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London Restaurants Waved Two Fingers at Veganism This Week

Plus everything else chefs, diners and influencers were up to on Instagram

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Hanging beef over fire at Meatopia UK 2018, a London food festival that dominated Instagram this week Meatopia [Official Photo]

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?

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.

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?

Insta-friendly surface of the week
First Pastaio, now Crispin. Have we found the new marble?

They got game of the week
And still they come (and, arguably, better than ever)

Grouse pie is back on tonight in the restaurant #holdtight

A post shared by Calum Franklin (@chefcalum) on

Envy-inducing holiday snap of the week
Is this what the Catalans mean by mar i muntanya?

Take me back to sunshine and prawns

A post shared by Lizzie Mabbott (@hollow_legs) on

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.

Royal China Club

40-42 Baker Street, , England W1U 7AJ 020 7486 3898 Visit Website


30 Rupert Street, , England W1D 6DL 020 3319 8147 Visit Website

Core by Clare Smyth

92 Kensington Park Road, , England W11 2PN 020 3937 5086 Visit Website


19 Ganton Street, , England W1F 9BN 020 3019 8680 Visit Website