March Special: 10 Things You Need to Eat in London This WeekBy Alicia Grimshaw
We’re back from galavanting around America to bring you a special 5 things to eat this week. The past two weeks in London has been a busy one, with the capital now home to an array of new openings, collaborations and pop-ups. Why have 5 things, when you can have 10. Don’t say we don’t spoil you. Happy eating, chums:
What: New collaboration alert! Ben’s Canteen have teamed up with street-food superstars Grill My Cheese, with Nisha and Nishma swapping their usual spot on Leather Lane for Ben’s two sites south of the river. The new team are now taking the humble cheese toastie, one of the all-time classic comfort foods, to another level.
Why: The lamb patty melt was designed with the Grill My Cheese mantra in mind – ‘Life is great. Cheese is better.’ It’s packed full of mature cheddar and mozzarella, for a toastie bursting with stringy, oozey goodness. Factor in a lamb patty, made with minced lamb shoulder spiked with rosemary, mint and garlic, and topped with Grill My Cheese’s homemade red pepper harissa ketchup, and you’ve got a springtime showstopper. As if that wasn’t enough, the Ben’s kitchen has also come up with a pair of uber-cheesey side dishes to go with the new patty melt. First up is the spicy n’duja mac n’ cheese, joined by the brand new cheemosa, a filo pastry samosa filled with mozzarella and spices, served with tomato chutney and a cooling raita. The new specials will be running alongside the normal menu from 20th March at both sites in Clapham Junction and Earlsfield, and will be available until 17th April.
Where: Earlsfield branch: 422 Garatt Lane, SW18 4HW and Battersea branch: 140 St John’s Hill, SW11 1SL
What: Running until Friday 24th March, Imad’s Syrian Kitchen is a new pop-up restaurant on the Columbia Road by Imad Alarnab, a Syrian restaurant owner now refugee living in London. The menu features a series of tasty Syrian dishes, which Imad has brought with him from Damascus.
Why: The three-course set menu includes traditional dishes such as fattoush, toasted flatbread with pomegranate molasses, tomato and cucumber; kabsa, spicy chicken with cardamom and rice; and tabakh rohoo, aubergine with squash and tamarind stew. The restaurant is staffed by Imad’s friends and fellow refugees living and working in London. Supported by Appear Here, Unicef NEXTGeneration and The Hampstead Kitchen, 10% of the ticket sales will go toward supporting Unicef NEXTGeneration and #CookForSyria.
Book tickets here
Where: First Floor, 134 Columbia Road, London, E2 7RG
What: Lunchtimes will never be the same again as the team at BAO have launched a new limited edition mini Bao set at their Fitzrovia restaurant. The set includes miniature versions of all five of BAO Fitzrovia’s much-loved bao buns, as well as a mini-bottle of Coca Cola or cold brew tea.
Why: The new five-BAO selection includes mini versions of the classic – slow braised pork, peanut powder, shredded coriander and fermented greens, as well as the confit pork, cod black and daikon baos, and the brand new beef short rib bao, made using slow cooked beef short rib, egg emulsion, crispy shallots and fermented cucumber. Hot tip: get in their early, as BAO co-founder Erchen Chang and the kitchen team will create only 50 of the mini sets per week, released every Monday at 12 noon, and served each lunch service (12-3pm) throughout the week until they run out.
Where: 31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JN
What: Vegans of Croydon and the surrounding areas – you no longer need to travel to Shoreditch to get your hands on What the Pitta’s legendary vegan kebabs. The plant powered team have just opened in Boxpark Croydon, selling all kinds of vegan munch.
Why: Their kebabs are the stuff meat-free dreams are made of. A warmed tortilla is crammed full of spiced GMO free soy chunks, shredded salad, hummus, homemade tzatziki and chilli sauce. The dough is made fresh daily and cooked right in front of your very pies. For a tenner, their meal deal is a bargain – 1 main (doner, Turkish pizza or salad box), a fair-trade organic drink and vegan baklava. Dreamy.
Where: Boxpark Croydon, 99 George St, London CR0 1LD
What: Well this is a first – even for concept loving London. Little Moons have opened the UK’s first ever mochi ice cream bar at Whole Foods Market High Street Kensington. Open with both a self-serve counter and bar, sample gelato spheres made from the finest British dairy, wrapped in hand-rolled sweet, soft mochi dough.
Why: The new mochi bar allows you to take home your own assortment of Little Moons mochi ice cream balls in a freezer bag box or at the dedicated bar create your own Little Moons ‘Mochi Pop’, a skewered stack of prettily coloured spheres of mochi ice cream designed to be enjoyed immediately. The ten innovative Little Moons varieties that you mix and match include: matcha green tea, toasted sesame, coconut, raspberry, yuzu, vanilla, mango, salted caramel, chocolate, and hazelnut.
Where: The Barkers Building, 63-97 Kensington High St, Kensington, London W8 5SE
What: Jason Atherton’s Japanese izakaya-style restaurant, Sosharu, has launched a new afternoon tea menu inspired by the iconic wagashi (confectionery) and tea ceremony traditions of Japan. Developed by executive pastry chef, Emily Argent, the menu comprises a selection of sweet and savoury dishes, alongside unique tea blends and specially designed cocktails.
Why: Available Monday-Saturday from 12pm-4pm, Sosharu’s Japanese afternoon tea selection includes the likes of savoury monaka, a twist on a traditionally sweet dish of Japanese wafer, alternatively topped with fresh tuna sashimi. Open temaki, one of Sosharu’s signature dishes will also make an appearance; a taco-like tempura fried seaweed shell filled with salmon, tuna or winter vegetables, and sushi rice, topped with tosazu jelly, spiced mayonnaise and avocado. Moving on to the sweet dishes; from matcha iced fingers to chocolate sesame praline petit gâteau with miso caramel, each of the creations combines classic pastry techniques with Japanese flavours. A standout addition is the taiyaki, a traditional fish-shaped cake made using a pancake-style batter and filled with rhubarb and white chocolate crème patisserie.
Where: 64 Turnmill St, London EC1M 5RR
What: Oblix, located on the 32nd floor of The Shard, has created a new Sunday roast menu that elevates the beloved British classic by offering decadent dishes including suckling pig, chicken with truffle, rib of beef and rotisserie duck with all the trimmings.
Why: Alongside succulent meats cooked slowly across Oblix’s signature josper oven, charcoal grill and rotisserie, all roasts will be accompanied by a selection of traditional side dishes in Oblix’s signature style. Feast on beef-fat roast potatoes or horseradish mashed potatoes with spring onion and chives. The roasted vegetables are also not to be missed, with creamed spinach and gruyere. Also try the butter roasted cauliflower served with garlic, and crispy capers married together with a generous helping of rich gravy. The Sunday roast is completed by Oblix’s twist on a Yorkshire pudding, a roast and AT favourite.
Where: The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
What: This March, it’s all about great-tasting carbs. EAT. has just rolled out their new Grill Club, a new hot sandwich range, which is now available in all shops. Let’s all #CarbDiem this month.
Why: Veggie options include the florentine grill, a mixture of British egg mayonnaise, creamy butter, spinach and cracked black pepper on a grilled multiseed bloomer; the love it or hate it grilled cheese – melting mature cheddar cheese and Marmite yeast extract on grilled sourdough toast; and the vegan butternut, chickpea and harissa flatbread with spinach, fresh herbs and pumpkin seeds in a khobez wrap. Meat fiends have not been forgotten. Try the firecracker chicken flatbread – spicy chicken breast with red and yellow peppers, jalapeños and red pepper tapenade on a khobez wrap, or the British beef and English mustard grill – pulled British beef brisket with caramelised onions and English mustard mayonnaise on grilled multiseed bloomer bread.
Where: Locations here
What: Every Monday Merchants Tavern will be turning the focus on a different wine region with a selection of interesting wines from the region available at half price. 50% off wines is the best way to ring in a new week. And if you don’t feel like a full bottle, wines are also available by the glass.
Why: For March the focus will be on the wines of Italy; on Monday (2oth March) the team will be honing in on the wines of the South before moving on to focus on the wine region of the North West (27th March). Then in April the focus will turn towards the wine regions of France.
Where: 36 Charlotte Rd, London EC2A 3PG
What: Masterchef winner, Ping Coombes, the hotshot behind Chi Kitchen, has created the menu which includes traditional Malaysian laksa as well as a Thai fusion laksa. Inspired by Ping Coombes’ Malaysian roots in the town of Ipoh, the new Laksa Bar offers three different types of the traditional noodle dish, served in a hot, steaming bowl of fragrant and spicy broth.
Why: Chi Kitchen now offers the traditional Laksa from Malaysia, consisting of a spicy broth, tofu, prawn, fish balls, boiled egg and vermicelli noodles. Also on the menu is the Katong Laksa, a Singaporean noodle soup which can be enjoyed without using chopsticks. This dish consists of a mild spicy shrimp and coconut broth, prawns, fishcake, boiled egg and thick noodles. For those looking for an alternative the Tom Yum Laksa is a Thai version of the Malaysian favourite, including a spicy Tom Yum soup, vermicelli noodles and beans sprouts, with a choice of chicken or prawns.
Where: Ground Floor Debenhams, 334-348 Oxford Street, London W1C 1JG