Still havent sign the lease. My lawyer has taken a long weekend and I won`t have any news untill tomorrow. The estate agent is not returning my calls and I am that much closer to a complete meltdown.
But there is some progress – I have finally opened a bank account for the business and oddly enough, I bought the chairs. I know its strange, but at least now I have something tangible, an evidence that one day there will be a restaurant. That or I will have 22 chairs at home.
Nice aren’t they? Second hand, so I bet they have some stories to tell, not quite the `jubillee banquette at Buckinham palace` type, more like the `staff lunch at ASDA Croydon` type, but so what? ASDA provides excellent value shopping, and plenty of nice things came out of Croydon, though none come to mind at the moment.
No progress on the bread front, but I did make goat stew.
It was disgusting.
Eating goat, or kid, is an excellent idea: It is tasty, it is lean, it is cheap and because it’s not an industry, it is usually free range.
And it is very middle eastern – or used to be – and also very Brixton.
The first time I tried goat meat was in east Jerusalem, cooked with wild sage on hot coals, it was magic. I had it again in St. John, Shared a whole shoulder of kid with friends and that too was magic – the meat was braised in a delicate stock and was buttery and full of flavour. I cooked kid once before, in Melbournes` excelent MoVida, where I worked for a day – Cooked with onion, carrots and vermouth but mostly with its own juices, it was again, magic.
I thought I was on to a winner, but as we know, nothing good comes easy – I bought this meat at a Brixton butcher, it was labeled ` curry goat`. I braised it with garlic, onion, spice and potatoes for over six hours, expecting an eat-with-a-spoon kind of thing, but it didn’t happen.
Dinner time came, my in laws came over, I ended up serving this tough and leathery affair.
It was a very quiet, very tense evening.
So what went wrong? Before I take the blame I like to try again with kid from a different butcher. Judging The quality of a type of meat your`e not overly familiar with is tricky, but this is the reason I experiment before the restaurant opens.
No luck with the bread yet. Because I didn’t make any. I ended up running up and down town looking at furniture, equipment and more furniture.
I saw some really good chairs In Kensal Green of all places, which goes to show that anything can happen. For those of you who have never heard of it, Kensal Green is a north London suburb, most famed , if I can use that term, for its Victorian graveyard and a pub called paradise.
Not a joke.
My designer friend sent me there to a salvage shop – I suppose the graveyard location naturally attracts salvage shops, And the place itself does have that graveyard feel, but in a good way. I saw some chairs I really liked, reasonably priced and there were enough of them, but it felt silly to buy them before I signed the lease. What do I do with 27 stools if the deal doesn’t go through? But what if I lose them? something to think about this weekend.
Scary how fast this week went, and how little got done.