Welcome to Insta Stories, a new column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic prism of Instagram. It exists because, love it or loathe it, the world’s premier photo-sharing service plays an increasingly important role in Londoners’ restaurant-going lives; despite the sterling work of the city’s journalists and critics, it is probably the medium through which people consume most of their information about the sector. So it’s worth keeping an eye on things — on where ‘grammers are and why they are they there; separating the #invites from the legit — however tempting it may be to roll that eye despairingly instead. Hashtags at the ready, please.
News of the week
An easy one to start: Smoking Goat is doing brunch, people.
Breakfast, too — as disclosed in Zeren Wilson’s show-all exposé of the sensational-looking menu. Just days post-launch, a consensus hasn’t yet formed around the go-to dish for the hungry diner — is it the jowl roti, the smoked haddock khao soi, or the fried chicken? — but it’ll be hard to find a prettier one than the curried saffron eggs (with lardo sidecar):
Event of the week
It’s tempting to give this to the star-studded bash thrown in honour of Salon Brixton’s five-year anniversary, not least for some truly heartwarming below-the-line bants between two of the scene’s leading luminaries (@ks_ate_here, commenting on @clerkenwellboyec1’s shot: “Always putting my pics to shame and always keeping me learning. Mega mega mega love to you mate” <3 <3 <3).
But sentimentality be damned. Given the historical significance of the event in general (not just its deep folk traditions, but its vital role in introducing the coquembouche to the world), given the mind-meltingly implausible food, given the incredible man-love between the two legends behind it (below), it simply has to be the Black Axe Mangal x Quo Vadis Burns Night knees up. Just look at these tarts.
Influencer activity of the week
It’s rare to find a doughnut that tacitly endorses the systematic annihilation of indigenous populations, but Crosstown seems to have created one in its limited-run Australia Day edition, the Tim Tam and Lamington special. London’s Influencer-in-Chief shared the news.
Dish of the week
Can a dish win this award if it isn’t technically presented in its entirety on the post in question? In this anarchic column, anything goes, and so it’s a slam-dunk for Bao Fitzrovia’s new aged beef and glass noodle Ma La claypot. Yikes.
Shot of the week
Oh, and don’t forget to follow Eater London on Instagram — a veritable smorgasbord of food content from across the city.