Loading...

Follow Curious London on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid
Curious London by Emily Gibson - 1M ago

Last week my pal Rosie and I visited the basement of The Blue Posts in Soho to eat at Evelyn’s Table. Rosie had already been a couple of months previously and was the one who had insisted we make a reservation; apparently it had been sensationally, jaw-droppingly, shit-tittingly fantastic, even though she got so drunk that she ordered a £120 bottle of wine before starting a spirited conversation with the chef about the grittiness of his sorbet. Consequently, I was under strict instructions from her somewhat mortified former dinner companions not to let her near the pudding menu again in case she made A Scene.

There was no sign of the eponymous Evelyn anywhere when we arrived, but there was a highly energetic Frenchman bouncing around – we knew he was French because he told us so, and because he was wearing a beret – with a friendliness and enthusiasm that hinted at a previous life as, possibly, a Labrador. He seemed to be a sort of manager/head waiter/sommelier hybrid, which was just as well because Evelyn’s Table must be one of the tiniest restaurants in London and doesn’t have room for a lot of staff, but his primary job, it seemed, was to flirt outrageously with the guests. All eleven of us. (Well, fifteen. There were eleven perched around the L-shaped kitchen counter, waiting eagerly for our next morsel, like performing seals. The other four had drawn the short straws and were sat at teeny tiny tables wedged into the corners.)

You absolutely must make sure you get one of those counter seats, by the way. Unlike the surrounding theatres there are no discounts for a restricted view, and although the food was consistently sublime it’s a shame to miss out on the kitchen-side spot.

The bread (£3.50), from the legendary ovens of Hedone in Chiswick, is naturally fabulous. Small plates come out ‘as they’re ready’ (grr), but in fact the chefs are keeping a close eye on what you’re eating and bring everything out in a sensible order, light to heavy. Our first proper dish was a pair of stuffed goat’s cheese courgette flowers (£7 each – we had two), fried to an irresistible crisp and drizzled with honey. Did I like them more than reigning champ Barrafina’s version? Hard to say when one is right in front of you and the other is a hazy memory, but it’s a close-run thing. Coming up for air was like coming out of a blissful coma. “That was so wonderful I want to throw it back up and eat it all over again,” I told the chef, drunk on goat’s cheese, in some weird attempt at a compliment.

Boat fish was presented on a chopping board before we ordered but Rosie was making eyes at the smoked eel (£9.00), not usually my bag (especially as it came with its great pal and my longtime nemesis, beetroot), but I was surprised – and pleased – by its meatiness, smokiness and bounce. Beef tartare (£12.00) was amongst the best I’d ever had, and bright, perky English asparagus (£12.00) could so easily have been overwhelmed by the accompanying girolles, hazelnuts and garlic mayonnaise, but was masterfully well-balanced.

We also ordered a plate of Spaghettini allo scoglio (£14.00 – that’s skinny seafood spaghetti, to you and me), though I’m not sure why as I have a bit of a rule about not ordering pasta from anywhere but a pasta restaurant in the same way that I don’t buy shoes from anywhere other than a shoe shop. As filler went, it was pretty good.

Lamb – served as chops and belly – was another dish I could have happily regurgitated and re-consumed until the cows (sheep?) came home, though at £24 it had damn well have better been. We also ordered a side of glossy buttered golden Jersey Royals (£5.00) that were so beautiful that the man sitting next to me, who turned out to be a Jersey native, nearly burst with patriotic pride.

Despite Sorbetgate, we did ask to try a teeny bit of the basil sorbet at the end, out of curiosity, and it was hideous. Sandy and bizarrely salty, the shock of it after the loveliness of everything else we’d eaten was not unlike going for a massage and then at the end unexpectedly being held down and subjected to electro-nipple torture. The restaurant is owned by the same people as the otherwise excellent Palomar two doors down, and their sorbet is absolute drawers too, so perhaps they just need a new ice cream machine.

Our total bill, including service, came to nearly £200, so Evelyn’s Table isn’t really an everyday kind of restaurant. (This did include quite a bit of booze, mind you: glasses of sherry and white wine upstairs before dinner, a bottle of white over dinner and a couple of glasses of red to finish.) But with its intimate, counter-style dining and chef interaction (no, not that kind, Rosie, pipe down), it’s worth saving for a special occasion.

Evelyn’s Table, The Blue Posts, Cellar, 28 Rupert St, Chinatown, London, W1D 6DJ

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you love food – and I know you do – you’ll already have this summer’s Taste of London festival in your diary. I went to the winter event at the Tobacco Docks and had a splendid time – my pal Rosie and I guzzled Rioja while sampling Barrafina’s sublime croquetas (POTENTIALLY the best in all of London, and I’ve never met a croqueta I didn’t like) and discovering some bloody fantastic wontons at Dumpling Legend. The summer event is going to be EVEN BETTER though, because it’s in Regent’s Park and it’s almost certainly definitely going to be sunnyish.

If you’ve never been to Taste of London before, there’s loads to do. All of London’s best restaurants set up shop and sell miniature portions of their signature dishes (here’s the line up!), plus there are complimentary cooking demos, tasting events and little stalls selling things like top-shelf pickle and fancy-ass cheese.

Sadly, you do have to pay to get in, but Curious London has five pairs of tickets (each set worth £54!) to give away. And entering is very easy! Just follow Curious London on Twitter/Insta/Facebook and job’s a good’un. (And if you already follow us on social, then you’re all set! Pew, pew pew pew.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Small print:

1. The competition closes at 11:59pm on Saturday 9th June. The winners will be chosen at random and announced no later than 10pm on Monday 11th June.

2. There are five prizes available, each comprising two tickets to Taste of London 2018 on the Sunday session (17th June), 12-5pm.

3. No cash alternative.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

So you’ve bagged tickets to Hamilton, you jammy little sausage! I got to see it myself recently and it blew my mind. It was so good, in fact, that I’m entering the £10 ticket lottery every single day so I can go and see it again.

Sadly, the Victoria Palace theatre is in, er, Victoria, which isn’t exactly known for its gastronomy. It is known for its monstrously large and difficult to navigate train station, which sprawls unattractively like some sort of pedestrianised spaghetti junction, and possibly the greatest collection of crap lunch options in the northern hemisphere, so deciding where to grab a bite before the show can be tricky. (This also goes for Wicked, movies at the Curzon Victoria and anything at the Royal Court and The Other Palace theatres.) But, if you know where to look, there’s some good eating to be had within walking distance of all Victoria’s theatres. Here they all are. 

And look! I made a map and everything.

JONES FAMILY KITCHEN 

New kid on the block Jones Family Kitchen has just opened its second site in pretty Eccleston Yard. It’s very much tucked away, so you won’t have to look at hordes of tourists on their way to the coach station, or Nova Victoria, recently voted the UK’s ugliest building. The big draw here is the menu of Ginger Pig meats, all cooked to order on a Josper grill, and the extensive list of wines available by the glass.

Pre-theatre menu: Available from 4-6:15pm, Monday to Saturday. One course for £9.95, two courses for £14.50, three courses for £17.50, from a selection of three options per course. Sample menu here.

Image credit: River Thompson

CAMBRIDGE STREET KITCHEN

This one requires a little walk, but it’s really not far at all, and you’ll be rewarded with Cambridge Street Kitchen’s absolutely banging aperitivo hour. If you’ve got time, stay for dinner (read our review here!). It’s open all day.

Pre-theatre menu: There’s no set menu  so if you’re dining proper you’ll be eating a la carte, but there are £5 cocktails, £4.50 glasses of wine and £4 beers served alongside unlimited nibbles from 4-7pm Monday to Friday.

BLEECKER BURGER

Sometimes, before you sit down to watch the cultural phenomenon of the century, you just want a massive slab of beef in your face, dripping with sauce. Possibly with bacon. Enter Bleecker Burger, the best example of exactly that within a 500m radius of Victoria station. (There’s a Shake Shack too. Ignore that, obviously.) Do not miss the Angry Fries, which are doused in hot sauce and blue cheese goo.

Pre-theatre menu: Burgers start from £6.50, and fries from £3.00.

BONE DADDIES

Another cheapy, but it’s a goodie. Bone Daddies does some of the most stonking ramen in town, and a steaming bowl of their best will see you well through all of Hamilton. You don’t want to get peckish and mob the interval ice-cream seller, after all. The thing is longer than Les Mis. 

Pre-theatre menu: None, but you’ll be in and out in a jiffy, with plenty of change from £20 for a main and a drink.

A. WONG

If you haven’t already dropped enough dollar on theatre tickets, A. Wong’s Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant is just down the road from Victoria station. You’ll need to study the menu in advance because a) it is very long and b) the restaurant only opens at 5:30pm, so you’ll need to be in and out in 90 minutes or so, swift as an otter. If you’re seeing a matinee, you’re in luck, because then you can try Wong’s legendary lunchtime-only dim sum menu.

Pre-theatre menu: None.

ASTER

Aster is an offshoot from the ever-popular D&D group, who also own Quaglino’s, Bluebird, The Modern Pantry and the Paternoster Chop House, also known as the First Dates restaurant. (I know this because my mother once dragged me over to St. Paul’s to goggle at it.) Specialising in Scandi cuisine, its pre-theatre menu also includes a glass of, er, Cava.

Pre-theatre menu: Available every day between 5-7pm. Two courses for £25 or three courses for £30, including a glass of fizz.

A post shared by Aster (@astervictoria) on May 22, 2018 at 8:35am PDT

UNI

Posh Peruvian/Japanese fusion restaurant UNI offers a mix of top-quality ceviche, sushi, sashimi and robata-grilled meats, but if you’re in a hurry, grab one of their bento boxes (and one of their fiery chilli mojitos).

Pre-theatre menu: None, but bento boxes cost £15pp (or £40 if you’re pushing the boat out and fancy some wagyu beef).

Photo credit: UNI

HAI CENTATO

Jason Atherton spawns new restaurants almost as quickly as Kate Middleton bangs out new heirs, and one of his latest projects is Hai Cenato, an American-Italian restaurant and cocktail bar. Kind of like Frankie & Benny’s, but not, of course, shit.

Pre-theatre menu: Two courses for £18.50 from a choice of two options per course. There’s also a pizza deal in the bar between 3-6pm (£9 for a margarita and a drink), but if pizza is what you’re really after then head to ever-dependable mini-chain Franco Manca round the corner.

A post shared by Hai Cenato (@haicenato) on Feb 4, 2018 at 4:42am PST

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Curious London by Emily Gibson - 2M ago

Never seem to get wind of those awesome soft launches in time to bag a table? Bookmark this page for a comprehensive, idiot-proof list of upcoming opening offers (before anyone else can get to them).

Where: James Cochran EC3, Aldgate

Cuisine: Scottish/Jamaican fusion (read review here!)

The deal: 25% off the entire bill (including drinks) from 27th April-31st May, on lunch only, Monday-Friday for parties of two or more diners. Bookings must be made in advance – type the code 25LUNCH into the comments field of the online booking form.

Where: Manhattan Grill @ Marriott West India Quay

Cuisine: American.

The deal: 50% off the truly obscene, four-person sharer ‘Madhattan’ steak sandwich for National Sandwich Week (20th-26th May) when you share your photo on Instagram, tagging @MarriottWestIndiaQuay. (That’s £60 from £120, includes unlimited fries, coleslaw and four wines or beers.)

Where: Ceru, Soho

Cuisine: Levantine/Middle Eastern

The deal: 50% off the entire bill between 21st and 27th May inclusive. Available for lunch and dinner by reservation only, for a maximum of four people. To make a reservation, email patricia.hilton@cerurestaurants.com and quote CERULEAN BLUE.

Where: TraTra, Shoreditch

Cuisine: French

The deal: 50% off a la carte food dishes for Tues-Fri lunch from 22nd May until 1st June, between 12.00pm-3.00pm, including the new ‘Croque’ menu (basically extremely fancy cheese on toast). Advance bookings can be made via events@boundary.london.

Where: Kyseri, Fitzrovia

Cuisine: Turkish/Cypriot fusion

The deal: 50% off food from Tuesday 22nd May to Thursday 24th May. Reservations available online.

A post shared by Kyseri (@kyseri_ldn) on May 15, 2018 at 9:30am PDT

Where: Jones Family Kitchen, Belgravia

Cuisine: Modern European

The deal: 50% off food from Tuesday 22nd May to Saturday 26th May. Make a reservation via bookbelgravia@jonesfamilykitchen.co.uk.

Where: The Duke of Richmond, Hackney

Cuisine: Classic pub dishes with a French slant from Tom Oldroyd.

The deal: 30% off lunch and dinner in the dining room between Thursday 24th and Saturday 26th May inclusive. Booking recommended, call 020 7923 3990 or email bookings@thedukeofrichmond.com.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It was only a matter of time, but someone has gone and done a Harry Potter-themed magical yet unbranded wizarding world type afternoon tea. And not just any someone – you’ll find it at my number one favourite London bakery, Cutter & Squidge. (I buy a lot of birthday cakes from there and they are freakin’ amazing. They’ve all got five layers and fancy icing dribbles and all sorts of delicious shit piled on top. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.) 

This isn’t their first rodeo either. The enterprising owners, realising that most of their clientele are usually just popping in for a coffee and cake, or picking up a custom order, have found a way to capitalise on what would be an otherwise empty basement space: throw highly elaborate, intricately-themed afternoon teas. The last one was Aladdin-themed, and the one before that a much-hyped collaboration with Hello Kitty, which I didn’t try myself but apparently was utterly mobbed.

This time, they’ve managed to, rather ingeniously, recreate all the magic of a certain wizarding world while neatly sidestepping all those annoying copyright laws that can get in the way of a really good wheeze. I am 100% certain it’s going to be a huge hit with people going to see the (bloody fantastic, by the way) Harry Potter And The Cursed Child show just ten minutes’ walk away.

I don’t want to spill all of Cutter & Squidge’s secrets, because half the fun is in the surprise. There’s some interactivity involved that makes the experience more like an afternoon tea version of Alcotraz than any of its more pedestrian counterparts. Everyone sits at benches and faces the front, and a real live witch presides over the proceedings, which involves a certain amount of messing around with beakers and pestle and mortars.

The food was overall good. There’s no wafer-thin cucumber nonsense here; instead, the obligatory sandwiches have more substantial fillings, like ‘roast chicken dinner’ and ploughman’s, and there are flaky, buttery little pies, which I could have eaten dozens off given the opportunity and a complimentary lipo session afterwards. Less impressive was the Yorkshire pudding ‘fit for a feast’, which, at the size of a 2p piece, was almost comically wee.

I was disappointed that C&S’s signature wares didn’t take a greater role in the pudding portion. The two big draws in the cafe upstairs are the dream cakes – the aforementioned fabulous, multi-layered confections with elaborate decorations – and ‘biskies’, a sort of cookie sandwich of their own invention. The miniature butterscotch biskie was one of the highlights of the tea – rich, gooey, small enough that you weren’t sick – but the pint-sized Knickerbocker Glory felt like an afterthought in comparison. I know there’s a link there to the original inspiration (it’s the pudding of choice of a certain wizard’s vile cousin), but it’s a shame they couldn’t use their cake-making tekkers to make an elaborate teeny dream cake instead.

For me, low-level alcoholic, a key component of any afternoon tea is what you’re washing everything down with. Unfortunately, while C&S are very good at baked goods, they’re not so hot on cocktails. We were in attendance as part of a press preview so tried a couple of different ones, and they were uniformly watery and flavourless. I’ve had more of a buzz off Alka Seltzer. Hopefully they’ve ironed out the kinks since then, but if you’re a drinker I’d recommend doing the tea in the afternoon and moving onto a decent bar afterwards. (Within a ten minute walk: The Blind Pig, 68 & Boston and Bar Termini, all excellent.)

Standard tickets (the ones without any alcoholic beverages) are £49.50 – a little steep at first glance, but good value considering the novelty factor and the live action element. Tickets are extremely limited until around August, so you’ll need to look sharp if you want to try it yourself. And if you don’t manage to get a slot…well, go anyway and just have a piece of cake from the cafe upstairs. It’s really just as magical.

The Potion Room @ Cutter & Squidge, 20 Brewer St, Soho, London, W1F 0SJ

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Curious London by Emily Gibson - 2M ago

Never seem to get wind of those awesome soft launches in time to bag a table? Bookmark this page for a comprehensive, idiot-proof list of upcoming opening offers (before anyone else can get to them).

Where: James Cochran EC3, Aldgate

Cuisine: Scottish/Jamaican fusion (read review here!)

The deal: 25% off the entire bill (including drinks) from 27th April-31st May, on lunch only, Monday-Friday for parties of two or more diners. Bookings must be made in advance – type the code 25LUNCH into the comments field of the online booking form.

Where: Neptune at The Principal, Russell Square

Cuisine: Seafood

The deal: 50% off food from Monday 14th May to Wednesday 16th May (7pm-8:30pm) and Thursday 17th to Tuesday 22nd (6:30pm-9pm and excluding Saturday). To book email: reservations@neptune.london.

A post shared by Neptune (@neptunelondon) on Apr 12, 2018 at 11:49pm PDT

Where: Motherclucker, Exmouth Market

Cuisine: Fried chicken

The deal: 50% off between 15-17th May.

Where: Kricket, Brixton (our review of the original here!)

Cuisine: Indian small plates

The deal: 50% off food 17th and 18th May from 5pm. No reservations.

Where: Manhattan Grill @ Marriott West India Quay

Cuisine: American.

The deal: 50% off the truly obscene, four-person sharer ‘Madhattan’ steak sandwich for National Sandwich Week (20th-26th May) when you share your photo on Instagram, tagging @MarriottWestIndiaQuay. (That’s £60 from £120, includes unlimited fries, coleslaw and four wines or beers.)

Where: Ceru, Soho

Cuisine: Levantine/Middle Eastern

The deal: 50% off the entire bill between 21st and 27th May inclusive. Available for lunch and dinner by reservation only, for a maximum of four people. To make a reservation, email patricia.hilton@cerurestaurants.com and quote CERULEAN BLUE.

Where: TraTra, Shoreditch

Cuisine: French

The deal: 50% off a la carte food dishes for Tues-Fri lunch from 22nd May until 1st June, between 12.00pm-3.00pm, including the new ‘Croque’ menu (basically extremely fancy cheese on toast). Advance bookings can be made via events@boundary.london.

Where: Kyseri, Fitzrovia

Cuisine: Turkish/Cypriot fusion

The deal: 50% off food from Tuesday 22nd May to Thursday 24th May. Reservations available online.

A post shared by Kyseri (@kyseri_ldn) on May 15, 2018 at 9:30am PDT

Where: Jones Family Kitchen, Belgravia

Cuisine: Modern European

The deal: 50% off food from Tuesday 22nd May to Saturday 26th May. Make a reservation via bookbelgravia@jonesfamilykitchen.co.uk.

Where: The Duke of Richmond, Hackney

Cuisine: Classic pub dishes with a French slant from Tom Oldroyd.

The deal: 30% off lunch and dinner in the dining room between Thursday 24th and Saturday 26th May inclusive. Booking recommended, call 020 7923 3990 or email bookings@thedukeofrichmond.com.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Did you read that fascinating article in the Guardian last year about the UK’s unique love of sandwiches? It turns out that wodging something delicious between two slices of bread is actually a very British activity, like nicking people’s countries off them, and really nasty sunburn. We’re not surprised, really. There are few things in life that aren’t improved by popping them in between some fluffy carbohydrate. 

As far as we know, the biggest sandwich in London is the ‘Madhattan’ at Canary Wharf’s Manhattan Grill, which reckons it’s big enough to share between four people. Probably more, if we’re honest, look at the absolute bloody size of it. It contains nearly a kilo of USDA prime beef fillet, melty cheese, streaky bacon, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, Portobello mushrooms and a solid foundation of sweet caramelised onions. In a bun (for the want of a better word. The thing is over 14″ long.) It also comes with four glasses of wine/beer, and unlimited fries and coleslaw. In case, you know, you get peckish.

The Madhattan costs £120, which sounds obscene for a sandwich but actually is quite reasonable when split between four people. BUT it’s going for half price during National Sandwich Week, which runs between 20th and 26th May. To get the discount, all you have to do is share a picture of your monstrous meal (#ManhattanSandwich) on Instagram, tagging @MarriottWestIndiaQuay. And voilà! A food coma for four for just £15 a head.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Curious London by Emily Gibson - 2M ago

Never seem to get wind of those awesome soft launches in time to bag a table? Bookmark this page for a comprehensive, idiot-proof list of upcoming opening offers (before anyone else can get to them).

Where: Neptune at The Principal, Russell Square

Cuisine: Seafood

The deal: 50% off food from Monday 14th May to Wednesday 16th May (7pm-8:30pm) and Thursday 17th to Tuesday 22nd (6:30pm-9pm and excluding Saturday). To book email: reservations@neptune.london.

A post shared by Neptune (@neptunelondon) on Apr 12, 2018 at 11:49pm PDT

Where: Motherclucker, Exmouth Market

Cuisine: Fried chicken

The deal: 50% off between 15-17th May.

Where: Kricket, Brixton (our review of the original here!)

Cuisine: Indian small plates

The deal: 50% off food 17th and 18th May from 5pm. No reservations.

Where: James Cochran EC3, Aldgate

Cuisine: Scottish/Jamaican fusion (read review here!)

The deal: 25% off the entire bill (including drinks) from 27th April-31st May, on lunch only, Monday-Friday for parties of two or more diners. Bookings must be made in advance – type the code 25LUNCH into the comments field of the online booking form.

Where: Ceru, Soho

Cuisine: Levantine/Middle Eastern

The deal: 50% off the entire bill between 21st and 27th May inclusive. Available for lunch and dinner by reservation only, for a maximum of four people. To make a reservation, email patricia.hilton@cerurestaurants.com and quote CERULEAN BLUE.

Where: TraTra, Shoreditch

Cuisine: French

The deal: 50% off a la carte food dishes for Tues-Fri lunch from 22nd May until 1st June, between 12.00pm-3.00pm, including the new ‘Croque’ menu (basically extremely fancy cheese on toast). Advance bookings can be made via events@boundary.london.

Where: Jones Family Kitchen, Belgravia

Cuisine: Modern European

The deal: 50% off food from Tuesday 22nd May to Saturday 26th May. Make a reservation via bookbelgravia@jonesfamilykitchen.co.uk.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I went to an all-girls’ secondary school, and as a special treat during GCSE Shakespeare, Mrs Crafts let us watch Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet. She cried. We cried. (Except I didn’t because Romeo is a bit too much of an old soppy-bollocks for me, and I’ve always been a bit more of a Much Ado girl.)

Regardless of how much crying my classmates and I did or did not do, it’s still a banging piece of cinema. One of the best ways to see it is not in a stuffy classroom at the top of the drama block being gassed by a noxious blend of thirty different varieties of Impulse body spray, but at the GORGEOUS Union Chapel in Islington, where indie cinema supremos Backyard Cinema have lined up a live choir to sing all the good bits.

The show’s been going now for four years and always sells out way in advance, which explains why the latest batch of tickets are on sale now three months ahead, but if you get your shit together you can snap some up with early bird pricing (£29.70 including booking fee, a £6 saving on the final release). Shows run from 24th-31st August, and tickets are available here.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

When it comes to eating out, sometimes the occasion calls for something a little bit fancy, even if your bank balance is calling for a Boots meal deal. In the spirit of compromise, here are ten of London’s best tasting menus under fifty quid, with the lowest starting at just £25 a head.

Perilla

I went to Perilla in Stoke Newington the other day for one of my most tasteful friends’ birthday dos, and it was spectacular, even though some of the dishes on the menu sound a bit…silly. Specifically I am talking about ‘Yesterday’s Bread Soaked In Fish Soup’, which was the source of much snide amusement until I actually ate it and was forced to eat my words as well, because it was bloody brilliant.

The £44 tasting menu comes with three distinct ‘snack’ courses, like jumbo amuse-bouches; a big wodge of homemade seaweed sourdough with braised greens and goat’s yogurt; and four proper courses. Add paired drinks for an additional £28 (not my bag, if I’m honest, there was some Lambrusco and a dessert wine that I wasn’t too keen on, but it’s there if you want it).

Picture, Marylebone and Fitzrovia

Picture is one of my absolute favourite restaurants in London, because the food is good, the service is flawless and the whole experience is exceptionally good value, especially for the locations. I’ll never forget taking a vegetarian and a dairy-free pescatarian for the tasting menu, cringing slightly when I booked as I filled in the little box for dietary requirements, and arriving to find they’d designed tasting menus for each of them and printed them out. Gold star, lads. The Fitzrovia restaurant does pre-dinner snacks, a seasonal Bellini and a five-course tasting menu for just £35. Marylebone does a six-course menu for £45.

Smoke & Salt, Brixton

Smoke & Salt operates out of a little shipping container in Pop Brixton, the same one that Kricket recently vacated to open its Soho restaurant. Chefs Aaron and Remi, who started out doing supper clubs, are all about using seasonal ingredients and traditional smoking and curing methods to bring out the best in them. The best way to try this is with their seven course seasonal menu, an absolute steal at £25 a head.

Wildflower, Peckham 

Like Smoke and Salt, Wildflower does a tasting menu on request for just £25 a head. I visited a while back and ate off the regular menu (review here) – it’s an absolute must-visit for vegans (and should be pretty high on the list for everyone else).

Nest, Hackney

I haven’t made it to Nest yet, but I will soon because everyone I ask about it who’s been starts frothing at the mouth. It’s known for its £32 seven-course tasting menus, a kitchen headed up by ex-Harwood Arms chef Johnnie Crowe, and its notable quirk of only having one meat in the kitchen at a time (right now it’s rare breed British Lop Pork from Trevaskis Farm in Cornwall).

A post shared by Nest (@nest_food) on Apr 25, 2018 at 3:47pm PDT

Carousel, Marylebone 

Carousel isn’t so much a restaurant as an open kitchen with a calendar of back-to-back chef residencies. It works like a supper club, so you book and pay in advance, and although the number of courses varies, the price stays the same at £39.50pp.

Cinnamon Kitchen, Battersea

The latest in chef Vivek Singh’s Cinnamon collection, Cinnamon Kitchen Battersea serves up a nine-course Indian feast with a Tony Conigliaro cocktail for just £37.50. Dishes include sea bream ceviche, chargrilled pork ribs in a honey chilli glaze, and 24-hour black daal.

Untitled, Dalston

Speaking of Tony Conigliaro, his Untitled bar also does a £45 tasting menu on every second Thursday of the month, but the Japanese-inspired dishes – all designed by Executive Chef Rob Roy Cameron – remain a surprise until the night.

The Laughing Heart, Hackney

Hackney’s cup runneth over with affordable tasting menus these days, it seems, and this late, late-night bistro and wine bar is especially popular. With no set menu, the £39pp ‘carte blanche’ option is ten or so sharing dishes that change every day.

Gymkhana, Mayfair

This is a Monday to Friday, lunchtime-only kind of deal, which is a bit of a bummer as most of us have jobs to go to, but save this one in the little bit of your brain reserved for staycation plans. The Taste of Gymkhana menu is available between 12-2pm and includes five courses of Michelin-starred Indian cuisine for £38.50 – (almost) worth taking a day of annual leave for.

A post shared by Gymkhana (@gymkhanalondon) on Mar 29, 2018 at 12:59pm PDT

Header image credit: Smoke & Salt 

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview