Words: Mallory Legg
I think that the newest revolution in food is bringing seemingly unacknowledged or underrated cuisine to the forefront, highlighting tradition and culture whilst simultaneously emphasising modernity and inclusiveness. Lucky for us, that means that London is now home to new restaurants with new menus on offer from all over the world. So, here's just a few of the spots that have opened their doors this summer to welcome us into a new age of food and dining, a global age.
Its first opening in Brooklyn in 2015 saw the Llama Inn becoming a cult favourite. With nothing to do other than expand, they have jumped onto the London radar. Chef Erik Ramirez pays respect to Peruvian cooking and heritage through menu items like Octopus Anticucho, Whole Fish Patarashca with Aji Amarillo Curry and Scallops with Yuzu Kosho, Pitaya and Nori. The menu gives us a chance to expand the lens that Ramirez opened in New York into London so that we, too, might be able to experience the culinary excellency and inspiration that Peruvian cuisine has on the table.
Photo: Counter 71
Whilst Counter 71 is incredible as it is, it is the cocktail bar underneath it that piques the most interest. Chef Joe Laker, who grew up in Alabama and South Carolina is bringing the American South to the UK, a feat that sometimes results in a greasy or cheesy mess that misrepresents the history of the cuisine. But Laker uses his origins in a way to highlight the often neglected yet rich culinary culture of the south. Pair incredible American whiskeys with dishes like Fried Okra Croquettes or Shrimp and Grits Prawn Toast. It's a hugely elevated Southern experience sure to invite a bit more nuance to your next cocktail date.
Photo: Broken Eggs
Broken Eggs is London's first restaurant dedicated to Spanish tortillas, and after a year of delivery only, siblings Gabriel and Marta have opened their restaurant in Fitzrovia. The beautiful thing about a restaurant with a definite and precise specialty is that the margin for error is usually nil due to the quality of expertise that the chefs must reach in the particular dish to get on people's radars. And that is definitely the case here. With a choice of classic, courgette, jamon or chorizo with melted manchego, Broken Eggs has gained traction and after only a few months, has cemented their name in the list of must-trys on the streets of London.
If there's something about the UK that disappoints frequently, its tacos. Consistently, I find myself craving Mexican food, finding Mexican food and then being underwhelmed by it. But, there is a new Taqueria in town and it is sure to meet most anyone's standards. Sonora Taqueria has opened their permanent location in Stoke Newington, with Carne Asada and Barbacoa Tacos, to name a few, wrapped in their homemade tortillas going for at most five pounds… Sonora Taqueria is a true diamond in the rough.
GiaGiá, a new Mediterranean restaurant in Battersea, is a dream come true. With owners Bukuria Bajrami and Armando chasing a goal of opening a restaurant in an increasingly competitive and expensive climate, it seems to me like they might be one of the best new Mediterranean plates on the market. Why? For one, there's nothing better than a family owned restaurant and two, that family is pulling inspiration from their roots in Albania, Greece and Palestine… making for an exceptional fusion unique to anywhere else in the city. The menu sees traditional Qofte beside Octopus with Potato Puree as well as Grilled Sea Bass beside Suxhuk. Their new presence is as welcomed as a serving of their Baklava.