Miriam SpiceTraveller

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

 

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009 – we didn’t need those clouds

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009

 

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

Taste of London 2009 -  Bentley's fish and chips

Taste of London 2009 – Bentley’s fish and chips

 

Croque Gascon
Duck burger classic  3/5 and Sauteed baby squids with spicy herbs  3/5

Taste of London 2009 - Duck burger @ Croque Gascon

Taste of London 2009 – Duck burger @ Croque Gascon

Taste of London 2009 - Baby squid with herbs @ Croque Gascon

Taste of London 2009 – Baby squid with herbs @ Croque Gascon

 

 

Bumpkin
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.

Taste of London 2009 - roasted lamb @ Bumpkin

Taste of London 2009 – roasted lamb @ Bumpkin

Taste of London 2009 - dishes @ Bumpkin

Taste of London 2009 – dishes @ Bumpkin

 

 

Dinings
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

Taste of London 2009 - Wagyu beef @ Dinings

Taste of London 2009 – Wagyu beef @ Dinings

 

Ristorante Semplice
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

Taste of London 2009 - beef carpaccio @ Ristorante Semplice

Taste of London 2009 – beef carpaccio @ Ristorante Semplice

 

 

Taste of London 2009

Taste of London 2009

 

Cinnamon Kitchen
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

Taste of London 2009 - lamb escalope @ Cinnamon Kitchen

Taste of London 2009 – lamb escalope @ Cinnamon Kitchen

 

Tom’s Kitchen
Not so interesting menu, but we tried Seven hour braised Daylesford organic lamb shoulder with balsamic onions and mash. Simple hearty food 3/5

 

Taste of London 2009 - braised lamb @ Tom's Kitchen

Taste of London 2009 – braised lamb @ Tom’s Kitchen

 

Fino
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

Taste of London 2009 - black risotto @ Fino

Taste of London 2009 – black risotto @ Fino

 

 

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.

Taste of London 2009 - Michel Roux @ Le Gavroche

Taste of London 2009 – Michel Roux @ Le Gavroche

 

A quick snapshot of Atul Kochhar from Benares, unfortunately we didn’t try any of their dishes this year.

Taste of London 2009 - Atul Kochhar @ Benares

Taste of London 2009 – Atul Kochhar @ Benares

 

Tristan from Launceston Place, we tried all three dishes from their menu!

Taste of London 2009 - Tristan @ Launceston Place

Taste of London 2009 – Tristan @ Launceston Place

 

Launceston Place
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

Taste of London 2009 - beef fillet @ Launceston Place

Taste of London 2009 – beef fillet @ Launceston Place

Taste of London 2009 - rhubarb and custard ice cream @ Launceston Place

Taste of London 2009 – rhubarb and custard ice cream @ Launceston Place

Taste of London 2009 - potted shrimp and crab @ Launceston Place

Taste of London 2009 – potted shrimp and crab @ Launceston Place

 

Quo Vadis
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

Taste of London 2009 - grilled ribs @ Quo Vadis

Taste of London 2009 – grilled ribs @ Quo Vadis

Taste of London 2009 - grilled ribs @ Quo Vadis

Taste of London 2009 – grilled ribs @ Quo Vadis

Taste of London 2009 - grilled ribs @ Quo Vadis

Taste of London 2009 – grilled ribs @ Quo Vadis

 

Pied-a-Terre
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….

 

Taste of London 2009 - fromage frais mousse @ Pied-a-Terre

Taste of London 2009 – fromage frais mousse @ Pied-a-Terre

Taste of London 2009 - crab with pumpkin and ginger soup @ Pied-a-Terre

Taste of London 2009 – crab with pumpkin and ginger soup @ Pied-a-Terre

 

 

Benja
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.

Taste of London  - lamb curry @ Benja

Taste of London – lamb curry @ Benja

Taste of London 2009 - dishes at Benja

Taste of London 2009 – dishes at Benja

 

 

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! ;-)

Taste of London 2009 - The Bread Shop

Taste of London 2009 – The Bread Shop

Taste of London 2009 - The Bread Shop

Taste of London 2009 – The Bread Shop

 

 

Theo Randal
Soft chocolate cake with crema di mascarpone. It tasted so much better than it looked thats for sure. 3/5

 

Taste of London 2009 - chocolate cake @ Theo Randall

Taste of London 2009 – chocolate cake @ Theo Randall

 

 

Odette’s
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.

Taste of London 2009 - lemon posset with strawberries @ Odette's

Taste of London 2009 – lemon posset with strawberries @ Odette’s

Taste of London 2009 - crab salad @ Odette's

Taste of London 2009 – crab salad @ Odette’s

Taste of London 2009 -  lamb with pea panna cotta @ Odette's

Taste of London 2009 – lamb with pea panna cotta @ Odette’s

 

 

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.

Taste of London 2009 - fruits de la mer @ La POnt de la Tour

Taste of London 2009 – fruits de la mer @ La POnt de la Tour

Taste of London 2009 -terrine @ Le Pont de la Tour

Taste of London 2009 -terrine @ Le Pont de la Tour

Taste of London 2009 - gilt head bream @ La Pont de la Tour

Taste of London 2009 – gilt head bream @ La Pont de la Tour

 

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 London 2009 - Mexican doughnuts @ Asia de Cuba

Taste of London 2009 – Mexican doughnuts @ Asia de Cuba

 

 

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.

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Blue Elephant 

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.

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Patara 

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.

 

Taste of London -  Taste of Thailand @ Patara

Taste of London – Taste of Thailand @ Patara

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

 

Thai dancers at the entrance of Taste of Thailand.

 

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

Taste of London - Thailand

Taste of London – Thailand

 

It was a great day, lots of fantastic food, drinks and fun! Until the next year….