Updated: Feb 26
This month Yvette visit's her local Italian, Cento Uno. And Dom makes some multi coloured pancakes of joy, just in time for pancake day. (Although every day should be pancake day in my opinion)! Make sure you share your pics if you make them. And comment below with your fave pancake toppings for Dom and the restaurants you want Yvette to review. Enjoy xx
By Yvette Thomson
The Venue | CENTO UNO
I have a love/hate relationship with Uber.
I love that, after a night out, there’s a lovely little app I can click on and my knight in a shining Prius magically appears. The downside is that after a journey from Hackney to home, my bank balance plummets into the depths of despair.
So what’s a girl to do if she wants to avoid financial doom, the night tube and cooking? Find herself a banging local restaurant.
I must have rescued a litter of puppies from a fire in my previous life, because when I walked into Cento Uno - seconds away from my flat - the pizza gods were smiling down upon me. Located on the corner of a lovely tree-lined road in Surbiton, this eclectic pizzeria has a buzzy atmosphere and a sleek but fun interior, complete with a fabulous mosaic pizza oven as the pièce de résistance.
The menu adds a modern twist to traditional Italian food, without trying too hard.
Starters include crowd-pleasers such as Sicilian arancini, beef carpaccio and bruschetta, however, we opted for the antipasto della casa. As a mountain of cured meat, olives, artichokes and stuffed sweet peppers arrived, I mentally high-fived myself for wearing my stretchy Lululemon leggings.
We washed this down with a couple of Negroni each - the classic concoction made of equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth and gin – before ordering a very quaffable bottle of Montepulciano Frentano.
The choice of pasta is equally impressive. Although old faithfuls such as Carbonara Alla Calabrese and Penne All’Arrabiata feature loud and proud, they also cater for veggies and vegans with dishes like Penne Al Pesto Di Salvia - penne pasta, walnut pesto, butternut squash and vegetarian parmesan.
For those who prefer to avoid carbs (I have yet to meet such a mystical creature) the specials have got you covered with veal escalope and Coley fillet with carpet shell clams.
My main course was a no-brainer. You see, I react to seeing a pizza the way most women react when they see a baby: it makes me want one of my own.
Although there are only eight pizzas on the menu, each one is perfectly thought out and crafted. I opted for the Quatro Stagioni - organic tomato sauce, fior di latte, mushrooms, cotto ham, egg and olives – and the boyf chose a white-based Iberica with serrano ham, chorizo and manchego. Both pizzas were perfectly imperfect with doughy, fluffy crusts and and packed with flavour.
If you have room for dessert, firstly, I salute you. Secondly, order the tiramisu. TRUST ME. Pair this with a l’ill Limoncello because, you know, when in Surbiton.
And although there’s no need to wait for Kevin in his Nissan Sentro Expecto Excel Spreadsheet 2008, I’d gladly brave the night bus to visit Cento Uno. IMEO*, it’s the best pizza south of the river.
*In My Expert Opinion
The damage: ££
Worth the burpees? Assolutamente!
www.centouno.co.uk / 101 Maple road, KT6 4AW / 020 8390 0101
By Dominic Franks
The Recipe | RAINBOW PANCAKES
It's Shrove Tuesday on the 25th and for most of us this means it’s all about pancakes. When I was a kid it meant a huge mess in mum’s kitchen and a pile of either totally burnt disks of rock-hard batter or soggy, undercooked rubbery raw egg. My brother and I would have pancake tossing competitions to see who could flip their pancake higher which would often result in pancake on both ceiling and floor. However our pancakes came out, we always tipped half a tonne of sugar all over them with a squeeze of Jif Lemon and we were happy. I feel sorry for mum who had to spend the rest of the night scraping pancake batter that had set like concrete off every surface of the kitchen.
I think the challenge has always been that here in the UK we don’t really have a pancake culture. The Pancake Day tradition came about in order for us to use up the butter, sugar and flour prior to the abstinence of Lent - yes, believe it or not we’ve been doing a version of ‘Dry January’ since time began in one way or another. This was just once a year though, we don't really eat pancakes like our friends in Europe or the US. In France they regularly eat crepes, which are a gloriously thin pancake, usually with something sticky and sweet rolled up inside it and of course in the US they make fluffy thick pancakes that are often eaten for breakfast. I think the American style pancke is my favourite style of pancake but you don’t actually toss it, you gently flip with a spatula. So this Pancake Day, don’t be a tosser and try my pancakes!
For the recipe I’m sharing with you today I’m going for American style thick pancakes but I’m also getting my creative juices flowing by adding some different colours. I want to keep it natural so I’m using colours derived from fruits, vegetables and spices. They’re all easy to get hold of and none of them effect the taste. They do make the whole process slightly trickier but it’s still all quite basic; eggs, flour and milk. You just need a little patience and a steady hand!
Makes roughly 6 fluffy pancakes - 2 red, 2 green and 2 yellow
270g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ tsp salt
4 tablespoon caster sugar
260ml oz milk (or dairy free alternative)
2 large free-range eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoon melted butter (allowed to cool slightly) or olive oil, plus extra for cooking
1 teaspoon beetroot powder – for the red pancakes
1 teaspoon matcha powder – for the green pancakes
1 teaspoon turmeric – for the yellow pancakes
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a large bowl. In a separate bowl or jug, lightly whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and, using a fork, beat until you have a smooth batter. Any lumps will soon disappear with a little mixing.
Divide the batter evenly between three bowls, then stir the beetroot powder into one, the matcha powder into another and the turmeric into the third. Stir well until all the powder has dissolved.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. When it's melted, add a ladle of batter (or two if your frying pan is big enough to cook two pancakes at the same time). It will seem very thick but this is how it should be. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to form small bubbles, then flip it over with a spatula and cook until both sides are coloured but not too dark to discolour the brightness of the powders.
Repeat until all the batter is used up. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low oven, but they taste best fresh out the pan.
Serve with lashings of real maple syrup or runny honey and extra butter.
It's Lis again. Ok, now all I want is pizza and pancakes!! Anyone else?! Yvette and Dom will be back next month for another edition of 'Dine out, dish up' xx