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London Is Hot (for Fresh Pasta)

The city can’t move for openings slinging saucy carbs

London’s best new restaurants include Manteca, which serves these tortellini in brodo 10 Heddon Street [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 pretty good, fellas.

News of the week

The initial pitch for Arcade Theatre probably wasn’t “Fortnite, but for Instagram”, but a battle royale for the ages certainly seems to be shaping up just off Oxford Circus, as a murderer’s row of the city’s most-‘grammed entities go toe-to-toe (or should that be Tou-to-Tou?) for ultimate Insta-supremacy. In a hearteningly unpredictable twist, though, it appears that neither katsu sandos nor laminated pastries have totally captured the public’s imagination – Selin Kiazim’s Black Sea pide instead taking a decent share of the early plaudits. A plucky underdog overcoming great odds in a fight to the death against all comers? It’s the literal Hunger Games.

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Black sea cheese and butter pide

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Era-defining foodstuff of the week

If the gourmet burger or small plate was the defining culinary icon of the last decade of post-recession dining, it looks like pasta will be perhaps the only food on offer in Boris Johnson’s No Deal Wasteland™. Seriously, the stuff is everywhere, no doubt due to its happy collision of margin-friendly raw ingredients, Insta-friendly yolk-enriched sunshine yellow, and wallet-and-stomach-friendly affordably filling carbohydrate. Already the menu formula seems set: a filled oozy one, a sloppy meaty one, a pretty summery one, definitely something cheesy. One might perhaps quibble about homogenisation, about the interesting things left at the margins as people rush to the centre. But that’s for another day: for now – as Pophams launches its much-hyped evening menu and 10 Heddon Street slings gossamer ravioli – let them eat cacio e pepe!

Accidental trend of the week

It’s a million degrees outside, so why not tuck into some [checks notes] pig offal?

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Pork Jowl, Fennel, Watercress

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Continental breakfast of the week

It’s the most important assembly of dissonant flavours of the day.

Vote of the week

No, not the Tory leadership contest. Instead, it’s a seven-way deathmatch in celebration of Pizza Pilgrim’s birthday, with a host of well-known industry figures offering their own individual and OTT riffs on the humble pie. Do baked beans belong anywhere in the vicinity of a slice of ‘za? Is sweet pizza an abomination or a stroke of genius? Are calzones – however artfully repackaged – just pizza that’s harder to eat, and therefore dumb? Finally, the public decides.

Method of the week

Please, please, please do not forget to use the feathers to fumigate the perineum, this is the most important part.

Dish of the week

The gherkins are fooling no one.

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Mmmmm cod Kiev!

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Shot of the week

Cold soup: an appreciation.


, , England Visit Website


Brixton Station Rd., Brixton, Greater London, London, 44 0207 998 3309 Visit Website

Cacio e Pepe

46 Churton Street, , England SW1V 2LP 020 7630 7588 Visit Website