Sunday, 10 August 2014

Week beginning August 11th - Fifth birthday celebrations and kitchen legends

This week marks the 250th menu I've written for Kaffeine, not that I've been counting. It just so happens to coincide with another celebration, our 5th anniversary. We close our doors for 2 weeks every Christmas and New Year’s, there are 52 weeks in a year, 50 multiplied by 5 equals 250. As a homage to ourselves and what we've achieved over the years we will be bringing back some of our most popular flavour combinations and menu items. 

First we have our blueberry and bran muffins. Blueberry muffins were one of my favourite foods growing up in New Zealand, there was this rural cafe close to my grandparents place in Bay of Plenty called The Pumpkin Cafe. They would toast them and serve with butter; the best part was they would use fresh blueberries and loads of of them. I started making similar muffins at Kaffeine and they sold very well. Erin, my first assistant in Kaffeine's kitchen suggested I put bran with the blueberries. Initially I thought this concept was nonsense, however I had a cooking block and decided to make them. Turned out to be our most popular seller in terms of muffins and we bring put them on the menu once a month. 

Next we have our baguette and sandwich range, this weeks 4 varieties have been our staples since we switched on our sandwich presses 5 years ago. Not necessarily ground breaking flavour combinations, however I am a firm believer of selling sandwiches the way I'd make them at home. Peter and I aren't up at night trying to find bottom-line ways to cut cost with maximum profit. We believe they should be made with the finest breads and fillings and served fresh every day. This has worked well for us as we get nominated for a British Sandwich Award almost every year since we opened.   

My playground at Kaffeine has always been in our salad range, this has depended on the season and what's available at the time. And from the spring of 2012 we started incorporating foraged ingredients. Our previous manager Amy and I were invited on a foraging walk through the Hackney Marshes lead by expert Miles Irving. This completely opened our eyes with what grows around us and how much edible produce is ready and free for picking. Produce that grows naturally in un-recycled soils, soil fuelled to help fresh produce grow with extra nutrients. However our most popular salad has no foraged ingredients at all and was inspired by my ex-boyfriends mother who is Filipino. When I first met Fe she had made dinner and served me their national dish which was Adobo (a Spanish work for marinade). Made with either chicken, pork or a combination of both and served with rice and a hardboiled egg. After learning how to make it I devised a Kaffeine salad version incorporating French carmargue red rice, which at the time was an exotic ingredient for the UK. I omitted the egg and mixed the cooked marinated chicken with coriander and rocket. Creating the most moorish and addictive salad to date. This week is also barista Grace's final week and as a final request she has asked for the Adobo to feature in our menu one last time before her flight back to New Zealand. 

Then there is our tart offering which has ranged from quiche, brown rice bakes, pies, rice wraps and fish cakes. This week is my personal favourite; fish cakes with a buckthorn hollandaise and strawberry salsa. An odd combination but this is one of my proudest creations at Kaffeine and only turns up on the menu once a year as they can be labour intensive. 

Lastly there are the items that we could have bought from someone else but decided to do it ourselves. These range from all our jams (namely the carrot and lemon marmalade), our nut butters, our own almond milk, granola, brioche, sparkling cascara and many many more. 

None of this would have been possible without the amazing help and support of Kaffeine’s kitchen staff. The most notable members have been Khan and Silvio who have been working alongside me for the last 4 years and made for the best possible cooking environment. As a result we've stuck by one another for this length of time keeping Kaffeine's standard consistent and something to be proud of. Other legends of the kitchen include Win, my brother Sam, manager Claire, kiwi girl Missy, Tasmanian Jess, legendary Rhea and dancing Rory who have all left a strong mark on how the kitchen is run and the quality of our food.

So come in and wish Mr Kaffeine a happy 5th birthday, in return we will be giving out our famous brownies. 

Jared Bryant
Lead Chef

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60 (V)
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60 (V)
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.70 (GF, V)
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with home made preserves 1.90
Pumpkin seed and apricot fruit toast 2.40
Banana bread 2.40

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 1.90
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet muffin: Blueberry and bran (V) 2.40
Savoury Scone: Courgette and feta (V) 2.40
Friand: Friand: Damson (V, GF)   2.40
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Raspberry and coconut slice 2.00
Canele 2.40

French retro baguettes 5.00
Ham, apple butter, gherkin, red onion, gruyere and spinach
Plum tomato, basil, aioli, buffalo mozzarella and rocket (V).

Foccacias 5.30
Smoked salmon, dill, capers, red onion aioli and rocket (F).
Mushrooms with Welsh rarebit and spinach (V)

Salads: 5.50/6.90
Chicken adobo with red camargue rice, coriander and rocket (GF)
Roasted kumara and parsnips with almonds and a orange and dill dressing (VE, GF).
Cracked wheat with ox-eye daisy leaf, tomato, and lemon (VE, GF).

Tart: 4.50 or 7.90 with salad
Fish cakes with buckhorn hollandaise and strawberry salsa

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