This was our 4th year at the famous Taste, it became some sort of an annual ritual! But where else do you get such variety of food and other goodies in one place or Michelin restaurants at affordable price, oh and celebrity chefs spotting! This year the weather was bad, so it sort of spoiled it for me, it was muddy and cold. We managed to visit only on Friday, so it was a challenge to try as many dishes as possible.
My Taste of London rating
1 = fail – simply badly prepared food, tasteless, no effort whatsoever
2 = edible, might be too dry or too hard, nothing special
3 = tasty simple everyday food, but no wow factor
4 = very tasty, slighty different, nicely presented, worth spending money
5 = a must! either superbly prepared, extremely tasty, and/or great combination, something new, something you don’t get to eat often, wonderfully presented
We always start the Tasting with a glass of sparkling wine or champagne and fish or seafood:
Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill
It was a very small portion. Couple of chippies and a tiny piece of fish 2/5
Duck burger classic 3/5 and Sauteed baby squids with spicy herbs 3/5
Very simple food on the menu, we had Roast leg of Elwy Valley lamb in a bun with roasted garlic mayonnaise. Lamb is my fav red meat but this was bland and almost tasteless, also chewy. 2/5 The rest of their dishes looked rather sad.
More red meat: Wagyu beef tataki with ponzu and porcini oil. This was really good, i prefer thinly sliced meat, dressing was perfect. 4/5
Carne Albese di manzo Fassone, insalata di soncino e rucola: Fassone beef carpaccio with mash and rocket salad. Pretty but doesn’t ring my bell. After all, this is just a plain uncooked meat on the plain salad bed. 2/5
This was their Icon dish – Bhaditraka: thin lamb escalope inspired by a recipe written by Someswara in 1127 AD. Quite impressive , a piece of history goes down my throat…It was good, really good, perfectly cooked, tender meat. Lovely presentation! 4/5
Not so interesting menu, but we tried Seven hour braised Daylesford organic lamb shoulder with balsamic onions and mash. Simple hearty food 3/5
Arroz Negro – black risotto with squid ink. Oh, just look at that picture! I think it says everything about the dish! This was one of my favorite. Not only because i am a seafood lover but simply because the risotto was the real thing if i may say and i take myself as an expert when it comes to risotto! Ha! 4/5
Celebrity chefs at Taste of London 2009
Somehow we missed Le Gavroche this year, there were so many new things i wanted to try but i regret we never got around having at least one of the Le Gavroche dishes. However i snapped Michel while he was signing his book for me.
A quick snapshot of Atul Kochhar from Benares, unfortunately we didn’t try any of their dishes this year.
Tristan from Launceston Place, we tried all three dishes from their menu!
They had an interesting selection: Potted ‘devilled’ brown shrimp and crab in a shell on pebbles. Excellent, great texture, perfectly seasoned, 4/5. Roast Aberdeen Angus beef fillet with tarragon mousse: total pleasure for the red meat lovers. Medium rare, tasty, 3/5. Rhubarb and custard ice cream; saw this on TV the same year and had to try it. It did not wow me but was OK. I couldn’t really taste rhubarb so could have been anything. 2/5
The queue was long but we just had to try this. How can any meat lover resist this sight! Good quality of 48-day Hereford beef. Maybe slightly too rare for me but i did enjoy it. 4/5
Raspberries with fromage frais mousse and lemon verbena granite, they really put so much effort…not. No rating as we haven’t tried any of the dishes….
Slow cooked lamb in yellow curry accompanied with cucumber relish, divine! Lamb well cooked, fantastic flavours simply one of the best curries i ever had! 4/5 . Other two dishes we didn’t try: Thai fish cake with cucumber relish and Grilled marinated duck breast with chilli, garlic pepper sauce and holy basil.
The Bread Shop: Just look at these! Fantastic selection of speciality breads and yummy cakes! They are huuuuge! We bought lots to take home! Come visit them at the end and you get it for free or at insanely reduced price!
Soft chocolate cake with crema di mascarpone. It tasted so much better than it looked thats for sure. 3/5
Can’t comment on this, we didnt try it, on the menu: Pembrokshire crab salad, Welsh lamb with pea pannacotta and mint sauce, Lemon posset with strawberries and basil.
Le Pont de la Tour
ICON DISH: Seafood goodies; Fines de clair oyster, king crab, prawns, snail. Good variety but no wow factor. 3/5
They also served Foie gras, ham hock, pistachio terrine with pickled cherries and sourdough and Gilt head bream with warm salad of provencale vegetables and pistou.
Asia de Cuba
Mexican doughnuts: sweet brioche doughnuts rolled in cinnamon sugar and filled with butterscotch sauce. We had 3 portions of these!! Hot, soft inside, crispy on the outside, aromatic, yummy yummy! Oh i just love fried desserts of any kind. These are small and cute and so bloody delicious! 4/5
Taste of Thailand @ Taste of London
This year Taste of Thailand joined with the masters of Thai cuisine serving modern and traditional Thai dishes. There were various exhibitions of food and drinks as well as their traditional dance! This fruit and vegetable carving blew me away! It is very popular in Thailand.
I so regret we didn’t try any of their dishes, i have no idea why we skipped it, maybe we were already too stuffed!! They were serving: green chicken curry with wild rice, Tom Yam Koong – Thai soup with shrimp and Raw mango salad.
We had some nibbles at the Patara stand, they had this lovely restaurant style set up and we met the lady in charge, manager for Patara chain Ms Saipin Lee. They didn’t serve 3 dishes as most of the other restaurants but were mainly promoting themselves.
Thai dancers at the entrance of Taste of Thailand.
It was a great day, lots of fantastic food, drinks and fun! Until the next year….