What’s particularly weird about Congo is that things should be so much better. The country has repeatedly been a victim of its own natural profusion which has acted as a magnet to exploiters. The Belgian Prince Leopold started this trend back in the 1890s when he relieved Congo of much of its rubber, became wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice and offed anywhere between two and 15 million Congolese into the bargain. Subsequently, diamonds, copper, uranium, coltan (a rich metallic ore) and cadmium have had their moments – each could have made the country rich, each has brought only powerlessness, violence and misery.
Snow ends in a cadmium mine containing some reasonably optimistic workers. Inevitably, the mine is run by Canadians. Not cheerful viewing, then, but if you’ve ever wondered why phones, laptops and tablets come so cheap these days, you could do worse than take a look.
‘Korexican’ sounds like a kitchen-worktop material, or a sicko’s name for a drug used in treating eating disorders. In fact it means Korean + Mexican, and some people – at least 20, I’m sure – think it’s going to be a big food trend. Bó Drake, in theory an example of the trend, prefers to call itself an ‘East Asian barbecue restaurant’ – much more accurate. It could also be called an American/Asian fusion restaurant, having elements in common with David Chang’s Momofuku group in New York and the Kogi ‘taco trucks’ (Mexican tacos, but with Korean-style meats) set up in Los Angeles by Seoul-born Roy Choi. While the Mexican connection is indisputable, the dominant palate at this no-reservations restaurant is Korean. And the flavours are splashed on with vigour. To eat here is to surf on wave after wave of umami flavours. Three meat dishes were sensationally good: long-smoked brisket served in a bao (soft bun) with tangy relishes; smoked pork ribs in a finger-licking pear sauce; chargrilled rib-eye (served rare as requested) with miso butter. Kimchi quesadillas were a surprisingly subtle starter, mild cheese in a crisp tortilla sauced with poblano cream. Pan-fried cauliflower came with a smoky mushroom purée. Salty, crunchy sweet potato fries (served with kimchee mayonnaise) were irresistible. The waves of flavour are incessant, but incessant in the most pleasurable way possible. There’s a big communal table at the front and smaller tables, dimly lit, at the back. The decor i
Venue says: “Our lamb cutlets are a new addition to the menu - one of life's gastronomic pleasures.”