I met up with Frode and Emily last night as they gathered ingredients at the Loon Foon and the Loon Moon in Gerrard Street in preparation for the inaugural visit of Emily's mother.
We also visited the New Harvest Fish Market on Shaftesbury Avenue. Dinner was fished out of a tank containing about thirty carp with the aid of a net of the sort kids use on tidal beaches. After about 30 seconds of mass evasive action the unlucky individual destined for la suegra's plate was secured and weighed within a flooded plastic bag: £13.30.
It was then carried off to the area behind the tank, which was kitted out like a pyscho's cellar with an assortment of different shaped knives and a pair of elbow length blue rubber gloves. I'm squeamishly western when it comes to animal executions, but I'd still have to say that the performance than ensued was disappointingly amateurish. The first blow delivered by the Chinese chopper appeared to miss the fish's head and the second launched it off the wooden block and into the air from where it bounced off the tiled wall and fell back into the sink. Dead or not it was promptly gutted and delivered to Frode in another see-through plastic bag. Emily didn't like the way its mouth kept on pouting open. It's not breathing, it's expiring I suggested.
Back home my own wokked-up evening meal consisted of strips of turkey breast cooked with mixed peppers, ginger, Thai green chillies, lemongrass (50+ cm stalks bought at Loon Foon) and doused at the end with a cup-full of Tom Kha coconut soup.
I had one of the best Thai stir-fry curries I have ever tasted a couple of weeks ago at the Panzón Verde. It's the one dish on Christophe's menu that is neither Swiss nor Guatemalan in inspiration and arrives on the table in a mini-wok heated from below by its own little oil-burner. V's only quibble was that the rice should have been kept separate as she felt it would tend to overcook this way. Great presentation though, and alive with flavour.