For the past few years I’ve always had a big birthday bash, lots of drinking, dancing, partying and fun! But having organised a big wedding this year, planning a big birthday party wasn’t high on the agenda.
However, I love playing hostess…whether it’s a birthday, hen do or baby shower, I always want to be the one to host, organise, do the cooking and provide some entertainment. Though, there was no party this year I still invited some of my closest friends over to drink champagne before heading out to dinner.
With rather convenient timing, Plus de Bulles
, a website selling luxury champagne, asked me if I wanted to try out a couple of their growers varieties….
Grower champagnes source grapes from local villages and vineyards. What this means is that the champagne has been hand crafted in one specific place rather than sourced from 80 different vineyards like larger champagne houses, for example Moet and Chandon.
The first was Leclaire-Thiefaine Cuvee Sainte Apolline
, a champagne house founded in 1878 and maintained over six generations. Leclaire-Thiefaine specialise in Blanc de Blancs champagne, meaning it’s made using only Chardonnay grapes. I wish I was more knowledgeable about wine and could give you a full detailed description but I will say it was incredibly enjoyable with a lovely dry, crisp finish.
The Roger Coulon house has been established for 8 generations and uses a spread of different grapes: 33% Pinot Meunier, 33% Pinot Noir and 33% Chardonnay (ok, don’t tell me that doesn’t add up to 100%). The champagne is made from the oldest terroirs of the vineyards, meaning it is exceedingly pure.
It was certainly a delicious way to toast my birthday!
And I always feel so elegant when drinking out of my Lalique glasses.
We kept the occasion very small and I had Anna and Gemma, two of my bridesmaids, over to clink a few glasses.
And Anna’s boyfriend Matt, so Mr Silver had someone to share a beer with!
Earlier in year Mr S and I had loved the fantastic sushi at pop-up restaurant, Kurobuta
on the King’s Road. Owing to the restaurant’s popularity, Chef Scott Hallsworth, previously of Nobu London and Melbourne, opened another in Marble Arch and made the King’s Road pop-up permanent. I’d been keen to try the new Marble Arch venue, and my birthday was the perfect opportunity.
The dimly lit and busy restaurant definitely had the party vibe that I was looking for. It’s casual and upbeat with a pubby feel…
More champagne was clearly called for…
And those that wanted stronger stuff ordered cocktails, Kurobuta’s Green Bastard, containing gin, cucumber and midori, has become quite famous… it’s certainly a very drinkable drink! And sticking with the green theme, also a Mojito.
It was pretty late, we were hungry and needed something to start soaking up the champagne…
I’d loved the artichoke chopsticks with truffle ponzu dip when we’d visited King’s Road so I quickly ordered these straight away to share.
The menu at Kurobuta is quite different to your average Japanese and there is a choice of snacks, Japanese Junk Food, Something Crunchy (tempura) as well as the usual sushi and sashimi.
Time for something crunchy…
A delicious rock shrimp tempura with spicy mayo.
Black pepper soft shell crab was delicious but the pieces were slightly too big.
Salmon gravadlax and avocado tartare with dill mayo, rice crunchies and yuzu zest.
Tuna sashimi pizza with truffle ponzu, red onions and green chilies was one of our top choices. Many of the dishes at Kurobuta mix a crunchy texture with a soft one, isn’t that a wonderfully appealing mix? Think gooey cheese on nachos or a chocolate flake on an ice cream…
Now while the food was totally fabulous, we did have one complaint about the restaurant. It was incredibly loud, making it difficult to talk to each other. We had to keep asking them to turn the music down…I hate saying stuff like that…makes me feel like I’m getting old!!
Anyway…back to the food…
Beef fillet tataki with onion ponzu and gralic crisps.
Yellow tail sashimi with wasabi salsa and yuzu soy.
Now as much as Mr S loves these delicate piece of sashimi…he was still hungry and definitely in need of some heavier food which is what is great about the Kurobuta menu. BBQ pork ribs with honey soy glaze were promptly ordered.
As were beef sliders. Mini Japanese burgers!!!
As well as soft shell crab tempura maki
And spicy tuna maki rolled in tempura crunchies…another favourite of mine! I love how Scott Hallsworth twists traditional Japanese dishes to make them even more exciting.
Do you think we’d had enough food? Well we had to have dessert!
After such a busy year of organising stuff, it was really nice not to play hostess for once…thank you Kurobuta for a great fun birthday meal.
Kurobuta Marble Arch
20 Kendal Street
020 3475 4158