It isn't everyday you meet the Guinness World Record holder for the fastest pin-boner and carver of a side of salmon.
(Yes, believe it or not, this category does exist.)
Or have the opportunity to wander around Britain's oldest salmon smokery.
Or eat a delicious meal of silky fish and a gooey golden syrup pudding, all while gazing out at London's Olympic Stadium.
So it was a nice surprise to have the chance to do all three in one evening while on a business trip to London... a bit of a change from the old sit-in-a-meeting room and-hope-your-presentation-goes-down-well routine :)
The site of this little dinner excursion was Forman's Fish Island - widely believed to be Britain's oldest salmon smokery, located down a quiet street in London's East End in a building quite aptly shaped like a darne of salmon.
The Formans - if I got my facts right - originally hailed from Russia and started off smoking salmon sourced from their homeland, before realising that there was some incredibly tasty salmon to be had right in the UK, just upstream in merry ol' Scotland.
Following the brief introduction on the smokery and its rather colourful recent past - the original building was at the centre of the Olympic Stadium relocation controversy - the evening proceeded with a brief tour of the gleaming new smokehouse facilities and a carving and pin-boning demonstration by the Guinness World Record-holder himself, Darren Matson.
Then it was time to eat! Dinner was a hearty selection of courses comprising smoked salmon - of course - with traditional accompaniments like sour cream and onions, wild sea bass with vanilla froth, roasted garlic and truffle mash and golden syrup sponge pudding with rum & raisin icecream.
I would love to say the salmon was the highlight, but being the sucker for sweets that I am, dessert proved to be the real star of the show.
The pudding arrived puffed out of a syrup tin, bready all the way through and stickily sweet at the end - it wasn't really a dainty dessert but no one complained too much as we dug our spoons into the layer of settled syrup lining the bottom of the tin. It was definitely a sweet note to end the night on.
If you are ever in London and feel like getting up to something fishy in the East End one evening, I suggest you give this place a go. The smokehouse has a list of clients that make up the gourmet glitterati of London, including Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, Fortnum & Mason, The Dorchester and The House of Lords amongst others, so you can be sure you are in good smoked salmon-appreciating company.
Here's a peek at what would be in store:
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