Aposto

Çarşamba, 7 Aralık 2022
Çarşamba, Aralık 7, 2022
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IN THE DOORWAY
HOPPING
WATER COOLER TALK
WHAT'S COOKING?
LONDONER
SEND NEWS
CATCH OF THE WEEK

🤹‍♀️ London; erratic, ever-changing

The west discovers fancy, dancy pubs; the south might be leaning into diaspora pub menus. This week, the question in mind is what is in vogue in London at this moment and time.

For a while it was the late-night snooker clubs at Dalston, followed by paprika, garlic and, oregano infused lentil soup before you hit the bed. Afore it was Redchurch Street underground art exhibitions. Then it was the house parties of the north, you had to get out of the tube at Manor House, walk about 10 to 15 minutes, destination Harringay. I remember bargain markets of Walthamstow; rooftop parties of Peckham where coco bread was served; murals showcased in the streets between Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove. 

Yet another sunset in London, around Stokey


The time I went to Brockley, a hood I never heard of before, for an 'after' coincides with Deptford when it was known for brocante markets.

London, like its inhabitants and inspired by its oscillating nature of its weather, is erratic, and ever-changing. I think that's what makes this city perdurable. The lust of being a partaker, the dread of missing out, the need to know hood, town, and wick subcultures. This is the urge to belong, the incessant search for a home.

The tune this week is Steam Down - Free My Skin

Hazal

IN THE DOORWAY

In the eighth issue AKA  🤹‍♀️ London; erratic, ever-changing issue

Hopping (What’s going on in London: Hand-picked and unmissable events): Artist collective Steam Down, based in Deptford is jamming every Wednesday; this Thursday is the celebration of BRUSHWRK app coming to life.

Water Cooler Talk (Local news that you need to know to survive or just to speak of): ‘What is worth more, art or life?'

What’s Cooking (Selected places to eat, drink, cafés, food markets): A bistrot with flair, a contemporary grill in the heart of Notting Hill.

Londoner (A talk with a creative inhabitant): We are meeting Berkok (Yüksel) this week. Stokey-based food writer and BBQ connoisseur with a curious palate.

HOPPING

 Last chance

Artist collective Steam Down, based in Deptford


#SDWEEKLY

What it is? Jam session. Steam Down, the artist collective based in Deptford, is performing live gigs every Wednesday.

Where? Matchstick Piehouse

When? 19 October, 8:00 p.m.

Why should you go? To listen to the talented performers who participated in festivals including Maiden Voyage, Love Supreme, and Glastonbury’s Park Stage.

Duly noted: The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the night will end at 11:59 p.m.

From Brushwrk collection, artist: Olga Melasenko


BRUSHWRK Winter Exhibition Party

What it is? Party and exhibition. This is the celebration of BRUSHWRK app coming to life. There will be a showcase of the works of emerging artists exploring bodies and sexuality.

Where? Bar A Bar

When? 20 October

Why should you go? To meet Brushwrk, a social marketplace of independent artists who can showcase their work and make a living off their art.

Duly noted: You can buy donation tickets for a swag bag + merch.

Walk-in 

Eddie Ruscha in his studio


Eddie Ruscha Sound / Waves

What it is? Exhibition. A solo exhibition of the new works of the LA-based artist and musician, Eddie Ruscha.

Where? Cedric Bardawil

When? Until 29 October

Why should you go? To get to know Cedric Bardawil’s world curated by his interest in contemporary art and music.

Duly noted: Before you go, have a look at Cedric interviewing Eddie Ruscha in his studio.

Plan ahead

So Last Century, vintage market


OLD KENT ROAD Vintage Market

What it is? Vintage market. This is a So Last Century event. Up to 25 great vintage traders outdoors in the yard, and the arches will be inside, waiting for you.

Where? AMP Studios, Old Kent Road, near Queens Road Peckham station

When? 30 October, 11:00 a.m. - 17:00 p.m.

Why should you go? To take a look around and buy affordably-priced mid-20th century furniture, lighting, decor, homeware and ceramics, prints, and antique maps.

Duly noted: The AMP bar will be serving craft beer and other drinks.

Photo: Luke Dyson


FAC 51 The Haçienda

What it is? Day rave. Sadly Printworks announced that they are closing down at the end of 2022, but the team behind it, Broadwick Live has just opened The Beams, our new dance haven.

Where? The Beams

When? 29 October

Why should you go? To dance for hours. The Haçienda will take the reins on October 29th with a rare performance from techno supergroup Cybotron [live]. 

Duly noted: This is a day rave. The event starts at 12:00 p.m. and finishes at 10:30 p.m.

Out of town

Photo: Dan Weill


Night of The Fellows 2022

What it is? Open Studio. Spike Island, which is a pioneer in the UK art scene is opening its doors for two hours only.

Where? Spike Island, Bristol

When? 2 November

Why should you go? To encounter the up-and-coming talents Rosie Bales, Velvet Butler Carroll, Joseph De Sousa, and Cara Evans, who might one day be featured at Tate Modern.

Duly noted: While you're there, don’t miss the ongoing Lawrence Abu Hamdan's 45th Parallel, and Rosemary Mayer's Ways of Attaching exhibitions.

WATER COOLER TALK

What is worth more, art or life? This was the statement of two activists from the environmental campaigning group Just Stop Oil. They threw cans of tomato soup over Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in the National Gallery. Due to the protective glass, the painting was unharmed. 

What happened? Over the summer members of the group stuck themselves to the frame of a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper at the Royal Academy in London, after graffitiing a message across the wall below it saying ‘no new oil’.

Just Stop Oil, Royal Academy protests


Follow-up: The reason behind these protests is to put pressure on the government to halt future fossil fuel deals. Like fellow activists from Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, Just Stop Oil wants to address the climate crisis, this time by targeting different industries producing outsize carbon emissions, and according to their statement, one major culprit is the art world.

  • After the National Gallery protest, Just Stop Oil demanded that British Museum end its relationship with BP.
  • You can watch Owen Jones interviewing Just stop Oil on his instagram
WHAT'S COOKING?

The Counter

A contemporary Turkish restaurant true to its roots, dishing one banger after another.

The Counter describes itself as a contemporary grill. The first time I went here this definition concerned me as Turkish restaurants with elevated adjectives tend to only have cosmetic connections to their cuisine that European diners mistake for thematic. Aesthetically plated dishes with a pseudo-cultural backstory missing the essence of the recipe they are imitating. But The Counter focuses on staying true to the cuisine’s roots with staple Turkish dishes elevated only through technique and not storytelling.

The chef behind the grill is Kemal Demirasal, the now-grown Aegean wunderkind with a strong resumé full of fine-dining restaurants in İzmir and İstanbul. Demirasal’s process of building the menu for The Counter, his first brick-and-mortar in London after 4 years, was to research local dishes in Turkey extensively and match the execution in the UK with local ingredients. Dishes from Adana, Antalya, Southeast Turkey as well as İzmir come together to make this holistic line-up. His 'finer' additions to these tend to be non-obtrusive, such as letting the isot pepper shine in kuru fasulye (braised haricot beans) and pairing it with ox cheek instead of traditional cubed brisket cuts.

Despite the chef’s background and his elevation of classic dishes, The Counter is not a fine-dining restaurant. It’s more of a bistrot with flair, the sounds of the open charcoal grill behind the counter making it more down-to-earth than pretentious. It’s great for a dinner with close friends, perhaps a weeknight date, or when you want to flaunt your knowledge and the diversity of Turkish food in a lesser-known restaurant to a fellow food lover.

Sweetbread kokoreç 


What to order?

For starters: The Antalya piyaz, veal tongue, and white chocolate babagannoush. The piyaz deserves extra credit as it is as close as it can get to the originals in Antalya, with the egg yolk being the perfect decadent bonus.

Hot appetisers to share: Kokoreç with sweetbread, a fatty and tasty crowd-pleaser. The hummus with pistachios and dates is another banger.

Mains: Any of the charcoal grilled meat dishes (satır kıyma, tire köfte, and other rotating kebaps) is a good choice but the ox cheek getting cosy on top of the isot-heavy kuru fasulye (braised beans with smoky Urfa pepper) takes a classic peasant dish to another level.

For dessert: The keşkül, a patisserie staple pudding in Turkey, made from superb Cornish milk is the star of the desserts.

To Pair: The Counter has a decent wine menu with variety, as well as good Turkish wines, consulted by Michelin’s Sommelier of the Year İsa Bal. The cocktail menu mixes Turkish ingredients with conventionally attractive techniques and recipes. The mezcal şalgam margarita is worth trying. Otherwise, Turkish and Greek spirits are available for the die-hard Aegeans. For non-alcoholic choices, they offer a good tarragon-infused ayran and house şalgam.

Where: On Golborne Road with an easy-to-miss sign. 108 Golborne Rd, London W10 5PS. 

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LONDONER

Berkok Yüksel

We wanted to introduce you to Berkok, food and culture writer, originally from Istanbul, nowadays residing, cooking, munching, tasting, banqueting, dining, and regaling in London. He is going to lead the way to central London which could delve into boba and Korean aesthetic desserts or to the east where chef residency pop-up seasons are in vogue at the moment.

ID

My nickname is: I don't have a nickname because the name Berkok (ethnically Circassian name) is too rare. Actually, there are only two other Berkoks I could find, one of whom I've met. Lovely guy. The third one hasn't responded to our group chat request so far. Not very nice of him.

I have recently tasted: A sunny day in late October in London, it was sublime.

My favorite pub: The Crooked Billet, both for its spicy eggplant also for the number of different terrace areas they have.

Only a true Londoner would know: To buy produce where the stall owner and the haggling buyer are talking a language other than English.

A Londoner you must meet: Jonathan Nunn. Jonathan is the editor of Vittles, my favorite food publication in existence. His takes on the city and its food culture deserve a chef’s kiss. Read his newly published book London Feeds Itself.

On a regular Saturday, you can find me in the line: For a sausage roll at Dusty Knuckle or a chocolatine at Allpress.

SHOOT THE BREEZE

How long have you been a Londoner? What attracted you to live in this city?

My flirtation with London started when I came here for an internship while I was studying in the US. I was working on a global iced tea brand’s new flavours and marketing campaign, staying in Shoreditch despite a lengthy commute. Back then Shoreditch seemed infinitely cool and grunge, an illusion I rid myself of after I moved here permanently. Still, years later that experience made it much easier for me to seal the deal with this city. Now it’s London’s rhythm and liveliness keeps me here. Almost like a caffeinated heartbeat.

London is described as a multicultural, multi-colourful city, do you see indicators of that in food culture and politics?

More than anything. What distinguishes London from other global cities with large diasporas that enrich the food scene is how long the immigrant communities have called this place home. London’s cuisine is hardly British. It’s Punjabi, Gujarati, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Italian, Jamaican, Jewish, Nigerian, Turkish, etc. 

Berkok’s table, an early dinner at Westerns Laundry


What is interesting however is those intercultural cuisines are harder to come by in London than in American cosmopolite metropoles like New York or Los Angeles. Fusion has never been London’s forte, and while I don’t necessarily advocate for curry pizzas becoming the norm in the frozen 'ethnic food' aisle, the lack of personal stories of multiethnic chefs surprises me.

Many of the aforementioned communities are present in London as a result of hundreds of years of violent colonial and imperial hegemony. Perhaps, communities and therefore their cuisines hang onto their identity tightly to preserve and delineate their heritage. Perhaps the idea of non-white British food being accepted as legitimate cuisine is still so new that the next stage in cultural output has not started to be entertained. Or perhaps multiethnic people tend not to be chefs.

Berkok (left) & neighbours


In London pubs, restaurants, and cafés, what do you complain about the most? 

Scorching hot tap water in the bathrooms. To this day I do not understand how this widespread issue is accepted as normal. 

What excites you about London food scenery? What is in vogue at the moment?

London is like the Lernean Hydra when it comes to food, a beast with many heads that multiply when you think you’ve got one down. Central London could be delving into boba and Korean aesthetic desserts while the east is in guest chef residency pop-up season. While the west discovers fancy, dancy pubs; the south might be leaning into diaspora pub menus.

I would not say this is what is trending but more than in any other city I see chefs collaborating on events with restaurants acting as a stage. Just last night I tried Chick n Sour’s new fried chicken sandwich made in collaboration with OREN, Shacklewell’s dimly lit Israeli restaurant. Did I love it? No. The zaatar was too heavy paired with the thick and fatty crust of the thigh, something acidic and brighter was absent. But I did love the fact that I could see what two great joints made together. If New York has Fred Again playing Miley Cyrus from a food truck, we have high-end Middle Eastern fried chicken, a Balkan decadent börek lady taking over the best gastropub north of the river, and a first gen young Turkish chef shaking the pans at Jeremy Lee’s Quo Vadis.

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SEND NEWS

Dear Londoner, we would love to hear from you! Email us your questions or feedback at: [email protected] and DM us if you've heard a rumor about a day rave, where the party is going on after 2:00 a.m., or where the queue is heading to the best street vendor.

Love only grows by sharing. So please share Aposto London with your fellow urbanites.

If you would like us to tell your brand's story, reach out at: [email protected]

CATCH OF THE WEEK

Last Saturday at Frieze London


When in London, what are your inspirations, what makes this city perdurable? Write your aha moments to us: @aposto.london

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