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Confidentials’ Editor David Blake goes behind the scenes at Grafene

Bagel with salmon and scrambled eggs – it’s a classic snack. It’s even something you can knock up at home with your eyes closed. However, the cured salmon squid ink bagel with crispy salmon skin and fermented samphire at Grafene is another matter entirely. There are more words in the title than there are ingredients in most people’s version of this dish.

Take a look and see exactly what goes into making such a simple dish, simply stunning.

So, the scrambled egg is actually scrambled egg foam but that’s just a little tweak. Simply brown the butter, add the egg until it’s just starting to cook, blitz it, pop it into the siphon and give it two charges of N2O and you’re done. Or at least the foam is done.


The squid ink bagels, as you can probably guess from the name, aren’t shop-bought. Instead the dough is made, proved, quartered and hand-rolled by the team at Grafene before being baked in stock syrup for that beautiful bagel glaze and then baked in the oven.

They are then dusted with samphire powder which is dehydrated overnight, blitzed and passed through a fine sieve. Making the samphire powder is quite frankly a piece of piss compared to the lacto-fermented samphire – the making of which involves whey, valves and four days of preparation.

2018 07 18 Grafene Salmon Bagel 1 Low Res 2018 07 18 Grafene Salmon Bagel 2 Low Res

For the salmon, a whole fish is painstakingly filleted before being cured in a mixture of salt, sugar and the juice and pulp of a cucumber. This is not a dish you can rustle up if you are either hungry or busy – the curing takes eighteen hours and the fish has to be rotated every four hours before being smoked and that’s just another step on the road to snack perfection.

After that, just dehydrate the salmon skin (for twelve hours) and deep-fry it before dressing with a citrus dressing made from six different fruits. Easy-peasy.

Now your turn.

Alternatively, book a table at Grafene and hope this dish turns up at your table as one of their lovely ‘surprises’.

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