About Time: 3 London Food Crazes To Try This WeekBy Angelica Malin
Anyone for some tahini ice cream? Food crazes are like London buses; they come in threes and often don’t stick around for long. But we have a sneaky feeling these three might be around for a while:
#1 Bubble Tea
This Taiwan import has been massive in London over the last few months – a fresh, milk or fruit tea with jelly balls, pearls, red beans or coconut jelly. One of the best Bubble Tea’s in London is at Chatime, which has just opened a new branch in Notting Hill, along with their Soho location. There are over 63 varieties here; my favourite is a Matcha Milk Tea with coconut jelly. But I’m strange like that. See the exhaustive menu here.
#2 Small Plates
I know what you’re thinking: how can a size of plate be fashionable? Well, it is. Just like social media, London’s dining scene is increasingly populated with things that are ‘shareable’. It’s the new way to eat, y’all.
For the best Italian small plates, try Mele e Pere on Brewer Street or the newly opened L’Anima Cafe in Liverpool Street. Mele is my favourite restaurant in London, find out why here. You could also book the Ciccetti Trail during London Restaurant Week – you’ll visit 6 of the best Italian small plates restaurants in London and get to munch along the way.
For Middle Eastern-inspired small plates, try and get a booking (good luck) at The Palomar in Soho. This Jerusalem-famed restaurant has just come to London and serves up unusual, re-visioned mini versions of Middle Eastern food. Order the polenta with mushroom ragout and truffle oil, and finish with the tahini ice cream and a sense of smug satisfaction for getting a table.
For amazing Spanish small plates, try one of the places of our Top 5 Tapas in London list. Try Bravas, which opened recently in St Katherine Dock – it’s reasonably priced for its fantastic quality. Order the Oyster Fritura with sherry, wild spinach, toasted almonds and caviar (£6) and thank me later.
If you can’t afford any of the above, then make it down to Fink’s Sweet and Salt, which has just opened in Highbury. They do sharing boards of cheese and charcuterie from £7 and it’s got a wonderful, intimate vibe.
Failing that, save your money for Yo Sushi!’s Blue Mondays: you only pay the Blue Plate price of £2.50 for lots of their best food. Yo Sushi! is, in fact, the definition of a small plate so we guess this still counts.
It seems everyone is doing temporary restaurants at the moment. Even Harrods: you can find their Stelle Di Stelle pop-up Italian restaurant, with Italy’s best chefs (13 Michelin stars between them, no biggie) doing month-long residencies, on the lower ground floor.
If you’re looking for something even weirder, try tincan, a 6-month restaurant project by AL_A in Soho, which is more about the space than the food. It pays homage to the humble tin can in design and serves only tinned seafood, which is apparently the best seafood in the world. Of course.