tape around its sides—the tape shouting 'Made in Oldstead'. Old Stead, an old farmhouse, I'm thinking artisanally made products.
Less disciplined arms topple the box's contents onto the table. Four boxes fall away, and excitement empties those. The table sprawls with little packets, pots and sachets of food.
As I doubt I'm the only person not to have heard of Made in Oldstead, I want to share the love.
There isn't a Korean noodle pack in sight; I suppose the name didn't dictate it. Still, this is cooking my brain gets on board with. Ingredients already diced, sliced, chopped, measured and portioned. My only input is creating the dish. Except, the contents of this box have already been prepped by the chefs back at the restaurant's kitchen. So, when the said menu and instructions that came with it suggest a frying pan, a baking tray and two saucepans are needed (one more than I own), my brain takes a while to catch up. I want to suggest we grab a sandwich. It may be breakfast by the time I'm finished.
The menu promises French onion soup to start, pork belly to sate, and custard tart as the pinnacle to this spread. And despite the four pans, dinner is excitedly executed inside of forty minutes. The menu and recipes, brilliantly put together.
French onion soup sounds ordinary, but when the Old Winchester farmhouse Cheese punch through those oniony flavours and the smoked rye croutons add to the commentary, it is beyond the pale of ordinary. It delivers on taste.
Fermented honey fused on prime cuts of pork belly is baked for twenty minutes. Its tummy arousing aroma, uniting noses and eyebrows with excitement. Then married in a beautiful ceremony to root vegetable paillasson with puff pork skin as confetti. The pork belly and paillasson emerge from the baking tray with nuanced caramelised undersides. Now I'd like to know who thought of this plate of flavours delivering smiles to the eyes and exquisite food to the lips. Two senses satisfied by a premium quality restaurant meal cooked at home.
Custard and apple have always been good old friends, but when this rye custard tart chose apple verjus gel to accompany it, it sure never saw the apple verjus becoming the star. The apple flavour tangos a clean, fresh, lively taste on the palate. The recipe asks for dots of verjus to be piped on, but I'd say that's purely for presentation because the first bite had us reaching for the remainder of the verjus, and we layered it on.
Accepting my plating and pork carving imperfections (because I'm certain glaciers have carved better cuts through valleys), this meal ate as convincing replication of what is served back at their restaurant. This menu, the flavours, this at-home restaurant experience says something insightful about Tommy Banks and his team and the in-restaurant dining experience to be had back at their restaurant, Black Swan.
Mrs Claus fancied me this extra gift in January. But Mrs Claus or no Mrs Claus, treat yourself to this menu and be in with those who have experienced the at-home dining experience from Made in Oldstead.
This menu generously serves two and makes a fine gift to anyone appreciative of a restaurant's fine dining experience. Or maybe just to yourself.
Reusable boxes and wool cool insulation, show they take their environmental responsibilities seriously.
And take me seriously also when I say indulge with one of Made In Oldstead's star billing menus. Because at home, you can at least keep your bedroom slippers on.
I wonder, will cupid deliver me a box in February?
PS: Not an Ad or Sponsored post