Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is green and “plant-based.”
News of the week
Wait, it’s cold again now? No sooner had London started basking in the unseasonal sunshine than even more unseasonal chill came along in its place, occasioning a full retreat back to the more wintry fare of early January. Think Uyghur soups, comforting Biryani, pasta steeped in broth. And, of course, a good old fashioned braise.
Feed-clogging event / twinstagram of the week
Dominique Ansel’s bakery is apparently a thing, and it’s apparently doing afternoon tea now. When people complain about how influencer events create a homogenous feed, devoid of anything other than glossily identikit corporatised content, this is maybe what they are talking about.
A first look @dominiqueansel's afternoon tea service in #London || Launching on May 4th @dominiqueansellondon ~ the menu celebrates flowers and all things Spring || Loved the freshly baked scones and strawberry truffles filled with clotted cream & strawberry jam ~ Make sure you try their Welsh Rarebit Croissant & "perfect little egg sandwich" too! || Great to catch up with Michael @symmetrybreakfast & @felicityspector . . . #AfternoonTea #Champagne #Spring #Preview #Invite #ThisIsLondon #VisitLondon @London #
The new afternoon tea by @dominiqueansel at @dominiqueansellondon is so beautiful... it’s been designed as a journey from seed to full bloom flower - and everything is so delicate and perfectly made. The attention to detail is astonishing... like the jam and cream for the scones hidden inside hand made strawberries, the tiny dew drops on the rose petals... brilliant work by chef Dominique and @jameslondon2013 ...and such a fun afternoon here with @symmetrybreakfast and @clerkenwellboyec1. You can book now for tea sittings starting next Friday - what an absolute treat!
Simple fix of the week
One would be forgiven for thinking, given years — years — of controversy around the subject, that all-male chef awards shortlists would be a thing of the past. Yet for all the column inches written about the question of how best to overcome the industry’s history of sexist bias, and how to alter the fundamental structures of how success is celebrated and rewarded, majority-male judging panels remain pretty commonplace, with pretty predictable consequences.
Meat-free offering of the week
If chef / Insta-sensation Calum Franklin turns his sights onto a vegan one next, even the duo hoping to demystify veganism and show case just how tasty and accessible it can be at Tell Your Friends (why wasn’t it called Parsons Totes Green?) might have reason to worry. (For those interested in what happened next...!!!)
New a la carte vegetarian pie joining it's brothers and sisters on the pie menu @holborndiningroom tomorrow. Potato, aged Comte and caramelised onion with parsley sauce. In the morning, when we walk into the Pie Room the first job is to sweep up the little ivy leaves that sneak under the door overnight. I thought it would be nice to put a design on top of the vegetarian pie to reflect those liberty taking bastards.
Menu of the week
Sometimes, menus are short stories, tone poems, literary fields rich in potential and signification. Or, you know, they’re also this. Both kinds are good.
Best advertisement for spending £££ on phone chargers and edible flowers of the week
And so the parade of images from Ollie Dabbous’ new place begins. You can run, but you can’t Hide.
Unfairly maligned creative hub of the week
As recently posited: Black Axe Mangal is not a stoopid adolescent bro-cave; it is one of the most avant-garde, boundary-pushing restaurants in the city. If current media darling [insert name here] did this, critics would be falling off their chairs in admiration.
Dish of the week
Lobster noodz got an upgrade.
It was lucky to get some live #crayfish yesterday from a fishmonger, although it’s a first try but can’t be more authentic , remind me of the summer having a whole pot of it on a low street table and crouching on a stool in my hometown, the #beltnoodle makes the most of the sauces... @eatingstory . . @peirangong cooks the crayfish, @tongtong_ren does the noodle . . #ThisIsLondon #eeeeats #foodiegram #feedyoursoul #LondonFood #forkyeah #lefooding #eaterlondon #infatuationlondon #foodgasm #londonfoodfatty #f52grams #huffposttaste #toplondonrestaurants #comfortfood #Chinese #eaterlondon #liftingnoodle #noodleworship
Shot of the week
It might not be all that contemporary, but whoa all the same.