Taste of London, a showcase of incredible restaurants, food and wine producers, and an exciting line-up of cookery demonstrations, is finally here. Get yourself a map, and prepare to fill up on some of the city’s finest fare. Don’t forget you need to purchase ‘Taste Crowns’ (each Crown is equal to £1). Look out for the ‘Icon Dish’of each restaurant – a signature dish that made their menus famous.
For an aperitif: Mele e Pere
Start your night at Mele e Pere’s vermouth stand. This Soho Italian trattoria is serving up Taste Specials, including a limited edition Negroni and a sensational fizzy cocktail with Prosecco, raspberry and vermouth. Warning: they’re strong. But really, really good.
For a starter: ceviche at The Palomar
You need to try the salmon ceviche with harissa, pomegranate and crushed savoury abadi cookies at The Palomar. It’s sweet, but also incredibly delicious, and not like a traditional ceviche at all, with a yogurt creaminess in the mix. You can’t miss their Jerusalem-style polenta too – it’s famous for good reason.
Or try well-loved BBQ restaurant Ember Yard, part of the Salt Yard Group. It’s is a big hit with meat lovers for their lamb chops, but their asparagus, pea and goats cheese croquettes with wild garlic pesto are a great way to start your experience at Taste. If you like meat, then try their salad of confit duck leg, too.
For Pasta: Theo Randall at Intercontinental
Theo Randall is touted as one of the best chefs in London, and with this dish we know why. The Penne Rigate is a vegetarian pasta with slow-cooked violet aubergine, fresh plum tomatoes, basil and Parmigiano Reggiano –the pasta is perfectly al dente and comes with lots of freshly grated parmesan. Truly delicious.
For wine tasting: celebrity cruises
Celebrity Cruises is hosting a special #LawnClub throughout the festival with one-off talks and tastings. Get down to one of their wine tasting sessions – 3 wines, paired with sensational dishes such as seared tuna with ‘forbidden’rice and pak choi, and only the crispest Sauvingon Blanc. You’ll learn some basic food and wine matching, too.
For a tipple: The Pickle House
If you like a slightly unusual drink, check out The Pickle House; their owner Florence was inspired by pickle backs in the States to create a pickle-infused whisky, which is now sold in bars such as Hawksmoor and The Folly. Their creations are unique and oddly moreish – try the pickly whisky in a special Bloody Mary shot with horseradish and black pepper, or the slightly lighter take on a Moscow Mule with pickled whisky, ginger beer and fresh lime. Heavenly.
For veggies: sumac aubergine from Duck and Waffle
A creamy, delicious medley of coal-charred aubergine with sumac and siracha – nothing but the finest from Duck and Waffle’s Executive Chef Dan Doherty. The pureed aubergine has a chilli kick, balanced by the cool yogurt. It’s the kind of dish that put Duck and Waffle on the map. Their whole area is super fun and they’ve even brought along their own tree. Check out the adjacent Sushi Samba for excellent prawn sushi.
For sushi: Aqua Kyoto
Aqua Kyoto knows a thing or two about flavour pairing – they recently created a floral-inspired menu to die for. Their sushi at Taste is incredible… spicy tuna roll with ponzu jelly pearls and crispy shallots is spicy, sticky, sweet and crunchy at the same time.
For fish: seabass from Kurobuta
For a truly incredible fish dish, try the the Kombu roasted Chilean seabass and spicy shoshu ponzu sauce from renowned ‘Japanese junk food’ restaurant Kurobuta. The fish is fresh, perfectly moist and well-seasoned; it melts in the mouth. Their chilled soba noodles are also a great, refreshing bowl of summer.
For curry: chicken tikka from Zaika
This is the dish you’ll see in most people’s hands throughout the festival, and we know why. Their Murgh Handi Lazeez is a chicken tikka in smoked tomato sauce with brown garlic, dried fenugreek leaves and cumin pulao. It’s one of the tastiest curries you will ever try, and goes to show that fussy food doesn’t necessarily mean better food. Simple, satisfying, and rich in flavour, it’s the perfect warming dish after one too many gin and tonics.
For pudding: soft serve from Tredwell’s
Tredwell’s salted caramel soft serve is a thing of legend. It’s served with honeycomb and is the ultimate balance of sweet and salty. The perfect ending to your Taste experience, we’d say.
Written by Angelica Malin, Editor-in-Chief of About Time Magazine and freelance journalist.
Photos by Naomi Gabrielle Photography
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