January health kick coming to an end? Howard Calvert reveals the perfect dishes to annihilate those good intentions
If, like many men, you are counting down the days until the end of a dull month of no alcohol, insipid salads and the gym four times a week, it’s time to take your foot off the health-kick pedal. We unveil the seven best dishes to seek out to end the month of misery and start 2015 as you mean to go on. Best not cancel that gym membership just yet…
The Doughnut buttie
Bird, 42 Kingsland Rd, London
It’s official – the doughnut is looking to usurp the waffle as 2015’s so-wrong-it’s-right accompaniment to meat. This Elvis-worthy item (£3.50) on chicken shack Bird’s new breakfast menu boasts dough drizzled with maple cream and crammed with crispy bacon.
Bad Egg, City Point, London
Stay with us on this one. It may sound wrong but it’s also a dish that, when Instagrammed, prompts cries of “I want my face in that immediately”. The man behind Islington’s Smokehouse – barbecue don Neil Rankin – has paid his respects to the egg in his latest venture, and the food features in most dishes on the menu. The cheeseburger hash (£8.50) is a deconstructed burger: a patty, pickles, cheese (no bun) smashed together in a pan, with an egg on top.
Norwegian crab and Nebraskan steak
Beast, 3 Chapel Place, London
With an interior that looks suspiciously like Dumbledore might pop out any minute with his Sorting Hat, reviews that describe it as “hilariously silly” and the lofty price, you may have already dismissed Beast. We’d recommend you reconsider because of this table-toppling board of surf’n’turf (£75 a head). Gorge yourself on the best Norwegian king crab and Nebraskan rib-eye available in London while enjoying a dining experience you won’t find anywhere else in the UK. This is proper decadence.
Full rack of pork ribs
Dark Horse, 145 Alcester Rd, Birmingham
Birmingham’s newest smokehouse has already become a rib joint that President Frank Underwood himself would be proud to frequent, if only it opened at 8am. The owners embarked on an epic tour of the US to hone their methods, and the results are glorious. The full rack of pork ribs, smoked for 18 hours (£15), is good value, but on a Monday you’ll get a beer and a pickleback shot thrown in too.
Red’s True Barbecue, various locations in Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham
A pair of 5oz steak patties, melted cheese, smoked bacon, dirty sauce and deep-fried onions layered between two glazed doughnuts (£12.95). Not enough calories? Thankfully it also comes with a bacon-wrapped jalapeno.
Hotbox, 46 Commercial St, London
Most of the menu of this new Spitalfields restaurant’s inventive barbecue dishes could be comfortably filed under ‘decadent’ (Dirty Swine sandwich, Smokey Bandit burger with short rib, ham hock pinto beans), but it’s the dessert course that will see you improvising some extra belt notches with your fork. Deep-fried Oreos (£6) is four of the classic US cookies, smothered in batter then dipped in hot fat: essentially a doughnut with a gooey, biscuity centre. The best way to toast the end of abstinence. Until 2016.
The Big Bombay
Dishoom, various locations in London
Look past one dementedly indulgent item on Dishoom’s menu: its famous bacon naan roll (it is possible if you really try), and instead go for the Big Bombay (£11.50). A traditional British fry-up with a twist, the plate will arrive loaded with Ginger Pig smoked streaky bacon, Shropshire pork sausages, masala baked beans, akuri (spicy scrambled eggs), grilled mushrooms and tomatoes, plus buttered pau buns. Wash it all down with a house chai, and trust us, you’ll be raving about it all for days afterwards.