Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is uncompromising.
News of the week
It looked like it might never happen, but the London offshoot of New York temple to neo-fusion-Chinese food, Red Farm, is finally open, bringing its signature — and highly Instagrammable — dim sum to the capital’s feeds. London is not a city short on eye-catchingly attractive dumplings – XU, A Wong and Royal China Club all seem to have stepped up their game of late – so it will be interesting to see how this import fares in a city that is no longer crying out for its offering. That said, who wouldn’t want to eat a soup dumpling with a straw?
Delectable dumplings!! New York City stalwart @redfarmldn has arrived in London!! In addition we had the most succulent grilled pork chops with lemongrass and chilli!! And we get to meet the charming Ed Schoenfeld the pioneering restaurateur behind Red Farm and many other restaurants in the US. With maybe a few more in London.....??
Feed (and colon) clogging event of the week
Going off the foodie media, animal protein is going the way of the dodo – 2018 is the year of #plantbased, #vegan, #nutmilk. It’s a shame, then, that no one seems to have passed this news on to London’s chefs, who spent the weekend gleefully cremating great hunks of flesh over naked flames at Meatopia. Perhaps in future, dishes like Yotam Ottolenghi’s celeriac shawarma will be the norm, rather than the exception, but for now it seems that the rumours of meat’s demise have been very much exaggerated.
There were so many good dishes on offer at @meatopiauk over the weekend but this picture sums it up perfectly for me. Meat and Fire. Had a great time eating our way through as many of the traders offerings as possible and catching up with so many people across the 2 days I was there. If you like meat then Meatopia really should be in your events calendar as a 'must visit'.
Another epic year for the @meatopiauk festival with thanks to @tabasco_uk and @forestcoalpitfarm // Here’s Liz sharing a new dish of Char Sui rare breed pork // Side note; Did you know every dish at Meatopia is especially hand picked to ensure it celebrates quality produce, diversity and most of all tastes absolutely stunning when cooked over fire? They (meatopia team) are also committed to ‘never stop evolving’ much like the kaizen way (Kaizen: Japanese word for continuous improvement). #kaizen #shibui
PR push of the week (and coming months)
Brace yourself: Autumn 2018 will officially be Tom Kerridge Season, with the PR gurus at Gemma Bell and Co pulling every lever imaginable to get their man in front of as many eyeballs as conceivably possible. They’ve already locked in a canny Sunday Times Magazine gig; now the countdown begins to next week’s opening of his swanky new place in the Corinthia Hotel. It feels like we’re already verging on Insta-saturation, and he hasn’t even cooked any food yet. Get used to this face, basically.
Week of the week
Somewhat more PR-shy is Core by Clare Smyth chef Clare Smyth, who received a visit from not one but two high-profile names in the restaurant industry this week. Could this mean big things are coming this October?
Lemonade parfait honey and yoghurt by @chefclaresmyth @corebyclaresmyth . Photo credit: @corebyclaresmyth . #MICHELINguideGBI #london #nottinghill #kensington #michelin #claresmyth #finedining #dessertart #luxury #finesse #menu #parfait #honey #yoghurt #instafood #foodart #foodiefeature #tastingmenus #alacarte #design #skill #michelininspectors
Insta-friendly surface of the week
First Pastaio, now Crispin. Have we found the new marble?
Really enjoying dinner tonight @crispin_e1 - a short but beautifully formed menu where you can order ‘one of everything’ ... here we’ve got some sultry cannellini beans with Parmesan, the most gorgeous burrata with @natoora figs, ripe bull heart tomatoes and smoked salmon with pickled samphire and tarragon aioli. And thick slices of sourdough bread to mop it all up with. Pasta with girolles coming next! Oh, and dessert... The sourcing of ingredients is second to none. Thanks Dominic and Oliver for having us down!
They got game of the week
And still they come (and, arguably, better than ever)
Envy-inducing holiday snap of the week
Is this what the Catalans mean by mar i muntanya?
Side dish of the week
There’s already a cookbook for side dishes. Is it time that this vital component of any meal received the ultimate form of validation, an Eater London map?
Dish of the week
Summer? Autumn? Who cares?
Shot of the week
Dive in it.
Making fragolina (similar to concord) grape purée for my favourite icing. Big question for all of you gorgeous followers: What do you want from my next cookbook? Which tips, recipes or concepts are you after? Do you want a coffee table book or a bible? Do you want a picture for every recipe or no photos at all? Do you want cake cake cake? Or seasonal baking? You see, I want to write the book that you want to own. I’m not doing it for me, but for you. I want to share as much as I can with you so you can be better bakers, have more fun in the kitchen and spend more time with your friends and family. Right?? Tell me what you want!!!!!