“Is there even such a thing as British food? All you guys have is fish and chips, overcooked meat, and fried breakfasts. Your food sucks.”
This is a question-answer-insult that most Britons have been presented with at least a dozen times — with, actually, some justification. However, while British food can not be succinctly defined as a mono-cuisine, there are certain characteristics that unify the restaurants in London that could be described as “British,” even if those traits aren’t unique in isolation.
A focus on seasonal ingredients, a desire to utilise all parts of an animal, a strong sense of place yet an openness to global techniques and flavours, and a relatively minimalist approach are all things that typify contemporary British restaurants. And it remains possible, with relative ease, to join the dots of “modern British,” from the oft-derided but centuries-old East London caffs, pie and mash, chippies and chop shops, via the mother ship of “British” cooking, through to the development of gastropubs. It’s food that’s unfussy and flavourful, it’s meat and two seasonal veg, and it doesn’t all suck.Read More