London restaurant cookbooks
Time Out reviews recipe books from the capital's best restaurants and cafés
Sam and Sam Clark, Ebury Press at £25
The ‘East’ of the title could denote the eastern Mediterranean, from where many of the recipes in this book hail, but it’s more likely that this ‘east’ refers to the former site of the Manor Garden allotments in east London, the source of inspiration – and much of the photography – for this book by the chef-proprietors of Moro.
For followers of the Sams, whose two previous cookery books have been critically well received, there’s more in the same vein – mouthwatering, gloriously spiced recipes from the eastern Med and Moorish-influenced Iberia, with a seasoning of food history adding a certain erudition.
This time, foraged foods and unusual veg such as artichoke leaves, onion tops, wild poppy leaves and vine leaves figure large, giving a creative, waste-not-want-not edge to the dishes. The vegetable dishes are the most inspiring, although there are fish and meat starters and mains, plus soups, sauces and dessert recipes. Some of the recipes may seem familiar, but that’s to be expected in the Clark’s cooking, which has a very strong identity. A Moro book without, say, a tahini sauce recipe just wouldn’t do.
The recipes make you want to roll up your sleeves and get into the kitchen, or out in the garden. If you’re feeling selfish buy it for yourself. If generosity strikes, buy it for a veggie friend in need of inspiration.
Susan Low, Time Out London Issue 1951: January 9-15 2008