It’s a rare thing to experience passion. The type of passion that becomes all consuming. Be it passionate love. Or passion for your pursuits. I think the ability to be so into something that it literally takes your breath away and sweeps you up – all at the same moment – is so rare that it should be treasured. And sought out.
On March 18th we had decided to treat ourselves to the Sager + Wilde evening at The Typing Room. We had been meaning to try both places – Sager + Wilde being a wine bar on the Hackney Road which everyone says has “the best wine list ever”, and The Typing Room being the second incarnation of the fine restaurant at The Old Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green.
We hadn’t been back to the restaurant since Nuno Mendes left. Nuno was (is) one of my favourite chefs in London, and I loved Viajante. We even held my fortieth birthday there.
I think they gave us the best table in the house, one where we could sit back and watch – like voyeurs – all that was happening in the kitchen and dining room.
We had just the best evening. Full of passion. Passionate, precise cooking from Lee Westcott. I took photos of each course which are up on my Foodspotting feed, but I think you will get the idea from just this one photo of the crispy cod skin starter. Precise. And perfectly balanced in terms of flavours and textures.
The wine was chosen by Michael Sager-Wilde. We had a chance to chat with Michael at the start of the evening and what impressed me was the breadth of choice he brought to this meal. I was so surprised by the flavours. Be it from the Chardonnay from California which was like no other I had ever tried, or the Loire red from Catherine & Pierre Breton which had me wanting “just a little more – please!”
Probably my favourite part of the night was chatting with Typing Room sommelier Frederic Marti. Frederic was generous with his time – and freely shared his experiences and ideas. He was interested in our favourites – restaurants, wines, countries, cuisines, tastes. And he reciprocated – “have you tried this? how about that?” – so much so that I would go back to the Typing Room just to experience the wines HE would select.
Being around passion – the kind that shines through conversations, that you can taste in each bite – no matter how you find it, is inspiring. And that sums up our night. Thanks to the teams who made this event possible. You have two new fans.
The Typing Room, Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London E2 9NF
Sager + Wilder, 193 Hackney Road, London E2 8JL