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While So Much Has Changed, Instagram Is Still Thirsty for an Oozing Yolk

Allegra Stratford isn’t changing the winning formula for an “it” dish to pop on social media

A croque madame toastie on a white plate with an egg yolk running down the sandwich
Orange, oozy, cheesy
KS Ate Here/Instagram

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is absolutely not.

News of the week

And so #EatOutToHelpOut is finally here. Rishi Sunak’s DJ-Khaled-baiting scheme may have been accompanied by a genuinely atrocious acrostic tweet, but there’s no denying the enthusiasm with which restaurants (and, one hopes, customers) have embraced the programme. Some genuine bargains are out there for the remainder of August, so it’s…



Mangal 2


The Laughing Heart




The Clove Club



Vasco and Piero’s




Everest Curry King


Reality check of the week

Given the spirit of (admittedly guarded) optimism engendered by #EOTHO, it might be tempting to think the London restaurant scene has put the worst of 2020 behind it. Mandy Yin’s piece in the Guardian last week was a sobering reminder that so much still needs to be done to safeguard the thousands of businesses still at risk — and her accompanying Instagram post provided some useful tips on where to start.

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Thank you for your incredible response to this article. A few of you have asked how do you support my businesses and other local independents. It's simple really, buy from us regularly and tell your friends / family about us so that they do the same It is a serious case of ' use it or lose it' over the next few months. So if you can afford it, please do put in regular orders. No need to tip as we aren't a dine in operation. But keep showing us love by ordering from us and posting on your social media when you do to help spread the word. Send gifts via @shop.pezu to your loved ones. Words are nice but frankly cash is king and sales numbers don't lie. Oh and please do leave us a good review on Google if you've enjoyed your food. It really does boost morale of my team and I to see positive words about what we are doing to help drown out the haters! You have always been my strongest marketing tool. Never has word of mouth been more important. So thank you in advance as even though the piece yesterday was sombre reading, I do honestly believe that I will pull through with your support. @nasilondon specialises in simple home-cooked rice boxes and curry puffs. It is open Tue to Sat 11am to 4pm, my daytime operation. It also offers ready meals to heat up at home. Outdoor seats coming soon. Sambal Shiok is open Wed to Sat 4 to 9pm, my evening operation for spicy laksa, noodle salads for those who prefer less chilli, our famous fried chicken and gado gado salad. Open for takeaway/delivery only. A wide variety of our sauces, laksa pastes and curry powders are available on @shop.pezu for nationwide delivery. I am trying really hard to have something for everyone across both Sambal and Nasi to keep your palates excited and happy! Finally, after reading the article my dad who is a fellow director in my business as he helps to keep me to keep the books, forwarded to me an email from Islington council offering a pavement licence for @nasilondon for only £100 sent just two days ago. So we are working hard to put that in place so that @nasilondon can take advantage of the Eat Out to Help Out scheme starting this week. More news on this to follow asap.

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Indulgence of the week

A perennial lockdown question is finally answered: what people missed most about restaurants was, apparently, pudding.

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Jump in @joy_at_portobello

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Oh just give us them ALL ...

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Related cruel joke of the week

Get Unilever and *checks notes* Roger Moore?! on the line.

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Baked Alaska Magnums? (Not for sale)

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Circle of life of the week

Duck, duck… Oof.

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Ducks mk1

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Pivot of the week

Coming soon to Somerset House: London’s most Accidentally Wes Anderson pop-up.

Future Insta-sensation of the week

The world may have to invent a whole new language to describe popularity on social media: To put it kindly, “going viral” has lost some of its desirability in the past few months. But exponential community transmission has always been the life-blood of platforms like Facebook and Instagram, however they may choose to describe the process; whatever changes the world outside them may have endured, glossy high-spec photos of glossy high-spec food remain a powerful currency. All of which is to say: post-lockdown London may have found its first foodie thirst trap, and it’s a very familiar sight.

Enduring Insta-sensation of the week

The Quo Vadis tomato: still got it.

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@jeremyleeqv meets @obarratt which I’m naming tomleeoba.

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Ratio of the week
The Saturday Night Live Blue Oyster Cult sketch, but with horseradish.

Rorschach test of the week

… Another roti?

Returning icon of the week

Terrible decisions, now coming right from the safety of home.

Dishes of the week

A winningly OTT trifecta, the logic behind each seemingly being: Hypebeast dishes, will they blend?

Shot of the week

That’s Friday lunch sorted, then.


55 Kynaston Road, , England N16 0EB Visit Website


9 Conduit Street, , England W1S 2XG 020 7659 4500 Visit Website

The Clove Club

380 Old Street, , England EC1V 9LT 020 7729 6496 Visit Website


, , England Visit Website


169 High Street, , England KT3 4BH 020 8942 9588 Visit Website


16 Market Square, , TN 37902 (865) 313-2472 Visit Website


1 Vyner Street, , England E2 9DG 020 8981 5150 Visit Website


99-101 Regent Street, , England W1B 4RS 020 7734 1401 Visit Website


1 Saint James's Market, , England SW1Y 4AH 020 3583 4660 Visit Website

Quo Vadis

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


Saint Paul's Road, , England N1 2LH 020 7226 2733 Visit Website

Mangal 2

4 Stoke Newington Rd, London, Greater London N16 7XN +44 20 7254 7888 Visit Website

The Laughing Heart

277 Hackney Road, , England E2 8NA 020 7686 9535 Visit Website