Taste of London and the British Summer

Taste_London_LogoLondon has one of the best dining scenes in the world. Given its international backdrop, the competition remains fierce for the “best of….” categories.

Taste of London, the pop-up restaurant festival with its 10 years history, kicked off on Friday 21 June in Regent’s Park. After having a great experience in 2012, I booked a VIP ticket to experience 40 of the best restaurants in London showcasing their finest dishes.

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Some of the Head Chefs giving a description of their best dishes on the menu for the day. Spot the New Yorker on the left from the Graffiti Restaurant

The British Airways height cuisine experience - I wish the A380 was really this wide
The British Airways height cuisine experience – I wished the A380 was really this wide

The BA height cuisine experience showcased its First Class cuisine on its Hong Kong route. Something to look forward to in the next year? We’ll see.

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The first course - tiger prawns with watermelon cubes and a teriyaki sauce rice ball

The first course – tiger prawns with watermelon cubes and a teriyaki sauce rice ball

Dessert of strawberry filling cheese cake with mint jelly

Dessert of strawberry filling cheese cake with mint jelly

Next, bring on the restaurant menus! Some of my favourite dishes below from the various places:

The first dish of the day is dah dah "Iberico pork and foie gras burger with manchego and guindella"

The first dish of the day was the Iberico pork and foie gras burger with manchego and guindella from Opera Tavern

Bloggers recommended this dish - Spicy ox cheek donut from Duck and Waffle - Delicious!

Bloggers recommended this dish – Spicy ox cheek donut from Duck and Waffle – Delicious!

Mangos, mango ice cream, mango juice, mango everything.

Mangos, mango ice cream, mango juice, mango everything.

Voted best dish of the festival - ceviche of hand-dived scallops with black quinoa, creme fraiche, radishes, fennel & dill

Voted best dish of the festival – ceviche of hand-dived scallops with black quinoa, creme fraiche, radishes, fennel & dill

Spice Market - pork belly steamed bun, sriracha, thai basil and mint

Spice Market – pork belly steamed bun, sriracha, thai basil and mint

Maze Restaurant - Salt and pepper squid and braised beef featherblade, picked shimeji & togarashi spice

Maze Restaurant – Salt and pepper squid and braised beef featherblade, picked shimeji & togarashi spice

I couldn’t believe this. £15 for 3 courses tasting experience in the pop-up Gauthier restaurant with table service. We even met Gauthier afterwards to congratulate him on a great menu.

Gauthier dining experience 1 - Dressed crab salad

Gauthier dining experience 1 – Dressed crab salad

Gauthier dining experience 2 - Slow cooked middle neck of lamb, red quinoa, asparagus and apricot, thyme infused lamb jus

Gauthier dining experience 2 – Slow cooked middle neck of lamb, red quinoa, asparagus and apricot, thyme infused lamb jus

After all that eating, a moment of rest in the VIP lounge with a glass of champagne and my Taste of London recipe book.

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I watched the Roux chef family in action in the Electrolux Taste Theatre – three generations of Roux, Michel Jnr, Albert and Emily on one stage!

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Despite the weather being somewhat mixed, (as expected in the usual British fashion!), fellow foodies with their discerning palates ran around the festival to try the popular dishes du jour of the various restaurants. This definitely felt like the London fashion week equivalent for the foodie community!

I am now hooked on Gauthier Soho and you will all hear from me about his experiential tasting menu in weeks to come!

Next week, bring on Wimbledon centre court!

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