Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the sometimes problematic medium of Instagram.
News of the week
As much as it is a follow-up to an announcement he sort-of made at the back end of last year, Nuno Mendes’ post about the sudden wholesale changes at Taberna do Mercado nevertheless felt quietly seismic. For all it has been abused as a medium, Instagram remains perhaps the most personal of channels available to chefs and operators — that Mendes chose this route (rather than a dry PR email) to pass on the news says something about how much the project meant to him, and so it’s hard not to find it both bittersweet and more than a little moving. Fingers crossed for whatever comes next.
2018 brings quiet change, we are excited to announce that Taberna do Mercado will be moving into the Kitchens at Old Spitalsfields Market. It's a great opportunity for our brand to evolve and we welcome the chance to be part of the new vision for @oldspitalfieldsmarket - exciting times! Reinvent yourself or die ;-)
Feed-clogging event of the week
Does a cold front count as an event? How about a hot behind? As much as The Beast From The East generated some staggeringly basic caption work, there’s no denying the stark beauty of some of the images it helped create, too.
Menu of the week
The Laughing Heart continues its evolution as one of London’s most interesting restaurants. There’s old-school technique, there’s Black Axe Mangal-style wizardry with offal. There’s hi-lo trashy-deluxe combos like Saint Bartholomew and Digestive Biscuits, there’s also the courage to leave things unadorned if that’s what’s best for them. And then there’s the words “white bean and bacon tortellini” — words, when read as the snow swirls outside, which elicit a yearning so profound it can only be compared to romantic love.
Dubious corporate shill of the week
As Oscar Wilde once said, to do one promotion for faceless burrito behemoth Tortilla is unfortunate, but to do two looks like carelessness.
Laborious composition of the week
All the love for Felicity Spector’s account, which remains the source of some of the prettiest and most cake-heavy food photography in London. But, whoa, that’s a helluva lot of jams for a workday breakfast.
Bread and jam for breakfast before work - I’ve got some fruit and nut sourdough full of golden raisins and cranberries and tons of nuts - and a lovely looking seeded sourdough loaf from @harrods to keep me going with my usual selection of quark and many jams. Starting with my favourite apricot, as I’m never without apricot jam in the house. Hope my journey to work isn’t too slippery!! ❄️✨
Dish of the week
RIP, Winemakers Deptford. You will be missed.
Shot of the week
The lighting, the shadow, the contrasting textures, the crockery. Is this #art?