29 December 2016

My 13 best London dishes 2016

It's that time of year. The week or so where we look back over our metaphorical shoulders and ponder on the successes, challenges and downright wrong turns of the last 12 months. As a foodie each year I think back over the best dishes I've enjoyed, and 2016 has been utterly delectable.

Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

London seems to be hitting her cuisine stride and 2017 is only going to get better.

Brunch


Best Bacon Sarnie - St John's Bread and Wine, Spitalfields
A recent discovery, I'll be returning for the delicious chutney alone.


Best twist on a brunch classic - Iris and June, Victoria
Poppadoms stacked with sprouted lentils, a sweet green tomato salsa, the pop of kasundi, homemade grilled paneer which was heavenly and a perfectly poached egg. Delicious, gluten free AND healthy... we followed it up with a (also delicious) brownie chaser and another well brewed flat white as we nattered on.

Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

Best Bressert - Granger and Co., Kings Cross
I now understand why people queue for over an hour for these bad boys. Whilst I still wouldn't queue for that long for just about anything (the hangry just isn't worth it) they are worth getting out of bed a little early and sneaking in the door before the rest of the world wakes up. Beautifully cooked Ricotta hotcakes served with honeycomb butter, banana and syrup.


Best Comeback - The Wolseley, Green Park
The first time we visited was rather disappointing (hello #rostigate), so I was pleased to give into urgings to go back and love my French Toast served with lashing of bacon. The atmosphere is always pleasant - a nice level of hubbub - and despite service being a little unresponsive at times we've always been allowed to spill over our allocated brunch time.

The Wolseley, Brunch in Green Park Adventures of a London Kiwi


Best for a girlie morning - Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury Hotel, Bloomsbury
It's pretty simple really - the team at Dalloway Terrace just have all the bases covered for brunch with the ladies and perhaps a cheeky cocktail later on. This has swiftly become a blogger favorite with the ridiculously instagrammable tables but we really enjoyed our morning there.


Best View - Sky Garden (Darwin Brasserie), Fenchurch Street
Our 9am breakfast was perfect – when we arrived there were about 8 people floating around the main viewing floor though the balcony was shut – but it meant we were able to enjoy the view without dratted tourists in our frames. Unfortunately it was a rather grey day (hence the terrible photo) but trust me.

Darwin Brasserie London Brunch Adventures of a London Kiwi

Not to forget:
Best reason to get out of bed early - Duck & Waffle, Liverpool Street
Best not blogged - Dirty Bones' Toasties
Best living up to the hype - The Ivy, Kensington

Dinner


Best seafood and sushi - Pan Chai (Review), Knightsbridge
Although Pan Chai is a concession in Harrods, when our salmon skin maki rolls made their presence known, we both closed our eyes in delight. Crispy salmon skin contrapuntally balancing the soft, spicy mayonnaise, spring onions and dry salmon flakes. We found ourselves trying a couple of bites of everything, then leaving one or two mouthfuls for last. Utter umami heaven #swoon.

Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

Most intriguing flavours and best date night tasters - NOPI by Ottolenghi, Picadilly Circus
Enjoying our glasses of Vinho Verde and locally brewed ale respectively, dipping slices of sourdough into a beautifully unctious oil we smiled from ear to ear as delicate dishes appeared. Starting with slices of aubergine conveying delectable saffron yoghurt, pomegranate seeds, roasted pinenuts and baby basil leaves. I will say when you visit - and you must - take someone you like as each of our dishes came in 3's and haggling definitely ensued.
 NOPI Ottolenghi Date night Adventures of a London Kiwi

Best alternative London view - Peninsula Restaurant at the Intercontinental Hotel, North Greenwich
Whilst we perused the a la carte menu, we enjoyed our h'ordeuvres of air-popped crackers made from quinoa and black rice accompanied by both a red lentil puree and marscapone/yoghurt cream.  By this point as twilight began to fall over our beautiful city skyline view, I'd already realised the rookie error of not taking my proper camera, but ploughed on nonetheless.

Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi


Best winter warmer (sausages) - Fischers, Marylebone
The menu is beautifully simple, so we tried their specialities; I couldn't resist their Wurstchen (sausages) sampling the Nurnberger (pork and majoram) which was nice, and their veal bratwurst (with chicken, lemon and ginger.) The veal sausages were how you think sausages should be - velvety, rich and beautifully flavored. Served with a warm mustard potato salad (delicious), melted onions (nice) and sauerkraut (piquant in all the right ways) which warmed the cockles of my foodie heart. Simple, hearty and good.

Best Sausages in Marylebone Adventures of a London Kiwi


Best mid-week treat, and second place for roast dinner - Hawksmoor, Air Street, Picadilly Circus
It's our long running favourite. trying a few of the different branches this year (and not quite getting back to Goodmans just yet)but we always seem to find ourselves drawn back to the steak and Art Deco splendour of Air Street, just off Picadilly Circus. Our respective slices of meat are always perfectly cooked to order – the Kiwi with my barbarous rare, the Brit with a more “civilized” – apparently - well done, both drizzled with moreish garnishings of rock salt and pepper.


Best Steak Hawksmoor Adventures of a London Kiwi


Best Bread - The Winter Garden at the Landmark, Marylebone
We began as all good meals do with champagne and crazily moreish bread. Warmed and served with rich butter and a self-serve garnish of rock salt, when our waitress offered to top us up, where we would normally say no, we may have enjoyed nibbling enough to order a whole extra plate of their olive bread which was eyes-closed good.

Best London Brunch and Dinner Dishes 2016 Adventures of a London Kiwi

Best Dessert - The Ritz, Mayfair
Recently awarded a much awaited Michelin star, we adored our meal, but a special highlight was the piquant and feather light blackcurrent souffle with oat crumble and perfectly matched yoghurt ice cream, alongside the most amazing chocolate (Amadei) mousse with cocoa nub and ice cream.

Best Dessert 2016 The Ritz Adventures of a London Kiwi


Not to forget:

Best Roast Dinner (and most secret) - Royal Oak, Borough
Best ridiculously opulent lunch - The Savoy Grill
Best not blogged yet - Dinner by Heston Blumenthal & the #KiwiSpoon birthday shenanigans at the Berkeley Hotel Restaurant by Marcus Wareing

Looking back over the year we additionally tried a few more wild and wonderful restaurants, but the ones we both still enthuse over seem to have upheld quality over novelty. Maybe this is adulting.

Have you any recommendations - brunch, dinner or anything else - for my 2017 list?

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