Eat the seasons: Spring dining in London

We might still be waiting for the weather to warm up, but spring is definitely in the air at some of London’s top restaurants. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen proud chefs tweeting and emailing out new menus packed with delicious seasonal dishes. If you need some dining inspiration this month, here are five of our favourite spring ingredients and where to eat them in London.

GrainStoreAsparagus – The tender green spears are delicious in soups and salads or simply grilled and dunked in hollandaise. The imported stuff may be cheaper but British asparagus is unbeaten when it comes to flavour, so make the most of the short season. In London, try:

— Spring vegetable and flower salad, tofu and miso custard, and herb dressing at Grain Store.
— Atlantic shrimp, Wye Valley asparagus and blood orange salad at Holborn Dining Room.
— White asparagus and Paloise sauce (like Béarnaise but with mint, not tarragon) at Comptoir Gascon.
— Risotto primavera with asparagus, broad beans and garden peas at Newtons.
— English asparagus, broad bean, ricotta and mint crostini at Bistrot Bruno Loubet.

Crab – Whether you prefer the sweet white claw meat or the rich brown flesh from the shell, crab is one of the most popular and versatile types of seafood. This spring, try:

— Dorset crab and lobster ‘Louis’ with spicy tomato horseradish at CUT.
— Crab croquettes or whole brown crab with lemon and mayo at Wright Brothers.
— Cornish crab linguine with garlic, lime, chilli and coriander at 21.
— Alaskan king crab salad with white truffles at L’Etranger.
— Dorset crab with avocado guacamole, peanut and Avion mango at Arbutus.

Lamb – The flavour of tender, early season lamb is unbeatable. At home, treat the family to roast loin or simply grilled chops with potatoes and freshly podded peas. In London, try:

— Herdwick lamb rump, sticky ribs, fondant potato, and braising juices at Chiswell Street Dining Rooms.
— Lamb’s onglet with peas, asparagus and mint at Quo Vadis.
— Rack, shoulder and shank of lamb with Jersey Royal potatoes, morels, wild garlic, rosemary mayonnaise, baby onions and lamb jus at Little Social.
— Roast loin of lamb with aubergine, mint compote and Madeira jus at Hunter 486.

WildHoneyMorels – These distinctive wild mushrooms can be tricky to find and their season is relatively short. They’re great with chicken and in spring pasta dishes. In London, try:

— Potato and Parmesan gnocchi with morels and asparagus at Wild Honey.
— Label Anglais chicken with morels and fresh peas, also at Wild Honey.
— White asparagus, morels cooked in vin d’Arbois, crispy chicken wings and aged Parmesan at Petrus.
— Tarte fine of new season onions, morels and wild garlic at Almeida.
— Wild garlic gnocchi with asparagus, morels, aged Pecorino and crispy hen’s egg at Duck & Waffle.

Wild garlic – You can find these pungent leaves all over London, if you know where to look. Foragers can be very secretive about wild garlic hot spots! Use them with fish, in pasta and risotto, or whizzed into mayonnaise or pesto. Can’t find any? Try:

— Lemon sole, wild garlic and almond butter at Café Murano.
— Wild garlic and asparagus risotto at Antico.
— Wild sea bass with samphire and wild garlic at Boulestin.
— Skate with wild garlic, cucumber and tarragon at Racine.
— Spinach and wild garlic soup with crème fraiche and chervil at The 3 Crowns.

These dishes were on the restaurants’ menus at the time of writing, but we recommend calling ahead to make sure a specific dish is still on offer. If you need more inspiration, check out more of our spring dining recommendations on Mr Hyde.