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What Might Happen If London’s Pastry King Went Vegan?

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Plus other important questions asked of the Instagram news feed this week

Orkney scallop, beurre blanc, Oscietra caviar and pommes soufflées at Roux at The Landau

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.

Braised lamb, peas and mint. @edinorbury

A post shared by Marksman Public House (@marksman_pub) on

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.

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...!!!)

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.


A post shared by Bitten & Written (@bittenwritten) on

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.

Braised cuttlefish, ink & miso to stain those pearly whites #blackaxemangal #cuttlefish

A post shared by B * A * M (@blackaxemangal) on

Dish of the week

Lobster noodz got an upgrade.

Shot of the week

It might not be all that contemporary, but whoa all the same.


85 Piccadilly, , England W1J 7NB 020 3146 8666 Visit Website

Black Axe Mangal

156 Canonbury Road, , England N1 2UP Visit Website


205 West Wacker Drive, , IL 60606 (312) 217-8041 Visit Website


39 Endell Street, , England WC2H 9BA 020 3422 0221 Visit Website

Tell Your Friends

175 New Kings Road, London , SW6 4SW Visit Website