Secret Chefs’ Recipes: Punch and Pie
The Galvin Brothers' Bistrot de Luxe, London, England
When we think about a sunny afternoon and we’re looking for a social yet nostalgic way to connect, food and drink is always top of mind.
So, it’s no surprise that punch and punch bowls are making their way onto the cocktail menus. Shane Mulvany, head bartender at the Shangri-la Hotel Toronto and a world class bartender winner, is excited about launching a punch menu for the hotel’s Bosk patio this summer. (Of course, we can’t wait for summer, so we asked Mulvany to give us a few summer cocktail recipes to start.) It follows the trend of sharing plates, like mezes or tapas; now it’s about sharing the drinks, too.
“Punch” is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning the number five. The original drink, from India and brought to England via the British East India Company, was made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water and tea or spices.
The only thing better is to have a little sweet to accompany it. Well, of course, we couldn’t resist the thought, so we’ve got that, too. And, speaking of community and sharing, the Michelin-starred Galvin brothers, Chris and Jeff, came up with an idea five years ago to interact at the foodie level with their diners: The annual Tarte Tatin competition, looking for the UK’s best amateur cooks.
We had the pleasure of tasting the Galvins’ delicious recipe at Bistrot de Luxe in Baker Street in London’s Marylebone neighbourhood (above). Yes, that Baker Street, made famous by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. It was a Monday evening, and the place was hopping. The French bistro vibe adds a joie de vivre ambience, and the service was attentive, informative and not hovering, which is a compliment in our books.
And the food. The menu is a balance of French-inspired dishes mixed with English ingredients and ingenuity. We asked to be put into the very knowledgeable hands of the fantastic front of house manager along with our server as we just couldn’t decide. Every suggestion was top notch, and sharable, too. The Lasagne of Dorset crab and the classic steak tartare were full-flavoured starters, but a glass of bubbles provided the perfect foil for the richness of the dish.
And we did say we like to share, didn’t we? Being protein addicts, for us, the Côte de Boeuf for 2 was just the ticket. Rare hunks of beef sliced against the grain with flecks of lovely fat made the meat tender and juicy and a little copper pot of Béarnaise sauce on the side allowed for personalizing the dish. A cheese plate served tableside and, of course, Apple tarte Tatin and Normandy crème fraîche completed our gastronomic journey.
EDITION Punch – Punch Room at The London EDITION
50ml Plymouth Gin
2.5ml Benedictine Dom
20ml Oak-Moss Syrup
1 drop Orange Flower Water
25ml Lemon Juice
The secret to the perfect Apple Tarte Tatin, according to Bistrot de Luxe
Chris Galvin says the secret to the perfect Tarte Tatin is crisp pastry and care over choosing your apples – a real love of the dish always make a difference too! “We always make this dish in celebration of our nan,” says Chris, “who was a terrific cook and always made pies with the apples she grew in her garden. Our Tatin has a great depth, a lovely crispy base and slowly cooked apples and I never tire of it. We couldn’t possibly change the recipe – it would cause anarchy in the restaurants.” www.galvinrestaurants.com
The Galvin Tarte Tatin with crème Normande
For the Tarte Tatin
Staycation Entertaining ideas: Shane Mulvany, Diageo World Class Canada Winner of 2016 – Shangri-La Hotel Toronto head bartender’s Refreshing Summer Cocktails
1 1/2oz Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
1/2oz Blanc Vermouth
1/4oz Green Chartreuse
1oz Lemon Juice
3/4oz Simple Syrup
1 Egg White
Add all the ingredients to a shaker tin. Fill with ice and close the shaker. Shake hard for 20 seconds.
Strain and pour into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a spritz of evergreen essence.
1 1/2oz Don Julio Blanco Tequila
1/4oz Siete Misterios Mezcal
1oz Lime Juice
1oz Simple Syrup