Taste of London transforms Regent’s Park into the ultimate foodie paradise for five days each year. A delicious medley of dining, drinking, and live entertainment, Taste has been called one of the ‘world’s greatest restaurant festival’ and is a must-visit for fans of all things gourmet. Indulge in signature dishes from some of the capital’s top-rated restaurants, watch live demos by the hottest chefs in town, and sample everything from the finest whiskies to the most unique ingredients as you browse and buy from the 200-plus market producers.
The open air celebrations will be showcasing London’s culinary talent, with plenty of dishes, activities and cooking demonstrations to keep your tastebuds tingling throughout its five-day tenure. The sun might not quite have come out for the first night of Taste of London - but the weekend ahead is looking pretty good if you're thinking of heading over to Regent's Park. I went along to the first night of this year's event to try some of the food and drink on offer - here are my personal top picks...
I started to try with Burger and Lobster's Taste exclusive and never-seen-before take on the classic: Lobster MacnCheese! Tender Canadian lobster and macaroni pasta stirred through melted mozzarella and a mature cheddar cheese sauce and paired it with a glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne. I literally love it! It is a dish that I can eat everyday!
Then I continued with a Michelin Starred Restaurant: Club Gascon and tried this Duck foie gras catalane with spicy tipsy cherry - sweet, sour, savoury, this dish has it all. I paired it with a glass of Johnnie Walker and it really went well!
Another favourite is Claw's mini crab roll! It has salcombe crab, lemon mayo and a delicious brioche roll that you can eat everyday😍 (£5)
One of the newbie's of London; Wildflower Restarurant prepared deep fried oysters with Harissa sauce! This one is also a musthave👌 (£5) I paired it with a glass of Hattingley white wine, which I can recommend to you either.
As a scallop fan I went to Enoteca Rabezzana to try this Scallop, celeriac, Mushroom Powder and Black Truffle dish. Unfortunately, it was a bit disappointment though! It contained only one mini scallop with a sauce (£6), so it was a bit unworthy...
Another disappointment was Chotto Matte's Nikkei Sashimi (£5) The ingredients: Yellowtail, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, yuzu and truffle soy. It was fine but again not made a difference!
As the official beer sponsor of Taste of London, Chang is joining forces with four London-based Thai restaurants to showcase a range of signature home dishes in what it's calling Chang Sensory Trails. Each dish will be entirely unique and inspired by the respective head chefs of each restaurant. Soho-based Wild Rice will be serving its trademark Thai fried chicken; Nipa will be serving its traditional tod mun pla (a classic Thai fish cake made with sweet chilli sauce, mixed cucumber relish and toasted peanuts); Greyhound Café will be serving hot oil pork knuckle with spicy tamarind curry paste, jaew sauce and sticky rice basket; and 101 Kitchen is creating a spicy fish salad, giving the classic Thai salad an Isaan and Laotian twist. Chang's beer will also be available at all bars throughout the festival, including the Diners Club VIP Lounge and around the Chang Music Stage. Cheers to that.
One of my favourite is Frontier with a colourful stand and their delicious lager beers. Many Londoners agreed with me as seen and we all cheered up together! 40 other best restaurants of London were there as Som Saa, Rovi, Brigadiers, Smokestak, Kym’s, Bun House, Hoppers, Bao, Bar Douro, 1251, Berenjak and Trishna’s will all be cooking up a storm. Kobus van der Merwe of Wolfgat in South Africa is even flying his entire team over for a very spesh residency at the festival and it’ll be your first chance to check out Egglsut ahead of the restaurant opening later this summer.
Around the site there's the chance to buy exclusive produce while soaking up all the atmosphere of a summer festival. Live music stands can be found dotted throughout the grounds, while experience-led bars provide the chance to enjoy champagne and craft beer tasting, or cocktail making. At the Laurent-Perrier street food masterclass where Cuvée Rosé will be paired with dishes from traders like Bob’s Lobster, Pizza Pilgrims, Hotbox, Santo Remedio and Yum Bun. World Class Drinks will also be hosting sessions, including cocktail masterclasses at the Ketel One Kitchen and Johnnie Walker Discovery Bar, and a sensory flavour journey at the House of Tanqueray at No. Ten. Stretchy trousers at the ready, there’s a lot of eating and drinking to do.
Do not miss it and just taste it 😉