I must admit that I’ve been quite mischievous in not sharing with you all of the fabulous eating experiences I’ve had in London lately. Mostly because I am too wrapped up in the eating to take photos and partly because time seems to have flown by without a second to stop and write about it.
Excuses aside, I’d love to share my food adventures from a few weeks ago with you when a friend from home (up north) came down for a long overdue visit. Blessed with glorious sunshine I took her straight to the South Bank Real Food Market on Saturday afternoon, somewhere I haven’t been for years and which I probably overlook due to my aversion to busy places at the weekend. Crowds aside, we were greeted by a fantastic array of colours and aromas, every stall offering something completely different. After several laps to ensure we were making a well informed decision we chose our lunch. A glass of chilled prosecco from Grays and Feather and a hot,spicy chicken tikka naan wrap from The Indians Next Door. Finding a tiny little spot of free space we perched on the popular staircase in the spring sunshine to dive in to our naan wraps. The chicken was incredibly well cooked, juicy yet charred with a healthy level of spice, cooled with a yoghurt raita and simple salad, all encased in the freshly baked naan bread. A recipe we both decided we would be recreating at home.
We then wandered in and around the stalls, marvelling at the beautiful displays of produce on offer whilst I dilly dallied taking photos:
Deciding on one purchase from the market, we headed straight back to Cocoa Hernando to gobble up yet more samples of their new chocolate Herb and Spice Collection. With my friend deciding on “Mexico” (dark chocolate and chipotle chilli) and me firmly settled on “Himalaya” (milk chocolate with pink diamond salt) we set off along the river to walk off our lunch.
That evening we had tickets to the new show Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (well worth a trip) at the Savoy Theatre. I chose Covent Garden as the handiest area for dinner and used my friend’s imminent birthday as an excuse to take her to Opera Tavern to celebrate with copious amounts of pink prosecco. The Prosecco Rosato, Beato Bartolomeo was absolutely delicious accompanying the plethora of tapas dishes we ordered. Unfortunately for you, this was one of those occasions where I was too excited by the food and polished off most of the dishes too quickly before realising I hadn’t taken any photos. My favourite dish by far was the confit of Old Spot pork belly with rosemary scented cannellini beans, needless to say there are no photos of that particular dish… Second favourite were the deconstructed “patatas bravas”, crispy chunky chips with a sumptuous tomato sauce and homemade aioli (blurry photo below).
Dessert included more prosecco and a delicious rhubarb, marscapone and salted shortbread eton mess.
The next day, still in search of more new eating experiences, we ventured to Shoreditch to experience Dishoom. If you have never been, I implore you to visit. The restaurant is themed around the old style cafes of Bombay, opened by Persian immigrants and frequented by all walks of life. The details of the restaurant fit out are impressive from the dark wood furniture to the old fashioned books on the walls. The decor is entirely welcoming and invites you to leisurely while away the hours with a paper and a chai latte.
In the end, each of us decided on a bacon naan, with chilli tomato jam and cream cheese, as well as the butter, honey granola and Keralan vanilla yoghurt. Both were exceptional. Well worth a visit!