Summer is just around the corner and the sun's finally starting to show its face in earnest. This past month has been another busy one for thefoodpeople team out and about sampling venues old and new for food and drink. As a recap here's 10 of our favourite places we visited in May. In no particular order:
Very trendy, buzzy restaurant with a mash up menu of Asian cuisine. The food delighted and tantalised both your eyes and tastebuds, the cocktails were beautifully blended which left you wanting more. A real wow place to eat and start your evening in with a great atmosphere created by beautiful food, drinks and the live DJ!
Few places deliver that Aussie café experience as well the Caravan Coffee Roasteries in London. If you are after something that tastes greats and is healthy -they are hard to beat. The coffee is on point too, whilst many chains are now roasting their own coffee, Caravan are one of the most consistent and experienced in London. From restorative breakfast smoothie bowls to buttermilk hotcakes (ok it's not all that healthy) they are one of the best ways to start a day in the capital.
The Crown, Burchetts Green
The Crown is the epitome of old school classics! With mostly one chef in the kitchen and his family running the restaurant it's a real family affair. With dishes that rely on honest cooking paired and classic pairings, this one Michelin star pub is an example of beautifully tasting food with excellent hospitality.
Skosk is an informal restaurant with excellent locally sourced food. I had the Hens eggs to start, and then dipped in to lots of sharing plates on the table with friends. The creamy spring pea and truffle custard made with sheeps curd stood out, as did the simple yet delicious salt and pepper asparagus. There is an open kitchen where dishes are cooked in front of us. Very unassuming and welcoming what you see (and eat) is what you get with Skosh; amazing food!
Bodega Rita's, London
Coal Drops Yard is an undeniable haven of treats but I didn't expect for a sandwich shop to be one of my favourites (that's a lie I love sandwiches!). This shop has selected the best sandwiches from around the world and twisted and tweaked them into perfection. The Banh Mi is overflowing with flavour; nutty goodness from peanut butter as well as crushed peanuts; roast king oyster mushrooms bring the meatiness which is all cut through with the fresh daikon slaw and moreish pickled chillies.
Casa do Frango, London
Casa do Frango brings Portuguese piri piri chicken to London Bridge. Think Nandos but a more stylish restaurant concept, paired with Portuguese wines and drinks in an airy setting. It's not just about the chicken though, with a n array of tasty starters to choose from. My favourite, the roasted cauliflower with piri piri and coriander yoghurt.
It's taken me a little while to get round to Stephen Edwards etch in Hove, but a night out to celebrate my wife's birthday (as well as the birth of our first child) seemed the perfect opportunity. We had the eight course tasting menu and, as both my wife and I are vegetarian, it was very heartening to see a chef seemingly genuinely excited to design a well-thought-out vegetarian menu! The Marmite Brioche with Seaweed Butter (his signature dish) was a perfect way to start, and other highlights included the beetroot-driven interpretation of a Caesar salad, a duck egg & broccoli dish paired with both brioche 'soldiers' and a Spanish sherry, and one of the desserts boldly combining chocolate with coriander! More than worth the wait!
Aux Anciens Canadiens, Quebec
A restaurant where they serve historic dishes, with the building dating back to 1675. Dishes include things like Grandma's Treat – a Québec pie made with wild meats and meatball ragout, pigs knuckle, salt pork grillades and 'baked beans'. This is a meat heavy area with very few veggie options! Every course was unusual to us, maple as you would expect was prominent throughout the meal and menu. The china was very floral and the presentation of the food looked quite 'old fashioned' but tasted fantastic. The local wine was delicious. There is a French influence throughout the area, although the French was not the French we recognise!
Loved getting a taste of authentic Uyghur cuisine at Etles Uyghur restaurant in East London. The mapo tofu noodles were outstanding, as was the Big Plate Chicken... exceptional spicing and flavour in both!
Camberwell Arms, London
An unexpected find, this pub serves delicious food in a relaxed dining room setting. There are plenty of veggie options, but a real highlight was the fresh bread served whilst trying to make menu decisions. I eventually opted for the tagliatelle with courgettes, chilli, garlic and sheep's milk ricotta and was not disappointed!