It was our 10th Wedding Anniversary last week and I was given the choice of where to eat to celebrate. It had to be London because that’s a special place for us and I chose The Gay Hussar in Soho www.gayhussar.co.uk It’s where we went when we got engaged and the type of cuisine holds very special memories for me – takes me back to my roots! The food reminds me so much of my late mother’s cooking – she was German, from Southern Germany, the Black Forest, and her cooking was heavily influenced by Hungarian, as well as French and Italian cuisine.
It’s a popular place with politicians and the walls are littered with photographs and caricatures of well known politicians, past and present. The decor is traditional, the china and cutlery old fashioned, but the tablecloths are white, crisp and starched. The service was friendly and efficient, possibly a bit too quick – our Bangladeshi waiter explained that there are some Hungarian staff but also a mix of six different nationalities on the team.
We both chose a selection of Hungarian Salami’s for our starter. Fresh and spicy.
Nigel’s main course was Crispy Duck with Apple Sauce and Red Cabbage: Very tasty!
Mine was Venison Goulash with Giant Cous Cous and Red Cabbage garnished with a sweet cornichon. Meltingly tender meat in a sauce that had the traditional sweet paprika and pepper flavours and I also detected caraway, an ingredient my Mum always put into her goulash.
We shared a dessert of sweet cheese pancakes – this was exactly like my Mum used to make! Yum!
We also had a very nice bottle of red wine.
Not the best restaurant meal I’ve ever had but it certainly evoked some happy memories.
Afterwards we trekked across London to Portobello Road to visit a bookshop I’ve been wanting to go to for ages……..’Books for Cooks’. In excess of 12,000 titles, all cookery books! I could have spent all week in there….Nigel had had enough after 10 minutes! Found a great little book on making Perfect Macarons, my latest passion. The chap who served me was none other than Eric Treuille, author of my favourite ‘Canapes’ book and a few other titles too! I’ll have to go back one day, on my own, with a few hours to kill!