Taste of London

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

Essentials
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.
7/10

Thanks to San Pellegrino for giving me a press pass to Taste of London.  I paid for all food and drinks.

Wellies were essential

Links
If you liked reading this you might be interested in comparing it to my previous review of Taste of London or London’s other big food festival, The Real Food Festival.

Posted by: on June 20th, 2011     11 Comments »

Category: Festival, Gourmet Events
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11 Comments on “Taste of London”

  1. Blonde said at 12:13 pm on June 20th, 2011:

    It IS pricey, but it’s also really good fun – and, as you say, a good way to have a little bit of a lot of things in a way that would otherwise require visits to all the individual restaurants.

    With you on the BdL salad: it was delicious. Also thought the prawn and scallop burger from Scott’s was one of the knockout dishes.

  2. implausibleblog.com said at 1:35 pm on June 20th, 2011:

    lol @ Total Wash Out! Fab entry and some very good food photos – difficulty to do, especially in the rain!

  3. Sam said at 2:02 pm on June 20th, 2011:

    Its so interesting to see the London versioncompared to ‘Taste of Cape Town’ which we recently had. Nice pics!

  4. MeLikeyUK said at 3:39 pm on June 20th, 2011:

    The Chocolate Mess sounds a bit of a Brucie Bonus!
    I thought the Wellies photo at the end was a nice touch ;-)

  5. Greedy Diva said at 4:58 pm on June 20th, 2011:

    Gorg snaps – you must have caught all the sunny spells of the day!

  6. Bust yo' Booty! said at 10:53 pm on June 20th, 2011:

    um this food looks AMAZING!

  7. Caitlin said at 12:26 am on June 21st, 2011:

    I went one year, spent less than you did, but was underwhelmed. It’s poor value for money – nice food but the experience doesn’t translate to eating in a muddy field. Cheap street food is better suited to that environment. A Borough Market cheese toastie would’ve gone down well.

  8. Azienda Riccardo said at 7:38 am on June 21st, 2011:

    It was nice to see you at our stand: glad you had a vivid memory of Prosecco Riccardo! Thanks
    Azienda Riccardo

  9. Anonymous said at 8:56 pm on June 21st, 2011:

    With you on the Grilled Elwy Valley Lamb Cutlets at Tamarind’s stall. Also thought their Kingfish Curry was to die for!! Can’t wait for next year!

  10. Gourmet Chick said at 6:25 am on June 22nd, 2011:

    Blonde -oh no, I missed the prawn and scallop burger

    Implausible – there were bursts of sunshine luckily

    Sam – How did that go?

    MeLikey – Wellies were very necessary – very muddy in some spots!

    Greedy Diva – Exactly

    Bust you booty – Thanks

    Caitlin – I agree it is expensive and I think that is something the organisers need to address by scrapping or seriously reducing the entry fee but I did enjoy getting to try all the different restaurants.

    Azienda – Yes I love it!

    Anon – A shame I missed the kingfish curry, Tamarind is now on my restaurant ‘must go’ list now – those cutlets were great!

  11. Michelle @ Greedy Gourmet said at 2:46 pm on June 23rd, 2011:

    Fortunately, the years (2007 & 2008) I’ve been there the weather was quite good. It is a fun day out and there are so many different dishes on offer that will blow your mind. The downside as you said is the hideous cost. I shudder to think what the restaurants’ profit margins are on the measly plates they serve.

    Great photos and write up as usual!


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