Taste of London 2011 Round Up

20 Jun 2011

Every Summer the Taste of London food festival takes place over 4 days in Regents Park. It is by far one of my most favourite festivals and in the past five years, rain or shine, I’ve not missed a single one! This year we managed to survive the recent damp weather relatively unscathed except for a few muddy puddles.

Taste of London

We attended on Sunday, the final day of the festival and also the day with the longest session lasting from 12 – 5pm, allowing us more time for eating, drinking, browsing and general enjoyment! We’d purchased VIP tickets so after a quick glass of complimentary champers in the BA VIP Tent, we set off ready to eat!

Club Gascon

First stop on the list was Club Gascon for it’s Best of Taste Award winning icon dish of foie gras burger and summer truffle.

Foie gras burger and summer truffle

Foie gras burger and summer truffle

I’d been expecting the foie gras to be mixed in with ground meat of some sort, but was pleasantly taken aback when I realised it was indeed an entire slab of foie gras, some obligatory lettuce and mayo, sandwiched between a soft, squidgy, buttery brioche roll, slathered in truffle oil.

Foie gras burger and summer truffle

With such a combination of decadent, gourmet ingredients, how could it have been anything but amazing?!

Club Gascon on Urbanspoon

Gauthier Soho

Nice imagery at the Gauthier Soho stand

Nice imagery at the Gauthier Soho stand

I’d been originally planning to try Gauthier Soho’s Top Dog Deluxe (smoked Strasbourg sausage hot dog, honey bacon and mustard/mayo relish in pain au lait), but when I caught a whiff of the summer truffle risotto, chicken jus reduction and Parmesan crisps as it passed under my nose to another patron, I immediately changed my mind.

Summer truffle risotto, chicken jus reduction and Parmesan

Summer truffle risotto, chicken jus reduction and Parmesan

I didn’t see any Parmesan crisps, but there was a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan. It was delicious! So chickeny, so creamy, so cheesey! Comfort food at it’s finest.

Gauthier Soho on Urbanspoon

Roux at The Landau

The salt cod brandade, crisp squid and Espelette pepper from Roux at The Landau wasn’t so mouth watering in appearance, with the prevalence of jet black squid ink in the squid batter as well as the sauce, but fortunately it was very pleasant to eat.

Salt cod brandade, crisp squid and Espelette pepper

Salt cod brandade, crisp squid and Espelette pepper

The batter was light and crisp, and the squid was tender. The salt cod brandade was so creamy and moreish.

Roux at The Landau on Urbanspoon

Gelupo

After the first round of dishes, we were ready for a refreshing palette cleanser. Enter Gelupo’s cucumber, Hendrick’s Gin and rose granita.

Cucumber, Hendrick's Gin and rose granita

Cucumber, Hendrick's Gin and rose granita

Hendrick’s Gin already contains rose and cucumber in addition to the traditional juniper infusion, so the addition of cucumber and rose granita only served to embolden the flavours in the gin.

Gelupo on Urbanspoon

Le Gavroche

The braised beef with olives and polenta from Le Gavroche was so tender it could be eaten with a spoon!

Braised beef with olives and polenta

Braised beef with olives and polenta

Rich in flavour from the jus and olives, I found this dish tasty but also quite salty. As such the saltiness drowned out the creamy polenta.

Le Gavroche on Urbanspoon

Skylon

Skylon and Launceston Place

Skylon and Launceston Place

We had to sample Skylon’s warm smoked Loch Var Salmon, lemon verbena jelly, pickled cucumber and sweet rye after hearing it had won second place in the Best of Taste Awards. In the words of their Maitre d’, “we were beaten by a foie gras and truffle burger, anyone can do that!”.

Warm smoked Loch Var Salmon, lemon verbena jelly, pickled cucumber and sweet rye

Warm smoked Loch Var Salmon, lemon verbena jelly, pickled cucumber and sweet rye

What struck me about their salmon dish was how well balanced, yet delicate the flavours were. From the lightly smoked, but beautifully cooked salmon to the lightly pickled cucumber. And the rye with it’s sweet, creamy, buttery topping. Excellent.

Skylon on Urbanspoon

Launceston Place

I became quite a fan of Launceston Place after visiting about a year ago. I’m also a fan of suckling pig. Therefore I was instantly attracted to their spit roast suckling pig and black truffle roll.

Spit roast suckling pig and black truffle roll

Spit roast suckling pig and black truffle roll

It was not bad, but not as fabulous as I would have liked. The suckling pig was a touch dry, and the crackling was a tad chewy.

Launceston Place on Urbanspoon

The Modern Pantry

The Modern Pantry's stand

The Modern Pantry's stand

The krupuk crusted soft shell crab, Singapore style sauce, pickled shimeji and cucumber from The Modern Pantry was simply wonderful.

Krupuk crusted soft shell crab, Singapore style sauce, pickled shimeji and cucumber

Krupuk crusted soft shell crab, Singapore style sauce, pickled shimeji and cucumber

The soft shell crab was very fresh, large and meaty with an excellent crispy coating, and a light sauce tasting faintly of shrimp paste.

Modern Pantry on Urbanspoon

Tamarind

The grilled Elwy Valley Welsh lamb cutlets with spiced crushed potatoes from Tamarind were just delicious. Very well seasoned and cooked until tender and juicy.

Elwy Valley Welsh lamb cutlets with spiced crushed potatoes

Elwy Valley Welsh lamb cutlets with spiced crushed potatoes

They also threw in a free Papdi Chaat – spiced chickpeas and whole wheat crisps with fresh mint, sweetened yoghurt and tamarind chutney.

Papdi Chaat - spiced chickpeas and whole wheat crisps with fresh mint, sweetened yoghurt and tamarind chutney

Papdi Chaat - spiced chickpeas and whole wheat crisps with fresh mint, sweetened yoghurt and tamarind chutney

It was certainly an unusual dish and the flavours were not to my taste so I can see why they were having trouble shifting it.

Tamarind on Urbanspoon

Rhodes 24

Finally a bit of dessert, Rhodes 24′s lemon tart with fresh strawberries. It was a perfectly baked tart with wonderfully creamy filling.

Lemon tart with fresh strawberries

Lemon tart with fresh strawberries

My only complaint was that it was so sugary. If it’d contain say a third less sugar, I would have found it the perfect dessert!

Rhodes 24 on Urbanspoon

Entertainer from Circus Bar

Entertainer from Circus Bar

There were also some great exibitors and some awesome bargains were to be had including:

  • A Bonne Maman cooler bag with 4 creme brulees (really delicious), dark chocolate mousse and 2 mini jam pots for £5.
  • Any pot of Glorious Skinny Soup for £1 each – I’d recommend the Asian Spiced Tomato, Rice and Ginger.
  • As many jars of Gordon’s Seriously Good Comic Relief Sauces as you wanted, for any donation.
  • Free drinks from Youngs Pub courtesy of an email voucher.

My fifth year at Taste of London was definitely one of my best yet, with some really stand out dishes. The quality of restaurants and dishes just seems to be getting better and better every year. I’m looking forward to next year’s already!

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4 Responses to “Taste of London 2011 Round Up”

  1. Su-Lin 21 Jun 2011 at 6:04 pm #

    Ah boo – it all looks good. This year was to be my first – a colleague had bought tickets for us but sadly, we just couldn’t make it due to an onslaught of work last week. Ah…maybe next year.

    • Yeebot 21 Jun 2011 at 9:35 pm #

      Oh no! What a shame. :( Fingers crossed you’ll make it next year!

  2. Gourmet Chick 07 Jul 2011 at 1:51 pm #

    looks like we had a lot of the same dishes. I loved those Tamarind lamb chops and the Le Gavaroche beef as well!

    How much were the VIP tix?

    • Yeebot 07 Jul 2011 at 9:22 pm #

      Yes, it was fab wasn’t it? :)

      I can’t remember how much VIP tickets are normally, but if you’re lucky you can get a discount using a BA promo code if you google it at just the right time! Tickets are then reduced to £40.25 each which includes a glass of champers and £20 worth of crowns, so pretty good value!