5 Things You Need to Eat in London This WeekBy Alicia Grimshaw
The sun is shining, the dodgy fake tan is on display, and our stomachs are hungry. We’ve picked the best new pop-ups and openings you should be hitting this week in the capital. Have a good’un, London:
What: Stop the press. No, really – stop what you’re doing right now. For the first time in a history that spans almost a century, The Ivy restaurant in London’s theatreland is set to open for weekday breakfast from this Tuesday (10th May). The Ivy relaunched to critical acclaim last summer following a five-month closure, signalling a new era for the restaurant.
Why: Executive Chef Gary Lee has created a menu featuring English breakfast classics, including a traditional full English and veggie breakfast, as well as an entire section dedicated to eggs. We’re talking about – boiled, baked, scrambled or poached. Lighter options include: super seed bowls – raw superfood-packed bowls of chia, flax and oats, soaked for maximum nutritional gain and served with an option of dairy-free milks, plus plenty of fresh fruit. A selection of homemade breads will form the bakery section, accompanied by nut butters, crunchy gianduja spread or traditional jams, and for those feeling more indulgent, waffles, pancakes and French toast will be available.
Where: 1-5 West Street, London WC2H 9NQ
What: Chai Ki, the Indian restaurant that can do no wrong, is to host a series of Monday Mash-Up special events featuring some of their favourite London craft brewers. Tonight sees their first event, a Hop and Spice Mash-Up with the team from Beavertown Brewery. Prepare yourself for a Guerrilla Craft Beer pairing menu, along with a chance to experiment with Beavertown brews and a selection of Chai Ki’s bold bar plates.
Why: If this tickles your fancy, the teams from Chai Ki and Beavertown will be on hand for a chat and to answer any questions. Choose from a selection of beers, including light and crisp Neck Oil Session India Pale Ale; dark malt Holy Cowbell India stout; and blood orange infused Bloody ‘Ell. Bar plates will include Chai Ki’s signature Himalayan Ribs and Haggis Keema Naan created to match with the Holy Cowbell stout. If you can’t make it down tonight, Beaverton Brewery will also be at Chai Ki on the 16th May, with future events on 6th June and 11th July, with the likes of Battersea’s Sambrook’s Brewery getting involved.
Where: Crossrail Place, London E14 5AR
What: South London favourite, and all round great restaurant, The Lido Cafe will continue its series of poolside pop-up dinners this May, hosting a new kitchen takeover by streetfood rising stars Le Bao. Kicking off on Thursday (5th May) and running every Thursday and Friday night throughout the month, the pop-up sees street food taken to a whole new tasty level.
Why: Their new menu showcases the trader’s impressive collection of brilliant bao buns, ranging from signature favourite The Original – spicy pork confit, pickled cucumbers, powdered peanuts to boldly spiced, Mary Had A Little Bao – Moroccan merguez patty, harissa mayo, cress, pomegranate seeds and the veggie-friendly Say Cheese – grilled goat cheese, crispy shallots, rocket, caramelised onion chutney. Dig into new small plates ideal for sharing, such as spicy kimchi, drunken mussels and grass-fed beef tartare topped with a quail’s egg. Le Bao’s gluten-free steamed buns are stuffed with free-range and locally-sourced ingredients; they are proud to serve meat from Hill and Szrock, and, seafood by Fin and Flounder.
Where: Brockwell Lido, Dulwich Rd, London, SE24 0PA
What: If you aren’t up to scratch on your national weeks, fyi – it’s British Sandwich Week. Gail’s are getting into the swing of things, and have specially created a range of new sandwiches made with the finest local, seasonal ingredients and GAIL’s own, handmade breads. Believing that a winning sandwich has the power to brighten any day, GAIL’s bakers freshly prepare the new morning and lunch sandwiches in bakeries across London.
Why: The new sandwiches are available at GAIL’s neighbourhood bakeries, made fresh throughout the day. Perfect any time of day are GAIL’s mini sandwiches. Think mini avocado and egg with fresh lemon juice, red onion, coriander and chilli, free-range egg and plum tomatoes on a cream bun, smoked salmon and avocado on poppyseed sourdough roll and the salami and fennel on cream bun. Mornings also see GAIL’s bakery shelves piled with chorizo and egg on spelt cholla, with roasted Spanish alejandro chorizo, red pepper aioli and egg, or for a British classic, the Mayfield Swiss cheese, a small batch, cow’s milk cheese from East Sussex, Batavia lettuce, tomatoes and cumin seed butter on spelt sourdough.
Where: Locations here
What: Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, has just announced a new set lunch menu, starting from today (9th May). The menu, available throughout summer will offer, simply, a salad and a glass of wine for £11 and will change weekly. Hurray for purse friendly prices.
Why: Expect salads such as baby spinach, artichoke, parmesan and truffle dressing and rocket, peach and feta matched with a glass of white, red or rosé, all to be enjoyed on the sunny al fresco tables of Neal’s Yard. Not only that, fresh for spring, the wine bar has simultaneously revealed its seasonal a la carte menu, which can be enjoyed all day. The spring menu includes crab bruschetta, avocado and chilli, as well as pea tortellini, ricotta with crispy shallots, lamb chops, new potatoes and wild garlic, and marinated seabass, mango, chilli and lime. The signature Posh Madame, a Croque Madame with truffle ham and a quail’s egg, will naturally retain its pride of place on the menu, alongside cheese sourced from Androuet in Spitalfields and charcuterie served with toasted sourdough from St John’s bakery.
Where: 8-10 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP
One for Luck…
What: News flash. Farmer J, a cracking new healthy fast food joint in the heart of London’s Square Mile is opening today (9th May). Banishing soggy sandwiches and sad salads to the compost heap, Farmer J is all about the hearty, healthy food life.
Where: Farmer J’s Field Trays are made up of chargrilled meat and fish served alongside a choice of healthy grains, roasted veg and fresh salads, all pepped up with punchy Mediterranean flavours. Also available is; ocean trout in salsa verde, served with spiced, roasted sweet potatoes and kale caesar salad, and fiery harissa chicken with charred broccoli and toasted almond dressing. Farmer J will also help early birds to start their day right, opening at the crack of dawn to serve up power-packed breakfasts of paleo granola, protein smoothies, cold-pressed juices and baked shakshuka. Get down there, stat.
Why: 107 Leadenhall Street, London EC3A 4AA