Wish List – 2016

Blimey. Another year has rolled by. Looking back, I didn’t do too badly at ticking off 2015’s wishes and dreams – and there were plenty of great things that happened beyond The List too.

So what g’wan for Rocket and Squash over the next 12 months? Well, in 2016 I hope to enjoy some or all of the following:

1. Rekindle my enthusiasm for new restaurants

Regular readers might’ve noticed a drop-off in restaurant write-ups over the last six months or so. There are loads of contributing factors, not least that I’ve been quite busy; and, to be honest, many of 2015’s openings really weren’t very interesting. But I have to admit there were also times I felt rather jaded. I’ve been at this blog for 5 and a half years and perhaps needed a bit of a break.

The itch seems to be coming back, though, and there are a number of places that opened towards the end of last year that I’m keen to visit asap: including Ellory, Shuang Shuang, Boss Lady, Jidori, Noble Rot, P Franco and Hoppers.

I’ve always thought it’s important that whatever I write is worth reading, and that (for me) is not a quick process. 2016 should see more frequent restaurant posts and doodles, though my observations will probably be briefer than in the past.

2. The end of the Wellness Guru?

Have we reached peak Wellness? I f*$&ing hope so. Hadley Freeman’s takedown last summer of the pseudo-health fad covered this subject beautifully (so read it if you haven’t already done so), but it will take a bit of effort from editors and publishers to move things on from joyless raw ‘brownies’ and destructive dieting.

The equation is easy: enjoy eating everything in moderation and exercise. Bee Wilson’s First Bites has just been released and it seems to me to herald a better, more intelligent way of exploring healthy food habits. A blog post she published on 30 December is well worth a read too. More of this please.

3. Pay more attention to Longform

On which note, whilst I eat loads of ‘sinful’ food, I’m fairly certain that my most unhealthy habit is the amount of time I spend scrolling through Twitter and Instagram. I can feel my attention span dropping on every occasion I succumb to the urge to reach towards my pocket and open the social media app folder I’ve titled (to little dissuasive effect) ‘Time Wasting’.

In 2016 I’m going to to sit down and read – see if I can wean myself back onto articles and books that take longer than 3 minutes to scan through. I’d like to watch some thought provoking vaguely food related features too.

4. Look East

I suspect there’ll be more trips to Scandinavia this year, and I’m definitely off to gorge in Paris pretty soon. But the draw of the Indian Subcontinent and Far East is particularly strong atm. Sri Lanka maybe? Or perhaps Vietnam, Malaysia or Japan?

As it happens, a few pop-ups and street food start-ups serving those cuisines are particularly tempting (Sambal Shiok, Mondsey, Ta Ta Rice), and I suspect they’ll whet the appetite for more.

5. Keep on Supplementing

The century of Supplemental digests is approaching. I’d considered hanging my bat up once that number is achieved, but on reflection I’ll keep it going for a little longer yet.

By some stroke of luck / coincidence, I managed to contribute recipes myself on 8 of 2015’s weekends. I’d love (and will try) to at least match that number this year too.

That’s about it. Try cooking new recipes and ingredients, eat everything and, above all, have a great year.