On Bank Holiday Monday I excitedly made my way to the aptly names Fish Island to attend the latest Dine with Dos Hermanos event at Formans, the newish restaurant from H. Forman and Son, a smoked salmon and fine food wholesaler.
I had a little difficulty locating the venue, though I did enjoy wandering around this, for me previously unexplored, area of East London. I arrived in the middle of a salmon cutting demonstration, it was a lot to take in, the view from the room is breathtaking, overlooking the Olympic stadium, and Darren Matson's slicing was nothing short of masterful, he made it look so easy.
We sat to begin the feast, Dine with Dos Hermanos events are always feasts, I've been fortunate to attend previous evenings at The Bull and Last and Bentleys, both wonderful evenings. I'd missed the welcome cocktail on this occasion, but if one thing was for sure, there was to be no shortage of drinks.
We were served 4 kinds of Formans London cure smoked salmon, with buckwheat blinis, capers, diced shallots and creme fraiche. My favourite of the 4 varieties was the gravadlax. All agreed each were excellent, most preferred the wild. This was accompanied by a glass (with multiple refills naturally) of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 1995 which was one of the finest sparkling wines I have ever tried. I could have drunk this all evening.
The main course was served family style, a large porchetta with the most crunchy and tasty crackling I've ever eaten. It was one of the highlights of the evening. The side dishes were asparagus, roasted new potatoes, carrots, apple sauce and a lovely mushroom gravy. The drinks were glasses of Ortega 2007 white wine and a shot of Kingston Black cider, wickedly strong hence the size of the serving.
The dessert was the least successful course of the night for me, a glazed apple tart with roddas clotted cream. The latter never disappoints but my serving of the tart was under glazed, the apples were fairly flavourless, though the pastry was excellent. In the picture, the accompanying glass of cider brandy is visible, I found this a tad too strong, the dessert just didn't stand up to it.
I was most looking forward to the final course of cheese, provided by Neal's Yard Dairy, the crumbly stichelton stood out for me, I thought it worked very well with the tang of the homemeade chutney and the Peter's Yard cripsbreads. We got some of these in the infamous goodie bag, I'll certainly be putting these to good use with a cheeseboard in the near future.
The Worthington White Sheild IPA was an interesting choice to serve at the end of the meal but it was a nice refreshing flavour.
We also had coffee and chocolates, the coffee pots I recall were a curious shape, one of my fellow diners noted that they would cause much difficulty for left handed pourers - lefties be warned.
Following the meal we were led upstairs to view the art selection housed on the top level of the building, this was a cute end to a great event, as we left we were handed our goodie bags, see Hermano Primero's report over at Dos Hermanos for the full content. Thanks to both Hermanos brilliant organizing and hosting as always.
All this for the usual £40.
Stour Road, Fish Island,