With a diverse line up of more than 120 dishes to try, Taste of London certainly lives up to its name. While you’re free to indulge any curiosity by browsing the whole menu, we’ve put together a handful of the most drool-worthy dishes to prime you up for this ultimate festival of food.
Kricket’s samphire pakoras
It’s simple, it’s delicious, and in spite of what you might expect from an Anglo-Indian restaurant, it’s not really Indian or British. Even so, these little deep fried samphire fritters do vaguely resemble what Bengalis refer to as the perfect chaat. There’s plenty of crunch, it’s very snack-able, and you’re sure to be hiding them from the hungry downward gaze of your friends.
Temper’s goat taco
Tapping into two of this year’s hottest food trends, this is a dish more than its bare constituents. The goat’s smoked for 9 hours. The tacos – more like roti perhaps – are made with rendered animal fat. Like the restaurant, it’s a tribute to the gods of smoke and meat and dripping.
Club Gascon’s foie gras doughnut
Club Gascon are duck specialists – just look at their confit duck leg, ‘truffled duck on the rocks’, or flamed duck on smoked pine with razor clams. This dish packages all that competence up into one handheld flavour bomb. In the same breath, Club Gascon are proving fine dining can be fun.
Pierre Hermé’s pistachio ice cream
A dessert only restaurant? Well this is a first for Taste of London. A good one, too – pâtissier Pierre Hermé is a legend in France, and his macarons are touted by some as the best in the world. To top it all off, he was named as the World’s Best Pastry Chef last year. The macaron flavours he’ll show off at Taste will include meadowsweet and Corsican honey, and mint and garden peas, but it’s his Icon dish – pistachio ice cream with macaron biscuits – that you’ll want to look out for.
Bala Baya’s The Vegan
Vegans, rejoice. Amongst all the seared flesh and whipped cream, this Israeli restaurant from Southwark has got your back. With their Icon dish, no less – a dreamy amalgam of pistachio tahini puree, freekeh, oyster mushrooms, chard, and nuts. With a dream team of ex-Ottolenghi chef Eran Tibi and ex-Hawksmoor bartender Ali Reynolds (yes, Bala Baya’s cocktails hit the mark too), you know you’re in safe hands.
Duddell’s chargrilled black cod
One chance. That’s all you’re likely to get if you want to sample Duddell’s food without leaving London. The Hong Kong restaurant has been scooping plaudits left right and centre since it opened four years ago, including two Michelin stars. Why all the praise? Find out for yourself with Duddell’s Taste of London special – chargrilled black cod with aged vinegar, cloud ear fungus and lily bulbs. Blink, though, and it’ll all be gone
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This is a guest post from freelance food journalist Hugh Thomas. He’s contributed to Foodism, Time Out, Great British Chefs, and is part of British Street Food’s small team of vigilant writers. Find him on twitter @hughwrites.