Three Course Horse hosted by Oliver Peyton
With that in mind, whilst walking past a certain fast food stall perched on the corner of the Strand just last week, I noticed a couple of suits getting stuck into a burger, one of whom was wearing a mustard coloured badge of honour on his lapel. And I did think about tapping him on the shoulder, to tell him that if he really did fancy some horse, then he should have popped up the road to the National Café. He could have tried cheval, pure and unadulterated in there. But after accessing his demeanour and peering into his Cookie Monster eyes, I decided against it.
It was a shame for him though because the horse meat menu served up at Oliver Peyton’s Friday Night Social was great fun and excellent value. When I heard that the restaurateur was planning an educational evening, to promote horse as a healthy, quality meat to eat; I booked a place for myself and my wife straight away. It had been a while since I last tried horse but initially, my wife wasn’t happy at all with the idea. Apparently fond of her equestrian past, she looked quite cross at the suggestion but after some coaxing and case study - “Hey, I’ve eaten horse a few times and look, I’m fine” – she frowned some more before finally relenting.
Whether or not the decision making process for the other 80 or so diners who turned up was quite so fraught, I am not sure. Actually I doubt it, because a lot of people were simply chomping at the bit to get stuck into Dobbin. The general mix, on our long table at least, was one of 50/50, comprising of connoisseurs and first timers and overall the atmosphere was one of carnivorous excitement. A friendly couple from South London, who were sat next to us, were particularly looking forward to trying out horse meat. As proponents of the Paleo Diet, they were very enthused at the prospect of discovering some different protein to gorge on and I admired them for that. And the nifty animal skins they wore, although my male counterpart had to leave his club at the front desk.
Billy Franks, an award winning jerky specialist from East London. And then via various horse racing puns, we were served up a handsome plate of Tartare, hay smoked duck yolk, radish and soda bread crumble. Sliced sirloin arrived at the table for mains, which had been baked in salt lick, served with charred King Oyster mushroom, Celeriac, Crispy Shallots and gravy. And we finished off with Caramelised Carrot Cake, Oat Crumble and Apple Granite for a very naughty, saccharine dessert.
Though judging by the way they galloped off, scoffing into the night, I don’t think they’d give a monkeys either way.