Comments 7

Taste of London 2010


I only had two hours to hot foot it around Taste of London this year before jumping on a train to Nottingham and my aim was to try as many dishes as I could in a short amount of time.

I was on a mission – the tube journey on the way consisted of revising the programme and circling every restaurant that I wanted to visit and every dish that I wanted to try. There were quite a few and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to try them all due to time, money and stomach restraints (I did however skip breakfast so I could fit a little more in). To me, there didn’t seem much point in choosing dishes from restaurants that I have either visited before or that are easily accessible to me in terms of price.

I chose to ignore the four lip-synching Malaysian dancers that greeted punters and headded straight to The Grill at The Dorchester where I ordered Pan roasted scallop with sardine pie and a cauliflower puree. A dude in the queue next to me seemed slightly shocked by the portion size and claimed that he wanted to opt for something ‘that fills the hole’ – he missed out. The sardine pie resembled a sausage roll but as you took the first bite, the sharpness of the sardines was surprising – but good!

The Grill at The Dorchester - Scallop with sardine pie and cauliflower puree

Next stop – Toms Kitchen to purchase his 7 hour confit lamb with balsamic onions and mash. The lamb was impossibly tender and the ‘mash’ was of a foam consistency. I can’t make my mind up about it. A couple of bites of the balsamic onions made it to the bin as they were slightly too tangy and took away some of the wonderful flavours of the lamb.

I was on my way to find L’Anima when I stumbled upon the food theatre, a great big open tent where different chefs showcase their talent during the course of the weekend. Francesco Mazzei himself was cooking as I walked past so I stood and watched before forgetting where I was going – I never made it to L’Anima.

Taste theatre

Le Gavroche received my next 10 crowns. When you arrive at Taste, you need to purchase crowns, which enable you to ‘purchase’ your food and drink. 2 crowns = £1. I ordered Daube de boeuf with olives and soft polenta. It was slightly cold but the beef dissolved as soon as it hit my tongue and the polenta added a welcome roughness to the dish. I didn’t get any taste of olives but that was a blessing in disguise because i’m not a fan.

Le Gavroche - Braised beed with olives and soft polenta

You can wander around stalls selling fresh produce, sample testers and even play games such as ‘wheel of fortune’ at the Whole Foods stall and ‘hook a duck’ on the Good Natured stall before knocking back a glass of bubbly and heading to the next restaurant.

I was on a quest to satisfy my sweet tooth and was a little disappointed by the lack of desserts on the menu. I spotted Beas of Bloomsbury and yes I do find her pecan pie hard to resist, but remember my objective? So the pudding rather than the name of the next restaurant drew me to spend my last crowns of the day there. I’m a sucker for custard tart (the best in the world can be bought from Birds Bakeries in the East Midlands) so I opted for the Baked egg custard tart with raisin syrup from Rhodes 24. The custard was smooth and silky and it more than satisfied my needs but I would be disappointed to find it on my plate in a fancy restaurant.

Rhodes 24 - Baked egg custard tart with raisin syrup

Two hours literally flew by and I loved every second of it. Next year I’ll have to look at rearranging fathers day celebrations or get my dad down to Taste for the day.

Oh yea, and before I leave you I just wanted to say thank you to the man who laughed at me for forgetting to take the lens cap off my camera. You made me laugh.


Taste of London
17-20 June 2010
Regents Park


    • Food for Think says

      Really?! After reading the Jay Rayner review of his new venture at Somerset House this does not surprise me.

      Tasty lamb though!

      • MissCholet says

        I had the other two dishes of his. The generous rustic looking Foie Gras Parfait with grape chutney served with brioche. Could’ve had a tad more chutney to balance the rich depth of the Foie gras and needed more brioche. Lovely stuff though, as was the Eton mess with strawberry and basil which Rich cooked there live alongside Tom’s scallops. Would’ve liked to have had the scallop carpaccio to sample, maybe next year. Still a signed book & a picture, I can’t complain.

      • Food for Think says

        The Foie Gras Parfait looked like a massive portion. I saw a girl opposite me throw half of it in the bin. I don’t think she knows that is a sin!

  1. MissCholet says

    Spent most of thursday there 1-9pm. Didn’t get asked to leave between sessions. The scallops were good. Also Fri morning into lunch session. Almeida cornish crab & braised suckling pig were great. Bought some great meat from Allen’s of Mayfair hope to do something similar. Benares fried summer squid salad and two black moth vodka cocktails for free, good going. Tom’s Kitchen Foie Gras & Eton Mess were smashing as was Maze’s bbq salmon & Busaba Eathai’s Char grilled duck in tamarind. Le Gavroche’s Icon dish as shown to media by Michel Roux Jr was divine with the White truffle and lobster. Yes I eat a lot & get away with it. Good to get a lesson in Portuguese wines from @thewinetipster and new innovative carrying vessel from Hardy’s & great wines from Taste of Argentina. Good old Freixenet were there as were Weber bbqs and Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Brought home some greats teas from various exibitors to go with my bargain bagful from Bonne Maman. Lots of hams and salamis and cheeses for a home charcuterie and focaccia. Ooh La La Chocolaterie’s Auberge du chocolat make your own box selection had the best chocolates there, I rated higher than Paul A Young’s which were priced higher but lacking in taste & flavour by comparison. If you’re a seafood lover then check out the potted cornish crab, handpicked white crab meat and brown crab meat from @seafoodandeatit (check out their website), I brought home plenty thank’s to remembering to take my waitrose cool bag both days. Taste of Turkey had some great cinnamon and pistachio turkish delight amongst other flavours and went great with Pure tea company teas. So much more to tell but gotta have been there. Saw Michel Roux Jr, Tom Aikens, Antony Worrall Thompson, Jun Tanaka, Gary Rhodes, Rick Stein & James from Maze those blue ocean flowers on the bbq salmon were a lovely subtle touch.

  2. MissCholet says

    Brought home two Raven’s Den pies. The first one was said to be the silver winner from 2009, Rabbit, Potato and Leek. The second which we’ve just finshed was the Hunter’s pie said to be Venison as the main meat in it was described as the gold award winning pie 2010. The rabbit was the palest rabbit meat I’ve ever seen with the texture and colour of only just tender creamy chicken. Possibly a mix up with the labels and it should’ve been a chicken and leek pie. The venison one tastes nice but could be minced beef for all I know. No big meat chunks to establish if it’s the real deal. Oh well, it’s not like we can return them not they’re cooked and cut open and more importantly consumed. I see the market for pies is a profitable one. At least it explains why they were priced at any two pies for. Although not the rich colour or chunks of meat I expected the Raven’s Den pies were very tasty all the same. Open a Sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc with the rabbit one as the meat is not gamey or red and a organic Malbec or shiraz for the venison one.

    • Food for Think says

      Wow, it sounds like you had an absolute stonking weekend! x

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