A good friend Polly kindly invited me to a Book Launch evening for Taiye Selasi’s paperback launch of ‘Ghana Must Go’. This was a book that neither of us heard of but we definitely new The Ace Hotel in Shoreditch which was were the launch was being held. For just a small fee you got two new books and a glass of wine which sold it for us!
We were escorted down into the basement of the Ace Hotel and even had our bags searched which seemed a bit extreme for a Book Launch. The evening began with a reading from a sweet, young girl who the Publisher’s were launching her new book ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ by Emma Healey. The book didn’t quite have a cheerful storyline by sounds of things but as it was free may one day get round to reading it.
Taiye then elegantly strolled into the room and immediately drew in everyone’s attentions. She had star quality about her and read the chapter she had chosen well. It then got onto question time and there was an air of arrogance in all her answers which was a bit of a shame.
Anyway enough about the authors, following the launch we then walked across to the newly opened ‘On The Bab’ restaurant. The tables are packed closely together which gives you that sitting on a park bench eating street food out of paper together! Did make choosing dishes a lot easier because could see what everyone else had ordered.
We were in the mood for sharing lots of small dishes so started by ordering pan fried chicken dumplings (kun mandu) which were gorgeous and had a lovely crispy bottom, very tasty. We then went for bulgogi beef and spicy pork ‘On the buns’ which were lovely. Fluffy bun outside sandwiches with moist, saucy meat spilling out the middle.
Not the most elegant of food, especially when Polly trying to exchange eyes with the two American gentleman next door.
Then to follow up we order a must for anyone who pops in, the Korean fried chicken with crushed peanut and soy garlic (yangyum chicken). Crispy outside without feeling greasy, covered in a lovely soy garlic sauce with added peanuts.
We wanted something extra but just couldn’t manage a larger dish so ended up getting more buns and a side of toasted seaweed, which was very bizarre. Came in a metal tin wafers of crispy seaweed that had a fishy after taste.
A good meal and if you happen to be in the neighbourhood worth popping in for a taster, although maybe not for a first date as a tad bit messy!