Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is a new one called Wanderlust.
News of the week
Filtering news through Instagram is always a curious business. A picture may tell a thousand words but it’s not exactly a brilliant vehicle for communicating broader nuance and context. Accordingly, this week’s big story — the annual World’s 50 Best announcement — was all about the winners, Shoreditch stalwarts Lyle’s and The Clove Club, in particular. There’s no denying they deserve it — few kitchens have done more to kickstart London’s second restaurant renaissance — but for Core by Clare Smyth (overseen, of course, by the “World’s Best Female Chef”) not to feature at all seems like an oversight at the very least. This isn’t the place to get into the thorny question of whether female-only lists help or hinder progress, but viewed simply through Instagram? It’s just a weird look.
Emerging craze of the week, maybe
The most recent instalment of Insta Stories drew attention to the increasing prevalence of the pork katsu sandwich as the must-have handheld accessory de nos jours. What if, though, the scope of that #trendwatch was too narrow? What if pork was just the beginning? A world in which any prime ingredient under the sun can be deep-fried with Michelin-starred precision and presented in pristine crustless white is surely one the good people of London should be excited about inhabiting. #SummerofSando?
Matchday pub of the week
Be honest: food-wise, major sporting events are always a major disappointment. Go to any big-screen venue and encounter exactly the same offering: stringy chicken wings, piles of nachos slowly congealing, overcooked burgers yawped down at half time. So thank Harry Kane, then, for the Marksman, offering a feasting menu that would look every bit as enticing even if the backdrop weren’t England and Belgium’s reserves fouling each other to a five-all yellow card draw.
Hashtag of the week
#invite is so last year
Rather you than me of the week
Pity and / or props to Eater London matchmaker Emma Hughes, who this week spent six hours from 11 at night to the ungodly hour of 5am strolling the streets of Soho in search of good things to eat and drink. A quarter-century ago the Insta Stories might have been rather more lurid.
Seasonal pizzetta of the week
Rule of thumb to anyone guessing how much this costs: double it.
Whimsical beverage hue of the week
A few years ago, the story goes, Campari — the company that owns and manufactures Aperol — decided that the U.K. could be the next big success story outside the core market of Italy. Anyone living in the city at the time will remember the sudden ubiquity of marketing messages and enticing promotions; it is still remarkable that, in just a few fleeting seasons, the colour orange suddenly became synonymous with U.K. summer drinking. Cannily marketed rosé may be making a comeback, but for the time being? In THIS heat? The future’s…
Dish of the week
Again: IN THIS HEAT?
Shot / casual home cookery account of the week