By Lori Campbell- EA at Aitch Group
I have had a wonderful time this month eating my way around London, enjoying a complete array of spots and cuisines from East to West.
My favourite spots this month are below:
For Brunch – Abuelo, Covent Garden
This place had been high up on my brunch list for a while but a lack of free Saturdays and limited seating in the restaurant it took me a while to finally get there. Just on the edge of Covent Garden this is an Australian meets South American coffee house and kitchen serving up some of the most instagrammable brunch items I have seen on my feed. I went with a friend and we each ordered a dish to ourselves and decided to order a third to share (luckily for my waistline he was happy to share because I would have probably still ordered it all for myself). I started with the ‘ricotta on brioche, with mulled wine poached pears and spiced pear jam’ and it is one of my favourite sweet brunch dishes to date (and not too sweet). We shared the poached eggs which were overshadowed by both of our first dishes (truffled toastie for my friend). I have got my eye on the mascarpone and figs on sourdough for my next visit! If you are thinking of heading down make sure you book a few weeks in advance as they only have around twenty covers inside.
For Fried Chicken – Absurd Bird, Spitalfields
So I am definitely not a fried chicken expert, or a fried chicken and waffles expert, but after having both at Absurd Bird a few weeks ago I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone on a fried chicken hunt. Their mac and cheese was also pretty damn good and was finished off rather quickly. I went on a Monday evening and I was surprised how busy it was onsidering I was an early bird with a reservation at 6pm. I must not be the only one who knows how yummy this place is. I did end up going slightly overboard and ordering a couple of the milkshake desserts which, as yummy as a couple mouthfuls were, they very quickly sent me in to a sugar overdose!
For a Tasting Menu – Launceston Place, Kensington
One of my foodie friends absolutely raves about this place and luckily enough for me he invited me to join him for our own, not on the menu yet, eight course tasting menu. Each dish was playful and interactive, and I sat there with a huge smile on my face throughout the whole process. It is probably up there with one of the best meals I have had and I will definitely be heading back when I get my new menu update from their chef, the ever talented Ben Murphy. I am still incredibly surprised this place does not have a star!
For Steak– Macellaio RC (several locations)
During the start of London’s few days of snow I ventured to their Northcote Road branch for a meat feast evening with some fellow food bloggers. We started with breads, oils and balsamic which was so tasty it had a few people on our table buying some bottles of the balsamic (£15 a bottle but I think I would get through far too much bread if I had taken some home with me). We then had three different tartares, all prepared by the butchers in front of us, and then shared a two huge t-bone steaks. The meat was just wonderful, and you can really appreciate the care and dedication the team
take with their beef after spending an evening there.
For Fish – Wright Brothers, Borough
I spent one Saturday lunchtime here and went not really knowing what to expect as I let go of all my foodie control and agreed with my mum’s choice of restaurant. If was absolutely heaving, such a buzzy atmosphere and as soon as I sat down I thought I would never be able to decide what I wanted to eat while staring at everyone else’s plates coming out the kitchen. I was slightly disappointed with my starter (scallops) but they made up for it with my main where I went for the turbot with mussels, chorizo and samphire. This is a great little spot just on the edge of Borough Market with seating on
high chairs or kitchen counter seating which I love. They also have four different Provence rose’s on their wine list. What more could a girl want?!
For a taste of Italy – Gloria, Shoreditch
Gloria, Gloria Gloria, where have you been all my life Gloria? Having been able to witness the complete transformation of Red’s BBQ from my office window I had been desperate to visit this spot for months. Transformed in to a decadent, vivacious Italian trattoria in Shoreditch I made sure I had a table on opening night. You honestly feel like you are no where near Shoreditch once inside which is one of my favourite parts about it. There are so many things I want to eat on the menu but for my first visit we shared a burrata (probably the best I have had) with breads, oils and meats. We then followed up with the steak and carbonara which is served at your table in a giant parmesan wheel by one of the many handsome waiters they have running around. The only negative here is that they have no sides to go with the steak which is ok if you are sharing but not if you wanted to have the steak to yourself. Side note: they have the most ‘interesting’ bathroom situation going on which you will completely understand once you visit. I am heading there for breakfast this week which I am very much looking forward to as I have my eyes on the Ricotta pancakes. Feedback to follow!
For burgers – Cut n Grind, Kings Cross
I went to Cut n Grind for the second time this month and enjoyed a really special beef masterclass with their owner before sitting down to eat a feast. I already knew how great their burgers were from my last visit, but this time it really cemented it. This isn’t a burger spot with twelve different flavours and additions, they really focus on plain and simple burgers that are all hung and ground on site. They even make their own ketchup which I have now learnt is pretty damn easy to do at home! You will think this is a strange item to recommend at a burger restaurant but you absolutely must
order the broccoli if you visit, you wont be disappointed (in fact maybe order two).
For luxurious hotel dining – Alfred Russo at The Franklin
I was lucky enough to join Lisa and a few other members for a private dining experience at The Franklin, now at the top of my ‘I must stay at this hotel’ list. Housed in a beautiful Victorian townhouse, the inside is completely transformed with opulent interiors and covered in the most
beautiful mirrored furniture which I adore. Their modern Italian restaurant is the home of the Michelin starred chef, Alfred Russo, and we enjoyed a specially curated three course menu in one of their beautiful private rooms. This is another spot where once inside you really forget you are in the middle of London, they even have their own Hamman! To start I had the roasted octopus with sweetcorn polenta and capers, followed by the red mullet and crema caramellata. This is the perfect spot to send your boss who wants luxury while being discreet.