Each year I think back over the best dishes I’ve enjoyed, and 2018 has been utterly delectable. So delicious that I had to share my 13 favourite London dishes of 2018.
London is in her cuisine groove and 2019 is only going to get better.
So dedicated am I to investigating the bacchanal delights of London, that I keep a spreadsheet of the places that I want to try – and I’m really pleased to say that I managed to strike more than a few off my ever-growing list this year. Some of these were surprising delights never to grace the planned list but absolutely deserve their placeon my table. Some were Michelin-starred flights of gourmet fancy, some were simple humble independent bistros headed by passionate chefs.
Best Bacon Roll – Timmy Green
Bacon enfolded within a roti, poached eggs and crispy onions, not to mention the holy f*** hollandaise which took the dish to another level. 💥
Most Beautiful Breakfast Surroundings – Hide Restaurant
Raspberry custard Brioche. Raspberry custard brioche. These three words wormed their way into my London brunch list, fast-tracking Hide Restaurant to the top of my ‘must try’ list and the hype more than lived up to the flaky, buttery pastry promise. Oh, and perhaps the most raved about restaurant interior design in years, Hide is really rather glorious.
Best Special News Brunch – Antipodea
With both my friend and I uhmmm-ing and aaaaaahhhhhhh-ing between a savoury or a sweet course, we split the difference and threw aside the usual egg dishes to share a pile of sweetcorn fritters and a stack of blueberry pancakes at the Putney branch of Antipodea…
Best Freelancer Friendly Cinnamon Pastry – Ole and Steen
The infamous Cinnamon Social at Ole and Steen has not only kept me fueled during freelancer afternoons, but was our tidbit of choice before one of my favourite 2018 moments – celebrating 125 years in NZ and 100 years in the UK of women’s right to vote.
Best London Lunches 2018
Best Dim Sum Obsession – A. Wong
The dim sum lunch menu is stellar. A.Wong Restaurant is in the pretty humble, but slowly emerging Wilson Street, Pimlico, just behind Victoria Station, tucked amidst old man pubs and a few mini-chain restaurants that punch above their gastronomical weight too. Each time I’ve been to A. Wong, I’ve fallen in love with dim sum all over again – hence why it made my 13 favourite London dishes of 2018. Just ask me in person about *those* steamed duck yolk custard buns…
Best Kiwi Pies in London – Secret Goldmine Cafe
I can guarantee that the most asked question by every Kiwi expat living here in the capital (after ‘where are all the road signs?’) is ‘where can I find Kiwi pies in London’. Well, the answer is hidden down in amongst Bermondsey railway arches. Handmade by Mike – one of the most laidback Kiwis I think I’ve ever met – and his awesome team on the premises, The Secret Goldmine Cafe is a proper hidden gem. But one that was recently featured by Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 (in the middle of their joyful mouthfuls!)
Best Luxurious Monday Lunch – Truffled Pasta at the Chiltern Firehouse
We both ummed and aahed over the lunch menu, unable to decide on just one thing. Eventually at our Chiltern Firehouse table, I just played eenie-meenie-miney-mo and settled on a dish of truffled pasta, served with lashings of black Wiltshire truffle, kale and aged parmesan. My date decided to as well, and our Italian waitress told us that we’d made the best decision – and you know you’re onto a winner when an actual Italian loves the pasta on a menu. If all my kale was always served like this, I’d become Paleo in a London minute.
London Afternoon Tea
The Most Magical Afternoon Tea – Mary Poppins, Aqua Shard
In the words of London’s most famous Nanny herself, the Aqua Shard Mary Poppins Afternoon Tea was practically perfect in every way. With breathtaking views of the London skyline, the fabulous Angie and Binny by my side and the time-worn pages of PL Travers’ tales setting the scene, we knew from the start it was going to be a sumptuous afternoon.
Most Festive Afternoon Tea – The Connaught Hotel
There is a special magic that falls over London at this time of year, a shimmer that only appears between late autumn twilights and inky early winter evenings. I’ve had a touch of the Grinch about me this year, but spending the afternoon enjoying the festive afternoon tea at The Connaught Hotel cast the Christmas spell over me, with a twinkle of fairy lights dancing between champagne bubbles.
Best London Dinners 2018
Best Starters and Sides – Boxcar Butcher and Grill
Boxcar are a local independent butcher & grill in Marylebone, using a premium selection of ethically reared produce from British farms who share their ethos of proper animal welfare. The on-site butcher store drives their daily food offering featuring marbled cuts of steak, signature burgers & homemade pies…
Best Peking Duck and sunset views – Hutong
Hand carved tableside with a skilful flash of knives, Hutong’s classic roast Peking duck has been marinaded for twenty-four hours and then roasted in the restaurant’s special oven – everytime I been up there, overlooking the skyline, it is beautifully tender and counterpointed with mouthwateringly crisp skin…
Best Always Perfect Steak – Hawksmoor
Hawksmoor has become a naughty weekday default treat for us, one usually at the end of a long day where we can’t face the thought of cooking and fancy a big juicy steak. They don’t just do red meat (one of their scrumptious roasts are pictured) – there looks to be a nice selection of seafood, poultry and vegetarian options, but we never venture further than their hunks of beef and ridiculously good triple cooked chips…
Enjoying a dill granita as a surprising and delicious plate cleanser, we perused the dessert menu, and unable to decide I panic ordered the chocolate dessert at Helene Darroze’s restaurant in the Connaught Hotel; an amazing selection of delicate and rich mousses that I wasn’t even going to pretend to share …
There we have it, a round up for my 13 favourite London dishes of 2018 – I’m so intrigued to see what 2019 is going to bring!
What have your favourite dishes of 2018 been?
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