Pleasing the palate, the soul and the stomach; don’t be scared – we’re eating duck, drinking wine and getting loved up on kimchi…

Let’s face it, Friday afternoons are rather wonderful. The weekend is whispering in your ear and the promise of two days freedom is a pretty potent drug to see you through the last-minute-finishing-up that generally heralds the end of the week…

…then when you get a text to say you’re being taken out for dinner? Well, like new and wholly-impractical-but-gorgeous-shoes, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or finding an old Keanu film on the tv, that just puts a super sized smile on your face.

I’ve made no secret that Salvation Jane is an awesome place to eat. It really doesn’t matter if you’re after breakfast, lunch or dinner because they nail it every single time. I don’t even think it’s possible for them to disappoint me…

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Ciabatta bread – sweet, sour, chewy, fresh – enveloping confit duck – succulent, delicious, tender, pink – and fresh salad – tangy, pickled, cool, crunchy – served with potato puffs – crispy, golden, light, fluffy – and kimchi mayo – spicy, creamy and so moreish I’d like to find a horse, become his friend, steal his nosebag and fill it with the stuff so that I could snack at my leisure.

Kimchi has massively been a 2014 flavour for me and if you’ve never braved a taste, seize your courage and do so immediately. Made with fermented vegetables – sometimes left to stew for weeks or even months at a time – and hailing from Korea, where it proudly wears the label of ‘national dish’, it’s distinctive sweet-sour taste energizes any combination of meat, salad and bread.

I’ve had it in bagels and burritos and now in a more traditional sandwich format and you know what? It works. It always works.

Interesting fact with which to dazzle your friends #1 – apparently Koreans eat up to 40lbs of kimchi annually!

Interesting fact with which to dazzle your friends #2 – said Koreans love it so much that they’ll say ‘Kimchi!’ instead of ‘Cheese!’ when having a photo taken!

As it generally contains cabbage, radish, spring onion, cucumber, ginger, pepper and garlic and is low fat and high fibre, it’s not hard to see why this can be seen as that rare combination of yummy food that’s good for you. Plus, it actually tastes good…are you listening to me broccoli? Pah, don’t wave your florets at me…

Kimchi is not only laden down with vitamins A, B and C plus iron, calcium and selenium which help muscles grow, blood flow and your immune system supercharge, it also contains high amounts of ‘lactobacilli’, a healthy, friendly bacteria that aids digestion – heck, we might as well slap a cape on old Kimchi and think of him as a superhero for our tummies…

Obviously as with anyone we ingest, you don’t want to overload your system by eating nothing but kimchi 24/7 but to add extra flavour, extra health benefits and extra vegetables to your diet, it’s absolutely worth trying. Add it to something quite plain to begin with like chicken to see if you like the flavour and avoid overloading your tongue. Alternatively, mix it with something that’s already slightly spicy to add a new depth of flavour to dishes like fajitas or stir fry.

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Anyway, whether you love it or hate it, immediately want to try it or think I’m crazy and should get back to Malteser cake and ice-cream immediately, there’s no denying that this was a simple and perfect way to usher in the weekend. Sat by an open window in the sunshine with a glass of wine and the long working week behind us, and a plate of something sincerely wonderful in front of us, it was made all the nicer by being unplanned…gotta love a spontaneity-romance-food threesome.

For those out there who think that food is just food, oh, you’re so wrong and it makes me a little sad. Food can make the quietest meal memorable and if you’ve never had that feeling…well a) I’m surprised you’re reading this blog and b) you need to eat more because there will be a time when you just get it. And when you do, come back and tell me. I can’t wait to hear about it.

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