Date Night Tasting Menu


‘m really missing hosting dinner parties and generally feeding people! We’re also missing those rare but spontaneous dinners out when we feel like we’re on a real date night. One of our favourite places to frequent is (well now was) in Pop Brixton (about 100m away from our flat!) Smoke & Salt. Excitingly they are relocating to a permeant hide out in Tooting! Its a real gem and a place saved for special occasions. They have a sharing menu concept that changes frequently so it inspired me this evening for our weekly date night.

The first time we went to Smoke & Salt we had this potato and beef dish which was just amazing. We never got the chance to sample it again so I’ve had to create my own version! A creamy, garlic, mustard, cheesy sauce for some salty cooked potatoes and rare beef. 

The salad adds a nice fresh clean contrast to the beef and potatoes on the side. We enjoyed some of the focaccia chopped and dipped into some rosemary flavoured extra virgin oil with G&Ts before the feast.

Dessert ice cream can be found here. Simply add a shot of Amaretto and one of hot coffee and serve !

Serves 2 (…hungry people as a sharing meal)

Seabass & Roasted Red Pepper sauce

  • 2 seabass fillets
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots (or 1 small onion), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin, coriander, chilli flakes
  • 350g flame roasted peppers – I actually used this jar from Odysea. You can make your own but I had these to hand in the pantry.
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • Handful basil
  1. Heat a tbsp of sunflower oil in a saucepan on a medium-low heat. Add the shallots and gently cook for about 10 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a 2 minutes.
  3. Add the spices and some generous seasoning and cook out for 1 minute, stirring well.
  4. Drain the peppers from the jar, chop roughly and add to the saucepan. 
  5. Add about 100ml of stock and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes before stirring in the basil.
  6. Using a food processor (or hand blender) pulse the sauce until smooth – add more stock as needed. I did this by eye. It needs to be like a thick soup. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Keep warm while you make the fish.
  7. Season the seabass fillets and score the skin side a few times to stop it curling up in cooking. Heat a tsp of sunflower oil in a hot frying pan over a high heat. Add the seabass, skin side down and press into the pan with a spatula quickly to avoid it curling. Cook skin side down for about 3 minutes. Turn onto the flesh side for 30 seconds and then remove from the heat.
  8. Spoon some sauce onto a plate and gently lay the fish onto. Squeeze over some lemon juice and enjoy!

Crispy roast new potatoes, mustard garlic cream sauce, rare beef rump

  • 1 rump steak (or whatever cut you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • New potatoes – about 300g but enough for two depending on hunger.
  • 100ml creme fraiche
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 50g roule cheese
  • 1 small handful fresh chives
  • Splash milk
  1. Half the new potatoes and boil for about 5-8 minutes and then drain. Return to their saucepan and put the lid on. Shake the pot to bash the potatoes up a little and get the edges fluffy.
  2. Tip onto a baking tray, season and drizzle with sunflower oil. Toss so they are all coated in oil. Roast in a 220 over for about 20 minutes until golden and crispy. 
  3. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the peppercorns really finely. Season the steak generouslly on both sides with as much pepper as you like – I like a nice crust! Add salt.
  4. BBQ or grill the steak for as long as you like. Let rest for 5 minutes minimum.
  5. Combine the creme fraiche, roule and wholegrain mustard in a saucepan. Gently heat stirring well to combine (Add splash of milk to thin the sauce when needed). Add half the chopped chives. Taste and season.
  6. To serve, put the potatoes in a serving dish and season. Carve the steak really thinly and lay over the potatoes. Drizzle / dollop the sauce over the top and garnish with the remaining chopped chives. Serve extra sauce on the side.

Asparagus, broad bean, pea, lemon & parmesan salad

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • Large handful broad beans (I used frozen)
  • Large handful garden peas (I used frozen)
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • Parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Boil the broad beans for about 1 minutes and drain. You will need to tediously pick the beans from their pods into a serving dish. Use your nail to piece the skin and then just pop the bean out.
  2. Boil the peas for 1 minutes, drain and add to the broad beans.
  3. Drizzle the asparagus in a little oil and griddle on the BBQ or in a pan for just a few minutes making sure they are still al dente! Add to the bean/pea bowl.
  4. Chop the mint finely and add to the bowl. Grate the zest of 1/2 the lemon into the bowl and season all well. Toss to combine. 
  5. Finally, using a peeler, peel some thin strips of parmesan cheese over the salad.