What an experience we had at Skewd this week. Located opposite Cockfosters station it’s a bit of a journey out of central London but so worth the trip! Their ethos is Anatolian cooking with attitude. Turkish and Mediterranean fine dining is served up in this attractive restaurant with seasonal fresh produce sourced from London markets every morning. The restaurant is decorated with a Mediterranean twist and has a fantastic open kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work.
Head Chef Tim Dela Cruz joined Skewd two months ago and has jumped straight in to putting his twist on the menu. We had the pleasure of meeting him and learning about his background before Skewd, including working in a fair few Michelin starred restaurants and being a MasterChef Professionals contestant in 2015! Chef Tim is all about the experience and produces food with passion and love, the dishes we tried were all recommended by him and tasted amazing.
We started with some delicious puffed up bread straight from their stone oven, with creamy whipped butter which almost tasted like cheese – so good! For our starters we tried the Bertha Grilled Octopus: served with Mediterranean salsa and the Pachanga: filo pastry, filled with mixed bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, kashar cheese, cured fine beef and parsley, on roasted red pepper sauce. Chef Tim also provided a Honey-Glazed Goats’ Cheese: Honey-glazed goats’ cheese served with Bertha roasted beetroot, caramelised shallots and walnuts, drizzled with 8 year’s aged balsamic. Wow wow wow!
These starters were incredible! The octopus was cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside tender on the inside and the salsa was delicious, with a leaf that tasted just like oysters and tasty olives onions and tomatoes too – heaven! The Pachanga was really tasty too, the pastry was crispy and the filling was packed full of flavour. The red pepper sauce was smooth and flavoursome. The goats’ cheese was creamy, sticky, sweet perfection! The accompanying beetroot, walnuts and balsamic complimented the cheese so well and made a very tasty dish.
For our mains we got to try the Lamb Shish (Skewd’s signature dish) and the daily specials of Lamb Chops: pan roasted lamb chops, fermented cauliflower, leeks, smoked yoghurt, lovage and the Ocean Kebab: wild Alaskan salmon, monkfish, king prawns and octopus. Again, wow! The shish was packed full of flavour, perfectly seasoned and then perfectly cooked…we sneaked this home with us as it was too good to leave behind! The lamb chops got destroyed in no time, the meat was cooked just right, juicy pink tender chops well-seasoned and complimented by the smoked yoghurt and lovage. The seafood skewer was also incredible, with soft juicy salmon and meaty monkfish and prawns topped off with an octopus tentacle and lightly grilled Mediterranean veg – delicious!! Alongside our mains we had some sides of the Shepherds Salad: a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, fresh parsley with olive oil sumac and pomegranate molasses. This was so fresh and tasty, I really liked it with the meat. We also had some Pilav Rice and Bulgur Rice – both well cooked and complimented all the mains.
Already fit to burst, Chef Tim gave us an awesome end to our meal with a Baked Alaska. This one had a gorgeous red velvet sponge base, topped with Mastika flavoured ice cream (a resin gathered from the mastic tree, a small Mediterranean tree) which had an almost aniseed taste and then coated in toasted meringue. They even poured over flaming liquor at the table – it was like an end of meal show! Of course, in keeping with everything else we tried it was delicious, the flavours complimented each other perfectly and it felt like a nice light pud to finish off the meal.
You can tell I enjoyed my time at Skewd, it was well worth the travel to Cockfosters and I’ll be back for sure. The food is really something special and the passion of Head Chef Tim really shines through in what he produces. The prices are reasonable, you definitely get good quality in the food, all I can say is go!