It is tradition at Eater to end the year with a survey of friends, rovers of the industry, critics and professional eaters. This year, the group were asked eight questions, spanning meal of the year to biggest dining grievance. Their answers will appear throughout this week. Responses are related in no particular order; cut, pasted, and unedited below. Today, we started with the best meals of last year; now it’s time to look into the future, with headline predictions for 2018.
Grace Dent, former ES Magazine — and soon-to-be The Guardian — restaurant critic: The Guardian food editor, Bob Granleese in custody over Grace Dent murder.
Adam Coghlan, Eater London editor: Many more openings, many more closures, much more delivery, more of the same, but also beige food: carb-on-carb cooking.
And the City, weirdly, has a decent shout at being the neighbourhood of 2018.
George Reynolds, Eater London contributor: It's going to be tough out there. Lots of closures, and operators getting increasingly canny (discovering unloved spaces, leveraging delivery, cutting out a lot of complexity) to keep costs down. And the return, hopefully, of careful, simple comfort foods that people actually want to eat.
Somehow, there will still be Flavour Bastard.
Victoria Stewart, food writer: Dirty vegan (vegan filth food).
James Hansen, food writer, editor and Eater London contributor: Cave-bistronomie will go from strength to strength; more and more restaurants will follow the Pastaio formula of competitively-priced, ingredient-led, uncomplicated food and thrive; more and more restaurants will follow the contrary formula and fail.
Michelin will break twitter.
Michael Deacon will not write another restaurant review.
Some big, big chains will close.
Foraging will have had its day in the sun.
Emma Hughes, freelance food writer and Eater London contributor: Shoals of goldfish dumplings.
Cheap and cheerful French food getting the Pastaio-type treatment.
People are still not going to want to eat insects.
Josh Barrie, food writer and Eater London contributor: Juxtapositions of P Franco places, where the money is (in some instances) hidden, and great big brash enormous fanfare openings, where it absolutely is not.
Suze Olbrich, freelance food writer and Eater London contributor: Plant-based menus / dishes available everywhere / hope to goodness less plastic on casual side / increased visibility and traceability / more creeping moralisation.
Zeren Wilson, restaurant discoverer and author of Bitten & Written: We’re going to see more Malaysian influences across menus, with Laksa noodle soup in particular, set to lead the charge. Tottenham will continue its nascent arrival onto the dining radar, spawning more openings — once Tottenham Hotspur FC move into their shiny new 61,599 capacity stadium in August, the re-generation of the area will pick up apace. Turkish restaurants will increasingly flex innovative muscles, reinterpreting and reimagining the ‘mangal’ experience.
Chloe Scott-Moncrieff, food writer and co-founder of the YBFs: In London, Scully, Ramael Scully. Brat, Tomos Parry’s first place will be interesting. I look forward to Nieves’ Sabor and Elizabeth Haigh’s new project. Simon Rogan’s Roganic returning to Marylebone will be thrilling hopefully, loved it the first time.
Sophie Brown, freelance food writer: The return of wine glasses with stems; and perhaps some more terrible concept pop-ups.
Felicity Spector, Channel 4 News writer and pastry lover: More meat-free, even vegan dining. More comfort food. Israeli/Palestinian cuisine can only get bigger. Babka! Always with the babka.
Laurel Ives, former food editor of The Sunday Times’ The Dish: Exciting revamps of the gastropub — an Indian gastropub from the JKS group is coming to the Bloomberg Arcade, The Blue Posts pub from the people behind the Palomar will open a kitchen headed up by the Barbary chef.
The continuing growth of affordable comfort food as shown by the success of Neo Bistro and Rambla.
More plant based and vegan restaurants as US success story ByChloe comes to London, adding to places like Purezza (a vegan pizzeria) and Essence (creative plant food on the Essex Road) and Ceremony (Tufnell Park.)