(Fried chicken necks with lemon and garlic at Duck & Waffle.)
This evening I escaped from the office for a couple of hours to meet Miss P at the preview evening for this year’s Taste of London in Regents Park – handily located a brisk ten minute walk from me. She and I first visited ToL together eight years ago, and it’s grown exponentially since then: this year there are forty restaurant stands, each serving a mini menu of four tasting dishes.
There are also two hundred food and drink producers showcasing their products from all over the world, as well as masterclasses and interactive cookery classes by star chefs, sushi making classes, wine and cheese pairings, Korean masterclasses, Champagne tastings with Laurent-Perrier and beer tastings. (All masterclasses are based on a first come first serve basis except for Mahiki and Laurent-Perrier, which are pre-paid tickets.)
Miss P kicked off with André Garrett at Cliveden House’s Dover sole ‘Veronique’, grilled baby gem.
and followed it up with aYauatcha Dim sum platter: scallop shui mai, venison puff, wild mushroom dumpling. I kicked off with a Shake Shack Lil’‘Shroom Burger – Crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted cheese, topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce. (Predictable, I know, but I do love them,)
They are especially good with a chaser of Laurent-Perrier Champagne.
Miss P also tried Roka’s hinadori no lemon miso yaki: robata baby chicken, chilli, lemon and garlic soy
I was drawn as a moth to a flame to Peyote, for their excellent guacamole and corn chips, and Huitlacoche “truffle” quesadilla (a little microscopic if truth be told).
Then we went off to find our friends at Rosso Pomodoro for an Aperol spritz and some of their truly excellent pizza – they have again imported one of their kickass 400C pizza ovens on site.
We also managed to fit in a chat with Executive Chef Dan Doherty of Duck & Waffle, where Miss P and Dominic scarfed a bag of BBQ spiced pigs ears, and a dish of fried chicken necks with lemon and garlic (at top), whilst I investigated the pistachio macaroon served with dark chocolate mousse, griottine cherries and crystallised white chocolate. Here’s Dan with my pud, about 30 seconds before I grabbed it and inhaled the lot.
We also found Chris Pople, winner of this year’s Fortnum and Mason best online restaurant writer award and owner of magnificent blog .Cheese & Biscuits, toting his bag of crispy pigs ears.
Too late, I realised I had forgotten to order Salt Yard’s courgette flower, one of my all time favourite London restaurant dishes, but there was no way I had even a square centimetre of tummy left for one.
Here’s the full list of participating restaurants and the dishes that they will be serving.
Taste of London is situated opposite Regent’s Park Underground station and a short walk from Baker Street, Great Portland Street, Warren Street, Euston Square, Marylebone and Euston stations.