Editor’s Picks: 3 Restaurants You Need to Visit in London This WeekBy Claudine Levy
In need of some of foodie inspiration? Here’s 3 restaurants you need to visit in London this week. We like pizza and we cannot lie:
What: Beauty and the Feast is a self-proclaimed culinary cabaret brought to you by immersive designers Darling and Edge. The night takes place in the depths of Waterloo Vaults and is nothing short of a HOOT. You can expect your meal to be punctuated by a camp panto rendition of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. Expect lots of “he’s behind you!” and big bad wolf (wait, that’s the wrong fairytale) style shenanigans, followed by a ball serving up old school classics to dance to.
Eat and Drink: The event starts with a theatrical flourish at the bar, where you’ll be introduced to the characters and story, before heading into the main banqueting room. The tables are long and grand, and you can expect to cozy up to groups of strangers once dinner is served. And dinner is something. The food is spectacular, which is no mean feat with mass catering, and there’s also LOADS of it, which is a personal fear of mine when it comes to communal dining. Things were kicked off with an unusual and delicious warm blue cheese cheesecake served with a fresh pear salad, whole roasted mustard cauliflower (such a dramatic and beautiful looking thing), whole roasted pumpkin – whose lid was lifted to reveal a steaming pool of glossy black bean stew, venison sausages, and so much more that I don’t have the word count to mention. For pud, coconut ice cream was moulded into the shape of little rabbits and served alongside ginger and chilli jelly (hotstuff) and little meringue mushrooms. Suffice to say – the food was the highlight of the event. The idea of the event if to arrive as Beauty, and leave as Beast – so expect naughty innuendo, swinging from the chandeliers, dancing on the tables and food smeared…everywhere.
Where: Running until 14th January 2018 (Tuesday – Sunday). The Vaults Leake Street, London SE1 7NN
Photo Credit: Darling and Edge
What: Mother, so called after the ‘mother dough’ created for the start of the sourdough process, has all the sense of homeliness and warmth that the name would suggest. Starting out life as a kooky eatery in the Meatpacking district of Copenhagen, this restaurant has gained a rep for its Italian simplicity, atmospheric interiors and good vibe. Mother’s London incarnation is housed in Battersea Power Station, which is slowly emerging from it’s past as an industrial wasteland and morphing into a strangely serene and cool part of the city, perfectly positioned by the river. The restaurant itself is lives inside an old tunnel, with low ceilings, flickering candles and communal tables giving a sense of coziness to the place.
Eat and Drink: Two things: the food and the vibe. The ingredients are sourced from the best suppliers in Italy, and beyond. Believing that seawater produces salt with rich mineral content, Mother makes all of its sourdough from imported seawater instead of adding salt to the mix. These guys take quality so seriously that if they don’t think the ingredients are up to scratch, they’ll create their own. Just try their burrata (which they make from local ecological milk) to see what we mean. The menu is teeming with tasty morsels, and you’ll be hard pushed to choose between the dishes (all of them are completely delicious, so don’t worry). Make sure you try the Baccalá fritto – deep fried battered salted cod, cooked the Roman way, the affettati misti – mixed Italian charcuterie and focaccia, and, obviously, one of their pizzas (we loved the Gorgonzola e’Nduja).
Where: Battersea Power Station – 2 Arches Lane Circus West Village London SW11 8AB
Photo Credit: Chris Tonnesen
What: Shoryu are the ramen dons, and with an impressive 11 branches scattered across our fair city – they’re continuing to spread the noodle love far and wide. Their recent outpost in Shoreditch follows the classic Shoryu formula: dishing up bowls of the finest Hakata tonkotsu ramen with the right noodles (thin and straight, with plenty of bounce and chew). The new east London branch is a hurricane of activity, with tables slightly too close together and shuffling bags in order to get to your chosen seat – but we enjoy the intimacy of the place.
Eat and Drink: Their signature pork broth is a labour of love; each pan takes over 12 hours cooking at a rolling boil to contain enough collagen, fat, marrow and calcium to emulsify perfectly turning it opaque; the famous white tonkotsu appearance. It’s the elixir of life. Keep it classic and order the Origin Tonkotsu with char siu barbecue pork belly, kikurage mushrooms, spring onion and nitamago – a soft boiled egg with a rich, orange, gooey yolk. For something deliciously different, the chicken curry ramen hits all the right notes: next level fried chicken is topped with bamboo shoots, naruto fish cake, spring onion and ginger. An explosion of flavours, with just the right amount of spice. The buns are little squishy, pillowy delights – and any food that resembles a cartoon michelin man gets our vote. Don’t knock the grilled halloumi bun, we were sceptical – but the outcome was damn tasty.
Where: 45 Great Eastern St, London EC2A 3HP