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									M14                  Food and Drink                                                                                                                                                 14/10/08

Food & Drink
                                                                                                                                                                                       NICHOLAS JULIAN WOOLF

                                                    RESTAURANT: J BAKER’S BISTRO MODERNE
                                                    ADDRESS: 7, FOSSGATE
                                                    JEFF’S ‘GRAZING PLATE’ LUNCH/DINNER: £10/£35
                                                    REVIEW: JAMES MACDOUGALD
                                                    If, like me, you have suddenly         comes at a price. If you’re plan-
                                                    and unexpectedly become a              ning an evening meal, expect to
                                                    third-year        undergraduate,       pay no less than £35 a head for
                                                    steeped to the balls in essay          three courses, wine, tipping, etc.
                                                    deadlines, thrashing about in          The      ‘Grazing     Plate’    or
                                                    mounting debt like a cormorant         ‘Magnificent Seven’, as I have
                                                    in an oil slick, and with one eye      come to think of it, is a glorious
                                                    permanently tracking the job           pageant of seven courses: con-
                                                    market, you may think you              genial comrades, but each one
                                                    recognise in the J. Baker’s web-       rivalling the next for ingenuity
THE RECIPE                                          site that most familiar of friends:
                                                    the embellished CV. Well, to
                                                                                           and panache.
                                                                                                Recently, the Grazing Plate
Will Heaven                                         understand is to forgive. But in       has been better than ever. It
                                                    any case, you’d be wrong. There        begins with gunslinging wise-
PERSIAN SPLIT PEA STEW                              is, admittedly, the occasional         head Yul Brynner. This time he
                                                    handful of dust – a purple para-       was disguised as a carpaccio of
SERVES 4-5                                          graph of gagging praise that may       red mullet with sweet pepper
1 LARGE ONION                                       not entirely represent the opin-       accompaniment. He was succu-
                                                    ions of the review it was lifted       lent. Food of such genuine good
1 GARLIC CLOVE                                      from… possibly... but unlikely.        quality could never fairly be
1 AUBERGINE                                               This is a dazzling CV. Jeff      accused of affectation, but the       Our Web Deputy used to work here; nevertheless, the food is great!
200G OF YELLOW SPLIT PEAS                           Baker was the first Leeds chef         menu does, at times, go wildly        menus. This came with a dollop cheeses – including a morsel of
TURMERIC                                            ever to hold a Michelin star. In       astray over names and descrip-        of anchovy paté riding some sort ‘Welsh smoked’.
CINNAMON                                            2005 he was named Yorkshire            tions – a tendency that was           of savoury, upmarket Dorito. A           I can think of few better
4 CHICKEN BREASTS OR LAMB                           Chef of the Year, and both Jeff        exemplified by the course that        perfect, tender quail dish fol- ways to spend £35, but if you’re
                                                    and his first solo project, J.         followed: pumpkin ‘study’. This       lowed and, afterwards, a well- concerned about costs, consider
So its President isn’t exactly kosher. And yes,     Baker’s, score highly in UK gas-       proved to be an aerated soup and      judged beef noisette with seared the £10 lunch menu. J. Baker’s
buried in the Zagros mountains there is             tro-polls. A cursory glance at the     was delicious. Nevertheless, the      chicken liver and runny duck egg offers good food with personality
probably a warhead warehouse nearing                website will confirm all of the        mind shrinks in terror from           yolk sealed in a light filo parcel. and pride – a rare combination;
completion. But Iran does some things well:         above, along with a veritable tro-     being imminently presented with       My only complaint about the rarer still is the presentation of
like Khoresht-e-Gheimeh. No matter how              phy cabinet of favourable ratings      ‘game bird sinfonia’, ‘prelude in     dessert – summer fruit buried in simple ingredients with artistry
hard you try, you will never be able to pro-        and positive local press reviews.      endive’ or maybe ‘nocturne in         sorbet and lemon mousse – was and humility, often heralded by
nounce that word, even if you buy a teach                 Unfortunately, there’s no        muted sloe’.                          that it was more than just a tast- titles as unassuming as ‘sausage
yourself Farsi CD. So give up now, stop try-        such thing as a free lunch.                 Quickly succeeding the           ing portion. But that’s scarcely a and beans’. N.B. Jeff may be
ing to be raffishly ethnic, and call it Persian     Quality – whether it’s a perfectly     ‘study’ was a wispy cloud of pol-     complaint. The meal wound Michelin-rated, but he has feel-
split pea stew.                                     fried foie du canard or a lightly      lock – an increasingly popular        down with a stimulating epi- ings. Leftovers, I am told, are not
      For this dish, you need to plan ahead.        steamed university education –         stand-in for cod on chip-shop         logue of local and European received well in the kitchen.
Split peas may cook faster than unsplit peas,
but they are still hard, crunchy and dry. So
before you cook them, leave them in warm
                                                    BAR: THE REFECTORY                                                           BAR: GUY FAWKES INN
water for three hours to soften.                    ADDRESS: KING’S MANOR                                                        ADDRESS: 25, HIGH PETERGATE
      Once that three hours is over – and let’s     AVERAGE SCONE PRICE: 60 PENCE                                                AVERAGE PINT PRICE: £3.00
face it, you’ve just watched Friends, then
                                                    REVIEW: HANNAH SMITH                                                         REVIEW: JAMES ‘HUNTER’THOMPSON
                                                                        %%%$$                                                                          %%%$$
Scrubs, then Friends again on E4 + 1 – the
real cooking begins. Fry the onion over a
moderate heat until it turns golden brown                                                                                                                                                     L
(like an Autumn leaf ), then add the garlic.              This one is too cute not to                                            There are several licensed estab-
Garlic, Goodfellas tells us, is best chopped        mention, and for those without                                               lishments in York that try to lure
up extra thin using a razor blade – so do it.       the tedious daily trek to King’s                                             punters in by claiming an associ-
Then add the meat. If you are Persian you’ll        Manor for all your learning                                                  ation with a certain famed his-
go for lamb, but chicken’s fine too.                needs, a novelty that you won’t                                              torical terrorist who was born in
      Season this with cinnamon, turmeric           associate with dashing between                                               this city. The Guy Fawkes Inn
and (freshly ground) salt and pepper. Stir          lectures.                                                                    goes farther than most and
and turn the heat up a bit. When the meat is              The café at King’s Manor is                                            claims to be on the location of his
sealed, add the chopped tomatoes (not “with         our little cafeteria haven - but it                                          actual birthplace. Whether it is
added herbs”), the drained split peas and the       is open to the public and the                                                or not, I don’t particularly care.
tomato puree. Mix in two cupfuls of water           keen-bean tourist so it doesn’t                                                   I arrived at the inn on a
and let it simmer with the lid on.                  reek of student hangovers and                                                Sunday afternoon, having con-
      While this happens, for a few minutes         grumbly-bumbly freshers. It                                                  sumed nothing but a cup of cof-
soften the chunks of lightly salted aubergine       opens at around 9:30 in the                                                  fee since the night before.
in a pan. When they are a bit mulchy and            morning, and the staff should get                                            Naturally I was looking forward
brown put them in the stew. It will need to         The Loveliest Women in the                                                   to a roast, but much to my dis-
cook for another half an hour with the lid on.      World trophies - you may actual-                                             may they had stopped serving
Keep stirring and add boiled water if you           ly mistake them for your ‘aunty’ -                                           food. I resolved to have a quiet
think it needs it.                                  not the real aunt - your mum’s                                               pint of Staropramen and then
      Rice. If you can master this, then            best friend. But they probably         So that’s our cheeky little bonus     leave to search for food, but one          “I thought Ye Olde Starre
President Ahmadinejad salutes you. Add              won’t hug you.                         rates off everything - sandwich-      of my companions embarrassed          Inne was supposed to be your
basmati – not really Iranian, but it’ll do - to           Your Earl Grey will be faith-    es, soups, salads, and even the       himself hideously by failing to       local!” I exclaimed. “Wait a
boiling water. After five minutes take the          fully delivered with a beaming         casual Danish pastry. Similar to      recognise the barmaid-postgrad        minute, weren’t you hung, drawn
half-cooked rice and drain it. Now, put it          radiance that defies the fact they     the dining Meccas of Wentworth        who had taught him in first year,     and quartered?” “Oh no,” he
back on an extremely low heat with the lid          have been serving horrid snotty        and Vanbrugh, hot food is pretty      and we were compelled to flee to      replied, “I jumped from the gal-
on to steam it until it’s well fluffy. Now, serve   little student gremlins for at least   standard old school food-from-        the courtyard to finish our           lows and broke my neck before
it up with a smile to Barack Obama and              the whole time I’ve been at York.      hot-plate-served-on-a-tray-self-      drinks. In the cool air we dis-       they could draw and quarter
watch him squirm.                                   Scones are hot, and the cheapest       service-manual-labour. So sans        cussed whether anyone would           me!” “Ah,” I said, hurriedly drain-
                                                    in town at £1.20: we still get our     the lazy table service like a regu-   ever open a bar at the birthplace     ing my pint and fleeing to some-
 Recipe provided by Lida Mirzaii. Send funny        student prices as it’s still part of   lar café, but hey! You’ll want to     of one of the 9/11 hijackers. Guy     where with more food and fewer
   recipes to foodanddrink@nouse.co.uk              the University. All say HUZZAH.        help these wonderful ladies out.      Fawkes sat down next to us.           dead revolutionaries.

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