After the gorgeous weather of California, the depressing drizzle of London came as a bit of a shock. The only solution? Food.
A spin-off of the fantastically popular MEATliquor, MEATmarket is situated in the heart of Covent Garden, overlooking the market. It’s a great place to sit and people watch while chowing down on a variety of gourmet burgers, fries and milkshakes. Their ‘dead hippy burger’ combines two beef patties with a delicious creamy sauce. The burger was almost too juicy, being a real challenge to eat – there’s kitchen roll on each table for a reason! The chips were excellent and very reminiscent of ‘In’n’out burger’ in the US. The milkshake was wonderfully decadent – I like them thick enough that the straw doesn’t fall over and you can’t spill it easily.
Inspired by their excellent cookbook, I decided to attempt one of Momofuku’s signature dishes: pork buns. Their take on the chinese/japanese/korean classic of ‘char siu bao’ combines a soft clamshell bun, pickled cucumber, slow braised pork belly, spring onions, hoisin sauce and sriracha.
Making the buns from scratch is time consuming, but relatively easy, it’s a pretty straightforward white bread mix that’s then steamed. The pork needs to be home cured overnight and then cooked for hooours. The actual assembly time is very short, making a great dinner party starter.
The end results were far better than I expected, the buns were soft and fluffy, the pork was sweet, porky and had a lovely crunch at the edges. The pickled cucumbers were really nice, cutting through the sweet hoi sin sauce. The sriracha is rocket fuel – use with caution.