Everything We Ate At Taste of London, Summer Edition 2019
Last year we had such a blast eating our way around Taste of London, we ordered ourselves some more tickets for this year, grabbed some friends and headed out for an afternoon of stuffing ourselves silly with tasting dishes from some of London’s top restaurants. We did not think the food was as good as last year, but that is not to say we did not have some awesome dishes and discover some great restaurants. This post has been left unfinished in my drafts for a couple of months as I’ve been so busy, but as Taste of London’s winter edition is coming up at the end of the month, I thought that now would be a good time to share! This is everything that we ate.
While waiting for everyone, a couple of us decided to get a drink. Pirates Grog are an exciting rum brand, and they’re who we’ll be hanging out with for the Winter edition (I’ll no doubt be posting our visit all over Instagram, so you can follow along here!) – their fresh, fruity punch was the perfect refresher to kick things off.
We found our first two dishes of the afternoon not too far from the rum tent. While everyone else tucked into some incredible Cacio e Pepe made from handmade pasta and topped with an avalanche of summer truffle shavings (it smelt insane and I was very, very jealous) from Sartoria (I had some amazing pistachio and chocolate soft serve from them last year, I can’t believe I’ve not had a chance to go to the restaurant yet!) I had some Prawn Baklava, presented in yogurt, sprinkled with chopped pistachios and dried rose petals, and served with a shot of boozy arak and galia melon on the side from Bala Baya (whom I love, and have reviewed here!) The prawns were fat and tender and the flavours went well, but I think it was not as exciting to taste as it was to look at.
The joint ‘very best thing’ we all ate at Taste of London was crowned Best In Taste: the 42 hour roast elumas (goat) roti from Hoppers. It was rich, juicy. It looked beautiful, the meat fell apart in our mouthes and the roti was a cross between buttery., light and tender, and supple enough to encase the nuggets of goat. Yes it was rather messy to eat, but the pickles and aromatics cut through it beautifully. We should have had a second one!
After a drinks break (craft lager for the boys and tasty but rather too light but still lovely fruity and refreshing cocktails from Jawbox for the rest of us) we had the other best dish I had at Taste of London. I’ve only in the last few months had the chance to review Bar Douro, so I was very excited to try some of their food. This was their sucking pig sandwich. Slow cooked in milk for what seemed like forever and then simply stuffed into ciabatta-like rolls with just a hint of seasoning, it was a brilliant example of very simple food done perfectly.
Next, a couple of dishes from Club Gascon, somewhere that disappointed me last year with their lacklustre lobster doughnuts, but reeled me back in with all the pictures I saw on Instagram from people who had been to the first few days of the event of their duck foie gras “Catalane” with spicy tipsy cherry – one of my absolute favourite things presented in such a beautiful way. The cherry was good, it looked beautiful and the overall flavour was good, but I felt (not in a bad way) the garnishes paled in comparison to the rich creamy duck. As the queue was so long and it felt a bit silly to stand there for so long just to get one tiny dish I also got the 72 hour barbecued short rib with seaweed pearls. This was very underwhelming; the meat was a bit too undercooked (and this is coming from someone who usually orders their steak as rare as possible!) and I don’t think it was a dish particularly well suited to Taste – it was not good cold and got so quickly outside on paper plates!
A new discovery for me were Cambridge Distillery, who kindly gifted me a Strawberry Gin Sage Collins to show off their beautiful botanical gin. It has a really clear flavour (they distill their botanicals individually so that they all have the chance to shine) and I’m also slightly in love with their Cambridge-centric branding. Also, browsing through their website I’ve discovered that they make a truffle gin which just sounds incredible (Christmas is coming up, just saying!) and they also offer a bespoke gin tailoring service which also sounds pretty cool.
Our final few savoury dishes came by the way first of Chotto Matte‘s yellowtail sashimi which was beautifully fresh and presented, but let down by tomatoes that were just not ripe enough, and some final chicken and sweet potato fries from the Action Against Hunger collaboration stand. The smoked potato ketchup that came with the fries was fun, but I can happily report that we did our bit for
our stomachs charity with temper’s (read my review here) Nacho Crusted Chicken Tender. The flavour was just unfamiliar enough for you to put a little thought than you usually would into munching some chicken strips, and the meat was just so impossibly tender. temper is a really good shout, actually for an autumn dinner out with friends, so do go book a table!
Dessert for me came by way of two old friends – a curious but very tasty, Taste of London exclusive from ice cream sandwich makers Happy Endings – a yuzu, brown sugar biscuit and sesame ice cream sandwich, and a (gifted) goblet of Mirabeau rose. Looking back over these pictures now I can’t wait for the Winter edition (which I have never been to before) at the end of the month. If you don’t have tickets yet it will run from 21st – 24th November in Tobacco Dock, and you can buy tickets here. Master Wei, XU and Bao whom all love are already in the lineup as well as Hoppers who produced that goat roti, and Smoking Goat who I can’t wait to try!