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When Life Gives You Pizza Dough and Pasta Ragu, Make an Unholy Mash Up

Four Legs used necessity to its advantage and Burns Night shone on London restaurant Instagram this week

Sausage ragu pizza and parmesan at Four Legs Millie Lagares/Four Legs

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

News of the week

The English language is replete with terms describing the confluence of negative incidents — a perfect storm, a clusterfuck, an omnishambles — but is curiously silent when a bunch of things go right at the same time. This means there is no term close at hand to describe the weekend just experienced by the London restaurant scene, which must surely go down as one of the greatest in edible history: Burns Night, the start of Lunar New Year in China, Korea, and Vietnam, and a series of events to benefit relief efforts in Australia all coincided in thrillingly close proximity. As an advertisement for both the sense of community at the heart of this industry, and the exciting things that happen when people come together to stuff ridiculous amounts of food in their faces, late January 2020 will take some beating.

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Burns Fucking Night Open from 6:30

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Necessity, mother of invention of the week

A pet theory: any god-tier pasta sauce should also work equally well as a pizza topping. By this logic, carbonara is IN, cacio e pepe is OUT; pesto is HOT, anything involving seafood is NOT. And sausage ragù might well be the best of the lot.

Promising sign of the week

There’s no denying that Dominique Ansel’s Treehouse of Horror is one of the more curious culinary madlibs to have emerged from the current feverish restaurant climate, but this looks like a straight-up banger of a dish, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Broth of the week

Pool full of (cooking) liquor, dive in it.

Hacker of the week

To be fair, upcycling an Instagram account is very zero waste.

Ghoulish serveware of the week

OK this looks fine on the surface, but imagine if this was a duck tart arriving on a basically raw, cursorily blowtorched carcass. Goth Noma has got nothing on Ducasse.

Marketing copy of the week

Small brain: Eat animals.

Normal brain: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Expanding brain: Eat plants.

Galaxy brain: EAT PEOPLE.

Admirable honesty of the week

The predicted confit-potato-naissance continues apace!

Admirable if belated culinary pun of the week

Partridge, pear, tree. Nice.

Incoming trend alert of the week

When did Australia replace the U.S. as the main source of inspiration for London’s restaurants? This isn’t rhetorical: it’s probably around 2016, as the P. Francos and Laughing Hearts of this world found their feet and brought a very different culinary vernacular to the table. Regardless — anyone looking for the “next” “hot” “trend” to “follow” would be far better served looking (very far) east these days, as opposed to west; looking, that is, in the direction of HUMMUS BOWLS. Or, just look at Bubala.

Dish of the week

It’s more than lunch, it’s [checks notes] a steamed bun stacked with ham, emmental, rarebit, hot sauce, salt and vinegar crisps.

Shots of the week