Fish and chips are toast: London’s food scene is quickly evolving from the gastropub scene that has dominated the English capital for so long. Throughout the city a new set of diners, armed with disposable income and an intense interest in food and wine, is dishing out demands for plates beyond traditional English fare.
Luckily, visionary chefs and entrepreneurs are rising to the challenge, says Adam Hyman of the London hospitality group CODE. Restaurants, pop-up shops, and trendsetting cafes are constantly opening to cater to this new set of taste buds; here are Adam’s recommendations on where to taste London’s most promising cuisine.
The BAO team—sister and brother Wai Ting and Shing Tat Chung, plus Shing's girlfriend, Erchen Chang—spent a summer traveling around Taiwan on a mission to learn about the country's street food scene so they could recreate it back in London. Appropriately, the star of the menu is the restaurant's namesake: a fluffy steamed bun, stuffed with savory ingredients like kimchi, lamb, and pork.
Head chef Tomos Parry’s has taken modern British dishes (Cornish crab, ox cheek) and smoked them with his trademark wood-fired flair. The result? A restaurant so popular that even Prime Minister David Cameron had trouble getting a reservation. Factor in the relaxed vibe and hyper-local focus, and it's no wonder this restaurant has gained a reputation as one of London’s hottest spots.
This isn’t your typical curry house. Run by corporate-world dropout Rik Campbell and his college buddy Will Bowlby (the latter of whom spent two years as a chef in Mumbai), Kricket—like its name would suggest—both emulates and inverses the classics. There's tamarind yogurt, yes, but there's also pumpkin pickle and zesty fried chicken. The unique location in Pop Brixton—a destination collection of shipping containers converted into restaurants, bars and shops—makes it even more palatable.