Sadly Taste of London was a total wash out. Even though I attended on the one day which it did not actually bucket down rain the ground underfoot was reminiscent of the sort of mud bath you experience at Glastonbury. Wellies were very much the order of the day.
|Suckling pig from Fino|
The weather meant that some of the more wintery dishes were very popular. Braised beef from Le Gavaroche (£6) literally melted away with one touch of a (plastic) knife. It was teamed with a creamy polenta and served with a smile by Michel Roux Jr himself.
|Braised beef from La Gavaroche|
The queue was huge for Fino’s roast suckling pig (£7) and no wonder. The crackling was golden and crispy while the pork was tender and flavoursome.
|Suckling pig from Fino is carved up|
Fried baby squid (£4) from Fino’s sister restaurant Barrafina had a light batter with a crisp crunch to it. The squid was tender but could have done with a bit more seasoning.
|Fried baby squid from Barrafina|
Carpaccio of octopus (£5) from Scott’s was tender and bouncy and teamed with sweet slow roasted tomatoes and salty capers.
|Carpaccio of octopus at Scott’s|
Tamarind had rubbed Elwy Valley Welsh lamb cutlets in a spicy mix (£8) and served them with a small side salad and some more spice in the form of potatoes. The lamb was tender and juicy and this was probably one of my favourite dishes of the day.
|Lamb cutlets from Tamarind|
Besides trying new food and restaurants I also couldn’t resist a few old favourites. Bocca di Lupo’s shaved radish and celeraic salad (£3) is legendary for good reason. The salad featured a generous amount of earthy truffle and refreshing pops of sweet pomegranate. It was a bargain price for exactly the same dish which you pay £12 for at the restaurant itself.
|Radish and celeraic salad from Bocca di Lupo|
I also searched out the Prosecco Riccardo stand for a prosecco I discovered at a supper club last year and which I was pleased to hear had won the taste of summer wine award at Taste of London. A glass (£5) was just as good as I remembered.
|Wild mushroom fettucine gets served up at L’Anima|
However, not all food translated well to paper plates and outdoor dining. Francesco Mazzei was serving wild mushroom fettucine (£6) at L’Anima dressed in a creamy sauce and topped with generous shavings of truffle but the pasta was overcooked and limp.
|The wild mushroom fettucine – generous on the truffles|
Bocca di Lupo’s cucumber Hendricks and rose granita (£9) also sadly turned more to slush than granita and may have fared better in a restaurant environment.
|Entertainment at Taste of London|
There is also no getting around the fact that Taste of London is expensive. MTV boyfriend and I spent £70 on food and drink between us and that was without having to pay for entry. For that price we could have had a nice meal at a restaurant. Still, I think despite the cost and the weather Taste of London is a great opportunity to discover some new restaurants. I have certainly earmarked some for a future visit and crossed others off my list after my afternoon at Taste of London.
|Chocolate mess from Launceston Place|
Attending on the Sunday afternoon session is also a great way to save some money as a lot of the dishes were reduced later in the afternoon. This incredibly decadent dark chocolate mess was reduced to £3 at Launceston Place. Now that is what I would call a bargain, which is not often a word you associate with Taste of London.
|Granita from Bocca di Lupo|
Details: Taste of London, Outer Circle, Regents Park, London NW1 4NR (16 – 19 June) Tube: Regents Park.
Damage: Pricey. Entry is £22 per person. We spent a further £35 each on food and drink.
Thanks to San Pellegrino for giving me a press pass to Taste of London. I paid for all food and drinks.
|Wellies were essential|