ne of my favourite restaurants in London is Dock Kitchen by Stevie Parle. The style, flavours and creations resonate with my own using the best ingredients and sticking a finger up to the gadgets and modern methods that have infiltrated our restaurants recently. With no particular genre as such Stevie’s style seems to be a collaboration of inspiration from various adventures and culinary travels but with a lean towards middle Eastern in places. With a rather eclectic style myself I was delighted to know that it was the venue for our office Summer party last year. With a tempting menu of absolutely mouth watering courses that would sit wholeheartedly at my dinner table on cloud nine I was excited initially to try the much talked about ‘Lamb biryani with black cumin, coriander and almonds which was baked with love and warmth in an earthy clay pot and sealed protectively with a dough lid. With what could have been a miniature chisel, it gets delivered with elegance and flecked with gold leaf to the hungry guests and forcefully cracked open revealing succulent chunks of tender lab, rice and aromats. Shamefully amongst the starters of fattoush, labneh and chicken livers, this dreamy main and the simple sweets I didn’t even give this pistachio dish a second glance.
t was delivered to the now raucous and wine lubricated guesses as a humble ‘palate’ cleanser pre-main event. I’ll admit, it didn’t ever really stand a chance grabbing our attention as the scent of lamb trickled under our hungry noses but its vibrant colour oozing freshness, greenery and curiosity caught my attention on first sight and even more so on taste.
I’m not your biggest gazpacho eater or one for cucumber in anything but salads and Pimms but after just a vary mouthful of this chilled, textured and complex soup I was dying to know how it was made. It instantly placed itself royally on my to cook list and after searching for a mimic recipe I was delighted to find one and be enlightened into the ingredients. Again, shamefully over half a year later I finally gathered the short list of simple ingredients and concocteed this treat for lunch on a Spring sunny lunch.
Complex, intriguing and all so moreish it is one to try for a taste of Stevie’s culinary brain from your own home. I’m certainly due another visit not only for their chicken livers in seven spice and pomegranate molasses that is still on my ‘To cook’ list slightly below this Iranian soup but for their dynamically changing menu. It is an ideal location on a summers day when you can enjoy their gorgeous roof terrace with a glass of something chilled and ideally effervescent in your favourite sunglasses that have been in hibernation for far too long.
- 75g fresh green pistachios
- 75g blanched almonds
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 cucumber, roughly chopped
- 100g red grapes
- Bunch mint, leaves picked
- Sprig dill
- 1 tsp rosewater
- Juice 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- Rose petals to serve
- Place the nuts and garlic in a food processor and blend until a fine powder.
- Add a splash of water and blend again
- Next, add most of the grapes, saving some for garnish, the cucumber, the mint and the dill
- Blend well.
- Next add a drop of the rose water (its powerful for add a little to begin, taste and add more if needed. It should be a subtle flavour, not there to make this soup taste like soap)
- Add the lemon juice and season to taste and blend again.
- Now add enough water to dilute the consistency to that of a thick soup.
- Serve with sliced grapes and rose petals and any chopped pistachios if you wish.