Thursday, September 24, 2015

Chloe Likes To Eat: Breakfast In The Sky

I love London. I really love London. I especially love London when the city offers up opportunities that are full of amazing food in incredible places.

I remember seeing the Events In The Sky table dangling over Canary Wharf last year, and wondered what it was all about. Naturally I was way to slow to get a place at the table for breakfast, lunch or dinner for the two weeks chefs from some of London's best loved restaurants cooked and served their dishes 35 metres above one of the most iconic banking districts in the world. Luckily in 2015, I was all over the booking site as the 2015 dates and chefs went live back in July and scored breakfast for T and I last weekend.


Meet Martin Morales. If you've not heard of him before, he is the founder of Ceviche restaurant in Soho and now Old Street as well. Oh and then there's Andina, his newest restaurant which incorporates a gallery of modern Peruvian art. In short, he's a busy guy wish some great food going on. I picked breakfast with Martin purely because it was the time of the two weeks the Events In The Sky table is hanging about (sorry), that I could fit in. It was only after I'd sorted out the booking, performed a small jig at my desk and sent an overexcited text to faceache that I started taking a look at what might be on the menu and what Mr Morales might bring to the table. 


So, the A Team from Andina & Ceviche, a table dangled by crane 35 metres above the Southbank with views of Charing Cross, The Shard, St Paul's & the City and a miraculously clear and sunny warm day. I  spent most of the preceding week tweeting my excitement and most of our tube journey to Waterloo on Saturday morning exclaiming how cool it was going to be to eat things I'd never heard of, let alone tried before!

Granola made from (amongst other things) Quinoa with 'yellow honey' made from the physalis fruits and yoghurt

Refrescame- 'a sexier take on a fruit salad' in the words of the chef! Dragon fruit, mango, kiwi, star fruit, passion fruit, prickly pear (cactus) all marinated in a lemon based sauce, and a puree of super food lúcuma crème. 

Martin brought along the Exec chef from Andina, Vito and his head chef and they looked liked they were having an absolute blast and they had lots of goodies to send our way as well as lots of fabulous background on the food's provenance and benefits. The guys put huge effort into sourcing and creating dishes that include superfoods enjoyed in Peru with a particular focus on the Andes where Martin's grandmother comes from.

Did I mention that this was a FIVE course tasting menu- click for a link to the menu. The first 'course' was a smoothie made from some of the same superfoods mentioned above, followed by the granola and the fruit ceviche. Next round....

Crisp pork belly slider in a chia seed steamed bun with a spicy pineapple salsa

PicMonkey Collage
Posing 35m above London, T & I with the Shard behind us, Charing Cross from across the table

On our way to the welcome area for our breakfast flight, we discussed seating- would we have pre-allocated seats around the table? Would we get a view of The City or of Westminster? Which would be the best of the two? Well, no you don't get an allocation seat, you get strapped into whichever ones they direct you to at the time and as for the view, well the table isn't static. They turn the table (gently) every so often whilst you're up there so your view changes with regularity. It's surprising difficult to get pictures of the views, especially as an amateur, because you're strapped in quite tightly, for obvious reasons and therefore it's not as simple as reaching  or leaning. That doesn't make it any less incredible! 

So the final course... a patty of choco corn paste with chilli, chilli cured smoked salmon, a herb sauce and a poached Burford Brown egg. The reason the moving table is relevant... because I was in the shade when this course came out and my picture of it is shocking. That doesn't make it any less beautifully tasty, but it wasn't pretty in the shade.

PicMonkey Collage
Getting ready to go up- the table and the seats, plating up on a teeny tiny pass on the ground and in the air

As someone who has worked in trade and supplies to hospitality, I know how tough it is to work both on full show- there's nowhere to hide or hide your mess in an open kitchen, as well as working in tight spaces. The team who got us up in the sky and the team getting the food out couldn't have been more welcoming. They seemed to be having as much fun as we were and were completely engaged in what was going on- thanks guys, you made the experience as much as the food.

Next on my hitlist is a trip to both Andina and Ceviche. Andina serves a high proportion of vegetarian and vegan food for anyone interested, for me it's a huge bonus given that I have friends and family who have various dietary needs. It's also pretty  impossible not to like the team behind Andina and their enthusiasm for food that is not what you could call the average in a city full of things we've all seen a few times before.


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