Dish Deconstructed: Robin Gill’s Galician octopus

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Watch Robin Gill, chef-owner of newly-opened Counter Culture in London’s Clapham, demonstrate how to cook the restaurant's Galician octopus dish. 

The dish uses octopus marinated overnight in chilli and fennel seeds, assembled with fennel kimchi, Calcot onions in whey and wild garlic, more wild garlic, capers, bronzed fennel, and a rouille made with fermented squash.

Dubbed “The Dairy’s naughty little brother” Counter Culture is a 15-seat bolthole serving a constantly-changing, Mediterranean-British-inspired, “pintxos” menu, with a strong focus on seasonality, preservation and pickling.

Located on the site of the neighbouring The Delicatessen, which Gill opened in March 2015 but closed due to lack to daytime trade, the new venture now allows the team to experiment with fermentation techniques learned next door, while also giving them freedom to rotate dishes regularly, and prepare plates with speed and creativity. 

Using carefully-sourced ingredients, with most herbs, pickles, ferments and preserves grown or made on-site, typical dishes include the aforementioned Galician octopus, house cellar salami, mackerel and salted blood orange escabeche, and the signature bambi dog, with venison sausage, sauerkraut, and crispy shallots.

There is also the ubiquitous – and incredibly moreish ‒ homemade sour potato flat bread, and a BYOB alcohol policy pending a drinks license.

Gill is also the man behind The Manor ‒ also in Clapham ‒ as well as Paradise Garage in east London’s Bethnal Green.

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