I was very excited to be invited to Taste of London courtesy of Electrolux as I’ve never actually been before – and what better time to go than on their ten year anniversary. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then Taste of London is a food festival in Regents Park in which many of London’s fine dining restaurants and other food producers set up stalls and showcase what they have to offer. It’s a chance to buy a small dish (usually on a polystyrene plate) from a restaurant you might not have otherwise thought of going to and for that reason alone, I loved it.
It’s not the cheapest of days out; a standard ticket costs £25.80 (£28 on the door) and once inside you can only buy things using Crowns which is the Taste of London currency (2 crowns = £1). You can however make the most of your money by attending any one of the free talks or cookery demonstrations by various top chefs.
The place was massive and even in our four hour session we didn’t actually manage to see everything – partly because we’re a bit thick and constantly got lost and disorientated! We started things off with a burger with Westcombe cheddar (£5) from Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa. It was cooked to a tender medium rare and tasted divine. My friend said it was the best thing he’d tasted all day.
I couldn’t resist getting the BBQ pigs ears (£4) from the Duck and Waffle stand. They tasted just as good as when I’d tried them in the restaurant; fatty, greasy and slightly chewy with the perfect amount of sweet BBQ seasoning. I love pigs ears!
Other dishes that we particularly enjoyed were the burrata with tomato and basil (£5) from Babbo which was really tasty; the spotlight being on the ingredients here and we couldn’t fault them. The pork belly and black pudding (£5) from two Michelin starred Le Gavroche was a little tricky to eat with just a fork but it was worth the struggle. I also really enjoyed the offering from Kaspar’s which is the the new restaurant inside The Savoy. The grilled monkfish kebab with preserved lemon (£4) was tender and perfectly cooked.
The winning dish for us was the lamb cutlets with Korean spices (£10) from Roka. Cooked on blisteringly hot grills, the chops had a charred exterior with a succulently moist and medium-rare centre.
We also got the chance to sample the menu that will be available in first class on British Airways new A380 planes (for free) which was a fun experience as we were seated in a mock cabin. The starter of scallop with pea puree and shaved truffle was really delicious; if they serve food that good at 35,000 feet then they deserve a medal.
The main course of pork belly was a simple and straight forward dish but tasty none the less. It was the ‘chocolate bar’ dessert however that really tickled my pickle; rich and decadent yet not at all sickly.
We left Taste of London with a spring in our soggy (due to the rain) step; it was the funnest four hours I’ve spent in a long time. Yes, it wasn’t cheap but if you love restaurants then it really is a great day out.