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In conversation with… Andy Lynes

Andy Lynes edits the Metro newspaper’s Good Taste food and drink pages which appear every Tuesday. He is a Glenfiddich Award nominated freelance writer specialising in food, drink and travel. He contributes regular food and drink themed travel articles and hotel reviews to the Independent on Sunday and for three years wrote the paper’s Food of the Week column. Andy’s work has also appeared in The Times, Sainsbury’s magazine, Waitrose Food Illustrated, Independent on Sunday Review magazine, History Today, Saab magazine and Scarlet magazine.

Here, Andy answers a few questions about how he best enjoys a Scotch egg and describes it in very melodic language.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Crispy, ovate, calorie-demon (that could be a Captain Beefheart lyric!)

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Hot, but who can resist even a crappy supermarket Scotch egg straight from the fridge?

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. If served hot, you could argue the runny yolk makes it self-saucing, but I think they’re best with a bright and herby sauce gribiche, ravigote or tartare. Grain mustard would be fine but ketchup or HP are verboten.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg that you enjoy? Some chefs choose venison over sausage meat, others may try to spice the meat etc.
A. I’ve never had it, but I’ve always liked the idea of Gary Rhodes’s smoked haddock Scotch egg.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. The Harwood Arms in Fulham serves a mind expandingly excellent venison Scotch egg – it’s by far the best I’ve had. It’s obviously far too late in the day to say that the pub’s head chef Stephen Williams is a name to watch, but his remarkable talent extends way beyond bar snacks, even if those bar snacks are historically good.

Read Andy’s articles on the Metro website: http://www.metro.co.uk/search?q=andy+lynes

Follow Andy on Twitter: @AndyLynes

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In conversation with… Marina O’Loughlin

She (we can assume her sex), goes by the name Marina O’Loughlin and is the anonymous restaurant critic for the Metro newspaper where she writes a weekly restaurant review. Since 2008, she has had a monthly travel column in the BBC’s Olive magazine and was recently recognised as one of the most influential Londoners in the annual Evening Standard “1000 Most Influential People in London” supplement. O’Loughlin is an ardent Twitterer and there is even a ‘Marina O’Loughlin Appreciation Society’ on Facebook.

Here, the country’s most incognito critic answers some questions about her favourite Scotch eggs and what’s best served with them.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Guilty, bliss, Bunterish.

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Just warm.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. I like a home-made piccalilli, the mustardy crunch gives it a little extra oomph.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg that you enjoy? Some chefs choose venison over sausage meat, others may try to spice the meat etc.
A. I’ve tried a quail’s Scotch egg, Scotch eggs with black pudding and Scotch eggs made with salt cod instead of sausage. All good, but I like the original best.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. The Bull and Last in Kentish Town, Clerekenwell’s Coach and Horses, the venison one from The Harwood Arms and the version served with caper mayonnaise as part of Dean Street Townhouse’s lovely, retro High Tea.

Read restaurant reviews by Marina on the Metro website: http://www.metro.co.uk/lifestyle/restaurants

You can follow Marina on Twitter: @MarinaMetro

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The Harwood Arms

Jay Rayner says it’s the best scotch egg he’s had “no contest.” This is what I wrote in my review when I visited in September:

The first thing you notice is that it’s deep-fried and crispy and has a sprinkling of Maldon salt on top. It sits proud and spherical on a square of grease-proof paper, just wooing me to sink in and release its runny yolk. ‘Egging’ me on, if you will.

The breadcrumbs are warm and light and the venison meat holds perfectly the inner-casing of comfy white and fluent yellow yolk. Surprisingly, it isn’t overcooked and the centre is not a rubbery texture of gooey compound. Like a Dime bar it’s ‘smooth on the inside, crunchy on the out’. There’s a warming crunch before the meat and then you’re layered into the egg. For a product which appears almost inconspicuous on the Bar Menu it’s a real gem and the Harwood Arms have rightly become famous for such a thing.

Price: £2.50
Overall: 5/5

The Harwood Arms
27 Walham Grove
London
SW6 1QR
020 7386 1847

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