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ﬁeld of it for the ﬁrst time this year and hope to harvest a shop-ready crop in August. The wet garlic in the shops at the moment comes mainly from Israel but if the Scotherbs experiment succeeds. we should be able to buy it even fresher.
Dried garlic is often small and annoyingly ﬁddley — it is always best to look for plump, swollen cloved bulbs, but some varieties don't grow that big. Ifyour garlic is relatively fresh. not sprouting green or rubbery and nicotine-coloured, you should be able to bash the base ofthe clove lightly with a pestle or some such bludgeoning tool. and the skin will fall away.
To chop garlic ﬁnely. lie the peeled clove on its ﬂattcst side and slice it ﬁnely in three directions. without cutting right through the base: vertically from base to tip, horizontally from side to side and then vertically from side to side. If you want a ﬁner paste pour on a teaspoon of salt per clove (salt brings out the flavour of garlic) and smear the garlic with the ﬂat edge ofa knife. It will liquefy. Remember to use less salt when seasoning your dish.
Garlic is a vegetable in its own right too. Try baking whole bulbs smeared with olive oil and salt and wrapped in silver foil, especially if you can get the fresh stuff. Pickled garlic cloves are delicious -— pickling takes out some of the ﬁen'ness and sweetens the cloves so you can munch them as you would walnuts. But however you eat it. heed Ford Madox Ford's warning and eat it to satanic excess. ‘The perfume of allum ofﬁcinale attends only on those timorous creatures who have not the courage as it were to wallow in that vegetable'.
Garlic. The Life Blood Of Good Health. by Stephen F alder (Thorsons). our of print.
FOOD & DRINK
Having a Firkin barrel of laughs
I Footlights and Firkin Spittal Street. 229 8368. The former Garrick bar has been revamped. given a thespian twist and absorbed into the Firkin chain. In keeping with the theatrical company which the bar keeps across the road in the form of the Lyceum. the Usher Hall er ul. the bar is packed to the gunnels with stage props and ‘all the world‘s a stage' type witticisms.
One of only two Firkin pubs in Scotland at present (there‘ll be a third in St Andrews come the beginning of IJuly) the Footlights and Firkin offers the usual range of beers and spirits plus three beers which are brewed on the premises at the Physician and Firkin on Dalkeith Road. Appropriately the brews are named the Thespian at 3.5 per cent ABV. Footlights at 4.3 per cent ABV and the skullsplitting Dog Bolter at a ﬁerce 5.6 per cent ABV, a beer which one punter described in awed tones as ‘a pint of treacle vodka'.
The boozer offers a snack menu in the evening and a full menu during the day with ﬁve to six main courses featuring the usual double ententlres and puns along the lines of steak and Firkin ale pic at £3.95.
A large and simply fumished bar. the Footlights and Firkin provides ample space for luvvies and the hoi polloi to sup :1 swifty before and after a performance.
I Creelers 3 Hunter Square, Royal Mile. 220 4447. Tim and Fran James are back in town having set up a sister operation to their seafood restaurant in Broderick on the Isle of Arran. They tested the water last summer when they took up residence in the Demarco European Art Foundation for the duration of the Festival. From the convened dinner hall in St Mary's School they entertained culture vultures with a spread of seafood from the clear waters of the west coast.
Now they hope to emulate last year’s success from a more permanent base in the heart of the Old Town. While Creelers may have moved into the big city its heart is still very much in the west coast with a huge misty mural of the Isle of Arran painted by Victoria Orr Ewing greeting your eyes as you walk in the door while the back dining room is hung with paintings from the Argyll based artist Iona Campbell- Gray. Just in case you forget that you’re in a seafood restaurant the staircase down to the private dining room and the toilets is decorated in a deep sea theme with mackerel. squid and jellyﬁsh accompanying you en route to the rest rooms.
Creelers is as pleasing to the tastebuds as it is to the eye. They buy all their shellﬁsh from the west coast and some of their wet ﬁsh from the east coast where stocks are more abundant. They offer a three course lunch menu at £7.50 with dishes such as a layered assortment of pressed ﬁsh on roast pepper vinegar and grilled ﬁllets of ling g with pesto noodles and tomato concasse with chive essence. In the evening you can get stuck into more ﬁshy delights and opt for either the 1 three course table d’hote at £16.50 or ! select your meal from the (‘1 la carte i menu which has starters ranging from
£2.50 to £9.95 and main courses from £10. Vegetarians are well catered for with dishes such as vegetable ravioli stuffed with mascarponi. olives and
garlic poached in a lemon balm
bouillion with lentil cream.
I Mojo 158 Bath Street. 331 2257. Despite the name this isn’t an epicurean - offshoot of the music magazine for
what might delicately be termed more mature readers. although pop pickers need not fret as there is still a rock ’n‘ roll connection. Bobby Patterson. bass player with the former Love and Money. is one of the directors of this new bar and restaurant which stands on the site of what used to be Chadi's. By a curious twist of fate Patterson met up with Bryan Adams' tour chef. John Quigley. at the last Love and Money gigjust before Christmas. Quigley was growing tired of life on the road and opted for a less peripatetic job as chef at Mojo. Before you could say ‘wopbabalubop‘. the stone was rolling. the mojo was rising and the new restaurant sprang into life.
Mojo is a split-level joint with the bar area leading down to the restaurant. When deciding on the decor Patterson tried to make a conscious move away from the trendy, heavily designed bars which have proliferated in Glasgow. preferring to keep the surroundings low key with a slight rough edge. Having spent over ten years travelling the world with Love and Money. Patterson has a wide and varied range of experience to draw upon and this comes through in the deliberately haphazard appearance of the restaurant.
While the ambience may be laid back there is nothing slack about the food. Mojo operates two menus: the daytime version which runs until 8pm in both the bar and the restaurant and the evening menu which is available from 6pm in the restaurant. Mojo has inherited much of Chadi‘s lunchtime and early evening trade from nearby ofﬁces and the daytime menu reflects this offering pastas. soups, burgers and sandwiches with main courses from £3—£5. In the evening the menu becomes more sophisticated with starters such as gravadlax. coarse meat terrine with onion marmalade and broth made with mussels. chicken. onions and saffron. The main courses come from all corners of the globe with a Japanese set meal of miso soup, vegetable tempura and grilled ﬁsh with glutinous rice and pickles at £8.95 to a shank of mutton with couscous for two at £16.75. lfeating meat isn't your cup of tea then you could try the gateau of aubergines with a mosaic of grilled vegetables. That should get your mojo working. (Jonathan Trew)
Proéaély the ﬂeet éar
1‘ fl! «faith/(d
LUNCH — 12—2.30pm EVENINGS — 6—11pm (last orders 10.30pm)
10, anchor close, Cockburn Street EDINBURGH 226 5145 50, East Fountainbridge EDINBURGH 228 4005)
90 The List 2-15 Jun 1995