Probably one of the most common questions I am asked is where I like to eat out BEST in London. What a question..
I think it is near impossible to have a favourite, there are just so many to choose from. I would never pledge loyal to one alone, i’d much rather slut my tastebuds out to all of them. Its the prefect form of promiscuity. Jumping from joint to joint.. fine wine, good food and no walk of shame in the morning.
Recently my restaurant visits have been rather an eclectic mix. Interspersed with some rather yummy dishes that I have rustled up in my own kitchen. This is a selection of some of my fave eateries and a few dishes I have really fallen in love with this spring.
On the top (left) is a tempura soft shell crab from Modern Pantry – Served on a bed of vermicelli noodles, with a delicious spicy laksa sauce. Top (right) plump , juicy scallops with a light pea puree and sautéed nettles from Boulistin. Both delicious light, springtime dishes, full of colour and flavour. Just a little sample of some of the delightful plates they both have on their menus. I am a big fan of both places. Bottom (left) a creation of mine, a possible recipe for the book – fresh spring radishes, chicory, parsley and a preserved lemon dressing. Bottowm (right) another creation of mine – blackened chai spiced sweet potato pancakes with frozen fruit and tahini.
Another creation (above). Wild rice and pine nut salad with grilled leeks. Not the best picture to do this dish justice, but it was damn delicious, let me just say.
I served this alongside a butterflied leg of cumin-spiced lamb as part of a sunday roast a couple of weeks ago. The fresh colourful hot salad made a lovely springtime alternative to the classic heavy roast potatoes that my family won’t be without during the winter months. I was skeptical about have hey would react to a roast-free sunday lunch but the gang all loved it. It certainly pays to mix it up!
Taro (Left) on Brewer St (Soho) is certainly one of the unsung Japanese restaurants in the area. With lunch meal deals and a suburb selection on bento boxes, it is certainly a spot to check out! I am a big fan of the chicken teriyaki bento box. Delicious, sticky and not overly sweet, served with sticky rice and a lovely little selection of california roll.
The salad (above right) was a simple mustardy chicory number. I am a big fan. It is more substantial than many of the lighter salad leaves and has a very pleasing crunch and a fresh bitter taste. Lovely with a simple honey, lemon and mustard dressing to serve alongside a good piece of meaty meat, like pork steak or a roast chicken thigh. This one was also at Boulistin
The Montagu Restaurant at the Hyatt Regency is currently hosting a Taste of Vegan Earth menu, created by one of LA’s top vegan chefs. I went, checked it out and fell in love with both the quinoa, red lentil and kale creation (served with a rich tomato sauce, lots of parsley and crispy little shallots) and the cajun blackened tofu. (below-bottom) Both were great, but the tofu was the cats pyjamas and stole the show. Vibrant, tasty and truly a vegan revelation with crisp, fresh broccoli, purple carrots and an earthy, mustard, coconut sauce. I would certainly recommend anyone thinking of trying something different to check it out!
By the way, in case you were wondering the main photo is a heritage beetroot with mozzarella, pickled fennel and violet flowers, another triumphant starter, served at Sauterelle, in the Royal Exchange