Match of the week
Vietnamese chicken salad and ginger and lemongrass cordial
One of the encouraging things going on in restaurants now is the increasing number of interesting alcohol-free drinks on offer which I find particularly welcome at lunchtime when I don’t particularly want to drink.
Last week’s visit to Noya’s Kitchen in Bath is a case in point. It’s a really lovely little Vietnamese cafe owned and run by a chef who started doing pop-ups and offers a short, regularly changing menu of seasonal dishes. On an unusually warm spring day last week she had a totally delicious Vietnamese chicken salad on offer with which I drank her homemade ginger and lemongrass cordial, topped up with sparkling water and garnished with mint.
Unlike wine or other drinks which have their own character it’s possible to tailor-make your soft drink offering to the kind of food you serve and the cordial was perfectly gauged for the food.
The following day I had a pickled lemon martini at Jikoni, an Indian restaurant in Marylebone, London with a series of small plates - more proof that not drinking doesn’t have to be dreary.
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