A Basque Chef’s Table in London

Pouringsparkling wine

Mimo delivers Basque Country Food in a unique format 

Have you experienced a Chef’s Table? We’ve thoroughly enjoyed sitting up close to chefs in our favourite restaurants whilst they create our meal and experiencing what’s happening in the kitchen. At Mimo in London it’s taken step further. Not only do you sit and watch but its interactive too. Who needs to go abroad when this is on our doorstep?

Pouringsparkling wine
Our sommelier gets us into the mood with some Txakolina wine

We first came across Mimo in San Sebastián. There we took a cookery class with them and went on a pinxtos tour – which we highly recommend. If you’ve not discovered them yet, pinxtos are small bites of the most delicious foods served on small plates. 

In San Sebastián there is a tradition of dining clubs where local people get together and cook. The clubs are by invitation only and are made up groups of people who love to eat, generally family and friends. Food is brought along to cook and share follow Basque recipes and sharing costs at the end of the day. It is said that these clubs have had much to do with keeping Basque food traditions alive.

Mimo are bringing the essence of the Basque dining club with its the convivial atmosphere to Borough Market. 

A VIP Experience

We are twelve people brought together for an evening of fun. The Mimo venue is very close to Borough Market but somehow we end up on London Bridge looking down to where we will eat. We retrace our steps then realise we’ve been to the venue before. Now it is kitted out with a huge cooking island rimmed with chairs with a bar to one side.

Not only will we eat many courses, but we try different wines with each course. These are a revelation not least due to the enthusiasm of our sommelier.

Throughout the evening, we are positively encouraged to ask questions as the food is prepared by our two Spanish chefs. As someone who loves to cook, I was in heaven. How rare it is to quiz a chef about his dish as he cooks it!

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Plating our salmon dish

Our Tasting Menu

Plenty of preparation had been done in advance, of course, probably similar to what a restaurant chef would do. We watch as the dishes are finished for service as we might see on Masterchef. It is part demonstration, part tasting menu and part wine tasting and lots of fun. 

My word what a menu! We taste a potato galette made of very thin slices of potato pressed, cubed and fried. We learn how to prepare octopus: pop it in and out of boiling water three times before cooking very slowly. We eat cured salmon with horseradish beetroot and yogurt and Togarachi a Japanese spice. There’s squash with hazelnut pesto with lightly pickled onion. Prawns are lightly cured in sugar and salt and steamed very briefly and served with a pink peppercorn sauce – my favourite dish of the night. We are shown belly pork pressed overnight before it is fried in cubes. The wines served beautifully complement each dish. Lest I forget I draw as I go.

Sketching Mimo
A quick sketch might help me remember the dishes at Mimo!

Then something I hadn’t anticipated, we are invited to get involved. Some of us get up and help with the cooking. Me? I am invited to plate the dishes. Something I have never done before. Just look at concentration on my face, I was determined to get it right. I found it utterly absorbing something I would love to do again.

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Plating up the shrimp dish

What is Basque cuisine?

The Basque Country lies in the North of Spain and into South Western France a region that has around 40 Michelin starred restaurants. It is a way of cooking where an ingredient is chosen and and it is cooked simply, really emphasising the flavours. It is somehow hearty but not heavy. Comforting and yet refined. In London, Head Chef Joseba uses the elements of Basque cooking with local ingredients and adds his own occasional twist. 

Find out more

Mimo’s Chef’s Table gives a unique insight into the cuisine of San Sebastián and the Basque Country paired with fabulous wines. It’s a foodies’ heaven whether you like to cook or just like to eat. It’s the ideal treat. 

Chef’s Table takes place on Fridays and Saturdays. Booking is essential. It is well worth signing up to Mimo’s newsletter to get news of everything they do. I can’t wait to try the Pinxtos in Borough Market.

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Top Tips for Edinburgh Fringe Eating and Drinking

Union of Genius takeaway soup - photo by Brendan MacNeill

Edinburgh’s annual festival bonanza each August is always a blast. But how you approach it depends on whether you’re a local or a tourist, a first timer or a seasoned visitor. And in turn, that’ll determine what and when you eat.

48 Hours in Edinburgh

If you’ve decided to cram everything into 48 hours, quick and filling will be your go-to. Luckily, there are plenty of options around the “Big  venues, Assembly, Pleasance, Underbelly and Gilded Balloon. Clustered in the heart of the Old Town, they are surrounded by Fringe-only pop-ups and year-round stalwarts.

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Drink in Champagne for the Weekend

Top 7 Seven TIps

A city break to Reims

Do you love driving in France? I do. Of course the cities are busy, but get on the autoroute and generally you fly along, enjoying the countryside. Bliss after our clogged motorways.

Top 7 Seven TIps

Take a long weekend off and you could head for the Champagne region as we did. It was our first crossing using the Eurotunnel and we were seriously impressed. Giving ourselves plenty of time in case the infamous M25 was slow going, we arrived way before our set train time. We were waved through. Subject to availability you can travel two hours before or after your chosen time.

You might think that the carriages you drive in to are claustrophobic. Not at all. The carriages are light and airy. You can get out and stretch your legs. After 35 minutes, your through and as customs were passed through on the English side, you are straight on the motorway. We had 2 1/2 hours to drive.

Our focus was food and drink naturally so we planned ahead. Reims is a compact city. Astonishingly, after the First World War just 60 houses remained. So 400 architects were engaged to create the new city with very few constraints. Now the roads are wide and reminiscent of Paris with touches of art deco too. It’s an easy place to get around – we walked to most of our destinations.

We spent 3 days in Reims. Here are our Top 7 things to do

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