Kumquat Mae

Lola and I had lunch at Kumquat Mae (which I only just realised is a very bad pun, on a par with most hairdressers names), the Veggie restaurant on Abbeydale Road. I’d wanted to go there for the last couple of years, but somehow never made it until now. I wish I’d visited earlier.

I wasn’t going to have a starter, but ordered a bruschetta anyway, as I thought Lola might fancy something bready to fill her up. It was rather soggy with tomato juice, but none the worse for it. One slice of very nutty bread, griddled and dipped in olive oil, covered in tapenade and then heaped with loads and loads of chopped tomato. Alongside was a salad of lettuce and loads more tomato. It all tasted scrummy and really fresh.

For the main course, I had stuffed aubergine. A veggie staple-type food, which could easily have been really boring, but in this case was loaded with flavour. The stuffing was a ratatouille-type mix of meditteranean vegetables, but with sultanas and some nutty bits (I think ground nuts plus almond slices) in it, and tasty as hell (I’m not normally a big fan of ratatouille). It came with courgettes, new potatoes, carrots (cooked to perfection), green beans and salad of lettuce, tomato and olives. Lola nicked all of my green beans, and had a fair few potatoes and bits of aubergine as well.

I wasn’t going to have a dessert but… my willpower is so non-existent. Plum and pear crumble it was then, with cream. The crumble topping was very sweet, but none the worse for it. Absolute 110% comfort food, Lola and I ended up fighting over the last pieces. Gorgeous.

I had a complementary glass of white wine to go with the meal. It turned out that (I think) the guy who gave me the wine made it himself. It was gorgeous stuff… I don’t know what to compare it to, because I’m not an expert and it was fairly unlike most other wine’s I’d tried, but I asked him for more details and he said it was “just a basic vin de table” and then reeled of a list of grapes, before going into a rant about Gallo wines and the fact that they were riddled with chemicals and Gallo were a bunch of money grabbing bastards, something like that. I asked him if I could get some of the wine, and he took my phone number, told me it’d probably be the end of January. So I look forward to it.

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