Saturday, 11 August 2012

Stripped back by Ben Spalding

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My current motto seems to be 'Will travel for food', having recently travelled all the way down south to Brockley Market and Fed by Tang Lunch. Another area that we decided to explore is East London, an area that's becoming a cool place to hangout with lots of street food markets, interesting restaurants, new coffee joints etc.

A great new addition to the east is Stripped Back, a pop up by Ben Spalding in Broadway Market. Having worked at Royal Hospital Road, Fat Duck, Le Manoir and most recently Roganic to name a few, Ben is definitely no stranger to the culinary world. He's using Stripped Back to showcase his style of cooking whilst doing research to set up a more permanent arrangement. Located in the London Fields Primary School carpark,  No reservations, raw, personal and stripped back cooking is what this is all about. 

Another highlight about eating here is seeing Ben and his sous chef, Steve in action! Somehow, I really enjoy observing chefs 'doing their thing'!
Ben Spalding
We arrived bright and early at 11am when they opened so we didn't have to wait too long to enjoy the food. First up was a refreshing fizz made with 42c below vodka and meadowsweet.

This came with a very very delicious yoghurt, muesli and malt bread which Ben took 3 years to perfect! And no, I wasn't too successful at getting the recipe from him! :P
The first course was the prettily plated right in from of us, Kentish Pearls cooked in yogurt whey, black truffles, roasted almonds and seeds. No salt is added on the finished product as Ben likes to season it in the cooking process making for a healthier dish. This is evident to as the potatoes was so delicious and probably one of the best I've ever eaten.  Soft, creamy and tasty especially when paired with the roasted almonds, made for an awesome texture sensation!

Next up was the Mall Tavern Smoked salmon, Razor clam and shiso broth with grapes, pickled carrot and coastal herbs. The amazing broth was light yet infused with so much flavour and another texture adventure with the thoughtfully put together ingredients! A total delight this was!

The 3rd wrap was one of Ben's favourite dishes, a Burnt wrap with Salt marsh lamb, ras el hanout, blowtorched baby gem lettuce and minted sourcream. A home style, warming and flavourful dish.

The dessert was Lightly set chocolate brownie custard with pecans, shortbread cream and strawberry juice. Very moriesh and luscious!
Lastly was a cola jelly with a hit of alcohol. A perfect way to end this very enjoyable meal!
The menu is changed constantly depending on the seasonal ingredients Ben sourced every week so it's definitely a place to go back to every so often. The meal costs £17.50 for 4 courses with a petit four. A bargain in my opinion as it's essentially fine dining style food.

Yes, I revisited Stripped back as it just had to be done. On this occasion, we also found out that Ben is planning a 6 month residency in a pub in Islington from Oct onwards so that's going to be real exciting! Follow him on Twitter at @John_Salt to be kept in the loop! He's also at @benspalding1 and @_strippedback

The menu was totally different this time but it continued with the theme of putting amazing flavours onto 1 plate. I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

Salad of english Vittoria tomatoes & homemade goats curd, bronze fennel, bread curls & mango juice

Cured and roasted Cod flakes, dark cauliflower cream, fried bacon. mallow juice flavoured with fig leaves 

Hot lamb broth, chorizo, coriander, Beans sprouts, red onion & peas

Sweetened Goats milk yoghurt toasted pumpkin seeds, maple syrup & wild blackberries

Peanut butter & jam fudge

Yet Another update!
Yes! I must be kinda addicted to Stripped back as I again made another trip back after watching Athletics at the Paralympics!

Salad of sun dried tomatoes & homemade goats curd, bread curls & mango juice

 Tea smoked salmon

Erin doing some smoking
Absolutely delicious Mushroom Duxelle filled Lumaconi. We've been inspired to recreate the filling.

Stunning Chocolate Banana Delice

Stripped Back
London Fields Primary School Playground
West Gate Street 
E8 3RL


  1. What an unusual concept of a restaurant! The bread looks out-of-space. I would travel there to taste at least the bread.

    1. You seem to have a long list of places to visit when you come over?

  2. It looks WAY delicious! YUMMY! I NEED TO GO BACK!

  3. The salmon dish is very pretty! It looks like you are traveling and enjoying food - and we get benefit of reading about your fun experience! :D


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