I’ve been a fan of Oliver Rowe for years.  Mr Frivolitea and I first discovered him through the TV series Urban Chef and then ventured to London to try his food.  Konstam at the Prince Albert was a real favourite.  It’s where I really discovered the joy of eating out and trying new things. I can still vividly remember the first time I tried lambs heart, skirt steak and spätzle all at Konstam. I also loved the idea of being up close and personal with the food prep, Oliver cooked in front of diners.  I loved it. So imagine my distress when it closed and I no longer had an opportunity to eat his food.  Oliver has been busy doing residencies and pop ups around London but it’s never easy to go when it’s 200 miles away.   So imagine my delight when a cheeky tweet and the bravery to follow it up led to Oliver coming up to Yorkshire and doing some pop ups in Leeds and Harrogate and the double joy of Oliver releasing a book.  The most beautifully written book showing such a love for seasonal produce.  You see that’s what I love about Oliver’s food.  It’s honest. It allows the ingredients to speak for themselves and it tastes great every time.

The pop up at Norse had some of my favourite things: Mackerel, Skirt steak, almonds.

When we arrived Norse provided some beautiful verbena and coriander seed bread with artichoke purée and puffed wheat. 

Then Oliver’s first course arrived. A selection of ‘snacks’: Radishes with anchovy butter, potato with smoked curd and leek ash and quails egg with kohlrabi.  All delicious but especially the anchovy butter, which I could have happily eaten on its own. 

Next course was courgette flower stuffed with Harrogate blue, goats curd and honey. Simply delicious.

Then came the mackerel with a beautifully jammy gooseberry compote, creme fraiche and buckwheat.   

This dish was paired with an unusual and quite superb biodynamic wine that was 100% Sauvignon Blanc grape 2013 Puilly Fume, Alexandre Bain.  I don’t even know how to describe it, it almost had a cider like quality to it. 

Then came the skirt steak, bringing back memories of eating it at Konstam years ago. The steak was cooked on Norse’s Big Green Egg and accompanied by beetroot and onion. The steak just melted in the mouth.

The final course was heaven on a plate: blueberry and almond tart with artichoke creme fraiche ice cream (a particular triumph I thought) and fennel crumble. The flavours of almond and fennel with the artichoke ice cream were simply perfect.

What a wonderful evening. Particularly special for me to eat Oliver’s food again and chat to him about his plans and opportunities.  Now to persuade him to come back up north again….


Leave a Reply