In a couple of days my beloved is returning to the UK, accompanied by a grandchild. There are 3 aims for this trip – to visit the family – to meet up in person with an Internet friend – but mainly, to seek expert medical advice on what to do about the problematic spine.
And while the cat is away, I am the mouse that gets to play. I have an idea.
It’s an idea I have trundled out in the past – Around The World In … . This time it is 14 days to make one imaginary circuit of the Earth, heading forever eastwards, with the aim of eating good food from numerous different countries, thus building up my stock of recipes while tucking into the type of food not usually appreciated in our household. Before returning home.
It is important to note that I am a decent cook, not a chef. Further, the cooking facilities I have are much closer to basic than to state of the art, so the recipes are quite straight-forward to make. Masterchef might be fun on TV but I have no use for it in my kitchen. Complex or long prep or exotic ingredients = no, tasty = yes.
Whilst thinking about my first imaginary flight and stopover, I wondered what I could put on the menu if England was included on my route east. And in my pondering I realised that as I have not had proper fish and chips in about 5 years.
You get lots of cod here, but I have only ever seen cod as bacalhau, a salted version that takes hours to soak to get some of the salt out, and forget about using it for English fish and chips. You also get packets of frozen fish – OK but hardly proper fish and chips. And you get restaurants, that appear to start with deep-frozen fish. Not a great meal.
So the query went out “where can you get the best fish and chips in Luz?” And the answer is … Ol’ Bastard’s in the old town in Lagos!
Here is what the outside looks like.
The problem with Lagos old town is it is a maze of tiny streets that were laid out centuries before cars were invented. I have had the pleasure of getting totally lost there, and only realising I was going the wrong way when without warning the street turned into a steep flight of stairs. I got a lot of reversing practice that day. So finding Ol’ Bastard’s and getting there is going to be a challenge.
Why is Ol’ Bastard’s highly rated? Have a look at the menu and think what you would pick.
There were 2 parts of the menu that really caught my eye. My beloved is trying to lose weight in preparation for a mega-operation, and so far cutting out gluten has helped with a drop in weight of two stones. So the gluten-free option in the bottom left hand side was very interesting.
The other part is near the top. Hake. If I want to do a home-grown version (one that does not include either beer or vodka in the batter) then I need to get my hands on some hake. There is a fish market in Lagos, but is there a source somewhere in Luz?
I wondered if the supermarkets in Luz sold hake, but then I thought it would help if I knew what hake looks like. So I looked it up and here is a hake.
I can probably get whole, fresh hake in Luz, because I’ve seen fish that look this ugly and evil many a time. But my culinary skills do not extend to skinning and filleting such beast.
That means I am either on the hunt for hake fillets, or the alternative is a trip to Ol’ Bastard’s.