October Special: 10 Things You Need to Eat in London This WeekBy Alicia Grimshaw
Fancy discovering some new places to eat in London? It’s the last week of October, so why not celebrate with loads of delicious food, eh. Our thoughts exactly. Why eat 5 things, when you can eat 10. From new pop-ups, menus to special collaborations – we’ve rounded up the best edible delights worth your time and money this week. Happy munchin’, folks:
Places to Eat in London: For Health
What: Opened last week in Clerkenwell, Counter Kitchen is a vibrant, all-day eatery emphasising conscious cooking for mindful foodies, with a strong focus on nutrient rich ingredients and punchy flavours designed to awaken the senses. From breakfast through to lunch, the seasonal menu celebrates produce at its finest. Think warming bowls, nourishing salads, soups and cold press juices.
Why: Breakfast is no afterthought: Counter Kitchen gets brains in gear with its original take on avocado toast topped with homemade cucumber kimchi with an optional poached egg, or beetroot cured salmon. Opt for the sweet option of almond butter toast topped with raw honey, cacao nibs and house seed mix. Warming bowls are flavoursome all-in-one hot meals like Kimchi Culture – aged homemade kimchi, stewed beef broth, silken tofu, pak choi, chives, ginger, garlic and black rice. Imaginative healthy soups include a cream of tomato that contains no cream and no sugar, for the healthiest twist on the classic, with toasted sourdough croutons. They also serve Allpress coffee, and a curated selection of beer and cider from small independent producers.
Where: 63 Goswell Rd, London, EC1V 7EN
Places to Eat in London: For Cocktails
What: Basement bar Company Below in Soho has undergone a transformation, turning this subterranean hangout into a botanical drinking den. Founder Bonny Porter and her team have developed a menu of herbal cocktails and deep-fried bao for the hidden space, tucked away beneath Greek Street.
Why: The brand new cocktail list utilises house infused spirits, unusual liqueurs and natural ingredients. Sip on the latest tipples such as, Smoke Without Fire, a heady combination of mezcal, aloe vera, lime, chipotle and rhubarb soda. The team’s favourite is the Vane’s Decline, a drink that packs a punch with spiced rum, rooibos, rose water, black pepper and angostura. Company Below’s signature deep fried bao buns have been specially created to accompany a cocktail or two. The new bao menu features fillings such as short rib with pickles and salted chilli mayo, and salt and pepper tofu with peanut chilli mayo. To compliment, there are Montgomery cheddar churros, and butternut squash and blue cheese arancini. If you’re after something sweet to see you home, there’s the bao stuffed with brown butter pecan ice cream, chocolate and praline.
Where: 58 Greek St, London, W1D 3DY
Places to Eat in London: For Cakes
What: Merchants Tavern in Shoreditch have ran a sucessful pop-up bakery series titled ‘Bakers in The House’ in the bar throughout the past month. This week is the last (boo), with renowned viennoiserie bakers, Yeast Bakery and their classic pastry selection available to munch from the early hours.
Why: Cinnamon bun gods, Fabrique and The Bread Station with their organic Danish pastries have also been involved in the project. London Fields’ Yeast Bakery will be taking over for the final week with their selection of pastries, including their croissants made with the finest French Normandy butter, and their famed kouign-amann, which is a caramelised sugar and buttery delight. The bar will be open from 9am for everyone to pop in for their morning coffee and pastry. There’s super quick wifi, so settle in for a morning and bask in the buttery goodness.
Where: Merchants Tavern, 36 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PG
Places to Eat in London: For Meat
What: McQueen is launching a brand new steak restaurant on Tuesday (25th), boasting a menu specially created by former Hawksmoor Head Chef, Richard Sandiford. Richard James, who is also ex- Hawksmoor, will be Head Chef at the new restaurant. Expect meat, meat and more meat.
Why: Taking its name from the iconic Hollywood star, The Grill at McQueen will take its cues from across the pond, with starters such as; Yakisoba BBQ braised belly pork with red slaw, stilton, candied walnuts, and mussels with chilli soffrito and cider. Like steak? It’s your lucky day. Different cuts will be available including rib eye, d-cut rump, sirloin and fillet. And other less meaty dishes also feature on the menu; pea, leek and goat’s cheese tart with preserved lemon dressing, and grilled lemon sole with brown shrimps and garlic, caper and parsley butter. A strong variety of wines, bourbons and other whiskeys will also be available, with flights of each lining up alongside a list of punchy cocktails.
Where: The Grill at McQueen, 55-61 Tabernacle Street, London EC2A 4AA
Places to Eat in London: For Mezze
What: The legacy of the falafel legend is coming to Aldgate with Pilpel. Using a secret family recipe, Pilpel will dish up vibrant, herb-packed falafel salads, pitas and more to a hungry line of Aldgate locals. For opening day on Monday (that’s today), there’s free falafel pitas up for grabs from 12-2PM, so don’t miss out!
Why: The main event will feature Grandfather Zion’s secret falafel recipe, developed over his 60 years working on a falafel kiosk in Tel Aviv, cooked to perfection with a crisp exterior and fluffy centre. Choose from falafel in a warmed pita or salad box, both filled with shredded carrots, red cabbage, pickled cucumbers, jalapeños and crunchy onions, plus a swish of homemade houmous. Next, add that little something extra in the form of aubergine, guacamole, feta, hard-boiled eggs and sundried tomatoes. Each meal will be served drizzled with homemade tahini sauce (which you can buy bottled at the counter) and a smoky chilli sauce.
Where: 60 Alie Street, London, E1 8PX
Places to Eat in London: For Foodies
What: Streetfood sensation, Squid Kitchen have found a new temporary home at Café 119 in Lower Clapton, Hackney. They’ve just settled into their East London kitchen residency, and the team are getting ready to fire up some Spanish sizzle this autumn. Expect tapas and tipples aplenty throughout October and November where treats are inspired by the vibrant food markets of Madrid.
Why: Feast on a selection of traditional small plates with a contemporary twist showcasing a fresh perspective on London’s tapas offerings. Enjoy rustic Spanish grub including slow cooked chorizo with paprika, piquillo peppers and sherry vinegar chickpeas; beetroot, morcilla and manchego with walnuts, apple compote and sourdough, or the signature baby squid stew with piquillo peppers and pinto beans’ accompanied by garlic toast perfect for mopping up. Highlights from the bar snacks include spinach and chickpea fritters with aioli, and chorizo, apple and thyme sausage rolls. The dessert menu features a tarte de santiago, an almond tart with vanilla cream, and there’s also weekly changing Spanish cheese paired with fig jam and walnuts.
Where: Squid Kitchen, 119 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP
Places to Eat in London: For Views
What: Forest Restaurant and Bar have opened for a new winter season, fully embracing the chillier months ahead. The rooftop has been transformed into a glittering party, set in an alpine forest. A winter menu brings an abundance of fresh ingredients, championing and celebrating the finest British produce.
Why: The new winter menu, created by Lee Bull, Group Executive Chef for Des McDonald Restaurants will focus on British ingredients and Scottish game. A late breakfast is served Monday to Saturday, from 11am to 12pm, the menu features dishes such as; avocado on toast with spiced pumpkin seeds and cress; and chocolate toasted marshmallow and hazelnut waffle. Lunch and dinner is served seven days a week, starters include: house cured salmon, pickled cucumber and horseradish blinis; and braised ox cheek served with grilled polenta. An array of main courses include, organic salmon with wilted fennel and Cornish clams, and Highland venison fillet with bashed neeps and a sour cherry sauce. The outdoor terrace bar, with its own separate entrance features cosy festive huts, perfect for sharing festive drinks.
Where: Selfridges Roof Top, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Places to Eat in London: For a Special Occasion
What: From Tuesday (25th October) to 4th November, Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester is offering a special Lunch Hour menu showcasing the very best of the game season. In keeping with Alain Ducasse’s philosophy, the ingredients are the key elements, with Jean Philippe only using the freshest and most seasonal produce.
Where: 53 Park Ln, London W1K 1QA
Photo Credit: Pierre Monetta
Places to Eat in London: For a Quick Meal
What: Wagamama is marking autumn with a fresh new menu, featuring an expansion of its on-trend steamed bun range, plus a variety of new vegetarian rice and side dishes. Grab your mates, wrap up warm and bundle into your nearest Wagamama.
Why: Contemporary Asian street-food at its best, sweet fluffy hirata buns are getting a serious revamp on this new menu, with two new variations coming in the form of crispy tori kara age chicken and fresh tomato, and mixed mushroom and panko aubergine. Chopsticks at the ready, another new addition to the menu, is the shittake mushroom donburi. As one of Japan’s most popular dishes, the donburi is packed full of flavour and boasts a mushroom and broccoli omelette served on nutty brown rice, and garnished with shredded carrot, spring onion, fresh chillies and pea shoots.
Where: Locations here
Places to Eat in London: For Naughtiness
What: Yard Sale Pizza is back for another one of its unmissable ‘Love Ins’, collaborating with street food legends, the inimitable Breddos Tacos. Served from Wednesday (26th) for one week only, The Dead Mex will bring a truly Mexican flavor to Yard Sale, just in time for Day of the Dead.
Why: The Dead Mex will feature: slow smoked ‘Al Pastor’ pigs cheeks, roasted pineapple, salsa roja and salsa verde, garnished with pink pickled red onion, coriander, all laid out on Yard Sale’s signature stone baked pizza bases, with a touch of slow cooked tomato sauce.
Where: Clapton: 105 Lower Clapton Road, London, E5 0NP and Finsbury Park: 54 Blackstock Rd, London N4 2DW