Grub a bite, or bite a grub, in London Fields

supplied PR pic

YUM-YUM, it’s grub time. But, hullo, what exactly is on the plate?

Exactly that, grubs – insects reared in the Netherlands specifically for human consumption, specifically yours, as it happens: the cooked wee creatures will be offered for munching and crunching at a popup in Hackney for one-night only.

Insect-eating has been proposed as a way to solve food shortages – although it sometimes looks more like another stage in the search by an avaricious dominant species, the dedicated foodie, for ever more exciting culinary experiences).

So Shami Radia and Neil Whippey are staging popups for people willing to eat a grub, which is the gently punning name they have chosen for their business.

A Grub press statement to Loving Dalston said:

“Insects are tasty, nutritious and sustainable,” say Grubs co-founders [the two claim somehow to speak as one]. “They are eaten all around the world, often as a delicacy, and we are really excited to be bringing them to the UK.

Supplied PR pic
Both pictures are supplied publicity pix

“Our aim is to surprise and delight our diners, and so far we’re doing exactly that.”

Exciting, eh? (I may have removed a teenagey exclamation point – we’re all adults here.)

Radia-Whippey say that the Thai taster menu devised by street-food chef Seb Holmes brings “classic dishes and traditional ways of incorporating insects into flavoursome creations”. And that’s enough PR-speak for one article, although, hang on, this next quote, “Creations inspired by Thai school snacks and chimpanzees are an education for the mind as well as the palette”, is intriguing.

Chimpanzees creating dishes for Siamese schoolchildren? Or is it that the chef is somehow inspired by chimps?

Asked about the conservation aspect, Grub replied that the “insects are imported from Holland, which means they follow EU and UK Food Standards Authority rules.”

The creepy-crawlies were fed on carrots, potatoes and grain, and freeze-dried to ensure the removal of any harmful bacteria and giving a shelf life of one year. Grub added that it “respects the environment and the insects as produce”.

At the popop, cocktails will be offered to help the mealworms, crickets and grasshoppers slide down your neck. “Enjoy!”, the verb so often abused by waiters, will never seem more imperative.

* Hothouse Rooftop, 274 Richmond Road, London Fields E8 3QW,  Fri 25 April 2014, 6.30pm, £25 (no concessions) via Billetto. The publicist says “there is disabled access” but gave no details.

Hamish Scott 15041

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