In anticipation of our upcoming blog birthday party I am browsing through my finger food recipes and oh! ah! it's sooo hard to choose!
You might have read it in this blog before, but I once had a dream (which I might, one day, put into practice) to open a restaurant/bar that would offer smart finger food in a cosy surrounding, where you can just fall into a sofa after work, have a glass of champagne and glorious canapés.
When I read about Amuse-Bouche in a newspaper the other day, I thought: there you go, someone's read my blog and they've nicked the idea... so off I went, husband in tow, to see what it was all about and if it was just what I'd been concocting up. It's located in Parson's Green, a stop on the District Line somewhere between Fulham and Wimbledon, and due to the fact that the area has got good connections into Central London and is still a relatively cheap area to be living in, Amuse-Bouche will never fail to attract the young crowd of 30-something professionals with a reasonable disposable income. Being just opposite a tube station makes it the perfect pit-stop on your way home, for a quick glass of champagne and a nibble...
Although the name would suggest that its focus lies on tastebud-tickling food, the concept of the locale is to offer champagne at low mark-ups, so you get a glass from £4.50 and a bottle from somewhere around £20. The food was well presented and, for the most part, tasty enough, but I was a disappointed by the fact that the selection was tiny and what was on offer were mainly platters with miniature version of what you would get in any bar in London: pitta bread with dips, mini-hamburgers (a trio of tuna, chicken and beef) with fries, mini-bagels (salmon & cream cheese, goat's cheese and onion confit, guacamole & cheddar) and mini-ciabatta (tuna & sweetcorn, roast vegetables & mozzarella, etc).
The idea remains great, but I think the food on offer could be more sophisticated, and a major let-down was the fact that the bar was so smoky - however, with platters hovering between the £6 and £12 mark (we had three of them and were reasonably full) it allows you to start off your evening in style without breaking the bank... always a plus!
51 Parsons Green Lane
Tel: 020 7371 8517
Nearest tube: Parson's Green
Ham & mustard wrap rolls
100 g cream cheese (I used philadelphia)
50 g mild mustard (German, if you can find it)
1 handful chopped parsley
12 large thin slices of smoked ham (Brunswick's my favourite)
4 large flour tortilla wraps
Mix the cream cheese and mustard and season well. Fold in the parsley. Spread some of the cheese mix onto a wrap, top with 3 slices of ham, then roll, very tightly, in cling film and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Cut the rolls into 2 cm slices and arrange on a plate.
(Once sliced, you can keep them in an airtight container for about 4 hours without fear of them drying out.)