You know the drill. 12 letters in and on to L. This means I am almost half way through #shayansglobalcooking challenge.
The challenge is to cook a national dish from every letter in the alphabet. This edition was for L. The front runners were between Lebanon, Lesotho and Laos and I have to say, thankfully Laos won.
I am am not too sure what they have in Lesotho, but I'm guessing it would have been tricky. Lebanon, I am again guessing, may have been shawarma, which I didn't want. So Laos it was.
The national dish of Laos is called Larp or Laab. When researching the recipe I searched for Larp and was happy to see the ingredients and what the dish should look like.
Larp is a salad with meat with Far East Asian spices and herbs. The Laos cuisine is very familiar to those of Thailand and Vietnam. This made me happy and excited.
How did I do it? Points and recipe below
DONE- Larp is served
Half way through and I'm going strong.
The choice is a big one this month with 21 countries. Please do choose and reply with your options
With an ever evolving skyline, London is being offered numerous eateries up in the sky.
The Shard is letting people eat and drink in the clouds. Sushi Samba, Duck & Waffle, both located in the Heron Tower, give you fine dining and great experiences. Sky Garden at Fenchurch Street gives you great views and the greenery. All these different elements are literally raising London's food game.
This is not a totally new thing, think back to the Oxo Tower many years ago too and eating up high has always been an experience.
coq d'Argent is not completely new nor so high to compete with places like the Shard or Heron tower. Based near Bank station, the restaurant is a D&D restaurant, headed up by Chef Damian Rigollet.
Sat on the terrace with the sun shining, the venue definitely has a wow factor straight away. The views of Bank and other skyscrapers has a great appeal. Seeing lots of suits seated next to you though, makes you feel that you are in a business meeting and no longer a tourist.
As a restaurant serving classic French cuisine, coq aims to entertain its city guests with refined food, from seafood (crustaceans and fish) to meaty dishes on the grill too.
I went for a different approach from my usual, especially for starters and played it a bit less safe. For starters, I had a Crab salad and for my Main course I ordered Lamb. The reason I chose both was because of the eloquent wording which drew me in.
The description was as followed: Crab Hand-picked South Devon cock crab salad, chili avocado guacamole, Melba toast
For the main, again; I was enticed by the wording and variety on the menu: Lamb Oxfordshire rack and rump of lamb, carrot and cumin purée, semi-dried cherry tomatoes, capers, black olives and basil dressing
Both decisions were okay. The crab reminded me of a prawn cocktail salad. The appeal of a chilli avocado guacamole a bit underwhelming. The crab tasted nice and fresh, but being in a French restaurant, I wanted more. The portion size was good enough and no complaints from me on that. An okay start on the terrace.
The lamb was an upgrade. Both the rack and rump were cooked well and seasoned well enough too. The friends to the lamb on the dish were definitely the basil dressing and the salty capers.
All in all, a decent enough restaurant and meal. It is on the pricier side of things and this cost is probably more due to location and venue than solely on the food. But then again, we are in London town and these prices are to be expected.
Coq d'Argent delivers french food in good surroundings. A fancy place to show off, with food not being the main attraction.
This article was originally published on The IAB UK site.
Having just got married to my girlfriend of 11 years, I feel like I can pass on a few words of wisdom. I try to keep my personal life and work life separate. However, I feel that there are a few key steps that will ensure both a successful marriage and a successful business partnership. It is essential that all needs are fulfilled, be it with your wife/agency, husband/brand, publisher or technology partner.
Planning and prioritising goals are a great start to having a good relationship. As the trade body for digital advertising, the IAB works with over 1200 companies to protect the interests of the industry. Our councils form a key part of the membership and with over 30 different interests in one room, it is key to maintain a good relationship.
I have come up with a new acronym for this marriage/partnership and strangely enough it is CCTV:
This needs to be constant. In a digital age, we need to maximize all avenues we have. Communication is not just via email. Having instant messenger, phone calls and meetings are all important. This communication ensures that everyone, know what is happening and what to expect (especially my wife). Communication also needs to be regular at vital times. Meetings should be based on deadlines, targets and KPIs set before and throughout the partnership.
Basically, if I am going out to watch the football, I need to let my wife know when I'll be back home.
Collaboration and Teamwork
"Teamwork makes the dream work". My wedding was a dream come true and it took a lot of planning and collaboration between the two of us to make it happen.
With your work partnership, both sides need to put in the work and effort to make it successful. By working together, you can avoid confusion and delays and ultimately teamwork is key to a successful campaign.
At the IAB, we are working together with our partners in preparation for dmexco. MOAT, On Device Research, Sojern and On Scroll/Sovrn will be based at the IAB UK pavilion in Hall 6 and we would all love to see you there. The contribution by our partners is vital to us being there. By working together, we will all be on hand to promote UK ad tech, the wider industry and help to protect it too.
The vision is what brings the partnership together. Reminders of this through the good and bad times are vital, as it brings different people and companies together for one common goal and objective.
So in order to have a successful partnership you need a regular surveillance of your CCTV. Communication, Collaboration, Teamwork, and Vision; these have helped me so far in life and will continue to be important to me and my wife.
The IAB uses these ideas too, this has helped see digital advertising spend grow to over £8.6bn in the UK and contribute to a vibrant and creative community.
Good Italian food is all about perfecting the simple. By allowing the ingredients to do what they were made for, Italians have been able to enhance a few flavours to make great dishes.
Pizza, for example; the classic is basil, tomato sauce and mozzarella. Add a bit of garlic and it is amazing. Vicino on Kings Road near Parsons Green brings you Italian dishes aimed to please. Pasta, fish and meat, complimented with good wines and cocktails, Vicino brings an air of authenticity and homemade goodness.
Vicino is the Italian meaning for “neighbour” and the restaurant was given the name by a regular. This regular customer is now a part of the family. This story alone, makes me think of the Godfather films. I want to be part of the family too.
As well as the Life of Shayan team visiting, other celebrities come to this little Italian in west London too. It's quiet and almost secluded location has seen the like of Pierce Brosnan, Sienna Miller, Hugh Grant and The Stereophonics eat here too.
The starters are the usual favourites of bruschetta, soup, mozzarella, calamari (which I had) and fresh veg. The two dishes of Calamari and Carpaccio were not too stand out for me. They felt and tasted very homemade, but almost to the extent that my dad or I made it and not restaurant quality. I am all for homemade food, but ultimately am looking for a top chef to cook me something that I could only dream of. Both dishes were lacking unfortunately.
The main courses, were a complete step up from the starters. Here the chef shone and gave us two good dishes. One of the main appeals of Italian food and Vicino is the produce and home cooking. These two combined give you an understanding of why so many people visit. Lobster from Billingsgate market created the signature Lobster linguine dish that got me here.
The simple headings on the menu are clear and obvious. Pasta, Pesce and Carne. I combined the top two with the Lobster and my brother went for the Carne. His order of lamb chops was a tender and meaty affair. Generously seasoned the lamb was a thick and succulent piece of meat.
The star show, the Lobster was just as good. Presented with the shell opened up and some meaty claws, I tucked in. I clawed out as much meat as possible and devoured the lobster and linguine together. The garlic and parsley on the linguine made it extra delicious and special.
You may need to wait a while for the good stuff but it was worth waiting for.
A homely restaurant, where you feel quite relaxed and part of the family. A good place to brush up on your Italian and get some seasonal, simple food.