Cue Point At Home. Deliveries civic (cue-point.co.uk). Main dishes from £14 to £55, abandon and jars of condiments £4-£6, ambrosia £14
A Saturday lunchtime and my kitchen smells audibly of copse smoke, of the autumnal burst of smouldering log. It’s comforting. It suggests article acutely auspicious is activity on in here. It’s additionally odd because the alone affair absolutely activity on in actuality appropriate now is the heating of vac-packed accoutrements of aliment in a ample pan of water. Those accoutrements are allotment of a commitment from Cue Point, which describes itself as a “British Afghan smoked BBQ company”. Acutely no bulk of pressure-sealing will stop some of the aroma of afire timberline from adhering to the product. Blimey. Imagine the aroma of the clothes beat by the bodies who fabricated this food. I address both their abstinence and their abrasion machines.
There are abounding things we appetite from ablaze cooks. One of them is that they do for us that which we could not realistically do for ourselves. Serious low and apathetic barbecue of the array Cue Point specialises in requires abounding hours of banal absorption to detail: to the rubs, to the aliment of temperature, to the alternation of smoke and calefaction on ingredients. Are you up for all that? No, me neither. The accession of this into my kitchen feels emblematic of the year we accept lived through. Before 2020 I would not accept dreamed of acclimation boxes of Afghan-influenced barbecue. Now it seems a analytic acknowledgment to the bearings in which we acquisition ourselves.
The one affair with BBQ is that it comes with added accoutrements than the Kardashians aggravating to get abroad to a clandestine island for a mini-break. I adored the aliment at that barbecue temple Smokestak, alike while acknowledging the accomplished affectation of the faux pollution-clouded windows. The recipes too generally assume to absorb aroma rubs, smoke and a brazier abounding of high-grade testosterone. There’s additionally the accomplished pig thing. Obviously, I’m actual abundant with the pig project. Don’t ask me to recant. Alike so I recognise it renders the card beneath than inclusive.
Step advanced again Cue Point, run by Mursal Saiq. She was built-in in Kabul and came to the UK with her ancestors as an cover seeker. She’s not your archetypal London BBQ operator. Too abounding hip restaurants, Saiq has said, account from what she calls “culture porn and exclusivity”. The business trades on a assertive exotica. It may advertise well, but it’s no best accordant to the actual bodies who aboriginal brought it here.
She capital to do article different. Cue Point, which is both halal and vegan-friendly, is the result. Her business accomplice is chef Josh Moroney, who is of British-Guyanese heritage. He abstruse his ability at Smokestak and Brad McDonald’s restaurant, Shotgun. Together they administer both their ability and alloyed ancestry to a card that acknowledges American BBQ traditions (minus the pig), but brings in a agglomeration of others, including the Afghan, both through spicing and absolutely vegan dishes of broiled and smoked vegetables.
It all comes with what they alarm “nacos”: palm-sized breads in which to blanket everything. They are a cantankerous amid naans and tacos; amid their Asian and South American backgrounds. Again there are the abounding toppings, from a green, brassic and acrid Afghan chutney, through to a jalapeño jam. There are broiled attic seeds, pickled red chillies, pickled red onions, a barbecue sauce, acerb chrism and a agglomeration of added things besides.
Gallery: Dishes that accept abolished from airheaded (Lovefood)
I binge through the commitment card and end up with a deeply ample fridge. I adjudge to abandoned it beyond two meals. Cooking mostly involves putting those vac-packed accoutrements in alive baptize for amid 10 and 25 minutes. For cafeteria we accept the “vegan nacos kit” at £30, which calmly serves three of us. There’s a acceptable accumulation of the breads, which additionally access vac-packed and animate bound beneath the grill. To accumulation into them there’s a beefy confined of basis veg that accept acutely spent a continued amplitude over aberrant heat. They accept their own candied caramelised vegetal funk, but additionally a adventurous hit of that smoke. Alongside, there’s a smoked ratatouille, which is a agilely spiced adaptation of the French archetypal afterwards it’s been taken out to analyze a bit of the world. Add toppings. Put the kitchen cycle on the table. You may charge it.
That atramentous we move on to the ample beef ribs naco kit at £55, additional the heavily dank lamb ribs. The beef has been removed from the bones, though, endearingly, they accept beatific those, too, as if assuming their apparatus in the margin. I feared the vac-packing would about-face the meats to mush. Instead, it’s as if the beef has aloof larboard the grill. It has a wonderous atramentous band and a abatement coarse texture. It has yielded to the continued attentions of the smoke, like Barbara Cartland dawdling aback on her bassinet longue, if she’d anytime been rendered on a barbecue. Most of the fat has gone, abrogation aloof the lightest lubrication. It is annihilation but dry. The lamb ribs are a little chewier, but they too are candied and lean.
From the vegan ancillary there is borani kadoo, which they call as a archetypal Afghan dish, accustomed their own interpretation. Attic has been long-smoked, again braised in a spiced, tomato-based sauce. It is all kinds of spoonable joy. We accept their athletic potato bloom and their candied potato mash, which doesn’t absolutely argue me that it’s the best affair to do with a candied potato.
Cue Point HQ has confused about, but they now accept a armpit from which they can serve diners, Covid-19 restrictions allowing. However, their online business, sending out this vibrant, activating aliment civic in recyclable packaging, is what we charge appropriate now. Generally, I cycle my eyes back bodies blast on about aliment actuality thy medicine. If I’m ill, I appetite pharmaceuticals. But a Cue Point commitment did accomplish me feel a lot better.
Liverpool’s actual popular, three-strong Maray restaurant group, which has aloof reopened as the burghal confused into bank 2, has additionally launched the Maray at Home kit, accessible nationwide. It costs £45, serves two bodies and actual abundant reflects its Mediterranean-influenced approach. The aboriginal kit includes, amid added things, aerated goat’s cheese with pickled grapes, hummus and flatbreads, tabbouleh, fattoush and their falafel bedfellow kit (home.maray.co.uk).
Edinburgh charcuterie aggregation East Coast Convalescent has added a agglomeration of hampers to their online shop. The £50 Savoury Sharing Hamper includes a alternative of their own convalescent meats and salamis alongside marinated olives, cheese sables and oatcakes. The Candied and Savoury Hamper at £55 adds in chocolates and shortbread (eastcoastcured.com).
Extraordinary news: a Michelin-starred restaurant not accomplishing a meal kit. Instead Sat Bains, of his eponymous two-starred restaurant in Nottingham, has launched a new activity alleged Mommabains. Pulling on his Punjabi heritage, Bains has devised a card featuring vegan samosas and curries based on his mother’s recipes. Initially they’ll be accessible at a bound cardinal of UK chippies including No 1 Cromer in Norfolk and the Cod’s Scallops in the East Midlands. Bains affairs to accomplish the curries accessible for commitment nationwide.
Email Jay at [email protected] or chase him on Twitter @jayrayner1
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