You’ve tried the cowboys…



This slogan was made ‘famous’ by my old restaurateur friend Singh at his popular eatery in Calahonda, Mijas Costa more than 25 years ago. We met for dinner in his restaurant last week for a catch up.

When I think back to my early years in the UK, immigration was – and still is – looked upon with reservation. Pakistani corner shops, Indian restaurants not to mention nurses from Africa and the Caribbean! Add to that, the melting pot increases, with those from Poland, Czechoslovakia and more.

What drives people to leave their country, travel afar and make a go of it? I forget that despite the fact that at times this part of the world reminds me at times as some sort of ‘Little England,’ we are ALL immigrants.

Singh’s work paid off, like many of his ilk, by hard work and risk taking. He has two smart young children going into hotel management who will surely take his work ethic with them. His business has expanded over the years opening a variety of restaurants but he has now made the leap to Malaga. We know that Malaga has boomed and is now not only a beautiful, historical city, but a hub of business.

Nowhere more prnounced than the Muelle Uno on the Port. This area has become the place to go both as a business and as a visitor. Singh’s Buddha Brasserie, serving Indian and Thai food is destined to be part of that success. I am going there with him next week, so I can report back!

Anyone out there for tennis?

AS WIMBLEDON FAST APPROACHES, Britain will bask in sunshine (sic) and the obligatory rain showers, as the world’s favourite tennis tournament starts next month. They will indulge in that favourite summer pastime of consuming strawberries and cream.

I like strawberries and tend to have them as part of my fruit breakfast. So for most of the year my local supermarket has them. I know we export tonnes to the UK, so you may feel my annoyance that when the summer comes here we run out, and they disappear from the shelves. One can buy from wholesalers but they are usually quite expensive and come from Holland and the UK but we don’t seem to import sufficient so as they can brighten our supermarket aisles during the important summer season. Oh well, back in September!

Numbers in the news

Half a million visitors will drink 350,000 cups of tea, 250,000 Pimms, 100,000 pints of beer and more than 28,000 bottles of champagne during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships scheduled in London from July 3 – 16. They will also consume 28,000 kgs of strawberries.

Unthinkable to do nothing

THE FIRE TRAGEDY THAT AFFECTED LONDON seems to have affected people all over the UK and further afield. Once again the resilience and strength of the people and their communities astounds me.

The incongruousness of the tower blocks of North Kensington aside the residents in the more affluent South Kensington. Neighbours such as Prince William and music mogul Simon Cowell visited the disaster area prompting Cowell, who ‘was moved to tears’ when he saw the carnage, stating that ‘a person in my position to do nothing would be unthinkable,’ to contact other music bosses to release a charity single in aid of the victims.

The hospitality industry was once again offering its help along with hundreds of others. Representatives of restaurants such as Chantelle Nicholson, Fred Sirieix, Galvin At Windows and Marcus Wareing Restaurants pledged support and goods to the cause.

Chef Adam Simmonds hosted a ‘pay-what-you-like’ fundraising dinner at his pop-up restaurant the Test Kitchen in London Soho on Saturday June 17 in aid of the ‘go fund’ charity.

Every penny received will go to the victims of the fire.

But the last word has to come from a tweet by Jamie Oliver.


‘To any of the 100’s of families affected by this terrible fire at Grenfell Tower Notting Hill today, You are all welcome to come hang out in my restaurant and be fed and watered by my Jamie’s Italian team. We are in the Westfield just around the corner. Food and drink free of charge so just go and speak to my manager Juan and we will sort you out and give you some love… this is for the victims of the fire – our thoughts, love and prayers are with you all, big love Jamie x x x x


MY WINE CORNER THIS WEEK focuses on a bottle of Faustino 1992 Gran Reserva from my own depleting collection. I keep saying the usual “I’ll keep that for a 


special occasion” but as one – like good wine – improves with age, you realise that every day is a special day. So, dust off the cobwebs I did (and that’s just in my hallway!) to see how this wine has fared over the last few years. I am not a great lover of Faustino it has to be said – just too predictable and somewhat boring!

But you have to appreciate some of their vintages. Gran Reserva means that it should be in barrel for at least two years and in bottle for three (a minimum total of five) before being released. This wine is typically Rioja with majority Tempranillo with Graciano and Mazuelo grapes.

The cork opened well, in as much as it was still dry at the top, but broke three quarters of the way down (maybe more the person who opened it!). It was very ‘tawny’ as to be expected, but still had a lot of quality. Smooth, still hints of berries and sufficient tannin. It drank well with my mature cheddar!

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