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London’s Most Mysterious Tasting Menu Ditches the Mystery

Nundo Mendes’s Māos welcoming influencers with open arms is a significant development

Maos restaurant in Shoreditch by Nuno Mendes ditches the mystery Tomas Jivanda/Eater London

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is cong-OMG.

News of the week

Oh good, Eggslut is here. Liz Lemon-worthy eyerolls about that name aside, though, there’s a pressing question to answer: how to photograph one’s Insta-bait when the Insta-bait in question is, uh, just some eggs in bread? Approaches taken to date include the side-on, the top-down, the diagonal, the full frontal, the incidental thirst trap, and the giant ten-sandwich pyramid. Some valiant efforts — but folks, at the end of the day, it’s still just an egg in a bap.

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Morning LONDON

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Existential dilemma of the week

Mãos’ restaurant opening in Shoreditch last year was notable for two things: the striking ambition of its boundary-breaking tasting menu, and the almost Masonic levels of secrecy shrouding what punters actually got to eat — courtesy of a polite request that diners not share any images from the meal on social media. Nearly 18 months later, things have certainly changed on that front, with two of London’s most-followed foodie influencers invited in to share their experience. It’s yet more evidence of how Instagram is changing food culture across the spectrum: in the past, chefs in high-end restaurants could count on the element of surprise to thrill their customers; these days, it’s almost like no one is prepared to take the risk — and, it must be said, incur the significant cost — associated with fine dining unless they know definitively what they’re getting, and how good it’s going to look on the ‘gram. How times change.

Influential tomato of the week

It was nearly a month ago that Quo Vadis chef Jeremy Lee posted an image of a scantily clad Cuore del Vesuvio tomato — fast forward a few weeks and both the tomato in question and its presentation have gone honest-to-goodness viral. It’s difficult to tell what’s sweeter: the fleshy beaut itself or its origin story.

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Tomato salad on the menu @quovadissoho for July x

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Delicacy of the week

There are Marmite-lovers, and then there’s the specific kind of Marmite-lover so familiar with the product’s evolution over time that they covet the even-more-intense yeast extract that emerges after long cellaring in an obliging cupboard has caused some of the water content to evaporate. There are also Marmite-haters, but they are objectively incorrect.

Fact of the week

There is a restaurant in London called POTUS, it is inspired by past presidents of the United States.

Envy-inducing holiday snaps of the week

Exceedingly good cakes.

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Freezer of dreams

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Paradigm shift of the week

From hall of fame gross recipe to hall of fame summer BBQ fare. Quite the week.

Dish of the week

A really photogenic image of some squid. Probably nothing weird about referring to it as tentacle porn.

Shot of the week



185 Portobello Road, , England W11 2ED 020 3745 1920 Visit Website

Quo Vadis

26-29 Dean Street, , England W1D 3LL 020 7437 9585 Visit Website


41 Redchurch Street, , England E2 7DJ 020 7739 9733 Visit Website