shade indicates age or oxygenation which won‘t taste so good. The other fishy thing occasionally appearing in recipes is shrimp paste. or blachan. which is really pungent. so buy it in plastic tubs. not wrapped in paper. and keep it at the back of your fridge. You only ever need a teaspoon at a time. Lemon grass is best bought as fresh thick stems and excess stored in the freezer. but you can rehydrate the dried chopped stuff. The thing is. you usually take the lemon grass out before serving and it's easier to pull out a stem than to go fishing about for little flakes. Galangal. which looks just like fresh ginger. or as my granny describes it. a baby‘s stumpy hands. also freezes well, so ifyou find it fresh usually only in Chinese shops buy lots and then peel it. chop it into cubes and then stick it in the deep freeze. It will be soggy when you defrost it but the cough-mixture flavour is incredibly strong. so it won’t be lost. The dried stuff is often called Laos powder. presumably because it grows well there. You will also need lots of garlic. fresh red chillies. spring onions and herbs. usually basil or mint. at the ready. Fresh basil goes off in no time. and those windowsill herb pots aren‘t usually sufficient so try and find somewhere that sells large bunches. Recipes containing coconut milk are much smoother and creamier if you use the tinned stuff. but you can use the cheaper blocks of creamed coconut which you mix with boiling water. If you're only using a little. always make sure you cut the block vertically as there is a layer of coconut oil that has risen to the top and you need a mixture of both oil and milk.

One of the best recipes to start with is chicken stir-fried with basil. utterly delicious but very simple. Chop finely two breasts of chicken. about four cloves of garlic. two to five fresh seeded chillies and tear up a packet of fresh basil into shreds. Heat some oil in a wok until very hot. throw in all the ingredients and stir fry until the chicken is cooked. Shake in a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce and stir fry a minute longer. Then serve with rice.

For a guide to Thai ingredients and recipes. Vatcharin Bhumichitr's Thai Cookbook is a good way to start. and Madhur Jaffrey's Far Eastern Cookery Book includes many Thai recipes as well as tastes from the rest of the Far East. which all use similar ingredients. so once you get started on Thailand then you can get working your way through Malaysia. Indonesia. Vietnam, Laos, Hong Kong and Japan.

Recipe Books: Vatch Is Thai Cookbook, Vatcharin Bhumichitr, Pavillion Books Ltd, £17. 99; Far Eastern Cookery, by Madhur Jaffrey. BBC Books. £7.95. Restaurants: Thai Fountain. 2 Woodside C rescent, Cltaring C ross, Glasgow. 332 2599; Ayatthaya. 14b Nicholson Street. Edinburgh. 556 9351; Buntom '3 Thai Restaurant. 9—13 Nelson Street, Edinburgh. 557 8212; Ko Samui Thai Restaurant. 42 Bridge Street. Musselburgh. 653 2788; Siam Erawan. 48 Howe Street. Edinburgh. 226 3675; Sukhothai, 23 Brougham Place. Edinburgh. 229 1537.


I llatlonal Vegetarian Week National Vegetarian Week sprouts into action on Sun 21 May under the slogan ‘Make a fresh start.’ The aim of the campaign is to help those who might be thinking about switching to vegetarianism but are not too sure about the best way to go about it. Given recent health-related food scares and the ethical issues raised by the veal export trade, it comes as no surprise that the number of vegetarians is on the up. Not that vegetarians should be overly smug about their dietary health when even the benefits of carrots have been called into question.

Major vegetarian celebrities are helping to promote the event by detailing their favourite meat-free meals in leaflets which will be available from most health food stores. Damon Albarn. winsome star of Blur. has come up with the simply named Damon's Potatoes. Tony Blackburn has come out with a Mango Fool and Sean Hughes has conjured up a typically surreal Veg and Two Veg.

ln Glasgow‘s Grassroots shop on Woodlands Road the staff will prepare their personal favourite vegetarian dishes for their customers to sample while in Edinburgh. Nancy Hunter will give a vegetarian cookery demonstration at the Better Living Centre. 3 Bristo Place at 7.30pm. Admission is £2.


I ltitzl Henry: a brasserie l9 Shore Place. Leith. 555 6625. It‘s not often that you meet a restaurateur whose head is brimming over with culinary ideas. all of them simmering away inside a pressurised cranium. each one fighting to burst out and explode into a riot of flavours. David Ramsden is one such man. Having worked with Chris Corbin and Jeremy King at the Caprice in London (‘the best and most influential experience of my life‘ reckons Ramsden) as well as Tex Mex and Malmaison in Edinburgh. Ramsden has struck out on his own and taken over the premises formerly known as Wishart's Warehouse.

As you might expect from someone with as direct a manner as Ramsden. he has a clearly defined concept behind his brasserie. Over the last five years he reckons that our eating habits have become pretty decadent. with chefs utilising the most obvious cuts of meat and leaving the rest to go to waste. This. according to Ramsden. creates pressure on those who rear livestock to use intensive farming methods which are both inefficient and even cruel. Ramsden aims to provide a cuisine based on provincial cooking yet imbued with modern influences. Before industrialisation. your Joe Bloggs country dweller was pretty poor and had to make the best use of all the resources that he had to hand. Ironically. he also had the best and the

freshest produce. What with necessity being the mother of invention. our rural ancestors came up with some pretty nifty ideas about how to eat well and cut waste to an absolute minimum. In practice this means using as much of the animal as possible and using cooking methods which bring out the best in all cuts of meat. Thus the menu at the brasserie is based around patés. terrines. sausages and dishes which have been marinaded. braised and slow cooked so that they can develop a real complexity of flavours.

The same amount of thought has gone into the wine list and you can also look forward to a range of sherries. rnadeiras and ports. white as well as red.

Ramsden has a passion for his profession and has set himself high standards see for yourselves if he matches them. The menus are all table d’hote and cost £1 1.50 for two courses and £14.50 for three.

I Jaipur Mansion Newington Road. 662 9020. The Jaipur is hosting a ‘Young Chefs For Well Water Day' on Mon 22 May. Around a hundred young women from St Margaret's School. with the help of the Jaipur’s chefs. will be preparing and serving meals throughout the day with all the takings going towards Blue Peter's Well Water Appeal. The Appeal aims to provide clean drinking water in a number of sites on the subcontinent. The donations to the appeal are £7.95 for lunch and £15 for dinner.

(Jonathan Trew)



Organic produce Herbs & Spices Hot 8: Cold Food Japanese Specialities Vegetarian & Vegan Foods


(0141) 353 3278


Vegetarian, Vegan & Macrobiotic supplies in the shop upstairs

Delicious food in the Café downstairs

Opium-r; Tuna-s

,’ I v."\ fifir l"‘/‘ I O («u' .v»|p... \ vb. 1 x, \‘\)> ' \\‘\-\I\IV

83 Clerk Street, Edinburgh {'iexlC‘uee"s Hall) Tel: st‘Op) (cu-‘0)



* * -- ’MW + Cl Ubiquitous Cbip


This superb Scottish restaurant has been the recipient of many awards for excellence since being established in 1971. The newest award is a Michelin Red M. an award never before bestowed on a Glasgow restaurant.


Tel 0141-334 5007

The List 1‘) May-l Jun 1995 91