Salmon, new potatoes, greens
A classic combination. Just fish, butter, lemon and a couple of sides.
This is what I ordered the first time I ‘entertained’ a corporate client – we were eating at The Duke on the Green in Parson’s Green, London.
The lunch was like an initiation. I felt nervous and awkward. I remember desperately trying to avoid the tell-tale signs of a corporate-entertaining greenhorn: fidgeting and rattling of cutlery; dripping beads of sweat on forehead and over-earnest desire to impress with banal questions about work. But he took no notice. He was a no-nonsense ‘Northerner’ and had no time for small talk – he was simply going out to get lunch.
You had to admire his nonchalant ability to breeze into a restaurant, glance at the menu and immediately call-out an order: Salmon please! (I was keen to explore the menu, but swept along by his confident decision-making, I also ordered the salmon.) His casual attitude and off-hand disregard for ‘Southern’ airs and graces was irresistibly calming and helped to guide my passage into the world of corporate entertaining.
‘Our’ salmon seemed very posh and rather excellent at the time. It’s a testament for those who believe there is no better way to cook fish than frying it in a pan with butter and lemon. I make it often and am always reminded of my rite of passage in the Duke on the Green.